42 Things To Do This Weekend, November 24-26
Don’t stay home this weekend—embrace the fall season at these NJ area events.
Courtesy of the academy of natural sciences, wild wizarding weekend
If you're looking for more fun, here are some free things to do and places to take your preschoolers in November. Check out these Thanksgiving crafts, activities and ways to give thanks for more seasonal goodness.
Friday, November 24
Head to City Hall Plaza in Rahway for a free, family-friendly night of entertainment. There’ll be outdoor skating, music, bonfires, pictures with Santa, carriage rides and more. Stick around for the annual parade and tree lighting at 6 pm.
Friday-Saturday, November 24-25
Celebrate the underdog at Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown this holiday season. Watch a ragtag group of newsboys go up against the big guys in this Tony Award-winning musical. $20-32.
Friday-Sunday, November 24-26
This weekend, feel the magic of a White Christmas. Take the kids to see this holiday classic at Kelsey Theatre in West Windsor, which follows two WWII veterans whose love lives take them to a lodge in Vermont.
Terhune Orchards invites parents and kids for a free weekend of holiday festivities. Parents can hit the wine tasting room and sample delicious baked goods, cheeses and apple butter. The family can enjoy a wagon ride, visit the barnyard and more.
Explore the magical world of the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Meet the Academy’s fantastic beasts, play Bunnies and Broomsticks, make a magic wand and explore other hands-on activities.
Bring the family to the Jacobus Vanderveer House in Bedminster and visit the colonial cafe, shop holiday merchants, tune into musical performances and try a gingerbread workshop. There are different activities each day during the weekend.
Saturday, November 25
For one day only, Newton’s Spring St. will transform itself into Diagon Alley, the iconic marketplace from Harry Potter. Try activities like potion making, quidditch lessons or getting sorted into a Hogwarts house. Stores will transform into locations from the Wizarding World—Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, The Leaky Cauldron, The Great Hall, Ollivanders and more.
Work off that Thanksgiving meal on the 202 Bypass in Doylestown, PA, which will be closed for runners. Santa will make an appearance, and while your little ones wait they can enjoy inflatables and yard games. $10-35.
Guess who’s dropping in after the Turkey Trot? Your kids will love seeing Santa ride in a helicopter. Plus, they can enjoy free inflatables, yard games and other activities at the Market at DelVal in Doylestown, PA.
Venture to Asbury Park’s Boardwalk for the 10th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Visit the Grand Arcade or the Bazaar for some fun and holiday shopping. Santa will be spreading joyful cheer, along with a DJ and live musical performances.
Hit the trails at Glenhurst Meadows Trail Head in Warren and walk off all that delicious stuffing. Registration is required. $10/non-members.
Celebrate the season with a tree lighting, visit from Saint Nick, festive music and delicious holiday treats. Join local businesses and residents as they celebrate the most wonderful time of the year on Division St. in Somerville.
You won’t want to miss Santa’s free visit to the Solberg-Hunterdon Airport in Whitehouse Station. Kids can take pictures with Father Christmas, and there’ll also be plane rides, aircraft displays, hot air balloons, face painting and sand art to check out.
Saturday-Sunday, November 25-26
Choo-choo! Don’t miss the train at the New Jersey Museum of Transportation in Wall. Hop on the Christmas Express and chat with Kris Kringle himself. Options for daytime and nighttime rides are available. $6.
Bring the family to the Great Swamp OEC in Chatham Township to make delicious, homemade apple cider using old-fashioned, hand-cranked cider presses. $3/person.
Hit the rails at the Garden State Model Railway Club in North Haledon for a train show with more than 1200 square feet of model railways, including diesel and steam locomotives. Kids will recognize Thomas the Tank Engine and learn about freight and passenger trains, working signals and more. $6/adults, ages 12 and under free with paying adult.
The Roxey Ballet’s 23rd annual production of The Nutcracker will be held at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. It’s a must-see for you and the kids that’ll introduce them to ballet and a timeless holiday tradition. $15.
It’s lit in Lehigh Valley! Cirque Dreams Holidaze is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its holiday stage extravaganza, described as a cirque show, Broadway musical and family-friendly Christmas spectacular rolled into one.
Sunday, November 26
Comics come alive at this fan-tastic event at the Toms River Elks, which features vendors, artists, writers, publishers and cosplayers. There’ll be raffles, door prizes and a costume contest for all ages. Bring some toys to donate to Toys for Tots. $5/ages 12 and up.
Teach your kids about Native American heritage through song, drums and dance at Staten Island Children’s Museum in Staten Island with this interactive performance. Free with admission.
Check out this traditional European Christmas market in Asbury Park inspired by Austrian, Italian and French traditions. This open-air market sells food, drinks and hand-crafted seasonal gifts.
Take the family to Macy’s in Herald Square, NYC (open until Christmas Eve) to see the iconic Santaland, a world of glittering pine trees, twinkling lights and gingerbread cookies. Don’t forget to check out the 13,000-square-foot Christmas Village filled with holiday treasures.
Visit the Red Mill Museum’s beautiful display of decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces, which are also available to win through raffle.
What’s the holiday without some classic cheer? Grab your kids and join Annie’s heartwarming adventure at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. Being an orphan doesn’t stop Annie from showing love to those around her, which makes this performance perfect for Christmas time. $34-102.
Immerse your children in the rich history of America. This presentation explains our nation’s founding era through priceless drafts of the US Constitution. Even better, you’ll be in our nation’s birthplace: Philadelphia!
Throughout December you can climb aboard the Polar Express in Whippany with your family. Relive the film with a magical one-hour trip to the North Pole. $45-75/adults, $40-70/kids.
Venture to the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo on weekends through December 10 or any night from December 11-January 2. Take a winter stroll under the sparkling lights that make up more than 50 winter symbols and animal characters. Free admission.
Check out these LED lights floating two feet above the ground across Madison Square Park’s Oval Lawn in NYC. The orbs will move thanks to a computer-generated wave pattern and New York weather.
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned birdwatcher, the family can check out different birds and help scientists collect data on various avian populations at the Plainsboro Preserve in Cranbury.
Intrigue your little ones with unusual objects that’ll give them clues on how, when or why the objects were made. The Morris Museum’s interactive exhibit encourages observation and problem-solving skills.
From November 17-December 30 your family can enjoy this gigantic mile-long drive under two million lights. This year there’s a brand new ice rink and walk-through lightfest. Don’t forget to visit the Christmas village where take pics with Santa and grab a mug of hot cocoa.
Now through January 1, you have the opportunity to watch your kids’ jaws drop in awe. See Christmas like you’ve never before at Koziar’s in Lehigh Valley, PA.
Climb aboard the Magical Express at DiDonato Family Fun Center in Hammonton with your Polar Express fans through millions of lights. Stop by Santa’s workshop and meet the man in the red coat before strolling through the holiday village. $14.95/person.
Check out this theatrical version of Eric Carle’s classic story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, at the DR2 Theatre at Union Square in NYC. The show features multiple puppets and tells the stories of Carle’s other works, including Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks and The Very Lonely Firefly. $50-70/person.
Illuminate their imagination with stories from the 18th and 19th century at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison. Learn about the creation of light, early electrical experiments and today’s modern technologies.
Check out seasonal crafts from hundreds of artisans and crafters at the Hermitage Museum in Ho-Ho-Kus. Pick up holiday wreaths, original jewelry or other customized items. Admission is $8/ages 12 and up.
Your little history buffs will love checking out the evolution of American military uniforms. From 1776 to the Revolutionary War to World War II, there’s a lot more to military fashion than meets the eye.
Head to the big city for a totally immersive experience narrated by Cate Blanchett. Follow the migration of birds across four continents and eleven countries from the POV of their wings. Whether you check it out in 2-D or 3-D, this event is sure to fascinate and educate your little ones.
Hit the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City and visit 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.
This firefighter-themed exhibit has tons of hands-on exploration opportunities. The old-school pole, gear and bell just skim the top of what the Staten Island Children’s Museum has to offer.
Head to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and visit over 500 iridescent butterflies. The 80-degree conservatory house’s lush vegetation and blooming tropical flowers will wow your kids.
Van Cortlandt Manor’s Blaze event in Croton-on-Hudson, NY is an annual tradition. (And it’s the last weekend you can visit!) Walk through a historic 18th-century riverside landscape with huge jack-o’-lantern displays. These pumpkins are carved into everything from The Statue of Liberty to a 20-foot pumpkin carousel to a giant sea serpent. You’ll never look at pumpkin carving the same way and neither will your kiddos, so make sure to grab tickets before they sell out.