Montclair History Center Makes National “10 Best” List For Holiday House Tour

Montclair, NJ – The Montclair History Center is pleased to announce its annual Holiday House Tour was honored as the top choice in the Northeast and fourth place nationwide in USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice award. The list included such well-known sites as Graceland, the Breakers in Newport, the Biltmore, Mount Vernon, and Monticello.

“We’re beyond excited to be among the top five nationally,” says Jane Eliasof, Executive Director of the Montclair History Center. “For the Crane House and Historic YWCA to be recognized is a real honor, especially when you look at the caliber of the other museums on the list.”

The Crane House and Historic YWCA was one of 18 museums in the United States nominated for this award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel experts for the USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences.

Each year, the Montclair History Center’s historic houses are trimmed with period decorations by the Garden Club of Montclair. This year, due to COVID, there were restrictions on how many people could enter the Crane House and Historic YWCA at the same time.

“The Garden Club of Montclair still did an amazing job from afar,” says Eliasof. “They created wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces in their own homes and handed them off to staff stationed outside the house.” Montclair History Center staff took them from there, placing the decorations in the period rooms.

The houses usually open for the Essex County Holiday House weekend and remain open for self-guided public and private tours throughout December. The Montclair History Center also offers evening Candlelight Tours that explore the evolution of Christmas and end around a hearth fire with wassail, hot apple cider, and other refreshments.

In 2020, the Montclair History Center offered limited tours with safety and social distancing protocols in place. The Garden Club of Montclair’s decorations were featured in one of the museum’s History at Home virtual programs and will be available as a slide show at beginning December 21. The Montclair History Center plans to return to its full schedule of holiday programming in 2021.

For additional information, please visit

Photo: Diane E Israel

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.