Enjoy this festive tradition without leaving the house.

For decades, holiday housewalks have been an annual tradition in communities across the U.S. These festive winter events invite visitors to tour a parade of homes decked out for Christmas usually at the price of a charitable donation. But in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these holiday showings look a little different this season.

entryway with evergreen garlands and christmas tree
Credit: Courtesy of Bless'er House

Thanks to virtual holiday house tours, there's an alternative to conventional housewalks that lets you revel in lavishly decorated homes without ever leaving your own. While some long-running housewalks have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, others, including the New Orleans holiday home tour that's been running for 45 years, are going virtual this year for the first time ever. Many of these online events feature video walk-throughs of beautifully decorated homes, which are available to view on certain days for the price of a ticket or donation.

For others, the virtual version is not new. In 2011, Jennifer Rizzo started a holiday housewalk on her blog as a more accessible, cost-free alternative to traditional home tours. Now in its 10th year, the roundup showcases 32 homes adorned with festive trimmings and accompanied by a Spotify holiday playlist specially curated for the free online event.

mantel and christmas tree decorated with colorful boho decor
Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer Rizzo

"We include bloggers from all across the U.S. and Canada, so people can see all kinds of decorating styles and tour homes that they wouldn't otherwise have access to," Rizzo says. "And you don't even have to leave your house or change out of your pajamas!"

Rizzo's housewalk kicks off the Monday after Thanksgiving every year with a selection of homes featured throughout the week. The households span a wide variety of aesthetics, including vintage, boho, traditional, and rustic, with similar styles featured on the same day to create a smooth transition between tours. Some of the entries have video components that help virtual visitors feel more like they're experiencing the space in person.

If you'd like to take part in a virtual tour this winter, search for holiday housewalks in your area to see if any are available online. Or check out tours in other places around the country to get a peek inside homes you wouldn't normally be able to visit. Your annual tour of holiday homes might look different this year, but it doesn't have to be any less festive.


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