Visit: Tours

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update:

Tickets are timed to help us manage our capacity restrictions. Please arrive as close to your reservation time as possible. If you are late for your reservation, entry will be permitted at the discretion of the museum staff. Please check in at the Visitor’s Center, the Blue House.


The Museum at Liberty Hall

Main House:

In 1760,  William Livingston, a prominent lawyer in New York sought out to build a country retirement home. He purchased 120 acres in a bucolic suburb called Elizabethtown (modern-day Union, NJ), just across the river from his New York home. For the next 12 years, Livingston developed the extensive grounds, gardens, and orchards and oversaw the building of a beautiful 14-room Georgian-style home known as Liberty Hall. William Livingston would go on to become New Jersey’s first elected governor, and a signer of the U.S. Constitution.

William Livingston’s niece, Susan (Livingston) [Kean] Niemcewicz purchased the home in 1811, and the property continued to serve as the Kean residence until 1995. During this time, the mansion expanded from Livingston’s 14-room colonial home into the exquisite 50-room Victorian mansion you see today.  The museum houses collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, toys and tools owned by seven generations of the Livingston and Kean families.

The Museum chronicles more than 250 years of American and New Jersey history through the eyes of one family.

Tours are one hour long and run every hour, on the hour, from 10am-3pm, Wednesday-Sunday.* All tickets must be pre-purchased online at least 1 hour in advance ahead of scheduled tour time. Due to social distancing guidelines, all tours will have a capacity to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff. 

*Liberty Hall is open for tours by reservation only, for the months of January and February. Tours are available Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To make your reservation, please call 908-527-0400 at least two weeks in advance.

Firehouse Museum:

Home to a unique collection of New Jersey firefighting memorabilia, including three historic fire engines, the Firehouse Museum at Liberty Hall reveals how brave firefighters have been extinguishing blazes for more than 200 years.  Comprised of items inherited from the private collection of Stewart Barney Kean, Liberty Hall’s Firehouse Museum  promotes fire safety and education for children and adults while telling the history of firefighting from bucket brigades to the custom designed fire trucks of the 20th century.  The museum’s three historic engines include a 1911 American LaFrance Metropolitan Steam Pumper, a 1927 American LaFrance Fire Engine once owned by the City of Union, New Jersey, and a 1928 Seagrave Fire Engine once owned by the City of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Outside the Firehouse, you will also find a 1950s Mack Firetruck upon which children are welcome to climb aboard.

Temporary Exhibits:

The museum’s newest exhibit, “Elegantly Embellished: A Timeless Collection of Fashion Accessories” will open on Friday, April 1, 2022. The exhibit will showcase the exquisite fashion accessories of the Livingston and Kean families. “Elegantly Embellished” is included in the Main House Tour.

 

The Arboretum at Liberty Hall

Arboretum Tours:

Enjoy some of New Jersey’s oldest and most historic trees along with a vast collection of woody ornamentals by taking a self-guided arboretum tour. Self-guided tours are available Sunday through Saturday (April – October). Advanced tickets are not required. Tickets can be purchased online or at the museum’s Visitor Center, the Blue House.

Garden Tours:

Take a guided tour of the Property and Gardens every Wednesday – Sunday (April – October)! All tickets must be pre-purchased online at least 1 hour ahead of scheduled tour time. Guided Garden tours may be added to our Main House tours with the purchase of a combination ticket. Due to social distancing guidelines, all tours will have a capacity to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff.