Things to Do This Weekend in NJ December 16 – 18

KATHY CHANG / Grand Menorah Lighting in Monroe Twp.

Celebrate Hanukkah at a festive menorah lighting, which usually includes latkes and donuts! If you’re looking for other family activities, go on a winter hike, show off your moves at a dance party or donate gifts during a toy truck parade.

ALL WEEKEND

Christmas Concert: Miraculous
Christ Church, Rockaway
Thursday – Friday
The annual Christmas concert is an expression of music, dance and creative arts to entertain the whole family.

Sea of Lights
Jenkinson’s Aquarium, Point Pleasant Beach
Friday – Saturday
Visit the sea creatures at the aquarium but stay for a dazzling holiday lights spectacular at night. On select dates you can meet Santa, or even watch him dive into a tank! There will be treats, games, crafts and holiday entertainment.

New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker
Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown
Friday – Saturday
New Jersey Ballet’s beloved annual tradition is set to Tchaikovsky’s score performed live by New Jersey Symphony.

Weihnachstmarkt European Holiday Market
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park
Friday – Saturday
Bundle up and head to the rooftop for this special European holiday market, which will include artisanal gifts, handcrafted toys, hot holiday drinks, Christmas carolers and pictures with Santa.

The Nutcracker
State Theatre, New Brunswick
Friday – Sunday
“The Nutcracker” with American Repertory Ballet is the only ARB performance that features a live orchestra!

Victorian Christmas
Ringwood Manor, Ringwood
Friday – Sunday
View the Ringwood Manor decorated for the holidays! It will be an open house format with self-guided brochures and informational signage.

Christmas Magic Show
Morley’s Magic Theater, Butler
Friday – Sunday
When the elves take an early vacation, it is up to the toys to save Christmas! The Morley Family creates theatrical themed magic shows with illusions, live music, comedy, lights, costumes and lots of audience helpers.

Holly Jolly Weekend
Valenzano Winery, Shamong
Friday – Sunday
Choose your ugliest sweater and join the party at the winery. There will be specials on purchases of glasses and bottles. Enjoy live music while you sip on their homegrown vino.

Christmas Festival
Morristown Green, Morristown
Friday – Sunday
Visits and photos with Santa, holiday crafts, ice sculpture demonstrations, a vintage-style rocking horse and rides on a miniature train will delight families on weekends in December.

The Land of Forgotten Toys
Netcong
Friday – Sunday
Follow the tale of Grace, a young woman with big dreams and a passion for astronomy, who is stuck at a dead-end job at a toy store three days before Christmas. Christmas is in trouble—and it’s up to Grace and her crew of forgotten and broken toys to save it Christmas!

TERHUNE ORCHARDS

Cheer the Holiday Season Weekend
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Saturday – Sunday
Visit the barnyard of animals, choose the perfect Christmas tree and wreath, start your holiday shopping, check out the selection of gift baskets, warm up by the bonfire with hot chocolate or roast some marshmallows, take photos in the Winter Wonderland display, visit with Santa, taste some wine or hot mulled wine (if you are of age) and listen to live music.

Colonial Christmas Concert
Historic New Bridge Landing, River Edge
Saturday – Sunday
Performances by Linda Russell & Company will whisk you back to the carols of your childhood. Before or after the show you can stroll through the candlelit site to the Blackhorse Inn or to visit Sinterklass in the Demarest House.

“It’s A Wonderful Life” : A Live Radio Play
Wharton Arts Black Box Theater, Berkley Heights
Saturday – Sunday
This holiday classic comes to life as a surprising, exciting 1940s radio broadcast presented by Wharton Community Players. A fun, quirky ensemble of minor celebrities brings a few dozen characters to the stage to tell the tale of idealistic George Bailey, as he considers the ultimate sacrifice one fateful Christmas Eve.

Brunch with Santa
Alstede Farms, Chester
Saturday – Sunday
The atmosphere inside Harvest Hall will be festive, with featured guest Santa and his helpers coming around the room for pictures while your family enjoys a casual family-style buffet meal.

Winter Wonderland & Marketplace
Papaianni Park, Edison
Saturday – Sunday
As part of a huge winter event, meet Santa at various times on the weekends. Also, enjoy a tree lighting, menorah lighting, ice skating, gingerbread house contest, sweater costume and pet costume contest on certain days.

HDSID Holiday Market
Newark Avenue, Jersey City
Saturday – Sunday
There will be more than 50 unique artists and makers, lots of food and hot cocoa around town, live music, iceless ice skating at the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall (Dec. 10 and 11) and a human-sized snowglobe.

Open House Train Shows
New York Society of Model Engineers, Carlstadt
Saturday – Sunday
The show features two massive model railroad layouts covering more than 5,000 square feet. Many of the models are one-of-a-kind and were handmade by society members. Adults will appreciate the “O” and “HO” scales, and kids will love seeing Thomas the Tank Engine. Also on display is the society’s collection of historic railroad memorabilia.

Holiday Fest
Lambertville Station Inn & Restaurant, Lambertville
Saturday – Sunday
Along the banks of the Delaware River, indulge in seasonal food and drinks, browse tables of local specialty vendors, be entertained by local school choirs, and visit with Santa.

The Holly Jolly Joshua Show
Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel section of Woodbridge
Saturday – Sunday
Joshua Holden is an award-winning American puppeteer. Join him for his nostalgic TV holiday special complete with 11 original songs, handcrafted puppets, commercial breaks, a sing-along, and toe-tapping choreography by Broadway’s Danny Gardner.

ROSEBUD PHOTOGRAPHY / Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar

Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar
Convention Hall and the Asbury Hotel, Asbury Park
Saturday – Sunday
There are two parts to this festive holiday market: The Grand Arcade of Convention Hall is filled with holiday spirit on Saturday and Sunday, or pop by the Asbury Hotel on Sunday for more shopping ops.

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

FRIDAY

Holiday Community Performances
Moorestown Mall, Moorestown
Special holiday performances from Northern Burlington County Middle School, Northern Burlington County High School and Bowman School of Dance will be held in the HomeSense Court.

Double Vision / Separate Ways Tribute Concert
Carteret Performing Arts and Event Center, Carteret
The 7-piece Double Vision is a Foreigner tribute band, performing some of their greatest hit songs from the ’70s and ’80s. Separate Ways The Band, the ultimate tribute to the music of Journey, is the closest you’ll get to seeing the early-mid’80s lineup, an accurate portrayal of the Steve Perry era.

Sugarplums and St. Nick Children’s Holiday Tour
Crane House & Historic YWCA, Montclair
On this family tour, you and the kids will learn how children celebrated the holidays in days gone by while enjoying the holiday decorations artfully designed by the Garden Club of Montclair.

Chris Ruggiero’s Christmas Show
Brooks Arts Center, Bound Brook
Singer and PBS-TV star Chris Ruggiero will sing songs from his just-released holiday LP “Christmas With Chris Ruggiero” as well as songs from his four previous albums.

Holiday Jazz Concert
The Art Center of Northern New Jersey, New Milford
Nationally-acclaimed artist Philip Smallwood will host a concert with jazz classics and holiday favorites performed by Simply Music Jazz, Bill White on the drums, Bruce Hector on the guitar and Mark Sims on bass.

Luminary Walk
Cranbury Village, Cranbury
This special night of holiday cheer has you walk around Main Street to hear the Girl Scout and BSA carolers, see the Cranbury Arts Council’s “A Christmas Carol” and listen to music at Cranbury Presbyterian Church.

Candy Canes & Cocktails
Liberty Hall Museum, Union
Enjoy cocktails as you decorate a gingerbread house. Wear your best “Ugly Sweater” and win a prize. Holiday music will be playing while you enjoy wine, beer, a signature cocktail and light refreshments.

Candlelight Shopping
Downtown Haddonfield
Shops will be open late on Fridays so you can bring the family to listen to carolers and other live music, sit for story time with Mrs. Claus, jump on a horse-drawn carriage ride, and shop ’til you drop!

Holiday Markets
New Egypt Flea Market, New Egypt
Sip and Shop with Cream Ridge Winery. Try all of their year-round and seasonal fruit wine varieties.

The Embankment On My Mind
NJCU Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery, Jersey City
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.

SATURDAY

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Movie Screening With Chevy Chase
Tropicana, Atlantic City
Chevy Chase will watch his famous Christmas movie with you, then he’ll hold a Q&A.

CITY EXPERIENCES / Ugly Sweater Lunch Cruise

Ugly Sweater Lunch Cruise
Weehawken
December 17 is National Ugly Sweater Day, so why not mark the occasion with a family-friendly Ugly Sweater Lunch Cruise! Get into the holiday spirit with festive décor, a kid-approved holiday buffet, hot cocoa, live DJ entertainment, onboard games and more.

“Blue Suede Christmas”
Carteret Performing Arts and Event Center, Carteret
Scot Bruce returns with this riveting and rockin’ holiday tribute concert. He’ll perform all the wonderful Christmas songs recorded by Elvis Presley such as “Santa Bring My Baby Back,” “Blue Christmas” and more.

A Living Nativity
Colts Neck Community Church, Colts Neck
See the story of Jesus’s birth told by live actors. Afterwards, stay for hot cocoa, caroling, a Christmas train ride, a bonfire and a meet-and-greet with some of the animals.

NJPAC

Kwanzaa Family Festival
NJPAC, Newark
Free family activities including dance and drumming classes, face painting, storytelling and child-friendly arts and crafts workshops embody one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. A candle lighting ceremony and a Vibunzi — a tradition of honoring young people with an ear of corn (or in this case, a slice of cornbread) to represent the hope for the future they bring — will be a highlight of the day’s celebration. The annual Kwanzaa Artisan Marketplace will be open until 10 pm.

Breakfast With Santa
Forsgate Country Club, Monroe
Join Central Jersey Newspapers for Breakfast With Santa. Tickets include breakfast, photo ops with Santa and friends, arts and crafts, and more.

Dickens Village
Ricalton Square, Maplewood
Dickens Village brings to life various scenes from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” in miniature houses arranged in Ricalton Square. Peek inside and you will see fireplaces, stockings and antique toys. Each little house reveals something unique and different. The festivities include horse and wagon rides, a petting farm, tree lighting and menorah lighting.

Christmas Lantern Tours
The Historic Village at Allaire, Farmingdale
Take a guided walking tour of the Historic Allaire Village by lantern light. Within each historic building, patrons will find what it was like during Christmas in the 19th century, featuring hearth cooking, singing, blacksmithing, historic demonstrations, treats in the bakery and gift shopping available in the General Store. Open to adults only.

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

Dance Party Studio
Staten Island Children’s Museum, Staten Island, NY
Kids of all ages can learn some different dance styles and create a few new ones of their own. Playing songs from popular music, movies and TV, improvisational movements are encouraged while also learning some dance basics. Non-dancers can join in by grabbing some instruments and helping to set the beat.

Hoboken Jingle Bell 5K
Sinatra Drive, Hoboken
Santa is making the trip all the way down from the North Pole and will be leading both the 1 mile fun run and the 5K on his motorcycle. He is bringing hot chocolate with marshmallows for everyone to enjoy! Join him in your best Santa gear for a morning filled with Christmas cheer.

Santa Trail
Community Park, North Brunswick
All aboard the Santa Trail! There will be special character sightings along the way. Don’t forget your letters to Santa.

Santa Train
Jamesburg, Tennent, Manalapan
Santa has to head back to the North Pole in time for Christmas, so catch him along the railway in his big red caboose. He’ll be making four stops to meet with kids to check over his Nice List.

The Grinch Experience
Creative Twist Events, Metuchen
After a photo op with the Grinch, take a grab-and-go green pancake breakfast, and make a drink at the hot chocolate bar.

Janet Dacal
PRINCETON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Janet Dacal

Holiday POPS!
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton
Celebrate the season with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Broadway singer Janet Dacal and the Princeton High School Choir.

Sensory-Friendly Tours
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
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.

All White Holiday Affair
Panini Grill, Freehold
Dress to impress in white. Grab your friends 21+ for a five-course meal with champagne toast and music by DJ Serge, Angelo Venuto and Charlie P.

Welcome Winter Hike
The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation, Ringwood
Along the way of this moderate hike the group will focus on the beauty that stands out in the winter woods, such as the leafless tree features, geological formations, evergreen plants, flocking bird species, and more.

WXTU / Toy Truck Parade

Toy Truck Parade
Scottish Rite Auditorium, Collingswood
Decorate your family’s car, truck or SUV and fill the trunk with toys! You’ll drive from Collingswood to Pennsauken, led by grand marshal Randy Houser, a country music star. Plus, on-air personalities from 92.5 FM will judge the vehicles! This is a fundraiser for The Liberty United Service Organization (USO) and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Camden County.

Sip & Shop
Village Candles & Co., Manahawkin
Bring your adults friends and you’ll all get a complimentary glass of champagne and can pick from the charcuterie boards. You will be able to make candles at the event if you’d like, choosing your own vessel and color. Have fun and pose with props in front of the Hot Cocoa Backdrop set up by Leanna Rose Photography.

Latkes & Vodkas
Temple Beth Shalom, Manalapan
This evening of live music, drinks, food and fun – despite its name – is open to adults and kids for a fun-filled Hanukkah party!

“Frozen” Tea Party
Pier Grill, Casino Pier, Seaside Heights
Join Ice Princess, Ice Queen, Ice Man and their special snowman friend for a holiday tea party. There will be singing and dancing with the princesses, storytime, photos and yummy snacks.

CHABAD JEWISH CENTER OF NW BERGEN COUNTY / Menorahcade

SUNDAY

The Great Menorahcade
Glen Rock, Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes and Mahwah
The route for the Menorahcade is: 3:30 pm Kilroy’s in Glen Rock, 4:40 pm Town Hall in Wyckoff, 5:30 pm Borough Hall in Franklin Lakes and 6:30 pm at the municipal building in Mahwah.
There will be parachuting dreidels from a fire truck, refreshments and Hanukkah swag. Presented by the Chabad Jewish Center of NW Bergen County, located in Franklin Lakes.

Ferry Merry Christmas
Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal, North Cape May
See Santa practice his balance on stilts! There will also be face painting, balloon art, arts and crafts, letters to Santa, costumed characters, photos with Santa, a Christmas magic show and live music.

Handmade Holiday
The Woodland, Maplewood
Marketspace Vendor Events put together this holiday market will local craftspeople will exhibit their work.

Lighting of NJ’s Largest Menorah
State Park, Monroe Twp.
Join the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe for a grand menorah lighting, chocolate gelt drop, donuts, latkes, hot cocoa and live music.

Menorah Lighting
Taylor Park, Millburn
“Light Up the Night” during a public lighting of a huge 15-foot-tall menorah. There will also be a fire juggling show, latkes, donuts and hot chocolate,  plus free Chanukah beanies.

Family Fun Sundays
Casino Pier, Seaside Heights
While the adults cheer on their favorite football team, the kids can get their face painted and meet their favorite costumed characters. You’ll all get to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Holiday Farmers Market
Duke Farms, Hillsborough
Select produce, milk, meat, cheese, eggs, flowers and more from local farmers and business people.

Family Winter Hike
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
An easy, child-friendly hike in the garden’s woodlands will teach your kids about the plants and animals around them.

Winter Solstice Celebration
The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation, Ringwood
Join a forest walk and campfire to connect with the land and celebrate the upcoming start of winter. Begin with a short walk on the winding private trails to honor your connection with the natural world. You will set intentions for the new season ahead and create a nature-infused craft. After the walk, warm up around a toasty campfire with some hot chocolate or tea.

Menorah Lighting
Town Plaza, Metuchen
Join members of Temple Emanu-El of Edison plus local residents for a menorah lighting, dreidels, donuts, hot chocolate, Hanukkah gelt (chocolate candy) and lots of singing.

Winter Wonderland at the Fire House
Gordons Corner Fire Company, Manalapan
Come by for fire pits, hot dogs, s’mores, hot chocolate, a visit with Santa, holiday music and zeppoli.

Cookie Decorating
West Orange
Join Blue’s Baking Bash to decorate cookies while sipping on hot chocolate. Presented by Black Santa’s Workshop.

Winter Wonderland Open House
Montclair History Center, Montclair
This will be the last Sunday to see the decorations at the Crane House and Historic YWCA by Garden Club of Montclair. Self-guided tours let you explore this 225-year-old home at your leisure.

Holiday Party
Ruocco’s Restaurant, Manalapan
Julian & Dominique present their “Show of 1000 Voices” with a holiday twist. Have dinner while you’re enjoying festive music.

Family Chanukah Palooza
Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC, Bridgewater
Chanukah Palooza is perfect for kids in Grade 3 and younger. There will be lots of crafts, music, sufganiot (donuts), latkes, dreidel games, gelt, a dress up contest with prizes, a candle lighting and more.

Let There Be Light
St. Rose of Lima RC Church, Freehold
The Arcadian Chorale presents a holiday program celebrating the power of light. They will be performing excerpts from Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio,” Haydn’s “The Creation” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” plus Ola Gjeilo’s beautiful “Dark Night of the Soul” and other contemporary works. There will also be music celebrating Hanukkah, and the traditional community carol sing-along. Matawan Regional High School Vocal Academy, directed by Andre Baldasserini, and the Simply Strings string ensemble will join the choral group.

STATEN ISLAND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Practice Reading to a Pooch
Staten Island Children’s Museum, Staten Island, NY
Therapy dogs from Luv on a Leash will be visiting the museum to help children improve literacy skills by offering time for children to read to well trained, registered and insured therapy dogs. The dogs are patient, child-friendly and trained to listen to your children read. The library will have books to read, or bring your own.

New Jersey Chamber Singers Christmas Concert
Laurita Winery, New Egypt
Before you sit down for an evening of beloved holiday favorites, beautiful choral music and the singing of carols, have dinner and wine inside the winery.

Santa & Grinch Pop Up Event
MarketFair, Princeton
Take all the holiday photos you’d like! Plus, bring a new unwrapped toy to benefit the Happy Smiles Foundation. There will be wine, hot cocoa, desserts, photos, and an art gallery presented by the Breast Cancer Resource Center.

Christmas at Allaire
The Historic Village at Allaire, Farmingdale
Santa, crafts and the holiday atmosphere greet patrons throughout the day along with the Villagers as they prepare for the holidays in the 1800s! Come by for a magical day with various entertainment for families.

Santa’s Arrival
iPlay America, Freehold Twp.
Santa returns to iPlay for fun and games and meet-and-greets. Play arcade games and go on the boardwalk-style rides after your visit!

Home for the Holidays Cabaret
Vanguard Theater Company, Montclair
Holiday classics and new favorites will be performed by Vanguard Theater Company staff and special guests, in a benefit concert to replenish Vanguard’s scholarship fund.

Grinchmas Holiday Family Photo Event
Pop-Up Shop, Montclair
Gabi The Artist welcomes fans of all ages to take a picture with The Grinch, his dog Max and get into the holiday spirit with a Polaroid Ornament Keepsake. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Montclair Animal Shelter.

ONGOING

SESAME PLACE

Hanukkah Celebration
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Select dates, Dec. 18 – 25
Join a local cantor, Baby Bear, who celebrates Hanukkah with his family, Grover and more of your Sesame Street friends as you all play a game of dreidel, light the menorah and learn all about Hanukkah.

Holiday Drive-In Movies
Dalton Farms, Swedesboro
Select dates, through Dec. 23
Check out the schedule of weekly Christmas movies you can watch from the comfort of your car, like “Elf,” “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Home Alone.”

North Pole Express
Laurita Winery, New Egypt
Fridays – Sunday, through Dec. 23
Gather at Laurita Central and take a train ride down Candy Cane Lane. Your destination is a magical North Pole portal that will transport you to Santa’s Reindeer Barn. Have a special visit with Santa and receive a magical gift that will help guide Rudolph to your house. Upon return, you can visit the winery’s Christmas Cookie Bar, enjoy sights and sounds of the holiday season, and enjoy plenty of Christmas cheer.

World’s Largest Dreidel / Christmas Light Spectacular
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.

Holidays at Johnson’s Corner Farm
Johnson’s Corner Farm, Medford
Through Dec. 23
Have your camera ready for pictures with Santa; hop on the Christmas “Light Show” Hayride; visit the Fire and Lights in the Discovery Barnyard and Animal Farm for the “Light Show on the Lake” featuring thousands of twinkling lights and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows; indulge in hot chocolate, hot cider, hot cider, hot dogs and chili at the Christmas Café; decorate gingerbread men and cookies; and make your own s’mores or roast marshmallows.

Forever Forest
Forever Forest, Egg Harbor City
Select dates, through Dec. 23
Get ready for the Magic of Christmas Barn with magician Nate Unsworth, a selfie station barn, visits and photos with Santa Claus, a Magical Tree Trail Trolley Ride, Head Elf Mancini’s Santa Workshop with arts and crafts and toy testing, Grinch & Whoville Walking Trail, outdoor Christmas-themed activities and the Christmas Tree Walking Trail of Wonder.

“A Christmas Carol”
McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton
Every day, through Dec. 24
A McCarter tradition returns! Come to the theater to see the classic Christmas tale in person.

ADVENTURE AQUARIUM

Christmas Underwater
Adventure Aquarium, Camden
Every day, through Dec. 24
Visit Scuba Santa, who’s diving daily in Ocean Realm; check out the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree; walk through the new and improved Snowtunda, covering the heart of the aquarium in snow-like flurries; sit down for the “Merry Fishmas, Boris” puppet show, and write letters to Santa.

Artist Winter Chalets
Hinds Plaza, Princeton
Every day, through Dec. 24
The Arts Council of Princeton’s Artist Chalet Winter Village is a central place where artists and makers sell their unique, handmade gifts for everyone on your list. On Dec. 1, 8 and 22 from 5 – 6 pm there will be live entertainment.

Christmas Village 
LOVE Park and City Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Every day, through 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.

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.

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!

Winter Wonderland Illuminated Walking Trail
Indian Acres Tree Farm, Medford
Select dates, through Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 24 and 25).
Your night begins with a stroll through the woods filled with fun snowmen and trees, illuminated boxes with miniature scenes, and a fairy garden box. Further down the trail, you might even pass a secret gnome village. The path flows out of the woods and into the live Christmas Tree fields. You’ll pass by a penguin igloo town, “fly by” BirdHouse Row, and watch out for a runaway toboggan! The trail is draped and decorated with tens of thousands of lights. After the trail, make sure to stop by the bonfires for some hot chocolate and s’mores!

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.

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

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

Holiday Model Train Show
Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge
Every day, through Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 25 and 26)
The show will be designed and set up by Mike Gelesky, now in its 32nd year.

Skylands Stadium Light Show & Christmas Village
Skylands Stadium, Augusta
Select dates, through Dec. 30
Sussex County’s favorite stadium will once again host this dazzling winter wonderland, showcasing a mile-long drive-thru course glittering with displays and an enchanting Christmas Village full of fun-filled activities, delicious treats, memory-making photo ops and much more.

Winter Wonderland
Downtown New Brunswick
Every day, through Dec. 31
There is a whole month filled with activities, such as a tree lighting, caroling, horse-drawn carriages, ice sculpture demos, donation drives and shopping specials. Check out the holiday shows at the State Theatre New Jersey, too.

ESSEX COUNTY TURTLE BACK ZOO

Holiday Lights Spectacular
Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
Select dates, through 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.

South Jersey Holiday Light Show
Bridgeton Speedway, Swedesboro
Select dates, through 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.

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.

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.

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.

Deck the Hall – Festival of Trees
Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City
Every day, through Dec. 31
Walk through the lobby to see beautifully decorated trees that have been sponsored by residents, businesses and local organizations.

SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE

Holiday in the Park
Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson
Select dates, through Jan. 1, 2023
You and the family will love viewing millions of dazzling lights throughout this magical wonderland as the theme park is transformed for the holidays. There will be festive treats, a full lineup of holiday entertainment, visits with Santa and lots of photo ops.

Winter WonderLights Holiday Light Show Drive-Thru
Middlesex County 4-H Fairgrounds, East Brunswick
Every day, through Jan. 1, 2023
Celebrate the wonderful winter holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali and Kwanzaa with a 1/2-mile holiday lights drive through. There will be more than 1.5 million lights animated to some of your favorite holiday tunes.

Shimmering Solstice
Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, NY
Select dates, through Jan. 1, 2023
The walk-thru lights show offers guests the chance to see a series of magical light displays as they walk an approximately one-mile path through the Walled Garden, the Rose Garden, South Lawn and Allée.

Holiday Adventure
Liberty Science Center, Jersey City
Select dates, through Jan. 1, 2023
Oh what fun awaits your family at LSC! Find your way through the outdoor Snowflake Maze, take a spin on the Sock Skating Rink, rock out at the Holiday Dance Party, get tickets to Laser Wonderland, hop aboard the Holiday Train (starting Dec. 15) or visit any of the other great exhibits on hand.

A Very Furry Christmas Celebration
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Select dates, through 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.

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.

Kids Ride Free on NY Waterway
Ports in NJ and NY
Through Jan. 1, 2023
Kids 12 and under will ride free on NY Waterway cruises this holiday season, so head to NY for shopping, entertainment and great holiday shows.

Bergen County Winter Wonderland
Van Saun Park, Paramus
Select dates, through Jan. 2, 2023
Bergen County’s premier winter event features ice skating, a heated hospitality tent, pictures with Santa, carnival style games, ice carving and an array of Christmas trees. Your Winter Wonderland ticket also gains you access to Van Saun’s zoo, carousel and train.

Christmas House
Paramus Park Mall, Paramus; and Menlo Park Mall, Edison
Every day, through Jan. 7, 2023
This unique 10-room, walk-through holiday attraction was designed by Hollywood pros. Walk through the North Pole where it’s actually snowing. Stroll down the aisles of a Christmas-themed Blockbuster Video store. Take a selfie with a dancing Santa or lie down on a couch in the Christmas living room. There’s also an indoor Christmas light show and a Christmas gift shop.

Festival of Trees
Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation, New Brunswick
Through Jan. 7, 2023
The trees on display will represent several countries and cultures and traditions from around the world.

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!

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.

NEWARK HAPPENING

Newark Winter Village
Mulberry Commons Park, Newark
Wednesdays – Sundays, through Jan. 31, 2023
This much-loved holiday tradition transforms downtown Newark into a winter wonderland. Come to the park for ice skating, Go-Karts, games and activities, an open-air holiday marketplace featuring local vendors, and cozy heated private igloos to enjoy hot cocoa and treats. There will be many “Instagram-worthy” photo-ops available throughout the village.

PAW Patrol CAMP
Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus
Select dates, through 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.

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.

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.

Night Forms: Infinite Wave
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton Twp.
Select dates, through April 2, 2023
This after-hours, multi-sensory light and sound experience uses projection mapping that enhances the art and sculpture park, creating a dynamic show to stimulate the senses.

There are still plenty of Christmas and Kwanzaa events this weekend, like family festivals or light shows.


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