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Callaway home open for Christmas tours Saturday

The historic home of Fuller E. Callaway at Hills & Dales Estate will begin Christmas tours this Saturday. 

This is the 14th year the home has been open to the public and the public is invited to tour the home decked out with a circa 1940’s tinsel-laden tree, red Poinsettias and fresh holiday decorations and the visitor center with its elegantly decorated trees, poinsettia trees and garlands. 

Those who tour the house will be met with the fragrance of real Fraser fir decorations along with the scent and taste of fresh homemade teacakes made using Mrs. Callaway’s original recipe. Classic Christmas melodies like “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” will add to each visitor’s experience.  

“Guests appreciate our fresh decorations,” Horticulture Manager Jo Phillips said. “We don’t use artificial greenery, which creates a level of authenticity rarely seen today. The fresh wreaths and swags are purchased but the majority of our decorations and arrangements throughout the house are made with foliage, berries and botanicals collected from our own garden.” 

“One of the most popular decorations is the small cedar Christmas tree in the nursery,” Tour Coordinator Suellen Dolan said. “It reminds our visitors of the time when families went out and cut their own tree. Other favorites are the beautifully decorated gingerbread cookies hanging from the pot rack in the kitchen. The kitchen is the center of the home during the holidays.” 

Christmas tours will be given Saturday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 29. 

Another popular event at the estate will be the Children’s Christmas Celebration on Saturday from Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. During this free event children and grandchildren will enjoy decorating gingerbread houses at the visitor center. 

“The children love getting creative with all the different candies we have. It’s exciting to see how each house turns out so different and most importantly how proud each child is of their very own creation,” said Joanna Baxter, who oversees the event. “Every year, we create about 350 houses, and we usually run out, so make sure to come early.”  

In addition to decorating gingerbread houses and making ornaments, Santa will be on hand to greet youngsters from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.  At 11 a.m. Mama Jama will tell Christmas stories including Clement C. Moore’s classic “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” Mama Jama will be accompanied by Mason Gentry, who will host a holiday sing-a-long. Guests are encouraged to come early to enjoy the festivities along with cider and cookies.  

Hills & Dales Estate is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to  5 p.m.  Adult admission is $20 while students 7 and up are $8. 

Estate tours include museum exhibits along with a 14-minute orientation film in the visitor center. Guests are then provided a tram ride to the house and a guided tour of the 31-room Callaway home. After touring the home visitors enjoy a self-guided tour of the greenhouse and the five-acre formal boxwood gardens filled with a wide range of plants and garden ornaments. 

Discounts are offered to active military and groups of 12 or more and group guided garden tours can be arranged. The estate also offers an annual pass, educational programs, a unique gift shop and hosts special events throughout the year.  

For more information visit Hillsanddales.org, call (706) 882-3242 or visit the Hills & Dales Estate Facebook page. Address: 1916 Hills & Dales Drive, LaGrange, GA 30240.