Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens | 714 N Portage Path | Akron, OH
I usually get swept up with Christmas fever. I love buying gifts, listening to Majic 105.7, putting up the tree, decorating, drinking holiday spirits … all that good stuff. But this year, something was off. I wasn’t feeling it. It just didn’t feel like the Christmas season to me. And I wasn’t alone. Tiffany felt the same way. We needed to get in the holiday spirit, and fast. There was only one way to cure what ailed us—a trip to Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron.
Deck the Hall is Stan Hywet’s special holiday event and display, showcasing one million dazzling lights plus Christmas-themed comic book heroes. Let’s start with the latter.
The 64,500-square-foot Manor House at Stan Hywet is decorated with characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and the Power Rangers. While the displays are impressive, this wasn’t our cup of tea, simply because we’re not into comic books. Also, because of the amount of people in the house, the lines were slow moving. So, Tiffany and I did what any mature, rational adults would—we zigged and zagged our way through each room and asked to be let out early.
Aaah, outside. That’s where the magic happens. In addition to sparkling lights that decorate the 70-acre property, Stan Hywet has a courtyard that features a 25-foot Christmas tree, a light show, a fire pit, concession stands (yes, parents—alcohol is available), a gift shop, a café, photo opportunities with Santa and Rudolph, and animated store windows (for my more mature readers, think Higbees-lite)—including a striking scene of downtown Akron in its heyday.
Other outdoor highlights include Gingerbread Lane and Corbin Conservatory. Home to a a giant interactive snowglobe, Gingerbread Lane—housed in Stan Hywet’s holiday-transformed Playgarden—is comprised of candy canes, gingerbread men and, of course, more lights! The conservatory wings feature lighted tropical gardens, holiday plants and a striking 20-foot poinsettia tree.
Hours and prices—which vary depending on age and whether or not you’re a Stan Hywet member—for Deck the Hall can be found online. For $18 per ticket, I feel like we got our money’s worth.
I’d be remiss without mentioning that, despite the large crowd, this event was well organized. We visited on Sunday, December 8, when the weather was unseasonably warm. Attendants effectively directed traffic and Stan Hywet’s shuttle bus system ran continuously throughout the evening. The wait to get from the parking lot to Stan Hywet—and then back to the parking lot later in the evening—was minimal. Lines to enter the actual grounds moved quickly as well.
Thank you, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Because of Deck the Hall, Tiffany and I are in the Christmas spirit. Our tree is overflowing with gifts. I’m jamming out to Christmas music in my car. The decorations are up in the condo. And I’m enjoying an occasional holiday beverage. All is right in the world. Cheers!