Let There Be Lights

Nostalgia and gingerbread reign during Cape May’s Annual Christmas candlelight tour of Victorian homes.

Yes, it’s known as a charming seaside community with fabulous beaches, great shopping and dozens of historic Victorian homes, but—surprise!—December, not August, may be the best month to visit Cape May. Decked out in all its glory this December, Cape May is marking its 38th year presenting the Christmas Candlelight House Tour. It’s a self-guided stroll that meanders through about 12 homes, inns, hotels and churches decorated for the holidays. Nearly 5,000 visitors take the house tour each year, says Susan Krysiak of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities, the sponsor of the event. During the festivities, innkeepers—some dressed in Victorian-era clothing—proudly show off their historic dwellings. Along the way, there is caroling, strolling musicians, and plenty of old-fashioned holiday cheer.

Hospitality centers throughout town offer warm beverages and traditional treats. The event is scheduled for three Saturdays, December 3, 10 and 17. While the tour is easily walkable, a heated trolley runs the course from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 3 through 12. Advance reservations are recommended; only 1,700 tickets are available each Saturday. Call 800-275-4278 for more information.

Cape May Calling
Cape May and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities offer a full slate of festive activities during the holiday season. Highlights include Victorian-era ghost-story trolley rides; wine tastings and cellar tours; chefs’ dine-around specials; and theater, including a local production of Christmas Presents from the Past and a special stage adaptation of the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life. On December 3 and 10, there’s also a family-friendly breakfast with Santa.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities is a multifaceted, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region. For a complete schedule of events, check out MAC’s website: capemaymac.org.

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