By Betsy Natter
Looking for some inspiration for your home decorating this holiday? Take a break from the bustle of the season and consider one of Montgomery County’s holiday house tours through the many historic and unique homes beautifully decorated in lights and holiday greenery. Many of these tours are annual events that support ongoing programs or serve as fundraisers for the organizations that sponsor them.
Peter Wentz Farmstead – Candlelight Tours
2030 Shearer Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446
Enjoy the soft glow of candlelight as evening comes to the Farmstead on this tour which features colonial music and seasonal entertainments. Children might enjoy a visit from the Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania German version of St. Nicholas. Special tour hours will be held on Sat., Dec. 2 from 3 to 9 pm with the last tour beginning at 8:30 pm. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this experience. There is a $2 per person suggested donation.
John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove – Holiday Open House
1201 Pawlings Rd., Audubon, PA 19403
Join the staff at Mill Grove for their annual holiday celebration at the John James Audubon home on Sun., Dec. 3 from 1 to 4 pm. The historic home will be decorated for the holidays, both inside and out! Participate in hands-on activities, and crafts in the barn or watch a presentation with the Mill Grove owls. Plenty of cookies and cider will be available as well. This event is free and for all ages.
Henry Muhlenberg House – Candlelight Tours
201 W. Main St., Trappe, PA 19426
Experience the holidays as it was celebrated centuries ago during candlelight tours of the historic Henry Muhlenberg House. Learn about early Pennsylvania German Christmas traditions as they were practiced long ago. The home was once a residence for Henry Muhlenberg, a German pastor considered to be the founder of the Lutheran Church in America. The tours run on Sat., Dec. 2 from 3 to 9 pm and Sun., Dec. 3 from noon to 4 pm and are hosted by the Historical Society of Trappe, Collegeville, and Perkiomen Valley. Admission is $5/adults, $3 ages 12–17, $2 ages 6–11, free under 6 years of age.
Historic Trappe – Holiday House Tour
525 W Main St, Trappe, PA 19426
If you’re looking for a more extensive tour experience, you can take in a lengthier tour through several museums, private houses, and historic churches along the Main Street corridor in Trappe. Stops include the Henry Muhlenberg House, The Speaker’s House, where the new corner fireplaces will be lit; Grange Hall, with a display of Swedish Christmas decorations and foods; Dewees Tavern, featuring German Erzgebirge woodcarvings; Northern Star Farm, home of Matthew Wismer; the private residence of Mayor Connie and Bob Peck; and Augustus Lutheran Church, built in 1743. The tour runs Sun., Dec. 3 from noon to 4 pm with a reception to follow from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Community Music School. Seasonal fare, silent auction baskets, and Trappe-themed pottery, books, greeting cards, and other local products will be available for purchase. Tickets for the full tour are $30 and payable online using Paypal or in person at Trappe True Value. Tour starts at Trappe Borough Hall where program guides are available.
Pennypacker Mills – Victorian Christmas Open House
5 Haldeman Rd., Schwenksville, PA 19473
Enter the enchanted world of a Victorian Christmas when you tour the mansion at Pennypacker Mills on Sat., Dec. 9 from 2 to 8 pm. See period decorations, learn about holiday traditions and meet a Victorian Santa Claus. Kids especially will delight in listening to the bell choir perform and enjoy a clear toy candy demonstration. This open house is for all ages and there is a $2 per person suggested donation.
17th Annual Holiday House Tour –
Experience the tradition of this annual fundraising home tour sponsored by the Women’s Civic Club of Schwenksville. The self-guided tour runs from 10 am to 3 pm on Dec., 9 and can be started at any location on the tour map. Sites on this year’s tour include stops in the Green Lane, Skippack and Schwenksville areas. The historic Haines property including its three private museums will be open to visitors. The museums include a large collection of antique carriages, wagons, race cars, trucks, equipment and thousands of pieces of memorabilia. Two other homes as well as the Greenfield Senior Living Facility are on the tour. Tickets are $20 and are available by calling Anne at 610-287-7267. Maps are included on the tickets. Proceeds from the event are used to support the organization’s charitable work throughout the community.
Lock 60 at Schuylkill Canal Park – Holiday Luminaria
400 Towpath RD., Mont Clare, PA 19453
You’ll imagine yourself in a holiday scene from Dicken’s famous Christmas story when you experience the beautifully decorated Locktender’s house at Lock 60 in Mont Clare on Sat., Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 pm. Sing along with local musicians and enjoy holiday treats and hot cider while enjoying the beauty of the canal as it is lit up with hundreds of festive lights. Children will want to visit with Santa Claus who will be accepting visitors between 6:30 & 7:30 pm. The event is cancelled only if there is a steady downpour of rain or snow. The magnificent light display is even more mystical if there is a slight drizzle, misty fog or a few inches of snow, truly creating a beautiful holiday scene. There is a $1 per person suggested donation.
Pottsgrove Manor – Candlelight Tour
100 West King St., Pottstown, PA 19464
Costumed interpreters will portray the Manor’s colonial residents as you walk through this historic home decorated for the holidays. On Sun., Dec. 10 from 2 to 8 pm, enjoy music and dancing in the parlor while smelling wonderful aromas drifting in from the kitchen hearth. Partake of some tasty refreshments while the kids make seasonal crafts to take home! A $2 per person donation is suggested.
10th Annual Holiday House Tour
The Haverford Township Historical Society is proud to showcase five of the township’s most charming and historic homes in a holiday tour on Sun., Dec. 11 from 1 to 4 pm. All of the homes were built during the 19th and 20th centuries and will be beautifully adorned for the season. The tour will begin at either Nitre Hall, the home of Historical Society or on Caenarvon Lane and tickets may be purchased by cash or check at either location. Advance tickets may also be ordered online using Paypal. Tickets are $20 for members or $25 for non-members. Call Terri Dougherty at 610-449-1571 with questions.