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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Explore revolutionary-era holidays on the home front Dec. 26-31


Experience what the holidays were like on the homefront during the Revolutionary era during Winter Break at the Museum of the American Revolution, from Tuesday, Dec. 26- Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. Visitors of all ages can enjoy authentic 18th-century music, watch moving first-person theatrical performances, make festive crafts to take home, and more while exploring colonial life during the winter months. Plus, stop by the museum shop to find the perfect last-minute holiday gift.


Winter Break Highlights:


Baroque Folk with Robert Mouland—Dec. 26 to Dec. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Multi-instrumentalist Robert Mouland will perform 18th-century baroque folk music on antique instruments, including a baroque violin, baroque flute, English guitar, and flageolet in the museum’s first-floor Rotunda.


Crafts in Revolution Place—Daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore the museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, which will transform into the winter of 1778. Walk through a scene of frost-covered windows, logs piled by the fire, and 18th-century coats and cloaks as you learn about what Philadelphia would have been like in the snowy winter months and how they celebrated the winter holidays. Plus, kids can make and take home festive crafts like tin-punch lanterns, cookie mold ornaments, cut-paper snowflakes and “illuminations” inspired by artist Charles Willson Peale’s window displays.


Discovery Cart: Peale’s Philadelphia —Daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join a Museum educator at a discovery cart to learn more about artist and soldier Charles Willson Peale’s time in Revolutionary Philadelphia with handling objects and reproduction documents and artifacts. In December 1776, Peale canvassed the neighborhood around the museum to muster support for the revolutionary cause before he and his militiamen, the Philadelphia Associators, marched off to confront the British in New Jersey, where they would serve alongside Alexander Hamilton’s artillery company.


In-Gallery Talk: Winter Scenes of the Revolution—Daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join a museum educator for a 20-minute, in-gallery talk at two wintery tableau scenes in the core galleries. The first scene depicts a brawl in Harvard Yard where Continental soldiers from different regions fought each other in camp. As an older man writing his pension application, Israel Trask, who was 11-years old at the time, recalled watching George Washington leap into a fight between American soldiers, pull the men apart, and restore order in his camp. The second scene depicts Charles Willson Peale reuniting with his unrecognizably ragged brother James on the banks of the Delaware on Dec. 8, 1776, after James had served as an officer under Washington through the long New York campaign.


In-Gallery Talk: Children’s Toys—Daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join a museum educator for a 10-minute in-gallery talk about children’s toys, on loan to the Museum from the New-York Historical Society, that were excavated from British Revolutionary War campsites around New York City. The toys, which include a miniature lamb, goose, broom and platter, are reminders that the children of British soldiers accompanied the army and camp followers in America.

Winter Garments Talk & Sewing Demo—Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join a museum staff member to learn more about the garments worn during the cold winter months of the American Revolution and watch as she sews a quilted petticoat.


Meet Elder James Forten—Dec. 26, Dec. 28 and Dec. 30 at 1:15 snd 3:15 p.m. Meet Elder James Forten is set in 1838 as a 72-year-old James Forten speaks with his friend Daniel Brewton about the nearby ruins of Pennsylvania Hall. The 20-minute first-person theatrical performance of Meet Elder James Forten stars Steve Crum and is best enjoyed by guests ages 9 and up.

Meet Elizabeth Freeman— Dec. 27 and Dec. 29 at 1:15 and 3:15 p.m. Meet Elizabeth Freeman portrays the life and experiences of Elizabeth Freeman, a Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom from enslavement and won. Katelyn Appiah-Kubi stars in this 20-minute first-person theatrical performance that is suitable for all ages.


Holiday Shopping—Onsite Daily and Online, Any Time. It’s the season of giving! Let us help you find the perfect last-minute gift for your friends and family this holiday season. From gift memberships to unique gift options for all ages in the museum shop, the museum has the perfect selection of meaningful gifts for the history buffs in your life. To shop online any time, visit shop.amrevmuseum.org.


HomeFront Holiday Wishes Toy Drive—Daily. This holiday season, help spread cheer to children in need by donating to our HomeFront Holiday Wishes toy drive. Visitors can contribute new or gently used toys to the donation bin in the museum’s rotunda—no wrapping required. HomeFront’s mission is to help families break the cycle of poverty by harnessing the care, resources and expertise of our communities.


Winter Break also marks the anniversary of the “Ten Crucial Days” of 1776-1777, when General Washington and his army saved the Revolutionary War effort, and perhaps the cause of American independence itself, by crossing an ice-filled Delaware River and securing victories at Trenton and Princeton.


The museum is grateful to the NJM Insurance Group for its generous support to the Museum and its sponsorship of the Winter Break program. Located in West Trenton, New Jersey, NJM’s headquarters sits on the route through which General John Sullivan led a Continental Army division enroute to victory at the Battle of Trenton.


“NJM is pleased to continue support of the rich and inclusive activities that are offered by the Museum of the American Revolution’s Winter Break program,” Pat Hartpence, NJM Corporate Giving Officer, said.


Museum Holiday Hours: Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; MUSEUM CLOSED Monday, Dec. 25, 2023; Tuesday, Dec. 26 – Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; MUSEUM CLOSED Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 and Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024.


All Winter Break activities are included with regular museum admission. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets to the museum can be purchased by calling 215.253.6731, at AmRevMuseum.org, or at the front desk. Save $2 per adult ticket by purchasing online.

Kids ages 5 and under are always free. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days.


Winter Break at the museum is sponsored by NJM Insurance Group.

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