Liberty Hall Museum Spreads Holiday Cheer

UNION — Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University celebrates the Yuletide season with a series of special events throughout the month of December. Designed for young children and their families, visitors to the museum will enjoy holiday activities in the historic mansion of New Jersey’s first elected governor, William Livingston.

During the holiday season, the first floor of Liberty Hall will be transformed into a Victorian Christmas. You will hear about Victorian Christmas traditions as the servants put the final touches on the decorations for the Kean family’s holiday festivities. Reservations are required for all events for those wishing to eat, drink and be merry while discovering the living past.

On Dec. 8 and 15, Liberty Hall presents their annual Gingerbread House Workshop. Recommended for children ages 7 to 12, children are provided with the materials and instruction to design their own edible gingerbread houses with candy canes, gum drops and more. There are two sessions each day from 10-11:30 a.m. or from noon-1:30 p.m. The fee is $20 for one child and one adult; any additional adults are $5 each.

A Christmas Tree Ornament Workshop will be held on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m.-noon for $20 for one child and one adult; any additional adults are $5 each. Your family will have a joyful time creating old-fashioned ornaments and holiday “crackers” as everyone gets in the holiday spirit.

Inspired by the beloved Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Liberty Hall prepares a Whoville Feast on Dec. 16 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Guests will dine on Grinchy grub that includes “roastbeast” on a bun, Seuss spuds and Cindy Lou Who cider. Admission is $20 for children and $25 for adults.

Santa Claus will be on hand for photo opportunities when he takes his sleigh to Liberty Hall on Dec. 23 for Breakfast with Santa. Naughty or nice, all are welcome to enjoy a visit with St. Nick and a delicious hot breakfast buffet filled with cheer and tasty treats. Admission is $20 per child and $25 per adult from 10 a.m. to noon.

Afternoon Teas are offered every Wednesday of the month from 2-4 p.m. (Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26). The Christmas-themed socials are perfect for sipping tea and lunching on finger sandwiches and desserts while relaxing in the glass-enclosed porch overlooking Liberty Hall’s formal English gardens.

Also in the spirit of the season, Liberty Hall Museum and the Kean University Center for Leadership and Service will be collecting items for Toys for Tots. Kean urges the community to help the needy young people in Union County by bringing an unwrapped gift for children ages 0-15 to Liberty Hall’s Blue House or to drop locations throughout the campus now until Dec. 17.

The ongoing exhibit at Liberty Hall Museum is Ring for Service: The Role of Servants in a Country House. If you love the hit PBS show Downton Abbey, step into the real thing at Liberty Hall. Tours of the museum will show a typical day in the life of the servants. In the 1900s, the Kean family lived in a world where their every whim was met by the simple ringing of the servant’s bell. The museum has been reinterpreted to highlight the places where the servants worked, slept and spent their leisure time.

Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University chronicles more than 240 years of American history. The museum also houses extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, and toys owned by seven generations of the Livingston and Kean families. The Firehouse Museum, built in 2004, houses three antique fire engines, including a rare 1911 American LaFrance Metropolitan Steam Engine.

General admission to the museum for regular visits is $10 for adults, $8 for Kean Alumni, $6 for students and seniors, and free for children under three, Liberty Hall Museum members and Kean University students, faculty and staff. Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Avenue in Union. It is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For reservations and further information, call 1-908-527.0400, e-mail or visit

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