Mid-America News - DECEMBER 2018




St. Nicholas to visit Shoal Creek Historic Site

St. Nicholas will pay a visit to the Shoal Creek Living History Museum on Dec. 1. (photo courtesy Shoal Creek)

Old St. Nicholas will pay a visit to the Shoal Creek Living History Museum on Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids and their parents can visit St. Nicholas in the Thornton Mansion. He'll be wearing his resplendent green velvet robes. Parents can purchase gift items at the Mercantile and good little boys and girls can post a letter to the jolly old soul.

Take a break from the present and experience a 19th century Christmas by taking a walking tour through houses and cabins that will be decorated for the season. Historic re-enactors will bring the 1800s village to life. Experience a Civil War encampment, warm up by the potbellied stove in the school, find peace in the serene setting of the 1884 church, see how Swedish immigrants celebrated Santa Lucia Day and watch how lace was made in the Arnold Home.

End your tour with a brief horse-drawn sleigh ride through the countryside from noon to 4 p.m. Cost is $5 per person (age 5 and under free).

Shoal Creek is located at 7000 NE Barry Rd. in Kansas City. For more details go to the website, www.shoalcreeklivinghistorymuseum.com.



Bingham-Waggoner says 'Tis the Reason for the Season'

The large porch at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate is decorated for the season. (photo courtesy Bingham-Waggoner Estate)

The holiday season at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate in Independence continues daily through Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 23, 24 & 25). Walk-in and reserved tours are offered Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Sundays, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Bingham-Waggoner volunteers will host the annual Twilight Tour on Sunday, Dec. 2, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. This event will give visitors the opportunity to stroll at leisure, enjoying light, complementary refreshments and live music.

Tours will begin in the Carriage House Boutique where visitors will find many unique items to choose from – for someone special or for himself or herself. Following the tour visitors may relax in the third floor tearoom, enjoying music, cookies and hot-spiced tea or coffee.

If you're looking for a place to bring your group for lunch or dinner during the holidays, the beautifully decorated carriage house welcomes 10 to 50, by advance reservation, in a large comfortable area. Call 816-461-3491 with any questions or to reserve a date. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for youths ages 6-16.

For more information go to the website, www.bwestate.net. The estate is located at 313 W. Pacific, Independence.



Hermann to celebrate the holidays German style

Delicate ornaments such as these can be purchased at the Christkindl market at Hermannhof Winery. (photo courtesy Hermannhof Winery)

There will be plenty of activities for visitors to Hermann during the holiday season. This German heritage town on the Missouri River revels in the old world traditions that make Christmas is Hermann almost magical.

Outdoor Christmas markets will be ongoing at Stone Hill Winery on the first weekend of the month (Dec. 1-2), before moving to Hermannhof Winery on the second weekend (Dec. 8-9). In addition, holiday house tours will be staged, there's an open house at Deutschheim State Historic Site, a cookie walk, German bake sale, wine trail excursions, a live nativity scene, horse drawn carriage rides and much more.

For a complete schedule of holiday related activities go to the website www.visithermann.com.



Vaile Mansion tells a Victorian Christmas Romance

Elaborate Christmas trees are up at the historic Vaile Mansion in Independence. (photo courtesy the Vaile Victorian Society)

The Vaile Mansion in Independence is decorated for a "Victorian Christmas Romance" and open to the public through Dec. 30. Regular tours are $6 for adults and $3 for children and are held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.

A special "Champagne & Chandelier" tour is set 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. Cost is $25 per couple or $15 per individual.

Visitors can leisurely stroll through the glorious Victorian holiday home. After the tour enjoy a glass of champagne and light hors d'oeuvres in the dining room. Some of your favorite Dickens characters from the Christmas classic "A Christmas Carol" will be make appearances from time to time throughout the tour.

The Vaile Mansion is located at 1500 N. Liberty in Independence. More information is available at the website www.vailemansion.org.



Ben Ferrel Museum sets Candyland tours

The Ben Ferrel Museum was built in 1882. (photo courtesy Ben Ferrel Museum)

The Victorian Ben Ferrel Museum in Platte City will take children and children-at-heart on tours of Candyland this holiday season. The 1882 "mini-mansion" will be completely decked out for Christmas with eight decorated Christmas trees and rooms designated as Gum Drop Land, Lollipop Land and Gingerbread Land.

The special tours will be conducted Dec. 7-9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Ben Ferrel Museum is located at 220 Ferrel St. in Platte City. Group tours are available by calling 816-769-9669. For more details go to the website, www.visitplatte.com .



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Leavenworth plans Vintage Homes Tour

This home will be featured on the 2018 Leavenworth Vintage Homes Tour. (photo courtesy Leavenworth County Historical Society)

Tickets are currently on sale for the 2018 Leavenworth Vintage Homes Tour to be held on Sunday, Dec. 9. The tour is an annual Christmas tradition, held the second Sunday in December.

Each year vintage homes are opened to the public to view some of Leavenworth's beautiful vintage homes, decorated for the holiday season. Seven venues in Leavenworth are on the tour this year, including the Carroll Mansion Historical Museum, five private residences and Trinity United Methodist Church.

Advanced tickets are $15 per person and $20 the day of the tour. The tour is a benefit for the Leavenworth County Historical Society, which has been preserving the history of Leavenworth County since 1954. Call 913-682-7759 for further information, or go to the website, www.leavenworthhistory.org.


Strawberry Hill Museum offers an Old-World Christmas

Gorgeous Christmas trees are the norm at the Strawberry Hill Museum. (photo courtesy Strawberry Hill Museum)

The Strawberry Hill Cultural Museum in Kansas City, which celebrates the Eastern European cultures that helped build the city, will offer visitors an Old World Christmas all month until Jan. 6.
The Victorian mansion will be decorated to the crown moldings with Christmas cheer and guided tours will be conducted daily. (Evening tours are all sold out.)

Kids will take center stage on Saturday, Dec. 1 when St. Nicholas will be in the house from 8-11 a.m. for breakfast. A $10 fee will include breakfast for a child, a visit with St. Nicholas and one picture. If a child wishes to only visit St. Nicholas for the picture, the fee is only $5. An adult breakfast will be available for $6. Breakfast will consist of pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, fruit, and coffee, tea or milk.

The museum is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The last tour starts at 4:15 p.m. The Strawberry Hill Museum is located at 720 N. 4th St., Kansas City, KS. For more information visit the website www.strawberryhillmuseum.org.



Everyone is Swedish in Lindsborg at Christmastime

The annual St. Lucia Day processional will be Dec. 8 in Lindsborg. (photo courtesy Lindsborg Visitors and Convention Bureau)

The town of Lindsborg is proud of its Swedish heritage. All through December visitors to Lindsborg can get a taste of how Christmas is celebrated in the mother country.

It all starts off on Saturday, Dec. 1 with the Artists Studio Open House all day and the Snowflake Parade at 11 a.m. downtown. On Sunday, Dec. 2 the Juletide Concert will go on at 4 p.m. at Bethany College; admission is free. Ongoing through the month is the annual Holiday Gift Show, a holiday favorite for shoppers looking for an alternate to mainstream commercial gifts. The offerings include paintings, prints, hand-made cards, small quilts, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, blown glass, Swedish inspired folk art, and woodcarvings from a wide variety of artists.

From 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on December 8, McPherson county's Old Mill Museum will be filled with the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned prairie Christmas. Enjoy concerts, one act plays, crafts for children, Santa, refreshments and the Christmas story told by the shepherd in the stable. 

A favorite Swedish holiday tradition, also observed in Lindsborg, is the St. Lucia Festival celebrating the figure whom is the emblem of light on a long winter day. Lindsborg honors Lucia on the second weekend in December. Events begins at 10 a.m. Dec. 8 with live holiday music downtown. A processional of girls robed in white carrying candles and stjärngosse (star boys) lead the crowd to the Bethany Lutheran Church where the annual St. Lucia is crowned. The new Lucia goes among the crowd serving ginger cookies and coffee.

For a complete schedule of events go to the website, www.visitlindsborg.com.



Fort Scott to be lighted by candles for tours

Historic Fort Scott will come alive with re-enactors in candlelight. (photo courtesy National Park Service)

The Fort Scott National Historic Site will conduct candlelight tours of the historic fort for the Christmas season. During the candlelight tours, more than 700 candle lanterns will illuminate the site and more than 100 re-enactors will bring the fort to life. This year's tour will be offered Dec. 7-8. Tours on Dec. 7 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and go every 15 minutes until 9 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 8, the tours will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Reservations are required and advanced purchase is recommended to get your choice of tour times. Visitors may pick up tickets at the site's visitor center or reserve them by calling 620-223-0310. Payments can be made via cash, check or charge. Tickets are $8 for adults; children five and under are free. Tickets are nonrefundable.

Western National Parks Association, which operates the site's bookstore, sponsors the tour. Proceeds generated cover the cost of conducting the tour. For more information go to the website, www.fortscott.com.


Topeka dealers set Holiday Festival of Shops

The members of the Topeka Antique Dealers Association are busy re-stocking their shelves in anticipation of the 2018 edition of the Holiday Festival of Shops, which continues through Dec. 22.

Shoppers who visit these participating antique and vintage stores can register to win gift certificates valued at $50 or more at each location: Antiques Unique, Ferris Wheel Antiques, Kaw River Rustics, Rusty Haggles Antiques, Washburn View Antique Mall and Wheatland Antique Mall.

"This is what we do to encourage people to shop locally especially for the holidays," said Michele Ferris of Ferris Wheel Antiques. "People have a chance of winning at various locations, so we encourage people to register at each one they visit. They can enter more than once at each store, one entry per visit."

For more information, visit www.antiquesoftopeka.org.



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Civil War battle re-enacted at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

Hundreds of Civil War re-enactors will re-state the Battle of Prairie Grove. (photo courtesy Arkansas State Parks)

Cannons thunder at the Prairie Grove Battlefield Reenactment Dec. 1-2 at the battle's original location at the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park in Prairie Grove. Activities include guided tours through Union, Confederate and civilian camps; military drills conducted by re-enactors; cooking, spinning and lace-making demonstrations; and living history programs.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park protects the battle site and interprets the Battle of Prairie Grove, where on Dec. 7, 1862, the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi clashed with the Union Army of the Frontier in a day of fierce fighting resulting in about 2,700 casualties. This marked the last major Civil War engagement in northwest Arkansas.

Beginning at 1 p.m. each day, battle demonstrations feature charges and counterattacks by Union and Confederate infantry and cavalry on the actual battlefield near the historic Borden House. Seeing the battle unfold before your eyes on the ground the men fought and died for is one of the best ways to obtain a true sense of the Civil War and the Battle of Prairie Grove.

Admission is $5 per vehicle. The park is located at 506 E. Douglas St. in Prairie Grove. For more details go to the website, www.crazycrow.com.


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