This Stunning Christmas Tree Tour At A Historical Minnesota Mansion Is Unforgettable
For many, Christmas is the most magical time of year. A blanket of early-season snow, twinkling lights adorning homes and businesses, and the general spirit and cheer of the season make Christmastime like none other.
This is no more evident than in the "Christmas City" of Duluth, Minnesota. Home to the annual Christmas City of the North Parade, the famous Bentleyville Tour of Lights, and even a charming recently-filmed Christmas movie called 'Merry Kiss Cam', Duluth is definitely on the radar for many across the region during the holiday season.
While Bentleyville and the Christmas City parade get most of the headlines, there's another can't-miss Christmas destination in Duluth that you need to add to your holiday plans - and it is worth a trip to Duluth to visit all on its own.
This particular holiday attraction will have you feeling like you stepped into a classic Christmas painting, with unique and historical beauty around every corner.
What is this other Christmas destination? it is none other than the historic Glensheen Mansion, located right on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth!
For the past few years, this historic estate has been setting up a series of Christmas trees around the mansion, creating a warm and enchanting series of tour options through the building and around the 12-acre grounds that are guaranteed to dazzle visitors of all ages.
Last year, the mansion refreshed its decorations, making this year's experience a new one for everyone, including those who have been there many times before.
The first of the tour options offered is the "Classic Christmas Tour", which gives you the opportunity to explore the grounds at your own pace on a self-guided tour around the mansion and outside, around the grounds at Glensheen.
This classic tour gives you access to all of Glensheen's most famous rooms on the lower, first, and second floors of the building, along with a chance to explore the outdoor estate grounds.
When you enter, you're greeted by a friendly member of the Glensheen staff and a stunning 18-foot-tall Christmas tree in the main entry, near the main stairwell of the building.
The tree, which is covered in dazzling lights, vibrant red decorations, and surrounded by the main staircase, not only sets the tone for your visit - but is also an incredible photo opportunity.
The tour features 27 fully-decorated trees, each with its own theme designed to fit the space in which it resides.
Along the tour, there are also a series of sneaky elves, all hidden throughout the mansion. Finding each of the 25 hidden elves around the building adds another element of fun in the form of a scavenger hunt fit for all ages.
You never know where you might find one, so be sure to look around each room before you move on to the next!
The classic tour, like the rest of Glenshen's Christmas tours, is self-guided; which means you can explore and enjoy every detail at your own pace. If you're wondering how long to plan for their classic tour, the team at Glensheen says you should plan on about an hour for the tour.
Another tour option is the evening candlelight tours, which come in their classic and full-mansion versions. During these tours, you'll find yourself even more immersed in the glow of the Christmas tree lights after the sun goes down. This would make for a cute holiday date night idea!
The classic tour allows you to explore the lower level, first, and second floors of the mansion, while the full mansion candlelight tour gives you access to the upper levels, too!
Similar to the normal classic tour, the estimated time to enjoy the candlelight tour is about an hour.
If you want the ultimate Glensheen Christmas experience, the "Full Mansion Christmas Tour" is the one for you. On this tour, you can explore all five floors of the mansion, including the previously-closed third floor and attic, along with the outdoor displays around the grounds.
Besides self-guided access to all five floors of the mansion, there are some extras you get for taking part in the full tour.
As you might expect, the full mansion tour does take a little longer. You should plan on about an hour and a half for this tour.
The photos above give just a taste of how magical this experience is! Make a point to check it out. For 2023, holiday tours begin on November 17, and run through January 7, 2024. Do note that certain tours are not available every day. You can see more details on the Glensheen website.
If holiday light displays are your thing, be sure to check out this brand-new light display, calling itself the biggest of its kind in Northern Minnesota! We also have a list of some other great attractions you don't want to miss this season below.
Must-See Walk-Through + Drive-Through Holiday Light Displays In Minnesota + Wisconsin For 2023
Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper