UNION – Liberty Hall Museum’s much-anticipated Christmas tour, From St. Nicholas to Santa Claus, begins this Friday, kicking off a spate of exciting holiday programming and events at the museum, the home of New Jersey’s first elected governor, William Livingston.
A celebration of five distinct Christmas traditions and eras in history, From St. Nicholas to Santa Claus focuses on the Dutch tradition of St. Nicholas (c. 1774), the English tradition of Twelfth Night (c. 1800), “The Night Before Christmas” (c. 1848), a Victorian Christmas (c. 1899), and a WWII Christmas (c. 1942). Beginning Friday, Nov. 29, tours will be available Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for children, college students and seniors; $8 for Kean University alumni; and $10 for adults. There is no cost for children under the age of three.
Adults seeking respite from their shopping and other irksome holiday activities will have the chance to unwind at the museum’s Christmas Tea throughout the month of December. Usually served the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, Liberty Hall’s signature tea service will now be available every week: Dec. 4, 11, 18 and 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. Guests are invited to warm their hands and heart with a cup of tea while enjoying a prime view of Liberty Hall’s winter wonderland from the comfort of the museum’s heated, glass-enclosed porch. Admission is $40, and includes a holiday tour following tea.
The Gingerbread House Workshop, a perennial favorite which attracts both longtime fans of the museum as well as first-time guests, takes place Dec. 14 & 21. Due to last year’s overwhelming response, Liberty Hall will offer two sessions on both available dates: 10 – 11:30 a.m. or noon – 1:30 p.m. The fee is $20 for one adult and child; the workshop is recommended for ages 7-12.
Liberty Hall’s “How the Grinch Stole Lunch” (also known as the Whoville Feast) is scheduled for Dec. 15 (11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) This buffet features “Roast Beast on a Bun,” “Seuss Spuds,” “Cindy Lou Who Cider,” and other comfort cuisine inspired by Theodore Geisel’s (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss’) holiday classic. Admission is $20 per child and $25 per adult, and includes lunch, a photograph with the Grinch, and a tour of the museum decorated for the holidays.
The jolly old man himself will be on hand for Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 22 (9 – 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) Admission includes all-you-can-eat breakfast (served buffet-style), a photograph with the man of the hour in his celebrated sleigh, and a holiday tour of Liberty Hall. The price is $20 for children and $25 for adults.
Liberty Hall continues to accept unwrapped gifts for children ages 1-17 on behalf of Toys for Tots. All donations must be received by Dec. 16, and may be dropped off at the Blue House, the museum’s Welcome and Visitor Center.
Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University chronicles more than 240 years of American history. The museum also houses extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, toys and tools 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. Tours of Liberty Hall run Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the hour; the last tour departs at 3 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for Kean alumni, and $6 for children and seniors. Kean students and faculty are free.
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