BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ An full schedule of historic exhibits and re-enactors, holiday merchants, musical performances, special family and children’s activities, and more will highlight the 17th Annual Colonial Christmas at Bedminster’s historic Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum off Route 206.

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House each year to invite visitors of all ages to Colonial Christmas to experience Christmas past and present when the circa 1772 Dutch Colonial home's occupants played an important role in the American Revolution.

Each year, proceeds raised benefit exhibit development, historical interpretations, and educational programs at the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum, restored by the Friends group. The Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum is at 3055 River Road in Bedminster Township.

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Nov. 29 tree lighting to kick off celebration

The public is invited to attend a free community tree lighting to kick off the Colonial Christmas festivities at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, to join together for caroling with Harmonium Choral Society. Hot chocolate will also be served as the red, white, and blue Christmas tree is lit.

The Vanderveer house will open its wreath-clad doors with a wide variety of activities and holiday features on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 to 8. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Other fundraising events are scheduled in the week between the tree lighting and the main Colonial Christmas weekend.

The popular fundraiser will feature: tours of the museum, which will be decorated for the holidays by The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House; holiday shopping boutique merchants and artisans; live holiday music, re-enactors and crafters; military demonstrations by Lamb's Artillery Company; Santa visits (including a book reading with Santa!);  and festive craft workshops for children and adults.

Admission is $10 admission per adult, and free to museum members, and children age 12 and under.

Tthe Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum was headquarters of General Henry Knox during the winter of 1778-79, and has been authenically restored as the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment, America’s first military academy. A National and New Jersey historic site, the Vanderveer House interprets 18th century Dutch-Colonial life through the Vanderveer and Knox families and provides information about the Pluckemin Cantonment’s role in training soldiers during the American Revolution.

Special activities and events

Immediately following the tree lighting, a Candlelight Museum Tour will be held frm 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday. The evening will feature music, light hors d’oeuvres, and tours of the Jacobus Vanderveer House in candle light. Merrymaking will be assisted by authentic Colonial cocktails served up by Les and Jobie Ford, re-enactors portraying barkeeps with The Mumbling Manxman, an 18th century traveling field tavern. The cost is $25 per adult.

To register, or for more information, call (908) 396-6053 or email

For information about other Colonial Christmas, workshops, and tickets to Friday’s cocktail reception, email, call (908) 396-6053 or visit

Events planned for the Colonial Christmas holiday include: (Some of the events require pre-registration and additional fees. Information is online.)

Saturday, Dec. 7: 

from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

Museum tours

Colonial re-enactors and crafters​

John Lamb's Artillery Company demonstrations

Holiday shopping with boutique artisans and merchants

The history of mincemeat pies with Susan McLellan Plaisted, Heart to Hearth

House raffle

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visits with Santa with readings of “The Night Before Christmas” at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

12 p.m.

 Holiday ornament craft workshop

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Music performance by Hickory Tree Chorus

4 p.m.

Adult Craft Workshop: Holiday Paint and Sip with Kait Roamer

Sunday, Dec. 8:

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museum Tours

Colonial Re-Enactors and Crafters​

John Lambs Artillery Company Demonstrations

Holiday Shopping with  boutique artisans and merchants

The history of the Plum Pudding with Susan McLellan Plaisted, Heart to Hearth

House Raffle

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visits with Santa with readings of “The Night Before Christmas” at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

3 p.m. 

Children’s Craft Workshop: Build Your Own Polar Pal!

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Music performance by Hickory Tree Chorus

Another scheduled fundraiser, is a cocktail reception scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6. with holiday libations, hors d’oeuvres, a wine pull raffle and shopping. Patron tickets are $150 per person. Junior patron tickets (age 25 and under) are $100 per person.