November is a month filled with gratitude and giving thanks. Between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, there’s plenty to do and see for free throughout the Garden State!

November 1

Neuroscience of Spirituality
Virtual presentation, courtesy of ParentEd Talks and New Jersey Family
Learn what the neuroscience of spirituality reveals about our capacity for health, happiness and resilience during this talk by Lisa Miller, PhD. Based on her newest book, “The Awakened Brain,” Miller will detail the surprising new science of innate spirituality and how to engage it in our lives and parenting to enhance grit, optimism and resilience in ourselves and in our children — providing insulation against the ills of addiction, trauma and depression.

Fall Food Drive
Big SNOW American Dream, East Rutherford
All guests who bring a nonperishable canned item from 1-8 pm will receive a voucher for a 50% off a 2-Hour Slope Access Ticket for a return visit on a date of their choosing to the indoor ski area. All non-expired and sealed boxed, canned or packaged goods will be accepted and donated to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

November 1 – December 16

The Embankment On My Mind
NJCU Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery, Jersey City
The original art is inspired by a grassroots preservation initiative for transforming Jersey City’s treatment of open space and an emerging trail system. Sixteen botanical artists depicting local flora join 28 artists with wide-ranging responses to the site, a massive stone rail embankment in the downtown. Stop by on weekdays.


November 2

Egypt Late Night
Rutgers Geology Museum, New Brunswick
This first in-person Late Night event will focus on Ancient Egypt, so stop by to learn about mummies, pyramids and more. There will be craft and activity tables set up around the museum.

November 4

Harry Potter Show
Brunswick Square Mall, East Brunswick
All witches and wizards can see Madeleine The Magician perform magic spells. Represent your house with colors/clothing of your choice.

ARTS COUNCIL OF PRINCETON / El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

November 5

El Dia de los Muertos
Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton
Honor the Day of the Dead with Mariachi, dancers, food, and hands-on projects inspired by traditional folk art.

Healthy HeARTS Festival
Appel Farm Arts and Music Center, Elmer
This day-long family-friendly festival will begin with a 5K race and 1 mile walk on and around Appel Farm’s campus, and continue with sustainable artmaking, wellness activities, craft vendors, live music, food trucks, and local wine and beer.

Untold Stories of Storied People
Grassroots Community Space, Jersey City
Through this project that engages dynamic storykeepers and tellers from across NJ to develop and share the untold stories that define and contextualize their lives, 10 BIPOC artists will share stories, poetry, music, dance and visual art.

Nikki Briar Band
Readington Brewery & Hop Farm, Neshanic Station
There will be no cover charge to hear CMA Nashville recording artist Nikki Briar and her country band.


Fall Family Day: String Fling
Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
Kids ages 3–10 will explore string music from around the globe. In the free, daylong open house children, can learn about the different sounds of string instruments, play games, listen to lively performances and dance their heart out.

Craft & Vendor Fair
Dr. Wm Robinson Museum, Clark
Start your holiday shopping as more than 60 crafters and vendors fill the event space. Vendors include Avon, Color Street, Touchstone Crystal, Scentsy, Tupperware, baked goods, dog treats and food for sale by the museum.

Kingsway Education Foundation Holiday Craft Show
Kingsway Regional High School, Woolwich Twp.
For the 20th year there will be over 180 vendors showcasing their handmade crafts, both indoors and outdoors, including kettle korn, Kingsway’s Jazz Band, Santa Scorch, concessions and a bake sale.

Rahway Craft & Art Fair
Rahway Recreation Center, Rahway
Start your holiday shopping by browsing original handmade crafts and art made by 60 vendors. There will be quilts, stained glass, clothing, soy candles, organic body lotions and oils, greeting cards, handbags, jewelry and more items to choose from, including original art like paintings, drawings, cartoon character prints, etchings and linocuts.

Artists in the Park
Runnemede Lake Park, Runnemede
Bring your family to the renovated nature trail and observe artists at work.

Art in the Park
Hanson Park Conservancy, Cranford
Children, teens and adults can learn about natural dyes and create beautiful art. There will also be sheep shearing and spinning demos, art stations and displays by local artists.

November 5 – December 18

AWA Pawliday Market
Animal Welfare Association, Voorhees
Every Saturday and Sunday, shop from different vendors that cater to the special pet in your life.

November 6

Community Book Fair
Montclair Kimberley Academy Middle School, Montclair
Browse a large selection of books for all ages, plus enjoy storytelling, face painting, activities with the Montclair Art Museum Truck and more.

Broadway at the Commons
Bridgewater Commons, Bridgewater
Don’t miss the American Theater Group, Somerset County’s only professional theater, and the Nancy Ringham’s Studio performing an afternoon of songs from favorite Broadway musicals.


November 8

Rappaport to the Rescue
Damrosh Park, NY
The Big Apple Circus has partnered with animal advocate Jill Rappaport and her brand Rappaport To The Rescue to introduce 45 fabulous fur angels to the public for the 45th anniversary of the Big Apple Circus. There will be shelters and foster-based organizations participating from across the tristate to facilitate adoption applications. While there you’ll be treated to complimentary refreshments.

November 10

History at Home: Yogi Berra: A Legend’s Lasting Values
Virtual presentation, courtesy of Montclair History Center
This presentation by Eve Schaenen, executive director of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, will explore all things Yogi, a New York Yankee and NJ native. It will include a virtual tour of the museum and learning center that bears Berra’s name.

What’s Cooking?
Woodbridge Library, Woodbridge
In time for Thanksgiving, this program presented by the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts will teach you about 19th century cooking techniques through hands-on examination of cooking utensils and food-related artifacts from METC’s teaching collection. Participants are encouraged to reminisce about favorite recipes and to share food and cooking memories.

That One (Careless) Night Comedy Series
P.S. Wine Bar, Jersey City
Lilly Anderson, Fran Castro, Neha Kallianpurkar and Nancy Mendez-Booth will perform their comedy sets, and then there will be an open mic set open to everyone. This event is a fundraiser for – and is produced by – In Full Color, a local org that empowers BIPOC artists of color.

November 11

November 11 is Veterans Day, so if you have served in the military, check out some free deals you can take part in. There are many ceremonies around the state where you can support our veterans as well.

November 12

Sauce for the Goose
This one-day market is a unique opportunity to purchase handmade gifts directly from local artisans and crafters working in ceramics, textiles, jewelry, fine art and more. Find one-of-a-kind gifts all while supporting the creatives living and working in your community.

Small Explorers: Oceans & Sharks
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Your kids will read “Swimmy” by Leo Lionni and then explore the shark exhibit and learn about the creatures in the ocean. Make your own sea creature and check out the shark teeth.

Christmas at the Farm
Riamede Farm, Chester
Set amidst the beautiful apple orchards and in the vintage barn, this fun free event features over 25 hand-picked local vendors, food offerings, a pie tasting and plenty of holiday cheer. Riamede will also host a pie-tasting station where you can sample and pre-order Thanksgiving pies.

Santa’s Arrival PJ Party
Moorestown Mall, Moorestown
Santa’s coming to town! Take all your good little boys and girls to the HomeSense Court to welcome Santa to the Moorestown Mall with a fun-filled PJ party. Put on your favorite holiday pajamas and enjoy the entertainment and activities.


Princess and Pirate Day
Cape May County Zoo, Cape May
Get the kids decked out in their best dress-up costumes and come to the zoo for activities, a craft station, games, entertainment, animals, an inflatable pirate ship and more. Coronation ceremonies and Disney Trivia will be held by your favorite princesses along with pirate Kaptain Kristian and his crew.

Family Saturdays: Collage
Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton
Explore the current Taplin Gallery exhibition Retrieving the Live and Art of James Wilson Edwards and A Circle of Black Artists through drop-in art-making workshops. The workshop will introduce children to the collage world through techniques including quilting, graffiti and clipping to develop their imagination.

Fall Run Saltwater Fly-Fishing Clinic
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch
A Park System Naturalist will present a demonstration and discussion that will address gear, line and leader set-ups, flies, reading water and creating a plan of attack. Bring your own gear to try it out on your own!


Winterfest by the Sea
Ocean City Civic Center, Ocean City
This holiday shopping extravaganza includes craft vendors, food vendors and a strolling Santa and the Grinch.

Holiday Crafts and Drafts
Jersey Shore Brewing, Hackettstown
This is a crowd-favorite handmade market held in the warehouse tasting room, so you’ll get to shop from local artisans while sampling some beer.

November 13

Cider Making
Howell Living History Farm
Help the farm staff press this year’s apple harvest into cider. Sample some fresh cider and talk about other uses for cider on the farm.

Tree Bingo
Tulpehaking Nature Center, Hamilton
Outside, practice your tree ID by collecting real leaves to use as game pieces. Learn your leaf shapes in this family-friendly bingo game. Prizes will be awarded.

Craft & Vendor Fair
Vernon Twp. Fire Department Co. No. 1, Vernon Twp.
More than 30 local artisans and vendors will be showcasing jewelry, art, sewn creations and many other types of handmade and unique items during this seventh annual craft fair.

Tuesdays, starting November 15

Storytime with Santa
Menlo Park Mall, Edison
Members from the Edison Public Library will come by the Santa Set for a Holiday Pajama Story Time every Tuesday until Christmas week.

November 16

Empanadas and Bomba Night
Samsung 837, New York
Experience an authentic celebration of Afro-Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture during the 17th annual Latin American Cultural Week. Have an empanada from Bronx-based empanaderia Empanology or Yave tequila, listen to spoken word and live DJ sets, and watch Bomba dance performances.

November 17

Art Crawl Downtown
Bay Street, Jersey City
The 2nd Art Crawl Downtown is a mix of open studios, art exhibitions and fun.

Behind the Scenes with Chicklet & Maleni
Samsung 837, New York
Social media influencers and content creators Chicklet & Maleni will join a panel discussion hosted by podcaster, writer and producer Rick Hierro. Chicklet & Maleni will discuss their relationship, their process for creating content, and give a behind-the-scenes look at their lives outside of social media. Live Q&A with the audience to follow.


November 18

Big Santa Lighting and Spectacular Drone Show
Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus
A choreographed 160 drone show lighting up the sky – and set to holiday music by 106.7 Lite FM – will be accompanied by the unveiling of the Big Santa. The festivities also include musical performances, food trucks, giveaways and surprise visits from holiday favorites such as The Grinch and the real Santa Claus, who will arrive in a fire truck escorted by the Paramus High School Marching Band. They’ll be plenty of fun for kids inside the mall after the show, including arts and crafts projects.

November 18 – 26

Festival of Trees
Avalon’s Shopping District, Avalon
While you are shopping in stores, you’ll see a variety of beautifully decorated trees and wreaths of varying themes for you to bid on! Or, you can simply enjoy their beauty.

November 18 – December 31

Holiday Lights Spectacular
Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
This special event throughout the zoo includes an evening stroll outdoors through light displays and photo ops with friends and family, featuring some fun seasonal activities such as a s’mores station, Grinch weekend and photos with Santa.

November 18 – January 1, 2023

Christmas in Cape May
Throughout Cape May
The entire town will be transformed into a Dickens village for the holiday season. The kickoff is the tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 19, followed by candlelight house tours (also presented virtually), dinner at Vintage, trolley rides, ghost tours, Breakfast with Santa, wonder walks and other exhibits.

November 19

Craft Show
Senior Center, North Brunswick
The North Brunswick Woman’s Club puts together this yearly craft show as a means to start your holiday shopping.

Hand Lettering Workshop
Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, Madison
The session – which is a repeat of the workshop from Sept. 10 – will include instruction on design and hand lettering of a small (4” x 6”) art project that can be framed. All materials are provided.

Fall Cleanup Day
Veteran’s Park, Hillsdale
If helping the environment isn’t incentive enough, how about a pizza break in the afternoon after you pick up trash and litter?

@chrissycasiello / Gratitude Fest

Gratitude Fest
New Jersey Avenue, Wildwood Crest
Enjoy an outdoor festival featuring artists, creatives and vendors of all kinds.

Holiday Crafters & Artisan Fair
Rutherfurd Hall, Allamuchy
Browse through the works of an array of local artists and crafters while children enjoy hot chocolate and cookies get to meet Santa himself!


November 19 – 20

Music, Fire Pits & Mulled Wine
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Saturday – Sunday
Weather permitting, enjoy the historic apple orchard. During cooler weather, seating is inside the wine barn with fire pits, outdoor heaters and hot mulled wine. Tasting flights of Terhune wines are available to sample. All ages can have fun with s’mores and hot cocoa kits. The Barn Door Café will have lunch fare, while cheese plates and chips & salsa baskets are available at the winery. Live music both days is from 1 -4 pm.

November 19 – December 11

A Celebration of Old Trees Art Show
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Thirty-four paintings and photographs by noted local artists will tell the story of the century-old apple trees at the original Terhune farm. The Art Show Opening at Terhune Orchards, home of the century-old apple trees, is Nov 19; from 1-3 pm meet the artists and view more than 30 pieces of art inspired by the trees. The art will be up for viewing in Barn Door Cafe at Terhune Orchards 12-5 pm Saturdays and Sundays Nov 19 – Dec 11.

November 19 – December 24

Christmas Village 
LOVE Park and City Hall, Philadelphia, PA
The city will transform into an authentic German Christmas market. Expect more than 110 local and international vendors selling unique ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. Come hungry and enjoy European foods, sweets and drinks. Take a ride on the historic carousel or Ferris Wheel or Christmas Kids Train, and watch the Schuhplattler dancer perform. Don’t miss the festive Käthe Wohlfahrt tent which features popular Christmas gifts from Germany.

November 20

Nature Under the Microscope
Tulpehaking Nature Center, Hamilton
Explore nature up close as you use a microscope to examine a collection of insects, butterfly wings, feathers, seeds and any other natural treasures you find while you explore the area outside the nature center.

Family Woodland Hike
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
Take an easy, child-friendly hike in the Garden’s woodlands, where you’ll learn a bit about the plants and animals around you in a hike designed to fit the group.

Autumn Nature Walk
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
Don Torino and the Bergen County Audubon Society will lead a walk through the gardens and fields looking for late fall migrating birds as well as migrant and resident species that will spend the winter here in New Jersey.

Fall Run Saltwater Fly-Fishing Clinic
Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan
A Park System Naturalist will present a demonstration and discussion that will address gear, line and leader set-ups, flies, reading water and creating a plan of attack. Bring your own gear to try it out on your own!

Fall Open House
Williams-Harrison House, Roseland
During the Harrison House’s first public event in years, sample wine and cheeses from Fairchilds Market and homemade baked goods. Tour the home with the live-in caretakers and enjoy music provided by members of the Livingston Symphony Orchestra. Visit the crafts table to learn more about traditional needlework and sign up for the newly re-forming quilting group.

Thanksgiving Market
City Green’s Farm-Eco Center, Clifton
Shop from a selection of City Green’s fresh, organically grown produce, as well as seasonal products from local guest vendors.

Holiday Market & Gift Fair
Wayne PAL Building, Wayne
Shop from more than 75 tables of cool gift items.

November 24 – January 6

Holiday Light Show
Lake Meone, Historic Smithville
More than 120 Christmas trees constructed from over 50,000 Christmas lights seem to float on the lake. The moment darkness falls, an orchestrated show of lights and music is played across the lake. This show can be seen from either side of the village as well as the bridge.

November 25

Santa Lights Up Dune Drive
Dune Drive from 80th Street to 7th Street, Avalon
Santa returns for a very special appearance this year! He and many of his special friends will pass by during this festive holiday parade. Santa will then help borough officials officially light up the annual holiday display for the season.

November 25 – 27

Christmas Block Party
Casale al Mare, Brigantine
After Thanksgiving, spend the weekend enjoying music, food, holiday shopping and family fun.

November 25 – December 18

Weihnachstmarkt European Holiday Market
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park
Bundle up and head to the rooftop for this special European holiday market, which will include artisanal gifts, handcrafted toys, hot holiday drinks, Christmas carolers and pictures with Santa.


November 25 – 27

Holiday Events
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Friday – Sunday
Take a post-Thanksgiving outing to visit the barnyard animals, explore the farm trail and warm up by the fire pits with hot chocolate and s’mores. Wander through a winter wonderland of Christmas trees and wreaths. Start your holiday shopping by exploring a unique selection of gift baskets and boxes made with Terhune Orchards’ own fruit, baked goods and even wine. Visit the winery for wine by the glass, tasting flights, light bites and hot mulled wine to warm you up.

November 26

Fall Festival/Craft Show
Immaculate Conception Church Auditorium, Spotswood
Kick off holiday season shopping at this fall festival and craft show.

Bloomfield Center Holiday Hunt
Six Points Plaza, Bloomfield
During this afternoon of holiday cheer, enjoy festive entertainment, giveaways and great local shopping. This free family-friendly event will be filled with music, hot cocoa, an ice sculpture and more to recognize Small Business Saturday. Attendees will receive a Bloomfield Center Holiday Hunt Map highlighting various Holiday Hunt destinations. The event includes chances to win cool gift basket prizes from local businesses.

Collingswood Holiday Parade
Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
The parade features lively seasonal entertainment, including marching bands, dancers, holiday characters, giants on stilts, floats, mummers, sports mascots and live music.

Saturdays and Sundays, November 26 – December 11

Long Branch Holiday Bazaar
Whitechapel Projects, Long Branch
The event will feature music, food and libations, kids’ craft workshops, and a selfie station with the Grinch, Elf on a Shelf and Frosty the Snowman.

November 27

Feed the Animals
Tulpehaking Nature Center, Hamilton
See what it takes for the center’s education animals to stay healthy, clean and fed. You may even be chosen to be an animal caretaker for the day.

No More Grist for the Mill
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
Celebrate the end of the milling season and the start of the holidays as the working mill grinds the last of 2022’s corn. Plus, the kids can decorate a paper stocking, take a selfie in a sleigh and sip on a cup of hot cocoa in the early 20th century Cow Barn.

November 29

Holiday Coat Drive
Big SNOW American Dream, East Rutherford
In partnership with One Warm Coat, Big SNOW American Dream will host a coat drive on Giving Tuesday benefiting Greater Bergen Community Action. Bring any unused and gently worn coats that will be donated to children and adults in need. As a thank you to donating guests, they will receive a 50% off a 2-Hour Slope Access Ticket voucher for a return visit to Big SNOW on a date of their choosing.

Nature of Hawaii
Virtual, courtesy of Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation
There are over 3,000 plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world except Hawaii, including ferns, trees and flowers. The only native land mammal is the Hawaiian Hoary Bat. Hawaii is home to the only tropical rainforest in the United States. Hawaii has more endangered species per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Come learn about the geology and ecology of this tropical state!

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