Fairmount Park decks the historic halls

Now this fireplace is what Santa is talking about.

When it comes to Christmas decorations, Philadelphia has plenty of houses that go above and beyond, from South Philly’s infamous light shows to inflatable Santa lawn infestations in the Northeast. And while no Philly decor tour would be complete without a two-story animatronic Grinch, nestled in Fairmount Park are some lower-key gems that are just as much a part of the city’s festive fabric.

Running through this weekend, the Charms of Fairmount Park Holiday Tours invite visitors into five of the park’s historic houses, which are decked out for the holidays.

“People forget that these historic sites were once lively with children and families and celebrations,” says Bill Gehrman, marketing director for The Historic Houses of Fairmount Park. “These are what we call park houses — they were built in the 18th century by some of the most prominent Philadelphians as summer escapes.”

This year’s tour circuit includes Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Ormiston and Woodford mansions. Hosts will be on hand to talk about the history and architecture of each house, and family-friendly activities include colonial re-enactors, music and even a holiday tea service at Woodford.



Go green this year

Skipping the LED reindeer? Stop by Strawberry Mansion Sat.-Mon. (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) for a fresh greens sale. Decor and gifts include Juniper and Magnolia wreaths.



If you go


   

The Charms of Fairmount Park Holiday Tours will take place Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission to each house is $5 (children under 12 are free) and free parking is available at each site. Guided trolley tours ($40) will depart from the Art Museum on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  For more info, visit www.parkcharms.com.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from stylist and creator…

We hit her up for some space-conscious, budget-friendly design tips.

Food

Wahlbergs expanding Wahlburgers fast food joint across North…

Wahlburgers will open new restaurants in Boston, Toronto and Philadelphia.

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…