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Must-See Holiday Attractions Near NJ

These can’t-miss holiday destinations and events are sure to make even the Grinchiest of family members smile.


Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com/avid_creative


Looking to really bring the magic of the holidays to your family this year? Try one of these great events happening in (or very close to!) NJ. Trust us, they will get plenty of photo ops with Santa, lights and Winter Wonderlands to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. And don't forget to check out our list of holiday events happening in NYC.

The North Pole Express

Flemington Station
80 Stangl Rd., Flemington
908-782-662; blackriverrailroad.com

Your little ones will feel like they’re in The Polar Express on ride, especially when they see Mrs. Claus and the elves, and even meet the big, jolly guy himself before reaching “The North Pole." Pro tip: These seats fill up fast so make sure you book ASAP. $28 per person. Want a Santa train ride closer to home?

Christmas Celebration at Adventure Aquarium

Camden Aquarium
1 Riverside Dr., Camden
856-365-3300; adventureaquarium.com

The drive down to this South Jersey mainstay is totally worth it during the holiday season. Check out the world's largest underwater Christmas tree, watch Santa scuba in the tank and then have milk and cookies with the big guy.

Christmas in Historic Smithville

Downtown Smithville

This quaint South Jersey town is the epicenter of Christmas spirit—from mesmerizing light displays (yes, the trees actually float on the water) to a holiday train ride perfect for the preschool set. Kids can also visit with Mrs. Claus and take a spin on the carousel right in the middle of town. Don't miss the hot cocoa and the talking Christmas tree! The tiny town of Historic Smithville is one of our favorite ways to celebrate the holiday.

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem

101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA
610-332-1300; christmascity.org

This has been a Lehigh Valley staple for more than 20 years. Make the trip with the crew to scour unique gifts from over 125 vendors in a European-style Christmas market. There'll also be live holiday music, delicious food and special events on select dates, such as Breakfast with St. Nicholas and glassblowing demos. The event will be up and running weekends through December 23.

Holiday in the Park at Great Adventure

1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
732-928-3000; sixflags.com

Scream your heart out on one of this park’s giant roller coasters at its annual holiday celebration. If rides aren’t your thing, there’s amazing light displays (with more than a million twinkling bulbs), plus acrobatics and dance at Wonder: A Cirque Spectacular. Check out The Elf Who Saved Christmas show to remind the fam about love during the holidays. Looking for more holiday light displays in NJ? Jersey has plenty

Christmas Light Show at Skylands Stadium

94 Championship Pl., Augusta
973-383-7644; skylandsstadium.com/christmas-lights-show

Pile into the family car and take a spin through a Christmas light extravaganza that's decked out with more than two million twinkling lights. Once you're done with the mile-long drive through, stop by the the Christmas Village, where you can grab photos with Santa, then see performers, play carnival games and, of course, indulge in food and drink.  

Dyker Heights’ Annual Light Display

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY

One thing about families in this old-school, Italian neighborhood? They sure do know how to put on a show. Every single house in the area is completely tricked out with amazing light displays –from eight-foot-tall soldiers to life-size nativity scenes, it’s well-worth the trip. Plus, there are a ton of restaurants nearby perfect for a post light-peeping pasta stop. Make sure to dress warmly and leave early enough to snag a good parking spot!

Koziar's Christmas Village

782 Christmas Village Rd., Bernville, PA

Started in 1948 by William M. Koziar, who decorated his dairy farm with lights for his family to admire, this fairy tale-like masterpiece features more than one million lights. Explore the grounds and discover glass building displays of Santa's Post Office, The Kissing Bridge, an old-school bakery, toy makers and more. There are also train displays, gift shops and holiday cookies. Be sure to take a photo with the Big Guy in Red before heading home.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

1260 6th Ave., New York, NY
212-247-4777; radiocitychristmas.com

No one does Christmas quite like Radio City. See every higher-than-high kick in the dance numbers performed by the Rockettes, sing along to holiday classics and even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus at this legendary holiday show

NY Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx NY
718-817-8700; nybg.org

This annual train exhibit features beautiful model trains zipping through more than 175 world-wide landmarks created using leaves, bark and even moss. The display features bridges, tunnels and tracks, plus landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and Battery Maritime Building. $28/weekends, $23/weekdays for adults and $12/weekends, $10/weekdays for kids. It gets crowded so grab your tickets in advance and get there early.     

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, PA
610-388-1000; longwoodgardens.org

This indoor and outdoor Christmastime event has the works. Start by checking out the color and white twinkling lights and stunning display of professionally-decorated evergreens complete with handmade ornaments. Once you’re done, head outside to take in a towering Fraser Fir, fire pits and carolers. $30/adults, $16/ages 5-18; kids 4 and under are free. Tickets are required (and are timed).

Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland Celebration

1 Great Wolf Dr., Scotrun, PA
800-768-9653; greatwolflodge.com
November 24-January 4

Want to experience a winter wonderland without having to freeze outside? This decked-out holiday celebration has it all, from indoor snow showers to a gingerbread house big enough to dine in (made with more than 5,000 candies). There’s also Snow 'N' Glow Dance Parties, North Pole University and even visits from good ol’ Saint Nick himself. And there are Snowland Suites available that are decked out with indoor trees, garland and snowflakes, to really make your overnight stay special.

Peddler’s Village Christmas Celebration

Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, PA
215-974-4000; peddlersvillage.com

There’s no shortage of events to get you into the holiday season here. This whimsical Bucks County hot spot kicks off the cheer with a Santa and Mrs. Claus parade through the village on December 1 (and it's every day after that, too!). There’s also an amazing, ongoing gingerbread house competition that lasts well through January 5.

Winter Wonderland in Cape May

Escape to the North Pole (in South Jersey!) this holiday season on Congress Hall's front lawn, which is getting completely transformed into a winter wonderland this year. Think Santa's workshop, a train and hot cocoa (or an awesome holiday cocktail) and get some last minute shopping done. 

Winter Wonderland at Van Saun Park 

216 Forest Ave., Paramus

The seasonal spectacular features a number of wintry attractions, including ice rinks (there’s a synthetic rink just for beginners!), the Bergen Express Train Ride, Santa’s North Pole Workshop and a carousel. And of course, your Winter Wonderland ticket gains you access to the zoo, as well. And don't miss out on your chance to meet the big man himself!

More Like This:

Best Holiday Shows
Santa Pictures in NJ
Things To Do in NYC This Holiday Season

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