To ring in the first holiday season of the 21st century, the elegant Historic Houses of Fairmount Park will host "Grand Celebrations," the Park House Yuletide Tours for 2000. Presented by the Park House Guides of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, "Grand Celebrations" will take place from Friday, December 1, through Wednesday, December 6. Seven Fairmount Park Houses, as well as the Horticulture Center, will be open for general admission from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, and will be specially decorated by area garden clubs to evoke the childlike wonder of the following festive themes:
- Lemon Hill: The Empress of China
- Mount Pleasant: Lords & Ladies
- Laurel Hill: Victorian Tea
- Woodford: Twelfth Night
- Strawberry Mansion: The Bal Masque
- Cedar Grove: Family Reunion
- Sweetbriar: Musicale
- Horticulture Center: Winter Wonderland
Daytime general admission tickets for Self-Guided Tours are $17.00 for adults, $5.00 for children under 12, and can be purchased at Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Strawberry Mansion, Cedar Grove, the Horticulture Center, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. General admission tickets may also be purchased in advance at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or by calling (215) 235-SHOW (a service fee of $2.75 per ticket is added to all phone orders).
Trolley Tours depart from the Horticulture Center at regular intervals. Lunch is available at the Horticulture Center for an additional cost. $22 admission includes trolley fare. Tickets with trolley transportation are valid for date of purchase only. For additional trolley information, call (215) 925-TOUR.
Romantic Candlelight Evenings, featuring three of the Park Houses decorated and lighted as they were in the 18th- and 19th-centuries, will be offered on December 1 to 5, beginning at 5:45 and 6:30 p.m. (lasting 2 1/2 hours each). Trolleys will depart from the Horticulture Center, and wine and a light supper will be served. Tickets are $38.00 per person. Reservations are required; call (215) 235-SHOW for reservations. Please note: Candlelight Evening tickets are valid for admission to the remaining 4 houses through December 6 (second-day admission does not include trolley service).
This year's Holiday Tours are made possible in part by Twinings Tea, Walkers Shortbread, and The Noble Harvest, Ltd.
Philadelphia's Fairmount Park is the largest municipal park in the world. Amid more than 8,000 acres of wooded hills are some of the city's greatest treasures: seven 18th and 19th-century houses that were the summer retreats of notable Philadelphians who played important roles in the development of the city and nation.