Holiday Events for Gardeners

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November and December offer amazing holiday displays and fun events for gardeners in the Northeast. From Candlelight Walks to Christmas teas and majestic trees made of dried flowers, you will find a wealth of inspiration for your own holiday celebrations. Below is just a sampling. If your organization has an event that is not listed, please feel free to add it in the Comments.

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Christmas at the Newport Mansions

Newport Mansions, Newport, MA
November 17 - January 1

The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House are once again decorated with thousands of poinsettias, fresh flowers, evergreens, and wreaths. Thirty decorated Christmas trees reflecting individual room decor anchor many of the magnificent spaces. Dining tables set with period silver and china complete the elegant setting. Windows of each mansion are lit with individual white candles, in keeping with the colonial tradition. 

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A gingerbread model of each house, created by amazing local pastry chefs, will be on display in its kitchen. 


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Christmas at Blithewold

Blithewold, Bristol, RI
November 23 - January 1

Every year, Blithewold transforms into a dazzling display celebrating the magic of Christmas. Each room of the Mansion is filled with elaborate holiday decorations, and the gardens become a glimmering winter wonderland! This year’s theme is “A Family Gathering”, recreating the Christmas weekend at Blithewold in 1910 based on the family’s diary entries. Enjoy a winter marketplace, holiday teas and musical performances.


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Candlelight Stroll and Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth

Strawberry Banke, Portsmouth, NH
December 1–22

Museum grounds glow with hundreds of lighted candle lanterns, the houses are adorned with thousands of hand-made decorations crafted from live greens and dried flowers and herbs collected from the Museum gardens, and the air is filled with the sound of holiday music and scent of woodsmoke from the bonfire. Visitors stroll from house to historic house, greeted by costumed role players and performers who recreate the traditions of times past.


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Festival of Trees and Snow Village

Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Elm Bank, Wellesley, MA
November 23-December 9

The Festival of Trees, displayed in the Hunnewell Building, offers beautifully decorated holiday trees that are donated and decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and individuals. Visitors “vote” with their raffle tickets, in hopes of being the tree winner at the end of the festival. Visitors can also enjoy the decorated buildings and grounds at The Gardens at Elm Bank with a stroll or a horse-drawn wagon ride. For the young at heart, there are Santa Visits and other activities.

Snow Village at Elm Bank is an enchanting display of model trains winding through villages and vignettes, including Christmas in the Boston, Fenway Park, and hundreds of decorated houses and lights. This amazing scenery in miniature is sure to get kids of all ages excited about the holiday season.


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Christmastime Teas

Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme, CT
December 11–29

As music of the season quietly plays, nibble delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted savory tea sandwiches, and seasonal sweets as lovely as they are tasty. Let the warmth of holiday cheer spread with each sip of Miss Florence’s Tea. Served in a delightfully eclectic assortment of china, the unique and elegant beverage is a blend of superior Ceylon and China black teas enhanced with a touch of vanilla and other delicate spices. The special blend is created over a two-day process by Sundial Gardens in Higganum, Connecticut.


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Gardens Aglow

Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich, MA
November 23 - December 30

Heritage’s expansive gardens will be aglow with beautiful light displays, extensive indoor holiday décor and numerous activities around the grounds and galleries. This year visitors can expect expanded lighting displays and outdoor interactives, along with all of your favorites from previous years!


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Night Lights: Winter Reimagined

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
November 23 - December 30

Outside, visitors have the opportunity to marvel at glittering lights displayed throughout 15 acres of formal gardens, including the Fairy Light Walk through the forest that ends at the Wild Rumpus. Inside, you can see trees decorated with hand-made, nature-inspired ornaments, a model train village, and two conservatories brimming with subtropical plants and seasonal music.


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Wayside Inn Holidays

Wayside Inn, Sudbury, MA
November 28 - January 7

Each room of the historic Wayside Inn is decorated by a different garden club with hand-made creations for the holidays. The inn features a holiday menu, and advance reservations are recommended.

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Holiday Marketplace

Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, MA
December 1–2

A holiday marketplace of one-of-a-kind Christmas decorations and gifts made by local craftspeople, and a Gallery of Wreaths created by volunteer designers. Refreshments and goodies from the Garden Shop are also included.


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Holiday Open House

Peckham's Greenhouses, Little Compton, RI
December 1 & 2, 9am-5 pm

A special sale of handmade gifts and holiday plants set in Peckham’s many greenhouses.


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Winter Lights

Naumkeag, Stockbridge, MA
Thursdays-Sundays beginning Nov. 23, 5-8 pm

Enjoy the spectacular garden of Naumkeag lit with thousands of shimmering holiday lights. Each weekend features performances and activities for the whole family, from the young to the young at heart.  See something new throughout the season.


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Vanderbilt Mansion Christmas Open House

Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park, NY
December 2, 10am-7 pm

The Mansion will be lavishly decorated for the holidays and refreshments will be provided by the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt Historical Association.


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Holiday Train Show

New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
November 17–January 21

Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming past 175 New York landmarks on nearly a half-mile of track. This year’s exhibition showcases Lower Manhattan—the birthplace of New York City—featuring the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and iconic skyscrapers sharing the spotlight among old and new favorites. Making their debut this year are One World Trade Center and the historic Battery Maritime Building along with two vintage ferry boats.


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A Longwood Christmas

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
November 22–January 6

This holiday season pays homage to the Christmas tree with an imaginative display featuring traditional favorites and inspiring new twists, from festive firs suspended from above to towering tannenbaums created from books, stained glass, and other unexpected materials.

Outdoors, gloriously illuminated trees lead you on an enchanting holiday journey through our Gardens. Sip cocoa and warm up by our welcoming firepits, listen to carolers sharing the melodic sounds of the season, and relish in the beauty and wonder of A Longwood Christmas.


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Yuletide at Winterthur

Winterthur, Winterthur, DE
November 17–January 6

Each delightful room on this year’s Yuletide Tour tells a story reflecting the ways in which Americans have celebrated the winter holiday season from the 1800s to the present.  Other decorations and displays recall H. F. du Pont’s family traditions during Christmas and New Year’s at Winterthur—including the family Christmas tree, glittering with glass ornaments and fringed by baskets brimming with gifts, one for each family member. Of special note is the majestic dried flower tree, on view in the Conservatory and featuring some 60 varieties of flowers.

Garden Style Holidays

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November and December offer many special holiday events and workshops for gardeners. From wreath decorating to viewing amazing holiday displays, there are plenty of opportunities to get inspired. Below is just a sampling. If your organization has an event that is not listed, please feel free to add it in the Comments.

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Bert Ford in his Final Holiday Hurrah!

Holliston Garden Club, Holliston, MA
Friday, Nov. 10, 7:30 pm

A festive evening of music, refreshments, holiday gifts and a demonstration of Bert Ford's floral artistry. Refreshments begin at 7:00 pm at St. Mary's Auditorium in Holliston. Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 in advance at Outpost Farm, Debra's Flowers, Coffee Haven, or at 508-488-6422.

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Spice up Your Home with a Grapevine Wreath

Weston Nurseries, Hopkinton, MA
Sunday, November 12

Create a grapevine wreath fragrant with the scents of the holidays – dried oranges, apples, lavender, quince, moss and cinnamon sticks. A perfect way to welcome guests at your door. Registration: $45, includes all materials; bows available for an additional $10.

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Holiday Tablescaping Workshop

Snug Harbor Farm, Kennebunk, ME
Nov. 19, 1-2 pm

A workshop focused on constructing centerpieces and tablescapes with seasonal flowers and gourds. We will build out of terracotta or glass bowls, getting your holiday table dressing ready to go through the week. The cost of the class provides each student with their own centerpiece creation. More can be made, paying a la cart for additional dressing. Class size is limited, so sign up early to secure your place. Please bring your own clippers and tools. We’ll provide botanical materials and vessels. Cost is $75.

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Christmas at the Newport Mansions

Newport Mansions, Newport, MA
November 18 - January 1

The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House--three National Historic Landmarks and icons of the Gilded Age in America--are filled with thousands of poinsettias, fresh flowers, evergreens and wreaths.  Thirty decorated Christmas trees reflecting individual room decor anchor many of the magnificent spaces.  Dining tables set with period silver and china complete the elegant setting. Windows of each mansion are lit with individual white candles, in keeping with the colonial tradition. New for 2017, a gingerbread model of each house, created by amazing local pastry chefs, will be on display in its kitchen. 

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Wayside Inn Holidays

Wayside Inn, Sudbury, MA
November 28 - January 7

Each room of the historic Wayside Inn is decorated by a different garden club with hand-made creations for the holidays. The inn features a holiday menu, and advance reservations are recommended.

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Ornament, Decorative Boughs and Wreath Sale

Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Canton, MA
Thurs - Sat., Nov 30 - Dec 9

Ye Olde Bradley Estate Shoppe will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for the first two weeks of December!  Ornaments, decorative boughs and wreaths made by staff and volunteers will be available for purchase.  Free holiday hot drinks to warm you up for the holidays! Music and raffles for fun stocking stuffers!

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Christmas at Castle Hill: The Season of Carols

Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA
December 1 - 2

Visiting Castle Hill at Christmas is a time-honored tradition for many New England families. Don't miss this year's spectacular "The Season of Carols". Each room in our 1920s mansion is festively decorated for a beloved Christmas carol. You'll find live music and dance, fresh baked cookies and cider, a treasure hunt, family activities, and a visit with Santa. Make Friday, date night with evening tour hours, a cash bar, light appetizers, and festive music. Come with friends on Saturday for great decorating ideas, shopping in the Castle Hill gift shop and Harbor Sweets pop up cafe, and more. Bring the children on Sunday to visit with Santa, take photos, and hunt for carol-themed items in our holiday treasure hunt.

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A Christmas Home for Everyone

Canton Garden Club, Canton, MA
Friday Dec. 1 - Sat. Dec. 2

Three homes decorated with different holiday themes. They include: “Home for the Holidays” at 34 Century Drive, “A Sporting Christmas Home” at 10 Kings Road and “A Cozy Woodland Christmas” at 5 Bailey Street. For tickets email cantongcmembership@gmail.com.

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Holiday Marketplace

Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, MA
December 2-3

A holiday marketplace of one-of-a-kind Christmas decorations and gifts made be a select group of local craftspeople. A Gallery of Wreaths created by volunteer designers, refreshments and goodies from the Garden Shop also included.
 

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Holiday House Tour

Village Garden Club of Dennis, Dennis, MA
Dec. 9, 10-4

The tour features 6 homes in Dennis and East Dennis that are festively decorated for the season. One home will have a small holiday boutique, another will feature a harpist.

Tickets will be $30 the day of the tour at Carleton Hall, Old Bass River Road, Dennis.
Advance tickets are $25 and available starting Nov. 1. Email villagegardenclubofdennis@gmail.com

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Holiday Open House

Peckham's Greenhouses, Little Compton, RI
December 2 & 3, 9am-5 pm

Holiday plants and unique gifts for sale.

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Christmastime Teas

Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme, CT
December 5 - 23

As music of the season quietly plays, nibble delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted savory tea sandwiches, and seasonal sweets as lovely as they are tasty. Let the warmth of holiday cheer spread with each sip of Miss Florence’s Tea. Served in a delightfully eclectic assortment of china, the unique and elegant beverage is a blend of superior Ceylon and China black teas enhanced with a touch of vanilla and other delicate spices. It is created over a two-day process just for the Museum by Sundial Gardens in Higganum, Connecticut. Quite a day to remember – and all against the backdrop of the Lieutenant River cloaked in its wintery splendor.

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Wreath Making Classes

The Farmer's Daughter, South Kingston, RI
Fri., Nov 24 - Sat., Dec. 30

Cost of the class is $70.00 Class includes: all materials, wine, cheeses, mulled cider, goodies and a great time! Pre-registration is required, call 792-1340. We suggest that yo u bring a light pair of gloves and your favorite shears.

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Festival of Trees and Snow Village

Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Elm Bank, Wellesley, MA
November 24-December 10

The Festival of Trees, displayed in the Hunnewell Building, offers beautifully decorated holiday trees that are donated and decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and individuals. Visitors “vote” with their raffle tickets, in hopes of being the tree winner at the end of the festival. Visitors can also enjoy the decorated buildings and grounds at The Gardens at Elm Bank with a stroll or a horse-drawn wagon ride. For the young at heart, there are Santa Visits and other activities.

Snow Village at Elm Bank is a wonderful addition to the holiday spirit of the Festival of Trees. Bill Meagher of Needham graciously donated the product of his thirteen year "hobby" of building Christmas villages and trains.  It is a bit different each year as he continues to tweak the arrangement.  Massachusetts Horticultural Society is delighted to share his enchanting displays with model trains winding through villages and vignettes, including Christmas in the City (Boston of course!), Fenway Park, and hundreds of decorated houses and lights. This amazing scenery in miniature is sure to get kids of all ages excited about the holiday season.

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Winter Reimagined 2017

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
November 24 - January 7

As evening falls at Tower Hill, visitors have the opportunity to marvel at glittering lights displayed throughout acres of formal gardens. The prized collection of trees and shrubs, along with illuminated paths, sculptures, and fountains, come to life in the glow of the lights. Inside, guests will see hand-made and nature-inspired ornaments, a wishing tree forest, an up-cycled igloo, and two towering conservatories brimming with subtropical plants and seasonal music. Stop in the Garden Shop for unique plant-centric gift ideas.

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Christmas at Blithewold

Blithewold, Bristol, RI
November 24 - January 1

Every year, Blithewold transforms into a dazzling display celebrating the magic of Christmas. Each room of the Mansion is filled with elaborate holiday decorations, and the gardens become a glimmering winter wonderland! Enjoy a winter marketplace, holiday teas and musical performances.

If your organization has an event that is not listed, please feel free to add it in the Comments below.