A LONGWOOD CHRISTMAS
1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, PA
This magical Christmas spot is a favorite, with a beautiful greenhouse filled with gorgeous holiday flowers and a shining tunnel of lights. Don’t miss the amazing miniature trains of the garden railway that travel around the greenhouse. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance. $16/youth, $30/adult.
A VERY FURRY CHRISTMAS
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Your favorite Sesame Street pals will be decked out in holiday gear for this Christmas celebration. Come for millions of twinkling lights decorating the park, a 30-foot illuminated pixel-based tree with animated images and holiday tunes to get you in the spirit. Kids can take photos with Santa, ride a train through the Twiddlebugs’ Gingerbread Cookie Factory and more. Select dates through January 2. Tickets start at $36.99 if purchased in advance.
BRONX ZOO’S HOLIDAY LIGHTS
Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY
A family festival happens evenings at the famed zoo, with immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns and animated light shows. There’s holiday music, festive entertainment and treats on this walk-thru experience. Advance tickets are required and are $24.95/child, $39.95/adult. The show runs through January 9.
CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW AND VILLAGE
Skylands Stadium, Augusta
The baseball stadium is transformed by a mile-long drive-thru course which features more than two million lights, displays, tunnel and more. After the walk-thru, head to the Outdoor Village to meet Santa, toast marshmallows, drink cocoa and ride the carousel at the Winter Carnival. Runs through January 9. Tickets are $29 per vehicle.
Adventure Aquarium, Camden
The World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree will be on display (along with eight smaller trees) at the Adventure Aquarium. This (animal safe) sparkly tree is more than 18-feet tall, weighs almost 2,000 pounds and has over 1,500 LED lights. Keep your eyes out for Scuba Santa who will be making multiple visits per day to see who is naughty or nice. And if you want guaranteed winter wonderland vibes, head to Snowtunda, where snow falls daily. There are two new shows (Fishmas Traditions and Merry Fishmas, Boris!) and local choir performances. Now through December 24. Advance tickets are suggested. Tickets start at $18.99 and prices vary by date.
DIDONATO’S MAGICAL HOLIDAY EXPRESS
Family Fun Center, Hammonton
Ride the train through the holiday village filled with millions of lights, then meet Santa and his elves and hear Mrs. Claus read a story. Each kid gets a gift from Santa. Don’t miss the holiday village with a snack and toy cottage. Tickets are $17.95/person for select dates in November and December.
FESTIVAL OF TREES
Morven Museum, Princeton
Through January 10, the Morven Museum will invite guests to the Festival of Trees, a collection of juried trees and mantels crafted by decorators and local clubs throughout the museum. General admission tickets are $10, seniors and students are $8, children 6 and under are free.
HOLIDAYS IN HISTORIC SMITHVILLE
This charming village on Lake Meone outside of Galloway is a must for holiday lovers. Completely transformed for Christmas, the town has illuminated trees that appear to dance on the lake, a Magic Talking Tree and a train ride around the town every weekend through Christmas. For a special treat, make a reservation for a Santa breakfast at Fred and Ethel’s Lantern Light on December 11 or 18.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS SPECTACULAR
Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
Visit the animals at the zoo in the winter, and check out the fantastic holiday displays, including 50 animal and wildlife characters. Kids can meet Santa, and take a spin on the carousel. Admission is free (carousel rides are $2).
HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW AND GLOW
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx
The Holiday Train Show is a seasonal favorite, as elaborate miniature displays of the New York landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty are crafted from all natural materials, while model trains ride through the conservatory. After dark, stay for the brightly colored light show that illuminates 1.5 miles of the garden’s outdoor space. The exhibits run select dates through January. Tickets for just GLOW are $20/child and $35/adult. Tickets for the Holiday Train show are $18/child and $32/adult.
HOLIDIG LIGHT SHOW
Diggerland, West Berlin
It’s the second annual drive-thru Holidig Light Show, where you and the family can stay cozy while seeing all the holiday displays and tunnels and listen to Diggerland’s radio station. Tickets are $29.95/car.
Whitney Pond Park, Manhasset, NY
This annual celebration of lights has been on Randall’s Island previously, but is now moving to a beautiful space on Long Island. This year’s theme is “Shine Again” and the colorful Chinese lanterns will feature two new areas, Lumi’s Utopia, featuring the works of six young artists and Lumi’s friends, plus a host of furry new social media pets on display. Tickets start at $27 for visitors age 3 and up and advance tickets are required. The light display will run until January 9.
MAGIC OF LIGHTS
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel
This drive-thru holiday light experience will take you through a 2.5 mile long display of classic holiday scenes. The light show extravaganza is open nightly through January 2, and tickets start at $30/vehicle.
NIGHT FORMS: DREAMLOOP BY KLIP COLLECTIVE
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton
An after-hours experience will allow you to see Grounds for Sculpture in an entirely new way. With a synthesis of video, light and sound, the sculptures and trees will be lit in a unique way. The exhibit is open from November 26–February 27 on Thursdays through Sundays. Advance tickets required. Tickets are $22/child (ages 6-17) and $28/adult.
NIGHT OF LIGHTS
Creamy Acres, Mullica Hill
Creamy Acres is known for terrifying zombie hayrides during the Halloween season, but turns into a magical country Christmas experience with a Musical Dancing Tree light show, sparkling light displays and a barnyard walk with even more glowing lights during the holiday season. The drive-thru experience is $30/vehicle and advance tickets are required.
NORTH POLE EXPRESS TRAIN
New Hope Railroad, New Hope, PA
Pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive, this train ride will take guests back to the early 20th century, with restored passenger cars, holiday singalongs, cocoa, cookies and even a visit from Santa. It also offers a Santa Steam Train Ride. Train experiences run through December 30. Tickets must be purchased in advance and start at $50.99.
ORCHARD OF LIGHTS
Demarest Farms, Hillsdale
Take a ride through shimmering lights at Demarest Farms. Its Orchard of Lights Drive-Thru traverses a 32-acre plot of land. Warm up at the fire pit with some hot cocoa, take a pic with Santa, make your own s’mores and listen to Santa’s singing reindeer. Advance reservations are required and are $35/car.
THE POLAR EXPRESS TRAIN RIDE
1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany
This officially sanctioned ride is a magical re-creation version of the children’s story The Polar Express that unfolds on a real train. The kids will get golden tickets from the conductor, hear a reading of the book, receive the first gift of Christmas and meet Santa. Tickets are required and start at $53/child and $58/adult.
Black River & Western Railroad, Flemington
Hop aboard this 90-minute ride on weekends through December. This trip will take guests to North Pole Station (where there are new photo ops) and back and kids will meet both Santa and Mrs. Claus on the train. $28/child, $29/adult.
SIX FLAGS HOLIDAY IN THE PARK
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
The amusement park is open in the winter (and yes, you can brave the coasters in the cold temps). But there are also holiday shows like Holiday Magic: A Celebration of the Season. Meet Santa and his elves and take in the magical holiday décor. Last year’s popular drive-thru is back, which ends with a new walk-thru experience called the Jolly Jamboree where visitors can enjoy a Santa meet-and-greet and toast s’mores. The park will be open select dates November 13–Jan 2. Prices vary, and make sure to book your tickets in advance.
VICTORIAN CAPE MAY
The best way to see the city of Cape May all decked out for Victorian Christmas is via one of its trolley rides. Book a Santa Ride, Holiday Light Ride or a Ghosts of Christmas Past Tour if you like things on the spooky side. Visit the Emlen Physick Estate, a Victorian house and museum that’s decked out in authentic period holiday fanfare. On Saturdays in December, take a traditional walking tour by candlelight to see the decorated homes in the area. Prices vary by event and tickets are required.
THE VILLAGE AT ANNE ELLEN
114 Daum Rd., Manalapan
Anne Ellen farm has been a go-to spot to cut-your-own trees for 80 years, but this year it’s adding a host of holiday attractions, including a new walk-thru village experience. Start with a hayride through the fields of trees and then walk on pathways lit with thousands of lights. You’ll also find fun photo ops like a life-sized igloo and gingerbread house. Stop at the post office to mail letters to Santa and grab a treat from the hot chocolate stand. Open Wednesday to Sunday, tickets start at $10 and must be reserved in advance.
655 Cranbury Rd., East Brunswick
From now until January 2, enjoy this family-owned spectacular drive-thru that’s jam-packed with more than a million lights. Advance tickets are required and are $28/car.