Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

Adult Programs

Adult Programs

 🌎 A Museum for All Ages

All programs are conducted by a museum educator. These programs can be presented at your facility, at the METC Museum and Education Annex, or virtually.  Costs for programs begin at $150 plus travel costs if presented at your location.
To begin the process of booking a program please complete the online form. If you have additional questions, please contact the Education Department at 973-377-2982 ext. 12 or email [email protected]

Food for Thought

ABCs of Candy

This program explores the history of a variety of different candies, including some that have been around for well over 100 years and some that are quite new. The program is conducted alphabetically, discussing a different “sweet” for each letter of the alphabet, but addresses broader themes, including when and why consumption of candy in the United States increased.

*Garden State: Living Off the Land in 19th Century New Jersey

Explore the agricultural history of New Jersey and its profound influence on farming today. This program will use the museum’s extensive collection of farming-related tools to bring to life this key aspect of New Jersey’s history. It also looks at what it was like to live and work on a 19th-century New Jersey farm.

*Sweet Treats: Desserts & Delicacies from the Garden State

This program explores a variety of “sweet” culinary traditions from the 18th and 19th centuries and considers how the treats we enjoy have changed. It will also discuss the process and ingredients of making these food items, then and now.

*What’s Cooking?

Learn about 19th century cooking techniques through hands-on examination of cooking utensils and food-related artifacts from METC’s teaching collection. Participants are encouraged to reminisce about favorite recipes, and to share food and cooking memories.

Passing the Time: Creativity, crafts, and games

*Back to School

Explore 19th century schooling and the major changes that occurred in the world of education during this time. Reproduction books and other materials will help tell the story of what it was like to attend school 200 years ago and the program will look at the differences, and similarities, between school in the 19th -20th centuries and today.

Baseball in 9 Innings

Learn fun facts about the interesting and varied background and history of America’s game, from its inception to strange superstitions, to the “seventh inning stretch.” Participants are encouraged to recall and talk about their baseball memories.

*Narrative Threads: New Jersey Quilts & Textiles

For centuries, people in New Jersey have been producing a stunning variety of textiles. Discover some historic pieces from METC’s collection including quilts, woven textiles, and lace pieces. Participants will handle and explore some of the complex materials and tools involved in making textiles.

*Tooling Through Art

Many masterpieces of world art contain depictions of hand tools and everyday household artifacts. This program explores images of a number of famous artworks, focusing in on tools and objects that seem strange to us, but which were common and ubiquitous when the artworks were completed. Pictures of objects from the Museum’s collection are juxtaposed with the art images to show the similarities. Background on the artists, the art and the artifacts is included.

Origins of Words and Stories

The Dog Days of Summer

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the crazy words and phrases we use? From “breaking the ice” to “a wild goose chase,” these seemingly illogical expressions fill our everyday language without a second thought. This program explores the strange and varied origins of a range of English language idioms and sayings.

History of Christmas Carols

Trace the evolution of Christmas Carols from pagan solstice songs to the wide range of carols played and performed around the wintertime holidays today. Participants are encouraged to sing along while exploring the specific histories of a number of popular carols.

History of Holiday Songs

From Pagan Christmas Carols and Hebrew Zemirots to modern renditions of popular favorites, you will explore the evolution of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa music that embody the holiday season.

History of Hanukkah Songs

Trace the evolution of Hanukkah songs from original Hebrew zemirots through to modern renditions of old favorites. Participants are encouraged to sing along while exploring the specific histories of several popular songs.

Through a Glass Brightly

Get the insider view of the 56 stained glass windows at the Museum, many adorned with quotes from the arts, sciences, and humanities. Participants will observe and discuss the beautiful details of the window designs and learn about the quotes and writers depicted in the windows.


Perfect for Halloween time or Friday the 13th, this program discusses many of our common superstitions and the origins of these strange beliefs.

*What’s In a Name?

This program focuses on surnames derived from occupations, a common origin of last names. Discussion of each occupation is accompanied by pictures of related objects from METC’s collection and participants will have the opportunity to handle a number of objects from the museum’s teaching collection.

Travel, Trivia, and Tradition

*Decoding the Past

Join a museum educator in exploring how everyday items offer an insider’s glimpse of what life was like 200 years ago. Participants will learn about 19th century life as we examine, discuss, and “decode” artifacts – ranging from shoe making tools to a candle mold – from the teaching collection of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts.

Hail to the Chief

This program will cover all the presidents of the United States, discussing basic facts as well as little-known trivia.

Here Comes the Bride

This program explores a variety of wedding customs. Traditions like white dresses, tiered cakes, rings and toasts are expected by modern wedding attendees and diligently followed by most modern couples. However, some of these traditions have surprising and sometimes ancient origins. Participants are encouraged to share their own wedding stories and memories.

Remember the Ladies

This program will touch on all the first ladies of the United States, from Martha Washington to Dr. Jill Biden. Not all first ladies were the wife of the president and each dealt in her own way with the inherent tension between the public nature of the role and the discomfort of society with women in public positions. Many of these varied and often overlooked women made valuable contributions and helped shape the presidency of their husband, brother or father.


Prior to the development of train, car and air travel, water travel was a crucial means of transporting goods and people, and continues to have an important role in leisure, travel and defense. This program traces the development of maritime technology, usage and safety measures through examination of some of the shipwrecks that are part of life for a coastal state like NJ.

*Stories of Travel by Stagecoach & Horse

This program looks at various aspects related to horse-powered travel, including primary source document accounts of what it was like to travel by stagecoach. It will also explore the wide range of horse-powered vehicles that were on the road in the 19th century and what it meant to have a horse as your “engine.”

01 June 2024

Makerspace Saturdays – June

Education Annex, 23 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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15 June 2024

Makerspace at Repair Cafe

29 Prospect Street, 29 Prospect Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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21 June 2024

Downtown Concert Series: Jumping the Gun

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, 9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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05 July 2024

Downtown Concert Series: Rosewood

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, 9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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13 July 2024

Family Fun Day

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, 9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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19 July 2024

Downtown Concert Series: King’s Road Band

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, 9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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02 August 2024

Downtown Concert Series: The C3 Soul Review

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, 9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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16 August 2024

Downtown Concert Series: South Street Live

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, 9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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30 August 2024

Downtown Concert Series: What’s What

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, 9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940 United States
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18 October 2024

Imagine the Future

Park Avenue Club, 100 Campus Drive
Florham Park, NJ 07932 United States
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*These programs utilize passed objects from the education collections

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