Thursday, December 24, 2020

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/26/20 - 12/27/20

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings

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Saturday, December 26
Celebrating Hogmanay with Scottish Music
Virtual Program

The Trent House Association presents The Practitioners of Musick in a performance honoring the Scottish heritage of William Trent and featuring music that George Washington and his family enjoyed. The program will begin at 1:00 pm on Saturday via Zoom at Suggested donations of $10 can be made at
Born in Inverness, Scotland, William Trent immigrated to Philadelphia and established himself as a very successful shipping merchant. In 1714 he acquired much of the land that now is the city of Trenton and in 1719 built his Georgian style mansion on his plantation there. It is likely that General Washington visited his Deputy Quartermaster General John Cox there and may have been entertained with music.

Washington’s family – his wife Martha, her two children, and her four grandchildren – all studied music. He himself was said to be especially fond of William Shield’s comic opera Rosina, which was performed in Philadelphia, the nation’s capital, during his Presidency. Some of the opera’s melodies drew on Scottish folk songs, a fact that led some to claim that Shield composed the music for “Auld Lang Syne.”

John Burkhalter and Donovan Klotzbeacher founded the Practitioners of Musick to the research and performance of the musical riches of 18th century Great Britain and the Colonial and Federal periods in America. They have performed and lectured at libraries, museums, and historic sites throughout the region and beyond.

Saturday, December 26
In Lieu of Patriots Week Programs in Trenton
Virtual Programs

The Trouble with Trenton Virtual Puppet Show
12:00 noon - 1:00 pm 
Everyone’s favorite patriotic puppet show is going virtual this year! Children will be able to experience the magical storytelling of Washington’s crucial victory at the Battle of Trenton, presented by Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre. Tune in on Zoom (link at or at to watch with your family!

Celebrating Hogmanay with Scottish Music 
1:00 pm 
Hogmanay is the traditional Scottish celebration of the New Year and annually the Trent House Museum recognizes the heritage of William Trent, who immigrated to the English colonies from Scotland in the late 1600s, with our own version of the celebration. This year’s program will feature a concert of Scottish music that American colonists would have heard around the time of the Revolutionary War. Among the selections will be favorites of George Washington and his family, played on recorder and harpsichord by John Burkhalter and Donovan Klotzbeacher of the Practitioners of Musick. Zoom link available at

The Real Story of the Battle of Trenton 
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Tune in as Asher Lurie, Chief of Historical Interpretation at the Old Barracks Museum, details the history of the Battle of Trenton as it really happened, on the day of the First Battle of Trenton. Tune in on Zoom (link at or at

Blacks at the Battle of Trenton 
3:00 - 4:00 pm 
Algernon Ward Jr. of Trenton will provide a presentation on the topic of "Blacks at The Battles of Trenton" which will explore the roles of African Americans in the operation of The Old Barracks as a home for soldiers and a military hospital. Tune in on Zoom (link at or at

Author Talk: Larry Kidder on "Revolutionary Princeton, 1774-1783: The Biography of an American Town in the Heart of a Civil War”
5:00 pm
Join historian Larry Kidder as he discusses his new book, Revolutionary Princeton, 1774-1783: The Biography of an American Town in the Heart of a Civil War. This book details the lives of Princetonians who lived in the town during the Revolutionary War, and continues the histories detailed in Mr. Kidder’s other works: Crossroads of the Revolution: Trenton 1774-1783 and Ten Crucial Days: Washington’s Vision for Victory Unfolds. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Books can be purchased at Tune in on Zoom (link at or at

Author Talk: Don Hagist on "Noble Volunteers: The British Soldiers Who Fought the American Revolution"
7:00 pm
Join historian Don Hagist as he discusses his new book Noble Volunteers: The British Soldiers Who Fought the American Revolution which brings life to these soldiers, describing the training, experiences, and outcomes of British soldiers who fought during the Revolution. Drawing on thousands of military records and other primary sources in British, American, and Canadian archives, and the writings of dozens of officers and soldiers, Noble Volunteers shows how a peacetime army responded to the onset of war, how professional soldiers adapted quickly and effectively to become tactically dominant, and what became of the thousands of career soldiers once the war was over. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Books can be purchased at Tune in on Zoom (link at or at

Saturday - Sunday, December 26 - 27 - Camden, Camden County
Battleship New Jersey Fire Power Tour - Last Weekend until March 2021
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 26 - 27 - 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 26 - 27 - 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 26 - 27 - 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, 1:00 pm, and 2:15 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 26 - 27 - 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 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 26 - 27 - 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 - Monday, December 26 - 28 - 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

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


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