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Summer Evenings in the Garden, Interactive Tours and More Set for Merchant's House Museum, May-June 2014

Summer Evenings in the Garden, Interactive Tours and More Set for Merchant's House Museum, May-June 2014

Merchant's House Museum has announced a full lineup of fun and interesting events to kick off summer in May and June 2014. Check out all the details below!

America's Romance with Chocolate: A Sweet Social History, a lecture and tasting, will take place tonight, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. Join Merchant's House Museum for a delectable evening of talk and tasting as they celebrate their country's long love affair with chocolate. Culinary historian Cathy Kaufman will present an illustrated lecture followed by a tasting in their period kitchen of handmade chocolate truffles by chef Wai Hon Chu, paired with wine.

At the start of the 19th century, ladies ceremonially drank a breakfast chocolate - touted as a health food - from exquisite porcelain cups. But by mid-century, advances in manufacturing had turned this liquid delight into the chocolate bars that we know today, a portable confection and a luscious treat. This illustrated lecture will trace chocolate's changing role and form in the social history of 19th century New York. Admission is $40, $75 per couple, to benefit the Historic Furnishings Plan restoration. Reservations are required and can be made at merchantshouse.org/calendar or by calling 212-777-1089.

Gentrification, 19th Century Style: Transforming the Farms of Greenwich Village, a 19th Century Lifeways Lecture, will take place on Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m.

When the Merchant's House was built, in 1832, its neighborhood was in rapid development as farmland and pasture gave way to the march of the grid and the emergence of fashionable urban enclaves, the city's first suburbs. Explore the alteration of Greenwich Village's landscape through the fascinating saga of the Brevoort family farm located just north of the Tredwells' home. Join Susan De Vries, Director of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, as she relates the intriguing tales of early 19th century protests against development, rural menageries, fabulous mansions, and extravagant balls. Admission is $15 and free for MHM Members. Reservations are required and can be made by visiting merchantshouse.org/calendar or calling 212-777-1089.

Summer Evenings in the Garden will take place every Thursday in June and July, beginning June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. (last entry at 7:30 p.m.).

Every Thursday in June and July, the Merchant's House Museum and Garden are open until 8 p.m. Tours and Talks are at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served, and tours will take place rain or shine.

June 5 is a Special Opening Celebration, including free Admission and a guided house tour. June 12 and July 17 are How Our Garden Grows. June 19 and July 10 are Summers in Rumson: The Tredwells' Country Home. June 26 and July 24 are Eating and Drinking in 19th Century New York. July 3 is a Guided House Tour, followed by a Patriotic Fourth of July Toast. July 31 is Unsolved Murders of the 19th Century. Summer Evening in the Garden are included with regular admission.

A Special Interactive Tour for Families: A Child's View of Life in 19th Century New York will take place Saturday, June 7 at 3:30 p.m.

29 East Fourth Street was home not only to the eight Tredwell children, but also to two young granddaughters. Come tour the house and learn what life was like for children (and adults) in the 1850s, from schoolwork and chores to games and play. Could you carry a bucket of coal up steep stairs? Do you have a calling card? A top hat? What, no hoop skirt? How did you take a bath? And penmanship really, really mattered. The tour is best for children 8 to 12 years old. Admission is $15 for one adult and one child and $20 for one adult and two children (max.). Reservations are not required.

A Midsummer Serenade: Music to Greet the Solstice, a 19th Century Lifeways Concert, will take place Friday, June 13 at 7 p.m.

"Midsummer," like the title of Shakespeare's play, refers to the Summer Solstice, a festival of ancient pagan rituals. Come hear songs of nature and sprites in both familiar and undeservedly forgotten period music sung by members of the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society, soprano Jane Rady, tenors Anthony Bellov and Dayle Vander Sande, with pianist Jai Jeffryes. Delight in this musical interlude in the Museum's landmark Greek revival double parlors, the City's only intact authentic 19th century residential interior. The concert will feature music by Rossini, Schubert, Faure, Liszt, MacDowell, and more. This program is funded in part by the Puffin Foundation. Admission is $20 and $10 for Seniors, Students, and MHM Members. Reservations are required and can be made at merchantshouse.org/calendar or call 212-777-1089.

The Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only family home preserved intact - inside and out - from the mid-19th century. Home to a prosperous merchant-class family for almost 100 years, it is complete with the family's original furnishings and personal possessions, offering a rare and intimate glimpse of domestic life from 1835-1865.

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