At Christmastime there’s no better place than Akron’s Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and its holiday event, Deck the Hall, from 5-8 pm, select nights November 26 – December 30. The estate is illuminated with more than one million holiday lights and the theme this year is Lights, Camera, Christmas!
An evening of Deck the Hall begins in the Courtyard, lit by the glow of a giant Christmas tree. Nearby, Santa and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer eagerly await all children and the young-at-heart, so they can share their Christmas wishes in Rudolph’s Corral (Santa is separated from guests by plexiglass, part of Stan Hywet’s Covid-19 protocols). Nearby are two fanciful animated shop windows — vintage Akron of the 1920s and a bakery with four bakers in perpetual motion.
Then a short walk brings guests to the historic Manor House. Lights, Camera, Christmas! features family favorites and classic Christmas movies in twenty-one rooms and spaces in the house, with twenty-five trees decorated in a variety of colors and designs for a festive holiday atmosphere.
Just like going to the movies, guests will start the Deck the Hall Manor House tour in a “movie theater lobby” — the Reception Room transformed and decorated with ticket stubs, candy and popcorn, followed by a red carpet walk in the Linenfold Hallway with walk-of-fame stars and film reels setting the scene as the next part of the tour.
Classic Christmas movies — A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — will be interpreted throughout the Manor House, along with more recent films like Elf, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Harry Potter movies inspire the decorations in The Great Hall, and include a floating candle display above the back door to the West Terrace, created by Akron Makerspace.
The display in the Music Room tells the story of The Nutcracker, featuring stage costumes from the Cleveland Ballet. Other talented local decorators and artists, including the local Lego Group, NEOLUG, are part of the team creating a Deck the Hall display in the Manor House worthy of the silver screen.
The gardens and grounds are decorated with more holiday lights, the perfect setting for a brisk winter stroll on the West Terrace or Birch Tree Allée. The Dazzle light show in the Great Garden features three holiday songs choreographed to holiday lights, retooled and refreshed with new electronic swirling snowflakes, and “pixel sticks” on the Dazzle tree. Playgarden, a favorite spot for families in warm weather, is all dressed up for the holidays and transformed into Gingerbread Land, an imaginative garden overflowing with lights, giant candy canes, gingerbread men and oversized ornaments.
Molly’s Shop is brimming with unique holiday gift items for everyone. Popular items include Stan Hywet logo wear, and Stan Hywet’s series of books on the estate, including the just-released The Manor House, describing the major restoration projects completed since 2015.
Back at the Courtyard, the scent of freshly baked gingerbread wafting from The Gingerbread Hut is irresistible. A hot gingerbread cookie and cocoa; or beer, wine and a pretzel from the Salty Reindeer are a great way to end a perfect evening at Stan Hywet’s Deck the Hall.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is located at 714 North Portage Path in Akron, Ohio. Deck the Hall takes place from 5-8 pm on November 26-28, December 2-5, 9-23, and 26-30. All tickets are pre-sale only at stanhywet.org. No tickets will be sold at Deck the Hall. Masks are required in all indoor spaces, and guests are expected to social distance outside on the grounds.
Tickets for Deck the Hall must be purchased prior to arrival at stanhywet.org. Prices are Monday through Thursday–adults $18/youth (6-17) $7; Friday through Sunday–adults $22/youth (6-17) $9. Children ages 5 and under are free. Students with a valid ID qualify for the youth price. Groups interested in attending Deck the Hall may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about discounts.
Stan Hywet’s Deck the Hall: It’s Worthy of the Silver Screen