Thursday, December 3, 2020

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/5/20 - 12/6/20

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
A Weekly Feature on
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Saturday, December 5 - Cape May, Cape May County
Wassail Day at Historic Cold Spring Village
Children Friendly

Historic Cold Spring Village opens its Homespun Holidays season with Wassail Day on Saturday from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. The Village paths come alive with the sounds and smells of wintertime! Admission for Wassail Day is $5.00 per adult, $3.00 for children, and FREE for HCSV Members.

Timed tickets are available by visiting and pressing the red BOOK NOW button. Ticket purchase is NON- REFUNDABLE. Rain or shine event. Select buildings will be open where guests can enjoy, military encampments, hot beverages, and holiday treats served by historically clothed interpreters. Visitors can meet Father Christmas in the Country Store. The Country Store will be open and stocked with unique holiday gift ideas including traditionally-processed wool, artisan crafts for the home, books, jewelry, toys, and old-fashioned candy.

Historic Cold Spring Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern end of the Garden State Parkway. For more information, call 609-898-2300, ext. 10 or visit the Village

Saturday, December 5 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Yarn Bee
Ages 10+

Whether starting a new hobby or working on an old project, all are welcome to this gathering on Saturday at Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel! The relaxed atmosphere means no pressure - you can knit or crochet at your own pace, and farm staff will be on hand to assist those wanting to learn a new skill. Bring your own supplies or borrow ours for the session. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. The cost is $5 per person; cash or check only. This event run from 12:00 noon - 2:30 pm.

Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit

Saturday, December 5 - Cape May, Cape May County
Candlelight Winter Encampment Tour at Historic Cold Spring Village
Children Friendly

Saturday, December 5 - Nutley, Essex County
Kingsland Manor for the Holidays

Come visit a 1700s brownstone Dutch colonial steeped in history and decorated beautifully for the holiday season. Come explore the historic homestead of the Kingsland family set within park-like grounds overlooking a pond and waterfalls.

The Manor will be open for scheduled tours on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 - 5:00 pm each day. Tours will be available every 30 minutes. The last tour will begin at 4:30 pm. A maximum of 5 people will be allowed for each tour time. Facemasks will be required. Tours are free, but donations are gratefully accepted and applied to our scholarship fund.

Advance registration is required. Please sign up using this link.

Please be advised that due to possible future state and/or local Covid-19 related restrictions, this event may be cancelled without prior notice. We appreciate your understanding during these times.

The Kingsland Manor is located at the corner of Kingsland Street and Lakeside Drive. Entry and parking are on Lakeside Drive.

For more information call 973-661-3410, email, or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - Jefferson Township, Morris County
Museum Christmas Weekend

The Jefferson Township Museum, also known as the George Chamberlain House, will hold its annual Museum Christmas weekend on Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Tours of the building will be held throughout the day with social distancing guidelines followed. Certified costumed docents and guides will be present to ensure safety. Pandemic guidelines will be followed with masks required inside and outside the Museum.

The theme of Museum Christmas will be Home for the Holidays with each room decorated for a traditional family celebration. The Museum Garden Club and friends will be decorating the Museum and grounds. Miss Elizabeth’s Shoppe in the original kitchen of the house will be transformed to a Christmas boutique with unique and beautiful gift items. The Jefferson Historical Society will hold its annual Christmas bake sale. The Jefferson Arts Committee will be on site with designer handbags and other wonderful gift type items for sale. No credit cards please.

Complimentary hot mulled cider and chestnuts will be served on the Museum’s new antique pot-bellied stove on Saturday. Outdoor entertainment will be presented Saturday. Come join us to celebrate the season. All are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pandemic guidelines will be followed with masks required.

The Jefferson Township Museum is located at 315 Dover-Milton Road, Jefferson Township, NJ. For further information, call 973-697-0258 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - 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 5 - 6 - 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 - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - 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 5 - 6 - 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 5 - 6 - 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 5 - 6 - 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 5 - 6 - 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 5 - 6 - 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, 6:15, 7:15, 7:30, and 8:00 pm and Sunday at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 pm. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Sunday, December 6 - 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 Sunday at 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

Sunday, December 6 - 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 6 - River Edge, Bergen County
Holiday Scenes & Songs at Historic New Bridge Landing

The Bergen County Historical Society presents Holiday Scenes & Songs at Historic New Bridge Landing, a special outdoor holiday event on Sunday, December 6 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm. Historic New Bridge Landing is located at 1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ.

Join historical balladeer Linda Russell as she takes you on a trip through the ages with songs and scenes to see how the holidays were celebrated.

The journey will begin at the Steuben House and end at the Campbell-Christie House with a holiday sing-a-long and a tree lighting.

Be on the lookout for Sinterklaas, as he might make an appearance during the evening.

If you are still looking for that unique holiday gift, make sure to take a peek at the treasures on the gift shop table while you sip on some hot cocoa and enjoy some holiday treats.

Remember to practice social distancing by staying 6 feet apart and to wear a face mask as they are required at this event.

Ticket reservations are required: $20 non-member adults, $10 non-member students, $15 adult BCHS members and $7 student BCHS members.

Free parking available on site or take the train to “New Bridge Landing” on the Pascack Valley line. 

Dogs on are permitted on the grounds on a leash. Pre-registration is required. Make a reservation on the society’s website For more information, email or call 201-343-9492 (leave a message). The event is subject to change.

Sunday, December 6
Women Lighthouse Keepers
Virtual Program

Celebrate yet one more important role women have played in our national and state history when you tune in to Ocean County Historical Society’s Zoom presentation at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Mary Rasa, historian, former National Park interpreter, and former museum curator at Sandy Hook, will present her discoveries as she researched records and artifacts and did oral history interviews. You will learn about the U.S. Lighthouse Service from colonial days until when the Coast Guard took over in 1939, lighthouse technology and administrative history, and the second national paid position given to women in the U.S. beside that of clerk: lighthouse keeper. You will enjoy meeting several of the 140 courageous and hard-working official women keepers who enabled seafarers to navigate the U.S. shorelines more safely.

To register for this free program, email your name, the date of December 6, 2020, your zip code, and your email address to We will send you the link to Zoom a few days before the event.

Sunday, December 6 - Wall Township, Monmouth County
Christmas at The Historic Village at Allaire
Children Friendly Site & Event

Create new family traditions by celebrating the traditions of an Old World Christmas. Join us for Christmas at Allaire - a day full of interactive programs and holiday activities as you experience the Magic and Joys of Christmas Past.

Warm up on the open hearth, make Christmas treats, create winter arts and crafts, dance and sing at the historic chapel, listen to the village carolers and musicians as they stroll the village, storytelling, preparing the Allaire Mansion for a French Christmas, and much more! Bring your holiday cards to be sent from our historic post office located in the General Store. Also keep your eyes out for Santa, a great photo opportunity! 

All the Village buildings will be spectacularly decorated for the season! Historic sleds and various outdoor Christmas trees (with English, German, and French elements) will be on display!

Here are just a few of our activities taking place this day:
* Historic buildings open 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.
* Each building decorated and interpreted according to a different Old World Christmas tradition.
The General Store and Bakery will be open for holiday shopping.
* Blacksmithing, Wood Carving, Leather-making, and other 19th century craft demonstrations throughout the day.
* Trains! A replica of the Central Railroad of NJ’s (CNJ) “Blue Comet” train, plus a vintage Lionel train display and village
* Treat yourself to delicious food from our Pilsen Gourmet Food Truck that will be on site.

Due to COVID-19, there are limited tickets available. Make sure you get your tickets in advance.

* ALL VISITORS MUST WEAR A MASK inside the historic buildings and throughout the village grounds.
* Please practice Social Distancing and maintain 6’ from you and other individuals at ALL times.
* Please follow all directional signs and guidance from our event staff when entering the event.
* All guests must adhere to proper hand washing practices. Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the village.
* Any visitor or vendor who violates any of these rules or regulations will be asked to leave the event.

Note: All event pricing, dates, times and events are subject to change. No refunds or exchanges. All events are rain or shine unless otherwise noted. No ticket sales are being planned the day of!!

The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. Tickets MUST be purchased online. For more information, call 732-919-3500 or visit

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


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