Maybe it’s the rushing water of the Raritan River, the bright red building against the rustic woodsy backdrop, or the draw of history (it’s home to 40,000 artifacts!)…there’s just something about The Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton that draws you in and takes you back in time, making it a must to explore with the family. This historic landmark, which started as a wool mill, dates back to 1810, and is now a sprawling 12 building compound that is perfect to check out with your crew any time of the year. With a bit of scenery, history, and nature rolled into one educational little excursion, this is a great Jersey gem for a family outing.
featured image via @stevegrauer
See what life was like in the 1800’s at The Red Mill Museum Village
The Red Mill has a quaint, take-me-back feel the second you see it, with its red exterior standing out sitting along the Raritan River right near Clinton’s adorable downtown. Though it started as a wool mill, it served many industrial lives over the years, and the museum now tells the story of its place in New Jersey’s Colonial history. You have a lot to discover as you make your way through the village – the mill itself, the Carriage Sheds, the Bunker Hill Schoolhouse, and the Log Cabin. In the Carriage Sheds, your littles will get a kick of looking at the farm machinery and old tools, these aren’t anything like what we see today! The Log Cabin (once the home of Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan), the neighboring garden, and spring house help paint a picture of life back in the 1800’s (think churning butter and blacksmithing). Don’t miss wandering over to the Bunker Hill Schoolhouse – a traditional, one-room schoolhouse from 1860 that will wow the littles as they get a glimpse of what school was like for kids back then!
The core exhibits at The Red Mill Museum Village consist of over 40,000 artifacts from this integral part of history. Many of these are objects displayed permanently, telling the story of how the Mill evolved and eventually closed, but also, how integral the Mill’s activities were shaping this part of New Jersey. Get some added family history lessons with special exhibits like The Sound of the Times, highlighting radio, and the WWI Centennial Exhibition, honoring the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWI. #NJMOM hack: look out for the Mill’s annual Kids Day, which is a jam-packed day of activities catered just to the little ones. It usually falls in August!
What to know before you go
Hours vary depending on the time of year. From April to September, The Red Mill Museum & Village is open Tuesday to Friday from 10AM to 4PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 12PM to 6PM. The Red Mill hosts a number of events, festivals, and camps throughout the year, many specifically tailored to families, so be sure to check out what’s happening on the events page. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12, and members and children under 6 are free. If you’re taking a day trip and haven’t visited Clinton before, be sure to take a stroll in the sweet little downtown area, which is basically right across the river. For lunch, try The Clean Plate Kitchen, for local and organic fare with some pretty riverside views.
The Red Mill Museum Village
56 Main Street
Clinton, NJ 08809