Our final adventure during our time in Ohio with Mom and Dad was going to Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield to see the Christmas decorations. We had tried to go several other times but always hit on a night they were closed. During December, Kingwood Center is open from 3 through 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Because of the government shutdown, we stayed in Ohio two days longer than we planned which gave us a Friday night to go see the lights.
Kingwood Center Gardens is a Mansfield must-see. Charles King, the President of Ohio Brass, built the mansion on 45 acres in 1926 and left it in trust to the city of Mansfield. The public gardens have been open since 1953. When I was in high school, I traveled to Kingwood Center every week. I played in the Mansfield Symphony, and we practiced in the Greenhouse. Kingwood Center Gardens is best known for its display of tulips and daffodils in the spring. Spectacular!
But we visited Kingwood Center Gardens on a cold night in December. The mansion was beautifully illuminated as we approached it through a lighted archway. Inside every room was lavishly decorated for Christmas. The main floor and second floor are open to the public. Kids were dashing through on a Santa Scavenger Hunt, but we took more time to appreciate the theme of each room. Different garden clubs and volunteers put together the displays.
My favorite part of the house was the dining room and kitchen. I loved the big ice box and vintage stove. They reminded me of the kitchen in Scotty’s Castle. We also walked around the working library with a thousand books on flowers. Volunteers who tend the garden can use the library as a resource.
After touring the gorgeous mansion, we walked through the light display outside. A local company sponsored the light display with 200 “trees.” The colors lit up the winter night joyfully. The Greenhouse and Carriage house were also decorated and open.
Mom and Dad are members of Kingwood Center, so we were able to get in on their membership cards. But entrance for everyone is only $5 with kids under 12 free, so it is not expensive.
We enjoyed seeing the beautiful decorations and colorful lights at Kingwood Center. Mom said the rooms and trees are decorated differently every year, so we might have to make it an annual tradition.