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Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy Invite Residents to Holiday Open Houses at Drumthwacket


TRENTON – With the arrival of the holiday season, Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy invite New Jersey residents to attend The Holidays at Drumthwacket, a longstanding tradition of open houses at the Governor’s official residence in Princeton. The Drumthwacket Foundation, in partnership with nine garden clubs representing eight different counties from across New Jersey, has decorated each room using fresh arrangements and greenery to complement the architecture and decor of the historical property. This year, the Governor and First Lady have doubled the number of hours that Drumthwacket will be open for holiday tours and expect many New Jerseyans to experience The Holidays at Drumthwacket.

“The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate, reflect on our blessings, and spend time with loved ones,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “Drumthwacket is a beautiful point of pride for our state and we hope everyone will visit and enjoy the historical property. Phil and I look forward to the tradition of opening the People’s House and sharing this joyful season with all New Jerseyans.”

The tours are self-guided and there will be several docents stationed throughout Drumthwacket to answer questions and provide historical information about the property. The open house tours will be held on the following dates:

    • Thursday, December 5, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 7, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Sunday, December 8, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, December 17, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, December 19, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 21, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Reservations are required; admission and on-site parking are free of charge. To make tour arrangements click here.

The Holidays at Drumthwacket includes the following display presentations located throughout the first floor of the residence:

Front Portico: Decorated by the Garden Club of Mountain Lakes 
A grand Chanukah menorah and majestic holiday trees will welcome guests to celebrate the joys of the season at Drumthwacket. With a nod to the traditional design of the home, the Garden Club of Mountain Lakes will decorate the beautiful entrance with fresh greens, elegant leaves, and blue velvet. Look closely and you will find frosty New Jersey blueberries and even some native black bears.

Foyer: Decorated by the Seaweeders Garden Club of Bay Head and Mantoloking 

The Seaweeders Garden Club of Bay Head and Mantoloking invites you into Drumthwacket to celebrate Chanukah, the “Festival of Lights,” for the holidays. A beautiful Menorah will be flanked by two white amaryllis plants surrounded by seasonal greens. Three mussel trees will sit on a mirror “ice lake” and a silver bowl will be filled with coins and dreidels. The large tree behind the stairway will celebrate all of New Jersey’s governors, pictured in silver frames, and be hung amidst silver sprayed tight hydrangeas, conical shaped hydrangeas, natural greens, and ribbon. The majestic banister will be covered in live greens, magnolia leaves, eucalyptus, and hydrangea. Eight presents will be wrapped in silver with blue ribbon and sit on the stairway steps. Two white poinsettias will stand at the top of the stairway, and two silver urns filled with white poinsettias will adorn the entrance to the dining room. Finally, the foyer chandelier and wall sconces will be adorned with greens, ribbon and, of course, mistletoe. Welcome to The Holidays at Drumthwacket!

Dining Room: Decorated by the Bernardsville Garden Club
The Bernardsville Garden Club is excited to heighten the holiday spirit of the mansion’s dining room by using natural plants and materials accented with varied sparkling touches. The room will radiate a sense of elegance and warm “good tidings.” The color palette throughout the room will be gold, silver, and deep red with accents of dark green and white. The dining table, seating twenty-four, is the focus of the room. The centerpiece will speak to nature with fresh pines, dusty miller, artichokes, bronzed thistles, gold curly willow, deep red cocks comb, long soft feathers, and gold twinkling vines. Most extraordinary is the nine-foot holiday tree that will be adorned with imported gold, silver, and red sparkling ornaments, long glistening icicles, and pine cones accented with a gold pleated taffeta ribbon.

Parlor: Decorated by the Keyport Garden Club
The lovely parlor at Drumthwacket will be decorated in traditional and elegant Scottish style and the colors will represent a version of a Scottish Tartan, which is geared to harmonize well with the Chanukah celebration. There will be a beautiful glass Menorah and other decorations, as well as the blue and silver colors in celebration of the Festival of Lights. The magnificent fireplaces will display a wonderful garland of traditional Christmas greens and colors that will include a touch of Keyport maritime traditions and Christmas memories. Scottish decorations and touches will adorn the lovely parlor in addition to a small nativity to honor the season. There will be seasonal greens and twigs, hydrangeas in varying colors, celosia in deep red, sedums, yellow asters, zebra grass feathers all collected and dried by our gardeners. Finally, complementary garlands over the doorways will welcome guests.

Music Room: Decorated by the Garden Club of Essex Fells
The Garden Club of Essex Fells celebrates the holiday season and the club’s centennial year by showcasing traditions with a joyous holiday sing in the music room. The club will “deck the halls” with natural greens that line the winding streets of town and bows of dogwood, the symbol of Essex Fells. Holiday traditions include luminaries, decorated holiday street posts, and the Christmas Eve sing, celebrating its 95th anniversary. Also, the club’s community programs will be highlighted including the Olden House herb gardens, garden therapy, and seasonal veteran’s hospital workshop favors. We hope you enjoy the holiday traditions!

Library: Decorated by the West Trenton Garden Club

Imagine a cold winter’s evening, snow falling on Drumthwacket, and a roaring fire in this quiet room beautifully primed for the holidays. Sitting next to this magnificent fireplace, one can enjoy a good book and a cup of eggnog. To honor Drumthwacket’s exquisite library, the club will create “Books in Bloom” with ornaments, garlands, wreaths, and book sculptures hand made from old, well-loved books. A variety of magnolia leaves, arborvitae, holly branches, and beautiful floral arrangements will enhance the book displays.

Governor’s Study: Decorated by the Allentown Garden Club
The Allentown Garden Club will decorate the Governor’s Study with a theme that celebrates Winter Holidays in the New Jersey Pine Barrens which is inspired by, and pays homage to, the legendary beauty of the Pine Barrens and the surrounding rural region in the great Garden State. The decor will be as natural as possible with a rustic, understated charm and grace that is characteristic of the Pine Lands and agrarian regions of New Jersey. Festive, interior displays will utilize indigenous, organic items from the region including evergreens, holly, pine, pine cones, winterberries, and cranberries. To create a warm and welcoming holiday atmosphere, the club’s interpretation of Winter Holidays in the New Jersey Pine Barrens will celebrate both Christmas, with a traditional decorated tree, and Chanukah with a menorah display and eight beautifully-wrapped packages, symbolic of each of the eight-days of the gift-giving holiday.

Residence Wreaths: Decorated by the Garden Club of Warren 
The Garden Club of Warren is delighted to welcome you to the holidays at Drumthwacket by decorating the front gate wreaths with colors of the holidays. The Garden Club of Warren will feature pine cones as part of the gate wreath decor in acknowledgement of the many tree farms of Warren County. Warren Garden Club will provide elegant bows for the fresh green wreaths that will be hung at twenty-nine windows which are a part of the front facade of Drumthwacket.

Solarium: Decorated by the Greater Woodbury Garden Club
Greens accented with dried hydrangeas and faux magnolias, as well as two long oval-shaped wreaths will complement the room. Shiny red accents will intermix with willow branches to break up the greens. Swags of evergreen adorn the sills of the windows by the inside entrance with matching arrangements on the lanterns. A runner embedded with dried hydrangea and coordinating greens will run along the sill leading down the steps to the restrooms. The statue by the stairs will be surrounded by an arrangement of greens accented with dried hydrangea.

Garden Club of New Jersey
The Garden Club of New Jersey (GCNJ) founded in 1925, serves over 4,700 members in 109 clubs throughout the state. Landscape Design, Gardening Study, and Flower Show Schools are offered for educational development. Local and state projects are encouraged to meet the diverse interests of the GCNJ membership. The GCNJ provides education, resources, and many opportunities for adult and youth members to expand the love of gardening and floral design and encourages active participation in civic, environmental, and historic preservation projects to protect the past for the future.

The Drumthwacket Foundation
Founded in 1982, the Drumthwacket Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. It serves to inspire pride in and enhance the civic awareness of Drumthwacket, the official New Jersey Governor’s residence and a nationally landmarked historic site. The Foundation facilitates restoration and conservation of the residence and offers education and cultural programs that recognize the rich diversity of New Jersey’s communities and residents.

Frank Cahill
Frank Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Governor of Division 9 Kiwanis Club of NJ, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.

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