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Holiday Home Tours

Potential Revenues:


Revenue Source:

Tour admissions, special gift shop boutiques, food sales


Social media, posters, flyers, direct mail, press releases, media ads, all communications


Tour buses, signage, banners, tables, cash boxes, admission wrist bands, receipts


Area home owners

Volunteers Needed:

Extensive committee planning,  event chair, crowd and traffic control, gift shop/auction helpers, set-up and logistic help


How It Works:

This is a great event around the holiday season, especially in warmer climates where weather is a bit ‘friendlier’ in the early December time frame.  To conduct this event, you need to find 5-7 homeowners who would be willing to decorate their homes extensively for the holidays.  Next they would have to be willing to allow thousands of people to go through their homes over the course of a weekend.   You can expect 2-4,000 visitors if the homes are considered ‘impressive.’  Typical homes on these tours are usually 5,000 to 25,000 square feet in size. 

If you Google “holiday home tour” you will see examples to help you construct your own event.  In surveying prices for these events, it seems like $20 to $30 is about the right admission price.  You can offer special discounts for members, groups of 10 or more, or early ticket purchases.

The important point is to not underestimate the amount of logistical support you’ll need to conduct the event.  You’ll need parking for two days, and then bus transportation to and from all of the homes.  In addition, you’ll need to ensure that people stay in the designated areas at each of the homes, and that the homes are keep free of theft.

You should definitely consider using admission wristbands to control entry into the homes.  A supply of disposable shoe covers to help protect the interiors of the homes is also considerate.  All of these amenities are important to ensure that the gracious families who have hosted your holiday home tour will become positive references for future home owners who might consider participating.

Ideas to Consider:

Consider a gift shop area inside a facility like a school or in a large business lobby.  This is where you can invite vendors to purchase a booth and sell items to the people that go on the tours.  You can also establish that 20% of their sales are to be donated to your cause, in addition to the booth rental.  If you go the percentage of sales route, consider setting up controls where you handle the money, issue customers a receipt to collect the items, and then pay the vendors.  You should also have your own booth in order to participate in the sales.

If you can locate the boutique near the parking, where the buses pick up and drop off, you’ll probably maximize the exposure of the boutique.  However, you can always include directions to the gift shop on the event brochure that’s given out to the visitors.

The event brochure is another potential source of revenue, where ads from realtors, interior designers, furniture stores, as well as home and garden outlets can appear.  Arrange for various sizes of ads, and even consider an overall tour sponsorship which may include signage on the sides of a bus, in homes, or along the route.

Consider a pre-event gathering for the families.  This is where you would also invite any substantial donors to your non-profit, in order to show your appreciation.  A banquet style dinner, or a wine and cheese gathering are both appropriate, as well as a gift to present to the families, event chairperson, and heads of committees.


Source of Idea:  Unknown.  The Wellness Community Valley/Ventura operates a well-known Holiday Home Tour in Southern California, and the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans has been doing the Holiday Home Tour for more than 35 years.

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