December at Wharton State Forest…and Beyond!

It’s getting colder outside, but there is still plenty to do at Wharton State Forest, including special events at Batsto Village Historic Site!



Dec. 3: Winter in the Pines – 12 Noon to 3 PM

Get in the holiday spirit at Batsto Village!

Join us on Sunday, December 3, 2023 for an all-ages afternoon of winter fun! Activities include a meeting with Santa, tours of the Batsto Mansion, and wagon rides through the village. Hot cider and cookies will be available in the Post Office Museum. While there, you are also invited to send your holiday mail from the historic Batsto Post Office. Bring in your stamped postcards and letters to be hand-cancelled with the unique Batsto cancellation (no ZIP code!) in the 1852 post office.

The St. Nicholas Aurora Carolers will be performing music throughout the village, and visitors are welcome to take their holiday photos at Batsto! Commercial photographers will need to obtain a permit before taking pictures.

Horse-drawn wagon rides through the village are approximately 20 minutes; $10 per adult, $5 per child.

We look forward to seeing you in the village this December!

Batsto Village Historic Site is located at 31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037.

For more information please call the Batsto Visitor Center at (609) 561-0024.




Stars in the night sky

Dec. 13: Geminid Meteor Shower Watch

Join us on Wednesday, December 13 at 9:30 p.m. to view the Geminid meteor shower in the dark skies above the Batsto Visitor Center.

Yes, we know this is happening on a “work night,” but nature does not conform to our manmade schedules.  Throw caution to the wind and come on out!  You might be a little groggy at work the next day, but it will be worth it.  

Peak for the Geminids this year will be between 10 p.m. and dawn on December 14 where it will be possible to see up to 150 “shooting stars” per hour. Dress warmly, bring a chair, something warm to drink and sit back and watch.  The Geminids often produce “shooting stars” that are white, yellow and green.  This is the only annual meteor shower caused by an asteroid rather than a comet.  The Geminids run from November 19 through December 24 this year.  Clouds will cancel.  

Batsto Village Historic Site is located at 31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037.  

For more information or to confirm the event is still on, please call the Batsto Visitor Center at (609) 561-0024 before 4 p.m. on December 13.


Batsto Mansion

Dec 20-24: Evening Holiday Tours of the Batsto Mansion

The Batsto Mansion will be open for evening tours this December! See the historic house decorated for nineteenth-century Christmas and learn about holiday traditions of the past. The tour includes a guided walk through the home, a few peeks into rarely seen areas, and stories from the Richards and Wharton eras.  

Tours are approximately 60-75 minutes and promptly begin on the Batsto Mansion porch at 6:30 PM and 8 PM, Wednesday, December 20th through Sunday, December 24th. Tickets can be purchased at the Batsto Visitor Center and are $10 per visitor. Space is limited, and visitors are encouraged to call ahead to reserve their spot. 

Batsto Village Historic Site is located at 31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037. 

For more information or to confirm Evening Holiday Tour availability, please call the Batsto Visitor Center at (609) 561-0024. 



Tours of the Batsto Mansion

Mansion tours continue this winter at Batsto Village! Originally built in the eighteenth century as a small ironmaster’s house, the mansion now stands as it appeared after Joseph Wharton renovated the home in 1878. Serving as a vacation home for his family, the Batsto Mansion is an excellent example of the Italianate and Eastlake styles, both popular with the Victorian upper class.

Tours are 45-55 minutes and begin on the mansion porch:

  • Wednesdays and Thursdays
    11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM
  • Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
    10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM

Tickets can be purchased at the Batsto Visitor Center and are $3 for visitors over the age of 12, $1 for visitors ages 5-11 and free for visitors under 5-years-old.

Batsto Mansion is located at 31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037 in Historic Batsto Village.

For more information or to confirm Batsto Mansion tour availability, please call the Batsto Visitor Center at (609) 561-0024.


Camping at Mullica River WIlderness Campground


Winter camping is available at Wharton State Forest! There is nothing like waking up on a winter’s morning, looking out of your tent and seeing a fresh coat of snow on the ground.  Or before turning in for the night, star gazing in Wharton State Forest’s dark skies with the sound of an owl calling off in the distance. 

All our campgrounds are open year around.    

Atsion Cabins have closed for the season and will reopen again in 2024, but you can still make a reservation for next year now.  Thank you to everyone who stayed with us in 2023!

Make your camping or cabin reservations here: 


Wharton State Forest Mini-Mug

Shopping for the Holidays?

New T-Shirts, Hats and Other Cool Stuff Available Now! 

During your next visit, stop in the Batsto Visitor Center or Atsion Office to get your Wharton State Forest gear! Our newest designs include the Batsto Mansion, Atsion Mansion, and the Jersey Devil.



Jan. 1: First Day Hikes and other very special events you won’t want to miss!

Saturdays in January: Lantern Tours of Atsion Mansion

Watch your e-mail in late December for all the details.


Wharton State Forest in Winter

Wharton State Forest Office Locations & Hours

Atsion Office
744 US 206, Shamong, NJ 08088, (609) 268-0444

Batsto Office, Museum and Visitor Center
31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ  08037, (609) 561-0024

Both offices are open 7 days a week (except major holidays) 9 AM – 4 PM.


About Wharton State Forest

Located in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, Wharton State Forest is New Jersey’s largest state forest. It encompasses approximately 125,000 acres covering parts of Atlantic, Burlington and Camden counties providing a variety of recreational activities including hiking, biking, swimming and horseback riding. It is home to historic Batsto Village, Batsto and Atsion Mansions, and the Atsion Recreation Area. You can find more information about Wharton State Forest and other New Jersey state parks on our website at