WESTFIELD GARDEN STATE PLAZA

We’re all in the midst of getting ready for Thanksgiving, but there’s still a whole weekend to enjoy before the hectic holiday season begins. Take the kids to a performance of “Seussical: The Musical” or a Taylor Swift-inspired dance party. If you’re already in the holiday spirit, head to a Swedish Christmas Fair or Turkey Dash & Splash.

ALL WEEKEND

“Seussical: The Musical”
Brooks Performing Arts Center, Bound Brook
Friday – Sunday
Whether you’re a longtime Dr. Seuss fan or a kid starting to read his books, follow the entertaining adventures of Horton the Elephant who must protect his friends in the tiny world of Whoville from the naysayers of the Jungle of Nool.

Pre-Thanksgiving Kids Party Cruise
Skyport Marina, New York
Saturday – Sunday
There will be two cruises setting sail each day about Harbor Lights for kids to cruise with Sully, JJ Cocomelon and Sonic. It’ll be a great pre-Thanksgiving party!

Holiday Open House
Sandy Creek Farms, Columbus
Saturday – Sunday
It’s time to get merry! Come down to the farm for tractor rides, horse and carriage rides, pictures with Santa, live music, s’more and hot cocoa by the fire pits, letters to Santa and pictures on the iconic red truck.

Hot Apple Cider Hikes
Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, Short Hills
Saturday – Sunday
Nov. 17 is National Take A Hike Day, so join a CHA naturalist this weekend for a guided hike and discover how the forest prepares for winter. After the hike, join the group in the historic Stone House for a cup of mulled Jersey Fresh apple cider and a Q&A about the animals of the woodlands.

TERHUNE ORCHARDS

Music, Fire Pits & Mulled Wine
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Saturday – Sunday
Weather-permitting, enjoy the historic apple orchard. 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.

Outdoor Walking Tours
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
Saturday- Sunday
Princeton University is home to one of the country’s most significant collections of 20th- and 21st-century public sculpture. Join a free, hour-long walking tour led by a museum tour guide and discover the campus’s outdoor artworks.

FRIDAY

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 visits from 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.

Santa Arrival and Tree Lighting
Quaker Bridge Mall, Lawrence Twp.
Welcome Santa as he lights a 24-foot feature tree at the Main Entrance by The Cheesecake Factory. There will be crafts, characters, treats and more. After the tree lighting, Santa will take his place in his holiday home for the season.

Tower of Power concert
Carteret Performing Arts and Event Center, Carteret
For over 50 years, Tower of Power has delivered the best in funk and “Oakland soul” music.

A Very Furry Christmas Celebration
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Sesame Place will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Take your photo with Santa, stop by the huge Christmas tree, play in the Christmas Family Fun Zone and join in on the holiday party. November 18 is Season Pass night for members only.

Little Ones Nature Series
Plainsboro Preserve, Cranbury
Preschoolers and their parents will be outdoors participating in storytime, activities and crafts.

SATURDAY

Turkey Dash & Splash
Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach
Start the morning with a 5K along the boardwalk, then follow it up with a dip in the ocean!

Taylor Swift-Inspired Dance Party
The Vogel, Red Bank
Calling Swifties of all ages! Join this dance party set to the music of the infamous Taylor Swift.

Main Street Candlelight Stroll
Main Street, Moorestown
Main Street is decorated and sparkling with lights to kick off the holiday season. Horse-drawn carriage rides, a children’s art contest, an outdoor holiday crafters village, festive music and caroling, a Thanksgiving pie making contest and special offers from Moorestown shops and restaurants will make this a memorable event for all!

Gospel Art Exhibit and Concert
Appel Farms, Elmer
Gospel-themed art in various media from local and regional artists such as Maria Villegas-Heaney, Greg Stett and Jay Hancock will be on display. Live Gospel music will be provided by John Keith Davis.

Laser Beatles
Edelman Planetarium, Glassboro
See the Fab Four in a whole new way during this laser light show.

STATEN ISLAND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM / Dance Party with Walter Rutledge

Dance Party Studio
Staten Island Children’s Museum, Staten Island, NY
Kids can learn different dance styles and create a few new ones of their own. Non-dancers can join in by grabbing some instruments and helping to set the beat.

Granny’s Attic Craft Show
Thompson Middle School, Middletown
This annual tradition takes place every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. More than 250 vendors and crafters will sell unique, handcrafted artwork, accessories, candles, ceramics, children’s items, holiday ornaments, jewelry, silk and dried flowers, and food.

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

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!

The Golden Girls Murder Mystery
Resorts Casino, Atlantic City
Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose are planning a party – but they realize one of their guests has murderous intentions. Cast your vote for who the killer is. Plus, play other games and try to get a selfie with all four cast members.

NEW JERSEY BOTANICAL GARDEN

Wreath-Making Workshop
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
Choose one of two workshops where you’ll learn how to assemble and decorate wreaths to grace your home using a variety of fresh and dried materials.

Lovelee Chic Holiday Market
Lovelee Art Studio, Bloomfield
The Eclectic Chic Boutique and Lovlee Art Studio have joined together to collaborate on special events and holiday pop ups in Lovlee Art Studio’s new indoor event space. During the Holiday Market, shop from a variety of local artisanal vendors and pick up special gifts for the holidays. Get them gift wrapped, enjoy live music while shopping and get creative at the DIY craft station.

Gettysburg: One Woman’s War
Cape May
To honor the 159th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, East Lynne Theater Company presents two stories read by Michèle LaRue from Elsie Singmaster’s 1913 classic book, ​“Gettysburg: ​Stories of the Red Harvest and the Aftermath.” The performance takes place on the actual day, Nov. 19, that President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous speech.

Escape The Museum
Historic Wicoff House Museum, Plainsboro
You will be “locked” in the rooms of the historic museum with the ghosts of its former residents during this family-friendly event. Learn the stories of their lives to uncover clues and solve riddles so that you can escape before time runs out. Appropriate for kids 8 and older.

Holiday Craft Show
Historic Village at Allaire, Wall Twp.
Shop handmade goods made by local artisans, then visit all of the historic shops throughout the village.

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.

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.

Fall Vendor Festival
Belleville School 7, Belleville
The event is outside so prepare for the weather, but you’re sure to stay warm as you carry your bags after shopping from more than 40 vendors.

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?

SUNDAY

Bubblemania
SOPAC, South Orange
Enjoy “Comedy with a Drip” as Casey Carle, comic bubble artist who has burst onto stages across the world with a flair for showmanship and an irresistible energy for bubbling, performs for kids of all ages.

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.

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 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.

Swedish Christmas Fair
The Commonwealth Club, Upper Montclair
This traditional fair will feature handcrafted Christmas decorations, home baked goods, food market, and a Lucia pageant hosted by the NJ Chapter of Swedish Women’s Educational Association.

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

Retreat to Victory
Historic New Bridge Landing, River Edge
Travel back in time to Nov. 20, 1776 and witness General George Washington and General Nathanael Greene on horseback as they lead the evacuating American troops across “The Bridge that Saved a Nation” to escape the invading British army and defend the New Bridge from the King’s forces. Reenactors will be on site throughout the day performing military drills and talking about military life during the American Revolution.

Holiday Market
Visitation Academy, Paramus
It’s a one-stop shopping event for holiday gifts and Thanksgiving treats! Shop over 60 vendors selling handmade crafts, jewelry, candles, decor, candy and more.

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.

HUNTERDON COUNTY DIVISION OF PARKS & RECREATION

Camoflauge!
Echo Hill Park, Flemington
Camouflage, also called cryptic coloration, is the blending in of an animal to its surroundings. Camouflage helps prey animals avoid their predators, and predators surprise their prey. Through a series of games and activities, you will study how camouflage works.

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.

Manor House Tours
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
New Jersey Botanical Garden volunteer docents will lead visitors on a tour of the architecture and history of Skylands Manor. In honor of Veterans Day, all vets can tour the property for free on Nov. 20.

Winter Walk
Taylor Park, Millburn
Start with a walk in the park before the lights turn on at 5:30 pm. There will also be live musical performances and entertainers, a bounce house, carnival games, sponsor giveaways, hot chocolate and much more winter fun.

Sew a Holiday Apron Workshop
Virtual class, presented by The Eclectic Chic Boutique, Montclair
Learn how to make your own unique holiday apron using your sewing machine. Your instructor will teach you how to set up your machine, choose fabrics and assemble your project.

Fall Run Saltwater Fly-Fishing Clinic
Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan
A Park System Naturalist will present a demonstration 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!

Sunday Farmers Market
Garden State Plaza, Westfield; in the parking lot between Macy’s and Route 17
Garden State Plaza is the site of weekly Sunday farmers markets. Expect food vendors, food trucks, music, activities for kids and a car show from 9 am – 2 pm.

ONGOING

Festival of Trees
Avalon’s Shopping District, Avalon
November 18 – 26
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.

MAGIC OF LIGHTS

Magic of Lights Holiday Lights Drive Through
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel
Every night, Nov. 18 – Dec. 30
There will be a “tremendous amount” of lights and displays sparkling throughout the arena grounds.

Holiday Lights Spectacular
Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
Select dates, Nov. 18 – Dec. 31
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.

SESAME PLACE

A Very Furry Christmas Celebration
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Select days, Nov. 18 – Jan. 1, 2023
Sesame Place will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Take your photo with Santa, stop by the huge Christmas tree, play in the Christmas Family Fun Zone and join in on the holiday party.

CAMP / PAW PATROL

PAW Patrol CAMP
Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus
Nov. 18 – Feb. 4, 2023
To celebrate PAW Patrol kids can join their favorite animated K9 rescue team in different themed sections that include interactive games, activities and crafts based on the show.

South Jersey Holiday Light Show
Bridgeton Speedway, Swedesboro
Select dates, Nov. 19 – Dec. 31
Bundle up in your car, pack your favorite snack or beverage and tune your radio to enjoy a synced light performance as you travel more than 1 mile to see larger-than-life displays.

Sensory-Friendly Tours
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
Third Saturday of the month, through December
Families and care partners with neurodiverse children and teens can visit the historic house and explore the new garden sensory pathway through sight, sound, touch and smell.

A Celebration of Old Trees Art Show
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 19 – Dec. 11
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 exhibit brings to light the effects of climate change and focuses on how trees act as a buffer against climate change. The art will be up for viewing in Barn Door Cafe.

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE

Christmas Village 
LOVE Park and City Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Every day, Nov. 19 – Dec. 24
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.

Christmas Fantasy with Lights
Storybook Land, Egg Harbor Twp.
Select dates, Nov. 19 – Dec. 30
Storybook Land will be covered by 1 million lights! Plus, you’ll get to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus on select nights.

Exhibitions
Passaic County Arts Center, Hawthorne
Every day, through Nov. 27
When visiting, make sure to check out several exhibits that will be on view: “My Own Witness: Rupture and Repair” by Donna Bassin, an award-winning photographer, artist, author and filmmaker; “Texture in Nature” by Susan Zulauf, a NJ-based artist; a traveling exhibit from New York University entitled “Stereotypes in U.S. Popular Culture;” “In Cemento Veritas” by Mario Loprete; and “Sonic Peaks” by Payton MacDonald.

“The Nutcracker”
Villa Victoria Theater, Ewing
Select dates, through Dec. 4
The Roxey Ballet version of the classic Christmas tale features more than 200 costumes worn by 150 professional and pre-professional local dancers and actors. Special performances include a sensory-friendly performance on Nov. 26 and a special matinee for school groups on Nov. 28.

The Embankment On My Mind
NJCU Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery, Jersey City
Weekdays, through Dec. 16
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.

AWA Pawliday Market
Animal Welfare Association, Voorhees
Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 18
Every Saturday and Sunday, shop from different vendors that cater to the special pet in your life.

Christmas Light Spectacular / World’s Largest Dreidel
Allaire Community Farm, Wall Twp.
Select dates, through Dec. 23
Take in the twinkling lights surrounding the farm as seen from a tractor-pulled holiday wagon, making sure you keep your eyes peeled for a 30-foot-tall dreidel. Christmas plants, baked goods, hot chocolate, hot cider and more will be available for purchase inside the market.

MENLO PARK MALL

Santa Photo Experience
Menlo Park Mall, Edison
Every day, through Dec. 24
Sign up for photos with Santa before he heads back to the North Pole. Other events during the month include Caring Santa photos for kids with special needs (Dec. 4), pet photos on Dec. 11 and story time every Tuesday starting Nov. 15.

Santa at the Commons
Bridgewater Commons, Bridgewater
Every day, through Dec. 24
Visits with Santa Claus filled with holiday magic await everyone in the family!

ANNE ELLEN CHRISTMAS TREE FARM

The Village at Anne Ellen
Anne Ellen Christmas Tree Farm, Manalapan
Wednesdays – Sundays, through Dec. 30
Your night begins with a hayride through the Christmas tree fields. You will be dropped off at the start of a series of immersive walking trails. Inside the village you will find many unique displays, from mesmerizing lights to incredible photo-ops. You will also find an array of interactive exhibits such as the post office where you can write and send your letters to Santa, plus a massive interactive wall of lights. Don’t forget to check out the life-sized gingerbread house and igloo. Next weekend, a special Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas event takes place on the farm!

DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
Select dates, through Dec. 30
Kids of any age can experience a train ride through millions of Christmas lights. Walk through a holiday village, meet Santa and his elves in his workshop, chat with Mrs. Claus, listen to stories, take lots of photos, receive a present from Santa, stop by to see everyone’s favorite snowman, snack on cookies and visit the toy market.

Whippany’s Polar Express
Select dates, through Dec. 31
Relive the classic story “The Polar Express” on a one-hour trip to the North Pole. Conductors in costumes will punch your golden tickets, and hosts will serve cookies and hot cocoa while you hear the classic tale. Santa boards the train during the ride and gives each guest a silver sleigh bell to commemorate their ride.

Weekend Wine Tasting
Weekends, through Dec. 31
Tomasello Winery, multiple locations
Plan a relaxing evening sipping wine at any of their five locations in the South Jersey region. Choose from a wide variety of award-winning wines and bubblies, accompanied by assorted cheese boards and truffles. Wine Tastings are available every day, but reservations are strongly recommended for a weekend wine tasting.

Gold in Motion
Hall des Lumières, New York
Every day, through Dec. 31
This digital art center showcases entirely new, custom-curated experiences based on the work of different world-renowned artists, starting with the debut exhibition, Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion.

BIG APPLE CIRCUS

The Big Apple Circus: Dream Big
Lincoln Center, New York, NY
Every day, through Jan. 1, 2023
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Big Apple Circus’s first performance under the big top in 1977. This year’s show features five new acts as well as returning fan favorites Ringmaster Alan Silva, comedic daredevil Johnny Rockett and highwire legend Nik Wallenda and family. There are also several new acts joining this year, including 12-year-old dog trainer Veranica from Florida, The Kiriku Brothers from Ethiopia, TanBA the Japanese clown and many more. If you get a VIP package, you can meet the multi-talented performers and learn some circus tricks of their own.

Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience
Pier 36, New York, NY
Through Jan. 1, 2023
Travel back 3,300 years to learn the story of King Tut and walk through nine different galleries that discuss his rule as a child pharaoh, his family, the discovery of his tomb, the mysteries surrounding his early death and his journey to the afterlife. This celebrates the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s tomb discovery, which was on Nov. 4, 1922.

STAFF PHOTO

Festival of Trees
Morven Museum & Garden, Princeton
Wednesdays – Sundays, through Jan. 8, 2023
Walk through three floors of the museum to see beautifully decorated Christmas trees and mantles – and then vote on your favorite one!

KALEIDO ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

NYC Winter Lantern Festival
Staten Island, Queens, Long Island, NYC
Various select dates, through mid-January
Each location has a different variation of the festival but features more than 10,000 LED lanterns created by more than 100 artists, along with live performances and on-site food vendors. Some of the LED lights can reach up to 30 feet high across a total of 60 acres!

Let It Glow: A Holiday Lantern Spectacular
Bergen County Zoo, Paramus
Select dates, through Jan. 15, 2023
More than 30 lanterns will be handcrafted in the shapes of your favorite zoo animals. While you’re there, take the train ride, too, which is also covered in beautifully lit lanterns.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Exhibit
Liberty Science Center, Jersey City
Through Jan. 16, 2023
Known as the “heroes in a half-shell,” Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello will share life lessons and team-building skills with their crime-fighting tactics in “Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer.” You’ll be transported to the underground home of the Turtles where you’ll get to see what happens in their secret hideaway. There will be lots of STEM-type activities to challenge your kids.

Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience
Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, Yorktown, Westchester, NY
Through Jan. 22, 2023
Fans can walk along a lit trail as they take in sights and sounds inspired by the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series. It’ll feel like you’re walking through a movie set. Make sure you try the steak and ale pie and sausage rolls, Aragog’s Lair Cupcake and Deathly Hallows Sugar Cookies for dessert and wash it all down with Butterbeer.

Stand Up! 10 Mighty Women Who Made a Change
Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick
Through Feb. 12, 2023
Celebrate the debut picture book of “Stand Up!” by Brittney Cooper, professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University, with illustrations by Cathy Ann Johnson. The exhibition features illustrations of all the images in the book, as well as preparatory materials, by Johnson, on public view for the first time. “Stand Up!” is on view in the Zimmerli’s Duvoisin Gallery, dedicated to showcasing original artwork for children’s books.

PALMER SQUARE MANAGEMENT

Skating on the Square
Hulfish Street, Princeton
Thursdays – Sundays, through Feb. 26, 2023
Bring your own skates or rent them so you can spend time skating on the synthetic ice skating rink in the middle of Palmer Square.

Trail Riding Program
Mercer Meadows Equestrian Center, Pennington
Saturdays, through mid-May 2023
Kids (and adults) 12 and up can go on a leisurely 45-minute horseback trail ride around the Mercer Stables property. No riding experience is necessary.

Plan your Thanksgiving meal and either find a place to cater or make your reservations at a restaurant. Plus, plan some great ways to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

There are also tons of amazing holiday attractions that last through January. Don’t miss out on getting tickets early!

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