ETC: Holidays at the Manor House return December 3-11

Press Staff Writer

         The 47th annual Holidays at the Manor House returns to Wildwood Preserve Metropark Saturday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 11, with free tours of more than 30 holiday displays created by volunteers. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
        Wildwood is at 5100 W. Central Avenue, Toledo. The Manor House is at the main entrance, with the traffic light.
        Restrictions implemented the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic have been removed. Last year, in-person tours returned, with reservations to limit the number of people in the house at a  time. This year, tours will be open house style on a first come basis, as in previous years.
        For over 45 years, community volunteers have decorated the 30,000-squre-foot mansion for the holiday season, and no two years have been the same.
        “Everything is new every year, but what hasn’t changed in more than four decades is the primary purpose of Holidays at the Manor House – It is a holiday season thank-you to the community for its support of Metroparks,” said Dave Zenk, executive director of Metroparks Toledo. “The event started as a way to show gratitude for the passage of a levy in the 1970s that allowed the park district to acquire the land that is now Wildwood, and has become a Toledo area tradition.”
         Also returning this year:
        • The s’mores tent, where visitors can make a sweet treat over an open fire.
        • Carriage rides, pulled by the team of Molly and Sally, the mules from the Canal Experience at Providence   Metropark. Tickets for the rides are available at
        The Wildwood Manor House placed second to Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion in Memphis in a 2019 USA TODAY Best Holiday Historic Home Tour contest. The house is again one of 20 finalists in the 10Best Readers’   Choice travel award contest, as it has been each of the last four years.
        Wildwood Preserve, the former estate of Robert and Page Stranahan, is the most popular of the 19 Metroparks, with nearly 2 million visits annually. The Manor House, formerly the Stranahan family home built in the 1930s, is open for tours at varying times throughout the year and is the venue for numerous public and private events.
Tree lighting ceremony
        A tree lighting ill be held Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. in front of the Northwood Municipal Building, 6000 Wales Rd.
        The celebration will include a performance by the Northwood Choir, as well as cookies and cocoa with Santa in the Josie Reinhart Community Room following the tree lighting.
Olde Fashioned Christmas
        Oak Harbor’s Olde Fashioned Christmas will be held Saturday, Dec. 3 from 4-7 p.m. in the village’s downtown.
        Highlights of the event include:
        • Fire truck parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus, 4 p.m.
        • Santa will light the Village Christmas Tree – Log Cabin, 5 p.m.
        • Secret Santa Shopping, downtown businesses, 5-7 p.m.
        • Cookies & Cocoa, Portage Fire Station, 5-7 p.m.
        • Visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus, Log Cabin, 5-7 p.m.
        In addition, there will be a “Stuff Our Shuttle” event in conjunction with Swig Ohio Shuttles. Donations of new toys and non-perishable food items will be accepted from 5-7 p.m. Donations will be presented for local families.
Lights of Spiegel Grove
        Get into the holiday spirit by seeing Spiegel Grove light up for Christmas with more festive lights added to the grounds this year during Lights of Spiegel Grove on Thursday, Dec. 8.
        This event is from 6-8 p.m. at Spiegel Grove, the grounds of the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, located at the corner of Hayes and Buckland, Fremont. Admission is free.
        Sip warming hot chocolate and snack on popcorn by the campfire. See the “Hayes Train Special” model train display in the museum, and visit with Kris Kringle, as Santa was called during the Victorian era.
        The large Christmas tree in the museum rotunda, as well as the rest of the lights around the Grove, will be turned on at 6:15 p.m. Participants will be able to see the museum tree lighting from the outside of the museum on the side of the building with the columns where the original entrance to the museum is located.
        South Creek Clydesdales will offer sleigh rides throughout the event. Tickets for the sleigh ride are $5.50 per rider ages 3 and older and free for ages 2 and younger. Tickets are available online at
        Christmas - themed tours of the first floor of the Hayes Home also will be offered during this event. They will last a half hour. The first tour is at 5:30 p.m., and the last tour is at 7:30 p.m.
        Tickets for Hayes Presidential members are $8 for adults 19 and older, $6 for ages 6-18 and free for ages 5 and younger. Non-member tickets are $10 for adults 19 and older, $8 for ages 6-18 and free for ages 5 and younger.
        Tickets are available at They will also be sold the day of the event, pending availability.
        For information, call 419-332-2081or visit
Cookies with Santa
        The Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce, with Maumee Bay Lodge & Mercy Health – St. Charles Hospital, will present Cookies with Santa, Dec. 9 and 10 from 4-7 p.m. at Maumee Bay Lodge, 1750 State Park Rd. #2, Oregon.
        Bring the little ones to visit Santa and enjoy cookies, too. A professional photographer will be on site for photos (no charge). Kids will be able to visit hot cocoa and letter-writing stations.
        Monetary or toy donations will be accepted and appreciated and will go back into the community to benefit local children.
Open Market planned
        Twenty-five crafters and vendors will be on hand at an Open Market Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Walbridge VFW, located at 109 N. Main St.
        The event planner, Richard Jensen, is ending his career and there are no future plans for more Open Market events.
        The Open Market has hosted shows for the past eight years in and around Walbridge. This last event will feature local crafters who will have crafts and products on sale to assist with the community's Christmas gift giving needs.
        Admission is free and open to the public.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Run and Walk planned
        The Ugly Christmas Sweater Walk and Run – a holiday tradition in Gibsonburg – will step off at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.
        The 5K (3.1 Mile) run and walk will start and finish at Gibsonburg Town Hall on N. Webster Street in Gibsonburg. As in years past, entry fee for the event will be a new, unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item(s).
        Toys collected will be distributed to children in the community by the Gibsonburg Ministerial Association and Gibsonburg School District. Donated food items will go to the Gibsonburg Food Pantry.
        Special awards will be presented to the adult male and female and youth boy and girl with the “Ugliest” Christmas sweaters.
        For more information or to obtain an entry form, call 419- 637-2634 or email
Sounds of the Season
        The University of Toledo Chamber Singers will present “Sounds of the Season,” Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 448 Rice St., Elmore.
        Donations to the choir are welcome.
Andy’s Army presents Pictures with Santa
        Andy’s Army Canine Cancer Project will present Pictures with Santa Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Gladieux Home Center, 5120 Navarre Ave., Oregon.
        Kids, pets and families are welcome to sit with Santa for a picture. Appointments are not required. The cost is $10 for a printed 4” x 6” color photo. There will also be a bake sale.
        All proceeds raised at the event will benefit canine cancer research.
“A German Christmas”
        The community is invited to “A German Christmas” presented by the Teutonia Chor, Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd., Oregon.
        Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 (children under 12 free) and are available in advance or at the door. A la carte food will be available for purchase.
        Call 419-290-3229 for tickets.
Photos with Santa
        Area families are invited to take pictures with Santa Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1-4 p.m. at the Genoa American Legion Hall, 302 West St. (Bring your own camera).
        Children of all ages and pets are welcome to visit with Santa. Refreshments will be available.
        The Genoa American Legion and Auxiliary are hosting the free event.         
Rock & Awe
         Enjoy a free holiday light show featuring more than 17,000 lights synchronized to music nightly through New Year’s Day at the Sandusky County Courthouse, 100 North Park Ave., Fremont.
        The Rock and Awe Holiday Light Show runs Sundays through Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 6-11 p.m.
        The Rock and Awe Holiday Light show is sponsored by Croghan Colonial Bank, the Sandusky County Commissioners and the Sandusky County Communities Foundation, in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County and The Sandusky County Visitors Bureau.  
        For more information, visit
Disney’s “The Lion King” returns to the Stranahan
        Disney Theatrical Productions and The American Theatre Guild announced ticket sales for the long-awaited return engagement of Disney’s “The Lion King,” which will leap onto the Stranahan Theater stage on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 for a limited three-week engagement.
        Tickets are available at and, by calling 419-381-8851 or  in person at the Stranahan Theater box office. Group ticket savings for 10+ are available by contacting
        For more than 20 years, the North American touring productions of “The Lion King” have been seen by over 21 million theatergoers.
        The Toledo engagement of Disney’s “The Lion King” is presented by arrangement with The American Theatre Guild and is a subscription offering of the 22–23 Broadway in Toledo Series.
Black Swamp Players present “Marjorie Prime”
        The Black Swamp Players will continue its 54th season with Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer-nominated play, “Marjorie Prime,” Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4 and 11 at 2 p.m. at the Players’ newly renovated performance venue, located at 115 E. Oak St., Bowling Green.
        Marjorie Prime takes audiences into the not-too-distant future, in the time of artificial intelligence. In this artfully scripted play, Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits, if any, of what technology can replace.
        The production is being directed by Heath A. Diehl. Tickets are $20 for general admission seating and are available online at  or at the door.
Snowy Paws Day Program
        Looking for something fun for your kids to do over holiday break? The Toledo Humane Society is offering a four-day Snowy Paws Day Program for children ages 7-11 years old.
        The four-day program will be held Dec. 27-30 from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. In addition to making enrichment treats and blankets for the animals staying at the shelter this winter, children will enjoy animal-themed games and crafts, followed by a tour of the facility. There will also be plenty of TLC time with some of THS’s adoptable pets.
        Program participants will be required to pack a lunch and bring a drink each day.
        The cost is $150 per child. For more information about THS or the Snowy Paws Day Program, call Jackie Kinnee at 419-482-7106 or register online at
        A 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, THS is committed to the welfare of animals by providing temporary shelter and care while seeking permanent homes. Funds raised at events, along with donations also help the organization continue its mission of relieving the suffering of, preventing cruelty to and providing for the humane treatment of animals.
        The Toledo Humane Society is located at 827 Illinois Ave. Maumee. Hours are Monday-Friday 12-6 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 12-5 p.m.


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