First Gentleman Gives Tour of Terrace Hill Decked Out For Holidays

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DES MOINES, Iowa –The Governor's mansion is all decked out for the holidays, and to mark the historic home's 150th anniversary.

You’ll find Christmas spirit everywhere inside Terrace Hill. First Gentleman Kevin Reynolds said, “It's probably the prettiest, I think, of all the entire year.

Reynolds showed us around all the rooms thirty volunteers helped decorate a couple weeks ago. "I helped a little bit, mostly just held the ladder because if I decorate something, usually it gets changed, so no reason for me to bother,” he said.

You'll find four trees starting with the Frazier fir in the reception room. "A lot of the decorations on there are actually flowers. These are hydrangea flowers we collected out of the garden, and then we just stored them in five gallon buckets," he said. You find more of the flowers in decorations around the house.

The drawing room has a very tall red pine. "This is the tree my two daughters and granddaughter and sister helped decorate everything in this room," said Reynolds.

The tree in the sitting room features ornaments from around the time when the home was built, which was 150 years ago. You'll notice there are no lights on the tree, just candles. “Then you can see some of the toys kind of around the bottom. A tea set, a little fire engine pulled by horses and an old wood cook stove that most anybody would have had back in the day," added Reynolds.

You’ll find another Frazier fir on the second floor outside the First Gentleman's office. He described the furnishings saying, "It's got quite a bit of pink. And the chairs are pink, but I added the elk."

Governor Kim and Kevin Reynolds will welcome people to the historic home for Christmas at Terrace Hill on Sunday, December 15th.

"We want it to be a family type thing, so we're having Santa Claus. He's bringing some reindeer, and we're going to have crafts where they're going to write letters to some of the troops, and also they're going to have ornaments for them to decorate."

It's a fundraiser for conservation and restoration projects at the 150 year-old mansion. “Most of the improvements and maintenance and what have you for Terrace Hill is actually raised by a private non-profit, which is through the Terrace Hill Partnership,” said Reynolds.

Christmas at Terrace Hill is Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person or $50 per family. You must buy tickets by noon on Friday. You can get those online at


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