Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington offers new ways for families to enjoy the season together during “Holidays at Hagley.”
From Dec. 7 through Jan. 6, there will be exhibits and programs which interpret the du Pont family holiday traditions of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Day and the celebration of Twelfth Night. The du Pont family’s first American residence, Eleutherian Mills, will be decorated to interpret the elegant traditions that the family brought with them from France to their new life on the Brandywine. On Twelfth Night, Jan. 6, Hagley will be open free to all visitors.
Families can explore Hagley’s 235-acre National Historic Landmark property using the new holiday-themed adventure backpacks. Holiday Activity Backpacks can be checked out and returned to Hagley’s visitor center. Each includes a map, activities to complete at different locations throughout the museum property, and a kid-friendly craft to try together. Activity Backpacks are included in the cost of admission, and are free for members and children 14 and younger.
At Hagley’s Family Caroling Workshop on Dec. 7 from 1 to 3 p.m., families can learn carols, make jingle bells and toy drums, and spread cheer by caroling throughout the property. Advance reservations are required. Call (302) 658-2400.
Children and adults can learn about the tradition and “Make Your Own New Year’s Day Calling Gift” every Saturday and Sunday in December at Hagley. Participate in the long-standing du Pont family tradition of presenting small, handcrafted gifts to loved ones, and also for children spending the season in the Nemours Children’s Hospital. The program is included in admission.
Families can also visit the du Pont Barn, the first structure built by the du Pont family at Hagley, and create their own New Year’s resolution ornaments to hang on Hagley’s resolution tree. Decorating begins Dec. 7 and runs through Jan. 6.
During the extended Twelfth Night celebration, Jan. 4 to 6, visitors can learn about King Cake traditions in Hagley’s Gibbons House, create a Twelfth Night crown in the Wheelwright Shop, and discover the tradition of wassailing with hot spiced cider and mini King Cakes at the Belin House Organic Café.
For more information, call 302-658-2400 weekdays or visit www.hagley.org.