Homes for the holidays

Image caption: Homewood Museum, former home of Charles Carroll Jr., decorated for the holidays as it would have been in the early 19th century.


With the holidays right around the corner, the Johns Hopkins University Museums have planned an array of special events and programs to celebrate the season at the historic Homewood and Evergreen houses.

December's calendar includes a candlelit evening at Homewood, new art exhibitions, and a tour of festively decorated homes in Charles Village, among other offerings. And as a JHU affiliate, you can take part in most of the events for free, though note when registration is required.

Here's what's ahead:


The museum shops at Homewood and Evergreen offer a trove of holiday gift ideas, such as artwork, jewelry, ornaments, and books. (You can browse the selection of publications here.)

And for this first week of December, these items are available at discounted prices for JHU affiliates and members of JHU Museums. Everyone with a valid JHU ID can enjoy a 10 percent discount at both shops, excluding consignment items, and museum members get a 20 percent discount.

The shops will be open their normal hours during this time, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. weekends.


For one night each holiday season, Homewood shuts off the lights and strikes up the candles to replicate what the house would have felt like in its early-19th-century heyday.

The historic home will be decked out with garlands and boxwoods (courtesy of the Homeland Garden Club), and music by students in the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra will fill the Drawing Room. The current special exhibition, A Winter's Residence, (see below) will be on view, along with an installation of Chinese export art, curated from the permanent collection by high school student Jamesha Caldwell, a Homewood intern who attends Baltimore City College. Eggnog and cookies will be served, and the museum store will be open for shopping.

The event takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Homewood, 3400 N. Charles St. Reservations are requested by calling 410-516-5589, emailing , or booking online at Brown Paper Tickets.


The annual holiday party at Evergreen features live music, a silent auction of original local artwork, and after-hours viewings of seasonally decorated period rooms in the historic Gilded Age mansion.

Nibble on festive fare, mingle with exhibiting artists and curators, pose for photos at a decorative sleigh, and shop for gifts at the museum shop. This year's event also features the unveiling of the newly restored Dining Room, as originally designed for the Garrett family in 1922 by revolutionary Russian artist Léon Bakst.

In addition, the evening celebrates the opening of five new art exhibitions at Evergreen:

The event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Evergreen, 4545 N. Charles St. Reservations are requested by calling 410-516-0341, emailing, or booking online at Brown Paper Tickets.


It's tradition for the historic Homewood house—built in the early 1800s and now listed as a National Historic Landmark—to serve as a featured stop on the Snowflake Tour of Charles Village.

The annual event, organized by the Charles Village Civic Association, guides visitors by foot into select historic properties in the neighborhood bordering the Homewood campus, from Victorians and porch-fronted "painted ladies" to distinctive churches and private buildings.

The homes are decked for the holidays inside and out, with homeowners often greeting guests with treats and hot drinks. Stay tuned for details and updates on the event web page. The self-guided tours are slated to run from noon to 3:30 p.m. that Sunday.

Tickets are required to join the tour and are available online or on the day of the event (cash or check only) at the Village Learning Place, 2521 St. Paul St. The tickets—priced at $15, $12 for students and seniors—include admission to the Homewood Museum as well as a brochure guide to the participating properties.


Open through Feb. 15, the exhibition A Winter's Residence: Charles Carroll of Homewood's Town Houses, 1800–1816 presents new scholarship on the early-19th-century winter residences of Charles Carroll Jr., the owner of the Homewood estate and son of a Declaration of Independence signatory. Though Carroll spent his summers in the bucolic setting of Homewood, he shifted in the colder months—along with his family and slaves—to various townhouses in Baltimore.

The exhibit is on view at Homewood from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. weekends. Admission to the museum is free for JHU staff, faculty, and students.