Skylands Stadium Christmas Show & Village

There’s plenty of holiday attractions to visit this season! Sit in on holiday shows, hop on a holiday train or visit light displays. Whatever you do, these holiday attractions are sure to make lasting memories with your family.

December 12-15, 19-22, 26-29

Holiday Light Show
Historic Smithville, Galloway
Times vary
Free admission

Head to Historic Smithville for its annual Holiday Light Show Thursdays through Sundays in Dec. You’ll see more than 100 Christmas trees float on Lake Meone and light up to music. Don’t leave until you’ve checked out The Magical Talking Tree, Christmas train and storytime with Mrs. Claus on select dates.

December 10-29

A Christmas Carol

McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton
Times vary

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. He learns how his grumpiness has impacted others, and that he needs to make an immediate change in his attitude—or else. Also on Dec. 7 at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River at 1 pm ($12/adults, $10/kids).

December 13

A Very Electric Holiday

Wilkins Theatre, Union
7:30 pm

All ages are invited to the Kean Stage for this uplifting performance of family and friendship set to classic holiday hits.

December 14

Holidays Around the World

Shea Center for Performing Arts, Wayne
1 pm
$10/adults, $8/kids

Watch a group of tour guides become separated across the world and learn about new places, cultures
and holidays, including the Lohri Festival, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. Pre-show activities begin at 12:15 pm.

The Alien Who Stole Christmas

Planetarium at RVCC, Branchburg
3 pm

What happens when Santa gets kidnapped by an alien? Ages 6-10 can marvel at stars visible during the winter, then journey through the Milky Way with Santa Claus. Kids on other planets need presents, too! Also on Dec. 21.

December 15

Santa’s Workshop

The Hermitage, Ho-Ho-Kus
1-3 pm
$5/ages 3 and up

This annual shindig features a visit with Father Christmas and a seasonal tale told by a storyteller. Take a tour and see Christmas decorations, then the kids can try their luck on a scavenger hunt to win a prize.

December 15

Chanukah Concert and Family Sing-Along

Congregation B’nai Israel, Emerson
10-11:30 am

All are welcome to attend this festive concert and sing-along. Stick around for traditional treats.

Hanukkah Family Day

Jewish Museum, NYC
11 am-4 pm
Included with admission, free/ages 18 and under

Your family can build a Hanukkah lamp, then sketch your own after finding inspiration in the world gallery. Dance to Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights and watch a one-of-a-kind Hanukkah performance.

December 20-22

Fiddler on the Roof

State Theatre, New Brunswick
Times vary

Spend a night in early 20th-century Russia with Tevye and his five daughters who wish to marry for love. Meanwhile, Tevye does what he can to keep his family true to the customs of their Jewish faith amidst the Tsar’s declaration that the Jews be evicted from their village.

December 21 and 28

Holiday Film Fest: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Hopewell Theater, Hopewell
2 pm

Watch the Grinch (Jim Carrey) turn from a grumpy hobbit into the savior of Whoville after his schemes don’t go as planned and his heart grows a few sizes. Also heart grows a few sizes. Also on Dec. 28 at noon.

December 22

Breakfast with Santa

Liberty Hall Museum, Union
9 and 11:30 am
$30/adults, $25/kids

Tis the season to be jolly at Liberty Hall Museum in Union, where your family can dine with Saint Nick himself. If you’re on the nice list (or not), dig into a hot breakfast buffet and hop into Santa’s sleigh for a family photo worthy of the fridge. Advance ticket purchase required.

Angelina Ballerina The Very Merry Holiday Musical

Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, Toms River
1 and 4 pm

Angelina Ballerina and her friends are performing in a holiday pageant and must use their creativity when plans go awry.

December 27


Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown
11 am and 1:30 pm
$10/members, $15/non-members

Kids can watch Pinocchio struggle to achieve his greatest wish: to become a real boy. Using music and comedy, the kids will learn lessons about honesty, bravery and love.

December 31

First Night Ocean City

Multiple venues, Ocean City
4 pm-midnight
$15 before Dec. 1

Head to Ocean City for more than 30 shows including Dueling Pianos, the Harlem Wizards, a magician, live music, ice skating, inflatables and more at 22 venues. At midnight, watch fireworks light the sky from 5th St. Beach. 

holiday attractions
Sahara Sam’s

Midnight at the Oasis

535 N. Rte. 73, West Berlin
7 pm-12:30 am
$68.99, free/ages 2 and under

Head to Sahara Sam’s in West Berlin for indoor water attractions, a foam party, DJ and more. There’ll also be food, dessert, champagne and sparkling cider toasts and more to ring in 2020.

Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert

State Theatre, New Brunswick
5 pm

This concert has been a longtime staple on NYE. This year, you can catch the show’s Viennese music, ballroom dancers and witty conductor at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. And no worries, you’ll be back home in time for the countdown. 

Broadway Through the Ages

Westfield High School
7 pm

The New Jersey Festival Orchestra and dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem will be at Westfield High School with guest Broadway soloists and songs from the Great White Way.

First Night Morris

Multiple venues, Morristown
Kids programs 4:45-9 pm; event ends 12:15 am
$20-25/single, $70/four pack

This alcohol-free, family-friendly celebration spans 16 Morristown venues (shuttle accessible) with 40+ performances ranging from theater, world cultures, dance, live music and children’s programs. Stick around for fireworks at 9:15 pm and a midnight countdown. 

Ongoing holiday attractions

Through December 21

Santa’s Trolley Rides

Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May
Times vary
$10/adults, $8/kids

On weekends, take the kids for a ride around Cape May with stories and songs led by Mrs. Claus. Santa will greet your kiddos with a sweet in the Carriage House, too. Reservations recommended.

Through December 22

The Christmas Express with Santa Claus!

Museum of Transportation, Wall Twp.
Times vary

Choo-choo! Don’t miss the train! On weekends, hop on the Christmas Express and chat with the big man himself. Options for daytime and nighttime rides are available.

Through December 28

North Pole Express

80 Stangl Road, Flemington
Times vary
$34/ages 3-11, $32/ages 12 and up

On weekends, climb aboard this round-trip train at Black River and Western Railroad in Flemington for a journey with Saint Nick himself. Meet elves and Santa while sipping refreshments. Enjoy a gift from the workshop and grab a family photo on Santa’s sleigh.

41st Festival of Trees

Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
9 am-4:30 pm
Suggested donation of $5

December is the time to visit this indoor exhibit of decorated trees by various community groups. There’ll be live music and treats available at the Snowflake Cafe.

Through December 29

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn
Times and prices vary

You may think you know how Cinderella lost her glass slipper at the ball, but the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn is adding new characters and surprises to the iconic fairy tale.

Through December 30

Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show & Village

Skylands Stadium, Augusta
Times vary

Skylands Stadium in Augusta will be home to light tunnels and a course featuring more than two million sparkling lights. Visit the Christmas Village (opens Nov. 29) to see Santa’s workshop, take photos with the jolly man himself, go ice skating, make s’mores and more. 

The Polar Express Train Ride

1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany
Times vary
$46-80/adults, $41-75/ages 2-11

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.

29th Annual Holiday Model Train Show

Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge
Times vary
Free admission

Check out this model train show, which boasts more than 300 feet of tracks, three towns, a boardwalk, operating monorail and more.

DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express

DiDonato Family Fun Center, Hammonton
Times vary
$15/online before Christmas, $10/online after Christmas

Pop over to the DiDonato Family Fun Center in Hammonton for a special holiday treat. Ride through the holiday village under millions of lights and meet Santa in his workshop.

holiday attractions
DiDonato Family Fun Center

Through January 1

Holiday in the Park

Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson
Times vary
Included with admission

On weekends and select days, Six Flags will have millions of lights, wintry foods, nightly snowfall and Santa’s village. The park will also smell like fresh pine and peppermint.

Through January 5

Vernon Lights Festival

Glenwood Lake Art Park, Vernon Twp.
Times vary
$19.99/adults, $14.99/ages 3-12, free/ages 3 and under

Head to Vernon Twp. on weekends from Nov. 15-Jan. 5 for the Vernon Lights Festival, where they’ll marvel at lantern displays, splurge at food trucks, listen to holiday music, watch performances and visit the creativity pavilion

Bronx Zoo’s Holiday Lights

Bronx Zoo, NY
Times vary
$29.95/adults, $22.95/kids, free/ages 2 and under

Visit the Bronx Zoo’s Holiday Lights, a dazzling walk-through experience with themed LED displays, custom Asian lanterns and light shows. There’ll also be ice carving demos, caroling, train rides and holiday music.

Holiday Light Show

Shady Brook Farm, Yardley, PA
Times vary
$30/carload (coupons online)

Make the trip to Shady Brook Farm to experience more than 3 million lights strung into whimsical displays and familiar characters over two miles. You can opt for an open air wagon ride, too.

Through January 20

Dinosaur Train

Liberty Science Center, Jersey City
Hours and times vary

Choo choo! Head back to the Mesozoic period at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. Ages 2-8 can learn about steam engines and dino diets, excavate fossils, cook a meal over a campfire and chill in a dino nest. Included with admission. Take your little ones to see the Angry Birds Universe Exhibit where they can shoot at life-size Angry Birds with massive slingshots ($30-35).

Past Events

December 1

Our Lady Queen of Peace Christmas Fair

Our Lady Queen of Peace, Maywood.
9 am-4 pm
Free admission

This annual Christmas fair is the place to be for jewelry, holiday decor, stocking stuffers and goodies like chocolate and baked treats.

Behind the Scenes Tour

Jenkinson’s Aquarium, Point Pleasant Beach
9:30-11 am
$19/adults, $12/kids

Give your Nemo-loving kid a behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium. Ages 5 and up. Registration required.

Apple Cidering

Great Swamp OEC, Chatham Twp.
12:30 and 2:30 pm
$4/ages 3 and up

Use an old-fashioned hand crank cider press to make apple cider, then learn fun facts about apples and sample cider. Also on Nov. 30.

The Great Russian Nutcracker

The Theatre at RVCC, Branchburg
1 and 5 pm

Using sparkling costumes, giant puppets, elaborate sets and choreography, the Moscow Ballet will bring the classic Russian fairy tale to the stage with characters like Father Christmas and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden.

December 1, 7-8

Brunch with Santa

Alstede Farms, Chester
10 and 11:30 am, 1 pm
$26.99/adults, $22.99/kids

You’re never too old to see Santa. Meet him at Alstede Farms for homemade brunch, drinks and dessert and a hayride to Harvest Hall. Brunch includes an all-you-can-eat, farm-to-table buffet and admission to the PYO fields and orchards. Advance ticket purchase required.

December 4

Late Nights at the Museum

Rutgers University Geology Museum, New Brunswick
4-8 pm

All ages are invited to learn about mastodons, saber tooth cats and other Ice Age creatures through demos, crafts and other activities throughout the museum.

December 6

Snowmen & Stars Workshop

Hunterdon County Arboretum, Lebanon
6-8:30 pm

Learn to use a traditional flat basketry reed to craft flat snowmen and holiday stars for your holiday decor. Cost includes materials. Registration required.

December 6-8

Elf Jr.

Wharton Institute, Berkeley Heights
Times vary

Head to the Wharton Institute in Berkeley Heights and learn the true meaning of Christmas when Buddy journeys from the North Pole to NYC to find his birth father. Catch Elf: The Musical at UCPAC in Rahway from Dec. 6-8, 13-15. Times vary. $25.

December 6-12

Gingerbread Wonderland & Craft Show

Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Twp.
10 am-4:30 pm
$2, free/ages 2 and under

See hundreds of gingerbread houses of varying shapes. Past creations include Hogwarts, an enchanted garden, pirate ship and Santa’s workshop. Browse then vote for your favorite. Stop by the craft show on Dec. 7-8 and 14-15.

December 7 

Cookies & Cocoa with Santa

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit
10 am-2 pm
$15/members, $25/non-members

Snap a photo with Kris Kringle in the historic Wisner House, then dig into cookies and hot cocoa. Members only from 10-11 am, non-members from 11:30 am-2 pm.

Wassail Day

Historic Cold Spring Village, Cape May
11 am-3 pm

Meet Father Christmas in the Country Store, get elbow-deep in hands-on crafts, listen to live music and browse holiday treats, drinks, artisan works, books, old-fashioned candy and more.

Family Evergreen Walk & Craft

Hunterdon County Arboretum, Lebanon
1-2:30 pm

Take a winter nature walk and learn about pines, spruces and hemlocks, plus the differences between conifers and evergreens. Collect greenery during your walk to make crafts. Ages 5 and up. Registration required.

December 7-8

Colonial Christmas

Dey Mansion, Wayne
11 am-5 pm

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Dey Mansion nestled in Washington’s Headquarters in Wayne. Step into the 18th century for hearth cooking, crafters and demos true to the time period. Stick around to see NJ’s local militia, then visit the gift shop and taste a traditional Dutch Speculass cookie.

December 8

Breakfast with Santa

iPlay America, Freehold
9:30 am-1 pm

Head down Santa Claus Lane for a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, fruit and more with Father Christmas. After taking a family photo, open presents from the North Pole, head to cookie decorating or make snacks for reindeer (additional cost). Advance ticket purchase required.

PJ Masks Live: Save the Day

State Theatre, New Brunswick
1 and 5 pm

PJ Masks is leaping, flipping and climbing all over the stage at the State Theatre in New Brunswick at this heroic musical featuring Catboy, Owlette, Gekko and new friend PJ Robot as they battle villains.

Sinterklaas Day

Campbell-Christie House, River Edge
1-4 pm

Visit the Man in Red: Sinterklaas. Check out an authentic Jersey Dutch out kitchen and tour all three sandstone houses. Kids can make pinecone bird feeders and ornaments, too.

Gingerbread Sunday

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield
1:30-4 pm
$5/ages 13 and up, $3/ages 3-12, free/accompanying adults

Kids will make decorative inedible gingerbread houses, then listen to “gingery” stories. Reservations required.

Where are your favorite holiday attractions in NJ? Let us know in the comments below.