IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS
See the wonderful works of art that are featured at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum including works with a holiday feel and vision. The group will also learn about Bil Baird, another famous, former Mason City resident and renowned puppeteer that has donated hundreds of his puppets to the museum. Baird’s most famous puppets were featured in the movie “The Sound of Music”, these puppets are currently on display at the museum.
Did you know that Meredith Willson is the author of the popular holiday song “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas”? Uncover the unique story regarding how Meredith Willson created this wonderful song, as well as, many other popular songs and plays while touring the Meredith Willson Boyhood Home and The Music Man Square. Both facilities will be filled with holiday decorations and the warmth of the holiday season.
Check into the hotel and take some time to relax. Then off we go to enjoy a scrumptious meal at one of the area restaurants with true River City entertainment, a special musical performance featuring songs from “The Music Man” and other traditional favorites including Willson’s “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas” performed by local talent. Another option available would be to partake in one of the many holiday annual events including Home for the Holidays or Clear Lake’s Christmas By the Lake. The group could also attend a Mason City Community Theater production or enjoy a performance of the North Iowa Performing Arts Series, the holiday options are endless! Wine sampling is also available.
First stop of the day is an Architectural Tour of Mason City. The tour can be strictly a guided tour by motorcoach or can include a slide presentation of the architectural aspects in the Rock Glen and Rock Crest area, the largest grouping of Prairie School Architecture on a unified site. A great opportunity to view the Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie School architectural designs in the community softly blanketed in the new fallen snow. What would the holidays be without shopping….next is a great chance to have some time to uncover those special treasures at the abundance of specialty shops and retail stores in Mason City. View the downtown map of retail stores all within walking distance.
A tour of the Historic Park Inn Hotel is the next stop. Built in 1910 for two Mason City attorneys, the Historic Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank building is the last remaining hotel in the world designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This classic example of Prairie School Architecture has been completely restored to its original appearance serving as an exquisite hotel. Explore the restored public places of the hotel on a guided tour of the facility. Visit the mezzanine balcony overlooking the lobby and dining room, the Skylight Room with its fully restored sky-lit art glass ceiling, the Ladies Parlor with art-glass French Doors, the Gentlemen’s Lounge and the Billiards Room and Mercury statues designed by Richard Bock. Next, relive the day the music died while touring the Surf Ballroom & Museum, the final concert site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.