CEDARBURG — Two local business owners are helping bring the Christmas spirit to the greater Milwaukee area for the 29th annual Christmas Fantasy House, which benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin.
This is the second year that the owners of Birchwood Wells, Emily Wellskopf and her mother Becky Floyd, were asked to participate in decorating for the Christmas Fantasy House event. Nearly 30 area decorators will transform a 25,000 square-foot Milwaukee mansion on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan — formerly the UWM Alumni House — into a Christmas wonderland.
“It’s just what we love to do,” Wellskopf said about home decorating.
Birchwood Wells, W63N646 Washington Ave., opened in Cedarburg in 2014. The mother-and-daughter duo opened a second location in Delafield last year at 719 N. Genesee St.
A few years ago Wellskopf and Floyd began providing in-home design services through Birchwood Wells, which has quickly grown, especially in Cedarburg, Wellskopf said.
“The favorite part is helping our customers and clients make their houses feel like home and it showcases their own style and we help them along the way and discover what that really is,” she said.
The Christmas Fantasy House will welcome visitors from Saturday through Sunday, Nov. 6 (closed Wednesday, Nov. 2.)
In addition, guests of the Christmas Fantasy House will also enjoy the Holiday Boutique, Sweet Shoppe, silent auction and large selection of raffle baskets. The organizers will also showcase the “Festival of Trees,” during which guests purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win either the decorations on the tree or a decorated wreath. “The Ronald McDonald House is such a special place and plays a vital role for families dealing with critical medical situations,” homeowner Andy Nunemaker said in a press release. “It is an honor to be involved with the Christmas Fantasy House this year. It is such a fun undertaking supporting a worthwhile cause.”
All proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.
“The proceeds from the event will jump start our season of giving and help us accomplish our mission to keep families together and promote the health and well-being of Children,” said Ann Petrie, president and CEO for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, in a press release.
The Birchwood Wells group will be decorating a sitting room on the second floor of the mansion.
“It has the most beautiful bay window overlooking the property,” Wellskopf said. The room will be transformed using Birchwood Wells’ own furniture and holiday décor. The theme for the room is “intimate gatherings.”
“We kind of pictured it as a little place to gather and play games or have some appetizers before dinner,” Wellskopf said. “Our décor is just very natural. We like to bring the outdoors in with our pine garland and a beautiful Christmas tree that lights up the bay window.”
Wellskopf said last year they had new customers come into Birchwood Wells after seeing their decorations in the Christmas Fantasy House.
Both locations of Birchwood Wells will be hosting a separate holiday open house Saturday Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6 where they will show off their entire holiday collection that they put in the Christmas Fantasy House. There will also be treats, raffles and giveaways.
Advance tickets for the Christmas Fantasy House are available for $25 at participating Pick ‘n Save (Kroger), Metro Market, numerous other ticket sites, or online. A complete listing of ticket outlets is available at www.christmasfantasyhouse.com. To schedule a group tour, email [email protected]
Free shuttle service to the Christmas Fantasy House will be available from Lake Park at the corner of East Newberry Boulevard and North Lake Drive near Lake Park Bistro on Saturdays only and from Veterans Park/McKinley Marina at the corner of Lincoln Memorial Drive and Lagoon Drive near Gift of Wings all other days.
Hours of operation are:
– Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– Monday, Oct. 31 – Tuesday, Nov. 1: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
– Wednesday, Nov. 2: Closed
– Thursday, Nov. 3 – Friday, Nov. 4: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
– Saturday, Nov. 5 – Sunday, Nov. 6: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, visit www.RMHCEasternWI.org.