Historic Deerfield, “December in Deerfield”
December 1 - December 16
Amid the picturesque backdrop of this quintessential New England village, Historic Deerfield’s “December in Deerfield” is a yearly celebration of the holiday season that provides programs and events the whole family can enjoy. This year, the museum will bring music and magic to enchant and delight audiences from December 1-16.
On Saturday, December 1, the museum will kick off “December in Deerfield” with “Cozy December Day: Celebrate with Songs and Sweets.” Visitors are invited to spend a December day as early New Englanders did with activities the whole family will enjoy. Enjoy family friendly songs and stories by popular local performer Tim Van Egmond at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Enjoy the warmth and aromas of an open hearth baking demonstration. Taste a cookie made from a recipe from 1796 and sip a cup of mulled cider, then step outside to take a horse-drawn wagon ride down the picturesque Old Main Street. All programs are included with admission to the museum.
Cozy December Day: Celebrate with Songs and Sweets Saturday, December 1, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Spend a December day like an early New Englander. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Enjoy the warmth and aromas of an open hearth baking demonstration. Taste a cookie made from a recipe from 1796 and sip a cup of mulled cider, then step outside to take a horse-drawn wagon ride down the picturesque Old Main Street.
Family-Friendly Songs and Stories with Tim Van Egmond Saturday, December 1, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern.
Enjoy family-friendly songs and stories with Tim Van Egmond, a multi-talented storyteller, singer, and musician. Tim transports audiences to the wellspring of wisdom, humor, and inspiration found in multicultural tales and folk music. His performance will warm your heart in an uplifting experience of enjoyment and enchantment.
Mr. Potter’s 19th Century Magic Show Thursday, December 6, Performances: 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. Deerfield Community Center. Tickets: $10
In Mr. Potter’s 19th Century Magic Show, Robert Olson will recreate the magic of 19th century magician Richard Potter in an engaging performance at the Deerfield Community Center, 16 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA. Olson uses recreated and original props, 19th century costume, and the early language that appeared in the magic books of Potter’s time to transport the audience for an evening of magic and fun. Potter first performed on his own in 1810, at the Columbian Museum in Boston. Advertised as “An Evening’s Brush to Sweep Away Care, or a Medley to Please,” the show consisted of magic with cards and coins, ribbons and boxes, and a variety of other tricks of magic from over 150 years ago.
Olson, from Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, has spent the past 40 years studying and recreating Potter’s magic. “It began as a hobby with a Mysto Magic Set I received as a Christmas present when I was eight years old.” Olson said. “The history part came later. I began to read the 18th and 19th century magic books, the broadsides and advertisements that Potter put out; the diaries and letters from people who actually saw Potter perform. It was like he was whispering in my ear. He was the first truly successful magician born in America.”
Tickets are available for both performances and cost $10. Tickets may be purchased online at historic-deerfield.org.
Programs and Activities
Visitors are invited to experience a cozy winter day in the tradition of early New Englanders who used indoor time to socialize, play games, and do handwork. Try carding wool, play a game of checkers, or dress up and play in our pretend kitchen, parlor, and tent. Curl up on the sofa and read a book. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Fun for the young and young at heart!
Cozy Winter Weekends Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., History Workshop Building
Horse-drawn Wagon Rides December 1, 2, 8, 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern. The beautiful horses will greet you at the Visitor Center, and provide a lovely tour down our historic street. *weather permitting
Gift Making Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., History Workshop Building. Make progress on your gift list by making a special gift by hand. Visitors may choose to make one of two simple hand-crafted gifts.
Tavern Games Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern. Sit down and enjoy a game of checkers, fox and geese or merelles. Try your hand at table top nine pins, Jacob’s ladder, and ball and cup.
Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Mix Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16, 10 a.m. -4:30 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern.
The Aztecs were the first to make hot chocolate by mixing cacao with water and flavoring it with chili, honey, and spices. Europeans adapted their recipe by adding sugar and milk. Make your own hot chocolate mix to take home that is inspired by a colonial chocolate recipe.
Sugar and Spice: Holiday Baking December 2, 8-9, 15-16, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern Kitchen
Traditional holiday treats have their origins in rarity. Though today it is easy enough to go to the store for chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, ginger or sugar, in the past such ingredients were the expensive results of trans-oceanic trade. The use of these ingredients during holiday times signified a willingness to splurge in honor of the occasion. Join our Hearth Cooks as they explore the sugar and spice that make the holidays nice.
Saturday, December 8 Letterpress Printing: Holiday Cards with Carl Darrow
Free Admission Holiday Gift Day December 9, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Bring an unwrapped toy donation for the Community Action Family Center and receive free museum admission for the day. (One admission per one toy donation.)
Visitors are encouraged to stop by the History Workshop for the Cozy Winter Weekends program (Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16), where they are invited to experience a cozy winter day in the tradition of early New Englanders who used indoor time to socialize, play games, and do handwork. Try carding wool, play a game of checkers, or dress up and play in our pretend kitchen, parlor, and tent. Curl up on the sofa and read a book. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Fun for the young and young at heart!
From November 23 – December 9, the museum will serve as a collection site for donations of gifts for Community Action’s Family Center. Community Action is an anti-poverty agency serving families in Franklin County and beyond and operates a Family Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts. This year, Historic Deerfield will support the Family Center by collecting donations of gifts for children up to 18 years of age to be distributed to families during the holidays. We are asking our friends and visitors to deliver gifts to our museum between Friday, November 23 and Sunday, December 9. Gifts may be dropped off at the museum anytime during open hours, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Gifts should be unwrapped. Gifts can include toys, gift cards, and even helpful items like gift wrap and tape. The Family Center serves adolescents and teens in addition to younger children, so please help us provide gifts for this age group too. On Sunday, December 9, Historic Deerfield will accept a gift donation in lieu of museum admission.
Historic Deerfield Now Accepting Applications for 2019 Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program in Early American History and Material Culture
Historic Deerfield, Inc., invites applications from college juniors and seniors to take part in an intensive, nine-week Summer Fellowship Program in History and Material Culture. College juniors (graduating in 2020), and seniors who expect to graduate in 2019 are eligible for 7 openings in the program, which is designed for undergraduate students in American Studies, Architecture, Archaeology, Art and Art History, Design, History, Material Culture, Preservation and Museum Studies.
This unique residential living-and-learning opportunity takes place at Historic Deerfield, in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Each participant receives a full fellowship that covers all expenses associated with the program, including tuition, room and board, and field trips. A limited number of stipends are awarded to students with demonstrated need to help cover lost summer income. Financial aid awards are need blind and application for assistance has no impact on the program application.
The 2019 program begins June 10 and ends August 12. Applications are now being accepted online at www.historic-deerfield.org/sfp. The application deadline is February 8, 2019. Notification of acceptances will be announced in March.
For More Information:
Contact: Barbara A. Mathews, Public Historian and Director of Academic Programs
Phone: (413) 775-7207