Discover Drumthwacket School Field Trips

School Field Trips

NOTE: Drumthwacket is now closed for tours until September.

Registration for September 2024 to June 2025 tours will open on August 1, 2024.



Drumthwacket is host to visiting school children from around the state. As the official residence of New Jersey’s Governor and a renowned New Jersey historic site, the goals of the Discover Drumthwacket field trip program are to promote an understanding of New Jersey history, pride in the heritage of our state and an awareness of leadership and good citizenship.

The program is geared towards 4th grade curriculum when NJ history is taught. But, Drumthwacket welcomes all students to learn and enjoy historic Drumthwacket and New Jersey’s rich history.  Admission is always free.


The objectives for the Discover Drumthwacket education program are:

  • To understand the historic and current roles played by Drumthwacket
    • 1835 to 1981: pre-governor’s residence years
    • 1981 to present: the official governor’s residence of New Jersey
  • To develop an appreciation of New Jersey fine art and architecture
  • To examine the changes in culture and lifestyle over Drumthwacket’s three eras of private ownership
  • To understand the private and official uses of Drumthwacket today
  • To understand what it means to be governor of New Jersey

In addition to the historic residence the visit includes a tour of the Thomas Olden House, the 1759 farmhouse on the property where Governor Olden was born.  Students learn about 18th century colonial kitchens, their furnishings and gardens through hands-on displays. Weather permitting, students will have the opportunity to tour Drumthwacket’s beautiful gardens and play with Colonial period toys.

Planning Your Visit

Discover Drumthwacket field trips are offered most Wednesdays. The visit takes approximately 1.5 hours and includes:

  • Tour of historic Drumthwacket: 45 minutes
  • Tour of Gardens, weather permitting: 15 minutes
  • Tour of the Thomas Olden House: 30 minutes (CURRENTLY CLOSED)

Tours are given at 9:45 am, 10:45 am and 11:45 am. There is a strict ratio of 25 per group including students, teachers and chaperones to 1 docent.

Advanced registration is required. Registration for the September to July school year opens in mid-to-late August. Registration is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is a maximum of one bus or 50 individuals per time slot.

Title One Schools receive school bus reimbursement and complimentary bagged lunches.  Instructions on how to receive both are included within the confirmation email issued upon registration. 

Wheelchair Assistance

Drumthwacket is wheelchair accessible. If individual(s) in your group require wheelchair assistance, please indicate as such during the registration process.  The Foundation doesn’t provide wheelchairs.

Cancellation Policy

The Discover Drumthwacket field trip program is extremely popular. Please be considerate and check your school’s field trip policy and, if necessary, obtain proper Board and/or PTO approval prior to your visit. Schools which cancel (for non-weather related reasons) less than one month prior to their scheduled visit, may jeapordize a school’s ability to register for future trips. Should you need to cancel your visit, notify the Foundation immediately at


Please call Robyn Brenner, Executive Director, (973) 204-2860, or e-mail

Teacher Classroom Packet

Pre- and post-visit activities designed for teachers to use with students as preparation for visiting Drumthwacket and reinforce learning following the visit:

For an illustrated booklet with games to reinforce learning following the Thomas Olden House visit:

“Eureka! Invention and Innovation in New Jersey”

Inspired by Abram Spanel, the last private owner of Drumthwacket who held more than 2000 patents at the time of his death in 1985, this free, on-line learning module was developed by the Drumthwacket Foundation in partnership with New Jersey teachers.  The module educates students on the importance of invention and innovation in the history of our state and nation. Designed for use by fourth grade teachers and comprised of five lessons which may be taught individually or consecutively, the module:

  • aligns to English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math and Technology standards
  • introduces students to inventors who are less known but whose inventions are well known such as bubble wrap, the electric guitar, hole punch and bandaids
  • engages students with lesson plans designed to encourage connections, enhance learning and foster curiosity
  • includes a ‘teacher toolbox’ which houses all assessments, worksheets, ready-to-use power point slides, hyperlinks to text resources and more

The companion Eureka! Student Site reinforces learning with educational games, puzzles and an interactive New Jersey map highlighting cities associated with each inventor or invention featured within the classroom module.