Want to keep the kids entertained during their winter break from school and have some family fun? Explore New Jersey through special museum events throughout the state during the holiday season.
These programs are definitely worth the road trip. This list was compiled by the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey.
*Dec. 21 thru Jan. 13 - Morris County
Victorian Christmas at Acorn Hall
The Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall will be having its annual Victorian Christmas. Lavish decorations, including the famous upside down Christmas tree, and an enthralling gift shop filled with wonder.
The Morris County Historical Society, founded in 1946, is a member-supported, 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Its headquarters, Acorn Hall, 68 Morris Avenue in Morristown, is an 1853 Italianate Villa mansion open to the public on Mondays and Thursdays (11am-4pm), Sundays (1pm-4pm), and by appointment. Admission: adults $6, seniors $5, students $3, children under 12 and MCHS members free. Additional information call 973-267-3465 or visit www.acornhall.org.
*Wednesday, Dec. 26 - Mercer County
The Trenton Historical Society and the Trenton Film Society present "Janice Meredith," a long-lost visually stunning 1924 silent film from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26, during Patriots Week. Mill Hill Playhouse, E. Front and S. Montgomery Streets, Trenton. Marion Davies plays the title character who manages to aid Paul Revere with his ride, provide intelligence for Gen. Washington at the First Battle of Trenton, be present at the Battle of Yorktown, and later marry at Mt. Vernon (153 minutes with a soundtrack). Admission $5; free for historical society and film society members. Colonial-style refreshments will be available.
*Wednesday, Dec.26 - Monmouth County
Explore a Child's Life in Old Monmouth, and Toyshop Window and Holiday Program
Monmouth County Historical Association invites families to come for a special holiday program while visiting our main museum on Wednesday, December 26th. The holiday exhibit "A Toy Shop Window" featuring unique and original 19th century toys from our collection is on display in the front hall. At 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. a costumed guide will take guests to our interactive Discovery Room for a journey through a day in the life of a Monmouth County child who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries. Children will be able to play with historic toys and try out our old-fashioned games, put on vintage clothing, and create their own take-away keepsake. The museum, located at 70 Court St. in Freehold, is open from 10 - 4; admission is $5 per adult and $2.50 per child 6 years and older, and seniors. Visit www.monmouthhistory.org to learn more about the work of the association or call (732) 462-1466.
*Thursday, Dec. 27 - Ocean County
The Affair at Cedar Bridge
2 p.m. at 200 Old Halfway Road, Barnegat, NJ
230th Anniversary! Join us for the celebration of the last documented land battle of the Revolutionary war. Experience the 1782 re-enactment of the battle. Admission is free. For more information contact the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum at (609) 296-8868 or visit: www.TuckertonSeaport.org.
*Thursday, Dec. 27 and 28 - Mercer County
Two Special Events During Patriots Week at the William Trent House Museum
Hogmanay!!!!! Celebrate the Scottish New Year with bagpipes and choral music on December 27 at 12:30 p.m.
What is Hogmanay? Hogmanay is a celebration of the new year in Scotland, celebrated at the Trent House because of William Trent's Scottish heritage. Traditionally, friends and neighbors cross the threshold any time after midnight and receive food and drink, and good luck, too. At the Trent House, guests will hear a special program of winter and Scottish music by the Trenton Capital Singers, directed by Richard Loatman, and thrill to the bagpipes as well. Complimentary hot mulled cider and cookies. Come on your lunch hour! No reservations required, donations accepted.
You are cordially invited to 18th Century Tea in the Trent House on Friday, Dec. 28th at 2 p.m.
Susan McLellan Plaisted, proprietress of Heart to Hearth Cookery, will offer her 18th century tea program which explores the etiquette and meaning of taking tea in colonial times. Using reproductions and artifacts, each piece of equipage will be demonstrated as guests sample various types of tea and enjoy homemade gourmet desserts.
The tearoom will be set with linens and the famous pink china that was custom-made for the Trent House; and guests will partake while also enjoying the magical 18th century harpsichord music of Carl Nittinger. Your period dress is welcome (but not required).
Tickets are $15, $10 for supporters. Reservations required. Seating is limited, make your reservation today at (609) 989-0087 or email@example.com. Tickets will be mailed or held at the door. Event proceeds will benefit the curatorial work and educational programming of the non-profit Trent House Association. Unfortunately this Tea event is not handicapped accessible.
The 1719 William Trent House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark, is the oldest building in our state capital. Restored to its former glory and carefully furnished as it would have been in the early 18th century, it is located at 15 Market Street in Trenton, adjacent to the Hughes Justice Complex. Ample free parking. The main floor of the Trent House and the Carriage House are wheelchair accessible. For more information and driving directions, visit www.williamtrenthouse.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 989-0087.
*Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 29-30 - Ocean County
Trains Come to Ocean County Historical Society
Starting Nov. 26 and lasting until Jan.18, the Ocean County Model Railroad Club will exhibit its collection of Trains Through the Years in the Pauline Miller Exhibit Hall, Ocean County Historical Society Museum, 26 Hadley Ave., Toms River, NJ 08753. Free exhibit, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A highlight of the holidays will be the Model Train Show downstairs in the Birdsall Room of the OCHS Museum on Saturday, Dec. 29, and Sunday, Dec. 30th. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy the sights and sounds of O gauge and HO gauge trains operated by the Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders and watch steam train movies in our Research Center. Admission is $3 adults, $2 children, $5 family. For information, call (732) 341-1880.
*Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. -- Middlesex County
Cranbury Museum, 4 Park Place East, Cranbury
A large Victorian dollhouse, dolls, toys and children's books from the collections of five Cranbury Historical & Preservation Society members is on display through mid-March. To arrange for a group tour of the museum, please call (609) 409-1289.