Kick off the holiday season with tours of seven historical sites, each with special activities, refreshments and a glimpse at what life was once like during the holidays at each of these NYC landmarks. Each site has its own unique story to tell that will be featured along with special holiday programming for the tour. The participating sites include: The Kingsland Homestead, Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary & Victorian Garden, Lewis H. Latimer House Museum, Friends Meeting House, Flushing Town Hall, the Bowne House, and, new this year, the Louis Armstrong House Museum. A complimentary trolley service from each site is included with all tour tickets, and holiday treats at each historic house.
Here's what is happening at each historic site this year:
Kingsland Homestead: c. 1785, was occupied by the same family until the 1930s. In 1968, the house was moved from its original Flushing site to its current location. Home of the Queens Historical Society, Kingsland Homestead offers school programs, tours, & lectures to the public documenting the history of Queens. For the Holiday House Tours: musical performances will be presented throughout the day along with a special holiday gift shop sale of local history books. The Kingsland Homestead is located at 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354. 718.939.0647.
Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary & Victorian Garden: dates back to 1891. Purchased by an immigrant who published German-language newspapers, it was home to three generations of one Queens' family. For this festive event enjoy piano performances all day and a special gift and plant sale at this dressed-for-the-holiday period Victorian house. The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden is located at 149-19 38th Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354. 718.359.6227.
Lewis H. Latimer House Museum: was constructed from 1887 to 1889. Home of African-American inventor Lewis H. Latimer, he lived in this house from 1903 until his death in 1928. The son of fugitive slaves, he played a vital role in the development of the telephone and the incandescent light bulb. Traditional holiday refreshments will be served for the historic house tours. The Lewis H. Latimer House Museum is located at 34-41 137th Street, Flushing, NY 11354. 718.961.8585.
The Friends Meeting House: is the first house of worship in the village of Flushing and NYC's oldest structure in continuous use for religious purposes. It was built in 1694. The house will be open for tours all day - and be sure to walk around the property and view the historic cemetery. Enjoy the John Scardina Musical Ensemble performing throughout the day. The Friends Meeting House is located at 137-16 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11354. 718.358.9636.
Flushing Town Hall: built in 1862 was the cultural and political focal point of the village of Flushing. The building features a rich history that includes visits by dignitaries such as PT Barnum and Tom Thumb, operas, murder trials and even a jail cell. Frederick Douglass once spoke to the community from the portico. Now a performing and visual arts space, it is home to Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11354. 718.445.1920.
The Bowne House: Built in 1661 by John Bowne, it is known for its connection to the principle of freedom of conscience in America. Bowne House, a city, state, and national landmark, was lived in by nine generations of the family. Though the museum is currently under restoration, its parlor will be decorated for the holidays and open to visitors. Beginning at 1:30pm, listen to a talk on traditional American Christmas customs and learn about the museum's restoration process. The Bowne House is located at 37-01 Bowne Street, Flushing, NY 11354. 718.359.0528.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum: was built in 1910. It is a National Historic Landmark and NYC Landmark. Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille purchased the house in 1943 and it became their permanent home. In keeping with Louis and Lucille's tradition, the house will be brightly decorated for the holidays. This season, holiday house tours will feature rare audio clips from Louis's personal recordings. Visitors will hear Louis's magical voice reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas, A Visit from St. Nicholas," along with other seasonal recordings. Free candy canes (one per guest please)! Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Street, Corona, NY 11368. 718.478.8274.
Address: 143-35 37th Ave.
Flushing, NY 11354