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Festive Christmas Celebrations Begin November 20th at the Newport Rhode Island Mansions
Spectacular decorations will soon deck the halls of The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, as The Preservation Society of Newport County prepares to welcome visitors for Christmas at the Newport Mansions, from November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011. Holiday music, tours, shopping events, a holiday dinner dance and visits from Santa Claus will bring the season to life at three of America's grandest historic houses.
Decorations at the mansions include decorated Christmas trees of various sizes, dozens of wreaths, hundreds of yards of garland and thousands of flowers, including poinsettia plants, lilies, roses, carnations and other flowers, and potted palms. Period-style ornaments are used to decorate many of the trees, and white candles illuminate the windows.
Three Mansions Open DailyChristmas officially arrives at the Newport Mansions on Saturday, November 20. The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House will be fully decorated and open daily for tours, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, through January 2, 2011. A Winter Passport ticket providing daytime admission to all three houses can be purchased for $28 for adults, $9 for children 6-17. Children under the age of 6 are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at NewportMansions.org or at each property.
Visit with Santa ClausChildren can visit with Santa Claus in a spectacular setting at each of the three mansions on Sundays in December. Santa will make public appearances from noon to 3 p.m. at The Breakers on December 5, Marble House on December 12 and The Elms on December 19. The visit with Santa is included in the regular admission price.
Holiday Evenings at the Newport MansionsHoliday Evenings at the Newport Mansions provide a unique opportunity to see these historic houses lit up for a night-time celebration. Guests can take a leisurely self-guided tour through the mansion, enjoying live holiday music and a stop for cookies and pastries, eggnog and cider. Holiday Evenings at The Breakers are scheduled for November 27 and December 4 and 11, from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. On December 18, guests can enjoy a Holiday Evening Duet: The Elms and Marble House, and see both houses for the price of one, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Holiday Evenings musical performance schedule is as follows(schedule subject to change):Admission to Holiday Evenings is $28 in advance, $35 at the door. Children 6-17 are admitted for $10. Children under the age of 6 are admitted free. Preservation Society members enjoy reduced admission, $25 in advance, $30 at the door. On December 18, a single ticket provides admission to both The Elms and Marble House. Advance tickets are available online at www.NewportMansions.org
Shopping at the Newport Mansions StoresThe Newport Mansions Stores will be bustling with activities for the holiday season. A full calendar of events gets underway with the annual Members' Sale from November 18-21. Preservation Society members enjoy 25% off all purchases at The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, and the downtown Newport store at Bannister's Wharf. On Saturday, December 20, artist John Maloney of Chem Art of Rhode Island will be signing his unique holiday ornaments, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Bannister's Wharf, and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Breakers. Throughout the holiday season, from November 1 to December 31, shoppers who spend a minimum of $50 at any Newport Mansions Store will receive a coupon good for a complimentary bowl of chowder/soup or dessert with the purchase of an entrée at either the Clarke Cooke House Restaurant or Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen.
About The MansionsThe Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo, was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1895 for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad. Its interiors include rich marbles and gilded rooms, a 50-foot high Great Hall, mosaic tile floors and ceilings, and open-air terraces with magnificent ocean views. The Elms is an elegant French-style chateau built in 1901 for Philadelphia coal magnate Edward J. Berwind. It serves as a backdrop for monumental artworks, including wall-sized 18th century Venetian paintings and Chinese lacquer panels. The Elms is situated on a 10-acre park with an elaborate sunken garden. Marble House was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. Built and furnished at a reported cost of $11 million, it was the most lavish house in America when it opened in 1892. It became a grand stage for Alva Vanderbilt's climb to social and political power, first as a leading society hostess and later as a leader of the "Votes for Women" campaign.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit educational organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area's historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties-seven of them National Historic Landmarks-span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.