GLENS FALLS—The Hyde Collection is putting a little something extra in the stockings of city residents this holiday season. In addition to its annual Pay as you Wish program throughout December, the Museum is also offering half-price membership to anyone living within the 12801 postal ZIP code.
This is the Museum’s fourth year of Pay as you Wish, when admission fees are waived and guests are encouraged to answer a brief survey and make a donation based on their experience. The feedback is used to help The Hyde staff improve the visitor experience and the by-donation admission ensures everyone has access to the art museum.
“Pay as you Wish is a great way for us to learn how we can improve The Hyde experience,” said Anne Saile, interim director. “Over the past few years, we have learned a lot about what visitors want from the Museum and we have been able to make changes based on suggestions offered.”
Among the changes incorporated are a weekly free admission day for seniors, engaging programming, an interactive Guide by Cell feature, and a broader array of merchandise in the Museum Shop.
Returning this December after last year’s inaugural season is historic Hyde House being decorated for the holidays. The gorgeous Courtyard will again feature a 12-foot-tall tree, festive foliage and poinsettias — a favorite of Museum founder Charlotte Pruyn Hyde — and white lights. The Italian Renaissance architecture and expansive windows make a beautiful backdrop for family holiday photos. In the Library and Dining Room of the historic home, Hyde family holiday treasures will be displayed and mantels swathed in greens.
The Museum will unveil the holiday decorations Saturday, December 1, during Hometown Holiday. At 2 pm Saturday, The Hyde will offer a concert of holiday music with performances by Glens Falls Symphony’s Children’s Chorus, the SUNY AdirondackMountainaires, and South Glens Falls High School’s Vocal Point.
After the concert, Glens Falls Symphony’s music director, Maestro Charles Peltz, will read two holiday stories — Winter Candle by Jeron Ashford and Tree of Cranes by Allen Say — in Hyde House Courtyard.
The Hyde is also one of five stops on a tour of historic homes throughout Glens Falls from 11 am to 2 pm Saturday as part of Hometown Holiday. Tickets for the tour are $20 and include trolley service to The Hyde, the First Presbyterian Church, Chapman Historical Museum, the Sherman House, and the Bell House Inn. Tickets are available through Glens Falls Collaborative.
Other traditions returning to The Hyde are Gus the Elf on the Shelf chronicling his Museum adventures on social media and hiding throughout The Hyde for children to search out; discounted membership rates, with half-off for city residents and buy-one-membership-and-get-a-second-half-off for everyone; and Candlelight Tours.
The tours will be offered at 5 pm December 5, 12, and 19. Tour Hyde House by candlelight (LED, that is) and learn about The Hyde’s permanent collection artworks and their connection to the traditions of gift giving and illumination. Tour admission is $15 for Museum members and $20 for non-members. RSVP by contacting Kayla at 518-792-1761, ext. 310, or [email protected], or on The Hyde’s website.