Many historic societies in Pennsylvania communities know well that touring other people's houses is just plain fun, especially when they are decked out for the holiday season.
Victorian Christmas Tour
Every year a theme like "Aprons and Ascots" sets the tone for the holiday decor and parties that take place in the grand homes, churches and museums of Williamsport. Victorian, Colonial, and even some fairly modern houses downtown and in the surrounding countryside are lit up and garland-adorned for public tours, often guided by hosts in period apparel while music of the season rings through the streets and halls.
Lycoming County Visitor Information Center
210 William Street
Williamsport, PA 17701-6506
Candlelight House Tour
Since 1973 Harrisburg homeowners have welcomed the public into their stately abodes when they are decorated for the Christmas season. For one afternoon in December, by ticketed admittance only, 20-plus mansions and public buildings are dressed for the season and share their spirit with tour attendees. Map and property checklist are provided.
Historic Harrisburg Association
P.O. Box 1843
Harrisburg, PA 17105-1843
Christmas Open House Tour
During the first week of December, and for one day only, many of the private estate homes and classic public buildings in Newton are open to ticket-bearing members of the public. Each year, a home base (where tickets are sold) welcomes tour members with refreshments and holiday cheer.
Newtown Historic Association, Inc.
Centre Avenue & Court Street
Newtown, PA 18940
Christmas in the County Historic House Tours
An annual event, the Franklin County holiday home tour includes refreshments and ticket sales at the Old Jail. This event takes place the first week of December for one afternoon and includes a holiday greenery competition in the Old Jail lecture hall.
Franklin County Historical Society
175 E. King Street
Chambersburg, PA 17201
The Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour
This holiday decor tour features a number of historic Pittsburgh homes and includes a Toy Train Museum tour--the only time each year the museum is open to the public. There are two days of three-hour tours with 25 guests in each group; value-added features include a holiday shopping fair and High Tea.
Allegheny West Civic Council
812 Western Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
- Photo Credit Christmas door image by ksurrr from Fotolia.com