Stowe & Twain's Olde-Fashioned Christmas
Hartford’s Nook Farm turns back the clock and presents the sights and sounds of a Victorian holiday celebration on Saturday, December 15 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sunday, December 16 (noon – 4 p.m.). Famed residents Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain always extended the spirit of the holidays to friends and neighbors. This holiday season, the Stowe Center and the Twain House are joining forces and opening their doors to families on for an Olde-Fashioned Christmas experience.
Both houses will be decked with family decorations, Christmas trees, garlands and more - guests will “ooh” and “ahh” at the holiday feasts laid out on the dining tables. Historic interpreters will take you on guided tours and will explain the holiday traditions of each family. For these two days, visitors may purchase a special discount combination ticket including guided tours of both the Stowe House and Twain House: $20 for adults; $10 for children (5-15).
Before or after touring the houses, visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage ride ‘round the historic grounds where the Twain and Stowe families lived and celebrated the holidays.
Revelers can stop at the Stowe Visitor Center to hear the madrigal-clad Hall High School Choraliers or the Ethel Walker School’s Grapes performing. Holiday crafts in the Stowe Visitor Center will satisfy everyone’s “DIY” gift-making urge and both museums’ stores will be open to help you catch up on your holiday shopping with unique gifts aplenty – and a 10% discount to help you stretch your holiday gift budget!
Sam Clemens’ daughters Susy, Clara and Jean - portrayed by actors from The Hartford Children’s Theatre – will be stirring up holiday mischief. And, of course, Jolly Old St. Nicholas will be on the ready to receive your Christmas wishes in The Mark Twain House & Museum Center, surrounded by merry A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court life-size puppets from the Ballard Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut.
The Stowe Center is showcasing two exhibits in the Katharine Day House, available to all house tour ticket holders:
“Reforming the Season: Nineteenth-Century Reformers and Christmas,” with popular 19th-century images and objects, including etchings, greeting card images, Christmas toys, musical horns and sleds, introduced as Christmas became a holiday focused on good works.
“Rooted in Reform: Portraits of a Family” rarely-seen portraits from the Stowe Center’s collections, featuring Stowe Center founder and Hartford preservationist Katharine Seymour Day along with Lyman Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, George Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker, John Hooker, Calvin Day, and Hartford native and poet, Lydia Sigourney.
Free parking is available in either museum’s visitor parking lot. The museums are immediately adjacent to each other. (Stowe is located at 77 Forest Street, Hartford and Twain is located at 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford).
Stowe & Twain’s Olde-Fashioned Christmas is sponsored in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the members and donors of both museums.