Akron’s majestic Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is once again illuminated by Christmas lights and decorations.
But this year Deck the Hall also contains a bit of Hollywood magic.
The theme of the decorations inside the estate of the co-founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. FA Seiberling is “Lights, cameras, Christmas!” With decorations and exhibits throughout the historic 64,500 square foot home.
There are nods to some 13 classic Christmas movies with 30 decorated trees scattered around the house.
The reception hall, the first space of the tour, is appropriately decorated like an old-fashioned cinema hall.
The Great Music Room is a nod to the classic Nutcracker and its many cinematic incarnations with costumes on display by the Cleveland Ballet Company.
Guests then walk the red carpet where they walk past original Hollywood dresses worn by Mae West, Ginger Rogers and others by famous designer Bob Mackie.
The dresses are part of a collection curated by a Stow resident who loaned the pieces to Stan Hywet for the holidays.
And then you make a grand entrance into the aptly named Great Hall, it looks like you’ve stepped into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as everything Harry Potter is on display from floor to ceiling with some magic helpers from Akron Makerspace.
There are even floating candles like in the movie.
The adjoining main dining room has been taken over by Will Ferrell’s Elf Buddy.
The dinner served consists of milkshakes, candies and, of course, maple syrup.
Members of the region’s Lego enthusiast group, NEOLUG, worked hard for weeks to recreate the Lego City skyline that Buddy built in the film. The creation is on display in the formal dining room.
And no, you’re not crazy.
You smell gingerbread from the kitchen.
Tomas Padegimas, an engineering student at Cleveland State, recreated a scale replica of Stan Hywet Hall built from gingerbread. It is on display in the kitchen as a nod to the book and movie “Polar Express”.
And guests of the night tour will once again be allowed to venture upstairs.
Due to concerns over COVID last year, tours of Deck the Hall were limited to the first floor.
Many upstairs bedrooms are also decorated, including Frank’s master bedroom which was ransacked by the Grinch who stole Christmas.
Across the hall, the newly restored bedroom of the couple’s youngest daughter, Virginia, is themed from a Hallmark Christmas movie.
The displays are literally years in the making.
Conservation projects specialist Chloe Wingard said the garland wasn’t even set with this year’s exhibit and staff were already planning next year’s theme.
“Christmas is a year round extravaganza here at Stan Hywet,” she said. “My office is a 24/7 Christmas blast and I don’t mind at all.”
And it’s truly a community effort to decorate 20 of the 65 rooms in the house, which is Ohio’s largest historic home and the sixth largest in the country open to public viewing.
From countless volunteers to help fluff everything from fake snow to setting up hundreds and hundreds of ornaments, Wingard said, there are community partners that include florists and interior designers who are literally transforming homes. rooms and spaces of the house into truly magical spaces.
Wingard said it was also a dangerous time to be a friend or acquaintance as she is always looking to borrow one or two or three items to add to the displays to help fill the house which dates back to 1915.
“A lot of different talents are needed to organize an event like this,” she said.
And the decorations also extend outside the house.
There are over a million Christmas lights outside the mansion and its grounds.
The Carriage House yard is home to a large Christmas tree with Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer where guests can pose for a photo or two.
Masks are not compulsory outside but must be worn in the interior spaces of the domain.
The courtyard is also where patrons can purchase a hot gingerbread cookie with a hot drink or even an adult drink.
The event, which requires tickets to be purchased in advance at https://www.stanhywet.org, will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 26-28, 2, 23-9 and 26-30.
The Gingerbread Land is back for outdoor tours with the great poinsettia inside the Corbin Conservatory.
The Dazzle light show on Christmas music runs every 15 minutes and has had a full makeover this year.
Wingard said the fun part was watching the reaction on guests’ faces as they walked through the house.
“It’s always exciting to see which room is creating the traffic jam,” she said. “Sometimes it’s surprising. I guess it always shows that we are doing our job well.”
Craig Webb, who particularly liked the floor lamp in the ‘Christmas Story’ room, can be contacted at [email protected]
What: Hall deck
Or: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 North Portage Path, Akron.
When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 26-28, Dec. 2, 9-23 and 26-30
Cost: Monday to Thursday $ 18 adults, $ 7 youth. Friday – Sunday $ 22 adults, $ 9 youth. Free for children 5 and under.
Tickets: Must be purchased in advance at stanhywet.org or by phone at 330-315-3287.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Ohio’s largest historic home, Stan Hywet, is ready for Christmas visits
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