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drumthwacket 2Self-Guided Open House Tours are Now Available for Sign-Up at Drumthwacket

PHOTO: The Dining Room at Drumthwacket designed by The Garden Club of Stony Brook is decorated in traditional style with a woodland twist.

Trenton, NJ – With the arrival of the festive season, the Drumthwacket Foundation in partnership with New Jersey Garden Clubs is continuing its annual tradition, The Holidays at Drumthwacket, First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today. Each of the public rooms of the Governor’s OffIcial Residence in Princeton are decorated using fresh arrangements and greenery to complement the architecture and décor of the historic Greek Revival building.

“Over the past eight years, the Governor and I have cherished our time celebrating the holidays at Drumthwacket,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie.  “It’s always such a magical experience to see how the dedication and enthusiasm of the New Jersey Garden Clubs transform the residence into an exquisite wonderland and this year is no different. Our hope is that visitors will discover the true beauty of Drumthwacket during this holiday season and recognize it for the historic treasure that it is.”


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Self-guided Open House tours are available on select days in December. While reservations are required, admission and parking on site are free of charge. To make your tour arrangements, visit. http://drumthwacket.org/visit/ In addition, Drumthwacket is wheelchair accessible.

Open House tours are available on these days:

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 11:00 – 1:30 PM
  • Sunday, December 10, 2017 11:00 – 1:30 PM    
  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017 11:00 – 1:30 PM           
  • Wednesday, December 20, 2017 11:00 – 1:30 PM

drumthwacket 1PHOTO: Beautiful floral arrangements of holiday amaryllis, winterberries and greenery adorn the dining room table.

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

Foyer: (Garden Club of Mountain Lakes)  

The Garden Club of Mountain Lakes has decorated the foyer with resplendent elements of the season, festive greens and traditional fruits.  Holiday hues of tangerine, cherry and apple green set the tone from the magnificent staircase to the glittering Christmas tree.  In addition, the display honors New Jersey symbols such as the state bird, the Eastern Goldfinch, the state insect, the honeybee and, of course, New Jersey’s state fruit, the blueberry!  

Dining Room: (Garden Club of Stony Brook)

The Garden Club of Stony Brook has adorned the dining room in traditional elegance with a woodland twist. The tree is decorated with glass ornaments representing the woodlands of New Jersey: white tail deer, squirrels, birds and raccoons.  Salmon ribbon, grapevine bird nests sprinkled with seed pearls, and gold-dusted pinecones complete the theme. Beautiful floral arrangements of holiday amaryllis, winterberries, and greenery decorate the table set with silver julep cups with greens and winterberries.  The two sideboards host an arrangement of white orchids while the fireplaces have faux greenery with festive fruit and ribbon throughout.

Parlor: (Garden Club of West Trenton)

The West Trenton Garden Club has transformed the Parlor into a glittering, white wonderland that envelops the room with a sparkling elegance of white and silver decorations accented with touches of blue and gold.  The perfect setting for a festive holiday party!

drumthwacket 3kPHOTO:  The Garden Club of Keyport has turned Drumthwacket’s Music Room into “A Victorian Tea at Christmas.” 

Music Room: (Garden Club of Keyport)

The Garden Club of Keyport has turned the beautiful Music Room into “A Victorian Tea at Christmas.”  The table placed by the magnificent fireplace is set for tea, cakes, and scones; a small mid-afternoon repast.  The mantle is decorated with seasonal greens, twigs, and hydrangeas in varying colors from deep purple to palest blue, Fireworks gomphera in hot pink, sedum, celosia, as well as yellow asters.  The decor is enhanced throughout with peacock feathers, a Victorian favorite.  The cream, silver, blue, and peacock ribbons are threaded through the garlands to bring unity to the room. Blue and silver Christmas balls and Victorian-style ornaments provide an elegant addition.  The beautiful piano and small tables have coordinating displays.  Matching tear-drop garlands welcome visitors at the staircase and entryways.  


Library: (Garden Club of Essex Fells)

The Garden Club of Essex Fells pays tribute to Drumthwacket’s Scottish-Gaelic heritage by adorning the magnificent neo-gothic Library to celebrate a warm Scottish Yule. The name Drumthwacket, which means “wooded hill,” sets the tone for the natural arrays of evergreens and hydrangea, festooned with traditional tartans, plaids, and glimmering gold accents. Enjoy the cozy Scottish castle-like atmosphere of the library created by the gothic hearth, rich wooden paneling, and coffered ceiling. Nollaig Shona! (That’s Happy Holidays in Gaelic!) 

Governor’s Study: (Garden Club of Belvidere)

The Belvidere Garden Club has decorated the Governor’s Study with simplistic yet elegant traditional holiday décor.  Winter greens, pinecones, pheasant feathers, tartan ribbon, and Scottish theme items decorate the tabletop Christmas tree located in front of the bowed windows and complements the stone fireplace and dark wooden bookcases.  

Residence Wreaths: (Garden Club of Mountain Lakes)

The Garden Club of Mountain Lakes rings in the holidays at Drumthwacket from the scarlet bows and traditional fruits on the entry gates to the 29 windows brimming with fresh wreaths,

Front    Portico: (Garden Club of Mountain Lakes)

Candle lanterns and the scent of fresh greens 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 dressed the beautiful entrance and its magnificent surround with citrus fruits, pinecones and, yet another, scarlet bow. In addition, the portico décor encompasses an abundance of striking magnolia leaves that hail from the gardens at Drumthwacket.

Vestibule: (Butlers of Far Hills) 

Butlers of Far Hills has decorated the ADA Vestibule with a fusion of modern and classic holiday décor.  The beautiful arrangement of calla lilies and lilacs pays tribute to First Lady Mary Pat Christie as they are her favorite flowers. 

About Garden Club of New Jersey


The Garden Club of New Jersey (GCNJ) founded in 1925, serves over 4700 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-partisan, non-profit organization.  Its mission is to increase a sense of pride in New Jersey by preserving the Drumthwacket property and broadening access, furthering awareness and support of the Foundation and its initiatives and expanding civic understanding amongst New Jerseyans.  The Foundation’s educational outreach to schools is the Discover Drumthwacket field trip program wherein children from New Jersey’s less affluent school districts are provided with bus transportation to and from Drumthwacket and nutritious lunches.  In the fall 2015, the Foundation expanded its educational programming by developing a free, on-line learning module for fourth grade teachers and students.  Titled “Eureka! Invention and Innovation in New Jersey,” the module was inspired by Abram Spanel, the last private owner of Drumthwacket and prolific inventor whose company won the NASA sponsored competition to design the Apollo spacesuit.  Visit the Foundation’s web-site to view the module and companion Eureka! student site.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...