Metroparks Meetup: Decking the Halls at the Manor House

It's the 48th year of Holidays at the Manor House, and one of the decorators has experience decking the halls of the White House.
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:01 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - This is the 48th consecutive year that volunteers have come out to decorate the Manor House for the holidays, and each of the 32 rooms in the building has a different theme.

“We like to keep the rooms different every single year,” Shannon Hughes, Director of Education & Programming for Metroparks Toledo said. “That’s one of the best things about this: when you come, you’re never going to see the same room twice. We make sure that folks have new and different ideas.”

The Metroparks start the process of interviewing volunteer candidates in February, eight months in advance! One of them is Mark Smith. He’s been decorating at the Manor House for 6 years now, and back in 2020, he had the opportunity of a lifetime in our nation’s capital.

Smith saw a story that aired during a 13 Action News broadcast at 11 p.m. and he and his daughter decided to apply.

“My ultimate dream was to do the White House, and we were selected!” said Smith. “We went and did the White House for the first lady and president.”

Smith said he’s not a professional, but once he’s finished decorating here at the Manor House, he and his daughter are headed back to DC.

“We were selected again this year!” Smith told us. “So we’re going to Washington on Thanksgiving Day, and we decorate for 3 days at the White House.”

You can stop by the Manor House to soak in all the holiday spirit from December 2nd through the 10th anytime between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Admission is free and no reservations are required. There are also a few other holiday traditions you can partake in during your stop at Wildwood Metropark.

“On the weekends we also have s’mores available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and we also have carriage rides!” Hughes said. “Now with our carriage rides, they are registration required, and they do sell out fast.”

Don’t forget, the model train setup will also be at Wildwood Metropark. You’ll be able to find that at Metroparks Hall on the same dates and times that the Manor House is open.