History’s Hometown Holiday Traditions

Holiday Traditions Open House Returns to the City of Auburn this December
Citywide events celebrate the spirit of the season in History’s Hometown

The City of Auburn’s Historic and Cultural Sites Commission invites all to experience the beauty, history, and holiday magic of History’s Hometown this yuletide season. Held on the second Sunday in December, Holiday Traditions was created by the Seward House Museum more than three decades ago as a token of appreciation to the Auburn community. This free “open house” tradition will once again welcome the community to participating sites and special events on Sunday, December 10. New this year, eventgoers can take a free trolley from the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center to access all of this year’s events. From 12 to 4 PM, catch the trolley for a ride to Willard Chapel, Cayuga Museum, Schweinfurth Art Center, Equal Rights Heritage Center, and Ward O. Hara Agricultural Museum.


Artistic Impressions
17 Nelson Street

Open 11 AM to 3 PM – Free admission. Located inside the Willard Chapel, this retail boutique, studio, and gallery owned by local fine artist Sandra Shutter is hosting a Customer Gratitude Weekend. Shop one-of-a-kind artisan gifts, plus receive 20% off all holiday greeting cards. There will be a complimentary kids’ craft activity table, and enjoy the free tours of the historic Chapel. sandrashutterfineartanddesign.com


Auburn Public Theater
8 Exchange Street

2 PM –
Admission fee. Auburn Players Community Theatre will present Scrooge the Musical, a timeless musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, onstage at Auburn Public Theater. This 2 PM show is a ticketed event; $20 general admission, $15 for seniors/students. Purchase tickets at auburnplayers.org
(315) 253-6669; auburnpublictheater.org


Cayuga Museum of History and Art
203 Genesee Street

Open Noon to 4 PM – Free admission. Join the staff of the Cayuga Museum of History and Art for this festive tradition. Guests will be invited to enjoy live music from members of the Wada Music School at 1 PM, refreshments, a special activity for young family members in the Creative Explorers Children’s Gallery, and will have the opportunity to explore the Museum bedecked with yuletide cheer. Parking is available in front of and behind the Museum.
(315) 253-8051; cayugamuseum.org


Harriet Tubman Memorial AME Zion Church
90 Franklin Street

4 PM – Free admission. Rev. Paris V. Price invites the community to join the Harriet Tubman Memorial AME Zion Church for a special Advent Concert: Emmanuel–God is with Us featuring Voices of Faith and organist Mary Jo Granger. The Church will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items. This historic congregation is the home church of Harriet Tubman. Limited parking is available onsite.
(315) 252-2000; harriettubmanmemorialamez.org



128 Genesee Street
Suite 100
Open 2 to 6 PM Free admission. Meet at Melody’s for a Holiday Pop Up Shop featuring more than 15 local women-owned businesses. Vendors joining this year’s pop-up event are delivering Black Woman Magic, Brown Girl Gifting, and Women-Empowered, including Jsy’Neem & Things, Barbara Jeans Body & Hair Butter, T3 Beauty Supply, Divine Coverings, Beonca’s Journal Devotional, Just a POUND Cake!, and more.
(315) 370-9227; melodys-cny.com


NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center
25 South Street

Open Noon to 4 PM – Free admission. The NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center will host a hands-on creative cookie decorating activity featuring Simply Delicious cookie kits complete with a cookie, sprinkles, and icing. The Taste NY Market will also have DIY cookie decorating sets, chili, and mac ‘n cheese for sale, plus shop for holiday gifts made in New York State. Parking is available on site and in the adjacent parking garage. Catch the trolley from the Heritage Center to participating Holiday Traditions sites.
(315) 258-9820; visitauburnny.com


Schweinfurth Art Center
205 Genesee Street

Open Noon to 5 PM  – Free admission. Enjoy a performance by MasterWorks Chorale at 12 PM and 1 PM. Visitors can also view two exhibitions for free, the 42nd annual Quilts=Art=Quilts 2023 and Off Script and Unexpected by artist Lee Hoag. Masks are recommended. Parking is available in front of and behind the Art Center.
(315) 255-1553; myartcenter.org


Seward House Museum
33 South Street

Open Noon to 4 PM Free admission. Harkening back to a Victorian Christmas, the community is invited to experience the majestic Seward House Museum decked in holiday finery. Museum staff and volunteers spread cheer by regaling visitors with stories of past Seward family Christmases during this community open house. Parking is available in the Lincoln Street parking garage. (315) 252-1283; sewardhouse.org


St. Francis of Assisi Church
303 Clark Street

5 PM – Free admission. The longest-running Central New York band dating back to the 1950s, the Stardusters All-Star Band, will play Harriet Tubman tributes, Gospels, and Christmas classics at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Refreshments will be served after the performance in Nacca Hall. Band members include Julie Howard (vocals), Bernie McNabb (vocals), John Bertonica (drums), Joe Camardo, Jr. (saxophone), and John Baccoli (bass). (315) 252-7593; stmaryauburn.org 


Ward W. O’Hara Agricultural Museum
6880 E Lake Road Rt. 38A

Open 10 AM to 4 PM – Free admission. The Ward W. O’Hara Agricultural Museum will be decorated for an old-fashioned Christmas. View more than 140 trees for the Museum’s annual Festival of Trees and pick a winning favorite. There will be horse-drawn wagon rides, Model T rides, refreshments, musical entertainment, and kid-friendly activities. Santa Claus arrives at noon by carriage and will visit with children until 3:30 PM. Parking is available onsite.
(315) 252-7644; wardwoharaagriculturalmuseum.org


Willard Memorial Chapel
17 Nelson Street

Open Noon to 4 PM – Free admission. Join Captain Nick Klaus at the Willard Memorial Chapel for a reading of A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas at 1 PM, sponsored by Literacy Volunteers of America. And at 2 PM singalong to favorite Christmas carols and enjoy complimentary seasonal snacks and treats, plus free self-guided tours of the Tiffany Treasure of the Finger Lakes. Parking is available onsite; the Chapel is handicap accessible through its north entrance off Seymour Street. (315) 252-0339; willard-chapel.com


City of Auburn Historic & Cultural Sites Commission

The mission of Auburn’s Historic & Cultural Sites Commission is to support its designated organizations to achieve their missions through collaborative marketing, programming, and tourism strategies. The vision of the Commission is to position Auburn as the destination of choice in the Finger Lakes through support and promotion of its history and culture. 



Dec 10 2023


10:00 am

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City of Auburn

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