Five Ohio Historic Homes You Should Visit This Holiday Season

Getting ready to decorate your home?  Need a few inspirational ideas?  Why not take what I like to call “The Ultimate Holiday Home Tour.”   Below I have listed five historic homes that are well worth a visit this holiday season. Staff, as well as many volunteers work countless hours decorating these beautiful historic homes for the holidays.

The Arms Family Museum in Youngstown is decorated in the theme of Memories of Christmas Past.  Victorian Elegance can be found at The Hower House Victorian Mansion in Akron.   Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, also in Akron is “Decking the Halls.”  Step back in time at the J.E. Reeves Home in Dover.  And finally enjoy a Candlelight Holiday Tour at Louis Bromfield’s Big House at Malabar Farms.

Arms Family Museum – Memories of Christmas Past
Dates: November 18 – January 7, 2018
Tour Times: Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00-4:00pm, Thursdays until : noon-7:00pm
(closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day)
Location:  648 Wick Ave, Youngstown
Phone: 330-743-2589 | website

Admission for the exhibit is $7 for adults, $6 for Senior Citizens and college students, and $5 for Children ages 3-18 (under 3 free).  Proceeds from the event help fund the educational and exhibit programs sponsored by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

“The Arms Family Museum in Youngstown Ohio is sparkling for the holiday season!  Set against the historic backdrop of the original 1905 Arms’ family home, Memories of Christmas Past, is a one-of-a-kind winter wonderland which rivals the best professional holiday displays in New York City, Chicago, and Atlanta. Exquisitely arranged in detailed, eye-catching, colorful vignettes, the vintage decor on display includes toys, trains, ornaments, lights, dolls, furniture, trees, and more. This display features pieces from the Historical Society’s collection as well as items on loan from private collectors.”


holiday2016Hower House Victorian Mansion presents Victorian Elegance 
Dates: November 8 – December 30, 2017
January 3-4-5, 2017
Holiday season scheduled closings: 11/24 (Thanksgiving); 12/24-25.26.27 & 12/31
Tour Times: Wednesday – Saturday, noon – 3:00 pm; Holiday Sundays, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Location: The University of Akron, 60 Fir Hill, Akron, OH  44325
330.972.6909 | website

Admission: Children 12 and under free with paid adult admission; children must be accompanied by adult.

Live musical entertainment on selected days. Admission charged.

The Hower House Victorian Mansion will be hosting a “It’s a Wonderful Life” Holiday Brunch, December 9, 2017. Sweets and savories/ teas/coffee and wassail in a holiday brunch fit for the angels receiving their wings. The cost is $32 for adults/$22 for children ages 8-12. Prepaid reservations due December 4, 2017.  Contact the Hower House to make reservations.

Every December for one day only, a very special event happens at the mansion.  A very limited amount of reservations are accepted to enjoy a very special breakfast with Santa.  After breakfast, Santa tells a holiday story to the entire group before sitting down in the parlor to listen to each child’s wishes.   What makes this event so special is that every child has time with Santa and every family has time to take photos.  Staff is on hand to assist with photos.  The Santa Breakfast sells out fast every year, so make your reservations early by contacting the Hower House Victorian Mansion.  Prepaid reservations due by November 27, 2017.


Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens – Deck the Hall 
Dates: Nov. 24-26, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-3, 7-10, 14-23, 26-30, 2017
Tour Times: 5-8pm, select evenings through December 30, 2017.
Admissions closes at 8pm. Estate is open until 9pm.
Location: 714 North Portage Path, Akron, Ohio
330-836-5533 | website
Admission:  Tickets, Sun. – Thurs.: Non-members: $18 adults (18+) , $7 youth (6-17).
Stan Hywet Members: $14.00 adults, $6.00 youth
Tickets, Fri. & Saturday: $22 adults (18+), $9 youth.
Stan Hywet members: $16 adults, $7 youth
Children 5 & under are free. College students with a valid student ID qualify for the youth rate.  Parking: Free on-site parking is available in our main lot. Once the lot is at capacity, guests will be directed to auxiliary parking lots and we’ll shuttle you back to Stan Hywet.

This is a walking experience with various weather conditions and elevations: dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes for a 60-minute outdoor experience. The first floor of the Manor House is handicapped accessible.


Christmas at the Reeves Home
Dates:  November 11 – December 22, 2017 (Closed Thanksgiving)
Times:  Daily 1pm to 7pm
Location: J. E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum
325 East Iron Avenue, Dover, OH
Phone:   330.343.7040 | 800.815.2794
Admission:  Regular guided tours are $10.  Children ages 6-18 are $5.
“Christmas is a special time at the J. E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum.  During the holidays all seventeen rooms of the home are decorated for the Holiday season. Tours for the Christmas season begin November 11.  Guided tours are led by one of our knowledgeable tour guide staff and will include an introduction to the home, history of the home, and information and anecdotes about the Reeves family.”

(Photo courtesy of J.E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum.)


Candlelight Holiday Tours at Malabar Farm
 December 1-3 and December 8-10, 2017
Times:  Friday & Saturday 5pm-9pm | Sunday Noon-5pm
Location:  Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Rd, Lucas, OH 44843
419.892.2784 | website
Admission:  $5.00 for adults (ages 18+) | $4.00 for children (ages 6-17) | Ages 5 and under FREE
No Pre-Registration Required

At your own pace, tour Louis Bromfield’s Big House all decked out for the holidays while enjoying freshly baked cookies and hot cider.

In addition to the above homes, The Lake County Historical Society will be hosting
“Home For The Holidays”.
Dates: November 30-December 2, 2017
Times: 11am-4:30pm
Location: Lake County History Center
415 Riverside Dr., Painesville, OH  44077
Admission: $3 per person, no reservations required.
Phone: 440.639.2945 | website
Visions of sugarplums and other Christmas goodies will be dancing in your head as you walk through the Lake County History Center. Trees galore this holiday season, each one offering a little something different in decorations. Crafters are located in the rooms and hallways on the main floor. Visit the Music Room to hear the “Marvelous Musical Machines.”
Stop at the Holiday Emporium, in Heritage Hall, where you will find cookies, candy and other holiday treats to purchase. Hungry? Stop at the Candy Cane Cafe for a quick lunch. Handicapped accessible. Parking is free.
(Photo courtesy of Lake County Historical Society)