Visit with a Victorian Lady

Victorian LadyA special favorite with all ages, this visit begins with a slide show featuring a very special Victorian girl - Juliette Gordon Low. High-spirited, talented, and rebellious, our slide show follows "Daisy" from mischievous child to inspired founder of Girl Scouting. Dressed as proper Victorian ladies ( and gentlemen) we use feather quills to create calling cards, and learn the proper etiquette for paying a call.

You will complete your visit with a formal tea, including finger sandwiches, tea, and scones with cream and jam. Parlour maids will serve and clear (of course!)

Program time: 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Kindred Spirits

No group reservations required!

"Miss Barry was a kindred spirit after all," Anne confided to Manilla, "You wouldn't think so to look at her, but she is... Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to tink. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world."

—L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Summer lady Lessons

For those who have longed for the chance to go on a Victorian adventure, but did not have the sufficient number of companions to make a group reservation, these special programs are open registration. Come with your daughter or a friend, or just come by yourself, and make new friends! Come and dress as a Victorian, enjoy all the amusements of these holiday programs, and meet kindred spirits around the Tea table!

Dec. 7 2013 10am - Victorian Christmas Party
Feb. 1, 2014 10am - Lavender and Lace, a Victorian Valentine

Cost $15.00 per person

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teacupCelebrating 100 years
of Girl Scouting

"Teacups to Tenderfoot"

A special Victorian Pastimes program extended thru June 2014

On March 9, 1912, before they had their first
official meeting, Daisy Gordon Low held a Tea at
her home for girls to explain her wonderful idea, and
started an adventure that would teach girls
to be prepared, to be useful, and to be as remarkable
as she knew they could be!

Join our celebration at the Brown House Inn.

First dress up in Victorian costumes, flagsand then see a slide show featuring the story of Daisy Low. Then you'll play games from the first Girl Scout meetings and learn some of the skills Girl Scouts needed to pass the test and earn the rank of Tenderfoot Scout. And of course, have a Tea party to celebrate your great adventure!

Program time: 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Victorian Fancies ©

FanMrs. Potters School of Culture & Refinement invites you to spend a few hours developing "ladylike grace and essential usefulness". Victorian costumes will be provided for all students. During Language of the Fan we'll learn to hold fans to say "I love You", "Go Away!", and "Meet me later". Your group will then make a "Victorian Fancy" to keep. Choices include punch paper embroidery, reticules (small purse), ribbon & lace pincushions, and handkerchief dolls ( one project will be taught to the entire group. Choice of project must be made before the visit).

Our etiquette lessons conclude as we sit for a formal Tea of finger sandwiches, tea, scones with cream and jam.

Program time: 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Friends fo TeaFriends for Tea©

Victorians would tell you that there is nothing so relaxing and cheery as having "friends for tea". Whether for adult friends or a young persons birthday, this program is ideal for those who would like to choose their favorite pieces of our Victorian programs.

To design your visit, choose one program from Section A & one from Section B. OR for the daring choose one from Section C only. Of course, Victorian costumes will be provided for all, and we'll conclude the visit with a formal Tea.

Section A

  • A House Tour (especially for those who want to learn more about the history of the Inn)
  • Calling Cards (see Visit with a Victorian Lady©)
  • Make a Victorian Fancy (see Victorian Fancies©)

Section B

  • Victorian Lady's Underwear
  • Language of the Fan
  • Victorian Ladies Slide Show (featuring Juliette Low)
  • Victorian Toys & Games
  • Parlour Games
  • Dance Lessons

Section C

  • Fencing
  • Victorian Mourning

Program time: 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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The Ladies Parlour

Ladies Parlour"No Ameriacn woman, let her speak all the tongues, and play all the instruments invented, can be said to be educated if she is not a good needlewonan." Catharine Maria Sedgwick "Means and Ends" 1839

Enter into the Ladies Parlour and recreate the art of the educated Victorian Lady. This room is filled with original pieces of Victorian handiwork, including samplers, beading, wax flowers, hair wreaths, and feather work.

Put on a Victorian costume, tour the Ladies Parlour for a peek into handiwork of the past, then choose a lesson in beadwork, or make a game or tinsel print. If you prefer a quiet discourse, a number of suitable topics can be directed, including Victorian courtship, Marriage and Mourning. Ladies will then retire to Tea.

Program time: 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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The Ladies Parlour
Victorian Boarding School©

SchoolYoung ladies of good family often had their education trusted to boarding schools. Young ladies studied varied academic subjects as well as those "finished" talents, music, art, and housewifery (planning a party, hiring & firing servants).

We'll put on Victorian costumes, choose a new school mistress (be sure your ears are clean and your nails are tidy, she may be strict!), and march two by two to our schoolroom. In our schoolroom you'll use slates and slate pencils to attend to your lessons. You schoolmistress may choose an arithmetic, or spelling lesson or have you read from you primers.

To complete your visit choose between either a lesson in the fine hand arts (an embroidery project), or Victorian toys and games ("Graces", "Rich Man, Poor Man", jacks, marble runs, cup & ball games, buzz saws). Such exertion of mind & body requires refreshment, and the class will retire to a formal Tea with finger sandwiches and scones.

Program time: 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Victorian Pantomime & Puppetry

"in supplying healthy, sensible work and amusement for leisure hours,... the tendency is to refine the tastes and ambitions of girls"
–The American Girl Handy Book 1886.

Plays and puppet shows were poular childhood pastimes in Victorian times, in both humble and wealthy households. Constructing puppets, and putting on shows or learning a play to act out was a "sensible" source of amusement. First put on Victorian costumes, then you'll see puppets popular during the time of Queen Victoria, including marionettes, and the beloved Punch & Judy. Then choose one of these activities: make a puppet to take home, OR change into theater costumes to perform a pantomime.

Of course, such sensible amusement concludes with a formal Tea featuring finger sandwiches and scones.

Program Time 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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The Haunted Tea

Though not normally inhabited by ghosts, the Brown House Inn sets the scene to help celebrate a favorite Victorian holiday-All Hallows Eve.

First, discover what your future holds, make a nutting fortune, and exchange it with a friend (no peeking). You may open one with a penny for poverty, a button for a bachelor’s life, or any number of fanciful fortunes.

Then chose either to make your way by candlelight to the Ladies Parlor, to hear the ghost stories of the Inn, including the story of Louisa Browns unhappy portrait, and what happened to Kid Brown on the night of the Great Fire, OR (“in light as if t’were day”) try some Halloween games and magic tricks sure to amuse and confuse.

Of course, after all our Halloween mischief we will retire for Tea!

haunted tea

For the truly brave and adventurous, add a Halloween encounter with Cousin Emily (she’s just s bit strange), or our bumbling butlers and hysterical maids. To have cast members of the Victorian Pastime Players join your reveries there is an additional actor’s fee of $50 per program.

Reservations available the last weekend of September
extended thru November 17, 2013
Program time: 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Victorian Christmas Party

ChristmasSt. Nicholas is coming to the Brown House Inn. Celebrate a Christmas in 1880, with Christmas pudding, the Paupers Piece, special games and a special feast.

We'll put on our Victorian costumes and begin by making St. Nicholas bags to take home. Filled with coal, sugar, or a lemon drop, when you open yours St. Nicholas will know if you've be mischievous, sweet or a sourpuss! Then we'll play special Victorian Christmas games like "Coal & Sugar", or "St. Nicholas' Magic Bag".

Tea includes a Christmas cake with a "Paupers Piece" hidden inside (if you find it, turn it in to get your prize), finger sandwiches and tea.

Reservations available the last weekend of November
thru December 23rd
Program time 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Friends for Christmas©

christmasFor those who have enjoyed the "Victorian Christmas Party©" or those who would like to choose their favorite Christmas activity, come to the Brown House Inn for a special holiday treat.

We'll prepare for a visit to Christmas Past by putting on Victorian costumes, then play "Peter, Peter" to see who St. Nicholas will favor and who he may pass by. Choose your favorite Holiday Fancy to make and keep. Choices include lace and ribbon Christmas Cards, holiday cornucopia ornament, a Christmas box, and a Victorian Scrapbook.

Tea will include a Christmas cake with a "Paupers Piece" hidden inside (if you find it, turn it in for your prize), finger snadwiches and tea. Our Victorian St. Nicholas will join you for Christmas wishes and special pictures (weather and time permitting).

Reservations available the last weekend of November
thru December 23rd
Program time 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Lavender & Lace, A Victorian Valentine

A posey, a rosey, a little white flower
I will meet my love at half past the hour
Lavender, lace, a tear when we part,
If I do not find him, t'will break my heart.

Discover the romance of a Victorian Valentine's Day. First, sample the strange and silly ways young ladies used to discover the name of her future beau - by jumping over tin cups, and making nutting boats!

Once your choice of a future love is made, make a sentimental gift to demonstrate your affections, try either a Birdcage Valentine, of paper and lace or sew a Love Petal Flower to riddle your Valentine.

Tea will include a special Valentines cake with "Poor Frozen Charlotte" hidden inside. Find her in your piece and learn your love fortune!

Reservations available mid January
thru the month of February
Program time 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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Queen Victoria's Birthday©

Queen VictoriaThough famous for the saying "We are not amused!", Queen Victoria was actually known to laugh and dance on her own birthday, May 24th.

Come celebrate May and the Queen's special day at the Brown House Inn. First, prepare to "go a-Maying" by choosing to make either a traditional flower wreath for your hair, a Maying Stick with ribbons and bells, or a Tussie-Mussie - sweet scented flower arrangement to wear or display. Then full of the merriment of Spring we'll choose a Queen of the May, and learn the Maypole dance.

To honor the Queen's birthday we will retire to a very special tea, perhaps hosted by the Queen herself!

Reservations available May 1st
thru June 30th Program time 2 - 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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A Queen's Tea

The "Queen's Tea", a full High Tea is available for an additional cost of $10.00 per person. Menu available upon request.

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Birthday Parties, Bridal and Baby Showers

Birthday parties, Bridal and Baby Showers are very special at the Inn. A Victorian cake is substituted for the scones at Tea for no additional charge, and there is time after tea for gifts to be opened. Contact us about booking your reservations.

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Terms and Conditions

Programs are available for groups of all ages, 4 years old and older.* Minimum group size must be 10, maximum 32 people except by special arrangement. Groups numbering 18 or more are considered "double groups" and will be split into two equal parts for program and Tea. Please let us know when you reserve if you will be a "double group", so additional staff may be scheduled. Bookings are available weekends, mornings, and afternoons, at 10 AM, 1 PM and 4 PM (or evening, subject to availability). A deposit of $50 is due within 7 days of the booking to hold reservations. Deposits are nonrefundable and non transferable. A list of costume sizes and final payment are due 10 days before visit.

Any balance past due on the day of the program must be paid in full, based on the numbers received in the costume list, and any subsequent additions, before the program can begin. There is no refund for no-shows, whether it be one guest or an entire group.

The Inn reserves the right to modify aprogram to best fit the needs of a group. Changes may be made to a program because a group arrives late, is a large or double group, has special physical or dietary needs, or who's behavior is deemed difficult by staff members, or for circumstances beyond the control of the Inn.

*infants, toddlers, and children under age 4 are not admitted.

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Weather Rescheduling Policy

umbrellasThe weather rescheduling policy for Victorian Pastimes is consistent with other theaters and entertainment businesses in the Capitol District. Programs are only rescheduled for severe weather conditions. Due to fluctuations in weather forecasting no program can be rescheduled earlier than 2 hours before the groups departure time from their home meeting point.

Though weather conditions are not always ideal, and we do not wish groups to travel in dangerous conditions, we do expect a good faith effort on every group to attend their scheduled program time. Groups that qualify for rescheduling are placed in the first available "like-time slot".

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seance

A special premier presentation of

Spirits, Shadows And Charlatans

the theatrical reenactment of a Victorian Séance

Are you afraid of the dark? Of things that go bump in the night? If not, join us for a candlelight ghost tour of the Brown House Inn. Relive the mourning customs of the 19th Century; learn what fortune awaits you through tea leaf reading, phrenology and a reading of "The Cards". Then gather round the table in the parlor for the theatrical reenactment of a Victorian era Séance. Is that dear departed Aunt Ebbie knocking , or something else? Is that a shadow passing over or just your imagination? Help test for the presense of the "not so departed" spirits, if you dare!

The evening conclues with a traditional Funeral Tea.

No children under 10 years of age
Program time: 2 1/2 - 3 hours
Cost $15.00 per person

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