Fall fun planned for Liberty Hall Museum in Union

Exterior at NightUNION – Throughout the month of October, Liberty Hall Museum and its idyllic orchards and grounds will be open to the public for a number of family-friendly fall activities. Visitors new to the museum and returning guests experiencing Liberty Hall’s breathtaking autumn vistas for the first time are invited to spend a rejuvenating afternoon leaf peeping, apple picking, pumpkin picking, or – for the more adventurously inclined – braving the museum’s traditional corn maze.

Admission to the grounds, which includes the corn maze, is $5 all month long; apples are $8 for a small bag/$10 for a large bag, and pumpkins are priced by size.

For those looking for an all-inclusive harvest celebration, the museum’s wildly popular annual Pumpkin Patch Day on Oct. 26 from   10 a.m. to 5 p.m. offers a variety of fall activities appropriate for all ages in a single, convenient daytrip. In addition to pumpkin picking, carving, and painting, children will have unlimited access to Liberty Hall’s corn maze and experience a good old-fashioned hayride. Admission is $10 for children and $6 for adults, with an additional charge for pumpkins.

Guests craving a slightly spookier Halloween experience will be delighted to discover that Liberty Hall is now open to the public at night for Ghost Tours on Oct. 12, 19 and 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. The Sleepy Hollow Paranormal Investigators, who have investigated the museum on four different occasions, will share their expertise and regale participants with spine-tingling stories of their own ghostly encounters at Liberty Hall. Participants will then embark on a nervy candlelit tour of the museum to view the “hot spots” identified by investigators.  Admission is an unlucky $13 for children, and $20 for adults ages 16 & up. Liberty Hall recommends the 7 p.m. tour for younger children.

For those seeking a slightly more sedate celebration of the season, Liberty Hall’s enormously popular Afternoon Tea series continues Oct. 9 & 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Guests will enjoy a prime view of Liberty Hall’s formal English gardens and breathtaking fall foliage from the comfort of the museum’s heated glass-enclosed porch, all the while sipping tea and nibbling on a devilish assortment of dainties, including finger sandwiches and desserts. Admission is $40 per person, and includes a tour of the museum.

Limited reservations are also available for Liberty Hall’s exciting History Matters event with internationally acclaimed thriller writer Steve Berry on Oct. 24. This exclusive all-day event affords history buffs, aspiring writers and book lovers alike a rare opportunity to learn writing from one of America’s most popular authors, with all proceeds to benefit historic programming and ongoing restoration at Liberty Hall Museum.

The day begins with an elegant V.I.P. luncheon at 1 p.m., followed by Berry’s signature writing workshop, Lessons from a Bestseller, from 3 to 7 p.m. Focusing on “The Four C’s” of story structure, this innovative workshop includes a light reception and meet-and-greet with Berry. Admission is $65 for the workshop, and $100 for the workshop and luncheon.

Finally, Liberty Hall Museum has announced it will again participate in Four Centuries in a Weekend on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Oct. 20 from noon to 5 p.m. This popular annual event, organized by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, invites Union County residents to experience history hands-on by visiting a diverse and fascinating array of historic homes and museums countywide. The entire first floor of Liberty Hall will be on view to Four Centuries visitors for free.

Liberty Hall Museum chronicles more than 240 years of American history. The museum also houses extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, toys and tools owned by seven generations of the Livingston and Kean families. The Firehouse Museum, built in 2004, houses three antique fire engines, including a rare 1911 American LaFrance Metropolitan Steam Engine. Tours of Liberty Hall run Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the hour; the last tour departs at 3 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for Kean alumni, and $6 for children and seniors.

For reservations and further information, call 908-527-0400, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall.