Historic Holidays in NJ: Celebrate a Revolutionary Christmas, a 1920's Farmhouse Holiday, and More!
It's certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas out there with all the music, shopping, decorating and lights. Now that the holiday season is officially in full swing, we’re sure that your list of “must attend” holiday events is building exponentially and we're about to make it burst at the seams. With its rich history, many of New Jersey's local museums, homes, venues and towns are celebrating the holidays in the spirit of yesteryear. Whether you are a history buff or a holiday fiend, we’re sure you will find many ways to go back in time to experience the Historic Holidays here in the Garden State.
Christmas at Allaire (Farmingdale, NJ)
Christmas at Allaire on December 1 & 2 offers visitors the opportunity to wander the streets of the Historic Village and enjoy the Dickensonian atmosphere of a 19th Century community decked out in holiday splendor. Families will enjoy the carolers wandering the streets of the Historic Village, special programs at the Historic Christ Church which features period music, both vocal and instrumental and a display of Christmas Trees Through the Ages. Other special programs throughout the weekend include Mummer Plays, Hearth Cooking, and Apple Drying and Stringing. 12-3:30pm. Purchase tickets in advance. Admission $7 for Adults • $4 Children 5 - 14. Horse and Wagon Rides Additional $7.50 for Adults and $5 Children Under 12. Also on December 15 from 6-9pm you'll have an they will offer Holiday Candlelight Lantern Tours offer visitors a glimpse of the Historic Village at night as authentically-clad historic museum interpreters lead groups through the lantern-lit streets of the decorated historic Village. Admission $12.50 Per Person 90 Minute Tours Leave Every 15 minutes. Advance Ticket Purchase Recommended. Please note that Allaire Village is currently closed as they are cleaning up from the hurricane damage however, they plan on reopening for their Christmas event. Please call to confirm (732) 919.3500.
Historic Holidays at Fosterfields (Morristown, NJ)
You are sure to enjoy the horse-drawn wagon to the Farmhouse, where the Edward Woods family once lived and worked at Fosterfields Living Historical farm. Once at the farmhouse you will experience all that the 1920's Christmas festivities and preparations have to offer such as: wood stove cooking, creating English Christmas “crackers” that pop, learning about knitting and darning, listening to seasonal music played on the piano, helping decorate the Farmhouse exterior with evergreen swag, searching for a Yule log for the Farmhouse fireplace, and perhaps tasting warm, roasted chestnuts. Thursday, December 6 through Saturday, December 8 from 1pm - 4pm. $6/adults, $4/kids ages 4-16, $2/kids ages 2-3/FREE for children under age 2. Please call Fosterfields at 973-326-7645 for more information.
Cape May Dickensian Village Holiday events (Cape May, NJ)
Not many of us think of the Cape May as a winter destination, however with all the holiday events happening in this Victorian town, this is one place you won't want to miss (and it's perfect for a December weekend getaway!) Although many of the holiday events are aimed towards adults (Mad Batter Happy Holiday Wine Dinner or the Christmas Traditions Lecture), there are many for the kids to enjoy as well. Their most popular events are the (heated!) Trolley Tours through Cape May’s festive streets for the Holiday Lights Trolley Tour or Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Ride (appropriate for older children). If you can't decide, a best bet would be the Physick Family Christmas Tour where you'll explore Cape May by trolley and then visit the 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, decorated in authentic Victorian style. Your family will enjoy a living history holiday presentation about Victorian Christmas decorations and traditions visit. Tours run now through January 6. Call (609)-884-5404 for more information.
Dickens' Holiday Carolers (Chester, NJ)
For those of who cannot get enough of Christmas Music, head over to Chester on Saturday November 24th from 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm to see the Definitely Dickens’s Holiday Carolers dressed in Victorian-clad costumes serenade you with their extensive repertoire of seasonal tunes. While you are there make sure to stop by the local stores to support Small Business Saturday while getting some holiday shopping completed!
Classic Christmas at Macculloch Hall (Morristown)
Another great historic location to see traditional holiday decorations is at Macculoch Hall on December 1 and 2 from 1-4pm. You will enjoy their Christmas exhibit donned with vintage decorations, and more than 30 iconic Thomas Nast Christmas images in this luxurious historic home. You can also take special tours of the period rooms dressed with greenery for the holidays. Also on December 2 at 4:30 they will be The Early Music Players, “Carols and Capers: A Music Celebration from the Olde and New Worlds. Celebrate the season with a collection of beautifully performed holiday music from various countries spanning the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1300s-1700s). General admission for the Classic Christmas event: Adults $8; Seniors $6; Students (over 12) $6; Children 6-12 $4. Members & Children 5 & under are admitted free. A separate ticket ($12) is required for the musical program; a discounted ticket ($10) applies for members, Seniors, Students and those who purchased a Museum tour ticket that afternoon. Call (973) 538-2404 for more information.
The Annual Christmas Delaware River Crossing Reenactment (Washington Crossing, PA)
If you are looking for something unique to do on Christmas Day, make your way out to Washington Crossing State Park in Pennsylvania to the Delaware River Crossing Reenactment. During the event, visitors watch as reenactors in Continental military dress listen to an inspiring speech by Washington and then row across the river in three replica Durham boats. This annual event commemorates the Christmas Day crossing made by Gen. George Washington and his troops in 1776. It was an historic undertaking that resulted in defeat of the Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton. The crossing time is at 1:00 pm, beginning at the Pennsylvania side at Washington Crossing State Park. Those who cannot attend on Christmas can watch a full dress rehearsal on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (actual crossing at 1 p.m.). $8.00 per adult, $4.00 for children 5-11 and under 5 free. Proceeds support future crossings.
Colonial Christmas (Bedminister, NJ)
It's a colonial good time here's period rooms with festive trimmings, caroling, boutique shopping, colonial musicians throughout the Colonial Christmas even at the historic Jacobus Vanderveer House on December 3 & 4th. However, I'm sure the kids will be most thrilled about their visit with Santa from 1-3pm. Come out and enjoy some colonial fun for the entire family.
Historic Victorian Christmas (Rockaway, NJ)
Come out to the Ford-Faesch House on December 9th from 2-4pm. The whole family will enjoy the historic festivities including trimming the christmas tree in 1880's Victorian style, outdoor wassailing with the Faesch Carolers, tours of the first floor of the mansion, readings of historic Christmas stories, Christmas Music Recital, candlelight caroling, and of course the tree lighting. After all the holiday fun, you will be ready to warm up with apple cider, hot chocolate and treats!