Massachusetts Holiday House Tours – A Calendar for December 4 and 5, 2010

Tis the season.  There are a number of exciting Holiday House Tours benefiting a number of excellent organizations throughout the Commonwealth, and we alert you to the following events taking place in the beginning of December:

On Saturday, December 4, from 11 – 4, travel to Stockbridge for Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. Visit some of the area’s Historic Properties, B&B’s, and Inns. This self-guided tour is one of our most popular events. This year’s tour features the Mission House, Federal House Inn, Inn at Stockbridge, The Mount,  Edith Wharton’s Estate, and Ventfort Hall Museum.  Tickets are $15.00 per person (Tickets may be purchased on the day of at the Red Lion Inn only, They are not sold at the house tour properties).

If you prefer the North Shore, on Saturday, December 4, from 10:00 – 4:30  and Sunday, December 5, from 11:30 – 4:30, enjoy Christmas in Salem, the 2010 North Fields Tour. One of Salem’s oldest historic neighborhoods is one of its least well known. As the name suggests, the North Fields area was once home to pastures and orchards as well as homes. Today, North Street and the streets to the east and west of it are known as North Salem. You are invited to explore this area not visited by Christmas in Salem since 1996 and to enjoy the private homes professionally decorated for the holidays.

This is also an opportunity to see more of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem. His uncle’s house is on the tour, and he himself lived here, as well for a time. When you take the trolley back across the North River, you’ll find two more homes on Derby Street waiting to welcome you. And don’t miss the Hawthorne related sites, including The House of the Seven Gables with its own holiday celebration.  Because the tour features private homes, it is not handicapped accessible. Also, out of courtesy to our homeowners and their old pine floors, we request that you do not wear high heels. Advance tickets are $25 for members of Historic Salem, Inc. and $30 for non-members.  You may order online at, or by phone at 978-745-0799. Other retail ticket locations may be found on the website.

Do you prefer Buzzard’s Bay?  The New Bedford Preservation Society’s 19th Annual Holiday House Tour will take place Saturday, December 4 from 4 – 8, and on Sunday, December 5 from 1 – 5. Start at the Wamsutta Club, 427 County Street, New Bedford.  To attend a pre-tour brunch ($17) on Sunday from 11am-1pm (reservations recommended) call 508.997.7431. Holiday Raffle will be held at the club during tour hours.

South Shore, you say? The Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth will sponsor a house tour on Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5 as well. Pilgrim Hall Museum’s fifth annual Holiday House Tour will share some of Plymouth’s finest – and sometimes hidden – architectural gems all dressed up for the holidays. Your tour ranges from private residences in North Plymouth, to the center of town, to wonderful homes down in South Plymouth. Feel the warmth of the holiday season while helping preserve the museum’s superb collection of 17th century artifacts and support its educational programs. Your ticket includes a light lunch at Plymouth Country Club. Advance ticket sales are $40 each, but after November 19 the price goes to $45 each. Call 508-746-1620 x7 for a registration brochure.

Let’s not forget the western suburbs.  The Needham Women’s Club will hold an Historical Holiday House Tour on December 5 as well, honoring Needham’s 300th birthday, as well as the Needham Women’s Club’s 75th!  Although hours have not yet been announced, tickets will go on sale at Roche Brothers and at Sudbury Farms beginning Thursday, November 18.  Call 781-718-4983 for updated information.

Canton Garden Club members are preparing several workshops for their Club’s Holiday House Tour entitled Joys of Christmas on Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4.  Visitors will be able to tour three homes, a condominium and a great room area at the condominium.  All residences are decorated to reflect each location’s individual style and charm.  For tickets ($25), visit Pratt Realty, Helen’s Hair Styling, Savoy Day Spa, or call 781-828-8552.  Hours to be announced.

Rounding out the festivities for the first weekend in December is the Winchester Neighbors Club tour on Sunday, December 5, from 2 – 5 pm.  Four historic homes located in the Flats will be open to the public, and all proceeds will benefit the Ginn Playground Restoration Project.  More details will follow on their website,