Winterthur welcomes the return of 'Yuletide' traditionJan 05, 2015 06:17PM ● By Kerigan Butt
(Editor's note: This article first appeared in our Winter 2013 edition.)
“Yuletide at Winterthur” returns daily through Jan. 5, celebrating winter holdays from the 1700s to today.
This year’s tour focuses on a variety of lighting traditions early Americans brought with them from their European homelands, and various devices used to safely illuminate Christmas trees in pre-electricity days. Festive color wheels and bubble lights of the mid-20th century will provide a snapshot of how holiday lighting evolved over time.
Visitors can learn about the Swedish tradition of the ljuskrona, an iron candelabra ornately wrapped in paper and used as a table display on Christmas Eve. On display will be a German weihnachtspyramide, a towering array of wooden tiers centered on a pillar and decorated with religious and secular figures and candles. The carousel spins around the central axis, its wooden propeller powered by rising air heated by the candles.
The “Yuletide at Winterthur” display will feature a holiday wedding of the mid-1800s, complete with a candlelit ballroom and an elegant chalked floor to welcome visitors to rooms never before seen at Yuletide.
Trees inspired by the Winterthur Garden will be featured throughout the tour, including the famous dried-flower tree. Holiday programming will include floral design workshops, live theatrical and musical performances, brunches with Santa and more.
Winterthur is open daily (including Mondays). There are extended evening hours on Wednesdays, Dec. 4, 11, and 18, when the last tour tickets are sold at 6:45 p.m. Extended hours are also offered on Dec. 26 and 27, when the last tour tickets will be sold at 4:15 p.m. Galleries will remain open until 5:30 p.m.
Yuletide Brunch with Santa will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays in December (except Dec. 28 and 29), from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Santa will appear from 9 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $34.95 per person (children 2 to 12, half off; children under 2, free). Brunch does not include the Yuletide tour. For reservations, call 302-888-4826.
“Yuletide Jazz & Wine” is offered Dec. 4, 11 and 18, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Cash bar (wine and beer); fruit and cheese will be sold. Included with a general admission ticket. For non-members who are not purchasing a general admission ticket, tickets are $10 and include live jazz, entry to the galleries, and a $2 drink ticket. Performing will be E. Shawn Qaissaunee (Dec. 4), Paul Jost (Dec. 11) and the Ron Cole Trio (Dec. 18).
There will be a live performance of “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 12 at 1 and 6 p.m. The one-man show is performed by Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, who depicts 26 characters of the classic tale. A book and gift signing will follow. The Visitor Center Café will be open until 6 p.m. Performance-only tickets are $15 for members, $18 for non-members, and $10 for children under 12. Package price (performance and general admission) is $30 for non-members, $15 for children. For tickets, call 800-448-3883.
For general information, visit www.winterthur.org.