Santa, reindeer, carolers bring holiday cheer to Felt Mansion

Winterfest draws hundreds for community Christmas celebration.
Children tell their Christmas wishes to Santa and Mrs. Claus at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

Hundreds of the young and young-at-heart enjoyed Winterfest at the Felt Mansion in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

The free community event at the restored mansion, 6597 138th Ave., featured time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, music by the Dickens Carolers from the Holland Chorale, free goodie bags, snacks and beverages, facepainting by Fancy Faces Face Painting LLC, live reindeer display from the Reindeer Ranch of Kalamazoo and horse-drawn wagon rides.

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

A child hugs Mrs. Claus at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.
Families take their holiday photos at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.
A child grabs one of the 500 free goodie bags at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

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 — 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. 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 Dickens Carolers of the Holland Chorale sing on the landing over the foyer at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. The carolers are Steve Hook, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennie Gonzalez and Jeff Peerbolt.
The Dickens Carolers of the Holland Chorale perform as a visitor takes a photo at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. The carolers are Steve Hook, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennie Gonzalez and Jeff Peerbolt.
Erin Alvarez of Fancy Faces Face Painting LLC “decorates” Emma VanderVeen, 7, of Grandville, at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. Emma’s sister, Kate, 10, is in the background.

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.

A child whose face is decorated like a reindeer pets a reindeer at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. The reindeer are from the Reindeer Ranch of Kalamazoo.
Visitors pet reindeer at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. The animals are from the Reindeer Ranch of Kalamazoo.
Visitors enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride at Winterfest at the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave., in Laketown Township on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.