Archives

Spirit of the Lights

DECEMBER 19 – 23 & 26

Dec. 31 & Jan. 1

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Free & open to the public

 

Spirit of the Lights is Glensheen’s enchanting outdoor light display. This outdoor display is FREE and open to the public. Glensheen has been home to Spirit of the Lights since 2018, before then you may have known it as Marcia Hale’s famous Park Point Light Display. 

 

Due to health and safety precautions, cider and cookies will not be offered this year. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink to enjoy on the estate!

 

Tickets are not needed to attend Spirit of the Lights. Mansion tours are available for purchase in the ticket house.

 

Dress for the weather! It can be chilly by the Lake. There are fires lit across the estate to stop and warm up at. Spirit of the Lights guests also have access to explore the Carriage House. The Gift Shop is in the Carriage House and is open during Spirit of the Lights, so be sure to stop in!

 

The display is celebrated for its intimate and natural feel. Many of the motifs and displays are in memory of individuals or in recognition of meaningful moments. To say this is a uniquely special display is an understatement. 2021 marks the third year that Spirit of the Lights’ home has been at Glensheen. We can’t thank Marcia enough for choosing Glensheen as the new home for these lights, which have such a storied past.

 

Please note that only the outdoor light display is free. To experience the magic of an evening candlelight tour at Glensheen click HERE.

 

 

Grounds Admission

Open Daily | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Grounds close at 6:00 pm

 

 

ALL GUESTS AND MEMBERS must go to the Ticket House to check in.

Grounds Admission is only available for onsite, day-of purchases.

 

What is Grounds Admission?

Grounds Admission gives guests access to walk Glensheen’s Lake Superior shore in Duluth and enjoy the 12-acre estate at the start of the North Shore.

The Grounds Admission is perfect for guests who simply want to explore the grounds and not tour inside the mansion.

Delight in exploring the estate while locating the outdoor educational signage and using the free Glensheen App. Each offers golden nuggets of Glensheen knowledge that you most likely didn’t know!

Here’s why you should visit the grounds of Glensheen:

  • There are few places better than Glensheen’s estate to spend a perfect Duluth day.
  • The educational experience is not lost on the grounds. Our free mobile app includes detailed information about the estate in audio and text format.
  • There are also 12 educational signs situated at points of interest that allow guests to enjoy a self-guided grounds tour at their own pace.
  • It’s Instagram gold. We will be actively sharing our visitor’s best posts!
  • Glensheen’s Lake Superior shoreline is an excellent beach for agate hunting

 

Things to keep in mind when enjoying the grounds

  • As always, we ask guests and staff to admire plants and vegetation with their eyes and not touch or remove plants and vegetation on the estate

  • SUMMER: We ask guests to please stay on the stone, woodchip, and paved pathways when exploring the estate.

  • WINTER: We encourage you to do a little offroading via snowshoes! Feel free to venture into the wooded areas on the estate

 

American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program

  • Since Glensheen participates in the AHS Reciprocal Admissions Program, Glensheen members receive free gardens/grounds admission to all other participating gardens in the country.
  • Glensheen also offers free grounds admission to people who are members of any other garden/museum that participates in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program.

 

 

ACCESSIBILITY

Please visit our ACCESSIBILITY page to learn more about available accommodations. For additional information or to request accommodation, please contact us at 888-454-4536 or [email protected].

 

Service dogs are welcome! Pets or emotional support animals are not permitted. For more information regarding accessibility, please visit our Accessibility Page

 

RESTORATION CONSTRUCTION NOTICE: We’re so excited to be honoring our mission of ‘Celebrate Preservation’ with the restoration taking place in our Formal Garden! The mansion and grounds are open to the public as usual. Be sure to check out the view from the Juliet Balcony!

 

HOURS

Virtual Glensheen

If traveling to see the mansion in person is not an option for you, you can see the mansion virtually with a guide of your choice! There are three different guided virtual tours to chose from. Each tour with a different focus and virtual guide.

 

PURCHASE YOUR GUIDED VIRTUAL TOUR HERE

 

Virtual Guided Tours (NEW!)

  • Virtual Christmas Tour with Jane
    • See the Christmas trees, hidden elves, and the mansion decorated for Christmas virtually. Hear Congdon Christmas stories as Jane, Glensheen’s  Official Holiday Ambassador guides you through the most famous rooms of the mansion.
  • In-Depth Virtual Tour with Milissa
    • Have you ever wanted to see what’s inside all of the cabinets and drawers in Glensheen? Well, this is your chance! Explore the nooks, crannies, drawers, cabinets, SECRET COMPARTMENTS, and behind the scenes stories with Glensheen’s Collections Manager, Milissa Brooks-Ojibway.

 

Self-Guided 360º Virtual Tour

In line with the MuseumFromHome movement and many museums across the globe, Glensheen is finding innovative ways to bring the century-old historic home to you on your couch. 

In partnership with Explore Minnesota, Visit Duluth, and Alleycat Photography, Glensheen launched a 360º virtual tour experience that is available free of charge.

Virtual tour guests can experience their favorite rooms on the main floor like the famous Breakfast Room, explore the summery-green grounds, and see the second floor. Yes, this means you could make the favorite, “Green Room” or Breakfast Room, your virtual office backdrop – making it feel like your home office while basking in the sunshine among the floor to ceiling green tiles.

 

START YOUR SELF-GUIDED 360º GLENSHEEN EXPERIENCE

 

Here are the best ways to experience the 360º Virtual Tour:

  1. Choose your Virtual Tour Enhancement – Virtual Treasure Book or Glensheen App
    1. Download & open the Glensheen app on your smartphone (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play)
    2. Or print the Virtual Treasure Book
  2. Open the 360º virtual tour on a laptop or desktop
  3. Use the Virtual Treasure Book as an eye-spy game or the Glensheen app for audio snippets to enhance your experience as you virtually explore the mansion

 

Virtual Treasure Book

This new enhancement was designed after the success of the original in-person Treasure Book that was created in 2015 for guests on tour while exploring the mansion. This is an eye-spy game intended to be used within the Glensheen Virtual Tour. The Virtual Treasure Book makes a virtual tour experience way more fun than most other Virtual Tours… which can get boring pretty quickly. During the COVID-19 closure, the new Treasure Book is available as a free download to enhance the 360º virtual tour experience. 

How do you use the Virtual Tour Treasure Book?

  1. Download the Virtual Tour Treasure Book –HERE
  2. Print it off (Be sure to select ‘fit to page’ in your print settings)
  3. Go to Glensheen’s Virtual Tour
  4. Use the Treasure Book as you guide yourself through the mansion

 

Glensheen App

Glensheen Mansion launched the tour app through the museum app company, Encurate, in 2019 to enhance the self-guided tour experience. With maps and audio descriptions for nearly every room, the app is a complementary tool to not only the General Admission in-person experience but now also, the Glensheen 360º virtual tour. Feeling a little stir crazy? The app and Glensheen 360º also allows you to explore the grounds and 12-acre estate.

Glensheen at Home Hack: We suggest viewing the 360º virtual tour on a desktop or laptop while using the Glensheen app on a smartphone. With a little bit of manual work, you can connect what you’re seeing on your computer with the descriptions you’re hearing from the app on your phone.

The Glensheen app is a free and available for download by searching “GLENSHEEN” in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

 

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY GLENSHEEN VIRTUALLY

During the year of 2020 and quarantines, Glensheen has created various ways to enjoy Glensheen from the comfort of your couch. Download and print the Coloring Book or put together a digital Glensheen puzzle.

 

Glensheen Coloring Book

We’ve just digitized our Glensheen Coloring Book. It is usually available for purchase in the Gift Shop, but we are giving you the digital file for free. Simply click below, download, print the file, and color away!

Glensheen_ColoringBook (PDF)

 

Glensheen Puzzles

Test your Glensheen visual memory and enjoy uncovering the Glensheen image below by putting together this digital puzzle. Then explore the additional puzzles if you’d like more Glensheen puzzles to complete!

 

Glensheen Garden Puzzle – 117 pieces

 

Historic Glensheen Greenhouse – 70 pieces

 

Living Room – 48 pieces

 

Chester and son – 150 pieces

 

Marjorie’s Vase – 96 pieces

 

Head Gardener Tour

Do you love Glensheen’s gardens? Do you dream of hydrangeas, honeybees, and horticulture?

With the ALL NEW Head Gardener tour, roam the grounds with Glensheen’s Head Gardener Emily while learning about the history of Glensheen’s bewitching gardens and how they’re preserved today.

Wander through the vegetable gardens while learning about the greenhouses. Explore the Congdon’s prized formal garden while learning how they were kept year-round. Hear all about the University of Minnesota’s experimental rose garden while observing its beauty firsthand.


The Head Gardener Tour is offered Wednesdays at 10 am. Please call at least 48 hours in advance or reserve your tickets online here


This guided tour includes General Admission. 

Collections Manager Tour

Think you’ve taken every tour Glensheen has to offer? Think again.

On our BRAND NEW Collections Manager Tour, experience Glensheen like you’ve never seen it before. This is the ultimate behind-the-ropes experience where you will go into spaces and see items that have never been experienced by the public before. Collections Manager, Milissa, will reveal exclusive and rare collectibles throughout the mansion’s first, second, and lower levels.

Catch a glimpse of newly uncovered items and rarely seen items in drawers, cabinets, and even rooms… All while learning unique information rarely shared on tour.


The Collections Manager Tour is offered Wednesdays at 2 pm. Please call at least 48 hours in advance or reserve your tickets online here


This guided tour includes General Admission. 

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are currently available for General Admission and Full-Mansion tours at Glensheen. Gift certificates can be made for any dollar amount and do not expire.

During the ordering process, you will be asked to provide how you would like the To: portion of your gift certificate to appear. Your gift certificate order will be mailed to the address entered in your account when you make your purchase.

To have your gift certificate mailed to a different address or recipient, or if you have any other questions, we encourage you to call us at 218-726-8910 and we will be happy to assist you.

 

To purchase a gift certificate please visit us here.

Great Glensheen Outdoor Tacky Christmas Display

Stay Tuned for the Return of Outdoor Christmas Fun in 2019!

Walk Glensheen’s grounds as you look for sharks, unicorns, spaceships and see Duluth’s tackiest outdoor Christmas display! Take as long as you’d like, with your friends and family in tow, as you wander through an eclectic blend of blow-up decor, dangling ornaments, and socializing snowmen.

CLICK HERE to see calendar for Extended Hours and the Great Glensheen Outdoor Tacky Christmas Display. 


This tour does not include the inside of the Mansion. To get a Mansion Tour, please see the General Admission and Candlelight Tour pages. All of the indoor tours include admission to Glensheen’s Great Outdoor Tacky Christmas Display.

Evening Candlelight Tour

Self-guided Evening Candlelight Tours will be offered

Friday and Saturday nights | 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

November 26 – 27, December 3 – 4, 10-11, 17 – 18, 19 – 23, 26, 31 & January 1

 

Purchase Candlelight Tour Tickets Online or Onsite

To purchase self-guided Candlelight Tour tickets online, PURCHASE HERE.

To keep building capacities reduced, admittance into the mansion is granted based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Therefore, Candlelight Tours DO NOT have a specific tour time assigned. Guests who purchase online can simply arrive between 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The last Evening Candlelight Tour of the night is sold at 7:30 pm.

 

About the Candlelight Tour

Count the 25 hidden elves,

Admire 25 Christmas trees at night,

Enjoy the extras and family-friendly experience,

Immerse yourself in the Christmas stories of the Congdon family,

And explore an unforgettable Christmas mansion at night on this self-guided tour.

 

On a Candlelight tour, guests will find themselves in the mansion engulfed by the glow of the Christmas tree lights at night. This gorgeous display will surely make it onto your yearly Christmas bucket list. On this self-guided tour, one-way-traffic tour, guests will experience the decorated first floor, second floor, and lower level of the Christmas mansion.

 

The Candlelight tour is a self-guided experience of the lower level, first, and second floors.

Interpretive signage and downloadable app with audio tour available.

The signage and app include all of your favorite information from the guided tours!

Est. Time: 1 hour.

Additional ACCESSIBILITY information.

*Glensheen requests that guests do not bring their own flashlights.

 

 

SPIRIT OF THE LIGHTS

PLUS! As a tour perk, Candlelight Tour guests will have the chance to enjoy the outdoor light display, Spirit of the Lights.

NOTICE: ACCESSIBILITY IS EXTREMELY LIMITED. Due to the natural aesthetic of this event, a majority of the pathways will be unplowed and may be covered in snow and ice. Winter boots are strongly suggested. Guests may also bring their own snowshoes. Strollers, wheelchairs, and other items with wheels are not recommended.

 

Please visit our ACCESSIBILITY page to learn more about available accommodations. For additional information or to request accommodation, please contact us at 888-454-4536 or [email protected].

 

 

Health & Safety Updates

THE MANSION IS OPEN FOR SELF-GUIDED, ONE-WAY TRAFFIC TOURS.

Per the University of Minnesota, all staff and visitors are required to wear a mask while indoorsFree masks are available. Thank you for understanding.

We encourage all visitors to consider conducting health screening before entering the facility.

To learn more about Glensheen’s Safety Plan, please visit HEALTH & SAFETY.

 

 

Tour Hours

Membership

Members receive FREE Grounds Admission and FREE Classic Tours (previously named General Admission) year-round. Members also receive discounted rates on specialty tours. Grounds Admission allow you to explore Glensheen’s 12-acre estate and even bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds. The Classic Tour is a self-guided tour that covers the main floors of the mansion; the second floor, main floor, and lower level.

 

Family membership is $75 and an Individual Membership is $40. Purchase your Membership HERE

 

If you would like to gift a membership, you may choose where to have the membership card mailed and where renewal notices are sent, either the giver or the receiver. If have questions about how to gift a membership, please call us at (218) 726-8910. 

 

CURRENT MEMBERS –> LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO REDEEM YOUR MEMBER BENEFITS

 

EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS

We offer exclusive members-only events and tours. Last year, we hosted a Spirit of the Lights reveal party, a snowshoe tour with Glensheen’s Director, and an exclusive tour with Collections Manager, Milissa Brooks-Ojibway. When you purchase your Membership, include your email address to stay up to date as new benefits and events are announced.

Unlimited Estate Access

  • Free Grounds Admission
  • Free Spirit of the Lights Access
  • Enjoy Glensheen’s gorgeous grounds at your leisure. Bring a picnic lunch for the lawn or lounge next to the lakeshore. (Grounds access during tour hours only.)

Free & Discounted Specialty Tours

  • FREE Classic Tours year-round (including during Christmas)
  • $5 Candlelight Christmas Tour (regularly priced at $22, offered seasonally)
  • $12 Full-Mansion Tour (regularly priced at $30)

Elf & Treasure Books

  • For each Individual Membership, you will receive an Elf Book (during Christmas) or Treasure Book.
  • For each Family Membership, you will receive an Elf or Treasure Book for each child.
  • Learn more about these great tour enhancements by clicking here.

Gift Shop Discounts

  • Receive 10% off purchases at Glensheen’s Gift Shop

Discounts on other participating American Horticultural Society gardens

  • Since Glensheen participates in the AHS Reciprocal Admissions Program, Glensheen members receive free gardens/grounds admission to all other participating gardens in the country.
  • Glensheen also offers free grounds admission to people who are members of any other garden/museum that participates in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program.

 

 

PRICE : 

Family membership | $75

Individual Membership | $40.

Purchase your Membership HERE.

 

 

Tour Hours

Kayak

See Glensheen from Lake Superior

The independent tour company, Day Tripper of Duluth, offers kayak tours that start at Glensheen.

This is a one-of-a-kind experience. Have you toured Glensheen before and want that next-level experience? This is it.

Thanks to our friends at Day Tripper of Duluth, you can head out onto the vast waters of Lake Superior from the beautiful shore of Glensheen Mansion and see the estate from a completely new perspective. When conditions permit, you will spot the sunken breakwater and paddle up Tischer Creek nearly to the base of the house while you learn a bit about the natural and cultural history of the estate and area. ⁠

Launching your kayak from Glensheen’s shoreline is only allowed with the approved vendor, Day Tripper of Duluth.

Glensheen has created an agreement with a 3rd party vendor, Day Tripper of Duluth. The University of Minnesota Duluth and Glensheen do not operate or have any responsibility for Day Tripper of Duluth’s kayak tours.

 

Registration for a kayak tour is through Day Tripper of Duluth:

 

CLICK HERE to purchase Day Tripper of Duluth’s Kayak Tour at Glensheen

Day Tripper of Duluth is proud to offer Kayak Tours at Glensheen throughout the summer on a variety of days. Dates, times, and prices may vary.

Sundays | 9am & 11am
Wednesdays | 9am, 11am, & 4pm

 

Tours of the mansion can be purchased separately HERE.

Glensheen is owned and operated by the University of Minnesota. This tour does not include a Mansion tour. Tickets for the Mansion tour need to be purchased through Glensheen itself. You may explore the grounds before or after your paddle without the purchase of an additional ticket.