The holidays were special times in the DuPont family. No expense was spared in making their mansions suitably splendid for the holiday seasons, places where the elaborate decorations outdone only by the sumptuous feasts.
Today, you can relive those days of holiday grandeur at each of the three public museums that now occupy these mansions – Winterthur, Hagley and Nemours. Each year, people from around the country make it a point to lift their holiday spirits with a visit, or to perhaps enjoy a special visit with Santa. Here are the highlights that await:
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library: This massive mansion is decked out each year in the most tasteful decorations, with the aim of re-creating the look and feel of how holidays were celebrated by the DuPont family when this was their home. Highlights include a woodland path in the winter garden (part of a 1,000-acre rolling meadow preserve), several walk-through room and food displays, and vistas of elaborately decorated trees. Winterthur also offers many events, workshops and performances during the holiday season, including Yuletide Brunches and appearances by Santa. November 22, 2014 – January 4, 2015.
Hagley Museum and Library: The DuPont family’s ancestral home -- Eleutherian Mills – is transformed over the holidays, transporting visitors back to the Christmas spirit of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Highlights of the Holidays at Hagley celebration include a full schedule of events, including seminars, family programs, gift-making activities, brunches, and tours. November 28, 2014 – January 6, 2015.
Nemours Mansion & Gardens: At Delaware's most ornate DuPont mansion, annual Holiday Tours give visitors a chance to see how the family celebrated the season. The estate is decorated with a gingerbread house of the mansion, Christmas trees, paper filigree quilling, original toys, ornaments and more. November 8 – December 31, 2014.