Whether you’re looking for stuff to do at home or just want to get out of the house, there’s plenty of fun to be had over the holiday break. Get outside for some skiing, tubing or ice skating, hop in the car for a drive-thru light festival or bundle up for a wintry hike or walk around Grounds for Sculpture, which is open for the winter season. It’s also a good time to visit Paterson’s Great Falls, which glisten with ice this time of year, or try horseback riding. Six Flags and Diggerland are also open through the holiday season, along with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Please make sure to call ahead before heading out to any of these venues, many spots require advanced tickets and registrations and have COVID-19 safety restrictions in place.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26
Drive-In Movie: Home Alone 2
Where: 146 Applegarth Rd., Monroe Twp.
Whether you opt to stay in your car or rent a front-row fire pit, this socially-distanced drive-in choice is a great post-holiday opportunity to sit back and laugh with your family. You can also grab dinner from the Balle Balle Bowls food truck and dig into authentic Indian food.
Rahway Winter Wonderland Pop-Up
Where: Cherry St., Rahway, noon-4 pm
This mini-series of events will celebrate its last day with live festive carolers, an outdoor winter craft market, cider stations, vouchers and giveaways.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27
Princess Belle and Queen Elsa Visit Imagine That!!!
Where: Imagine That!!! Museum, 4 Vreeland Rd., Florham Park, 1-1:30 pm
Princess Belle and Queen Elsa will sing to the kids, plus hand out gifts and dairy-free cupcakes. After, the kids can hit the open play area which features a new pet vet center, LEGO racing, train exhibit and more. Marshall from “Paw Patrol” will also visit on Saturday, December 26.
Best of the Eagles
When: 12/26-27, times vary
Where: The Vogel at Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank
This Eagles Tribute band is known for its precise interpretation of The Eagles, mirroring the band’s instrumental and vocal lineup. This Vogel is a two-level balconied performance space, and guests can purchase tables, which will be positioned six feet apart. Only 150 seats are available and masks must be worn.
Drive-Thru Festival of Lights
When: 12/26-27, 5-8 pm
Where: Ross Farm, 135 N. Maple Ave., Basking Ridge
Visit the North Pole on North Maple for a free drive-through of festive lights. The Ross Farm has been decorated for Christmas, and also encourages visitors to gift a donation to benefit local veterans in need. things to do over the holiday brea
Orchard of Lights
Where: Demarest Farms, 244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale
Take your vehicle on a guided tour through 32 acres of brilliant holiday light displays, warm up by the fire pit and enjoy hot cocoa and treats at the retail farm market.
South Jersey Holiday Light Show
When: Thursday-Sunday, now-12/30, times vary
Where: Bridgeport Speedway, 83 Flood Gate Rd., Swedesboro
This holiday light show, the only drive-through spectacular in Southern NJ, features large themed displays on its mile-long route. Turn on the radio and listen to music synched up to the light performance. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
Family Photo Scavenger Hunt
Where: Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 353 East Hanover Ave., Morris Twp.
Head into the winter garden for a contactless family scavenger hunt. Look for the stars hiding in the garden—and if your family finds them all, you’ll win a prize.
Princeton Paper Crane Project Pop-Up
Where: 69 Palmer Square West, Princeton
The Princeton Paper Crane Project was created as a symbol of hope during a global pandemic and protests against racial inequality, and now, you can view the nearly 18,000 colorful cranes displayed in the heart of Princeton that have come from this project.
Festival of Trees
Where: Downtown Cranford
Take a walk down the shop-lined streets, visit local merchants and see the first annual Festival of Trees. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite! things to do over the holiday break
The Grinch’s Grotto
Where: Westfield Garden State Plaza, 1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus
This free-standing location at the Grinch’s cave is perfect for both social distancing and the Grinch, who’s known to prefer his own company. This interactive photo meet and greet requires you to reserve a spot—plus, your kids won’t leave empty handed.
VIRTUAL FUN FOR THE WEEKEND
Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker
For the first time, the Boston Ballet has partnered with NBC10 Boston to bring The Nutcracker to your home. This free, hour-long broadcast is available to stream online now, and will also premiere on Christmas at 5 pm on Telemundo.
Live Christmas Reading with Q&A
Sign up for a live reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and a Q&A with Santa on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Calls are done on Zoom, and recordings are offered for an additional charge.
When: 12/25, 10 am
Debuting on Christmas, Washington Crossing Historical Park’s annual reenactment has been pre-recorded and will be available on the park’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Paint with Me
Using your own supplies (or purchase an affordable art kit ahead of time), kids can create their own paintings via Zoom. Reserve the time slot that matches the lesson your kids want to participate in. Use code SAWYERHOLIDAY20 to save 20 percent. things to do over the holiday break
Christmas Carol Sing-Along
When: Now-12/25, times vary
This 25-minute class will teach your little ones (ages 4-8) singing techniques for Christmas carols, focusing on pitch, rhythm and dance moves. There’s also a class available for ages 8-13.
Harambee! Songs and Stories for Kwanzaa
When: 12/26, 5-5:45 pm
The Montclair Public Library is virtually hosting April Armstrong, who’ll get your kids singing and clapping along to songs in Zulu (Zimbabwe) and Akan (Ghana). She’ll also share uplifting folktales from African, Caribbean and African-American traditions, plus tell stories that detail the seven principles of Kwanzaa. things to do over the holiday break
Kwanzaa Kuumba Makers Festival
When: 12/26, 2-3:15 pm
Join this pre-recorded workshop, hosted by the California African American Museum, on the first day of Kwanzaa to practice the sixth principle of the holiday, Kuumba, a commitment to creativity. Using materials from home, your kids can make a memory book and participate in a decoupage workshop. things to do over the holiday break
Kwanzaa Cake Decorating Workshop
When: 12/27, 2-4 pm
This virtual class will teach you how to frost and decorate a Kwanzaa-themed cake. Registration is required ahead of time so all materials, including the ingredients for the cake and icing, can be shipped or picked up locally (Montclair) ahead of time.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Hoboken’s Miles Square Theatre is bringing “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” to its virtual theater. Set in a 1940s radio studio, watch a live reading of the classic film’s screenplay, featuring actors playing multiple roles and a foley artist performing sound effects.
Salute to Vienna and Budapest
When: 12/27-1/3, times vary
This annual New Year’s performance has gone virtual for 2020. Filmed in Europe and accessible through the State Theatre, get ready for the new year with singing, dancing and a full orchestra from the comfort of home. The concert premieres Sunday, but is accessible through January 3.
Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish—The Musical
Eleanor, a ragdoll who lives at the North Pole, loves her family members—which include Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves—but she yearns for a best friend and home of her own. She writes a letter to Santa, which leads to a journey of granting wishes.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Christmas Stream
Your home is the best seat in the house for this year’s virtual streaming of holiday staple The Nutcracker. In addition to the show, you’ll also be able to take a look backstage to see how the magic is made from artists, designers and other creators.
Virtual Holiday Classic Nutcracker
Lambertville’s Roxey Ballet performed a made-for-television show with more than 200 handmade costumes and personalized costume masks. Tickets for the virtual performance include behind-the-scenes material like rehearsals and interviews, plus content is available to watch as many times as you’d like until the end of the year.
Virtual Visits with Santa
Reserve a time for your kids to visit with Santa (from the safety of home), plus you can also add Storytime with the Clauses to your session. things to do over the holiday break
Milk & Cookies
When: All weekend
The State Theatre is offering two Milk & Cookie (ages 3-10) virtual events, which can be accessed at any point (even beyond the weekend) with a donation of at least $10. Storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston will tell tales from African, German and African American traditions, plus you’ll learn some fun snack ideas to pair with her stories. Joanie Leeds, a kindie rock singer, will perform her “Mother Earth” sing-along, and kids will also learn how to make a fun cupcake snack.
She Persisted, The Musical
In this virtual production of the Atlantic Theatre Company’s show for young audiences, based on Chelsea Clinton’s best-selling book, fourth-grader Naomi’s field trip to a Women’s History Museum turns into a time travel adventure where she encounters inspirational women overcoming barriers and making waves.
ONGOING IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES
North Pole Express Train
When: Weekends-12/30, times vary
Where: New Hope Railroad, New Hope, PA
Each weekend from now through the end of the year, you can take a ride on the North Pole Express, or choose to ride on Santa’s Steam Train. All require advance tickets.
Where: Congress Hall, 200 Congress Pl., Cape May
With exciting events including Breakfast with Santa and the Congress Hall Express train ride, this town has seasonal fun for families that will make the holidays memorable.
Magic of Lights
When: Now-1/2, times vary
Where: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel
Check out this massive drive-through event at PNC. It’s a holiday light show that’s perfect for families and for social distancing.
Holiday Light Show on the Lake
When: Now-1/3, times vary
Where: Historic Smithville, Galloway
Every Thursday through Sunday, see more than 50,000 Christmas lights float on Lake Meone, twinkling along to music played across the water.
Holidig Light Show
When: Now-1/3, most nights 5:30-9:30 pm
Where: Diggerland, 100 Pinedge Dr., West Berlin
Woven across the park’s 21 acres, this drive-thru holiday light show features Diggerland’s construction vehicles all dressed up with lights and garlands galore.
Winter Wonderlights Spectacular
Where: 655 Cranbury Rd., East Brunswick
See more than 1.5 million lights animated to some of your favorite holiday tunes at this drive-thru event.
Holiday in the Park
Where: Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Twp.
Visit Jolly Jamboree and Wild Lights National Park, two new holiday-themed areas at Six Flags this holiday season.
Christmas Light Show & Outdoor Village
Where: Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Pl., Augusta
This annual drive-thru light show and outdoor village features two million lights and themed displays. After your family makes their way through the lights, hop out of the car for socially distanced activities like carnival rides, photos with Santa and seasonal food and drinks.
Where: Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
LSC is hosting a bunch of holiday experiences, like the outdoor Snowflake Maze, where kids can learn scientific facts about flakes; the Sock Skating Rink, an ice rink made of synthetic ice, plus they can experiment with phosphorescence by leaving a show on the glow-in-the-dark Shadow Wall and more.
Holiday Light Spectacular
When: Now-1/3, 5-10 pm
Where: Orange County Fairgrounds, 239 Wisner Ave., Middletown, NY
Wind your way through the spectacularly lit fairgrounds, enjoy the multi-media light show in the covered arena or order delicious treats from vendors, all from the comfort of your car.
Festival of Trees at Morven
When: Wednesday-Sunday, now-1/10, 10 am-4 pm
Where: Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St., Princeton
Check out the museum’s collection of trees and mantles displayed throughout the museum’s galleries. Timed admission tickets will ensure reduced crowd sizes.
Skating on the Square
Where: Palmer Square, Hulfish St., Princeton
Palmer Square’s outdoor, eco-friendly synthetic skating rink is back for another holiday season. Bring your own skates or rent a pair. things to do over the holiday break
Blue Cross RiverRink at Winterfest
Where: 101 South Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA
General admission Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is free; ice skating, games and rides are pay-as-you-go.
When: Sundays, now-3/28, 10 am-1 pm
Where: Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
Hit the market for fresh foods like cheese, pie, quiche, seafood, pickles, cobbler, soup and more. A number of full-time vendors will be there every week with other part-time vendors rotating their goods into the market, too.
Beyond Rubik’s Cube
Where: Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
Discover the art, history and skill behind the iconic cubed puzzle. This show has been on a worldwide tour and now returns home to LSC. things to do over the holiday break
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