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Historic Deerfield Brings Music and Magic to "December in Deerfield"
December in Deerfield Features Traditional, Festive Events 
All Season Long
Deerfield, Mass. (October 10, 2018)--- Amid the picturesque backdrop of this quintessential New England village, Historic Deerfield's "December in Deerfield" is a yearly celebration of the holiday season that provides programs and events the whole family can enjoy. This year, the museum will bring music and magic to enchant and delight audiences. 

In "Mr. Potter's 19th Century Magic Show" on  Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m ., Robert Olson will recreate the magic of 19th century magician Richard Potter in an engaging performance at the Deerfield Community Center. Olson uses recreated and original props, 19th century costume, and the early language that appeared in the magic books of Potter's time to transport the audience for an evening of magic and fun. Potter first performed on his own in 1810, at the Columbian Museum in Boston. Advertised as "An Evening's Brush to Sweep Away Care, or a Medley to Please," the show consisted of magic with cards and coins, ribbons and boxes, and a variety of other tricks of magic from over 150 years ago.
 
Olson, from Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, has spent the past 40 years studying and recreating Potter's magic. "It began as a hobby with a Mysto Magic Set I received as a Christmas present when I was eight years old." Olson said. "The history part came later. I began to read the 18th and 19th century magic books, the broadsides and advertisements that Potter put out; the diaries and letters from people who actually saw Potter perform. It was like he was whispering in my ear. He was the first truly successful magician born in America."
 
Tickets are available for both performances and cost $10. Tickets may be purchased online at historic-deerfield.org.

On Saturday, December 1, the museum will kick off "December in Deerfield" with "Cozy December Day: Celebrate with Songs and Sweets."  Visitors are invited to spend a December day as early New Englanders did with activities the whole family will enjoy. Enjoy family friendly songs and stories by popular local performer Tim Van Egmond at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Enjoy the warmth and aromas of an open hearth baking demonstration. Taste a cookie made from a recipe from 1796 and sip a cup of mulled cider, then step outside to take a horse-drawn wagon ride down the picturesque Old Main Street. All programs are included with admission to the museum.
 
The holiday spirit continues December 1-16, when visitors can join Historic Deerfield hearth cooks, guides and educators each weekend in a month-long series of traditional festive activities. The fun begins on Saturday, December 1 with the
open hearth cooking demonstration: "Sugar Cakes and a 1796 "Christmas Cookey."  Take a break from your holiday baking and help our hearth cooks make sugar cakes and cookies from old recipe books such as Amelia Simmons' cookbook, American Cookery , the first "American" cookbook published in 1796. Our hearth cooks will be using her cookbook and bake her recipe for a "Christmas Cookey."

Visitors are encouraged to stop by the History Workshop for the Cozy Winter Weekends program (Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16), where they are invited to experience a cozy winter day in the tradition of early New Englanders who used indoor time to socialize, play games, and do handwork. Try carding wool, play a game of checkers, or dress up and play in our pretend kitchen, parlor, and tent. Curl up on the sofa and read a book. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Fun for the young and young at heart!

From November 23 - December 9, the museum will serve as a collection site for donations of gifts for Community Action's Family Center.  Community Action is an anti-poverty agency serving families in Franklin County and beyond and operates a Family Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts.  This year, Historic Deerfield will support the Family Center by collecting donations of gifts for children up to 18 years of age to be distributed to families during the holidays. We are asking our friends and visitors to deliver gifts to our museum between Friday, November 23 and Sunday, December 9. Gifts may be dropped off at the museum anytime during open hours, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 
Gifts should be unwrapped. Gifts can include toys, gift cards, and even helpful items like gift wrap and tape. The Family Center serves adolescents and teens in addition to younger children, so please help us provide gifts for this age group too. On Sunday, December 9, Historic Deerfield will accept a gift donation in lieu of museum admission.

 
The complete schedule of events for November and December follows below. Please visit historic-deerfield.org for the most up-to-date information.

 
Programs and Events at Historic Deerfield, November and December 2018
Unless otherwise noted, all programs are included with general admission to the museum.
 
Special Events
 
Day of Giving
Friday, November 23
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Opt-out of Black Friday chaos, and instead let Historic Deerfield be your destination for handmade, heartfelt giving in preparation for the holiday season. On the Day of Giving, every museum visitor will have the opportunity to handcraft a special gift using simple or natural materials. The Day of Giving also kicks off our gift drive to support the Community Action Family Center. Bring an unwrapped gift to help support the Family Center's holiday season.
 
17th Century Life
Saturday, November 24                          
10 a.m.-4 p.m., drop in anytime, Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
Meet the Society of the 17th Century, a group of re-enactors who will bring our historic Hall Tavern building to life with an incredible array of period arts, crafts and trades. Also enjoy open hearth cooking demonstrations, and make a handmade gift with the help of a museum educator.
 
Wreath Making
November 26, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Deerfield Community Center
November 27, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., Deerfield Community Center
Help create beautiful natural wreaths to decorate the doorways of Deerfield. Bring your creativity, enthusiasm, and an extra pair of pruning shears. No experience required. Supplies and refreshments will be provided. A second workshop will be offered on November 28, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Free, pre-registration required. Call (413) 775-7179, visit historic-deerfield.org, or email jorvis@historic-deerfield.org to register.
 
Cozy December Day: Celebrate with Songs and Sweets
Saturday, December 1
9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Spend a December day like an early New Englander. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Enjoy the warmth and aromas of an open hearth baking demonstration. Taste a cookie made from a recipe from 1796 and sip a cup of mulled cider, then step outside to take a horse-drawn wagon ride down the picturesque Old Main Street.
 
Family-Friendly Songs and Stories with Tim Van Egmond
Saturday, December 1
11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern.
Enjoy family-friendly songs and stories with Tim Van Egmond, a multi-talented storyteller, singer, and musician. Tim transports audiences to the wellspring of wisdom, humor, and inspiration found in multicultural tales and folk music. His performance will warm your heart in an uplifting experience of enjoyment and enchantment.

Mr. Potter's 19th Century Magic Show
Thursday, December 6
Performances: 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m.
Deerfield Community Center. Tickets: $10
Robert Olson will recreate the magic of 19th century magician Richard Potter in an engaging performance at the Deerfield Community Center. Olson uses recreated and original props, 19th century costume, and the early language that appeared in the magic books of Potter's time to transport the audience for an evening of magic and fun. 

Programs and Activities

Cozy Winter Weekends 
Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., History Workshop Building 
Visitors are invited to experience a cozy winter day in the tradition of early New Englanders who used indoor time to socialize, play games, and do handwork. Try carding wool, play a game of checkers, or dress up and play in our pretend kitchen, parlor, and tent. Curl up on the sofa and read a book. Make a handmade gift to give to someone special. Fun for the young and young at heart!

Horse-drawn Wagon Rides
December 1, 2, 8, 9
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
The beautiful horses will greet you at the Visitor Center, and provide a lovely tour down our historic street. *weather permitting
 
Gift Making
Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., History Workshop Building
Make progress on your gift list by making a special gift by hand. Visitors may choose to make one of two simple hand-crafted gifts.
 
Tavern Games
Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
Sit down and enjoy a game of checkers, fox and geese or merelles. Try your hand at table top nine pins, Jacob's ladder, and ball and cup.
 
Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Mix
Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-16
10 a.m. -4:30 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern
The Aztecs were the first to make hot chocolate by mixing cacao with water and flavoring it with chili, honey, and spices. Europeans adapted their recipe by adding sugar and milk. Make your own hot chocolate mix to take home that is inspired by a colonial chocolate recipe.
 
Free Admission Holiday Gift Day
December 9, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Bring an unwrapped toy donation for the Community Action Family Center and receive free museum admission for the day. (One admission per one toy donation.)
 
Demonstrations
 
Open Hearth Cooking: Time for Pie
November 3, 10, 17
9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Who doesn't love pie? As the fall settles in and the days get shorter, our cooks will be busy in the kitchen making pies. Pies were a common dish served as part of the meal. They were savory or sweet-sometimes both- with surprising flavor combinations.  Come and learn about pie!
 
Sugar and Spice: Holiday Baking
December 2, 8-9, 15-16
9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern Kitchen
Traditional holiday treats have their origins in rarity. Though today it is easy enough to go to the store for chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, ginger or sugar, in the past such ingredients were the expensive results of trans-oceanic trade.  The use of these ingredients during holiday times signified a willingness to splurge in honor of the occasion. Join our Hearth Cooks as they explore the sugar and spice that make the holidays nice.
 
Historic Trades Demonstrations
Visitors will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close with our Historic Trade demonstrations.
 
Friday, November 23
Paper Marbling with Regina and Dan St. John
Redware Pottery with Stephen Earp
 
Saturday, December 8
Letterpress Printing: Holiday Cards with Carl Darrow


 
About Historic Deerfield, Inc.
Historic Deerfield, Inc., is dedicated to the heritage and preservation of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the Connecticut River Valley. Its museums and programs provide today's audiences with experiences that create an understanding and appreciation of New England's historic villages and countryside.
 
Admission is $18 for adults (18+), $5 for children (6-17), free for children under 6, members and Deerfield/South Deerfield residents. For more information, please call (413) 775-7214 or visit  historic-deerfield.org.
 
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Historic Deerfield, Inc. |  (413) 775-7214 |  www.historic-deerfield.org
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