The Meadow Brook Hall annual Holiday Walk explores the Dodge and Wilson families' winter traditions and activities they enjoyed while living on the Meadow Brook Estate. Often referred to as one of America's "castles", the 110-room, 88,000-square-foot mansion is currently the fourth largest historic house museum in the United States.
Click here for a photo gallery of the Meadow Brook Hall Holiday Walk.2012 Meadow Brook Hall Holiday Walk info (prices, dates, hours):
2012 Meadow Brook Hall Holiday Walk Hours and Prices:
Dates are from November 23rd, 2012 through December 22nd, 2012.
Tours Daily Daily from 11:00am–5:00pm (last admittance is at 4:00pm)
Admission is $20 for Adults, $12 for OU staff, $5 for OU students, $5 for kids 17 and under and free for kids under 2.
2012 Meadow Brook Hall Holiday Walk Special Events:
Visit With Santa on DATES TBD. Children of all ages are welcome to share their Christmas wishes with Santa at Knole Cottage, the 3/4-scale playhouse built for Frances Dodge. No admission but donations are appreciated.
Breakfast with Santa on December 9th and December 16th from 10a-noon. $25 for chldren 12 and under/$30 for adults. Call 248-364-6263 for more info.
Supper with Santa on December 9th from 5-7p. $25 for chldren 12 and under/$30 for adults. Call 248-364-6263 for more info.
Ballroom Glitz on December 13th from 7-10p. Enjoy an elegant evening of holiday entertainment, strolling dinner, cocktails and more. Cost is $75 per person. Call 248-364-6263 for more info.
Holiday High Tea on December 11th and December 18th. enjoy traditional teas, savories and sweets served in the magnificent Christopher Wren Dining Room. Optional touring at 2:00pm, tea begins at 3:00pm. Please call (248) 364-6263 for more information.
Holiday Gift Shop is open daily from 11a-5p and 11a-9p on December 17th through December 20th.
This year's holiday tour at Meadow Brook Hall features a teddy bear scavenger hunt for the kids (with a prize at the end), and great displays for all to see including Francis' wedding gown and wedding photo album.
I visited the Meadow Brook Holiday Walk to tour the mansion with all the beautiful holiday decor for a review. It takes about an hour to walk through the entire tour. Each room is beautifully decorated. Most have a Christmas tree, decorated in its own unique fashion. Many other elegant holiday decorations fill each room, making it quite a sight. Touring guests get to view items from the collection that are not normally displayed such as: Frances Dodge's own horse drawn-sleigh, and several of Matilda Wilson's formal gowns she wore to many local events and performances; they were gorgeous.
I brought my daughter this year for the teddy bear scavenger hunt and she had a great time with her friend searching for all the bears. The hunt even includes a trip to Knole Cottage, the 3/4-scale playhouse built for Frances Dodge in 1926. My daughter attended the holiday walk in previous years as well. One year, she happily participated in the pickle hunt. The story behind the pickle hunt is that in Old World Germany, the last decoration placed on the Christmas tree was always a pickle...carefully hidden deep in the boughs. Legend has it that the child who finds the pickle first on Christmas morning receives a special blessing for the year and one extra gift from St. Nicholas.
Holiday Walk features:
The Great Hall: See Frances Dodge’s horse draw- sleigh. The Dodge and Wilson family owned several horse-drawn cutters or sleighs. When the family rode the six miles to Rochester they traveled in a large sleigh. When they took rides around the Meadow Brook Farms property, they used a smaller one, like the one displayed in the Great Hall.
Bedrooms: Look for the monogrammed wool and down blankets dressed on many of the beds throughout the home. This was one of the winter housekeeping traditions at The Hall.
Drawing Room: Wilson and Dodge winter family pastimes included sledding and ice skating. Watch a rarely seen video of the Dodge and Wilson children enjoying their favorite winter activities.
Danny Dodge’s Bedroom: Rug hooking was a popular pastime during the cold winter months. On display this year is a rare Grenfell hooked mat crafted circa 1920.
Matilda’s Bedroom: Catch a glimpse of the Meadow Brook costume collection. Several of Matilda Wilson’s designer gowns will be displayed during the exhibition.
Meadow Brook Hall 480 South Adams Road Rochester, Michigan 48309-4401 (248) 364-6200
Meadow Brook Hall is the historic home built by one of the automotive aristocracy’s most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of auto pioneer John Dodge, and her second husband, Alfred Wilson. Constructed between 1926 and 1929, Meadow Brook Hall represents one of the finest examples of Tudor-revival architecture in America, and is especially renowned for its superb craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale of 88,000 square-feet. It was the center of a country estate that included 1,500 acres, numerous farm buildings, recreational facilities, several residences and formal gardens. For more info, see the official Meadow Brook Hall and Gardens website.
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