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October 23, 2004 > Patterson House Holiday Celebrations

Patterson House Holiday Celebrations

by Arathi Satish

Christmas season is a very special time of the year to be celebrated in a very special way. Begin this Christmas season by visiting the beautifully decorated Patterson House in Ardenwood. One can indeed travel back in time and imagine themselves in Shakespeare's Arden in "As You Like It." The beautiful Patterson House is filled with Victorian splendor. The house will be lit and holiday music will fill the air.

The focal point of Ardenwood, the Patterson House, is a beautiful 19th century mansion restored to its original elegance. In 1849, George Washington Patterson left the Midwest for California's gold fields. After an unsuccessful attempt in the gold fields, he returned to Southern Alameda County in 1851 and began farming. His home is still a working farm. Draft horses can be seen pulling wagons and ladies wearing Victorian dresses provide for an exquisite place where one can experience the magical quality of Christmas. During the holiday season, tours begin on the hour and take you back to the days of Christmas past. Each and every room is decorated lavishly and fills everyone with wonder and holiday cheer.

Christmas at Ardenwood is indeed special. The Patterson House is decorated in style and visitors can search for the Yule Log and pay a visit to Father Christmas at the turn of the century Victorian style gazebo. They can laugh with Twinky the Elf and listen to the festive Fabulous Flugelhorns. You can enjoy craft activities and sweet treats that are available from their outdoor kitchen. Visitors can also plan on attending a performance of the "Nutcracker" by a marionette puppet company and "Hansel and Gretel" performed by Opera Piccola. Artisans will sell fine crafts such as beaded jewelry, fine oils, lotions and soaps.

Victorian Christmas Teas are hosted by volunteers wearing authentic 19th century costumes. Dainty pastries, savory tidbits, finger sandwiches and traditional flaming plum pudding with Earl Grey tea is served. Proceeds will benefit the Regional Parks Foundation which supports the educational programs at Ardenwood.

"At the Patterson House we try to present an accurate Victorian inspired Christmas, but we do over decorate. While the Patterson family would have had one Christmas tree, we may have as many as six," said Patterson House operator Randy Hees.

Christmas at Ardenwood
10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3, 4 and 5.
Fee: $8/adults, $6/seniors 62+, $5/child 4 -17, under 4 free.

Victorian Christmas Teas
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4 (#7767)
2 p.m. -3:30 pm, Saturday, Dec. 4 (#7768)
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5 (#7769)
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5 (#7770)
Fee $24 (non-resident $28) reservations required (510) 636-1684.
Fee includes admission to Ardenwood Christmas Event.

Weekday Guided House Tours
1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays, Dec. 9, 10, 16, and 17.
Call (510) 791-4196 for reservations or information.
House Tours: $4/adults, $3/children. Park Fee: $1.50/adults, 75 cents/children.

Evening Guided House Tours
6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., Thursdays, Dec. 9 and 16
Specially guided candlelight tours of the decorated house available by reservation only.
Call (510)791-4196 for reservation. Fee: $6/adults and seniors, $4/children.

Christmas in the Patterson House
11 a.m. -3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11 and 18 and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 19.
Call (510) 791-4196 for information.
House Tours: $4/adults and seniors, $3/children 3 and up.
Park fee: $1:50.adults, 75 cents/children.

 
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