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This holiday season, Historic Deerfield brings the excitement of a 19th-century winter ball to the village with the introduction of a new, interactive evening tour, "Getting Ready for a Winter's Ball."  On this special illuminated evening tour, participants will visit with the 19th-century residents of Deerfield as they get ready for a ball. Along the way they will encounter a variety of scenes capturing the spirit of the evening.  Visitors will step inside the Hall Tavern kitchen and see the food being prepared, listen to musicians rehearse in the ballroom, meet an anxious mother sending her daughter off to the ball, and learn about a romantic intrigue that's got the village residents talking. The tour concludes with samples of roasted chestnuts and other refreshments.
 
The tours will be held on Friday, December 2 and Friday, December 9 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The tours will leave every half hour and will last for 45 minutes. Admission for the tour is $20 per person, and is limited to 10 people per tour.  Advance registration is required and is available online at historic-deerfield.org.
 
In addition to the new evening tours, Historic Deerfield continues its tradition of celebrating the holiday season with programs and events for the whole family.
 
From November 25 - December 11, 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 25 and Sunday, December 11. Gifts may be dropped off at the museum anytime during open hours, 9:30 p.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 11, Historic Deerfield will accept a gift donation in lieu of museum admission.
 
The holiday spirit continues December 3-18, when visitors can join Historic Deerfield hearth cooks, guides and educators each weekend in a month-long series of traditional festive activities. The fun begins with the 4th Annual King Arthur Flour/Historic Deerfield Holiday Cookie Baking Contest, on Saturday, December 3. King Arthur Flour and Historic Deerfield are looking for the best holiday cookie recipe. This year the contest introduces new categories: "Raise the Bar," "Gingerbread," and "Cookie Cutter." Five finalists will be chosen in each category to compete for first place and the overall grand prize.  For complete contest details and entry information, visit historic-deerfield.org/recipecontest. The deadline for entries is Monday, November 7.
 
The complete schedule of events for November and December follows below. Please visit historic-deerfield.org for the most up-to-date information.
 
Programs and Events at Historic Deerfield, November and December 2016
Unless otherwise noted, all programs are included with general admission to the museum.
 
Special Events
 
Day of Giving
Friday, November 25
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Opt-out of Black Friday chaos, and instead let Historic Deerfield be your destination for handmade, heartfelt giving in preparation for the holiday season. On the Day of Giving, every museum visitor will have the opportunity to handcraft a special gift using simple or natural materials. The Day of Giving also kicks off our gift drive to support the Community Action Family Center. Bring an unwrapped gift to help support the Family Center's holiday season.
 
17th Century Life
Saturday, November 26                           
10 a.m.-4 p.m., drop in anytime, Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
Meet the Society of the 17th Century, a group of re-enactors who will bring our historic Hall Tavern building to life with an incredible array of period arts, crafts and trades. Also enjoy open hearth cooking demonstrations, and make a handmade gift with the help of a museum educator.
 
Wreath Making
November 28, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Deerfield Community Center
November 29, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., Deerfield Community Center
Help create beautiful natural wreaths to decorate the doorways of Deerfield. Bring your creativity, enthusiasm, and an extra pair of pruning shears. No experience required. Supplies and refreshments will be provided. A second workshop will be offered on November 29, from 2-5 p.m. Free, pre-registration required. Call 413-775-7179, visit historic-deerfield.org, or email jorvis@historic-deerfield.org to register.
 
Getting Ready for a Winter's Ball: Special Evening Tour
December 2,  5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
December 9,   5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tours leave every half hour and last for 45 minutes.  $20 per person, advance registration required.
It's the night of a winter's ball in Deerfield and the village is abuzz with excitement. On this special illuminated outdoor evening tour, you'll visit with the 19th-century residents of Deerfield as they get ready for the ball. Along the way you'll encounter a variety of scenes capturing the spirit of the evening.  Step inside the Hall Tavern kitchen and see the food being prepared, listen to the musicians rehearse in the ballroom, meet an anxious mother sending her daughter off to the ball, and learn about a romantic intrigue that's got the village residents talking. The tour concludes with samples of roasted chestnuts and other refreshments. Register in advance online at historic-deerfield.org.
 
Holiday Baking Day
Saturday, December 3
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
Calling all bakers...and baked goods lovers! Historic Deerfield kicks off its celebration of the holiday season with Holiday Baking Day. The day will be filled with the delightful aroma of baked goods from demonstrations and entries into the King Arthur Flour/Historic Deerfield Holiday Cookie Baking Contest.
Demonstrations:
Fruitcake: How a Much-maligned Baked Good Taught Me About My Heritage: Chef demonstration by DeDe Wilson, founder of Bakepedia.com, and noted cookbook author and baking expert, will divulge her secret love affair with fruitcake.
Wedding Cake: Historic Deerfield's Open Hearth Cooks will also be making wedding cake, which in early New England was a spicy cake with dried fruits and nut - what we call fruitcake today!    Learn about the history behind this delicious holiday treat.
The First "Christmas Cookey": Amelia Simmons is credited with writing the first American cookbook. Our hearth cooks will be using her cookbook and baking her recipe for "Christmas Cookey."
 
Horse-drawn Wagon Rides
December 3, 4, 10, 11  
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
The beautiful horses of Karas Farm will greet you at the Visitor Center, and provide a lovely tour down our historic street. *weather permitting
 
Gift Making
Saturdays and Sundays, December 3-18
12 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
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 3-18
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 3-18
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.
 
Community Action Family Center Holiday Gift Day
December 11, 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.)
 
 
Demonstrations
 
Open Hearth Cooking: Apples
November 5, 12, 19, 25, 26
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Some home lots on The Street in Deerfield included an orchard. Families relied on a seasonal harvest of the fruit to provide cider, a staple beverage. Apples were eaten fresh, and were also dried to be used later. Hearth cooks will prepare a variety of familiar and creative apple dishes from early recipes. 
 
Sugar and Spice: Holiday Baking
Saturdays and Sundays, December 3-18
10 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.
 
Historic Trades Demonstrations
Visitors will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close with our Historic Trade demonstrations.
 
Friday, November 25
Paper Marbling with Regina and Dan St. John
Redware Pottery with Stephen Earp
 
Saturday, December 10
Letterpress Printing: Holiday Cards with Carl Darrow
 
About Historic Deerfield, Inc.
Historic Deerfield, Inc., is dedicated to the heritage and preservation of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the Connecticut River Valley. Its museums and programs provide today's audiences with experiences that create an understanding and appreciation of New England's historic villages and countryside.
 
Admission is $14 for adults (18+), $5 for children (6-17), free for children under 6, members and Deerfield/South Deerfield residents. For more information, please call (413) 775-7214 or visit historic-deerfield.org.

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