Trenton is a metropolitan city grouped with the New York Combined Statistical area by the United States Census Bureau, but it directly borders the Philadelphia metro area. Its proximity to such exciting destinations as well as its capital city status makes it an exciting place to visit.
While in town, be sure to check out the New Jersey State Museum, The New Jersey State House, the New Jersey State Museum and other exciting landmarks.
The city is especially fun to visit during the holidays. Here are the things you can check out when you’re in town.
Mill Hill House Tours
This 50+ year tradition allows guests to take a tour of the houses of the 19th century Mill Hill neighborhood. 15-20 residents and churches open their doors to the public so they can check out the decorated interiors.
The event serves to generate funds for the neighborhood historic preservation. Artworks on Everett Alley is a great starting point.
Watch a Recreation of the Battle of Trenton at Old Barracks Museum
Old Barracks Museum is a historic building located at 101 Barracks St. in Trenton. It is the only remaining colonial barracks in the state and now serves as a history museum.
Every year in early December, the museum hosts a recreation of the Battle of Trenton that allows guests to step back into the daily life of a Colonial era British solider. Activities include daily troop drills, musket demonstrations, outdoor camp cooking and winter uniform preparation and repairs.
Amahl and the Night Visitors by he Boheme Opera of New Jersey
Opera fans will want to head over to the Conception church to Check out Amahl and the Night Visitors as performed by the Boheme Opera of New Jersey. Guests can relive the fictional experience of a crippled boy’s encounter with the Three Magi.
The performance features young professionals with performing arts experience. The opera is accompanied by the Opera NJ Chamber Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Joseph Pucciati. Guest singers are often featured as well.
Stay in Town for Patriots Week
Patriots Week starts the day after Christmas and runs until New Year’s Eve. It takes place in downtown Trenton and is the biggest Revolutionary War reenactment to occur during the holiday season. It includes camp reenactments, puppet shows, a two-part Battle of Trenton series, a Colonial era ball and more.
While most reenactments featured as part of the event take place at the Barracks Museums, some of them are staged at the actual sites where they first occurred.
The main attraction of the event is the reenactment of George Washington’s Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River which takes place at the exact location it first took place.
Although Patriots Week does not begin until after Christmas, there is a festive fundraiser dress rehearsal in early December. This is a great chance to meet the actors that will be participating and tour historic buildings.
Guests will also have an opportunity to witness the Christmas Day crossing event, march with the troops and witness the cannon shots that signal the launching of boats.
Spend New Years with the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey
If you are still in town for New Years, you may want to spend it at the Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration Concert at the Trenton War Memorial featuring the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey. The event is hosted by a local radio personality and the orchestra is conducted by Daniel Spalding.
Guests can look forward to hearing traditional new years music, and other compositions made popular in various Broadway and television shows and movies.
Guest musicians often show up to perform and join in the festivities.
Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie’s Holiday Boutique
The Trenton City Museum is an Italianate villa museum that features rotating art exhibits and industrial and cultural artifacts. The facility hosts a holiday boutique during the Christmas season. It’s a great place to find hand crafted jewelry, original art, ceramics, wood designs, clothing, accessories, memorabilia and antiques.
Nikolausfeier at Donauschwaben Verein Trenton
Donauschwaben Verein Trenton is an adult and youth German language school that hosts events and gatherings throughout the year. Their Nikolausfeier event takes place at its Yardville facility and features traditional carols and visits from St. Nick.
Check out Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Nutcracker at the Kelsey Theatre
Performing arts fans will want to check out what’s going on at the Kelsey Theatre during their Trenton visit. Every year, the theatre hosts a “Twas the Night Before Christmas” performance based on the Clement Moore poem of the same name. The tale was adapted for stage by Virginia based theater director Bruce Craig Miller.
The Kelsey Theatre also hosts a special Dance Connection Nutcracker performance. The production targets young audiences and features dancers 5 to 18 years old.
Go See the Nutcracker by the American Repertory Ballet
For a more classic take on the production, you may choose to check out The Nutcracker as performed by the American Repertory Ballet. The company tours the country each year bringing their performance to select venues including a night at the Trenton War Memorial Building.
Grounds for Sculpture Lights Up for the Winter
Grounds for Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park and museum located in nearby Hamilton, NJ. It is the former site of the Trenton Speedway. The outdoor area is beautifully landscaped with sculptures being changed out on a regular basis representing various new and upcoming artists.
Every year the park is lit up with thousands of lights that guests can enjoy a moonlight tour. There are also horse and buggy rides and holiday performances in the indoor venue.
Trenton is a great place to enjoy all the holiday season has to offer. Which of these activities will you be enjoying when you visit?