Felt Mansion welcomes holiday season with Winterfest

Free community event is Saturday, Dec. 2.
An elf greets participants at Winterfest at The Felt Estate, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township in 2022.

Kick off the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 2, with Laketown Township’s free Winterfest community celebration at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th St.

The event is 9-11 a.m., earlier than previous years.

“We moved to the morning to allow community members to make it to the Saugatuck Christmas Parade in the afternoon,” said Elizabeth McEwen, executive director of the Felt Estate. The Saugatuck parade is at 11 a.m. downtown.

“Winterfest is an opportunity to explore the mansion for free and share a piece of local history with the next generation,” said McEwen. “The Felt family loved the local community, frequently hosting large community gatherings in the third-floor ballroom. We aim to bring the community together for Winterfest to continue that tradition!”

A family photo at Winterfest at The Felt Estate, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township in 2022.

Winterfest events

The first 500 children receive a free goodie bag. There is a scavenger hunt for the children as well.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be ready to talk to the little ones and pose for photos. Face-painting will be in the third-floor ballroom and horse-drawn wagon rides start outside the mansion and loops around Shore Acres Park.

New this year will be a live reindeer display from the Reindeer Ranch of Kalamazoo and the Dickens Carolers from the Holland Chorale.

All events are free.

The mansion is decorated for the season.

“Also, select trees from our collection will be auctioned off online to raise money to fund work on the water garden’s fountain. Winterfest is a great opportunity to see those trees up close and make your online bid,” McEwen said.

Winterfest is sponsored by the Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission.

Participants at Winterfest climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon at The Felt Estate, 6597 138th Ave., in 2022.

Upcoming events

Winterfest is just the start of holiday events at the Felt. Here are the upcoming events:

Wednesdays, Dec. 6, 13, and 20: Tea and Tours from 10 a.m. to noon. Come in, sit down, and warm up. Take a trip back in time and enjoy a hot cup of tea from antique and vintage teacups. Enjoy a self-guided tour. Cost is $25 for adults; seniors and students $20; children 10 and under free.

Thursdays, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14, and 21: Regular self-guided tours from 4 to 8 p.m. Adults $20; seniors and students $17; children 10 and under Free; family rate $50.

Fridays, Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22: Candlelight Tours from 6 to 8 p.m. Explore the mansion with a hand-held electronic candle. Adults $25; seniors and students $20; children 10 and under free; family rate $60.

Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, and 17: Coffee and Cocoa Tours from 2 to 4 p.m. Grab a hot coffee or hot chocolate for self-guided tour of the mansion. Participate in a holiday scavenger hunt. Adults $25; seniors and students $20; children 10 and under free; family rate $60.

No free self-guided tour passes accepted during Christmas tours.

Arrive at least 45 minutes prior to closing time to allow enough time to take the tour.

See all events and purchase tour tickets at https://www.feltmansion.org/current-events

The Felt Mansion is lit up for the holidays.

About the mansion

Dorr Felt was the inventor of the Comptometer, a basic adding machine. The mansion was built in 1925.

After Felt’s death, the property was purchased by the St. Augustine Seminary for a school then the 1970s, by the State of Michigan to use as a prison. After the prison closed in the 1990s, Laketown Township purchased the property.

For the past 20 years, the mansion has been restored to its original splendor.