Holiday house tours in the Hudson Valley
Take a brief break from decorating your own home for the holidays and check out historical houses like the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park and Boscobel in Garrison that are all decked out for Christmas.
Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park: The Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park is extravagantly decorated for the holidays and open to visitors through the week after Christmas. (Dec. 5, 2010)
The Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park is filled with Christmas trees for the holiday season, each decorated with a different theme. (Dec. 3, 2009)
A Christmas tree in the entrance hall of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. (Dec. 11, 2009)
The Vanderbilt Mansion is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and guided tours are offered at 9:15 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The entrance hall is pictured.
A tour group at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. (Dec. 5, 2010)
The entrance at Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park decorated for the holidays.
In addition to holiday house tours at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, there will also be a free holiday open house on Sunday, Dec. 9, featuring live music and goodies like punch and cookies. Mrs. Vanderbilt's boudoir is pictured. (Dec. 21, 2011)
A close-up shot of a decorated Christmas tree in Mrs. Vanderbilt's boudoir at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. (Dec. 5, 2010)
Franklin D. Roosevelt historic sites in Hyde Park: With the release of "Hyde Park on Hudson" on Dec. 7, you can expect a crowded holiday season at the Franklin D. Roosevelt historic sites in Hyde Park. The exterior of Springwood, where FDR was born and lived on and off for much of his life, is pictured. (Jan 31, 2007)
Decorated in the style of Christmas 1944 (the last one FDR spent in Hyde Park), Springwood is open daily at 9 a.m. with the last tour of the day starting at 4 p.m. A free holiday open house will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The living room is pictured.
Val-Kill in Hyde Park: Val-Kill, the home of Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, is also decorated for the holidays. The venue will be decorated for Christmas 1961, the last one celebrated there, with the space set up in preparation for a visit from Eleanor's family and the table set for dinner. Tours are offered at 1 and 3 p.m. on Thursdays through Mondays. Admission is free on Dec. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m.
At Val-Kill in Hyde Park, presents are displayed as they were in 1961, the last year that Christmas was celebrated there.
Another shot of the living room at Val-Kill in Hyde Park.
Boscobel in Garrison: There are holiday events for both kids and adults taking place at Boscobel, a 19th Century country house in Garrison. For the fourth year, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will present excerpts from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" with a modern twist. The event takes place on weekends from Nov. 30 through Dec. 15 at various times. Actors are pictured performing in the grand hall.
The Sweets & Treats with Mr. & Mrs. Claus event at Boscobel in Garrison is $25 per child. The couple is pictured at the venue.
Two Sundays in December will be geared specifically to kids at Boscobel. Sweets & Treats with Mr. & Mrs. Claus will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 and 16. Once you-know-who makes it down the chimney, children will get the chance to divulge their wish lists and pose for photos.
Wilderstein in Rhinebeck: Wilderstein is a Queen Anne Victorian mansion filled with original furnishings and located on 40 acres overlooking the Hudson River in Rhinebeck. Once the home of Margaret (Daisy) Suckley, a cousin and friend of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the venue gets all dressed up for the holidays. The dining room is pictured.
On weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 30, guests can tour Wilderstein in Rhinebeck at their own pace with guides in each room on hand to share information and answer questions. On Saturday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m., a special Yuletide Tea will feature finger sandwiches and homemade cakes and cookies. The parlor is pictured.
Washington Irving's Sunnyside in Irvington: Sunnyside, the former home of author Washington Iriving, best known for penning "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, is done up in authentic mid-19th Century Christmas decorations at this time of year. After being open to the public for only Thanksgiving weekend, groups of 10 or more can continue to experience the decorated manse by reservation only through the holiday season. The decorated dining table is pictured.