Looking for things to do in NJ this weekend? If you’re still recovering from Thanksgiving dinner, you can take it easy at these holiday shows and festivals. Head to the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn for Cinderella or the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal Park to see live-action Shrek. Celebrate the beginning of December by visiting a light show like the Vernon Lights Festival in Vernon, Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show in Augusta or the Holiday Light Show at Historic Smithville in Galloway.
If you’re looking to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving, check out these turkey trots, volunteer ideas, DIY centerpieces and crafts. Plus, don’t forget to teach your kids the importance of giving back on Giving Tuesday and figure out what you’re going to do the day after Thanksgiving.
Rock and Mineral Weekend
Ages 3 and up can experience a mineral magic show at the Morris Museum, listen to guest speakers, check out wares from mineral, gem and fossil dealers and peruse the museum’s surplus mineral stock.
Included with admission
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
You may think you know how Cinderella lost her glass slipper at the ball, but the Paper Mill Playhouse is adding new characters and surprises to this iconic fairy tale.
32nd Annual Lambert Castle Holiday Boutique
This four-week boutique offers a variety of festive holiday gifts from jewelry and seasonal decorations to crafts and collectibles, as well as gourmet soups and sandwiches.
$7, free/ages 12 and under
Classic Creations Boutiques
This holiday show at the Hermitage Education and Conference Center features hundreds of artisans and crafters offering one-of-a-kind decorations for every season.
$8, free/ages 12 and under
Use an old-fashioned hand cranked cider press to make apple cider at the Great Swamp OEC, then learn fun facts about the apple and sip some cider.
$4/ages 3 and up
Cider and Sweaters
Stop by Paws Discovery Farm dressed in your ugliest sweaters for a cider tasting.
Included with admission
FRIDAY (November 29)
Big Glass Blast!
Watch the team at WheatonArts create a huge cornucopia. Then, check out displays from previous years and stop by the holiday studio for up to 70 percent off glass and ceramic items.
Thanksgiving Break Programs
The planetarium at the NJ State Museum will be hosting three holiday shows in the planetarium throughout the day. Then, drop by imagination studio for hands-on projects.
$7/adults, $5/ages 12 and under
Classic Film Series: Elf
Watch Buddy the Elf spread Christmas cheer across NYC at a screening of the 2003 holiday comedy at the Union Performing Arts Center.
SATURDAY (November 30)
Roxey Ballet’s Annual Holiday Nutcracker
Take a seat at The College of New Jersey for Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, filled with classic characters like marching soldiers, magical mice, snowflakes, waltzing flowers and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Go at 1 pm for a sensory-friendly performance.
Immaculate Conception Fall Festival/Craft Show
The Step Up Dance Studio will showcase handcrafted holiday items and food. Be sure to bring your own camera to snap photos with Santa.
How to Choose & Use a Telescope
If your little one is interested in space, take them to the NJ State Planetarium for hands-on telescope lessons and a look at affordable, user-friendly telescopes.
Jingle on Main
Join the Presbyterian Outreach Center for a day of delicious food, live music, kids activities and the official tree lighting ceremony.
Rising Stars Youth Presents Shrek the Musical
Watch this Oscar-winning film hit the stage with a twist that’ll use the performers’ own skills and new songs.
SUNDAY (December 1)
Brunch with Santa
You’re never too old to visit Santa. Join him at Alstede Farms in Chester for homestyle brunch, drinks and dessert, plus a hay wagon ride with blankets 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 is required. Also December 7 and 8. Seatings at 10 and 11:30 am, 1 pm.
Our Lady Queen of Peace Christmas Fair
This annual Christmas fair at Our Lady Queen of Peace is the place to browse jewelry, holiday decor, stocking stuffers and foods like chocolate and baked goods.
The Great Russian Nutcracker
Using sparkling costumes, giant puppets, amazing sets and choreography, the Moscow Ballet will bring this classic Russian fairy tale to RVCC’s stage with characters like Father Christmas and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden.
Storytime at the Fire Department Museum
Ages 2-5 can spend a half-hour listening to stories about city life at the Fire Department Museum, read by museum staff and librarians from the Hoboken Public Library.
Learn about birds and create a gingerbread house for your little chirping friends at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum.
Paws Discovery Farm 2019 Tree Lighting
Visit Paws Discovery Farm for its annual tree lighting, holiday sing along and meet and greet with furry friends.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Experience
From November 29-December 29, the South Street Seaport Museum will have an interactive puppet show, activities and the opportunity to take a picture with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
$25, $5/ages 1 and under
62nd Annual Model Railroad Show
Every weekend, the Garden State Model Railway Club will showcase a 1,200-square-foot layout of steam and diesel locomotives, Thomas the Train and friends, plus freight and passenger trains with working signals.
$6/adults, free/ages 12 and under
Vernon Lights Festival
Head to Glenwood Lake Art Park on weekends through 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.
$19.99/adults, $14.99/ages 3-12, free/ages 3 and under
Hit Liberty Science Center
If you’re looking for things to do in NJ this weekend and throughout the month of November, look no further than the Liberty Science Center. 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). After, ages 2-8 can climb aboard the Dinosaur Train and head back to the Mesozoic period, where your tot can check out steam engines, excavate fossils, learn about dino diets and chill in a dinosaur nest (included with museum admission).
Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show and Outdoor Village
Venture to Skylands Stadium to see a festive display of more than two million lights from the comfort of your car from now through December.
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
Ride through millions of Christmas lights, meet Santa and his elves at his workshop, walk through the holiday village and more every weekend at DiDonato’s Family Center.
29th Annual Holiday Model Train Exhibit
Every Saturday and Sunday you can visit this display featuring more than 300 feet of track with 11 different trains operating simultaneously at the Barron Arts Center. On December 6, visit the annual Woodbridge Twp. tree lighting ceremony, too. Reservation required.
Bronx Zoo’s Holiday Lights
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.
$29.95/adults, $22.95/kids, free/ages 2 and under
Festival of Trees
Hit the Morven Museum & Garden for this fest, where you can see Christmas displays from the 18th through 20th century.
Mommy and Me Toddler Art Classes
Let your little one explore his creativity while bonding with you at DT234 Gallery and Art Studio. Sessions every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday throughout November.
Winterfest at Diggerland
Now open every Saturday and Sunday throughout November (select weekends through December), this construction theme park boasts a holiday hayride, parade, winter-themed food and more.
Holiday Light Show
Head to Historic Smithville for its annual Holiday Light Show Thursdays through Sundays in December. 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.
Learn to Skate USA
The Flemington Ice Arena is offering open registration for its ice skating program, which welcomes all skill levels (ages 3 and up) to instructed classes and practice sessions on Wednesdays and Sundays through December 22.
Festival of Trees
Head to the the Red Mill Museum Village in Chester for a peek at holiday trees, wreaths and centerpieces, plus a silent auction that benefits the museum.
For more things to do in NJ this weekend, check out our list of fairs and festivals. If you want to stay inside, take a look at our favorite indoor activities. If you have younger kids, we’ve got activities that cater just to them, plus free events for the whole family. Check out our calendar for events near you, or browse things to do in NJ this weekend by county below.
FIND MORE THINGS TO DO IN NJ THIS WEEKEND
If you have any upcoming events you’d like to add to our calendar, click here! And if you know of other things to do in NJ this weekend, leave us a comment.