Holidays in the Manor House start Dec. 1

Holidays in the Manor House, a Toledo tradition for more than 40 years, will open Saturday, Dec. 1 and continue daily through Sunday, Dec. 16, at Wildwood Preserve Metropark. Admission is free.

Several new features have been added this year, including free ice skating and two free holiday movies.

Each year, up to 30,000 people come to see how volunteers have re-imagined the holiday decorations, with more than 30 displays throughout the three-story, 34,000-square-foot mansion.

The house will be open for self-guided tours daily, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The only exception is Wednesday, Dec. 5, when it will close at 3 p.m.

Highlights of this year’s displays are the meticulously crafted models of all five treehouses that will make up the Cannaley Treehouse Village, now under construction at Oak Openings Preserve. The models were built with wooden paint stir-sticks by Metroparks volunteers Al and Jan Grant, who spent more than 1,000 hours on the project.

A popular, longstanding feature of the event, the model train exhibit by the Swanton Area Railroad and Model Club, will fill Metroparks Hall, a short walk from the Manor House.

A synthetic ice skating rink near the Manor House will be open for free skating each day. Skates will be available to borrow at no charge on the three Saturdays and Sundays of the event, but skaters can bring their own skates on weekdays.

Two, free holiday movies will be shown one two weekends in the Ward Pavilion at the East Entrance to Wildwood. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at both, along with free popcorn and hot chocolate.

On Dec. 9, “Elf” will be shown and on Dec. 15, “The Polar Express” will be shown. Both start at 2 p.m.

Other attractions include a trail through the woods with holiday lights, a s’more shack and weekend carriage rides.

Holidays in the Manor House began in the 1970s as a thank-you to the community for its support of a special tax levy to purchase the former Stranahan estate, now known as Wildwood Preserve.