New Year's Day
Every January, Trail End participates in the "First Day Hike" program – a twenty-plus year old national initiative designed to encourage not only a healthy and active lifestyle, but an appreciation for the nation’s parks and historic sites.
Starting at Trail End at 10:00 a.m., New Year’s Day, participants walk a path through the northwest corner of town that includes the Trail End grounds, the buffalo and elk pasture, the fairgrounds, new and historic neighborhoods, several ponds, a couple of historic trails, and more. Several short talks are presented along the way, full of well-researched history.
Park staff and volunteers lead the hike, which is about two miles long. Comprised of relatively gentle slopes, the trail is perfect for hikers of all ages, including those in strollers. Leashed pets are welcome. The hike concludes at the Kendrick Mansion, where hot cocoa and snacks are offered.
There is no charge for the First Day Hike. Unless they're in strollers, the hike is not appropriate for children under eight. Dogs are welcome, but must be leashed. The weather on New Year’s Day is normally pretty wintry. Participants are urged to wear appropriate clothing.
Fourth Wednesday in July
What could be better than relaxing in the shade with friends and family? Or playing barefoot badminton in the thick, cool grass? Or enjoying a picnic dinner under the trees to the accompaniment of live music?
But throw in free admission to Trail End, and you've got a perfect evening's entertainment.
A Summer Evening at the Mansion is usually set for a Wednesday evening in late July, between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00. The Kendrick Mansion is open to visitors at no charge during these hours, with staff and volunteers on hand to answer questions.
Badminton and croquet are set up on the lawn, where you can challenge your best buds to a friendly game or two. While cookies and lemonade are available - courtesy of Trail End volunteers - everyone is encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and make an evening of it.
Live music is presented on the south porch, so bring a lawn chair and enjoy the concert.
Trail End's first murder mystery evening, "Murder at the Juice Joint: A Party to Die For," was such a big success that the Trail End Guilds have determined to make it an annual event.
If you've never participated in this type of event, you're in for a treat. In the Trail End version, you and up to eighty other people dress in period costume and mingle with friends and strangers on the mansion grounds. Your job is to seek clues to the solution of the night's mystery.
Prior to the event, you are provided with a character name and biography so that you know how to dress and how to act. At the start of the evening, you are given additional information as to the motives for your behavior, but it is not until the last minute that the victim and the murderer know who they are!
Everyone has secrets to hide and secrets to share - and everyone is a suspect - even YOU.
Drinks and dessert are served throughout the evening.
Participants must be at least 21 years of age.
Last Weekend Before Christmas
During this popular event, visitors tour the Kendrick Mansion by electric candlelight and watch live actors perform a play that unfolds room by room. They step back in time to 1913 to see what the Kendrick family and their staff members might have been doing on their first Christmas Eve spent in their newly finished home, known from the start as Trail End.
The characters - portrayed by local volunteers - and script - carefully researched and written by Trail End staff - are based on real people, including family members and staff , and real events - from a Christmas Eve dance at the Sheridan Inn to a Christmas Day party at the local bowling alley!
Unlike our loud and lively Holiday Open House, the "Christmas Eve" tours are intimate gatherings, with only ten people per tour. Groups are lead through the house every twenty minutes or so, stopping in six different rooms to see how the holiday story unfolds.
This special tour - presented in partnership with the Sheridan Civic Theater Guild - is recommended for adults and children 8 years of age or older, all of whom must be able to climb stairs.