Tickets are now on sale for the 28th annual Christmas in Island Heights House Tour and Craft shows. Hosted by the Island Heights United Methodist Church, this holiday event will take place on Saturday, Dec 3 from 10a.m. to 4p.m.
The $25 admission fee includes entrance to six unique homes in historic Island Heights. Tour highlights include: a home built in 1878 (the 10th house built in Island Heights) and occupied by the same family for more than 100 years; a Craftsman-style home that literally rose from the ashes after the family’s previous residence was destroyed in a fire (that home once served as a post office); a home/office in what used to be a Silver Screen silent-movie theater, dance studio, and ice cream parlor; a contemporary home with cathedral ceilings, two balconies, and a detached garage/workshop/office; a two-story home with large, open first-floor layout centered around a large wood-burning stove; and the home with a lucky green Irish door that features a pool, child’s playhouse, and cabana with shower and bath.
In addition, there will be two craft shows, one at the church (111 Ocean Avenue), and the other at the Island Heights Firehouse on Lake Avenue, both free and open to the public between 9a.m. and 4p.m.
For a nominal fee, lunch will be served from 12 to 3:30 p.m. at the church and firehouse, and will feature homemade Methodist Minestrone soup, sandwiches, and desserts. Breakfast is available at the church from 8 to 10a.m. ($5 adults, $3 children), and guests can relax and enjoy hot beverages and homemade sweets in a Victorian tearoom from 1 to 4p.m. for $4.
On tour day, many Island Heights points of interest will open their doors, among them: the Cottage Museum; The Studio at the John Peto house; Ludlow Thorston Gallery; the Ocean County Artists’ Guild; the Island Heights Library; and St. Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Church.
New this year: Guests can board one of two trolleys that will be circulating the route that day. The cars will feature holiday music and pick up and drop riders off at all points of interest. The all-day fare is $5. Wristbands can be purchased at the church or firehouse; parking is available throughout town and at the post office.
A candlelight carol service will kick off home-tour weekend on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Held in the beautiful sanctuary of the church, this free event is open to the public.
Tickets may be purchased for $25 at the Island Heights United Methodist Church Tuesday through Friday from 9a.m. to 12p.m., or at one of these Island Heights locations: Ludlow Thorston Galleries, 10 Central Avenue; Ocean County Artists' Guild, Ocean and Chestnut avenues; NJ. In Toms River: Island Cafe, 1611 Hwy 37 East or Fast Break, 1635 Hwy 37 East.
To reserve tickets in advance, e-mail IHUMC@comcast.net. Tickets will also be available on house tour day and may be purchased at the church or the Island Heights firehouse beginning at 9:00 a.m.