Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Plant Museum

The Henry Plant Museum presents the 28th annual Victorian Christmas Stroll from December 1st to 23rd, 2009, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm daily.

Bring family and friends together in the soft glow of 1891 lighting as you discover a lavish Christmas at the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel. While strolling down the Grand Hallway, your spirits will soar as you become immersed in beautiful music, Charles Dickens, much loved toys, wrapped gifts, Christmas stockings and Old Saint Nick.

What’s New? Antique and vintage clothing from La France, Jezabelle & Her Wandering Gypsies, and the private collection of Jill Wax will be displayed throughout the museum. As was the custom of the era, the fashions are handmade with exquisite detail and feature natural fibers such as silk, cotton, linen and wool. This clothing for men, women, and children will be accessorized with appropriate shoes, jewelry, hats, gloves, purses and other such adornments.

The Sports and Amusements Room will feature authentic golf, fishing and hunting ensembles from 1925. The Parlor Bedroom will display a wide variety of provocative all-white Victorian undergarments such as camisoles, bloomers, cover ups and cotton teddies worn under Japanese silk kimonos; and that tree will be decorated with antique trims including hand embroidered laces, crocheted garlands, silk ribbon and tatting.

On view in the Plant System Room will be elegant travel ensembles from the 1920’s. The Women and Their Amusements Exhibit will feature dozens of hand made needlepoint ornaments courtesy of The Flying Needle in Belleair Bluffs, Florida.

Pipes, cigars, cigarettes and vintage smoking paraphernalia along with bowties will decorate the Christmas tree in the Gentlemen’s Reading and Writing Room; and the Hanky Angel Tree with over 100 antique handkerchiefs made to look like angels will be displayed in the Parlor Music Room. Other Victorian Christmas Stroll trees will be decorated with antique ornaments, flowers, birds, toys, books, fruits and candy.

Children’s clothing of the period will be shown on the grand staircase, surrounded by porcelain dolls and antique toys.

At the Victorian Christmas Stroll, the essence of an old-fashioned holiday is observed and honored as Tampa’s most popular family tradition. Complimentary spiced cider and savory cookies will be served on the veranda every day, and each evening carolers will perform music for your merriment. Visitors are invited to sing with the carolers in front of the 18-foot tree in the hallway. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Discount Days are December 1, 7, 8, 14, and 15 when admissions are reduced to $6 for adults and $3 for children. Group tours are welcome: please make reservations for parties of 20 or more with Sally Shifke, Museum Relations Coordinator, (813) 258-7302.

Proceeds from the Victorian Christmas Stroll fund significant museum restoration and preservation projects, as well as educational programming.

The Henry B. Plant Museum interprets the turn-of-the-century Tampa Bay Hotel and the lifestyles of America’s Gilded Age. Critical to the success of this mission is the restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark, an opulent 1891 railroad destination resort, and the artifacts significant to its history and the life and work of Henry Bradley Plant. Through educational exhibits and events, the museum transports visitors of all ages and backgrounds to the late Victorian period, the beginnings of Florida’s tourist industry, and the early years of the city of Tampa.

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