MANCHESTER >> For guests who visit Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home during the 2015 holiday season, December 4 through January 3, it will feel like they've stopped by as presidential son, Robert Lincoln, and wife Mary prepare their Manchester Village, Vermont home for a family Christmas, just as they did more than 100 years ago, Christmas Eve 1912. The mansion's windows are candlelit and there's a fresh scent of balsam amidst floral flourishes and satin ribbon. The tree has been cut and brought in from the woods, its graceful boughs, hung with lovely period appropriate ornaments and candles. For nearly four decades, a visit to Hildene during the holidays has become a tradition for many families.
The musicality of the Lincoln family is celebrated in a special way during the holiday season every weekend when area musicians bring the Lincoln family's Aeolian pipe organ and Steinway to life with their music: Saturday, Dec. 5, Michael Garvey on piano 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 6, Daniel Frank on organ 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 12, Ken Olsson on piano and organ 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 13, Monica Pare on piano 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 19, Rakaia Montane on piano 10 a.m. - 12 and Dr. Joseph Eppink on organ and piano 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 20, Joanne Beck on piano 11 - 1 p.m. and Andrew Krystopolski on organ 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 27, Rakaia Montane on piano 10 a.m.
Whether guests choose to visit some or all of the Lincoln family's estate, touring the home, visiting Hildene Farm goat dairy and cheese-making facility and boarding the Pullman palace car, Sunbeam, they will find holiday spirit aplenty. The Museum Store, located in the historic carriage barn, now the Welcome Center, is also a popular destination for holiday shoppers. On Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6, the store hosts its annual open house, "Our Home for the Holidays?" Neighbors and new friends alike are welcome.The store is filled to the brim with items inspired by Lincoln family history, the estate's natural environment, gardens, life on the 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. Holiday music in The Welcome Center will be provided by: Sheena and Paul Montane, Sat., Dec. 5, noon - 1 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 19, noon - 1 p.m. (traditional Irish music); Sunday, Dec. 6, noon - 1 p.m. Ramsay Eyre on cello and carols by Burr and Burton Academy Vocal Music Ensemble and Ukelele club 1– 3 p.m. Admission is not required for The Museum Store and Welcome Center.
Hildene is open From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $18 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 14. Members, volunteers and children under 6 are free. Admission is not required for visiting the Welcome Center and The Museum Store. For more information on the holidays at Hildene visit www.hildene.org.