Thursday, December 17, 2020

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/19/20 - 12/20/20

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings

A Weekly Feature on
Want to submit an event? Use our event submission form.

Saturday, December 19 - Whippany, Morris County
The Kringle Railway Adventure
Family Friendly

Morristown & Erie Railway and Whippany Railway Museum have teamed up together to bring Christmas cheer to the New Jersey area. 
The Kringle Railway Adventure is a round-trip Christmas train ride for all ages that is sure to put your family into the holiday spirit! It's the only one of its kind in North Jersey.

Reserve your seating pod in one of our uniquely themed train cars: Candy Cane Lane, Silent Night, Blizzard Car, A Very Country Christmas, Present Palace, and Ornament Express.

Listen to your favorite holiday songs and enjoy fun and games on your train adventure. Take a moment aboard to send a Christmas letter to Santa's personal email account. Be the first one in your party to find all the items on our train car scavenger hunt! Have you ever wanted to be an elf? Take our quiz to find out if you have what it takes to work for the big guy himself. Each game has been designed for maximum fun in a socially distant manner. You will not need to leave your pod to take part in the festivities.

Arrive early or stop by after your train ride to snap a socially-distant photo with Santa next to his personal locomotive.

The Kringle Railway platform is at The Whippany Train Station located at 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany, NJ. The adventure runs through Saturday December 19. Departure times are at 9:00 am, 10:20 am, 11:40 am, 1:00 pm, 2:20 pm, and 3:40 pm.

Reservations are required. Purchase tickets here. All guests, 2 and up, are required to wear a mask while attending the event. For more information, visit

Saturday, December 19 - Newton, Sussex County
Wreaths Across America - Old Newton Burial Ground

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Camden, Camden County
Battleship New Jersey Fire Power Tour
Family Friendly

This self guided tour of the overall view of the Battleship New Jersey takes guests five levels up and two decks below. The Main Deck features an Exhibit Museum that encompasses the 48 years in and out of service. Guides are available for questions in the Captain's Quarters and CEC.

Active Military, World War II Veterans and former Crew Members of BB-62 are asked to stop at the Box Office in the Battleship NJ Visitor's Center. Proudly inform our Ticketing Staff of your service to our Great Nation and receive a complimentary ticket to board the "Big J".

* All guests will be screened in the Visitors Center before entering the Battleship’s Pier, must wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
* Please check your email after purchase for your ticket to either print or save to your mobile device and take with you for check-in in the Visitors Center.

Firepower tour tickets are available to use at any date and time we are open for tours. Admission: Adult are $24.95 and children ages 5-11, veterans, and seniors (62+) are $19.95. Tickets can be purchased online. Battleship New Jersey is located at 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ. For more information, call 856-966-1652 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 Lower Township, Cape May County
Fall Walking Tours at Historic Cold Spring Village
Family Friendly

Stroll the tree lined paths with a guide while learning about the stories of the Historic Cold Spring Village's buildings. End with shopping the Country Store and a tasting at Cold Spring Brewery.

The 1 hour tour includes:
Welcome Center c.1894
Dennisville Inn c. 1836
Cox Hall Cottage c. 1691
Spicer Leaming House c.1800
After the tour visit the Country Store C.1720 and have a free mini flight (4 oz) of Cold Spring Brewery beer.

The tour starts at the 735 Seashore Road, Cape May, NJ entrance. Please arrive by 10:50 am to check in. Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am. As the majority of the tour is out of doors, please dress according to the weather. Please be aware a few of the buildings do require access by way of steps. As the Village streets are clam-shell lined please wear comfortable shoes. MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON VILLAGE GROUNDS.

The village is located, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern terminus of the Garden State Parkway. For more information on events, membership, volunteering, call 609-898-2300, ext. 10, or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Absecon Lighthouse Open
Family Friendly

Absecon Lighthouse will be open Thursdays through Mondays, from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, with the last climb 1/2 hour before closing. 

Parking, exhibits, and Keeper’s Cottage museum are free. Admission to climb the 228 steps to the top is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $6 for children 4-12, and $5 for Atlantic City residents; active military are free. Dogs on leashes are welcome on the two-acre lawn and in the museum space. Masks and social distancing are required, plexi-glass shields are installed in the gift shop and Watch Room at the top for your safety, and plastic gloves will be issued to climbers. 

First lit in 1857, Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey and the third tallest in the country. It is the oldest man-made structure in Atlantic City, boasts a first-order Fresnel lens still in place at the top, and offers fabulous views of Atlantic City and Brigantine.

The Absecon Lighthouse is located at 31 South Rhode Island Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ. For more information, call 609-449-1360 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Santa's Trolley Ride
Children Friendly Event

Bring the kids to the Physick Estate for a trolley ride around Cape May with stories and songs led by Mrs. Claus. Then, Santa will greet children with a sweet in the Carriage House. Adults $10 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Trolley rides on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 and 11:00 am. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Lower Township, Cape May County
Climb the Cape May Lighthouse
Family Friendly Site

The Cape May Lighthouse is an 1859 structure with 199 steps to the watch gallery for a panoramic view of the Jersey Cape and Atlantic Ocean. For those who choose not to climb, the Oil House contains a fully-accessible Visitors' Orientation Center and a Museum Shop stocked with maritime accessories and lighthouse memorabilia. Open 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Cape May Point State Park is located in Lower Township, NJ. Admission to the Visitors' Orientation Center and the ground floor of the lighthouse is free. Tower admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 3-12). Children under 3 and active military are FREE. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Physick Estate Scavenger Hunt
Family Friendly

Have an adventure the whole family will enjoy at the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate! Use our map to explore the grounds and find the answers to questions about the Physick family and life in Victorian times on this educational scavenger hunt. Turn in your answer sheet at the Carriage House Museum Shop and receive a prize! Participate anytime between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Price is $5 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12). Purchase tickets online or at the Carriage House Museum Shop. The Emlem Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Cape May Historic District Trolley Tour

Enjoy a 45 minute guided tour with entertaining and enlightening stories about the nation's oldest seaside resort and how it survived. Accessible trolley available with advance notification. Tours begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Tours on Saturday and Sunday at 11:45 am and 1:00 pm. Sponsored by the Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Holiday Lights Trolley Ride
Children Friendly Event

Ride through Cape May’s Historic District to see festively decorated inns and homes as guides talk about Victorian Christmas traditions, lead sing-alongs, and play Christmas music. Rides last about 30 minutes. Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $10. Trolley rides on Saturday at 5:30, 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 8:00, and 8:15 pm and Sunday at 5:30, 6:15, 6:30, 7:15, 7:30, and 8:15 pm. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Physick Family Christmas House Tour
Family Friendly Tour

Take a guided tour of Cape May's Emlen Physick Estate, the magnificent Stick Style mansion attributed to renowned Victorian architect Frank Furness. A tour of the 15 beautifully restored rooms gives you a glimpse into the lifestyle of this Victorian-era Cape May family. Physick Estate Tours take approximately 45 minutes and end with a visit to the 1876 Carriage House where you can see the current exhibit in the Carroll Gallery. Tours will be on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30, 1:45, and 3:00 pm. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children (ages 3-12). Tickets can be purchased online or at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - Tewksbury, Hunterdon County
Tewksbury Historical Society Holiday Gift Sale and Tag Sale

The Tewksbury Historical Society will hold its Annual Holiday Gift Sale at the Oldwick Carriage House, 5 James St., Oldwick, NJ, on Saturday and Sunday. Hours are Saturday 9:00 am - 4 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Due to COVID-19 the sale has been moved from THS Headquarters in Mountainville to the heated Carriage House for this year with COVID-19 requirements of masks and social distancing in place. Buyers will be able to purchase THS items normally found at Headquarters.

Among the items for sale are Tewksbury afghans in Cranberry Red, Hunter Green, and Navy Blue, Tewksbury Church notecards and post cards depicting original historic scenes, Tewksbury Auto-tour Books, and Tewksbury Art Show t-shirts. Also available are hardcover and paperback editions of Historic Notes on Fairmount, NJ by Freeman Leigh, signed and unsigned prints of "Tewksbury, A River Runs Through It", by Elizabeth "Lib" Ryman and both unmatted and matted (while supplies last) prints depicting scenes in Mountainville, Pottersville and Califon by Linda Jean. Select Mountainville prints are also signed by longtime resident Charles Burrell.

The Tewksbury Antique Show is a victim of COVID-19 and will not be held this year. Therefore, in addition to its THS items, the Historical Society will sell the remaining treasures from its Fall Tag Sales at a 50% discount. This is an opportunity for those patrons who considered items but chose not to purchase them previously may find them still available. For those who have not attended the sales, there are numerous antique chairs, mirrors, lamps, a bedframe, desk, china, glassware, crystal, silver, linens, costume jewelry, Christmas items, and more. The items may fill Christmas gift lists. For more information, visit

Saturday - Monday, December 19 - 21 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
Tuckerton Lighthouse Open
Family Friendly Event

After much careful consideration and implementing enhanced safety measures, Tuckerton Seaport is getting ready to open the Lighthouse for long weekends in December. The Tucker's Island Lighthouse will be open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm in December. We will also have the Pop-Up Shop open at these times. The Lighthouse will be decorated for the holidays including elves taking over the Tuckerton Railroad Room! Reserved timed tickets will be required for everyone. This helps us limit capacity and maintain social distancing. Masks will be required at all times. The building's high touch surfaces and bathrooms will be fogged and disinfected daily. Tuckerton Seaport reserves the right to make changes to the schedule or cancel at any time due to circumstances beyond our control at the discretion of the museum. Safety always comes first around here. In the event that we need to cancel any dates, guests who have pre-purchased tickets will receive a full refund.

How do you make reservations? Reservations can be made in two ways: Online or at the Welcome Booth!

Tickets are just $5/person. We are currently limiting capacity to just 8 guests per entry time every 30 minutes.

Seaport Members can use the discount code Member20 for their complimentary tickets. Members will be required to bring their Membership Card with them when visiting or the discount will not be valid. Membership benefits for Seaport Family Members include two adults as well as any accompanying children under 18. Additional guests should reserve their tickets at the regular price online. Everyone needs a ticket for entry with the exception of children under age 5 who are complimentary.

The Tukerton Seaport is located at 120 W. Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit

Sunday, December 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Ride

A member of the East Lynne Theater Company regales you with a Victorian holiday ghost tale as you ride through Cape May’s festively decorated Historic District. Rides start and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth

Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Tour on Sunday at 8:30 and 9:15 pm. Advance reservation strongly recommended. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Sunday, December 20
Colonial Colleges Yule Log
Virtual Program

In the fall of 1918, women studied for the first time at two of America’s colonial colleges. As the Influenza Pandemic called the “Spanish Flu” spread around the world, Mabel Smith Douglass opened New Jersey College for Women at Rutgers and the first women students enrolled at William & Mary.

This online program includes a discussion of the struggles and triumphs of the first semesters of women’s education at Rutgers and William & Mary, a living-history appearance from “Mabel Smith Douglass” reflecting on that first semester and her own infection with the Spanish Flu, and a festive introduction to the Yule Log traditions at both colleges. The online program will take place on Facebook at Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage State Historic Sites at 4:00 pm on Sunday. Event information:

Sunday, December 20
Christmas Traditions with Kevin Woyce
Virtual Program

The Chatham Township Historical Society invites everyone to a Virtual Zoom presentation: Christmas Traditions with Kevin Woyce. The popular New Jersey writer and presenter will tell the history of many of our favorite Christmas Traditions. The program will be held on Sunday at 4:00 pm. Zoom link: ID: 848 8246 4196 -- Passcode: 295643

Through Sunday, December 20 - Clinton, Hunterdon County
Festival of Trees at the Red Mill
Family Friendly

Decorated Christmas trees are sure to stir holiday spirit at the 11th annual Festival of Trees. Featured Christmas trees, designed and decorated by community members, local businesses and organizations, will be displayed on the grounds of the Red Mill Museum Village. The display of trees placed outdoors among the historical buildings will continue to be on view Saturdays and Sundays through December 20 from 12:00 noon - 6:00 pm. 
Admission is $10 per person age 6 and up. Free admission for Museum Members and children age 6 and under. The Red Mill Museum Village is located at 56 Main Street, Clinton, NJ. For more information, call 908-735-4101 or visit

Through Friday, January 1, 2021 - Cape May, Cape May County
An Old-Fashioned Christmas
Family Friendly

The wonders of the season come to life in “An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit: Holiday Traditions through the Years,” at the Carroll Gallery in the Physick Estate Carriage House. Experience a breathtaking exhibit of holiday traditions complete with a giant Christmas tree, a Dickens Village, model trains, nostalgic photos from Christmas past, and more! The exhibit will be available for viewing from through Friday, January 1, 2021. Open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas); hours vary. Free admission. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information or gallery hours, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturdays and Sundays through January 10, 2021 - Princeton, Mercer County
Festival of Trees

Morven Museum and Garden's annual Festival of Trees is an annual highlight of the holiday season showcasing a juried collection of  trees and mantles displayed throughout the museum’s galleries, upstairs and down. This year’s Festival opens earlier and stays open even longer into 2021! 

Festival of Trees is open to the public during regular museum hours, Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The museum will close from 1:00 - 1:30 pm for cleaning. Timed admission tickets are available for purchase and will be given priority. Walk up admission tickets will be by availability in the museum shop. Please be prepared for possible museum entrance delays in observance of CDC guidelines ensuring reduced crowd sizes.

Morven Museum & Garden is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Admission $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60+) and students and children 6 and under and active military personnel are free. Friends of Morven, free. Please note that during the Festival of Trees in December and early January, no formal tours are given, but docents are available to answer any questions. Morven Museum and Garden is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit

Some event listings courtesy of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey


Post a Comment

Thanks for the comments!