The Best Public Light Displays in NJ
Lit up houses are great, but you haven’t felt holiday spirit until you take a gander at these huge professional displays.
Cranbury Christmas Lights
128 North Main St., Cranbury
This massive holiday display features 120,000 dancing lights, the event is free, but donations for a local food bank are welcomed. While you’re there check out the largest Christmas tree in NJ (36 feet tall!) covered with 50,000 bulbs (even more than the Rockefeller Center tree). Confirm the show schedule before you go as the display only runs on certain evenings. Keep in mind: This amazing spectacle is set to be on national television this year, so give yourself some extra time to fight the crowds!
Historic Smithville’s Floating Trees
Take a trip back in time to historic Smithville—a charming town with a quaint New England feel. The star attractions here are the beautiful, illuminated trees that float in Lake Meone—the displays are synched to holiday music so they look like they’re dancing on the water once the sun sets. During the day, kids can hang out with a talking tree (your littlest guys will find this hysterical), ride a train and even sit with Mrs. Claus and listen to a Christmas story.
Holiday in the Park
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
This amusement park usually shuts down after Fright Fest in October, but for the second year in a row, Great Adventure is staying open through the end of the year. Ride the coasters (bundle up!) and enjoy the park decked out for the holidays—the park promises a million sparkling lights—plus pine and peppermint smells in the air (really!) Be sure to look out for carolers, stage shows, Santa meet and greets and a guaranteed “snow shower” each night.
Holiday Lights Spectacular
Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
Take a special winter trip to the zoo this year to see Turtle Back’s fantastic holiday display, including gigantic elephants, reindeer and some other special guests from the North Pole. Admission is free if you bring canned goods or a new, unopened toy. On the weekends you can warm up inside the sea lion exhibit and catch a classic holiday family movie. Kids can also send their lists to Santa at their adorable mail station.
Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show
931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, PA
Worth the ride across the border to Pennsylvania, this epic drive-through light show incorporates more than three million bulbs, including a tunnel transformed to look like stars in the night sky. If you don’t feel like driving, take a horse-drawn wagon ride along the same route (weather permitting). There’s hot cocoa and a bonfire afterward to warm you up, and Santa takes time out of his toy-making schedule to visit on the weekends.
Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show
94 Championship Pl., Augusta
Fill up your car with friends and head to this gigantic one-mile-long drive through a wonderland that features over two million lights. There are big displays set to festive music you hear as you drive. FYI: the layout is different this year, so if you've been before you can expect something totally different. There's also a Christmas village, where you can hop out of the car, take pics with Santa and grab a mug of hot cocoa.
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