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 descendants and relatives light the Grand Hall Christmas Tree. The annual Special Christmas Lecture features a presentation on holiday 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

Sunday, December 1, 2019
3:00 to 5:00 pm
Free with Museum Admission

Christmas Tree Lighting

For more than four decades the Flagler Museum has observed the tradition of Henry Flagler's descendants and relatives lighting the Museum's Christmas Tree on the first Sunday of December.

Schedule of Events

Seasonal refreshments in the West Room - 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Santa Claus in the Pavilion - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Brief Organ Performances in the Music Room - 3:30 pm, 3:50 pm, and 4:10 pm

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 pm, 4:00 pm, and 4:20 pm

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 pm

A choral performance will celebrate the season with holiday carols. Entertaining during the Flagler era often centered around musical events. Musicale, concert, and orchestra performances were often held at Whitehall during the Winter Season.

Christmas Tree Lighting - 4:50 pm

Henry Flagler's descendants and relatives 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 was originally designed to be used as a Christmas Tree ornament.

Sponsored in part by the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the
Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

                                  PB Cultural Council GrantRequired Logo                          PB County CircleLogo Gray72                     TDC Logo Black Oct 2015

Special Christmas Lecture (2018)

CarloDevitoBookDickens & Twain:
The Yuletide Writings and Traditions of the
World's Greatest Writers

by Carlo DeVito

The 2018 Christmas at Whitehall program featured a presentation by Carlo DeVito, the author of more than fifteen books including A Mark Twain Christmas and 10 Secrets My Dog Taught Me.

Borrowing from the most festive holiday moments in their writings and personal memoirs, this lecture explored the impetus of holiday scene-setting and personal family traditions in the lives of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. Carlo DeVito, accomplished author, editor, and publisher, told the story of how the beloved Cratchet family and other characters featured in the 1843 novel A Christmas Carol were inspired by the people in Dickens’ real life. DeVito included in this discussion the many heart-warming Christmas traditions embraced by literary legend, Mark Twain, whose life was on many occasions anchored to the celebration of Christmas, up until the gut-wrenching way he spent his last holiday in Hartford.

Special Christmas Lecture sponsored by:

     Hilton WPB Black          BMO Logo RGB96

Special Christmas Lecture 2017

07 0209aChristmas on the Homefront:
Celebrating the Holiday During Wartime

by Dr. Penne Restad
Sunday, December 3, 2:00 pm

The 2017 Christmas at Whitehall program featured a lecture on holiday traditions during the Great War. By the time the United States entered World War I in 1917, Christmas had been established as a national holiday with traditions based on spirituality, community, and commerce. As loved ones were sent to fight overseas, these traditions evolved to reflect the sentiments of a nation at war. Historian and author, Dr. Penne Restad, explored how Americans at home and soldiers abroad observed Christmas during the Great War.

A Livestream recording of the lecture may be viewed by clicking the button below.

Special Christmas Lecture sponsored by:

     Hilton WPB Black          BMO Logo RGB96                cbfl horiz logo bw trans              

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 pm

The 2016 Christmas at Whitehall program featured 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 discussed the 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 drew on Palmer's findings in his nonfiction book The Santa Claus Man, and offered a lens into the funny and fascinating history of Santa letters and the evolution of America's celebration of Christmas.

A Livestream recording of the lecture may be viewed by clicking the button below.  

Special Christmas Lecture sponsored by:

     Hilton WPB Black          BMO Logo RGB96                Florida DCA RGB72gif              

Holiday Evening Tours

Grand Hall Christmas Tree Group

Holiday Evening Tour Reception begins at
6:00 pm each evening

The Museum Store will be open for holiday shopping until 7:30 pm each evening

December 19 and 20, 2019

Tours begin at:
6:45 pm, 7:00 pm,
and 7:15 pm,

December 21, 22, and 23, 2019

Tours begin at:
6:45 pm, 7:00 pm,
7:15 pm, and 7:30 pm

Adults: $25
Children ages 17 and under: $15

During this beloved annual event, families tour Whitehall after hours and discover the origins of American Christmas traditions. Each evening begins with a reception featuring carols, refreshments, and holiday-themed activities, followed by a special holiday tour of Whitehall. Guests have the rare opportunity to experience Whitehall by the glow of the original 1902 light fixtures.

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.