Holiday Happenings at Gateway's Sandy Hook Unit

Fort Hancock's History House is also a "Holiday House" for the month of December.
Fort Hancock's History House turns into a Holiday House in December.


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News Release Date: December 6, 2010

Contact: Dan Meharg, 732-872-5914

Several holiday activities will take place at Gateway National Recreation Area's Sandy Hook Unit, located in Highlands, New Jersey. Most events are free of charge.

History House, an officer's residence at historic Fort Hancock, will be decorated for Christmas as it was in the 1940s. The house will be open for tours and provisioned with refreshments from 1-5 PM on December 11-12, 18-19, 26-31 and January 2.

History House hosts a 1940s-style "Baking Bonanza" on Saturday, December 11 from 2:30 - 4:30 PM. Using 1940s recipes and ingredients, a park ranger will demonstrate how to make holiday goodies, with help needed from the audience. Stop in for 20 minutes or stay the whole time!

Soar Productions will present "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!" at the Post Theater on December 10-12 and 17-19. For times, ticket prices and reservations, contact Soar Productions at 732-471-8268 or at

A Fort Hancock Holiday Walk takes place on Sunday, December 12 from 2 -3:30 PM. Visitors should gather at the Post Theater, dressed for the weather. The tour highlights how soldiers would celebrate the holidays at the Fort. Tour ends with refreshments at the History House.

Santa visited the Fort during the busy World War II era. He will appear again on Saturday, December 18 from 1-5 PM. At 3 PM, 1940s –style singers caroling at the History House. On Sunday, December 19, learn about the "holly" of Christmas with a ranger-guided walk through Sandy Hook's 64-acre maritime Holly Forest from 2 - 3:30 PM.

On January 1, join the American Littoral Society on their annual New Year's Day Walk "Round the Hook" at  11 AM. Afterwards, enjoy hot dogs, hot cider, hot chocolate and holiday desserts. Call 732-291-0055 or visit for more information.

The Sandy Hook Visitor Center is open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM except December 25 and January 1. The Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters, adjacent to the Lighthouse, is open 1-5 PM on weekends during the winter. For information on events in the new year, see Gateway's winter calendar of events.

Last updated: April 26, 2018

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