*** Please note, the Victorian Holiday Home Tour takes place rain or shine! Our historic homes are warm, cozy, and beautiful in any kind of weather. We’ve held the event in sun, rain, and even snow. No matter the weather, our continuously running bus service can still move you from house to house with as little inconvenience as possible. ***
If you’ve never been before, you may wonder what to expect when you come to the Victorian Holiday Home Tour. Let’s start with the event times and go from there:
Candlelight Tour: Saturday Dec. 2nd, 2023 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Afternoon Tour: Sunday Dec. 3rd, 2023 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Those hours are when the homes will be open to tour. So, for example, on Saturday the homes will close promptly at 9:00 PM. Because we estimate it can take two to three hours to complete the tour (depending on how long you linger in each home), on Saturday you probably don’t want to arrive much later than 7:00 PM, or you probably won’t be able to view all of the homes before they close. Likewise, you probably don’t want to arrive much later than 3:00 PM on Sunday.
When you do come, please note that we have NEW PARKING LOCATIONS THIS YEAR! Because the former St. Mary’s / Tennova hospital has closed, we have two new parking options:
Option #1: First Lutheran Church, 1207 N. Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37917
Option #2: Rose Funeral & Cremation, 1421 N. Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37917
Both parking locations are also stops on the tour this year, and buses will pick up and drop off at both lots. If one lot is full, please try the other just two blocks down the street. Once you park, you’ll see an attendant who will be able to help you board our continuously running bus service that will take you to each home on the tour.
Also new this year, our ticket booth will be located next to the first home on the tour, so you can get there easily from either parking lot by boarding a bus. No matter when or where you bought your tickets (or if you still need them!), you’ll want to visit the ticket booth, because that’s where you’ll pick up a souvenir calendar/map/program to use throughout the tour. If you bought advance tickets online, simple show the ticket booth attendant your receipt or give them your name and they’ll get you a paper ticket. Once you have a paper ticket and your calendar in hand, you’re ready to start the tour itself.
The buses will drop you off at a home, and then you can tour that home at your leisure. There will be a traffic flow through each home with people to help direct you to make sure you have an opportunity to see everything. When you are done viewing that home, if a bus is not immediately out front, then one will arrive shortly to transport you to the next home to view. We estimate that it takes approximately two to three hours to see all of the stops on the tour, but that time is partially dependent on how quickly you walk through each home. You are also welcome to walk through the neighborhood if you prefer (that’s why your souvenir calendar includes a map!), and you can also mix walking and using the bus however you like.
In each home you never know quite what to expect. Some homes in our neighborhood look very similar to the way they were originally built 100 or more years ago. Other homes look original on the outside, but have been updated with every modern convenience on the inside. You might see original oak floors, original mantles, beautiful built-in woodwork, or a brand new kitchen or master bathroom lovingly fit in the context of a historic home. Most homes will be decked out with holiday decorations of all varieties. It is worth pointing out that some homes may require you to navigate steps in order to enter the home, while others may have staircases that would be required to in order to see every room in the home. As you finish the tour, you’ll likely have a favorite home in mind that you’ve explored, and it will likely be different than others who are taking the your with you. Because every home in the neighborhood is unique, we can all find something that catches our attention.
Once you’ve seen the last home, a bus will return you to the parking lot where you began. Restrooms will be provided at both parking lot locations where the tour begins and ends.