Christmas Events in New Jersey

The Best 2016 tree lighting, concerts, performances,
festivals, and more.

Christmas Events in New Jersey

Discover the popular Christmas events and attractions in New Jersey, whether it's jingle bells, Christmas tree lighting, carol singing, or just reenactments of past New Jersey Christmas events.

The attractions during the Christmas season in NJ are always festive. Many of these events begin the day after Thanksgiving with the traditional start of the Christmas Holiday season.

Note: This information is provided by event sponsors as a free service to our viewers. Sometimes conditions require cancellations or changes of dates, times and location which are not reflected in the original schedule. Before planning a trip to visit one of the listed events, it is suggested that you call the event sponsor to confirm the event schedule or for additional information on the event.

Stay tuned --- we will be updating this list as the event sponsors confirm this year's events.

Northern New Jersey Christmas Events

Holiday Lights
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, November 18 until November, 27, 2016
Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave
West Orange, NJ
Come out and enjoy the lights, movies, demonstrations and other winter wonderland activities.
All Movies begin at 5PM and will run continuously in the Sea Lion Sound Exhibit. Come out and experience our themed weekends, where families can enjoy specialty displays, popular films, holiday music and crafts. Ice carving demonstrations will be held on Saturdays only. Hot chocolate and other refreshments will be available for purchase.

Swedish Christmas Fair
November 20, 2016; 10am - 4pm
Commonwealth Club
26 Northview Avenue
Upper Montclair, NJ
This Swedish celebration features a great selection of food, crafts, and gifts. Swedish handicrafts like handmade Christmas decorations, linen, and wooden items and a variety of cheeses, herring and other Swedish delicacies as well as home baked goods (bread, cookies, and cakes) are available for you to buy. In the Swedish café, you can enjoy delicious Swedish open-faced sandwiches, waffles, coffee-bread, pastries, and a large variety of drinks. Glögg, a typical Swedish spiced holiday drink, is also being offered. There will also be raffles with wonderful prizes. You will also get the chance to enjoy the Lucia pageant and her choir singing and lightening up the holiday season, a beautiful and truly unique Swedish tradition Members dress up in traditional costume. Children from the Swedish School of NJ perform Lucia at 11am & 2pm. SWEA is a global non-profit organization promoting Swedish language, culture, history and tradition.

Feasting with Family & Friends
Christmas in the Ballantine House
Friday, November 25 through Sunday, January 8, 2017
Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ
The Museum’s National Historic Landmark, the 1885 Ballantine House, offers visitors a taste of how Christmas was celebrated in late Victorian Newark, as English, German and Dutch holiday traditions merged into something not so very different from the way the holiday is celebrated in America today. This historically accurate installation offers the opportunity to step back in time to learn about 19th-century life and traditions. From the Christmas tree (a German tradition) to the wooden shoes by the hearth (a Dutch tradition) to the stockings on the chimney and plum pudding in the dining room (English traditions), visitors can get a sense of how Christmas evolved into a home-based secular holiday in the 19th century.

14th Annual Colonial Christmas - Jacobus Vanderveer House: Holiday Open House
Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27  & Friday, December 2 –  Sunday, December 4, 2016: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Jacobus Vanderveer House
995 Route 202/206 South
Bedminster, NJ 07921
The celebration begins with thr Tree Lighting on Friday, November 25 at 6 p.m. The Jacobus Vanderveer House and Knox Museum will be holding an open house featuring period furnishings and holiday décor; an exhibition of paintings by noted landscape artist John Phillip Osborne (courtesy of the Stringer Gallery, Bernardsville), boutique shopping; period music by The Enslows; re-enactors; Santa visits and more.

Jul Dans - Scandinavian Christmas Festival
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Viking Hall
Vasa Park
Budd Lake, NJ
All night dancing around the Christmas tree with music provided by Jeanne Widman Anderson and Smorgasbandet with Walter Eriksson, Jr., on Nyckelharpa. Fresh ham dinner, Swedish meatballs and other traditional Scandinavian specialties. Candle-lit ceremony and pageant of Sankta Lucia. A visit from Santa. Cocktail hour begins at 5:00 p.m. with Jul Glogg and cash bar.

Holiday Festival (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
December 3, 4, 2016: 10am – 4pm
Lord Stirling Stable
Basking Ridge
908 766-5955
Take a hayride to see Santa Claus, ride a pony, decorate ornaments, and enjoy many other activities. Find that perfect gift at the Silent Auction, which benefits the School Horse Retirement Fund. Fees vary; admission, parking, hayrides & pony rides are free.

Annual Holiday Celebration - Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea
Saturday, December 3, 2016 @ 8 p.m.
Union County Performing Arts Center
1601 Irving Street
Rahway, NJ
Website & Tickets
The beloved Father Alphonse Stephenson provides humorous and personal anecdotes, perfectly tuned to the occasion. His 42-piece orchestra skillfully performs holiday classics with passion and precision that makes this a spectacular evening, not to be missed. Be sure to order your tickets today for this annual sell-out event!
Now in their 28th year of making music, the Orchestra of St. Peter is one of New Jersey's premier music organizations. A student of the late George Schick of the Metropolitan Opera and Dr. Robert Abramson of the Juilliard School, Father Alphonse has been guest conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic, Delaware Valley Philharmonic, Metro Lyric Opera, the Greater Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra, and the Key West Pops Orchestra.

Festival of Trees "Deck The Halls"
December 3 -10, 2016
The Barn at Highlands Ridge Park (The building is handicapped-accessible)
100 North Road
Chester, NJ. 
Hours of operation are: Saturdays 10 – 5, Sunday Noon - 5, Monday & Wednesday 10 – 6, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 10 – 8. 
The Festival of Trees is a community celebration featuring a spectacular display of holiday trees in a winter-wonderland setting. The trees are individually decorated by families, businesses, and civic organizations and enjoyed by hundreds of people. The majority of the trees are offered for silent auction during the week-long event. Local musical talents entertain Festival attendees while touring the spectacle. Proceeds from the Festival support the activities and programs of the Senior Resource Center.

The Snowflake Parade
Sunday, December 4, 2016: 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Millburn, NJ
Along Millburn Avenue from Holmes to Spring Streets Professional bands, clowns, marching bands and Santa arriving on Millburn Fire Truck Free Refreshments in The Courtyard (behind Dunkin Donuts) where Santa will pose for pictures.

Central New Jersey Christmas Events

The North Pole Express
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from November 19 until Sunday, December 18, 2016
(Except Fridays Dec 9th & 16th)
80 Stangl Road
Flemington, NJ
This is an exciting holiday fun family train ride to North Pole Station to visit Santa and Mrs Claus! Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, singing along with the elves, a chance to tell Santa your Christmas wish, and much more. This is a special experience that the entire family won't forget. The train operates rain or shine. The North Pole Express runs as listed: All trains depart Flemington Station and operate round-trip. Allow approximately two hours for your trip.

Festival of Trees
November 23, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Morven Museum & Garden
55 Stockton Street
Princeton, New Jersey
The holiday event features the museum’s elegant galleries decorated for the holidays and adorned with trees artfully decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations. This year’s Festival of Trees exhibitors include: Arts Council of Princeton, The Farmhouse Store, D&R Greenway Land Trust, Barbara L. Mulea, McCarter Theatre Center, Contemporary Garden Club, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, Dogwood Garden Club, and Stony Brook Garden Club of Princeton. Festival of Trees is open to the public during regular museum hours. No reservations are required.

23rd Holiday Express Concert, Tree Lighting
, & Activities
From November 25 until December 24, 2016
Red Bank, NJ
November 25 Town Lighting & Santa Express Santa Express Train from Little Silver to Red Bank, Parade from Red Bank Train Station down Monmouth Street to Holiday Express concert on Broad Street for annual Town Lighting, Holiday Express concert begins at 7:00pm. Canal Street will be closed from Clay to Broad from 1:00pm until the end of the concert. Broad Street will be closed from Peter's Place to Monmouth Street from 4:00pm through end of concert. Monmouth Street briefly closes for the parade.
Holiday Horse & Carriage Rides
Saturdays, November 25 through December 24th; 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Classic Horse & Carriage rides through the business district.
Two locations: 26 Broad Street (The Robinson Ale House) and 11 Bridge Avenue (Danny's Steakhouse).
Holiday Harmonies
Saturdays, November 25 through December 24th; from 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Musical entertainment on the sidewalk at various locations in the Red Bank Business District.

Princeton Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 25, 2016; 4:45pm - 6:00pm
On the Green
Downtown Princeton, NJ
This family event will feature live music and a reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The tree will be a 65-foot Norwegian spruce decorated over 32,000 lights.

Polar Express
November 25,26,27, December 2,3,4,9,10,11,16,17,18, 2016
Lehigh Junction
99 Elizabeth St.
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
Train Ride departs from Lehigh Junction located in the Historic Main Street area of Phillipsburg. On the train you will re-live the experience of the little boy in The Polar Express. The story focuses on a little boy who has been told by his friends that there is no Santa Claus. Unwilling to believe this, he lies awake in his bed on Christmas Eve, waiting for the sound of Santa's sleigh. Instead, he hears the hissing steam and squeaking metal of the Polar Express as it stops outside his window, ready to take him and other children to the North Pole. During your ride you will listen to this wonderful story, every child will be served hot chocolate and cookies Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride and join in on the magic of Christmas.

Christmas Spectacular on Main Street
November 26th, 27th December 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 9th, 10th, 11th and 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 25th and 28th, 29th, 30th with the last night 31st, 2016
128 North Main Street
Cranbury, NJ 08512
Come and see the 100,000 lights Dance! The shows are approximately 45 minutes long followed by all the lights on the last 15 minutes. Shows run every night through December 31st. Along with over 100,000 Lights, On 20 nights, Except Christmas Eve, you can watch them as they are choreographed to over 15 songs.

Spring Lake Spring Lake Holiday/Christmas Kick-off
Saturday, November 26, 2016

An event for the whole family. There will be tons of activities for kids and adults to enjoy. Join in all the fun with a visit to Santa’s Workshop and hayrides around Spring Lake

Tree Lighting in Highlands
November 25, 2016; 6 pm
Christmas Parade on December 3, 2016
Huddy Park
Highlands, NJ
The eventys feature music performances, along with free hot chocolate, candy canes and a visit by Santa Claus.

Bradley Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, November 27, 2016 @4 pm
Riley Park
Bradley Beach
Santa will arrive by Fire Truck Horse and wagon rides Bradley Beach. Refreshments & Entertainment and Santa Claus.

Asbury Park Downtown Tree Lighting
December 3, 2016; @5 pm
Press Plaza
Cookman Ave. at Emory St
Asbury Park, NJ
This holiday event features the lighting of the 25 foot tall tree with carolers from Alphabets Preschool, members of the New Jersey National Guard, photos with Santa Claus, cookies and hot coca for all.

Christmas at Allaire
December 4, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Historic Village at Allaire
4263 Atlantic Avenue
Farmingdale, NJ
This event is a celebration of the joys of Christmas past.  Experience the sights and smells of an early American Christmas with hearth cooking,  singing, dancing, wagon rides and St Nicholas! This is a day full of fun interactive programs.  You can also bring your holiday cards to be sent from our historic post office located in the General Store.  Bring your addressed envelopes with a stamp.

Ocean Grove Victorian Holiday Festival & House Tour
December 10th & 11th, 2016
Ocean Grove, NJ
Step back in time in Historic Ocean Grove for this special two-day Holiday event. Children under 12 not admitted to the House & Inn Tours.

The Christmas Light Show
Satuday, December 10th, Sunday, December 11th, and Saturday, December 17th, 2016: 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM
Parking Address:
2744 Belmar Blvd
Wall Township, NJ
(Parking located at the North Wall Little League Field)
This Christmas Light Show is a family tradition at the Jersey Shore. The show is an impressive displays of lighting, fog, and pyrotechnics synchronized to powerful concert quality sound!
The event is free but raises money for local charities through donations from visitors. No ticket or fee is required for admission, however donations of $25 for a family of 4. and $10 for individual adults and couples are suggested.
Free food and drink are available and Santa usually makes an appearance!
Visitors are advised to come 40 minutes before the show to allow time to park and walk to the venue. Dress warm and bring a flashlight. show status information is available at the shows.
Please plan on arriving about 35-45 minutes prior to show time! Ample time is needed to park and walk to the show.

Breakfast with Santa
Sunday, December 11, 2016; two seating times at 9:00am and 11:00am
iPlay America
110 Schank Road
Freehold, NJ
This event features a hot breakfast buffet that includes an omelet station, assorted breakfast breads, yogurt and granola, pancakes, and fresh fruit, while Santa walks around and visits with guests at their tables. Then, gather the whole family together for a picture with Santa Claus taken by their professional photographer.

The Annual Christmas Delaware River Crossing Re-enactments
December 11, 2016; 10 AM to 4 PM, (actual crossing at 1 PM)
Washington Crossing
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA
This year's Re-enactment, will assemble at Washington Crossing State Park, Pennsylvania, and make their way across the Delaware River to New Jersey. The annual event commemorates the Christmas Day crossing made by Gen. George Washington and his troops in 1776. It was an historic undertaking that resulted in defeat of the Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton.

Southern New Jersey Christmas Events

Christmas Fantasy with Lights Parade
November 12, 2016; 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM (Rain date November 13th)
Storybook Land
6415 Black Horse Pike
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
This celebration features a pareade followed by the holiday lighting of the park.
Visit the park along the parade route to see some of your favorite storybook characters on beautifully decorated floats. Parade begins at 4:30 PM. The parade concludes with the arrival of Santa Claus and his magical lighting of the park.

An Old Fashioned Christmas in Cape May
November 18, 2016 through January 1, 2017
Cape May, NJ
What better place to get into the true spirit of Christmas than Victorian Cape May? This seaside town is transformed into a Dickens village for the holidays with garlands of fragrant greens and twinkling gaslights. Wrap yourself in the warmth of holiday spirit and sample a seemingly endless variety of fun and tasty events. From trolley rides to wine tastings, from house tours to themed dinners, there is something for everyone!
The Carriage House Gallery at the Physick Estate becomes a Christmas wonderland this time of year. It's all about the wonder of Christmas morning with model trains and toys beneath the tree. You can actually stand under our tree and marvel at the intricate layout of dozens of Dickens Village houses, people and accessories that make the village come to life. Kids can write a letter to Santa and leave it in his special mail box.

Christmas Light Show Hay Ride
November 25 through December 30, 2016
Johnson's Corner Farm
133 Church Rd.
Medford, NJ 08055
This event features thousands of Twinkling lights attached to the wagons so that you are surrounded with at computerized light show set to the music of Christmas. Intensify your experience with a pair of 3D snowflake glasses that turn every light into a snowflake.
The Market is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with Gifts, Cookies, Christmas trees, Wreaths and all kinds of fun activities for the family. Visit with Santa and his Reindeer. To complete your holiday experience we will also have a campfire going to roast marshmallows and make s' mores. Bring your own Camera for a great Photo op. Costs for activities vary.

Mullica Hill Lights on Main
Saturday, November 26, 2016; 6-10pm
Old Town Hall
Main Street
Mullica Hill
Christmas will officially begin when the 60 foot Christmas is lit. Come join in the revelry, festivities and laughter! Carriage rides along Main Street. Delicious refreshments and drinks. Activities for the kids. Christmas carols, and a visit from Santa.

Holiday Light Show
From Thanksgiving November 27, 2016 thru January 6, 2017;
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Historic Smithville
615 E. Moss Mill Rd., #96
Smithville NJ,08205
Watch in awe as over 100 Christmas Trees, magically floating on Lake Meone, light up to the music around you. It is an orchestrated show of lights and music is played out across the lake. Admission: Free

Annual Christkindlmarkt at Tuckerton Seaport
Friday, December 2, 2016; 4-8pm
Saturday December 3 , 2016; 10am – 5pm
Sunday, December 4, 2016, 10am – 4pm
Tuckerton Seaport
Tuckerton, NJ
This Christmas celebration features a true Christmas village atmosphere with a European style holiday market outdoors and under huge heated tents with Santa (of course!), craft & gift vendors, fabulous food court, horse drawn cart rides, kiddie rides, trackless train, make & take crafts, hot Gluhwein, rolling chair sleigh rides on the boardwalk, entertainment and lots of holiday fun. The Festival of Trees will be open for viewing. Free parking onsite or off-site with free shuttle.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Christmas Tree Lighting
Friday, December 2, 2016
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Courtyard
1st & Central Avenues
North Weldwood, NJ
Christmas tree lighting, Santa Claus and refreshments. 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Admission: Free

Holiday House Tour
Saturday, December 3, 2016; 1PM to 6PM
Cooper St. and Route 130
Beverly, NJ

Call 609-874-3892 or 609-387-4975 for information and to reserve your tickets
Tour 14 historic and beautifully decorated homes in the Beverly and Edgewater Park area with a detailed map and balloons at each home out front.

Annual Dickens Festival
Saturday, December 3, 2016; 6pm – 10pm
Main Street
Medford, NJ
Admission is free
This annual family event transforms downtown Medford into a Victorian-era Christmas wonderland. The name and playful atmosphere of the festival were inspired by Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol. The festival features many exciting attractions including music, food, stilt walkers, a magician, caricaturists, a story teller, jugglers, ice carvings, a live Nativity, a lighted house contest, horse drawn carriages, carolers dressed in mid 19th century garb, Santa's visit and the nativity reenactment by local churches.

Annual Ship Bottom Christmas Parade
December 3, 2016; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
On Long Beach Blvd. from 5th-25th Streets.
Ship Bottom, NJ 08008
Homemade floats and antique cars welcome, The theme for 2016 is "A Shell of a Christmas"

Historic Bridgeton Holiday House Tour & Festival of Lights
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Main St
Bridgeton, NJ
A close-up of some of the best of the best of a Historic District that contains over 2000 individual properties--New Jersey’s largest! 25 historic homes, churches, shops and public buildings conveniently located along a half-mile stretch of East and West Commerce Street.
Festival of Lights takes place from 4 pm to 8 pm at City Park.

Breakfast With Santa Series
Saturdays from December 3, 10, 17, 2015 , Two seatings, 10:00am & 2:00pm
Camden Children's Garden
3 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ
The arrival of Santa, brunch with Santa and more.
Children’s tickets include: Brunch, Printed picture with Santa, Complimentary ride on both the Garden carousel and train, holiday crafts Space is limited. Pre-Registration is required.

West Cape May Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Cape May , NJ 08204
Start your holiday season with the best Christmas Parade in Cape May County! Over three hours of family fun and entertainment. Parade start time is 5:00PM. Parade starts at the West Cape May Fire Hall, proceeds south on Broadway to West Perry and to the Washington St. Mall, Cape May.

Annual Family Holiday Celebration
December 9, 10 , 2016; (rain date is Sunday, December 11th)
Wildwoods Convention Center
Wildwood, NJ
The festival begins Friday evening following the parade, with the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Then crowds gather inside the Wildwoods Convention Center to warm up with hot chocolate and cookies and acknowledge the parade and the business decorating and lighting contest winners at the Award Ceremony. The celebration continues all day Saturday with family fun, pictures with Santa and holiday bazaar.). Lineup begins at 5:30pm and the parade starts promptly at 6:00pm.

Holiday Open House at Paulsdale
Saturday, December 10, 2016; 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Alice Paul Institute
128 Hooten Rd.
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
A holiday event that showcases Paulsdale, the home of Alice Stokes Paul. Join us for entertainment, refreshments, and guest speakers. See the new Alice Paul: In Pursuit of Ordinary Equality exhibit, enjoy refreshments, shop for gifts in our gifts shop, and view the Quaker influenced, natural holiday decorations, provided by the Mount Laurel Garden Club.


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