Holiday tours and open houses in the Washington area

(Illustration by Maria Rendon)
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Many events require reservations or advance ticket purchases -- call before you go!

ABNER CLOUD HOUSE OPEN HOUSE Dec. 5 from noon to 5. The oldest house on the C&O Canal, built in 1801, will be decorated for Christmas. Cider and cookies will be served. The Boathouse at Fletcher's Cove, 4940 Canal Rd. NW. 202-237-1872. Free.

ALEXANDRIA CANDLELIGHT TOURS Dec. 12 from 6 to 9 and Dec. 13 from 3 to 6. Tour Carlyle House, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Christ Church and the Lee-Fendall House by candlelight and enjoy seasonal decorations, entertainment and light refreshments. Sunday features kid-friendly tours and a special activity. Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria. 703-838-4242. http://www.gadsbystavern.org. $20, seniors $15, children (ages 6-17) $5, reservations recommended.

ANNAPOLIS HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR Dec. 5 from noon to 5. Tour six homes -- three in downtown Annapolis and three in Spa Creek. Tickets can be purchased at any of the homes and allow you to tour all six homes. Go to http://www.metavivor.org for map of locations. 410-757-4328. http://www.metavivor.org. $30.

BELAIR BY CANDLELIGHT Dec. 6 from 4 to 7. The 18th-century mansion is decorated for the holidays. Belair Mansion, 12207 Tulip Grove Dr., Bowie. 301-809-3089. Donations requested.

BENSON-HAMMOND HOUSE HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Dec. 5-6 from 3 to 7. This year's theme is a White House Christmas. Benson-Hammond House, Andover Road and Aviation Boulevard, Linthicum. 410-766-5899. http://www.aachs.org. Free.

CALVERTS BY CANDLELIGHT Dec. 27 from 6 to 9. Enjoy refreshments, live music and children's activities in the decorated house. Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale Park. 301-864-0420. http://www.pgparks.com. $5, children 12 and younger free.

CHRISTMAS AT LIBERIA PLANTATION Dec. 11-12 from 5:30 to 9. See how Christmas was celebrated at the 1825 Liberia Plantation. During the Civil War, the plantation was headquarters for Confederate and Union forces. Buses transport visitors from Manassas Museum to Liberia Plantation every half hour. Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William St., Manassas. 703-368-1873. http://www.manassasmuseum.org. $15 advance, $20 at door.

CHRISTMAS AT MOUNT VERNON Dec. 4-Jan. 6 from 9 to 4. Tour George Washington's home decorated with 12 festive Christmas trees, a gingerbread Mount Vernon by former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier, chocolate-making demonstrations and a Christmas camel like the one George Washington had in 1787. Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Alexandria. http://www.mountvernon.org. $15, children ages 6-11 $7, ages 5 and younger free. Also see entry for Mount Vernon by Candlelight.

CHRISTMAS IN CAMP Dec. 12 from noon to 4. Showcases the sights and sounds of Christmas during the Civil War with period music, decorations, tours of the fort and a Civil War-era Santa Claus. Fort Ward Museum, 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria. http://www.fortward.org. $2, children $1.

DAR CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 8. Caroling, refreshments and visiting with Santa, as well as evening tours of the historic period rooms decorated for the holidays. DAR Memorial Continental Hall, 17th and D streets NW. 202-572-0563. http://www.dar.org/openhouse. Free.

A DICKENS OF A TOUR: CHARLES DICKENS IN WASHINGTON Dec. 12, 19 and 26 at noon. A walking tour that combines history and theater. Meet at the Cosi at 10th and E streets NW. 301-588-9255. http://www.historicstrolls.com. $10, children younger than 16 $5.


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