Six Ohio Historic Homes You Should Visit This Holiday Season

Getting ready to decorate your home for the holidays?  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 with a “Comic Hero Christmas”.  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 – 12th Annual Memories of Christmas Past
Dates: November 23  – January 5, 2020
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 Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $8 for children (3-17)

“The Arms Family Museum is sparkling for the holiday season! Memories of Christmas Past, the annual holiday spectacular, is in its 12th year in the 1905 Arts & Crafts mansion of Olive and Wilford Arms. The seven period rooms of the Arms Family home are filled to the brim with rare, one-of-a-kind, vintage decorations that include ornaments, lighting, trees, and toys.  This display features many pieces from the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s collection as well as items on loan from private collectors.”


For local visitor bureau information visit
Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau



Hower House Victorian Mansion presents “Holiday Wonderland”
Dates: November 6 – December 22, 2019
Holiday season scheduled closings: 11/22 (Thanksgiving); 12/23-26,30-31
Tour Times: Self-guided
Wednesday – Saturday, noon – 3:00 pm; Holiday Sundays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Group tours by appointment.
Location: The University of Akron
60 Fir Hill, Akron, OH  44325
330.972.6909 | website

Admission:  $10 adults, $8 seniors, $2 students. Children 12 and under free with paid adult admission; children must be accompanied by adult.

Live musical entertainment on selected days.

The Hower House Victorian Mansion will be hosting Frost Tea: a holiday breakfast tea December 8, 2019.  Celebrate the season in high style with your friends and loved ones. An elegant breakfast tea and delectable menu in the fully decorated Hower House Museum.
Cost: $34 for adults; $23 for children ages 8 – 12. Deadline for prepaid reservations is Dec. 3. 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.
Date: December 7, 2019, Time: 10AM-Noon. Prepaid reservations due by December 2, 2018.

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens – Deck the Hall
A Comic Hero Christmas* 
Dates: Nov29- Dec  1, Dec 5-8, Dec 12-23, Dec 26-30, 2019
Tour Times: 5-8pm, select evenings through December 30, 2019
Admissions closes at 8pm. Estate is open until 9pm.
Location: 714 North Portage Path, Akron, Ohio
330-836-5533 | website
Value Night Tickets, Sun.-Thurs.: Non-members: $18 adults (18+) , $7 youth (6-17). Stan Hywet Members: $14 adults, $6 youth
Tickets, Fri. & Sat.: $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
Please note: tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

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.

*   “Nineteen rooms in the Manor House will be themed with the stories of classic comic heroes including favorites like Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and The Hulk. And while they are slightly outside of the “classic” comic hero time frame, the Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers are highlighted, as they’ll be nostalgic for a younger generation.”

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, 2019
and December 27-30, 2019
(Closed Thanksgiving)
A special Nutcracker Candlelight Tour is scheduled  for December 2, 2018 from 5pm-7pm.
Times:  Daily 1pm to 7pm (last tour leaves at 6:30 PM)
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.  Seniors $9 60+ and groups.  Children ages 6-18 are $5.  Children 5 & under free.

“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 6-8, 13-15, 2019
Times:  Dec 6,7,13,& 14  | 5pm-9pm
December 8 & 15 | 12pm-5pm
Location:  Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Rd, Lucas, OH 44843
419.892.2784 | website
Admission:  $5.00 for adults (ages 18+) | $3.00 for children (ages 6-17) | Ages 5 and under FREE
No Pre-Registration Required

Tour Louis Bromfield’s Big House all decked out for the Holidays!
Enjoy freshly baked cookies and hot cider; you may even see Santa Claus himself. 

(photo credit: Malabar Farm State Park)


The Lake County Historical Society will be hosting
“Home For The Holidays”
General Admission Days
Dates: Friday, December 6-Sunday, December 8, 2019
Time:  11AM-4PM
Location: Lake County History Center
415 Riverside Dr., Painesville, OH  44077
Admission: $5, under age 3 FREE

To get more information, call: 440-639-2945.
Phone: 440.639.2945 | website

Join the cheer at the largest and most spectacular display of festive Christmas trees in Lake County. Treat your senses to over 70 beautiful bedazzling trees. Find one-of-a-kind gifts & stocking stuffers from both local Ohio crafters as well as in our Mistletoe Marketplace.

Take a tour of our current exhibits & hear the pleasing Magical Musical Machines from our unique music box display throughout the museum. Savor lunch at the Candy Cane Cafe. Treat yourself to delicious baked goods from Santa’s Sweet shop.

(Photo courtesy of Lake County Historical Society)

For local visitor bureau information visit
Remarkable Lake County.


Article and some photos: Diane Rock
Rocky Hill |
Editor’s note:  Part of this story ran in 2018.  The dates and additional events have been updated for the 2019 season.  Any use of the above article or images without prior permission, will be in violation of copyright laws.