Celebrate Christmas in Historic Natchez on the Mississippi
Celebrate Christmas Natchez-style on the banks of the Mississippi, exploring festively decorated mansions, antebellum architecture and taking in holiday music and a Christmas concert!
Rating (5)
Program No. 6812RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
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Check-in, Overview, Cooking Class with Christmas Dinner Menu
Natchez, MS
Natchez Grand Hotel

Afternoon: 4-5 p.m. Registration in the hotel lobby. At 5 p.m. is complimentary wine or soft drink at the hotel.

Dinner: A traditional, Old South Christmas dinner will be at the hotel at 6:30 p.m., featuring Chef Lynn Johnson, who teaches recipes and cooking techniques.

Evening: During the dinner, Chef Lynn Johnson, who trained under Wolfgang Puck of California, will conduct an interactive cooking class that features three courses of traditional Christmas foods in the Deep South. Road Scholars will enjoy eating the foods they have watched being prepared by the chef and fellow Road Scholars. Chef Lynn will discuss recipes, history of the foods, and cooking techniques. Souvenir recipes will be distributed. At 7:45 p.m. is a welcome session and orientation for the week's programs.

Natchez History, Architecture & Decorative Arts, Rosalie
Natchez, MS
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Programs about Natchez history and architecture and decorative arts by two highly regarded professionals.

Lunch: A buffet luncheon is at the hotel.

Afternoon: Program about long ago Christmas customs in wealthy Natchez by an author on the subject. Stroll along the historic downtown streets with a history buff. Visit historic Rosalie (1822), a National Historic Landmark mansion in downtown Natchez, decorated for the holidays. Free time follows. Wind up the afternoon with a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own in one of Natchez's many renowned restaurants. Pick from top-rated, high quality cuisine and wine to down-home comfort food, all delicious. Road Scholar staff will assist with recommendations.

Evening: Free evening.

Slavery, Free Blacks, Magnolia Hall, Christmas Cabaret
Natchez, MS
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking

Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel breakfast room beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Morning: Continue learning about Natchez history, particularly the use of slave labor during the first half of the 19th century when cotton was king. Next be entranced by the William Johnson story of Free Blacks in Natchez.

Lunch: Lunch will be at Magnolia Hall, the last mansion built before the Civil War.

Afternoon: A guided visit through Magnolia Hall is followed by a short walk to the nearby William Johnson House, built in the mid 1800s by the famous Free Black of Natchez, for a study trip through time. Exhibits and interactive history booths take you to the lives of people who literally lived between two worlds. Free time follows. Wind up the day with complimentary wine or soft drink at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner is at Cotton Alley Cafe, where you'll continue learning about William Johnson as you enjoy a dinner inspired by his diary entries of 1836. Don't worry! The foods are similar to what is eaten today, but you'll get to see his description of them and then eat the chef's interpretation of them.

Evening: A Christmas Cabaret awaits to entertain you with favorite seasonal tunes. Performers are professional musicians from the University of Southern Mississippi. The event is hosted by the Natchez Festival of Music.

Welty Christmas story, photo exhibit, Chopin and Champagne
Natchez, MS
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel beginning at 7 a.m.

Morning: Learn about The Mississippi: A River of Change by the author of a new book about the subject. Next is an interactive program that features Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path," a story set at Christmas in Natchez. Read the story in advance and volunteer to read part of it aloud!

Lunch: Luncheon is at a downtown restaurant that is a local favorite.

Afternoon: Revel in hundreds of historic photographs of Natchez from 1850s to 1950s at a permanent exhibit at Natchez in Historic Photographs. Enjoy a hometown Christmas parade just outside the hotel. A complimentary glass of wine or a soft drink at the hotel winds up the afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner at The Pilot House at The Vue Hotel overlooking the river follows one theme of "The 12 Days of Christmas." You'll enjoy "Three French Hens" and all the trimmings.

Evening: Enjoy a concert of classical piano music with refreshments afterward at "Chopin and Champagne," a professional event in historic Joseph Stone House. After the concert, sip champagne, wine, or juice while exploring the house and its many collections.

Visits to Stanton Hall and private homes, Christmas concert
Natchez, MS
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking required

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel beginning at 7 a.m.

Morning: Optional attendance of a church service at one of several historic downtown churches. Music prevails.

Lunch: Luncheon will be served at the Carriage House on the grounds of Stanton Hall. A tall Christmas tree beckons in the main dining room.

Afternoon: Visit palatial Stanton Hall decorated for Christmas. Next visit one or more private homes presented in seasonal finery and opened especially as a benefit tour for the Armstrong public library. Wind up the day with complimentary wine or soft drink at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Evening: A spectacular, annual concert of Christmas music concludes the program at St. Mary (Catholic) Basilica, featuring the Alcorn State University Concert Choir. The choir performed for President Clinton's first inauguration and regularly presents award-winning concerts.

Program concludes.
Natchez, MS

Breakfast: Breakfast is served beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Morning: Check out of hotel by 11:00 a.m.

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