DEEP: The Connecticut DEP Announces Holiday Festivities at Two State Parks

November 18, 2009
The Connecticut DEP Announces Holiday Festivities at Two State Parks
Visit Gillette Castle and Osborne Homestead Museum for a brilliant holiday experience

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced special holiday season displays at Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam, and Osborne Homestead Museum, Derby.

Commissioner Amey Marrella said, "Gather together your family and friends and visit one of these beautifully decorated state park museums this holiday season. It’s become an annual tradition in Connecticut and one you don’t want to miss. Gillette Castle and Osborne Homestead Museum are special places all year round—but even more so during the holiday season."

Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam

November 28 – December 30

Come and enjoy the holiday decorations designed and created by local volunteers. William H. Gillette’s famous 24-room home, perched on the southernmost of seven hills on the east bank of the Connecticut River will be decorated in holiday finery for visitors to enjoy during the festive season ahead.

The Castle will be open for the holidays from November 28 through December 20, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Three Friday evening showings will take place from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on December 4, 11, and 18.

The Castle will be closed December 25, 26, and 27. It will re-open during school vacation week on Monday, December 28 through Wednesday, December 30 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. There will be special programs designed for children.

Admission is $10.00 for adults and children 13 and over, $4 for children ages 6-12, and FREE for children ages 5 and under.

Osborne Homestead Museum, Derby

November 27 – December 20

Visit the rooms of the Osborne Homestead Museum decorated in the holiday spirit to the theme of "The Wonders of Nature." Experience rooms festooned with pinecones, stars, birds, greens and icicles as you learn about conservation history in Connecticut. Enjoy the sights and sounds of a traditional holiday celebration during a special guided tour. Admission is FREE, donations are accepted.

"The Wonders of Nature" exhibit will be open from November 27 through December 20, Thursday - Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Museum docents will provide a special holiday guided tour. On the Friday evenings of December 4, 11, and 18 the museum will present "Twilight Tours," highlighting the special glow of the decorations in the evening hours, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Group tours for adults and youth programs are available during the weekdays; please call (203) 734-2513 if you wish to schedule a group of 8 visitors or more and for more information.

As they have done for more than twenty years, volunteers create the beautiful holiday decorations. Talented, committed volunteers represent the Ansonia Garden Club, the Olde Ripton Garden Club of Shelton, the Oxford Garden Club, the Naugatuck Garden Club, the Roxbury/Bridgewater Garden Club, the Derby Garden Society, the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club of Southbury and friends of the museum.

The museum was the home of Frances Osborne Kellogg, who lived in the house her entire life, from 1876 to 1956. "Mrs. Kellogg was a leading conservationist in this state as well as a passionate gardener and farmer," said Christiana Jones, museum curator, "She would have greatly enjoyed how the decorations this year celebrate the beauty of nature."