PALM BEACH, FL - Each year during the winter holiday season, Whitehall's first floor is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with historically accurate greenery, trimmings, and ribbons. The focal point is a 16-foot-tall Christmas Tree in the Grand Hall, adorned with colored electric "fairy" lights and traditional Gilded Age-style ornaments. The home's exterior as well as the historic front gate are also decorated with festive wreaths, ribbons, and greenery. Holiday decorations are on display from late November through early January.
Please include the following Christmas at Whitehall events and dates in your calendars.
Special Holiday Lecture
How Animal Crackers Became Christmas Tree Ornaments
By Gary Hoover
2:30 pm, December 4, 2022
$15 for Museum Members
$40 for non-members; includes Museum admission and Tree Lighting festivities

The origins of many of our beloved American Christmas traditions can be traced back to the Gilded Age. This year’s Christmas at Whitehall program will feature a Special Holiday Lecture on the history of the National Biscuit Company and how Animal Crackers became Christmas tree ornaments.
The Special Holiday Lecture is sponsored by Florida Weekly.
Christmas Tree Lighting
12:00 - 5:00 pm, December 4, 2022
Free with Museum admission

The 16-foot tall Grand Hall Christmas Tree, with its historically accurate trimmings, is the center of Whitehall's holiday celebrations. The Tree Lighting festivities include holiday music played on Whitehall's original 1,249-pipe Odell organ and the 1902 Steinway art-case grand piano. This annual performance is the only opportunity visitors have to hear both of Whitehall's majestic instruments. Special choir performances, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus complete the afternoon’s activities. The event culminates with Henry Flagler's youngest descendants lighting the Grand Hall Christmas Tree. Each visitor will receive a box of Animal Crackers, a treat invented in the Gilded Age. The iconic circus box was originally designed as a Christmas Tree ornament.

The Christmas Tree Lighting is sponsored by Florida Weekly.
Holiday Evening Tours
December 19 through 22: Tours begin at 6:30 pm, 6:45 pm, 7:00 pm, and 7:15 pm
Holiday Reception begins at 6:00 pm
$50 for adults
$30 for children ages 17 and under
Advance purchase required

During this beloved annual event, families tour Whitehall after hours and discover the origins of American Christmas traditions. Guests will have the rare opportunity to see Whitehall by the glow of the original 1902 light fixtures. Every visitor will receive a traditional Christmas cracker following the tour. A choral group will sing carols and holiday refreshments will be served. The Museum Store will remain open for holiday shopping.

Holiday Evening Tours is sponsored by Florida Weekly.

For more information, please visit or call (561) 655-2833 ext. 10.


The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
When it was completed in 1902, Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, was hailed by the New York Herald as “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.” Today, Whitehall is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as the Flagler Museum, featuring changing exhibitions and special programs. The Museum is located at One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information, call (561) 655-2833 or visit

The Flagler Museum is funded in part by Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

Images are available for publication upon request. 

Media inquiries:
David Carson, Public Affairs Director
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
T: (561) 655-2833 ext. 13