Living History December 2004

Living History December 2004

The season's best bets for celebrating your heritage and reliving history.

Newport, Rhode Island

Fine Dining

In the late 19th century, Caroline Astor — known by family and friends as “The Mrs. Astor” — was the ringleader of American high society. This December, you’re invited to party like it’s 1891 at the Astors’ Beechwood Mansion Christmas Feast. RSVP for dinner Dec. 10 or 17 or for lunch Dec. 12 or 19. In addition to the feast and a tour of the decorated mansion, Victorian singing and dancing will get you in the holiday spirit. Meals cost $85 per person, and reservations are required. If you can’t make it for dinner, drop in for a visit anyway. The mansion’s staff will give Christmas living history tours Nov. 11-Dec. 31; reservations are suggested. Tour admission costs $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for children. For more information, call (401) 846-3772 or visit <www.astorsbeechwood.com>.

Denver, Colorado

Weihnachten Wonderland

Experience a traditional German holiday market Nov. 26-Dec. 19 at Denver Pavilions’ sixth annual Christkindl Market. Sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce, this festival features nutcrackers, hand-carved wooden toys, glass ornaments and other holiday goodies perfect for decorating your home. While you’re there, sample some Gluhwein (a hot, spiced wine) and roasted nuts, and imagine you’re in Germany — it won’t be hard to do. For event details, call (303) 260-6000 or visit <www.denverpavilions.com/special/christkindl>.

Tumacacori, Arizona

Southwest Fest

Reconnect with your Southwestern roots Dec. 4-5 at La Fiesta de Tumacacori, a free event fit for the whole family. For the past 33 years, this annual festival’s American Indian, Mexican and Southwestern foods, music, crafts and dance performances have attracted visitors from all around the Tumacacori National Historical Park, 45 miles south of Tucson. On Sunday, attend Mass in the old mission church and take a guided walk along the Santa Cruz River. Children can break open pinatas and try their hands at native crafts. Call (520) 398-2341 or visit <www.nps.gov/tuma> for fiesta details.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Bethlehem, Pa., has a long history of making Christmas a real celebration. Moravians named this Colonial settlement on Christmas Eve in 1741, and residents carry on their ancestors’ traditions to this day. Bethlehem will host various Christmas events Nov. 26-Dec. 30, including walking tours, Candlelight Concerts of traditional Moravian music, and horse-and-carriage rides through the historic districts. All of the Historic Bethlehem Partnership’s museums will feature holiday exhibits, and you can pick up a 26-pointed Moravian Star to bring home and put on your tree. To learn more, call (800) 360-8687 or visit <www.historicbethlehem.org>.

Washington, DC

L’Chaim!

In 1654, 23 Jewish refugees fled Dutch Brazil and made their homes in New Amsterdam (soon to become New York). Through Dec. 18, the Library of Congress’ exhibit From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America will commemorate that early settlement and examine the Jewish experience in the United States ever since. The exhibit features more than 150 relics of Jewish life, including photographs, manuscripts, broadsides, newspapers, and film and television footage. Admission is free. Call (202) 707-8000 or visit <www.loc.gov/exhibits> for more information.

 
From the December 2004 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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