Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Traditions of Christmas Past


Published:

This time of year, it’s all about reliving traditions. So why not celebrate like they did in past centuries?

Hill House Holidays (first three weekends in December): On Summit Avenue in St. Paul sits the former home of railroad baron James J. Hill, where you can see a Gilded Age Christmas brought to life as costumed actors portraying the family’s servants prepare for the holidays using a script based off of letters and oral histories of the actual workers.

Victorian Christmas Stories (December 15): Actors will also be at the James J. Hill House to tell these stories, including works by Mark Twain, O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi, and excerpts from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Victorian Christmas Carols (December 20-22): Taking place in the art gallery at the Hill House, costumed singers, a pianist and narrator will perform period songs.

 
 Left: James J. Hill House, RIGHT: ALEXANDER RAMSEY HOUSE. photos courtesy of the Minnesota historical society

A Victorian Christmas (through December 8): Tour the home of our second governor, Alexander Ramsey, listen to music played on the family’s Steinway piano, and see their original ornaments and gifts.

A Swedish Christmas (December 12): Many of the Ramsey family’s servants were Swedish immigrants, which is why there they celebrate Christmas as such, learning about native customs, hearing stories, and tasting treats.

An Eventually Christmas: Holidays at the Mill (December 7, 8, 14 & 15): A different part of history is displayed at Mill City Museum where, on a Flour Tower elevator ride, “the ghost of mill city past” will guide you through a look at the 1920 Washburn Crosby holiday party, based off of real stories from the company’s employee newsletter.

Toy Making Workshop (December 7): Head to the Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River and pretend you’re a 19th-century elf by making toys to give out as gifts, including a ball-and-cup game, buzz saw, pick-up sticks or corn husk dolls.

Christmas on the Farm (December 14 & 15): Tour the Kelley Farm, along the way stopping inside the historic farmhouse, visiting livestock pens, taking a horse or oxen-driven bobsled or wagon ride, and learning about how farmers dealt with season 150 years ago.

For times, costs, and reservations, visit the Minnesota Historial Society's events calendar.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags