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Terrace Hill Set to Delight Guests for the Holiday Season

Holiday Tea 2021

October 15, 2021

Terrace Hill, Iowa Governor’s Residence and National Historic Landmark, has intrigued and inspired the public since the first guests walked through its doors for the housewarming party of original owners, Arathusa and Benjamin Franklin Allen, on January 29, 1869. We hope to inspire the same awe and wonder as the house awakens from a long pause of special events due to the pandemic.

Holiday Tea Times

Twinkling lights, clinking teacups and enticing treats await guests wishing to enjoy a Holiday Tea at Terrace Hill. This year's event will be held on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 with two times available, a morning tea at 10:30 a.m. and an afternoon tea at 2 p.m. Guests will enjoy tea, scones, tea sandwiches, cookies and cakes in the historic rooms of Terrace Hill adorned for the holidays.

Reservations are $40 per guest and must be made in advance. To make a reservation for one of the Holiday teas, call our office at (515) 281-7205 or purchase them online.

For reservations to the morning tea, visit: th2021amtea.eventbrite.com.

For reservations to the afternoon tea, visit: th2021pmtea.eventbrite.com.

Funding Restoration Projects

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Terrace Hill Partnership, a nonprofit organization that supports necessary conservation and restoration projects at Terrace Hill. It is with the Partnership’s funding that the pool area, originally erected in 1928, was fully refurbished with a 16-inch-deep reflecting pool in 2016 and a pergola on the pool house (using the original 1928 plans) was reconstructed in 2020. The Partnership also helped fund a project which was just completed this month. A roof leak caused extensive damage to an area of the second-floor walls and paint stenciling. For months the second floor was closed to guests while the damage was repaired; we are excited that it is now open again!

Guests will be able to enjoy the second floor, not only during the Holiday Teas, but another event coming in December. We will have Christmas at Terrace Hill on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021 from 1 – 4 p.m. (Proceeds will also go to the Terrace Hill Partnership.) This family-friendly event will include activities for the kids, a reading of a special Terrace Hill Christmas story written by a local children’s author and a visit from Santa and his reindeer! More details and reservation information will be posted on the Terrace Hill website later this month.

Aside from our special events, Terrace Hill offers guided tours Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and Noon from March through December (we are closed on holidays). Tour reservations must be made 48 hours in advance.

For more information on events and tours visit terracehill.iowa.gov.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Claire Sowder

Claire Sowder is a native Iowan and lover of "all things Iowa." Her position as communications and events coordinator at Terrace Hill gives her the fantastic opportunity to use her talents to highlight and share the events and history of the Iowa Governor's Residence and National Historic Landmark.