Find inspiration for festive decorating as neighborhoods across the area roll out the welcome mat and let visitors unwrap the gift of a glimpse inside private homes. The tours are hosted by women’s clubs and homeowner groups annually to raise money for good causes. Here’s a list of several upcoming tours to get on the calendar for the first weekend in December.
Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place – Dec. 2-3
One of the oldest tours, the Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place is now in its 34th year of welcoming visitors to the historic neighborhood. The tour will feature five homes visitors can experience inside and out on December 2 from noon to 9 p.m. and Dec. 3 from noon to 5 p.m.
Tour chairwoman Sarah Rucker said the tour will feature a 1919 home designed by Wiley G. Clarkson and a couple of wonderful two-stories built in the 1920s. Also open for tourists is “an adapted-for-modern-life 1940s charmer” along with a beautifully restored mid-century traditional ranch home.
“There will also be a walking tour of Ryan Place if tour goers would like to follow the map and view the exteriors of the homes designed by of one of the neighborhood’s most famous architects, Wiley G. Clarkson,” she said.
Tourists will enjoy seeing an interesting range of architectural styles as residents express their neighborhood pride through the colorful holiday exterior decorations.
“It really is a magical time to be in Ryan Place. Residents get to experience the joy and magic of living in this neighborhood year round, but Candlelight Christmas weekend allows us to share that spirit with others that might be visiting for the first time,” Rucker said.
Over the years, the tour has raised money for beautification projects including entrance portals and historically authentic streetlights. Early Bird tickets are $15 each and $20 on tour weekend. Purchase online www.ryanplacefortworth.com or at St. John's Church, 2401 College Ave.
Trophy Club Christmas Tour is 3-6 p.m. on Dec. 3
Five homes in Trophy Club will open their doors from 3-6 p.m. on Dec. 3 for the annual Christmas Tour of Homes hosted by the Women’s Club.
Themed as "Jingle Bell Block," the tour also offers an after-party at the Trophy Club Country Club. Proceeds from the event go to benefit such charities as the Humane Society, the USO and women’s shelters.
“Following the tour, participants are invited to attend a festive celebration at the Trophy Club Country Club featuring a live auction, silent auction, raffle, food, music and wine pull,” said tour spokeswoman Amy Mancuso.
Winners of a raffle will take home a vacation stay at a villa in Mykonos, Greece, a Big Green Egg, and a gorgeous pearl jewelry set. More than 40 items will be auctioned to the highest bidders in live and silent auctions.
One traditional home on the tour will have several lavishly decorated trees and a life-size Santa for tourgoers to enjoy. One tree features a blue-and-green peacock theme and another is adorned with winter white. A tall crimson tree and another decorated with owls rounds out the spectacular trees created by the homeowners.
The patio fireplace will be lighted as guests wander outside to see the bar and pool area. Festive holiday lighting on the exterior of another tour home will welcome guests as they come inside to view vintage decorations including a tinsel tree featuring a cherished Hallmark Barbie doll ornament collection.
A screened-in porch and courtyard will have twinkling lights and a Nativity scene.
Tourists entering a contemporary home will see a tree decked out with mementos of the homeowners’ travels. Guests will want to see a special Santa collection in the kitchen before roaming out to the festively lighted patio area.
A charming Texas flair is evident in a fourth home on the tour. And men on the tour will like the impressive sports memorabilia collections displayed in several rooms. The owner’s job with Cadillac is reflected in a unique tree decorated with a fun car theme.
The Christmas trees in the last home on tour represent a collection of ornaments and decorations collected throughout the homeowner’s life. A Franklin doll collection in the dining area will be a hit with tourists.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on tour day. Purchase online at www.mytcwc.org or contact Amy Mancuso at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are also available at Tom Thumb, TC Country Club, Sassy Flamingo and Roanoke Pharmacy.
Colleyville Holiday Home Tour is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 3
A staple on the home tour circuit is the Holiday Home Tour hosted by the Colleyville Woman’s Club for the past 32 years. Homes in Southlake and Colleyville are welcoming visitors to see their stunning Christmas decor on Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"The homes that are participating this year have such a warm feeling and are truly unique with their decorations including family traditions, artwork, collectibles and other memorabilia,” said tour chairwoman Toni Hennigan. “It is a great kick off to the holiday season as an event to do with family and friends."
Tones of gold, ivory, champagne and white are the holiday color scheme in the living area at the home of Bruce and Michell Campbell. Another whimsical area features Santa, candy canes and an amazing snowman collection.
The Colleyville home of Coy and Christina Talley features rustic, natural elements in silver, white and natural green on a massive 14-foot tree. In the dining room, twin trees wrapped in burlap with silver and mercury decorations are the showstoppers.
Traditional red, green and gold are the favorite holiday colors chosen by Richard and Carri Chatfield in their Colleyville home where a 14-foot tree welcomes guests into the foyer. One upstairs room features a themed tree with all things Kansas City Chiefs.
The Southlake home of Michael and Emily Carter is French provincial architecture and showcases the profession of Emily, who is a Christmas decorator. Pale pink, silver, mercury and white are seen in the main living-area decorations with a lavishly decorated mantle in the soft colors with a touch of turquoise. In the kitchen, a delightful display of 18 snow villages will be a hit with tourists. Trees in rooms throughout the home will reflect the homeowner’s special talent for holiday decorating.
Dan and Roxann Taylor transformed their Southlake home from Tuscan to transitional modern when they remodeled to create a light, white open feel to their home. Their Christmas decor throughout the house is inspired by a painting in the dining room.
As if five gorgeous homes are not enough, the club is again hosting Santa’s Sweet Stop located at 520 Winding Ridge Trail in Southlake. Local vendors will set up shop offering unique gift items, and poinsettias will be on sale for $12 each. Guests will enjoy samples of yummy sweet treats, and a visit by Santa is also scheduled. Six attractive raffle packages include a Tag Heuer watch, dining and spa outings, floral and bakery products and a $1,000 grocery gift card. Raffle tickets are $5 or 5/$20.
Tour proceeds will enable the Colleyville Woman’s Club to fund causes in Northeast Tarrant County. The 200-member group has surpassed the $3.6 million mark in fundraising in its nearly-40-year history. Advance tickets are $25. Check www.c-w-c.org to find retailers selling tickets or purchase online. Tour-day tickets are available at each home for $30.
Mansfield homes will open for holiday tours on Dec. 3
Five gorgeous homes in Mansfield and Rendon will open their doors for tours on Dec. 3 from 1-5 p.m. Hosted by the Mansfield Women’s Club, the tour will allow a peek inside the homes that will be elaborately decorated for the holidays.
“This is one of the most popular events in town, now attended by second and third generations,” said club spokeswoman Marilyn Gerloff. "Many friends will cross paths during the tour.”
Proceeds from the tour will support local charities including Child Advocacy, All Star Equestrian, Harvesting International Ministry and the women’s wing at Mansfield Methodist among many other nonprofits serving women and children.
Co-chairs of the event are Launa Barboza and Kathleen Powers. A special Holiday Raffle is planned along with the home tour where four lucky winners of a drawing will be the proud owners of a diamond earring set, two $500 gift cards or a dining package for eight guests.
Tickets are $10 and available at each home or in advance at Raymond’s Liquor Store, and winners need not be present to win. Homes on the tour are in beautiful neighborhoods and include a couple of stunning traditional-style homes, a modern sprawling ranch-style, one that is reminiscent of an English country estate and a beautiful house with a Tuscan flavor. Photos of the homes are available for preview at www.mansfieldwomensclub.com.
Tourists are sure to get lots of decorating ideas as they explore inside each home. Tour tickets are $25 and may be purchased at Tom Thumb on Walnut Creek Drive and at Poured wine bar on Debbie Lane in Mansfield. Direct inquiries to or call Kathleen Powers at 817-932-2329.
Thistle Hill home tour and Flashlight Tours are fun for the holidays
Although the beautiful cattle baron mansions – Thistle Hill and the Ball Eddleman McFarland house – are open for tours all year long, they are especially fun during the holidays. For those brave enough to venture into the areas of the homes not open for public tours, a Flashlight Tour is also offered.
“Join us as we explore the basement, third floor and carriage house,” said Suzy Coleman from the Historic Fort Worth staff. “See how the family and staff really lived. Peek into the nooks and crannies of the house. Listen to the sounds the house makes and hear some of the stories only the staff can tell.”
Tours are offered at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2.pm. Wednesday through Friday. Sunday tours are at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the door, but reservations are highly recommended. Group rates are offered for 10 or more. Call 817-332-5875 to make reservations. Visit www.HistoricFortWorth.org for additional details.