Lock & Key

About Lock & Key

The new Lock & Key guided tour will take guests through spaces in the mansion, carriage house, boathouse, grounds, and gardens. This tour complements Glensheen’s self-guided Classic or Full Mansion tours.* Guests will learn about the Congdon family and the staff who worked for them across the estate, along with seeing behind-the-scenes spaces typically not open to the public. These guided tours will be offered daily starting May 1, 2023.


*Please note that the Lock & Key Tour does not include access to the self-guided Classic or Full Manion tour of the house. Tickets for these tours must be purchased separately if desired.


ALL GUESTS must go to the Ticket House to check in prior to the start of the tour.

Grounds Admission is included with the purchase of any mansion tour. 

We encourage guests to dress for the weather! The tour route includes outdoor pathways but will take place rain or shine.

We strongly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. To purchase online, click here. Tickets will also be sold in person at Glensheen’s ticket house, however, we strongly encourage guests to purchase tickets online due to the limited number of tour spaces.

Est. Time: 1.5 hours.

Want to see the entire mansion?

The Full Mansion Tour is a self-guided experience that explores all five floors of the mansion. Full Mansion tour tickets are only available for purchase onsite as capacities allow. Learn more about the Full Mansion Tour.



Please visit our ACCESSIBILITY page to learn more about available accommodations. For additional information or to request accommodations, please contact us at 888-454-4536 or [email protected]. Please note that this guided tour includes multiple sets of stairs and outdoor uneven pathways, so it may not be accessible to all. Please contact ticketing at 218-726-8910 for questions and to learn more.


Cover photo (above) and carriage photos (below) courtesy of Bryan French Photography.

Spirit of the Lights


11/25 – 11/26 5 PM to 9 PM
12/2 – 12/3 5 PM to 9 PM
12/9 – 12/10 5 PM to 9 PM
12/16 – 12/17 5 PM to 9 PM
12/22 – 12/23 5 PM to 9 PM
12/26 – 12/31 5 PM to 9 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 Hales’ 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. 2022 marks the fourth 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.


At this time, Glensheen does not allow pets or emotional support animals on the property. However, we do welcome service dogs!

For additional accessibility information, please refer to our accessibility page here.


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


A tunnel of white lights stands over a dark pathway, with red and white lights on trees in the distance in the night sky.


Grounds Admission

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.
American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program 2023 member garden. Logo of a leaf on green.




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



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 choose from. Each tour with a different focus and virtual guide.




Virtual Guided Tours

  • 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.


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.



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.

Christmas Candlelight Tours


11/25 – 11/26 5 PM to 8 PM
12/2 – 12/3 5 PM to 8 PM
12/9 – 12/10 5 PM to 8 PM
12/16 – 12/17 5 PM to 8 PM
12/22 – 12/23 5 PM to 8 PM
12/26 – 12/31 5 PM to 8 PM

* CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day



12/26: Click here to purchase online

12/27: Click here to purchase online

12/28: Click here to purchase online

12/29: Click here to purchase online

12/30: Click here to purchase online

12/31: Click here to purchase online


(Note that tickets can also be purchased in person at Glensheen on the day of Candlelight Tours)


NEW THIS YEAR: We have brought in newly inspired decorations to fill the mansion with color and fun for the holidays! No matter if you’ve been before or if this will be your first time, Glensheen is a must-stop destination for your holiday vacation or trip to Duluth.

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, 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(opens in new window) information.

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


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 allows 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.


A family membership is $75 and an Individual Membership is $40.


Purchase Your Membership by Clicking 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. 





We offer exclusive members-only events and tours, such as our member-exclusive Christmas Preview event. 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
  • 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)
  • $12 Candlelight Christmas Tour (regularly priced at $25, offered seasonally)
  • $12 Full-Mansion Tour (regularly priced at $32)

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.




Family membership | $75

Individual Membership | $40.

Purchase your Membership HERE.



Tour Hours


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.