Holiday House Tours: Historic Homes, Candlelight Tours and More

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Do you love to see beautiful homes all decked out for the holidays? Well, you’re in luck! There are many local displays to enjoy!

Check out Christmas Walk 2018 this weekend with Caldwell Kiwanis. Delight in the diverse charms of five exceptional local homes, and two historic 19th century homes with hosts available to answer your questions. More info here.

Crane House & Historic YWCA will also be open on Wednesdays December 5, 12, and 19 at 1:00 PM for self-guided holiday tours. The museum will be closed on December 26. Finally, Crane House will be open on Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM as part of the Essex County Holiday House Tour. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 and free for members.

Crane House & Historic YWCA (110 Orange Road, Montclair) – Executive Director Jane Eliasof will lead special candlelight tours of this historic building decorated for the holidays from the1700s to the 20th century. Historic refreshments will be served by the hearth fireplace including “flip,” an 18th century tavern favorite. Tours will be held on Thursdays December 6 and 13 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Cost is $20 per person and $15 for members. Registration is required by calling 973.744.1796 or emailing [email protected].

Shultz House (30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will feature Molly Shultz’s own collection of Christmas decorations, mantle decorations from Bartlett’s Greenhouses & Florist of Clifton, antique toys, and children’s book exhibit. Shultz House will be open on Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM as part of the Essex County Holiday House Tour. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 and free for members.

Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms (2352 Route 10 West, Morris Plains) will host a holiday Open House on Saturday, December 1 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Stroll the Log House at your own pace, enjoy holiday shopping, live music, light refreshments, and a fun kids’ craft. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and $4 for children. Members are free. Then, on Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8 at 5:30 PM, explore early 20th century holiday traditions and Gustav Stickley’s own ideas about the season on special after-hours guided candlelight tours of the decorated Log House. Admission is $12; $5 for members. Advance registration is required.

Kip’s Castle (22 Crestmont Road, Verona) will offer Holiday Candlelight Tours on Thursdays, December 6, 13, 20, and 27, Fridays, December 7, 14, 21, 28, and Saturdays, December 8, 15, and 29. Admission is $10 and includes coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies. Registration is required and can be done online.

Canfield-Morgan House and Museum (903 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove) will be open on Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2, as part of the Essex County Historic Holiday House tour. The museum will be open from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, and guides will be present to discuss the history of the house and artifacts that are on display. There will be a gift shop in the barn featuring local honey, handmade cutting boards, local history books, and many other items. Local honey will be for sale. Light refreshments will be served in the museum. Admission is free, though donations are accepted.

Force Homestead & Museum (366 South Livingston Avenue, Livingston) will also be participating in the Essex County Historic Holiday House Tour. This colonial-style home was built in 1745. Elegant gowns will be on display and holiday music will be played by the Livingston High School string ensemble. Admission is free, and donations are accepted. There will be refreshments available. It will be open on Sunday, December 2 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

 Glenmont at Thomas Edison National Historical Park will be open for viewings this holiday season. Glenmont will be decorated much as it was while the Edison family lived there. Car passes and tour tickets must be purchased at the Laboratory Complex Visitor Center at 211 Main Street, Livingston. There are a limited number of tickets that will be given out on a first come first served basis. No advanced reservations. Tour times may vary each day. Glenmont will be open on Saturdays and Sundays between December 1 and 29, 2018 between 11:30 AM and 3:00 PM. Admission is $20 per person and free for children under 16.

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace (207 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell) will be open on Saturday, December 1 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday, December 2 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, to participate in the Essex County Historic Holiday House Tour. Decorations will remain up until January 6, 2019. Built in 1832, President Cleveland was born here on March 18, 1837. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

Kingsland Manor (3 Kingsland Street, Nutley) will be open for tours on December 1 and 2 for from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Visit this 1700s brownstone Dutch colonial steeped in history and decorated beautifully for the holiday season. Explore the historic homestead of the Kingsland family and beyond, set within park-like grounds overlooking a pond and waterfalls. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully appreciated.

Walther House at Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens (474 Upper Mountain Avenue, Upper Montclair) will be open for holiday house tours of this house built in 1865 on Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Admission is free. Hot apple cider and cookies will be served.

Oakside Bloomfield Cultural Center (240 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield) will open The Oakes Mansion, constructed in 1895, for tours on Saturday, December 1 from 11:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.

Zenas Crane Homestead (289 Westville Avenue, West Caldwell) will be open from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM on both Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2. This home was built in 1854 and was the home of prominent local family, the Cranes. It contains exhibits of international Santas and “Santa through the Ages.” You will see the creative works of local artists, a holiday tree, a festive Victorian dollhouse, children’s toys, a nativity set, and the first Caldwell Post Office. Admission is free.

Van Tassel Funeral Home (337 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield) was built in 1850 and has served as a funeral home since 1883. Listen to Christmas music and admire the decorations. You can also view old pictures and artifacts. The house will be open on Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Ballantine House at Newark Museum (49 Washington Street, Newark) was built in 1885 for Jeannette and John Holme Ballantine. Two floors of the house are interpreted as a suite of galleries called “House & Home,” which includes eight period rooms, two hallways, and six thematic galleries, all filled with things that might have been found in people’s homes from the 1650s to the present. The Ballantine House is a wing of the Newark Museum and is open as part of the museum during regular museum hours. Museum admission applies: $15 for adults, $8 for children, and seniors and students with valid ID are free, as well as children age 2 and younger, Members, Newark residents, and active duty military with valid ID. The house will be open on Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart (89 Ridge Street, Newark) is the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Newark, adjacent to Branch Brook Park. It is home to resplendent stained glass windows, mosaics and other artwork, and is decorated for the Christmas holiday. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

Van Vleck House and Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) will host The Van Vleck Express Train Display & Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 1 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and on Sunday, December 2 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Stop by the Van Vleck Greenhouse to view this special, all-new Model Train & Village display. This event is free for Friends of Van Vleck and participants at coinciding events, and $5 per person/$10 per family at the door for General Public.

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