Christmas arrives early in Victorian Cape May when the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., is beautifully decorated with thousands of lights for Cape May’s Holiday Preview Weekend, Nov. 16-18, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Start celebrating the holidays early with a weekend of festive tours, activities, and food and wine events that are sure to get you into the Christmas spirit.
Come to the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate for the free Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank, on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Join MAC representatives, public officials and carolers at the gazebo for festive events. Old Saint Nick arrives via trolley at 7 p.m. and flips the switch to light thousands of bulbs on the giant Christmas tree. Visitors are encouraged to share in the holiday spirit and bring a non-perishable food item for the Cape May Community Food Bank.
The wonders of the season are all on display in “An Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit: Holiday Traditions through the Years” in the Carroll Gallery in the Physick Estate’s Carriage House. Experience a breathtaking exhibit of holiday traditions complete with a giant Christmas tree, a Dickens Village, model trains, nostalgic photos from Christmas past and more! The exhibit opens Friday, Nov. 16 and runs through Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Hours vary. Admission is free.
Holiday Preview Weekend is the perfect time to gather with loved ones over a special meal and to enjoy some delicious food and wine events in Cape May.
Savor the flavors and colors of autumn Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. during the Mad Batter Wine Dinner –Autumn Flavors, a five-course seasonal menu paired with wine at the Mad Batter restaurant. Small vineyards offer big taste! Admission is $75 per person.
It’s easy to create bonding moments with the girls during Brunch, Bingo & Lace as you enjoy time away from the holiday to-do list on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 9:30 a.m. Play a little bingo, enjoy a fashion show by Lace Silhouettes/Cotton Company and win some great prizes at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., all while enjoying a delicious brunch. This fun event is a great way to relax with your gal pals. Admission is $25.
Holiday Preview Weekend features a variety of holiday-themed tours in Cape May:
Physick Family Christmas House Tours offers a guided living history tour of the magnificent 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, decorated in authentic Victorian style for Christmas, presented through the eyes of a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s. The tour also includes a visit to the Carroll Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate where you can see “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit. $12 for adults, $8 for children (3-12).
Enjoy a guided trolley tour of Cape May’s Historic District, followed by a guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, decorated in true Victorian style for Christmas and presented from the viewpoint of a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s, during the Combination Trolley/Physick Family Christmas House Tours. $22 for adults, $14 for children (ages 3-12).
A member of the East Lynne Theater Company regales you with a Victorian holiday ghost tale on the Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides. Ride through Cape May’s flickering gas-lit streets and admire the decorations in the Historic District as you listen to a Victorian-era ghost story. $12 for adults, $8 for children (3-12). Advance reservations are strongly recommended.
The best way to see Cape May’s Christmas lights is on board the heated Holiday Lights Trolley Rides. Board a MAC trolley and ride through Cape May’s Historic District to see cheerfully decorated inns and homes as guides talk about Victorian Christmas traditions, lead sing-alongs and play Christmas music. Rides last about 30 minutes. $12 for adults, $10 for children (3-12).
Mrs. Claus has made a special trip to the Physick Estate to host Santa’s Trolley Rides. During Holiday Preview weekend, bring the kids to the Physick Estate for a ride around Cape May with stories and songs led by Mrs. Claus. After the trolley ride, Santa will greet children with a sweet treat in the Carriage House located on the grounds of the Estate. $10 for adults, $8 for children (3-12). Advance reservations are strongly recommended.
If you love history, you’ll enjoy the Historic District Trolley Tour. Get acquainted with Cape May on this popular trolley tour as knowledgeable guides present entertaining and educational stories about the nation’s oldest seashore resort. $12 for adults, $8 for children (3-12).
For more information, for specific dates and times, and to purchase tickets, visit www.capemaymac.org/holiday-preview-weekend, or call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278.