November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022

What better place to get into the true spirit of Christmas than Victorian Cape May? This seaside town is transformed into a Dickens village for the holidays with garlands of fragrant greens and twinkling gaslights. Wrap yourself in the warmth of holiday spirit and sample a variety of fun tours and events.

Featured Events

CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT HOUSE TOURS

The owner of the mission inn is leading a christmas candlelight house tour in her living room with a beautiful Christmas tree lit up behind her

Cape May’s Christmas Candlelight House Tours have been a beloved annual tradition for nearly half a century! Cape May MAC launched this tour in 1973 and ever since it has been a highlight of the Christmas season in Cape May, America’s only National Historic Landmark City. On three nights in December travel to homes, inns, B&Bs, churches and hotels, stepping across the thresholds to take in interiors beautifully decorated for the holidays. This self-guided tour is one of Cape May MAC’s largest fund-raisers. Maps are provided. Wristbands for ticket purchasers are provided in advance or at central locations at the start of the tour and must be presented at each participating location for entry. Tour is limited. Trolley shuttle travels on planned route with limited stops. Walking is encouraged. Advance purchase is highly recommended.

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VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT HOUSE TOUR

From the comfort of your home, experience Cape May’s Christmas Candlelight House Tour, a beloved annual tradition for nearly half a century, virtually! Watch this virtual tour with family and friends and bring a bit of Cape May at Christmas into your own home for years to come. Featured are 10 Cape May homes, B&Bs and inns decorated for the holidays including interviews with owners and innkeepers. Participating properties include: The John B. McCreary House (“The Abbey”), Angel of the Sea Bed & Breakfast, The Bedford Inn, The Cherry House, The Emlen Physick Estate, Franklin at 721, The Henry Sawyer Inn, The Mainstay Inn, The Mason Cottage and The Mission Inn.

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NEW! ALL THAT GLITTERS TROLLEY TOUR

Victorians ring in a new century!

The year is 1899.  A dear friend of the family has volunteered to help with the final preparations for the very important New Year’s Day Celebration.  She wants to consolidate a shopping trip for the necessities to avoid making numerous trips.  Join her as we travel through town making plans for this important endeavor.

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HOLIDAY TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY

cape may mac holiday preview weekend with 2 girls dressed as santa's elves

Kick-off the Holiday season!

November 20, 2021

Santa and his elves have decked out the Physick Estate with thousands of lights and holiday trimmings. Enjoy a free performance of holiday classics by the Atlantic Brass Band as we join Santa in lighting the tree!

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Holiday Tours & Events

SANTA’S TROLLEY RIDES

Mrs. Claus comes direct from the North Pole to lead this tour! She tells stories and leads holiday songs on this jolly holiday trolley ride through town. Santa joins the fun at the Gazebo on the grounds of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate. Begins and ends at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. (with free parking available).

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BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

santa saying high to a child an his family eating breakfast

Share a delicious breakfast with family and friends and welcome special guest Santa Claus, himself, as he visits Cape May’s Aleathea’s Restaurant, the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. in the weeks leading up to Christmas! He will meet and greet his fans and there will be time for children to visit with Santa, take photos, and share their wish lists with him. Event is limited. Advance purchase required.

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GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST TROLLEY TOURS

CAPE MAY TROLLEY TOUR AT CHRISTMAS WITH LIGHTS ON THE HOUSES

Listen to dramatic tales of Christmas woe featuring Victorian ghosts, told by a member of the East Lynne Theater Company, on this ride along the historic streets of Cape May. You’ll be happy you live now, not then. Begins and ends at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth and travels through Cape May’s historic district (except on Saturday of Holiday Preview Weekend when it leaves from the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St.)

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PHYSICK FAMILY CHRISTMAS HOUSE TOUR

The cape may Emlen physick estate victorian house museum dining room decorated for christmas

Take this guided living history tour of the magnificent 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, decorated in authentic Victorian style for Christmas. Your guide portrays a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s and shares stories and traditions. The tour also includes a visit to the Carroll Gallery to see “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit, a popular annual display featuring a huge Christmas tree, model trains, and an elaborate Dept. 56 Dickens village collection.

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NEW! ALL THAT GLITTERS COMBINATION TOUR

Victorians ring in a new century!

The year is 1899.  A dear friend of the family has volunteered to help with the final preparations for the very important New Year’s Day Celebration.  She wants to consolidate a shopping trip for the necessities to avoid making numerous trips.  Join her as we travel through town making plans for this important endeavor, and then we will go to the Physick Estate to meet the family as they prepare the house for the holidays.

Tour tickets for this tour are not available for online purchase. Click the link below to find out where to purchase tickets.

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EVENING YULETIDE HOUSE TOUR

Emlen Physick Estate christmas tee

Take this guided tour of the first-floor rooms of the 1879 Physick House Museum, authentically decorated for a Victorian Christmas. See and hear how the Physick family might have entertained friends and family and celebrated in traditional Victorian fashion during the holidays. Afterwards, visit the Carriage House and visit “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery and see this popular annual display featuring a huge Christmas tree, model trains, and an elaborate Dept 56 Dickens village collection.

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CHEERY CHERRY HOUSE TOUR

interior photo of the the cape may Cherry House private home decorated for christmas

Visit this beautiful private home built in 1849 in the Federal style, lavishly decorated for Christmas and learn about its history, furnishings, and more, with owners Beth and Frank Acker as your guides.

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HOLIDAY LIGHTS TROLLEY RIDES

Christmas Trolley Tour

Who can resist the twinkle of Cape May’s beautiful Victorian homes decorated for Christmas? This trolley ride through the historic streets of Cape May is a delight. Listen to Christmas music and enjoy hearing about the history of many of the Christmas traditions of today. Victorian Cape May is outstanding at Christmas and this is a ride to share with friends and family to revel in Cape May’s Christmas spirit. Trolleys are open-air. Blankets are recommended. Cape May MAC blankets are available for purchase at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth and the Physick Estate. Tour begins and ends at the trolley stop on Ocean Street.

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Accessible with advance notice.

THE UNEXPECTED GIFT

Clueless at the Physick Estate actors posing for a photo op inside the physick estate.
Join this family holiday celebration that seems completely ordinary, until it isn’t. The relatable cast of characters will have you laughing as you reminisce about all the best— and most challenging— parts of the holiday season. But don’t worry, in the end all will be merry and bright.
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HOLIDAY INNS TOUR

Emlen Physick Estate christmas tee

Get into the Christmas spirit as you tour three of Cape May’s festively decorated Bed & Breakfast Inns and private homes. Tour handout and map is available at the Washington St. Mall Information Booth or the Physick Estate.

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LAMPLIGHTER CHRISTMAS TOUR

Enjoy an evening tour of four of Cape May’s finest B&B inns and private homes, decorated for the holidays. Includes “An Old Fashioned Christmas” exhibit at the Physick Estate Carroll Gallery.

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HOLIDAY CRAFTS & COLLECTIBLES SHOW

SEA GLASS CRAFTS VENDOR BOOTH

This two day craft & collectibles show in Cape May Convention Hall is the perfect place to stock up on Christmas gifts for friends and family. Featuring a selection of local and regional vendors.

Free Experiences

a ton of christmas ornaments and dicken villages on display at the cape may mac An Old Fashioned Christmas Exhibit

“AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS” EXHIBIT

Emlen Physick Estate
1048 Washington St.

November 19 2021 – January 1, 2022

Enter a holiday wonderland and feel like a child again as you see our extensive Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection beneath the boughs of our giant Christmas tree. All this plus old family photos, trains and more. There’s even a place to drop off your letters to Santa! Located at the Carroll Gallery in the Carriage House.

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HOLIDAY LUNCH & LEARNS

Wednesday, Dec 15: 12pm

Shocking Secrets of Victorian Christmas presented by Elan Zingman-Leith.

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Emlen Physick Estate with a fresh coating of snow

WINTER WONDERWALK

November 19 2021 – January 1, 2022

The grounds of Cape May’s only Victorian House Museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., have been transformed for the holiday season. Winter Wonderwalk is an exciting new addition to the decorated estate. Walk the grounds and vote for your favorite fun & whimsical display of winters past.

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*Videos were filmed pre-Covid-19 pandemic.

Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit

Decorating the Physick House Museum