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Christmas in Pioneer Village


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and the scent of warm sugar cookies wafted through the air. Santa carefully prepared his sleigh for his voyage to bring toys to the children of the Pioneer Village.

Pioneer Village Searcy Grounds

Christmas is such a magical time of year and for many, it is a time of reflection on the past year and even of times long gone.

Christmas front porch

The Pioneer Village in Searcy hosted its Christmas in the Village open house this weekend inviting guests to come and experience a bit of Christmas in the late 1800s.

sugar cookies

Nothing quite sets the mood for Christmas like warm sugar cookies fresh from the oven. Volunteers helped bake over 1000 sugar cookies from this traditional recipe (pictured below) to hand out to the guests along with hot cider which was a welcome treat on this cool afternoon.

cookie recipe

Not only were there tasty holiday treats but each building on the grounds was decorated for the holidays. Carolers roamed around and local musicians played holiday tunes.

Searcy Pioneer Village

Mattie Grace, a local elementary student, was just one of the many volunteers on hand to make this day special.

Volunteer mattie grace

Mattie Grace grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and toured the Pioneer Village with her father several times in the past. When she found out that the historical society was seeking new members and volunteers for its semi-annual open house events, Mattie Grace eagerly signed up.

On this morning, Mattie Grace wore a traditional style prairie dress and greeted guests as they entered the home on the Pioneer Village grounds. Mattie Grace spoke interpretively as she recited a quite-lengthy script she had memorized about the history of the home.

rustic holiday front porch

Excitement similar to Mattie Grace’s was felt all over the village as volunteers dressed in period clothing, engaged guests, and shared the history of the various buildings on the property.

Searcy Pioneer Village Holidays

Christmas in Pioneer Village is a wonderful and unique way to experience the joy of the holiday season. Be sure to add this event to your holiday bucket list.


The Pioneer Village is operated by the White County Historical Preservation Society and is open daily, year-round for self-guided tours of the grounds. Several open house events are held each year at which time volunteers are on hand and the buildings are open for tours. The Pioneer Village is located at 1200 Higginson Street in Searcy, Arkansas.


For 2019, director Elizabeth Heard says, “In addition to the period dress of our volunteers, farm animals will be wearing their Christmas Best and all the decorations are hand made as they would be in the late 1800’s.  We will have carolers and musicians. Children can decorate their own sugar cookie and make a pine cone bird feeder.  We will be making wreaths from natural greenery and other materials that will be available. Santa and his sleigh will be there.  We serve hot cider and a cookie to all that attend.  The Friends of Pioneer Village consider the Christmas Open House to be our ‘Thank you’ to those who support our events during the year. It is a real feel-good event guaranteed to jump-start the Christmas spirit within.”

2019 Christmas Open House is December 7th, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and virtual assistant while raising her young son. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas. Julie loves adventure. Not necessarily "scare-your-pants-off" adventure but the kind where you seek out new and exciting things. New foods, new places, new experiences. On her blog, Seek Adventures, Julie shares about the outdoor and travel adventures of her family as they camp and standup paddleboard across the South. You can also learn more about her writing on her site Seek Adventures Media.

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