Seven Queens landmarks will open their doors to the public during the Historic House Tours — rebranded as the Holly Tour — on Dec. 9 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with feature time-honored, family-friendly activities, live performances, history lesson and refreshments.
Most of the participating sites — Louis Armstrong House Museum; Bowne House; Flushing Town Hall; Quaker Meeting House; Kingsland Homestead; Lewis H. Latimer House Museum; and Voelker Orth House — will be decorated as they were during their first holiday seasons.
Tickets are $15 in advance, but $20 at the door. Children under age 12 can attend for $5. At 5 p.m., visitors have the option to attend a performance at the end of the event, located at Friends Meeting House. One ticket is good for all the sites.
The Louis Armstrong Museum — located at 34-56 107th St. in Corona — will present “Holidays around the World,” which will highlight Louis and his wife’s travels during the holiday seasons and intimate relationships with friends of the Jewish faith. Visitors will hear rare audio clips from Satchmo’s personal recordings and the trumpeter’s voice reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and other seasonal recordings.
The Bowne House — located at 37-01 Bowne St. in Flushing — built by English-born religious freedom advocate John Bowne, will present an exhibition on the history of Christmas, highlighting “home for the holidays.” It will also offer live demonstrations of food preservation and quilting in the kitchen area. Bowne personnel will also unveil the new “Legends and Lore of the Bowne House” display and insert noted family legends throughout the tour.
Flushing Town Hall — located at 137- 35 Northern Blvd. — a dynamic cultural venue presenting “Global Arts for a Global Community,” will have a concert, “From Ecuador to the World,” featuring maestro Manuel Campos and the Ecuadorian youth orchestra Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil de la Prefectura del Guayas at 2 p.m.
Over at the Kingsland Homestead — located at 143-35 37th Ave. — a poetry exhibition, Victorian-era period room, a musical interlude, and winter-themed refreshments will await visitors.
The Kingsland Homestead was built between 1774 and 1785 and is one of the earliest surviving examples of houses common throughout Long Island, specifically Queens, in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The estate became Kingsland Homestead when prominent Quaker and British sea captain — Joseph King, bought the house in 1801.
Visitors can learn about African American inventor Lewis Latimer — a poet, painter, musician, and developer of the telephone and incandescent light bulb — at The Lewis Latimer House Museum — located at 34-41 137th St.
Lastly, visitors can enjoy a seasonal installation of miniatures and peruse a gift-and-plant sale at Voelker Orth House — located at 149-19 38th Ave. — that has provided shelter to three generations of a family with German roots.
Guests can enjoy a sing-along with David Caldwell and enjoy pfeffernusse (tiny spice cookies), other sweets, and hot mulled cider. Storybooks and coloring for youngsters will be included.