Ever wonder how Georgians celebrated the holidays before and during the Civil War? Milledgeville, Ga., brings that world to life with the Old Governor’s Mansion. Make a weekend of it with a stay at the Antebellum Inn and dinner at a restaurant in an old bank building.

The Christmas tree in the rotunda of the Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville

The Christmas tree in the rotunda of the Old Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville.

Southern Holiday Traditions Tour at the Old Governor’s MansionAntebellum Christmas transforms the mansion into a Christmas wonderland. Take a step back in time and see how the elite of Georgia celebrated this holiday. Tours are held on the hour, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. until Dec 23. Candlelight tours also take place December 17 at 6 and 7 p.m.

Three fun facts to get you excited about visiting:

  • The rotunda Christmas tree is decorated according to Charles Dickens’ short story “A Christmas Tree,” with 1,500 candles and 1,600 lights. Additionally, 2,800 crystal icicles and ornaments made from natural materials found in the yard or around the house deck the Tannenbaum.
  • Decorations throughout the home are made with large amounts of live greenery, fresh fruits and other materials that would have been available within the household or around the grounds. Fruits, including the newly introduced exotic pineapple, were used in the decorations show the wealth of the family.
  • The children’s room includes a gum drop tree and a traditional tree, but also a ribbon cob web. Usually on Christmas eve, the children and their parents would “web” the room with various colors of ribbon. On Christmas morning, the children would be assigned a color and follow the ribbon through the maze to find their presents left by Santa.

The Antebellum Inn in Milledgeville features period-style Christmas decorations

The Antebellum Inn in Milledgeville features period-style Christmas decorations.

Christmas at Antebellum Inn Bed & Breakfast. Christmas décor in the common area and elaborate outdoor decorations ring in the season. You’ll feel history come alive in the 1890 inn, featuring period-style rooms with Wi-Fi, luxurious linens and private baths. Breakfast includes farm-fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, jams and fruit. Don’t miss the famous raspberry French toast and homemade quiches, as well.

A romantic dinner at Aubri Lane's in Milledgeville

Reserve a table in the bank vault for a romantic dinner at Aubri Lane’s in Milledgeville.

Dine at Aubri Lane’sLocated in downtown Milledgeville, the family will enjoy a delicious contemporary Southern dinner in a truly unique setting. Aubri Lane’s sits inside what was once the 1884 Milledgeville Banking Company. It’s suitable for the entire family; don’t miss the crispy calamari, which was named by Explore Georgia as one of the 100 Plates Locals Love. If you happen to escape to Milledgeville for a date night, then be sure to make reservations for a private dinner inside the bank-vault-turned-wine-cellar.

LesliLesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.