2014 Winter

It happens only once a year. For the first two weeks in December, some of the finest private homes in Fairfield County and the Litchfield Hills will invite visitors in for one-day only during house tours to benefit local organizations. Tours in the towns of Woodbury, Westport and Greenwich will offer a rare chance to see exceptional residences dressed in their holiday best. A 20th

ANNIVERSARY IN WOODBURY

One of the most popular tours will mark its 20th anniversary when the Woodbury Holiday House Tour takes place on December 13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Litchfield Hills to benefit the Woman's Club of Woodbury. On the day of the tour, tickets will be available for $30 starting at 9 a.m. at the Senior and Community Center, 265 Main Street South.

Six special homes chosen for this landmark year range from a 14-year-old contemporary with a fabulous kitchen to an antique-filled 250 year-old home including an artist's studio. A restored 200-year-old schoolhouse will be seen on the spacious grounds of an elegant Colonial reproduction home, and a handsome mid-20th century Colonial features the studio of its sculptor-owner. See a complete list and details at www.womansclubofwoodbury.org

"ROOMS WITH A VIEW" IN WESTPORT

Interior designers, artists and architects are the owners of this year's five homes in the annual Westport House Tour on December 7 to benefit the Westport Historical Society They include a Nantucket-style cottage at Compo Beach with a roof-top deck overlooking the water, and a hilltop chateau with sweeping vistas. Three of the houses are owned by interior designers, providing the chance to see how professionals decorate for the Christmas and Hanukkah seasons. A pianist will play at one of the homes, and several will be serving hot cider, hot chocolate, and holiday sweets. Following the tour a

Twilight Soiree hosted by the Lillian August Store in Norwalk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature wine, hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction for prizes such as an America's Cup Cruise, getaways to a Cape Cod vacation home and a mountain ski house, and a painting by Weston artist Kerri Rosenthal, whose home and studio are part of the tour. For more information, see http://westporthistory.org.

SHOWPLACES OPEN DOORS IN GREENWICH

One tour that always attracts visitors is The Antiquarius House Tour in Greenwich, a Fairfield County town known for its lavish residences. This year's tour on Wednesday, December 10 will showcase five spectacular homes ranging in location from the shores of Long Island Sound to estates in the wooded backcountry. What all have in common is their always-spectacular holiday finery.

The tour is part of a weeklong Antiquarius event to benefit the Greenwich Historical Society that includes the annual Greenwich Winter Antiques Show on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7 at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center. For full schedules, see www.hstg.org/antiquarius.