Christmas TreeWhitehall's first floor is decorated in traditional Gilded Age splendor through Christmas Day 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.

Christmas Tree Lighting

Christmas Tree Lighting

December 4, 2016
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Free with Museum Admission

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.

Schedule of Events

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 Room
3:30 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 Room
3:40 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.

Sponsored in part by:

Department-of-Cultural-Affairs-NEW-web           PB-Cultural-Council-GrantRequired-Logo          TDC Logo Black Oct 2015          PB-County-CircleLogo Gray72       

Special Christmas Lecture 2016

Santa Claus ManSanta Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man
and the Invention of Christmas in New York

by Alex Palmer, Author and Journalist
Sunday, December 4, 2:00 p.m.

Free for Museum Members at the Sustaining level and above
$10 for Individual, Family, and Life Members
$28 for non-members, includes Museum admission and
all Christmas Tree Lighting festivities

The 2016 Christmas at Whitehall program will feature a lecture on the endearing and sometimes controversial history of sending wish lists and letters to Santa Claus. For almost 200 years, Americans have been writing to St. Nick, at first asking for simple gifts of fruit or books, and soon requesting necessities, advice, and increasingly elaborate toys. As long as kids have written to Santa, adults have struggled to answer their letters, with inspiring, funny, and sometimes scandalous results. In this lecture, author and journalist Alex Palmer will discuss this history and the most famous of these efforts: New York City's Santa Claus Association, which for 15 years answered tens of thousands of Santa letters before being exposed as fraudulent. The lecture draws on Palmer's findings in his nonfiction book The Santa Claus Man, and offers a lens into the funny and fascinating history of Santa letters and the evolution of America's celebration of Christmas.

If you are unable to attend the lecture in person, Website visitors may experience this lecture via a live, interactive, Webcast. On-line visitors can listen to the lecture live, see the presentation, and ask questions of the lecturer. There is no charge to join the on-line lecture.  Click the button below to join the lecture live on Sunday, December 4th, at 2:00 p.m.

Special Christmas Lecture sponsored by:

     Hilton WPB Black          BMO Logo RGB96                Florida DCA RGB72gif              

Holiday Evening Tours

Grand Hall Christmas Tree Group

December 18 - 23, 2016

December 18 and 19:
Tours begin at 7:05 p.m., 7:15 p.m.,
and 7:25 p.m.

All Holiday Evening Tours
for December 22 and 23 are
Sold Out

December 20 through 23:
Tours begin at 6:50 p.m., 7:05 p.m.,
7:15 p.m., and 7:25 p.m.

$25 for adults
$15 for children under age 18
Advance purchase required
Please 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.

Sponsored in part by:


Holiday Shopping


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.