Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Senate House State Historic Site

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296 Fair Street
Kingston, NY 12401
Latitude 41.935143
Longitude -74.018608

Amidst the turmoil of a British military invasion in the fall of 1777, the elected representatives of rebellious New Yorkers met in Kingston to form a new state government. While convened in Kingston in September and October, New York's first Senate met in the simple stone house of merchant Abraham Van Gaasbeek.

In 1887, to recognize Senate House's role in the Revolution, New York State acquired the property, which quickly became a vital community museum. A two-story Museum Building was constructed in 1927 to house and display the site's burgeoning collection. Among its treasures are: major art works by John Vanderlyn and other members of the Vanderlyn family of Kingston, dating from the 1720s through the 1870s, and notable paintings by Ammi Phillips, Joseph Tubby, James Bard, and Thomas Sully.

Hours of Operation

  • April 18 through October 31
    Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
    Also open from 1pm-5pm on Memorial Day and Independence Day.

    Site is open year-round by appointment.
  • Group tours are offered year-round, but must be scheduled in advance.

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Tour of Senate House and Museum Admission
  • Adult - $4
    Sr (62+) - $3
    12 & under - free
    Group Tours - $3 per person
    School Group Lesson - $3
    School Outreach Lesson - $3

Sat 06 Apr
Sugaring Off: 18th Century Style at the Senate House State Historic Site
Saturday, April 6, 2019 11:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Senate House State Historic Site
(845) 338-2786

Collecting maple sap and boiling it down to syrup has had a long-standing tradition in North America. Native Americans in the northeast first collected the sap and boiled it to syrup to sweeten their food. When European colonists arrived, they learned how to process the sap from the Native Americans. It was used as a sweetener, in place of expensive cane sugar, in a variety of foods including oatmeal, waffles, sausage and baked goods.

Activities include boiling maple sap into syrup, making jack wax candy, baking molasses cornbread and waffles over an open fire, hewing a log into a trough and making wooden buckets and spiles, which were used to collect the sap. The First Ulster Militia will re-enact a raid on the sugar bush. Mark Rust will perform traditional 18th century music on a variety of musical instruments including banjo, violin, guitar and spoons. He will even let you try your hands at playing one of the instruments. This is a free event that the whole family will enjoy!

Nick Martin, Park Educator, will join Senate House staff for this program and will be making maple candy for program participants to enjoy. This program will take place at the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston. This is a walk-in program and no registration is necessary. For more information, contact the Senate House State Historic Site directly at 845-338-2786.


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Amenities, Activities & Information

  • Amenities
  • Educational Services
  • Gardens
  • Museum/Visitors Center
    • Activities
    • Group Tours (Accessible)
    • Guided Tours (Accessible)
    • Historic House (Accessible)
    • Picnic Area (Accessible)
    • Re-enactments (Accessible)