Historic Long street Farm Christmas
Dec 21, 2018

Day Trip to an Old-Fashioned Christmas

By Joanne Colella

Historic Long street Farm Christmas

Local residents who love the images of old-fashioned Christmases found on the holiday cards that they give and receive each year are in luck, because Monmouth County offers some wonderful rural sites for picturesque winter wonderlands. In December, they are festooned with ribbons and bows, wreaths and garlands, some of them with brightly burning fireplaces to keep visitors warm and toasty on snowy days. This year, instead of battling holiday traffic and gridlock to drive further afield, why not gather up family and friends for a delightful day trip closer to home? Here are suggestions to put on your wish list.

Historic Longstreet Farm

Historic Longstreet Farm at Holmdel Park (44 Longstreet Farm in Holmdel, NJ) is a local living history farm that is lovely at any time of year, but is particularly Christmas-card-worthy right now. Do you have a sweet tooth? Then come out on Saturday, December 8 from 1 to 3 pm for a mouthwatering Christmas Candy Making Demonstration. Brandy McCann will demonstrate the art of candy making, creating tasty chocolate delicacies and other sweet treats found in the 1890s Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

On Sunday, Dec. 9 from 1 to 3 pm, the lovely Longstreet farmhouse will be filled with The Sounds of Christmas, with holiday carols skillfully performed by Larry Moser and Mary Nagin on instruments such as the hammered dulcimer and the fiddle. Take in the welcoming warmth of this historic home at this free musical afternoon.

If the holiday season makes you feel like bursting into song, then you’ll certainly want to join in the old-fashioned Christmas Sing-Along on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 3 pm. Rick Garland will be playing piano in the Longstreet farmhouse for anyone who would like to lend their voices to the celebration.

Santa undoubtedly loves an old-fashioned Christmas, too, and will be at Longstreet Farm for a Visit with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 22 and Sunday, Dec. 23 from 12 to 3 pm. Enjoy the Victorian setting as children of all ages visit with the jolly old elf himself, then take a stroll to the farmhouse and savor a cup of hot apple cider. Don’t forget to bring your camera for this free family event.

For info about Historic Longstreet Farm, visit monmouthcountyparks.com or look for Historic Longstreet Farm on Facebook.

The Historic Village at Allaire

The Historic Village at Allaire, located in Farmingdale (4263 Atlantic Avenue in Farmingdale, NJ), is another living history museum that comes alive for the holidays – perhaps most brightly during their Christmas Lantern Tours, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1; Friday, Dec. 7; Saturday, Dec. 8; Saturday, Dec. 15; and Friday, Dec. 21 starting at 5 pm. Costumed guides will lead you on an evening stroll through the lantern-lit village to learn about Christmas in the 1800s and experience music, history, and theater in this very special holiday tradition. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes and travels outdoors, with stops in the historic buildings along the way, so dress for comfort and warmth. The tours begin at 5 pm, departing from the visitor center every 15 minutes until 8 pm. Tickets are $20 per person and are sold by time slots. They often sell out, so plan your trip soon.

The daytime hours sparkle just as brightly for Christmas at The Historical Village at Allaire, with all-day fun presented on Sunday, Dec. 2, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16. Guests can experience the sights and smells of hearth cooking, singing, dancing, wagon rides, Santa, interactive programs, and more.

From 11 am to 4 pm each day, the historic buildings will be open, with decorations and interpretations of different Christmas traditions. Interactive music programs will be performed in the Chapel at 12:30, 2, and 3 pm. Hear storytelling in the Enameling Building at 12:30 and 1:30 pm or learn about Silhouette Cuttings in the Visitor Center from 12 to 4 pm (on Dec. 2 and Dec. 9). Throughout the day, Santa will be visiting the village, carolers will be singing, and the General Store and Bakery will be open to treat yourself or a loved one to that special gift or food item. Bring your addressed and stamped holiday cards to be mailed from the historic post office in the General Store, where they will be marked with a special Allaire cancellation.

There will be holiday drink-making in the Allaire Mansion and you may sample the holiday wassail in the village buildings as you visit the Howell Iron Works homes. At the Carriage House, warm up by the fire pit and survey the line of carriages and sleds that have been decorated for the festivities – or go for a wagon ride yourself. Make a pine cone birdfeeder, decorate the Christmas tree, string cranberries and popcorn, and view the Lionel model train display.

Admission for Christmas at the Historical Village at Allaire is $7 for adults and $5 for children under age 12. Wagon rides are included in the ticket price, but are first come, first served. On Sunday, Dec. 9 from 11 am to 4 pm, pull up a seat to listen to Storytime with Mrs. Claus. Kids and adults alike may enjoy hot chocolate and cookies during the one-hour session, which includes the chance to write a letter and mail a letter to Santa. Tickets for this event are $19 for adults and $20 for children and are reserved by time slot, but the price includes admission to Christmas at the Historical Village at Allaire.

For info about The Historic Village at Allaire, visit allairevillage.org or look for The Historic Village at Allaire on Facebook.

Happy Historic Holidays!