Holiday Happenings in Your DowntownJoyful, joyful, you'll adore these! There are many great events happening throughout our communities during the holiday season. Here's a list of just some of the special events happening the this weekend and next (Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11). Please leave a comment if we've missed one in your town!

Friday, December 2


Holiday Walk from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Tree lighting (in front of the AB&G), holiday music, and plenty of good cheer.  Free parking at the NJ Transit parking lot.

Green Brook

Tree Lighting at 6:30 pm. The tree lighting will take place on the west side of Town Hall in front of the Fire/EMS Building. Festivities include a performances by the local children's Glee Club.


Tree lighting at 6:00 pm in Church Street Plaza, complete with musical entertainment and visits with Santa.

Saturday, December 3


Dickens Village—a display of historical mini houses—opens on Saturday in downtown Maplewood, and holds events all month long. At 1:00 pm Santa arrives by Fire Truck, followed by holiday readings by local celebrities at 3:00 pm and more entertainment at 4:00 pm. The lighting of the tree is at 5:00 pm.


Santa Comes to Town from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, visiting the local business district via Fire Truck—with gifts and candy for all the kids!


Roaming Bagpipers from the Watson Highlanders Bagpipe Band will be in the village from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.


Home for the Holidays, now in its 20th year, starts at 5:00 pm with Story Time with Mrs. Claus and continues with a huge parade of floats, bands, and other community groups at 6:00 pm. Tree lighting and other celebrations continue after the parade.

Sunday, December 4


The Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council's Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration starts at 5 pm (tree lighting at 5:30 pm). It's going to be a special Tuba Christmas with caroling, the tree lighting, a visit from Santa, crafts for kids, and entertainment.


The Snowflake Parade begins at 1:30 pm. Join the fun on Millburn Avenue between Homes and Spring Streets. Photos in the Courtyard (behind Dunkin Donuts) and refreshments for all.


Annual Tree Lighting is at 5:00 pm, with festivities continuing until 7:00 pm. Activities will take place both inside John H. Walker Middle School and areas in and around the Nutley Park Oval. Live performances, Santa, mini-train rides, and roasted chestnuts are just a few of the evening's attractions.

Scotch Plains

Old-Fashioned Holiday Celebration from 2:00 to 5:00 pm with ice sculpting, a petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides and, of course, Santa.


2nd Annual Tree Lighting is at 4:30 pm in the Village Green with entertainment and refreshments. And, at 3:00 pm Santa will arrive on the roof of the YMCA (67 Maple Ave.) where he will be escorted down and inside the building by the Fire Dept. From 12:30 to 2:30 pm there are free horse and wagon rides throughout town, leaving from Lyric Park on the corner of Bank Street and Beechwood Road.


Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Municipal Building with holiday music at 5:00 pm followed by Santa's arrival.

Saturday, December 10


3rd Annual Maplewood Village Holly Walk is from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Look out for the red and green balloons and enjoy a holiday treat as you stroll in town. Dickens Village is also open offering visits with Santa from 1:00-4:00 pm, as well as live reindeer from Edelweiss Farm. From 1:30 to 4:30 enjoy free horse and wagon rides. 


The Yuletide Carolers, who will be "Dickens" attired, will be in the downtown area from 1:00 to 2:00 pm and roaming bagpipers from the Watson Highlanders Bagpipe Band will be in the village from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. At 9:00 am and 1:00 pm there is a Santa Claus Train Ride, 2 hours, tickets required.

Sunday, December 11


Horse and Wagon Rides (free) are availble from 12:30 to 2:30 pm, leaving from Lyric Park on the corner of Bank Street and Beechwood Road. There is also a free Holiday Puppet Show for children with two performances at 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm. Both performances are at The Square Yard (434 Springfield Avenue). Reservations requested at 908-277-4580.

What's your favorite local holiday tradition in your town? Comment below!