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Benedict Castle Christmas Open House in Riverside

  • Dec 1, 2013 · 5:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Please Note: I am hosting this event for both Gay Foodies and Pleasure Palate. I am asking that you arrive early at 5:30 PM because this is a very popular event with the locals and the Benedict Castle is only open ONCE a year to the public on this night. When you arrive at the venue, call me at:[masked]-4099. Do not text me.

I have gone to Riverside the last several years to see the gorgeous display of lights at the Mission Inn. However, there is one other historic building that I have been trying to visit and that is the Benedict Castle. They only open their doors to the public for 2 hours in one night in December each year. Well, I a determined to finally visit and see the Benedict Castle this year because PP member Jas was able to go last year and she recommended it. So come join me in Riverside at the historic Benedict Castle to start of the month of Christmas!

For the 20th consecutive year, Teen Challenge, at historic Benedict Castle, will hold its traditional Christmas Open House. This year the event will be on Sunday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Benedict Castle, Teen Challenge, 5445 Chicago Ave. Charge is a $5 donation per car. The castle tower will be decorated with more than 15,000 lights, making it stand out against the skyline.

Last year approximately 5,000 visitors enjoyed the Open House, which continues to grow in its beauty and entertainment each year. Music will be heard everywhere, with carolers performing on the double staircase inside the castle building, and someone playing the original 1930 Kilgore organ during the evening. The Dickens Choir, the Gap Group from Redlands and a men’s choir will sing. Flute players will perform next to the life-size Fontanini Nativity, which some families use as a backdrop for family pictures.

The historic Benedict Castle estate will be lighted and decorated, with Roman soldiers stationed around the grounds to direct guests to various areas, including refreshments of hot chocolate, hot cider, tacos and tamales. Castle tours will be offered.

Actors will create the Nativity Christmas story. A new addition last year was the Bethlehem Inn venue, with music and script. After each performance, visitors can have pictures taken with the actors. A Student Christmas Tree will be decorated with pictures of young people who take part in the Teen Challenge program, and students will be on hand to answer questions about their experiences.

And if you want the scent of a Christmas tree for your house, you can purchase one. Beginning Nov. 24, Teen Challenge will be selling fresh Christmas trees daily from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., until the supply is sold out.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Robert & guests, ...thank-u again for this delightful evening that we didn't realize existed until we saw ur post/host. Had no idea this modest castle was rather religious, full of wondrous holy ceremonies. But of course, that's part of the Xmas spirit too. Anyhow, hope u don't mind some pix of Downtown Riverside Mission are uploaded too. Couldn't help but to enjoy so much inspiring holiday lights esp.from your very good visit recommendation. Thankfully we did so, ...& became an even more worthwhile drive to this part of East Cali. Great way to kick-off the season. Til next time *Best Merry Wishes* ...to all your wonderful organizing efforts, cheerz! =}

    December 9, 2013

    • Robert

      The Mission Inn pics are welcome as well. I'm glad you followed my suggestion and visiting it afterward. I always tell people that's the best FREE XMas bling you can see in SoCal.

      December 9, 2013

  • Robert

    I apologize if I lost the group after the end of the tour. I had to go to the restroom.

    December 1, 2013

  • Robert

    My phone is[masked]

    December 1, 2013

  • Robert

    I am going on the docent led tour that started right now. Call me if you can't locate me.

    December 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone. We are here 10mn.early, walking twds the entrance now. If we don't see anyone fr.group, will call Robert in a few, thx + cheerz all :-) *beautiful castle lights btw*

    December 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Since this is apublic place can we not bring more friends , they can form their. Own grp if ours is too large

    December 1, 2013

    • Robert

      You can bring your friends. Just make sure you arrive early or on time to get in line.

      December 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds fabulous!!

    November 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds very exciting! What a wonderful find, Robert!

    November 23, 2013

  • koti

    do you have any information of parking?

    November 22, 2013

    • Robert

      I don't know what the parking situation will be like. i am arriving about an hour early to line up and get street parking.

      1 · November 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thk-u graciously for hosting Robert - u truly find the most extraordinary events that intrigues the imagination! *Happy Holiday Cheerz to All* ...& look merrily fwd to this experience w/everyone :-)

    November 22, 2013

9 went

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