Winter lights

The grounds of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum have been turned into an illuminated wonderland with a holiday light display. A walking tour features four new outdoor vignettes, sculptures and expanded S’more Village. Indoors, gaze at a towering 24-foot-tall tree of poinsettias. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Fri.-Sun. through Jan. 6, plus Dec. 26 and 27. Free with $15 gate admission for 16 and older. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska.

Historic holiday home

The Purcell-Cutts house is decorated for the holidays to reflect the “progressive” lifestyle of the family that originally lived there. Built in the early 1900s, the home was designed by William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie in the Prairie School style of architecture.

The 45-minute tours are led by costumed docents who share social traditions of the period and the history of the Purcell and Cutts families. Weekends through Dec. 30. $5. Tours leave from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls.



Christmas traditions from yesterday

The James J. Hill House, an 1890s Gilded Age 36,000-square-foot mansion, is the Minnesota version of Downton Abbey.

Take a guided tour to discover how the Hill family, along with friends and their servants, gathered to celebrate the season at the historic residence on St. Paul’s Summit Avenue.

Guides bring visitors through the basement and first and second floors while sharing family stories and memories, including details of Mrs. Hill’s lavish seven-course holiday meal in 1910 and how the servants kept their own holiday traditions.

Tours are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 26, 27, 28 and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 30. 240 Summit Av., St. Paul. 651-297-2555. Tickets $12 adults, $10 seniors and college students, $8 ages 5-17; discount for MNHS members.

Alexander Ramsey served as the state’s second governor and three generations of the Ramsey family lived in the Alexander Ramsey House, a historic 1872 decorative arts masterpiece. At Victorian Christmas guided home tours, discover how the Ramsey family and their friends, neighbors and servants prepared for and celebrated the 1875 Christmas season. Tours are scheduled from noon to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30; 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 27, 28 and 29. 265 S. Exchange St., St. Paul. 651-296-8760. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, $8 ages 5-17; discount for MNHS members.