Christmas at the Mansions

A rare treat is being offered on Saturday, December 8 when two of Bloomington-Normal’s historic mansions – David Davis Mansion, Ewing Manor, and a Mystery House (a private residence) – will feature holiday tours with free shuttle bus transportation. Funds raised will benefit the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, Ewing Manor and a community charity of the Mystery House owner’s choice. The Davis Mansion and Ewing Manor will be festooned with vintage Christmas decorations. Special foods, beverages, seasonal music, and costumed guides will be featured at the Davis Mansion, while Ewing Manor will host musical guest throughout the day.

The 36-room David Davis Mansion, built in 1872 for Supreme Court justice David Davis and his wife Sarah, offers a dazzling look at Victorian-era Christmas traditions. David Davis and Charles Dickens were connected through Dicken’s holiday tale, A Christmas Story, and “A Dickens Christmas” is the theme at the mansion this year. Visitors will see the mansion decorated in its late-Victorian splendor. They will also see representations of special holiday festivities, food, and activities made popular by Dicken’s book, including snowballing and street entertainers, blazing fireplaces, roasting chestnuts, Christmas dances, parlor games, holly sprigs and mistletoe, wassail bowls, mince pies, plum pudding, and more.

Ewing Manor – Bloomington’s only “castle” –Visitors will be able to step back in time to the Edwardian era when there were horses in the home’s stable and a vintage automobile the Manor’s garage. The private bedrooms and office once occupied by the Ewing family have been completely restored and will be decorated for Christmas. The Manor will be specially lighted outside during the evening tours. Ewing Manor is located at 48 Sunset Rd, Bloomington.

Shuttle buses will transport visitors continuously to all three mansions. Visitors may begin their tour by parking either on the Davis Mansion grounds at 1000 Monroe Dr, Bloomington or in the St. John’s Lutheran Church parking lot, 1617 E. Emerson St, Bloomington. Directions and maps to all three mansions will also be available at Ewing Manor and the Davis Mansion.

Visitors may tour the homes on Saturday, December 8 from either 2 to 5pm or 5 to 8pm. Tickets are $18 per person in advance and may be purchased at Casey’s Garden Shop, The Garlic Press, Schnucks Supermarkets, Hy-Vee the David Davis Mansion Visitor Center, and online at daviddavismansion.org Beginning November 1, 2018 through December 5, 2018. Tickets will be $20 the day of the event. For more information on the event, please call the David Davis Mansion at (309) 828-1084 or visit ChristmasAtTheMansions.com. Ewing Cultural Center is owned and operated by Illinois State University Foundation. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


Saturday, December 8, 2018
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Cost: $18 in advance, $20 day of


Ewing Manor 48 Sunset Road Bloomington Illinois 61701 309.828.1084

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