Whitehall's first floor is decorated in traditional Gilded Age splendor for the month of December each year. The focal point is a 16-foot tall Christmas Tree in the Grand Hall, adorned with colored electrical lights and traditional Gilded Age style ornaments. Bring your family and experience holiday traditions like the Annual Tree Lighting where you can meet Santa Claus, enjoy refreshments, hear music on the historic organ and watch as Henry Flagler's youngest descendants light the Grand Hall Christmas Tree. The Special Christmas Lecture explores beloved Christmas stories and events to better understand modern Christmas traditions. During Holiday Evening tours families tour Whitehall after hours by the glow of the original light fixtures, and learn the origins of American Christmas traditions.
Gilded Age President, Calvin Coolidge, lit the first White House Christmas Tree in 1923. As a collector and historian, Mary Seeley has captured the Christmas traditions of nearly every First Family since the start of the Gilded Age. Her book, Season's Greetings From the White House is a collection of official greeting cards, messages, gifts, and traditional holiday celebration.
Mary Evans Seeley is a collector, historian, lecturer, author and publisher of two books about Christmas at the White House. Together with her husband, she owns the most extensive collection of Presidential Christmas memorabilia in the country, part of which, has been on display at the White House and on exhibit at ten Presidential Libraries. An entrepreneur, Mrs. Seeley is President of A Presidential Christmas Corporation. To complement her books, she has created a collection of hand-painted patriotic and presidential ornaments. Mrs. Seeley holds a M.A. degree in American History from the University of Nebraska. She lives in Tampa with her husband.Sponsored by
Watch Past Christmas Lectures
For more than four decades the Flagler Museum has observed the tradition of Henry Flagler's youngest descendants lighting the Museum's Christmas Tree on the first Sunday of December.
Seasonal refreshments in the West Room - 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Santa Claus in the Pavilion - 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Brief Organ Performances in the Music Room3:30 p.m., 3:50 p.m., and 4:10 p.m.Installed in 1902, the J.H. & C.S. Odell pipe organ incorporates 1,249 metal and wood pipes powered by massive bellows. The Flaglers employed an organist to provide music for all their social functions held at the estate throughout the Season.
Brief Piano Performances in the Drawing Room3:40 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 4:20 p.m.Holiday music will be performed on the Steinway Piano. Original to Whitehall's Drawing Room, the grand art case piano was custom designed to match the aluminum leaf detailing of the Louis XVI style room.
Holiday Caroling in the Courtyard - 4:30 p.m.A choral performance will celebrate the season with holiday carols. Entertaining duringthe Flagler era often centered around musical events. Musicale, concert, and orchestra performances were often held at Whitehall during the winter Season.
Christmas Tree Lighting - 4:55 p.m.Henry Flagler's youngest descendants will light the 16ft. tall Grand Hall Christmas tree. The Flaglers celebrated Christmas in a traditional Gilded Age fashion, with a tree richly decorated with ornaments, colored electric lights, and gifts for the local children. The Museum continues that tradition and will hand out Animal Crackers, a snack invented in the Gilded Age. The iconic circus box with a string was originally designed to be used as a Christmas Tree ornament.
The Flagler Museum Store offers a variety of specialty gifts, many developed exclusively for the Flagler Museum. Each product is designed to evoke the romance and grandeur of the Gilded Age, as epitomized by the National Historic Landmark Whitehall. All Flagler Members receive a 10% discount on store purchases.
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December 18 and 19:Tours begin at 7:15 p.m. and7:25 p.m. - All Sold Out!
December 20 and 21:Tours begin at 7:05 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 7:25 p.m. - All Sold Out!
December 22 and 23:Tours begin at 6:50 p.m., 7:05 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 7:25 p.m. - All Sold Out!
$25 for adults$15 for children under age 17Advance purchase requiredPlease call (561) 655-2833
During this beloved annual event, families tour Whitehall after hours and discover the origins of American Christmas traditions. Guests will have a rare opportunity to see Whitehall by the glow of the original 1902 light fixtures. Every visitor will receive a traditional Flagler Museum Christmas Cracker following the tour. A choral group will sing carols, and holiday refreshments will be served. The Museum Store will remain open for holiday shopping.
One Whitehall Way P.O. Box 969, Palm Beach, FL 33480 (561) 655-2833
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