Heritage Hill and Hazelwood Historic House both have delightful Christmas events, but if you’ve already experienced them several times like we have, or you’re just up for something new. Charles A. Grignon Mansion in Kaukauna is just the thing. Sadly, they are finished giving Christmas tours for the year, but it’s never too early to start adding to next year’s list of field trips!
The historic home is normally closed this time of year, but they open it for special living-history type Christmas tours in December. The tour took us through several rooms of the house where young guides in character talked about holiday traditions the Grignon family might have enjoyed in the 1800’s.
The Blacksmith shop was open out back where they were demonstrating welding and even roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Guess which Christmas carol immediately got stuck in my head
I was pleased to hear about the Grignon family’s connection to Wisconsin Native Americans. It’s something that’s often glossed over at Wisconsin historical events. Charles, pictured above, was Menominee and French. He spoke French, Menominee, and English.
After the tour we headed to the basement for cookie decorating, making ornaments, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, and wassail. It was all included in admission, as was a trolley ride to see Kaukauna Christmas lights.
Afterwards, we walked across the street to see this ginormous wood cookie taken from a Douglas Fir. It was easily twice as tall as I am.
I’m looking forward to bringing my son next year. I’ll make sure to go a little later in the day so we can enjoy the trolley ride and Christmas lights! In the meantime, I’ll have to plan a summer visit to learn more about the Grignon family and its connections to fur trade. Last year they had a fur trade reenactment, a Native American dance performance, and a Civil War reenactment, so I’m sure we’ll have plenty to choose from.
What about you, have you been to Grignon Mansion before? Let me know how you liked it!