Historic Holiday Home Tours

It’s Christmas Time in the city!  Last week, Downtown Dayton had their annual Holiday Festival that included the popular tree lighting.  And over the next couple weekends, two three of Dayton’s most popular historic districts will be presenting their own holiday home tours.  If you have ever wanted to see some beautifully restored historic homes, there is no better time than around the holidays – and these tours give you an opportunity to see several.

sptourFirst up this coming Saturday December 5 is the 2009 Historic South Park Holiday Home Tour.  Eleven homes will dazzle and delight, including grand Queen Annes, quaint cottages, and majestic Victorians. Carolers in Victorian garb will fill you with memories of Decembers past.

This self- guided tour begins Saturday at 12N and ends at 7PM. (The ticket window will close at 5PM.) Cost is $10 in advance and $15 the day of the tour.  Admission price includes a sumptuous dessert buffet at the beginning of the tour. Plan to spend two hours enjoying the sights.

To reserve tickets, please visit www.historicsouthpark.org or call (937) 603-4893. (Tickets will not be mailed.) On Saturday, pick up your tickets and begin your tour from Hope Lutheran Church, 500 Hickory Street. (Turn west off Wayne Avenue onto Hickory. Enter through the church parking lot.) Park free at Hope and Emerson Academy across the street. A shuttle will be available to transport guests back to the parking lots from the most distant home.  Check out the WDTN Bucher’s Beat story with our good friends Bill & Amy, whose house is on the tour:

Next, Dayton’s Oldest Historic District would like to invite you to be part of its annual Holiday Candlelight Tour on December 7, 8, and 9.  A liveried guide will escort you as you tour beautifully decorated historic homes.  The last home on the tour will offer you Victorian Sweets, Champagne Punch and Coffee.  Four of the District’s finest restaurants are participating in a dinner/tour option.  They are: Jays Seafood; Thai 9; Coco’s Bistro and Pacchia.  Check out their website for more details.

Then the following weekend on December 11-13 head over to St. Anne’s Hill for “A Dickens of a Christmas in St. Anne’s Hill” with guided tours of some of Dayton’s most beautiful historic homes. The tours are led Dickens2009by guides costumed in period dress and feature live entertainment followed by a visit to the beautiful homes in the historic St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood, each decorated for the season.  The tours will conclude with a delicious old-fashioned dessert and a visit to the gift shop.

Tours begin every half hour, starting from 4:30-8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 11th; 1:30-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 12th; and 1:30-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 13th. Tours last approximately two to three hours, including entertainment, home tours, and dessert. Tickets this year are $18 each, and may now be ordered online at www.stanneshill.org. Due to the popularity of the event, the schedule of tours sells out quickly and advance tickets are required.

The 2009 tour will begin at the High Street Gallery, located at 48 High Street.  The tour will conclude with a tour of the popular Bossler Mansion, a landmark structure built in 1869.  This magnificent home is considered Dayton’s best example of Second Empire architecture.  Guests can snack on a classic dessert, browse Victoria’s Parlor Gift Shoppe, walk by the newly renovated Stivers School for the Arts, and enjoy a view of Downtown Dayton.

“A Dickens of a Christmas In St. Anne’s Hill” is the Miami Valley’s oldest continuously running historic home tour, having debuted in 1983.  Proceeds from the tour will benefit the St. Anne’s Hill Neighborhood Association, and are used to maintain the neighborhood’s historic character.

So which tour do you plan to take?  Of course, you can always do both!

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