The 2016 Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes features five private homes, Trinity United Methodist Church, three historic sites and the History Center Museum. There are four Hospitality Sites, where tour goers can stop in for a free refreshment and restrooms. Dates for this year’s tour are November 25 & 26 and December 2 & 3. Hours for the tour are Fridays 5-9 and Saturdays 3-9. Tickets are on sale now at the Visitors Center, 601 W. First St., Madison Indiana and online at www.nightsbeforechristmas.com. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, through Nov. 11 and $20 after. Children’s tickets are $5 for children ages 5-12.
This year’s private homes include: the Spear Home, an 1870 double house or duplex with an interior layout in typical “shotgun style” and completely renovated in 2015; the Boyd Home, a Federal cottage-style 1860 home with tin walls & ceilings in the kitchen; the 1830s-1840s Federal-style Duckworth Home captures a laid-back atmosphere with tree ornaments collected from their travels; Irish immigrants first owned the 1848 Federal-style brick Tyree Home which took nearly 2 years renovate; the 1890 Davis Home is a two-story brick Victorian from 1890 with handmade quilts displayed throughout. All of the private homes on this year’s tour are located in Madison’s National Historic Landmark District.
Madison’s “crown jewel”, the Lanier Mansion will be featured as well as the Schofield House and the Jefferson County Historical Society’s History Center, which will display gingerbread houses made by area children. This year, Historic Madison, Inc. will showcase the Dr. William D. Hutchings’ Office & Museum, a first for the Christmas tour. Hospitality sites include Blush on Main, The Sweeter Life., River Terrace Health Campus and the Seifert Short Folk Art and Doll Museum.
Another popular feature of the tour is the Great Cookie Caper! This event is held at the Visitors Center, 601 W. First St., Madison Indiana. It features a wide selection (600+ dozen) of homemade cookies and sweet treats. Cookies and treats may be purchased by the box for $6 or $12 or 3 cookies for $1. This will be the 6th year for the Cookie Caper and each year the Christmas tour donates all proceeds to a local charitable organization. This year’s sales will benefit the Sunshine Fund for Huntington’s Disease. Since its inception, the Cookie Caper in conjunction with “Nights” has raised more than $10,000 for local charities. The hours for the Cookie Caper are 4-8pm on both Fridays and 2-8pm (while supplies last) on both Saturdays of the tour.