MANCHESTER >> On Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6, The Museum Store at Hildene hosts its annual open house, "Our Home for the Holidays." Neighbors and new friends alike are welcomed to the warmth of the Lincoln family's one hundred year old restored carriage barn dressed in all its holiday finery. The aroma of hot apple cider and fresh cider doughnuts wafts through the air and Vermont specialty food tastings set the mood for a unique holiday shopping experience. Setting the holiday tone musically on Sunday will be Ramsay Eyre playing his cello from 12 to 1 p.m., followed by members of the Burr & Burton Academy Vocal Music Ensemble under the direction of Julie Freebern singing holiday carols accompanied by their newly established Ukulele Club from 1 to 3 p.m. Admission fee is not required for visitors to the Welcome Center and The Museum Store.
The store is filled to the brim with items inspired by Lincoln family history, the estate's natural environment, gardens, life at Hill Farm and Dene Farm, and Vermont products. An expanded student focused section features new choices for children with activity oriented books, games and project kits on diverse topics from bees and bugs to environmental science, recycling, and sustainability. For that unique "one size fits all" present, a Hildene membership that provides year round access to the Lincoln family's estate is also available for purchase.
Sunday, Dec. 6 will also be the last day for "guesstimating" the amount of Lincoln pennies in the big jar. The winners will be the participants whose guesses came closest to the total number of pennies in two categories, children and adults 16 and older.
If shoppers wish to extend their Hildene experience with a visit to the Lincolns' home decorated for the holidays, Hill Farm, and the Pullman car, Sunbeam, guest passes are available for purchase at the Welcome Center. During regular hours, 9:30 to 4:30 p.m., docents are on hand to answer questions about the estate and its famous residents. Admission is $18 for adults and $5 for youth ages 6-14. Members, volunteers and youth under 6 are free. A guided tour at 1 p.m. daily is available by prior reservation for an additional $5. For more information visit www.hildene.org, call 802-362-1788 or email email@example.com.