Holidays fun planned at Metroparks

Holidays at the Manor House will return this season to Wildwood Preserve Metropark Dec. 4-12 with in-person tours of more than 30 decorated areas of the 30,000-square-foot mansion. Timed tickets and masks will be required this year for Covid safety.

Thirty people will be allowed into the house every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Free tickets for timeslots, available online at, will help maintain a safe number of people in the house. Masks will be required of everyone entering the building.

Volunteers have decorated the house every year since the 1970s as a thank-you to the community for its longstanding support of Metroparks. Decorating is already underway. Last year, volunteers decorated the house for the public to view online. Videos and other virtual content will be available again this year, in addition to in-person visitation.

Holiday lights will decorate trees at the entrance to Wildwood and along a boardwalk trail beside the Ottawa River, behind the Manor House. The Swanton Area Railroad and Model Club will be back as usual with its elaborate display of model trains in Metroparks Hall, a short walk from the Manor House. The outdoor lights and train display will not require reservations, but the number of people at a time will be limited at Metroparks Hall.

Also, Snowplace like Metroparks, a drive-through experience at the new Glass City Metropark, began last year and will be back Dec. 20 through January during regular park hours, 7 a.m. until dark. Volunteers are decorating four-foot-tall wooden snowman cutouts, which will be placed along the road through the park. Individuals, families, work groups, schools and others will show their creativity by creating dozens of decorated “snowpeople.”