Liberty Hall Museum
Built in 1772 by New Jersey’s first governor, William Livingston View More
History comes alive at Liberty Hall Museum, where rich history seeps into this elegant historic house museum. By the time it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973, the Liberty Hall residence had built quite an impressive resume. Built by a signer of the United States Constitution—New Jersey’s first governor, William Livingston—the house has also been occupied by two members of the Second Continental Congress as well as two United States senators.
Set on originally 120 lushly appointed acres and expanded from its original 14-room Georgian style home to today’s 50-room mansion, visitors enjoy a fully transformative experience before seeing their first piece of antique furniture, ceramic, or textile.
Tours this summer are every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 am, noon, and 2 pm (first floor and basement only). All tickets must be pre-purchased - no walk-in visitors at this time. To purchase tickets, click here.
There’s something for everyone in the sprawling Liberty Hall Museum, from historically significant documents to tools and toys, as well as pieces that more than two centuries worth of New Jersey royalty wore, ate from, or relaxed on.
Set to open in August and right in time for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving ladies the right to vote, the museum will open its newest exhibit, “How Long Must We Wait: Suffrage and the Ladies of Liberty Hall.” This exhibit will showcase the struggle of those ladies who created and catapulted the Suffrage movement to the forefront of the nation’s stage as well as the anti-suffrage movement. “How Long Must We Wait” will also shed light on the strong-willed ladies who lived at Liberty Hall. Many of those going above and beyond their stations and gender to make the world a better place.
“History in the Bottle,” a permanent exhibit, let’s you peruse bottles of1796 Lenox Madeira favored by Liberty Hall visitors George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, as well as spirits, wines, and liquors from the private collections of the estate’s prestigious Livingston and Kean families.
The collection, discovered during a 2015 renovation via a forgotten cellar door, traces much of the history of alcohol in the United tastes and features everything from household brands to unknown labels and homemade liqueurs.
You can enjoy one of Liberty Hall Museum’s scheduled events or create one of your own like a Firefighter-themed children’s birthday party that includes a tour of the Liberty Hall Fire Museum, a real fire truck to play on—the museum also includes three historic fire engines—and a glimpse of how Elizabeth’s first responders extinguished a blaze two centuries ago.
For a more relaxing yet sumptuous experience, try “Afternoon Tea in the Gardens,” which offers delectable finger foods beside the grounds’ stunning rose gardens, followed by a tour of the museum. The museum’s popular “Uncork History” affairs, which run the last Wednesday of the summer months, include food and drink along with a presentation or discussion on the Prohibition, Women’s Suffrage, and other topics.
Also, check out Liberty Hall’s recurring Summer Adventures at Liberty Hall for kids—with or without parents—that are offered both virtually and onsite. These Summer Adventures include topics such as Legends of the Revolution, Scouts, Spies, and Soldiers, Adventures in Nature, and Changing Childhood. These take place Tuesdays and Thursdays for July and August.
While there’s not quite one garden for each room in the mansion, the variety and beauty of the grounds astound. The Herb Garden awakens the senses with wafts of basil, echinacea, rosemary, bee balm, and others. Looking for a challenge? The English Maze parterre garden’s full-length puzzle provides layered views of the estate’s seasonal blooms.
Ahead of its time at the time, the Serpentine Path adds a sense of wonder as you meander through the grounds. The Flowers & Rose Garden tops off the outside portion of your day, boasting centuries-strong rare rose blooms and a supporting cast of lilies, oleander, sunflowers, and hydrangeas, along with greenhouse plants.
New this summer, Liberty Hall is offering guided tours of these lavish gardens! Click here to purchase your tickets. These tours run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. All tickets must be pre-purchases - no walk-in visitors at this time.
For all of its activities and events, the museum will be following the directives provided by the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health to ensure the health and safety of all visitors. Tickets for public tours and special events must be purchased at least 24 hours before scheduled tour time and/or special events. Due to the summer heat and social distancing guidelines, all public tours of the museum will be on the first floor and basement only and will be at a discounted price! We will not be allowing any walk-in traffic at this time.