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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Looking to Escape the House this Holiday? Go to a State Museum – They’re Free

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Dover Green – the Old State House is on the center-right

If you’re ready to get out of the house for a few hours this holiday season – and your post-gift-buying budget is reeling, the state’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs wants you to know their door is open for visitors.

In fact, five doors are open for no charge at the museums of the State of Delaware: the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum.   All five of the museums will be closed on Christmas Eve day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (except The Old State House), but open most normal business hours throughout the holiday.

So get your history buff on and visit one of these great cultural treasures with family, friends and visitors.

Following is complete information about each of the museums:

state museums - John Dickinson Plantation
Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation

John Dickinson Plantation Home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

Johnson Victrola Museum Early phonographs and recordings chronicle the developments of the sound recording industry and the achievements of E.R. Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company. 375 S. New St., Dover. Wed.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

New Castle Court House Museum Built in 1732, this structure served as Delaware’s first court and state capitol. Here in 1776, New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties declared their independence from Pennsylvania and England creating the Delaware State. 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun. 1:30 –4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

New Castle Court House Museum

The Old State House Completed in 1791, this building served as Delaware’s capital during the United States’ critical early years as a nation. The structure is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a public area laid out in 1717 in accordance with William Penn’s order of 1683. 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun. 1:30 –4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Open on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve). Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

Zwaanendael Museum The museum commemorates Delaware’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631. It serves as a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the museums of the State of Delaware are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Here’s a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

 

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