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Uptown double date: holiday concerts at the Morris-Jumel Mansion + Hamilton Grange

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Two of Upper Manhattan's most beautiful old homes are not just welcoming visitors during the holidays, they're also less than a half-hour walk from each other. And this weekend both have concerts that you can enjoy while taking in their historic vibes. So why not make it a date and visit them both?

Start your tour at Hamilton Grange, the Federal-style house founding father Alexander Hamilton built for his family in 1802. On Saturday at 1pm Linda Russell and Companie will be offering an hour-long musical tribute to Hamilton through "ballads, broadsides, love songs, military music, parodies and dance tunes." The songs will be accompanied on the dulcimer, harp, guitar and flute.

The concert won't be held in the historical part of the house, but you can go on a tour of the carefully restored rooms before or after–both are free. Also make sure to stop by the gift shop, which sells Alexander Hamilton-related presents perfect for the holidays, including glass ornaments hand-painted with the Grange.

It's a 20-block walk north to the Morris-Jumel Mansion, built in 1765 and today Manhattan's oldest remaining house. Named after the first two families that owned it, the home is famous for residents including George Washington and Aaron Burr (the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel).

Catch the holiday jazz concert on Sunday (5:30pm-7pm; $30), or simply come for the festive atmosphere (admission is $10). The Mansion has gone all out–in a charmingly old-fashioned way–for Christmas. Simple garlands decorate the Palladian exterior, while inside you'll find more unfussy boughs and a tall tree that you can decorate with a pretty paper ornament of your choice.

While you're there, go on a self-guided tour of the beautiful home and see the colorful rooms where Washington planned his battles and Burr slept (oh, and visit the wonderful Charles Addams exhibit!). The house is a real treat, so make sure to check the rest of its holiday schedule, which includes movie nights, pomander-making day, and a Victorian holiday party.

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