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Solstice Strolls, Farm Celebrations & Holiday House Tours: ‘Tis the Season for Holiday Happenings with The Trustees of Reservations

Contact Information

Kristi Perry
Public Relations Director
781.784.0567 x7503

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Boston, MANovember 13, 2014 – Special times are made for special places. This holiday season, The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) warmly invite you to leave your stresses behind, to make a date outside with those you cherish, and to lift your spirits with the gifts of fun, beauty, and adventure.

“In the holiday bustle, it’s all too easy to lose track of the precious time we need to connect with the people and experiences that matter to us,” says Barbara Erickson, President and CEO of The Trustees. “Whether you choose to visit a National Historic Landmark home decorated to period charm for the holidays, take a holiday-themed cooking class, or find a path for a peaceful stroll through a snowy wood, we’re delighted to offer the perfect settings for enjoying the unique wonders of the season.”

North Shore

Greening of the Great HouseGreening of the Great House: Roaring Twenties Cocktail Party
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich
Friday, December 5, 5PM–9PM
Celebrate yuletides past at our very first Roaring Twenties Cocktail Party. Tour the Great House decked out in grand style for the holidays, enjoy 20s and 30s jazz, and feast on catered hors d’oeuvres and vintage cocktails at the cash bar. Vintage attire encouraged. Members: $20. Nonmembers: $25. Reserve tickets online at

Greening of the Great House
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich
Saturday, December 6, 10AM–5PM, and Sunday, December 7, 12Noon–4PM
Tour the Great House festively decorated by florists and designers for the holidays! You’ll enjoy live music and dance, a children’s treasure hunt, delectable treats at the Castle Hill and Harbor Sweets gift shops, and free freshly baked cookies. Members: Adult $10; Child $5. Nonmembers: Adult $15; Child $8. Ipswich residents: $8 with proof of residency. Tickets available at the door only.

Gifts from the Farm Kitchen
Appleton Farms, Ipswich & Hamilton
Saturday, December 6 | 3PM–6PM
Come prepare a variety of sweet and savory food gifts. Class includes five gifts, fun packaging ideas, a printed recipe booklet, and a light meal. Members: $75. Nonmembers: $85.

Tea with Santa at Greening of the Great House
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich
Sunday, December 7, 12Noon–4PM (Seatings at 12Noon, 1:30PM, and 3PM)
Treat your child to a Christmas event to remember. Enjoy a sit-down tea in the ballroom and then have a special visit with Santa himself.  A self-guided tour of the Great House is included. Admission and Tea Seating per person: Members: $25. Nonmembers: $30. Reservations required at

The Farm NisseThe Farm Nisse
Appleton Farms, Ipswich & Hamilton
Friday, December 12 | 3:30PM–5PM
Appleton Farms has its own Nisse – an elf-like creature who lives in our barns and protects our farmers, animals, and crops. Each holiday season, the Farm Nisse appears looking for his holiday porridge. Join us with the kids as we thank our Nisse for all our good fortune, offer him porridge, and listen to his tales of mischief. While we wait, enjoy holiday crafts, caroling and socializing. Special Trustees member event; friends welcome. Please RSVP to

Holiday Choral Concert with Cantemus
Castle Hill on The Crane Estate, Ipswich
Sunday, December 14 | 3PM
Take a break from the bustle of the holiday season and enjoy an afternoon of holiday choral music. North Shore’s Cantemus will perform a 1-hour concert that ends with an audience sing-along. Refreshments served. Members: $20. Nonmembers: $25. Reserve tickets online at

Winter Solstice Stroll
Ravenswood Park, Gloucester
Saturday, December 20 | 4PM–6PM
Join us for a candlelight stroll at twilight in Ravenswood Park. Together, we'll celebrate the winter solstice in our favorite woodland park followed by S'mores and hot chocolate around a warm fire. Members: Free. Nonmembers: $5. Pre-registration required: 978.281.8400,

Dune to Tavern: a Solstice Stroll
The Crane Estate, Ipswich
Sunday, December 21 | 6PM–9PM
Join us for a leisurely hike through the dunes of the Crane Wildlife Refuge to celebrate the winter solstice. On this, the shortest day of the year, we’ll take advantage of the dark with a stroll beneath the stars. We’ll warm up after our walk with hot cider and refreshments in the Tavern at the Inn at Castle Hill. The perfect balance to counteract the bustle of the holiday season! Pre-registration required. Members: $20. Nonmembers: $30. Suggested ages 15 and older. Pre-registration required: 978.356.4351 x4052,

Central and Western Massachusetts

Hot Chocolate Saturdays
Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield
Saturdays, mid-December (and running through mid-March)  | 9AM – 4PM
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t go outside! Bartholomew’s Cobble welcomes you for winter programs, snowshoe hikes, and catching up with friends and neighbors. On Saturdays, join the fun by grabbing some snowshoes, getting some fresh air and exercise, and chatting over a cup of hot cocoa in the Visitor Center. Free with admission. Snow shoe rentals are available in adult and children’s sizes. Sign up for a Trustees membership at the Cobble and snow shoe rentals are free! Call 413.229.8600 or e-mail

Christmas in Stockbridge: Open House & Museum Shop
The Mission House, Stockbridge
Saturday/Sunday, December 6 & 7 | 11AM—4PM
Step back in time for a seasonal open house and holiday shop on December 6th and 7th, during the annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas weekend. Sit by the fire and enjoy hot chocolate while the c.1742 Mission House is decked out in greenery and twinkling with lights. With museum-quality gifts available, you might just get your holiday shopping done at the same time. Free admission. Call 413.298.3239 for more information.

Hike with Santa
Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield
December 13, 10AM—12Noon
Why fight the crowds at the mall or run the gauntlet through a toy store when you can meet Santa at a nature reservation!  Kids will enjoy a half-mile hike with Santa, learning about nature and winter wonders. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea while the kids share their wish lists for the season. Members/Nonmembers: Adult Free; Child $20 (includes price of present). RSVP 413.229.8600 or

Christmas Tree Sale
Notchview Reservation, Windsor
Saturday, December 13 |  12PM – 3PM
Travel to Windsor to cut your own Balsam or Fraser Fir, carefully grown for the occasion. Bring your skis if we have snow!  Members: Trees $25. Nonmembers: Trees $30. Call 413.684.0148 for more information.

Berkshire Trails Nordic Race Series – Season Kick Off Classic
Notchview Reservation, Windsor
Saturday, December 27  I 10AM
Join in the fun with this informal race series sponsored by the Berkshire Trail Nordic Ski Club. The low key races are designed to allow for some excitement and to improve fitness. Classic 2, 5, and 10KM citizens’ tour, race, and party. $20.00 registration fee. $10 for members of either The Trustees or Berkshire Trail Nordic Ski Club. Free to members of both. Event is weather dependent. Call 413.684.0148 for details.

Guided Treks: Winter Wildlife
Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield
Saturday, December 27, 10AM – 12Noon                                                                                                                            
On this easy-to-moderate trek, join a Trustees’ naturalist to search for wildlife tracks and signs of bald eagles and other birds. Enjoy the beauty of forests, fields, hills, and rivers. Members: Adult $5; Child: Free. Nonmembers: Adult $10; Child $3. Snowshoe rentals in children and adult sizes.  RSVP at 413.229.8600 or at If there is no snow or poor driving conditions, event may be cancelled. Call 413.229.8600 to confirm. 

Frosty Snowshoe Toasty Yoga
Ashintully Gardens, Tyringham
Sunday December 28 | 1PM—4PM
Cure your cabin fever. Explore fields, gardens, carriage roads, and mansion ruins, followed by toasty yoga in front of the fireplace in John McLennan’s barn/music studio. Great for beginners. We’ll hike if there isn’t much snow. Pre-registration required and snowshoe rentals must be reserved at 413.243.3582 or Members: $25. Nonmembers: $30.  (Rent snowshoes for $5 as supplies last). For more info:

Moonlight Skiing
Notchview Reservation, Windsor
Saturday, January 3 | 7PM - 9 PM
We have been running moonlight skis since the mid 1980s, which are great fun and a nice way to meet other skiers. Stay for cider and popcorn afterwards. Members: Free. Nonmembers: $10. Call 413.684.0148 for more information.

Moonlight Snowshoe
Bullitt Reservation, Ashfield
Saturday, January 3  I  7PM - 9PM
Begin the year on the right foot, or savor the last moments of a winter break with a moonlit snowshoe hike at Bullitt. The winter landscape by moonlight is enchanting! Pre-registration required. Snowshoe rentals available - quantities are limited. Co-sponsored by Hilltown Land Trust. Members: $5. Nonmembers: $10. Children 12 and under, Free. Pre-registration encouraged. 413.532.1631 x10 or

Southcoast, Cape Cod and Islands

Long Point Duck Hunt
Long Point Wildlife Refuge, Martha’s Vineyard
Saturday, November 29 | 10AM–2PM
Join us to celebrate the rich history of Long Point and The Tisbury Pond Club with a duck decoy scavenger hunt and other fun family activities for all ages! Snacks and hot drinks provided! Suggested donation $10/family.

Raise the Wreath
Westport Town Farm, Westport
Saturday, December 6 | 3PM—5PM
Celebrate the holiday season by helping us to create a giant wreath for the barn at Westport Town Farm. Stay for light refreshments and conversation as the wreath is hung and lit at dusk. Free. Call 508.636.4693 x103 or email

Cape Poge Sleigh Ride
Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard
Saturday December 13th & Sunday, December 14th | 11AM–1PM
Cape Poge is a beautiful setting all year long. Join The Trustees in a winter wonderland lighthouse tour. Keep warm under a cozy blanket while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. Members: Adults, $20. Nonmembers: Adults, $25. All children (15 years and younger): $12. Pre-registration is required; call 508.693.7662.

Partridge and a Pear Tree
Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, New Bedford
Friday, December 19 | 5PM
Dating back to the late 1700s, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," written by Frederick Austin, is a carol that enumerates the increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. The Partridge and a Pear Tree was the first gift of this classic holiday song. Please join the Trustees of Reservations as we celebrate the holiday in honor of the late Allen C. Haskell, who would light the pear tree located along side the historic Hathaway home with his friends and family. Keep warm and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate while we light the tree at this beautiful property which just officially opened to the public in October. For more information call 774.923.7796 or email

Greater Boston

Farm Fun for the Whole Family: Potato Latkes and Lantern Making
Powisset Farm, Dover
Sunday, December 7 | 3PM–5PM
Looking to create a new tradition this holiday season? Join Powisset Cooks! for a short tour of the farm in winter followed by an exciting hands-on exploration in the kitchen with our Culinary Educator. Experiment with a variety of potato pancake recipes and create lanterns to bring home. Members: Adult & Child: $35. Nonmembers: Adult & Child: $50. To register, call or email: 508.785.0339 (x3003), For more information, visit:

Raise the Wreath
Weir River Farm, Hingham
Sunday, December 7 | 1PM—3PM
Tired of spending the holiday season in the mall? Bring your family down to Weir River Farm for the perfect way to celebrate the season. Join our staff to make the giant wreath that hangs from our big red barn during the holidays. The kids will love sharing a cup of cocoa, making a festive holiday craft, and watching the finished wreath being hoisted up and illuminated. If there is snow, bring your sled for some extra fun! Members: Free. Nonmembers, $5. Contact 781.740.7233,

The Old Manse1820s Holiday House Tour
The Old Manse, Concord
Sunday, December 7 | 1PM & 3PM
We invite you to the Old Manse, a National Historic Landmark, to tour the house, decorated for an early American holiday, with costumed guides portraying these early Manse residents. Guests will step back in time to December 1824. Madam Ripley and Sarah will have many surprises and delights in store for you – and you will be very shocked to hear that the Ripleys may be keeping Christmas this year! Learn why New England's Puritan founders made Christmas illegal and assessed fines for celebrations. Refreshments served. Members: $10. Nonmembers: $15. Reservations suggested. Call 978.369.3909 or email

Boxing Day Sale with British Goods & Foodstuffs
The Old Manse, Concord
Friday, December 26 | 12Noon–4:30PM
The Old Manse celebrates Boxing Day with a grand sale of British goods and foodstuffs, and a continuation of its popular winter bookstore sale. Tours take place at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30PM. All visitors who become members of The Trustees, or buy a gift membership, will receive a free tour of the rarely seen, atmospheric (and some might say, even haunted) Old Manse attic. Members: Free. Nonmembers $9; Seniors and Students $8; Children $6.

What to do with Family and Friends Week
The Old Manse, Concord
Saturday, December 27 through Sunday, January 4 | 12Noon–4:30PM
The Old Manse presents a post Holiday Sale in its Specialty Bookstore, and also offers hourly tours at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30PM. This is an ideal period of time and a place to entertain and educate visiting family and friends at one of the most interesting historic sites in Greater Boston. Enjoy free light refreshments, and weather permitting, stroll the beautiful winter landscape. You might catch a glimpse of Sophia Hawthorne’s pink snow! Members: Free. Nonmembers $9; Seniors and Students $8; Children $6.

The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of irreplaceable scenic, historic, and natural significance for the general public to enjoy. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees is the world’s oldest land trust and one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation non profits. Supported by more than 100,000 members and donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 112 spectacular reservations – from working farms and historic homesteads and landscaped gardens, to community parks, barrier beaches, mountain vistas and woodland trials – located on more than 26,000 acres throughout the Commonwealth. With hundreds of outreach programs, workshops, camps, concerts and events annually designed to engage all ages in its mission, The Trustees invite you to Find Your Place and get out and experience the natural beauty and culture our state has to offer. For more information, visit:

Contact Information

Kristi Perry
Public Relations Director
781.784.0567 x7503

Join Us
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© 2019 The Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees is a 501c3 nonprofit organization
Est. 1891