by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
Looking ahead to the holiday season, many families will probably be seeking mini getaways that can be reached by car. One idea might be to head to Cape May, New Jersey to experience the charm of its Victorian gas-lit streets, holiday lights and decorations that made this seaside resort a beloved tradition to enjoy Christmas cheer. Exactly where is Cape May? It is located in Cape May County at the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It has been awarded a National Historic Landmark status due to its concentration of Victorian buildings. The Director of Media Relations, for Cape May MAC (Museum+Arts+Culture), Susan Krysiak, announced a month of holiday tours, activities and events, with Covid-19 protocols firmly in place to ensure the holiday spirit is still in abundance! The 47th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour will be virtual in 2020! Cape May MAC is creating a video featuring a dozen Cape May properties, all decorated for the holiday season, with interviews and more, to be released in early December. New for 2020 is the Winter Wonderwalk at the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May. The Emlen Estate is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) for holiday tours. Designed by American architect Frank Furness, the Estate is Cape May’s Victorian House Museum. Its restoration began Cape May’s 50-year renaissance that continues to this day. Visitors to Cape May can bundle up and bring a blanket to enjoy the Open-air trolley tours offered throughout the holiday season around Cape May. Outdoor dining under the patio tent on the grounds of the Physick Estate, for both brunch and dinner will be held with heaters to provide comfort during dining.
While being transported to the Dickens era, guests can participate in a host of varied, themed, activities while being “wrapped in the warmth of the holidays”. Take a step back in time to the Victorian Era in this 1879 restored Physick Mansion and learn about the Victorians’ fascination with magic, illusion, the mysterious and the odd. Hear about the Great Lafayette, the world’s greatest magician; Houdini, the astounding escape artist; Ionia, the Goddess of Mystery; Pepper’s Ghost, is it real, or just an Illusion? Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper and much more! Tickets are limited to ensure social distancing; advance tickets recommended. For families with children, Santa and his elves have decked out the Physick Estate with thousands of lights and holiday trimmings. Enjoy a family-friendly table served breakfast at the Inn of Cape May as children visit with Santa. Christmas lists accepted and there are treats for the kids. For fans of the “solve the mystery genre”, there are early evening tours for a theatrical event where a mystery takes place. “Helen was looking forward to a relaxing stay by herself at a friend’s home in a remote seashore town. However, things have taken a turn for the supernatural and now Helen finds herself in the center of a mystery she will need help solving. Join us at the Physick Estate for this immersive theatrical event – and find out if you can solve the mystery of The Gloomy Apparition!”, so details the scenario. As a side note to the beauty of the historic homes and Victorian architecture, Cape May has been recognized as one of America’s top 10 beaches by the Travel Channel and known as one of the best beaches on the Middle Atlantic coast. Certainly creating a possibility later on for a summer season re-visit! For more information about Cape May visit www.capemaymac.org