If August means staycation instead of vacation, here's an opportunity to explore the world of invention without spending a dime. This weekend, Aug. 14 and 15, all 392 National Parks, including the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, are open free of charge.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced that the National Park Service will waive entrance fees this weekend to encourage all Americans to visit national parks. "This fee-free weekend provides an opportunity for individuals and families alike to take an affordable vacation or to explore a nearby park they have never visited before," Salazar said. "I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free admission to visit not only our greatest natural wonders but also our nation's historic and cultural icons."
After undergoing extensive renovations, the Laboratory Complex reopened in
October 2009, when Patch visited. The original music recording studio, Thomas Edison's private laboratory, and a photography studio are now open to the public for the first time in the history of the park. The original furnishings have been moved back into many rooms and the vast and unique museum collections are available for all to see, hear, and experience. Installation of an elevator and stair tower adjacent to the main laboratory building allows public access to the upper floors of the laboratory that now feature new exhibits.
Visitors can also take a tour of Edison's former home at the Glenmont estate, located in the nearby Llewellyn Park. Glenmont is a 29- room, Queen Anne style mansion built in 1880 and surrounded by 15 acres of landscaped grounds. Along with tours of the home's furnished rooms, visitors will also be able to learn about the home's geothermal heating and cooling system on a special behind-the-scenes tour.
Weekend events include a variety of children's programs.
The Laboratory Complex is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00am to
5:00pm. Glenmont, Edison's home, is open Wednesday through Sunday from
11:30am to 5:00pm. The entrance fee is usually $7 for adults, children
under 16 are free. All visitors will be admitted free on August 14 and 15.
Tickets for Glenmont must first be obtained at the Laboratory Complex
visitor center before going to Glenmont. For more information or directions
please call 973-736-0550 ext. 11 or click here.
Check back next week for Patch's photos of Edison's workshop and home.