VERONA, NJ — Holiday candlelight tours of Essex County Kip’s Castle are offered in December to view the stained-glass Tiffany windows and learn the history of this hidden gem. They will be held as follows:

Dates: Tuesdays, December 10 & 17; Thursdays, December 12 & 19; and Fridays, December 18 & 20. Each tour starts at 7 p.m. at Essex County Kip’s Castle Park, 22 Crestmont Road, Verona.

Admission is $10 and includes coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies. Registration is required and can be done online at Space is limited and is on a first come, first served basis. Visitors should meet at the front door of the Castle building for the beginning of the tour. Please note that not all areas of the tour are handicapped accessible.

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Essex County preserved the Castle and 11 acres of property in 2007 using grants from the New Jersey Green Acres Program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund. Since the 30-room, medieval-style castle, carriage house, and 11-acre property were added as the 18th park in the historic Essex County Park System, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs has hosted a variety of free community events at the site. In addition, the Castle is the headquarters for the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, five off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. Kip’s Castle Park is located in Verona and Montclair.