A Victorian Christmas at the Eustis Estate

Nov 13, 2017

With the holiday season approaching, Historic New England invites you to make visiting a historic home part of your family tradition.


Built in 1878, the Eustis Estate in Milton, Massachusetts, is an ideal spot to rediscover the Christmas customs and style of the Victorian era. During A Victorian Christmas at the Eustis Estate, we invite you to explore the mansion’s stunning holiday decorations. Volunteers from the Milton Garden Club and the Amateur Gardeners of Milton are decorating the first and second floors of the house with a nod to late nineteenth-century elegance. Come bask in the glow of historic holiday cheer.

Throughout December, the Eustis Estate will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tour the house during open hours while it’s decorated for Christmas, or join us for special events all month long. Learn more about visiting the Eustis Estate.

Reserve your spot at one of the following seasonal celebrations today:

Saturday, December 2

Make Your Own Bling
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

$125 members
$175 nonmembers
Ever dream of wearing a ring or pair of earrings you made yourself? Learn the basics of silversmithing, including light hammering, delicate sawing, and wire forming, from expert metalsmith and jewelry instructor Leslie Hartwell of the North Bennet Street School’s jewelry program. Choose from designs based on jewelry in Historic New England’s collection, on view in the exhibition Mementos, or create your own design. By the end of the day you will have made a jewel you can wear, with no experience required.

Fee includes a boxed lunch and all materials including silver, tools, and safety gear. Bring your ideas and enthusiasm. You will be working with your hands for eight hours. Must be at least 14 years old. A parent must register all participants under 18.

Sunday, December 3

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 
Noon-3:00 p.m.
Free for adult members
$15 nonmember adults
$5 children 12 and under (member and nonmember)
Santa Claus is coming to the Eustis Estate. Take a photo with Santa and see the 1878 mansion decorated for Christmas. Enjoy cookies and cider in our cozy kitchen.

Before or after meeting Santa, join us for a drop-in craft workshop beginning at 10:00 a.m. Historic New England educators will show you how to make your own wrapping paper and pop-up cards. Craft activities recommended for families with children ages 5 to 12.

Christmas Cheers at the Eustis Estate
5:30-8:30 p.m.
$20 members
$25 nonmembers
$15 students
Enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. Explore the decorated mansion while live holiday music fills the halls. Light refreshments, including wine and cider, will be served. 

Tuesday, December 5

Christmas Crafts 
3:00-5:00 p.m.
$20 members
$25 nonmembers
Step back to the Victorian era with a Christmas craft workshop at the Eustis Estate. Create holiday gifts in the beautifully decorated 1878 mansion. At this workshop, create handmade Victorian tree ornaments from intricate folded paper, lace, and natural materials. Your workshop fee includes materials and admission to the museum and the special exhibition, Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England. Because the museum is closed on Tuesday, you will have it all to yourself. Suitable for children over 10 years old accompanied by an adult.

Wednesday, December 6

Christmas Tea 
3:00-5:00 p.m.
$38 members
$45 nonmembers
Celebrate the season with a Victorian afternoon tea at the Eustis Estate. Relax in the beautifully decorated parlors and enjoy tea sandwiches, scones, and other treats. Your ticket includes admission to the museum and the special exhibition, Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England.

Saturday, December 9

Holiday Crafts and Storytime
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Included with museum admission
Families can enjoy extra holiday cheer with special activities while they tour the Eustis Estate, which is decorated for a Victorian Christmas celebration. Join Historic New England educators in the kitchen for drop-in craft workshops to make snowman ornaments. Head upstairs to the library for holiday storytime at 12:30 p.m. Recommended for families with children ages 5 to 12. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sunday, December 10

Christmas Cheers at the Eustis Estate
5:30-8:30 p.m.
$20 members
$25 nonmembers
$15 students
Enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. Explore the 1878 mansion, which has been lavishly decorated for Christmas, while live holiday music fills the halls. Light refreshments, including wine, and cider, will be served.

Tuesday, December 12

The Spirit of Christmas Past: Four Centuries of Christmas in New England
6:00-8:00 p.m.
$10 members
$15 nonmembers
For many people today, Christmas is the most important holiday of the year. But many of the customs that we take for granted as part of today’s holiday festivities and religious celebrations are actually a product of more recent history. This illustrated lecture traces the development of the celebration of Christmas, from when it was outlawed in seventeenth-century New England through the beginning of the twentieth century, when all the trappings of a traditional Christmas were in place.

Kenneth C. Turino, manager of community engagement and exhibitions at Historic New England, tells the story of how Christmas transformed from a rowdy celebration to a family-centered event. Learn how Christmas trees became popular, halls were decked, and Santa Claus came to town. Refreshments will be served following the presentation.

Wednesday, December 13

Christmas Crafts
3:00-5:00 p.m.
$20 members
$25 nonmembers
Step back to the Victorian era with a Christmas craft workshop at the Eustis Estate. Create holiday gifts in the beautifully decorated mansion. At this workshop, draw inspiration from the intricate tiles throughout the mansion and create your own unique decorative tile. Your workshop fee includes materials and admission to the museum and the special exhibition, Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England. Because the museum is closed on Wednesday, you will have it all to yourself.

Friday, December 15

Merry Historic Milton: Progressive Tasting Trolley Tour
6:00-9:00 p.m. and 7:30-10:30 p.m.
$90 members
$100 nonmembers
Join an exclusive progressive tasting event through three historic mansions in Milton: the Forbes House Museum, the Wakefield Estate, and the Eustis Estate. Each house will be decorated for the holidays and will feature one course and one beverage, drawing inspiration from the Christmas traditions of New England. Begin at Forbes House with appetizers and a discussion of the history of Christmas in America. Continue with a cozy stop by the fireside at the Wakefield Estate for a savory dish, then on to the Eustis Estate for a nightcap and dessert. 

Saturday, December 16

Holiday Crafts and Storytime
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Included with museum admission
Families can enjoy extra holiday cheer with special activities while they tour the Eustis Estate, which is decorated for a Victorian Christmas celebration. Join Historic New England educators in the kitchen for drop-in craft workshops to make snowman ornaments. Head upstairs to the library for holiday storytime at 12:30 p.m. Recommended for families with children ages 5 to 12. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sunday, December 17

Christmas Cheers at the Eustis Estate
5:30-8:30 p.m.
$20 members
$25 nonmembers
$15 students
Enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. Explore the 1878 mansion, which has been lavishly decorated for Christmas, while live holiday music fills the halls. Light refreshments, including wine and cider, will be served.

Advance tickets are recommended or required for most events. And remember, Historic New England members may receive discounted or free admission. Not a member? Join today.