MORVEN MUSEUM

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and after you’ve devoured the bird and all the scrumptious side dishes, it’s time to get out there with the fam for some seasonal fun. Santa will be making his first arrival in many towns, so be sure to get out there and greet the big guy! There are plenty of light shows to keep the kids entertained, and be sure to stop by a Christmas market to check some items off your list and enjoy the holiday cheer (and don’t forget the hot chocolate!).

ALL WEEKEND

Christmas Underwater
Adventure Aquarium, Camden
Friday – Sunday
This holiday season, dive into Christmas Underwater and discover an incredible world of seasonal under-the-sea fun! Scuba Santa is back in Ocean Realm, sharing Christmas cheer with kids (and animals!) of all ages. Explore even more holiday decor than ever before, including underwater light displays, festive new shows and the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree.

Winter Village at the Red Mill Museum
Red Mill Museum, Clinton
Friday – Sunday
This three-day outdoor, tented and heated, winter craft market in the heart of Clinton features over 40 local craft artisans, activities and food trucks each day. This event is dog-friendly for well-behaved pups!

Santa’s Trolley Ride
Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May
Saturday – Sunday
Mrs. Claus comes direct from the North Pole to lead this tour! She tells stories and leads holiday songs on this jolly holiday trolley ride through town. Santa joins the fun at the Gazebo on the grounds of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate.

 

DIGGERLAND

Winterfest
Diggerland, West Berlin
Friday – Sunday
Head out to Diggerland where the whole family can spend the day operating all the fantastic machines while enjoying live music, the famous Parade of Machines, specialty food, hayrides and fun and games. Celebrate all things winter with photos with Santa, a candy cane Hunt, fire truck rides and more.

Holiday Wine Trail Weekend
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Friday – Sunday
Join for the holiday festivities at Terhune Orchards. In the wine orchard, try their award-winning wines and warm up with a cup of our hot mulled wine. On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy live music from 1-4pm. Pick out the perfect Christmas tree and wreath, and choose from the unique selection of gift baskets overflowing with Terhune Orchards’ own fruit, baked goods and even wine.

Wine and Cookie Pairing
Tomasello Winery, Hammonton
Saturday – Sunday
Spend the afternoon sipping on delightful drinks expertly paired with deliciously decadent treats. Menu
includes 2020 Blaufränkisch & Brown Butter Pecan Cookie; Red Raspberry Wine or Moscato & Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookie; Shore House White & Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie. Reservations are required.

Jonathon Peter Photography

Holiday Light Show on the Lake
Historic Smithville
Daily Nov. 25- Jan. 6
Over 120 Christmas Trees made from over 50,000 Christmas lights, magically float on Lake Meone in the center of Historic Smithville. The moment darkness falls, an orchestrated show of lights and music is played out across the lake. The lights seem to dance and chase each other to the music all the while reflecting of the water’s surface. This show can be seen from either side of the village as well as the bridge.

A Christmas Carol
Sitnik Theater, Hackettstown
Friday – Sunday
A Christmas Carol, probably the most popular piece of fiction that Charles Dickens ever wrote, was published in 1843.  Charles Dickens, through the voice of Scrooge, continues to urge us to honor Christmas in our hearts and try to keep it all year round.

Long Branch Holiday Bazaar
Whitechapel Projects, Long Branch
Saturday – Sunday
The Long Branch Holiday Bazaar will feature a curated roster of the best local and regional artists, vendors and shops selling the cutest and coolest vintage, handmade, art, jewelry, home goods, foodstuffs and more. The event will feature also feature music, holiday photo stations, craft workshops and beautiful holiday décor. The holiday market is inspired by the traditional “Weihnachtsmarkts” held in Germany. While you shop, enjoy delicious food & libations and craft beers from Whitechapel Projects.

Dickens Fest
Historic Smithville, Smithville
Saturday – Sunday
Riddlesbrood Touring Theatre Company will bring the Spirit of Christmas back to Historic Smithville, when they return to present their two-day outdoor “Dickens Fest” featuring an original, musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.” Charles Dickens’ heartwarming, classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey from greed to redemption that will surely raise your spirits and warm the cockles of your heart as you travel through time with the Ghosts of Christmas and witness the ultimate transformation of this miserly skinflint into a jolly Father Christmas, himself!

The SpongeBob Musical
Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park
Saturday – Sunday
The Axelrod Performing Arts Academy presents its first musical and this quirky, fun show is perfect for the whole family. Making her directorial debut at APAC is original cast member Abby C. Smith, who created the role of Mrs. Puff on Broadway, assisted by choreographer Robert Taylor, Jr., also a member of the original Broadway company.

THURSDAY

Thanksgiving Meal and Meditation
World Peace Temple at Kadampa Meditation Center New York, Glen Spey, NY
Enjoy a relaxing and meaningful day with a delicious meal in the company of a kind community. Start with a guided meditation on gratitude and prayers for peace and happiness in the world. Enjoy a tasty, home-style, vegetarian Thanksgiving meal in the World Peace Temple. Families welcome!

FRIDAY

MARKETFAIR

Santa Arrival Party at MarketFair
MarketFair, Princeton
Celebrate Santa’s Arrival as his helpers and musicians prepare for his Grand Entrance to MarketFair! Interactive Holiday Shows, Arts & Crafts, Balloon Sculpting, Mrs. Claus Storytime, Giveaways for the first 150 registrants!

Santa Arrives by Helicopter
Shady Brook Farm, Yardley PA
Take a break from shopping and don’t miss Santa’s dramatic arrival by helicopter on Black Friday! Once he lands the Big Man will meet & greet and hand out candy canes. Then Santa will take his place in the Barn for the season, where he’ll be available for photos (photo packages available).

NIGHT FORMS: DREAMLOOP BY KLIP COLLECTIVE

Night Forms: dreamloop by Klip Collective
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton Twp.
Grounds For Sculpture announced a two-year partnership with Klip Collective to present a distinctive after-hours multisensory experience. The Night Forms series will directly interact with a selection of contemporary artworks and signature horticultural features across the park’s 42 acres, furthering the nonprofit’s commitment to creating unique experiences bringing art and nature together.

SATURDAY

BACK TO NATURE HOME AND GARDEN

Christmas Market
Back to Nature Home and Garden, Basking Ridge
Daily Nov. 27 – Dec. 24
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Back to Nature’s annual month-long Christmas Market. There will be festive photo-op stations perfect for using in holiday cards and sharing on social media, live seasonal music around the outdoor fire pits, plus pictures with Santa every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Small Business Saturday at MHC
Nathaniel Crane House, Montclair
The Montclair History Center invites you to join for their third annual Small Business Saturday at the Nathaniel Crane House (the red house behind the Crane House & Historic YWCA). Selection includes Montclair-centric books, mugs, enamel pins, NJ potholders, Montclair-related books, cookbooks, personalized maps and fun stocking stuffers.

SUNDAY

MAYO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage
MAYO Performing Arts Center, Morristown
Your favorite Peanuts characters come to life in this all-new stage adaptation of Charles M. Schulz’s classic Emmy and Peabody Award-winning animated television special – all set to Vince Guaraldi’s unforgettable music. Join the gang as they put on their own Christmas play and discover the true meaning of the season. It’s a present the whole family can enjoy!

Sunday Brunch with Santa
iPlay America, Freehold
Bring the whole family in for brunch and festive fun. Enjoy over-the-top Christmas décor, a table visit from Santa, a special photo-op and more all conveniently in the Christmas village!

ONGOING

Festival of Trees
Morven Museum, Princeton
Friday – Sunday
Visit Morven for the time-honored holiday exhibition, Festival of Trees. Enjoy the juried collection of ornamental trees and mantels displayed throughout the museum’s galleries, sure to put you in the spirit of the season.

Newport Skates
Newport Skates, Jersey City
Newport Skates, Jersey City’s only outdoor ice skating rink, is open for the 2021-2022 season. Skaters can once again enjoy beautiful views of the New York City skyline while zipping around the rink. Online ticketing is available through the Newport Skates website.

The Polar Express Whippany
1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany
Friday – Sunday
All aboard The Polar Express! Experience the magic of The Polar Express as you take a one-hour trip to the North Pole with the whole family. Experience the sights and sounds of the family-favorite movie while enjoying hot chocolate, Walker’s Shortbread, storytime and a silver sleigh bell surprise.

Christmas Light Spectacular
Allaire Community Farm, Wall Twp.
Friday – Sunday
Spend the evening with family and friends, under the wonder of the twinkling light display around the farm, as seen from our holiday hay wagon. Hayrides leave promptly according to ticket time. Please allow extra time in arriving.

Holiday in the Park 
Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson
Friday – Sunday
Take a ride on your favorite Six Flags rides surrounded by glittering lights. There will be shows, rides, food and even a Wine Fest for the adults. The Drive-Thru Experience starts November 15, so get ready for a ride full of holiday cheer and explore the magic of the season.

Holiday Light Spectacular
Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
Friday – Sunday
Take a winter stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this holiday season under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters. Celebrate the season of giving by bringing donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats.

Holiday Light Show
Shady Brook Farm, Yardley, PA
Friday – Sunday
This spectacular Holiday Light Show features more than 3 million lights illuminating acres of farmland. Encounter whimsical displays and familiar characters as you drive through in the comfort of your own car or enjoy the show on an open-air wagon ride (weather permitting).

DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
DiDonato Family Fun Center, Hammonton
Friday-Sunday
Take a train ride through millions of Christmas lights, meet and greet Santa and his elves in his workshop. Hear stories and take photos with Mrs. Claus. The event culminates with a present from Santa!

Bilancione Light Show
35 Hampshire Blvd., Jackson
Daily starting Friday Nov. 26 – Jan. 6
Come enjoy this Christmas Light Show synced to a cheerful assortment of holiday music! See the dazzling 16′ Mega tree!! Enjoy the lights from the comfort of your car while you tune in on your radio & enjoy the show. In the spirit of giving, any donations will be accepted to the Jackson Food Pantry & Ocean County Animal Pet Pantry.

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