Best NJ Places to Take Preschoolers in December
There's plenty to do with your 5-and-under this month.
Photo Courtesy of lake mohawk german christmas market
There’s plenty of holiday activity to keep the family busy this month. You won’t want to miss these Santa breakfasts, holiday trains, holiday shows and New Year’s Eve activities in NJ this month. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, check out free things to do in December.
It’s all about the holiday shopping on Boonton’s Main Street. On December 1, listen to carolers as you pick out stocking stuffers and take a peek at the homemade gingerbread house contest (and enter your own creation!).
Head to the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts on December 1 for a family-friendly event focused on the story of Leland Emerson, captain of the whaling ship Sarah Ann in the year 1843. There’ll be characters, songs, activities and storytelling.
You can’t celebrate Christmas without a visit to the past, present and future!. Join Ebenezer at the Music Mountain Theatre in Lambertville from December 1-17 for a retelling of this classic heartwarming tale of charity, compassion and friendship.
Rock around the Christmas tree at this indoor exhibit of decorated trees from December 1-13. There’ll be live holiday music and food from the Snowflake Café on weekends at the Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge.
On December 2, there’ll be an explosion of ugly sweaters at the Casino Pier Arcade in Seaside Heights. Join the contest and try to win the grand prize before making arts and crafts with your kids like an Olaf sock snowman, a bird feeder or a Santa beard. You definitely don’t want to miss the indoor snowball fight, either, followed by a visit from Santa.
Visit the historic Vail Mansion and celebrate the holidays at Rutherfurd Hall in Allamuchy on December 2. Snap some family photos with Santa, listen to music, make holiday crafts and more.
Help make decorations for the drawing room Christmas tree at Macculloch Hall in Morristown on December 2 and learn about how previous presidents have celebrated Christmas at the White House.
Hit the Public Library in Nutley on December 2 for a fun interactive magic show to welcome the winter holiday season.
This 5K fun run and mile walk at Brookdale Park in Montclair on December 2 benefits cancer victims and survivors. Even better? It’s led by Santa! There’ll be holiday music, hot cocoa, prizes and food trucks. Kids can snap a photo with the big man, too.
Join Magician Steve Woyce at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft on December 2 for a winter-themed family magic show.
On Saturday, December 2 and 9, drop the kids off at Garden Street Music in Hoboken so you can hit the town! While you enjoy a night out, your kiddos will enjoy pizza, cupcakes, arts, a movie and more. On December 2, they’ll watch The Polar Express and December 9, they’ll catch Frosty and Rudolph.
From December 2-3, come out to the Lake Mohawk Boardwalk in Sparta for the 16th year of this magical market that hosts artists, food and drinks inspired by Deutchland. Pick out some Christmas presents and enjoy the fun and fare Germans have to offer.
On weekends from December 2-17, Kale’s Garden Center in Princeton will be hosting Santa Claus. Families can also choose a Christmas tree after the kids grab a photo with Kris Kringle.
Make the trip to iPlay America in Freehold on December 3 and listen to the band, which celebrates the season with traditional songs like “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman” and Laurie’s own original hits like “We Are the Dinosaurs,” “Pig on Her Head” and “Victor Vito.”
Join Steve the Magic Conductor at Brunswick Square on December 9 for a special performance of The Caboose Mystery, where the audience will help solve a mystery in this train-themed magic show.
UCPAC in Rahway wants you to join the Peanuts gang for a stage version of everyone’s favorite holiday special on December 9. Watch Charlie Brown and his crew try to produce their own Christmas pageant and ultimately learn the true meaning of Christmas.
The Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit invites your kids to pictures with Santa on December 9. Grab holiday portraits and munch on cookies and sip cocoa while your little ones meet the big man in the red jacket.
Lend your ears to the sounds of Tchaikovsky at the Cranford Community Center on December 9. Kids age 3-12 can learn the different sounds instruments create, then practice themselves.
On the weekends of December 9-10 and 16-17, visit the Axelrod Arts Center in Deal Park for a romantic retelling of the classic Disney musical.
This family-friendly performance at the Hoboken Fire Department Museum on December 10 features a musical duo that’ll lead your family in holiday sing-alongs and winter-themed music. Jingle bells and other instruments will be available for your family to shake along to the rhythm.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the Shea Center for Performing Arts in Wayne. Your smaller crew will adore watching the ups-and-downs at Santa’s house on December 10.
Plan your weekend around a trip to Mrs. Claus’ storytime at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo from December 15-23. Meet one of her animal friends and sip on light refreshments as you watch your little ones meet one the North Pole’s head honchos. Registration is required.
Your kids will find a kindred spirit in Garfield, who’s eager to open his Christmas presents at UCPAC in Rahway on December 16. Light up your holiday season with this beloved orange cat, who will crack witty jokes and share holiday wisdom through a series of musical and enlightening lessons.
Head to the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan on December 17 for a live interactive magic experience. This traditional holiday show is great for the entire family and features a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will read The Night Before Christmas.
This holiday, you don’t have to travel to the city to skate outdoors, just the Village Green in Summit on December 17. Spin your kids around and show off your skating skills before sitting around a bonfire with a cup of chili or soup from a nearby food truck. Kids can also take pictures with Santa, make cookies or try arts and crafts!
Mister G will be at the Jewish Museum in NYC on December 17 to raise the roof and celebrate Hanukkah with local kids. He’ll play songs from his award-winning album The Mitzvah Bus and other Hanukkah songs.
Bring the North Pole to your little ones with a trip to the Flemington Ice Arena on December 17. Skate with Santa and his elven helpers, warm up with hot cocoa and receive a special gift.
Who doesn’t love custom Christmas stockings? Take the holidays into your own hands at the Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park on December 17 and make Christmas stockings with the littles ones. Reward yourself with some sweet treats after a job well done.
Enjoy a day of free admission on December 26 at the Staten Island Children’s Museum in New York.
Hit the Liberty Science Center for more quality time with your tot's favorite tank engine! This program introduces children to science, technology, engineering and math through fun activities and play. Kids can climb into Thomas’ cab and take the controls, make repairs to Percy in the Sodor Steamworks shop, dress up like a conductor, play at the Tot Spot and so much more.