Santa Claus. Yeah, we know him. He makes an annual appearance in stores and malls around world, and it’s a rare occasion that he gets to stay in one place for an extended period of time.
This Saturday, December 20, Santa will be spending the day at the historic Barnes-Hiscock Mansion in Syracuse. The mansion, located at 930 James Street and which dates back to 1853, has claimed a critical role in local and national history, serving as one of the stops for Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. From 10 AM to 8:30 PM, Santa is allowing children of all ages to come by and spend some time with him in three two-hour sessions.
From 10 AM to 12 PM, Breakfast with Santa will be held. To mirror his travels, the breakfast will be “continental.” Then, from 2 PM to 4 PM, Santa will be making an appearance and strolling around the mansion’s open house. He’ll be readily available to sit down, take Christmas wishes and present requests, and he’ll smile for pictures. Milk and cookies will be offered. To top the night off, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, Santa will be reading the holiday poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas while everyone enjoys more milk and cookies.
“We’re excited to host him,” Executive Director Kristin Earle told me. She was amazed that the jolly old soul could scheduled the visit. An expression of intimidation and excitement veiled her face. “The mansion looks beautiful. I’m sure everyone, including Santa, will love it.”
“The event is five days before Christmas,” Earle explained. “This is one of the most hectic times of the year. We wish to have people slow down a little bit and enjoy the season during the weekend. This is why the day is broken down into three shifts: to accommodate as many schedules as we can. The holiday season is full of magic, the history of the mansion and history has such an interesting appeal, and quality time with family is what we are aiming for.”
Byrne Dairy has donated the milk. Murphy’s Specialized Pastry is donating all of the assorted cookies. Brueger’s in Bayberry Plaza and Price Chopper on Erie Boulevard have contributed as well. The Covey Theatre Company and the Central Square Train Museum have contributed in aesthetic efforts to help the mansion come more alive. Harmony Katz will also be belting out carols during the day.
To help with the set up and housing, Santa is asking that the cost to enjoy the day be donated to the mansion’s care and restoration. “I have quite the long history, and I believe in the spirit of non-profits. They add to a community,” Santa wrote in a recent email.
Non-member pricing: $15 per child, $10 per each additional child, and $2 for adults. For members of the George and Rebecca Barnes Foundation: $10 per child, $5 per each additional child, and adults get in free.
930 James Street, Syracuse, NY
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