Updated: Mar 2, 2020
What if you could take Santa’s sleigh back in time to 1906 and “celebrate the season” in the Victorian Era? Well, the next best thing is a gift waiting to be unwrapped for locals. During November, they are invited to help decorate the Victorian Bembridge House, near Drake Park.
“People can help by donating holiday decorations or they can help us decorate a room,” said Bette McKinney. “Our room is Neal’s room,” she explained, adding that Neal spent his childhood in the home as the younger brother of owner Dorothy.
McKinney is part of a team of Belmont Heights Community Association volunteers who decorate Bembridge each holiday. Those interested in donating or decorating should contact President@MyBelmontHeights.org. This year’s theme is “Oh, Christmas Tree.”
“For about 15 years, several Long Beach community associations have decorated a part of the house,” said Bembridge House Chairman Chris Hogan. About 20 years ago, the home was sold to Long Beach Heritage as a private non-profit house museum, he explained.
Beginning in December, there are daytime and nighttime Victorian Christmas tours, Hogan said. Docents dressed in Victorian attire give the tours a festive authenticity. Visitors wanting to get a jump on their Christmas shopping can visit the gift shop in the Carriage House, where plants and handmade crafts are for sale. Hogan noted that specific information about Victorian Christmas tours can be found on the Bembridge House website: https://www.lbheritage.org/tours-events/victorian-christmas/