Historic Holiday Events in Springfield, Illinois
Did you ever wonder how Abraham Lincoln and his family celebrated Christmas? Plan a visit in December to experience 19th and early 20th-century seasonal special events at Springfield’s historic sites and museums, including most of the city’s Lincoln sites. Give your Christmas wish list to a Civil War Santa Claus at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, see the Lincoln Home National Historic Site’s period decorations, and even visit with Abraham and Mary Lincoln themselves during a special historic house walk. From candlelight to gaslight, you’ll find historic experiences in Springfield that will make your holiday season bright.
December 2, 9, 16, and 23: Old Capitol Holiday Walks
Shop for unique gifts and stocking-stuffers as you stroll along the historic streets of downtown Springfield. Make sure to visit the Old State Capitol for photos with Santa Claus, Christmas stories music, and lots of family fun.
December 3, 2015-January 2, 2016: Christmas with the Lincolns
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Discover how the Lincoln family celebrated the holiday by taking a tour through the Lincoln home, with period decorations.
December 5: Clayville Christmas
Clayville Historical Site
Christmas event at the oldest brick building in Sangamon County, a former stagecoach stop that dates to 1824. Events include caroling, a children's store and refreshments and visits with Santa Claus. www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/event-details/5317
December 11: Christmas Gaslight Tea
Edwards Place Historic Home
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to visit Edwards Place after dark to enjoy the unique ambiance of the elegant parlors festively decorated for the holidays. The Tea Ladies offer an engaging presentation on Christmas in the Victorian era as you enjoy tea, cider and a delicious selection of sweet and savory treats.
December 12: An Historic Christmas Holiday House Walk
Ring in the holidays at six historic sites in one fun-filled day. Step back in time and admire the beautiful decorations of holidays past at Edwards Place, the Lincoln Home, the Governor’s Mansion, Elijah Iles House, the Old State Capitol, and Vachel Lindsay Home. At each home, visitors can listen to 19th century Christmas carols and visit with the Lincolns. There is no charge for admission to any of the houses, and the sites may be visited in any order.
December 13: 34th Annual Caroling at the Carillon
Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon
Caroling at the Carillon is a great way enjoy the holiday season. Gather around a roaring bonfire and sing Christmas carols accompanied by the beautiful music of the carillon bells. A surprise visit by Santa Claus and complimentary hot cocoa and cookies follow.
December 20: Luminaria Sunday
Dana-Thomas House: A Frank Lloyd Wright Design
Visit the Dana-Thomas House as the exterior of the home will be lined with 1,000 candles and guests can take a silent tour of the beautiful interior accompanied by holiday music. www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/event-details/9046