Celebrate the season with the simple joys of yesteryear at a Victorian-themed holiday event in Oklahoma and reward your family with cheerful carolers, delightful decorations and long-lasting memories you’ll treasure for years to come.
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Stroll down decorated Main Streets strewn with glittering lights, sing carols with loved ones, share stories or samplings of delicious food, and enjoy the old-fashioned splendor of Christmas in Victorian times. Experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas firsthand at the following events and get ready to usher in the time-honored traditions of years past.
Home to the largest Historic Preservation District in the nation, Guthrie sets the standard for holiday events in Oklahoma. The distinct Victorian-era brick architecture of downtown is adorned with shimmering lights during this month-long celebration, as visitors flock to the area for historic home tours, candlelight trolley rides and the annual Guthrie Christmas Parade.
Make your way to Guthrie this December to listen to the sweet sounds of carolers dressed in period clothing, browse store windows during Victorian Walk Evenings to see costumed residents portraying scenes of everyday Victorian life, sip wassail or shop for antiques and unique gift items in the many stores and boutiques that line the main thoroughfare. For a special treat, catch a performance of A Territorial Christmas Carol, an Oklahoma-themed version of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, at the historic Pollard Theatre while you’re in town.
Traveler’s Note: Make sure to check the dates when specific activities will be available during the Territorial Christmas Celebration, as a handful of the events mentioned above may fall on various days.
Kick start the holiday season early in Claremore with the Dickens on the Boulevard festival, held each November. Visit the artisan village to see re-enactors in period clothing portray everything from late-1800s weavers and wood carvers, to glass blowers and blacksmiths. Grab a partner and whirl down the street in the annual Victorian Street Dance (spectators are also welcome), or take in the brisk evening air on a wagon ride. Don’t miss the popular Territorial Marshals re-enactment for live performance action, and head over to the Victorian food court for tasty snacks such as stew, cornbread and cobbler. Live window displays, historic landmark tours and a living nativity will also entertain visitors to this much-loved event.
While in Claremore, stop by the Victorian Belvidere Mansion to see its Christmas transformation, where decorations range from snowmen and Santas to themed trees dotted with vintage ornaments. Tour the three-story 1907 mansion and marvel at the exquisite Italian tile work, marble wainscoting and pressed tin ceilings before enjoying chicken salad on croissants or slices of Italian cream cake in the on-site tea room. The mansion is decorated through Christmas Eve.
The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid invites visitors into a yuletide wonderland of cheer and holiday merriment during Christmas in the Village. Held in historic buildings on the museum grounds, this event offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors over 100 years ago. Follow costumed characters as they lead you through a one-room schoolhouse, 1902 church and the 1905 homestead of J.W. and Alice Glidewell, decorated to look as though the family were returning for Christmas dinner.
Attend the grand opening celebration to enjoy cookies and cider, a musical performance and more, while the kids can write a letter to Santa with a quill and ink or make an old-fashioned Christmas ornament. Fragrant pine garlands with bright red ribbons, handmade paper snowflakes and chains, glass ornaments and decorations in all colors add to the enchanting atmosphere, and were inspired by Victorian catalogs and early newspaper clippings from the era. Pick up an historic toy in the Village Mercantile, enjoy communing around the 18’ Christmas tree in the village green, or simply marvel at the flickering lights scattered around the village.
After the opening event, visitors to the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center can still tour the decorations with general museum admission.
Step back in time at the George M. Murrell Home near Tahlequah as you enter this historic home decked out in charming decorations from the Victorian era for Christmas Open House. Known as the only antebellum home in Oklahoma, the Murrell Home will delight holiday visitors as costumed re-enactors lead them through the lavish parlor, sitting room and upstairs sleeping quarters. Mini-trees will be covered in bright vintage ornaments, handmade paper stars will be on display, and greenery and ribbon will fill the home. The home’s original furnishings, including a dining room table set for Christmas dinner, set the stage for an old-fashioned holiday.
Witness as a reconstructed turn-of-the-century village is transformed into a Victorian-era Main Street at Har-Ber Village’s 19th Century Christmas on Main Street celebration. This quaint collection of historic buildings, antiques and quirky displays on the shores of Grand Lake will come alive during three Saturdays in December. This free holiday event will feature old-fashioned decorations, live Christmas carols at the bandstand gazebo, a tree lighting ceremony, gingerbread workshop and a visit from the jolly old elf himself. As events will vary each Saturday, check with Har-Ber Village to find out the main event on each day of the celebration. Also, the country store, located on property and filled with Christmas gift ideas, will be open for holiday shopping.