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May 24, 2024

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Holiday Open House At Skylands Manor

A Renaissance Holiday

(Ringwood, NJ) Historic Skylands Manor in the New Jersey State Botanical Garden will be filled with an extravagant display of seasonal décor during NJBG’s spectacular annual Holiday Open House from December 4 thru 7, 2014.

This year, NJBG celebrates ‘A Renaissance Holiday’ that would make Henry VIII feel right at home. The Manor will be richly decorated with glitter and greenery that captures a bygone time as we focus on the warm and happy feel of the season.

Skylands Manor, a 45-room Tudor-style country estate built in the early 1920s, features many fine historic architectural elements and is an elegant backdrop for this celebration of the season. In keeping with the botanical surroundings, the lush holiday décor features abundant live and dried plants and flowers, elegant appointments, and displays created with youngsters in mind.

The decorating theme is changed annually, so each year the Manor has a very different look. Individual rooms are decorated by scores of volunteers from northern New Jersey garden clubs, Master Gardener programs and local companies, as well as NJBG members. NJBG/Skylands Association, the non-profit member organization that supports the Botanical Garden, sponsors this annual fundraising event.

Skylands Holiday House, 2013Daytime tours of the NJBG Holiday Open House are available Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 4–7, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children 6-12, and free for children under six. No babystrollers, please. Tickets available on-site. The last tour begins at 4 p.m.

Group tours are also available on Dec. 4 and 5. Please call 973-962-9534 or email to schedule a group tour.

Evening Receptions are available on Friday and Saturday evenings, Dec. 5 and 6, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. During these special evening showings, the Manor will be yours for leisurely enjoyment with champagne, light refreshments and valet parking. Tickets are $40 and reservations are required by Nov. 26. To reserve tickets, please call 973-962-9534 or visit our secure website at

NJBG is located on Morris Road in Ringwood, NJ. The NJ Botanical Garden is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to the Garden is always free. Call 973-962-9534 or visit for more information on NJBG events, directions, membership, and volunteer opportunities.

Originally assembled from pioneer farmsteads of the 1890s, The New Jersey Botanical Garden has a venerable history. In 1922, Clarence McKenzie Lewis, an investment banker and trustee of the New York Botanical Garden purchased the property and original Victorian mansion from Francis Lynde Stetson. Over the next three decades, Mr. Lewis built the current 45-room Tudor manor house and transformed Skylands into a botanical showplace, engaging prominent landscape architects to design the grounds and collecting plants from all over the world.

In 1966, the State of New Jersey purchased the 1,117 acres of Skylands as the state’s first acquisition under the “Green Acres” preservation program. Governor Thomas Kean designated the central 96 acres surrounding the manor house as the State’s official Botanical Garden in 1984. The gardens contain many unique features, including an extensive collection of statuary, historic trees, formal annual garden, perennial beds and an heirloom collection of lilacs.

Skylands Holiday House, 2013Since 1976, NJBG/Skylands Association, an incorporated, member-supported non-profit organization, has worked with the State to preserve and protect Skylands and its historic structures. NJBG sponsors walks, hikes, programs, concerts and special events throughout the year at the Botanical Garden. Guided tours of the gardens are offered on Sundays at 2 p.m., May through the end of October, weather permitting, and guided tours of Skylands Manor are available one Sunday per month. Guided group tours are also available. Please call the NJBG office for more information.