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Holiday Traditions Open House

By: Staff

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s not too soon to mark your calendar for the Auburn area’s Holiday Traditions Open House. Citywide events have been planned to help you celebrate the holiday season. Holiday Traditions was created by the Seward House Museum over 30 years ago as a token of appreciation to the Auburn community.

This year the event will be held on Sunday, December 11. The City of Auburn’s Historic and Cultural Sites invites everyone to experience the beauty, history and holiday magic of History’s Hometown.  Museums and churches throughout the communityare decorated for the season and will open their doors to the public offering free admission, music, refreshments, family activities and more.

This event was always a highlight of the season for my girls. Their favorite places to visit were the Seward House Museum, the Ward O’Hara Aquicultural Museum, and the Willard Chapel. They liked to wander through the brightly decorated rooms and pretend that they lived there. This year I am looking forward to starting the same tradition with my grandchildren.

Because there is so much to do, participating in all the events takes a bit of advance planning, so to make things easier, I have gathered all the activities and times into one list.

10 am to 4 pm – The Ward W. O’Hara Agricultural Museum
View more than 100 trees for the Museum’s annual Festival of Trees and pick a winning favorite. Don’t forget to look for the Tour Cayuga one(hint:we are in the tractor room). Enjoy a horse-drawn wagon rides, Christmas carol sing along, and kid-friendly activities. Santa Claus arrives at noon by carriage and will visit with children until 4 PM.

Noon- 5pm…Seward House Museum
Harkening back to a Victorian Christmas, experience the majestic Seward House Museum decked in holiday finery and enjoy live musical performances throughout the day. Museum staff and volunteers spread cheer by regaling visitors with stories of past Seward family Christmases.

Noon-4pm…Willard Memorial Chapel
Join Captain Nick Klaus for a reading of A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas at 1 pm, sponsored by  Literacy Volunteers of America. Complimentary seasonal treats like candy cane cotton candy will be served. Free tours of the Chapel will be given from 2 to 4 pm.

Noon to 5 pm – The NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center
Visit over 20-plus vendors at the holiday market, live entertainment by jazz vocalist Connie Fredericks-Malone, and hands-on creative activities. At 12:30 pm, the Auburn Downtown BID unveils the original panels for its public art project funded by the New York State Department of State Downtown Revitalization Initiative, plus meet the artists.

1 to 5 pm –Schweinfurth Art Center
View the 41st annual Quilts=Art=Quilts and Emotional Constructs exhibits. At 1 pm, solo electric harpist Christopher Molloy will perform, and from 2 to 3 pm, Trunk Show quilt artist Mari Townsend presents a show-and-tell of her work. Enjoy hot chocolate and enter a raffle to win a small quilt from artists featured in Quilts=Art=Quilts.

1 to 5 pm –Cayuga Museum of History and Art
Join in craft making in the galleries, enjoy light refreshments, and explore the museum.

2 pm – Merry-Go-Round Playhouse
The Auburn Chamber Orchestra will present “Sounds of the Season” conducted by Dr. Victor Vallo, Jr. This concert will feature a variety of music, including songs from The Polar Express, Handel’s “Messiah,” Christmas carol medleys, and an audience participation finale sing-along.

5:30 pm – St. Francis of Assisi Church
The Stardusters All-Star Band will play Harriet Tubman tributes, Gospels, and Christmas classics. Refreshments will be served after the performance in Nacca Hall.

Wow, like I said above, there is a lot to see and do in one day!
 To help with the planning, I like to make list with all my top things to do.
I really try to stick to the plan but it rarely happens!

For more information about Holiday Traditions click here.
If you have questions regarding a specific venue, please contact each respective site directly.


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