100 years of Stan Hywet
Deck the Hall and More at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
By Denise Koeth
F.A. Seiberling, creator of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and his family moved into their new Akron estate on Christmas Day in 1915. Now, exactly 100 years later, Stan Hywet Hall - with five historic buildings and 10 historic gardens on 70 acres - stands very much as it did back then, but with even more for visitors to enjoy during the holiday season.
The National Historic Landmark opens its doors and illuminates its gardens for the annual Deck the Hall celebration, which features more than 800,000 lights, a 25-foot Christmas tree and an animated outdoor light show, all with the theme "Home for the Holidays" for 2015.
The manor house reflects the cozy warmth of Seiberling family Christmases in more than 20 rooms, with displays of antique period toys, snow globes and nativity villages. In the music room, area choirs and musicians provide a musical backdrop as guests tour the house.
Outdoors, garden visitors will be enveloped in twinkling lights and unique displays, including Dazzle, a light show spectacular animated to music. Stan Hywet's popular Playgarden also is dressed up for the holiday season, having been transformed to Gingerbread Land. Nightly tree lighting ceremonies, hosted by Santa himself, take place at 5:30 p.m. through Dec. 23 (a gingerbread man takes over after that - after all, St. Nick will be quite busy!).
New for 2015 is an animated holiday window that depicts downtown Akron at dusk during the holidays, circa 1920, located in the courtyard. Nearby, Molly's Café serves refreshments and Molly's Shop offers unique holiday gifts.
Deck the Hall is held from 5 to 8 p.m. select evenings Nov. 27 through Jan. 2. Admission is $14 for adult members, $6 for youth members, $18 for adult non-members and $7 for youth non-members; children 5 and younger are free.
To experience a true taste of what holiday events were like for the Seiberlings, opt for An Evening of Holiday Magic, offered Dec. 4, 11 and 18 from 5 to 9 p.m. Each evening includes a catered holiday dinner buffet with all the trimmings accompanied by the music of Celestial Strings in the manor house auditorium, cocktails and a self-guided tour of Deck the Hall. Depending on the package, tickets are $70.95 or $75.95.
Also offered is Stan Hywet's Holiday Tea, which features a concert by musician Todd Wilson, who serves as the house organist for Stan Hywet's Aeolian organ. After the concert in the music room, enjoy a holiday tea meal followed by a self-guided manor house tour. Admission for Holiday Tea, slated for Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is $80 for members and $100 for non-members.
For more on celebrating the holidays in Cleveland like festive events, winter restaurants and outdoor adventures click here.