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DEEP Announces 2021 Holiday Tours at Gillette Castle and Osborne Homestead Museum

Tours Begin This Friday, Advance Tickets Recommended As Capacity Is Limited; Visitors Should Review State Park Health & Safety Guidelines Before Visiting

(HARTFORD)—Holiday season is here and the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) State Parks Division celebrates with special tours of two of its historic buildings: Gillette Castle in East Haddam and Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby.


Gillette Castle, the former home of William Gillette, most famous for his acting role portraying Sherlock Holmes, will be festive this holiday season thanks to decorations coordinated by the Friends of Gillette Castle State Park, local Friends groups, community organizations, and businesses. The Castle will be open for self-paced tours from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.Friday through Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend, and Saturday and Sunday every following weekend through December 19, 2021. Each day's final tour starts at 4 p.m.; entrance fees are: Adult (13+ years) $6.00; Youth (6-12 years) $2.00; 5 years and under are free. As visitor capacity in this historic structure is limited, visitors are encouraged to purchase advance tickets through Reserve America prior to visiting. Grounds of Gillette Castle State Park remain open daily, year-round, from 8 a.m. until sunset.

Garden clubs and other local community groups volunteered to decorate the Osborne Homestead Museum for the holiday season in homage to the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment.  Mrs. Francis Osborne Kellogg, herself a suffragist and philanthropist, donated her home and grounds to the State of Connecticut. For over three decades, the Homestead Museum has welcomed visitors to enjoy the holiday decorations in this beautiful Victorian house on the grounds of the Kellogg Estate inside Osbornedale State Park.  This season, museum visitors can learn about various historical figures fighting for women’s right to vote as well as the oppositionists during that time – and all done with holiday décor and flair. Tours begin the Friday after Thanksgiving on November 26, 2021 and end the Saturday before Christmas on December 18, 2021, open Thursdays through Sundays, from 10am to 4pm; twilight tours are available on Fridays December 3, 10, 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. As visitor capacity is limited, online tickets, with free admission for all ages, should be obtained in advance via Osborne Homestead Museum Holiday Tours webpage or by calling the Museum at 203-734-2513.  

Masks are required inside Gillette Castle, Osborne Homestead Museum, and all other CT State Parks buildings; please review the 2021 COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for Connecticut State Parks .

Established in 1913, the mission of the Connecticut State Park System is to provide natural resource based public recreational and educational opportunities through a system of state park and forest recreation areas, environmental centers and nature centers which provide an understanding of, access to, and enjoyment of the state’s historic, cultural and natural resources.


Osborne Homestead Tree

Osborne Homestead Wreath

HolidayDecorations at the Osborne Homestead Museum this year pay homage to the 100th Anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Photo Credit:Lori Brant / CT DEEP 

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