Find old-fashioned Christmas at museum

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published November 28, 2012

ROCHESTER HILLS — Two upcoming events aim to combine holiday spirit with history.

The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm will host Santa’s Visit and Old Fashioned Christmas in December. Both events “get bigger every year,” said Museum Supervisor Pat McKay, and they include musical performances, theater, food, crafts and much more.

“We have activities for tiny kids, all the way up to adults,” McKay said. “It is not just for young families.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the farm to meet with boys and girls and accept their Christmas wish lists from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1. Timed reservation tickets for Santa’s Visit are $7, with discounts for museum members.

Old Fashioned Christmas will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the museum. Wagon rides will provide transportation between the museum’s historical buildings. Tickets are $7, with discounts for museum members.

Several special exhibits will be on display during both events — including gingerbread houses, a collection of toys from the past and a history of the Rochester Christmas parade.

Museum visitors will vote for their favorite gingerbread house, decorated by local elementary schools. The school with the most votes will win a museum Slip and Slide Day.

McKay said the holiday events are a great excuse to show off the museum’s newly improved historic Stoney Creek Schoolhouse, which was donated to the museum by Rochester Community Schools in 2010.

A new schoolhouse demonstration, which utilizes iPads, will display images from the 10 decades the school was used.

“It is a brand new exhibit,” McKay said.

Located in Stoney Creek Village, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 16-acre Rochester Hills Museum  complex was home to the Taylor and Van Hoosen families dating back to 1823. The complex features structures original to the property from 1840 to the early 20th century.

The museum’s holiday celebrations are some of the things “that make our community unique,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett.

The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm is located at 1005 Van Hoosen Road, one mile east of Rochester Road, south of Tienken Road. 

For more information or to register for Santa’s Visit or Old Fashioned Christmas, call (248) 656-4663 or visit

Tickets can also be purchased at the museum on Fridays and Saturdays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.