New Jersey Leisure Guide Monthly Newsletter
The month of December is a festive season filled with events that include concerts and theatre at the largest NJ venues, and especially holiday and Christmas festivals for families to welcome in the New Year.
. This Edition's Contents...
- Popular December Events and Things To Do
- Seasonal Frequently Asked Question
- This Month's Featured Restaurant
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
Popular December 2019 Events and Things To Do
Skylands Christmas Light Show & Christmas Village
Now until December 30, 2019
94 Championship Pl.
Augusta, NJ 07822
Light Show: $20 per carload (all tickets to be purchased at drive-thru entrance or box office, there are no online ticket sales) Save $3! Buy Advance Sale tickets at the box office (Monday–Thursday, 9–2 PM)
Outdoor Village: FREE admission
With more than two million dazzling lights on a mile-long drive-through course PLUS a new outdoor village, it's a must-see holiday attraction for your whole family.
The attractions include:
Experience their brilliant walk-through light displays, Santa's Workshop Come inside to take photos with Santa, Skating Rink presented by Pompton Sports Center with skating on a 20′ x 40′ outdoor rink, an 8′ Polar Bear Statue: Take cool photos with Champ, our lovable life-size polar bear, Yuengling's Ice Cream Shop and Hot Chocolate Bar with scrumptious ice cream and custom hot chocolate drinks, a S'mores Station with Roast marshmallows over a fire pit and make delicious s'mores snacks. Carnival Games, Concessions with hot food and beverages, including French bread pizza and craft beers, and vendors with hHoliday shopping with local artisans,
Please dress warmly to enjoy the new outdoor village activities. Warming stations will be located throughout the Pavilion.
Atlantic City Annual Tropicana Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Now until Friday, December 27, 2019;
Presented every hour on the hour starting at noon.
Tropicana Casino & Resort
Brighton Avenue and the Boardwalk
Atlantic City, NJ
Tropicana makes the season bright with the official Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Musical Light Show in The Quarter. The free Holiday Musical Light Show features a 35-foot ornately decorated tree with festive lights synchronized to the sights and sounds of the season.
Magic of Lights at PNC Bank Arts Center
Now until January 4, 2020; Sunday - Thursday: Dusk to 10pm & Friday & Saturday: Dusk to 11pm
PNC Bank Arts Center
Garden State Parkway
This popular Holiday event features more than a mile of festival and vibrant light displays celebrating the joy of the holidays. Experience the drive-through from the comfort of your car! At every turn, and in every direction, the magical route is overflowing with spectacular light displays and animations. Multiple holiday themes come to life with hundreds of sparking lights.
Adventure Aquarium's Christmas Celebration
No until December 30, 2019
1 Riverside Dr.
This annual celebration features twinkling lights, glowing trees, gently falling snow, and the return of the man in a red wetsuit, Scuba Santa. Visitors will get to see Scuba Santa and his elf swim alongside rare sharks,
gigantic sea turtles and stingrays in the 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit. Visit him in Ocean Realm as he speads the magic of Christmas to every child and animal and stops for underwater selfies with kids of all ages.
An Old Fashioned Christmas in Cape May
Now until through January 1, 2020 (Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas )
Cape May, NJ
The wonders of the season come to life in "An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit: Holiday Traditions through the Years," at the Carroll Gallery in the Physick Estate Carriage House. Experience a breathtaking exhibit of holiday traditions complete with a giant Christmas tree, a Dickens Village, model trains, nostalgic photos from Christmas past, and more!
Sunday, December 22, 2019: 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Center for Jewish Life
176 Rt 79 North
Website / Tickets
Celebrate Chanukah with your entire family. Fun for all ages. Arts & Crafts, Game Booths with prizes. Donut Decorating, Moon Bounce, Face Painting & Tattoos, Menorah Lighting, Pizza, and a Hebrew School Performance.
Online special: $15 At the door: $18 per child (ages 2 - 12) Includes all games and pizza lunch.
Morris County Park Palooza: Holiday Cheer
December 7, 2019 11:00am - 7:00pm
Lewis Morris County Park
270 Mendham Rd.
Morris Township, NJ 07950
This family, holiday event features
a day to Eat, drink, and be merry! Enjoy 20+ food trucks, a biergarten offering hand-crafted beers, live music
featuring 3 bands, festive holiday games and activities for adults and kids, face painting, and much more!
Parking is free, and admission allows for re-entrance throughout the day
December 7, 2019;11:00am - 3:00pm
Historic Cold Spring Village
720 Rt. 9
Cape May, NJ 08204
The Village paths come alive with the sounds and smells of wintertime at this free family event. Select buildings will be open where guests can enjoy hands-on crafts, live music, hot beverages and holiday treats served by historical clothed interpreters. Visitors can meet Father Christmas at the Country Store. The Country Store will be open and stocked with unique holiday gift ideas including traditionally-processed wool, artisan crafts for the home, books, jewelry, toys and old-fashioned candy.
Jenkinson's Aquarium Sea of Lights Holiday Festival
December 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, and 27, 28, 2019: from 6-9pm.
300 Ocean Ave.
Point Pleasant, NJ
This annual Holiday festival features the Aquarium done up with the holiday spirit with hundreds festive lights and decorations, plus make and take crafts, face painting, even a scuba diving Santa and other special guests from the coolest new animated movie.
December 25 - 31, 2019
101 Barrack St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
event commemorates and recognizes Trenton's unique and pivotal role in the Revolutionary War. A role that has shaped some of the very streets and buildings that can still be seen standing today as they were in 1776. The festival is anchored by the historically-accurate re-enactments of the Battles of Trenton on the very streets where they took place, as well as lectures by historians and topic experts, immersive demonstrations, tours, educational activities for children, reenactments, or musical entertainment. This year use your holiday break for a fun & history-filled family staycation! With over 70 events taking place during the six-day period it's easy for families and history aficionados to spend a few days in Central New Jersey this December.
Cape May Wine Trail
December 28, 2019: 11AM – 5PM
1048 Washington St
Cape May, NJ
Includes lunch, brief tour and wine tasting at Willow Creek Winery plus wine tasting, cheese and crackers and a souvenir glass at Natali Vineyards.
Trolley leaves the Physick Estate at 11am and returns approx. 5pm.
Atlantic City New Years Eve Fireworks
December 31, 2019 @9pm
The awesome fireworks show is best viewed from the boardwalk outside the casino.The show, designed by Fireworks by Grucci, will be displayed from the beachfront and will include intricately designed scenes and vivid effects including Grucci high aerials and grand illuminations.
It is recommended that you get there by 8
pm to avoid the crowds and get a good spot.
December 31, 2019, 6 pm to 8 pm
Great Meadow behind the Brearley House
100 Meadow Road
Celebrate the coming New Year with this Scottish tradition. Toss all of last year's bad memories into the fire symbolizing a clean break with all that went wrong in the old year. A bagpiper will be onsite to entertain the crowd and the house will be open. Paper and pencils will also be available for you to write down all the bad things from the previous year that you wish to toss into the fire. You are also invited to prepare a list in advance and bring it to the fire.
Parking Information!!! Parking will be offsite at the Prism complex on Lenox Drive. Visitors are asked to enter the lot at the light on
Princeton Pike and Lenox Drive. Follow the road to one of the rear lots, where you can either walk a lighted trail to Brearley House or board a shuttle bus
Morris County First Night
December 31, 2019
Website & Tickets
Morris County First Night is a non-alcoholic event in Morristown that takes place from 4:45pm-midnight. Over 400 artists and 80 performers are scheduled to attend this year's celebration. Free parking and shuttle bus service will be provided. For one unbelievably reasonable price, you have dozens of venues to choose from, showcasing world-class talent with performances designed especially for kids, teens, young adults, families, and not-so-young adults. If that's not enough, First Night sets off not one but two separate fireworks displays – one at 9:15pm
and another at midnight!
First Night Ocean City
December 31, 2019
Ocean City, NJ 08226
The non-alcoholic, family friendly event features live entertainment from the Music Pier, The Civic Center, the Tabernacle, other venues, ---- and of course there will be fireworks at midnight shot off from the 5th ave. Beach.
First Night of 2020 Aboard the Battleship
December 31, 2019 @ 4:00 pm – January 1, 2020 @ 9:00 am
Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
62 Battleship Place
Camden, NJ 08103
The Battleship will open her decks for guests to
watch the 6pm or Midnight SugarHouse New Year's Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront. We'll have music, food concessions and bar service. Families can spend the First Night of 2020 aboard the Battleship New Jersey! Our award-winning overnight program will be available for families to sleep overnight on the ship on Dec. 31, 2019. Enjoy dinner and breakfast served at the Chowline. Take a guided tour of the World's Greatest Battleship. Sleep in the bunks that the crew of the USS New Jersey once did! Plus experience the amazing view of the New Year's Fireworks over the Delaware River at midnight! The New Year's Family Overnight is $79 per person. Families must consist of a legal guardian and at least one child between the ages of 6 and 17. To reserve your bunks for New Years, call 866-877-6262 ext. 203.
Seasonal Frequently Asked Question:
Question: Winter Holiday Dining - Looking to go out to
a non-Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day. Do you know of any decent restaurants open on Christmas Day?
Answer: Here are some suggestions:
The Manor, West Orange, NJ- This landmark restaurant is set in an elegant country house with acres of magnificent gardens. Experience the color and contrast, seasoning skills and an atmosphere which reflects the total Holiday spirit
[ Read review ]
Weehawken, NJ Offers a view of the waterfront and the best restaurant NYC skyline from any table in the house; .
[ Read Review ]
McLoone's Pier House, Long Branch, NJ Offers great ocean front views, a vibrant bar scene with typical Jersey Shore food.
[ Read Review ]
McCormick and Schmicks Seafood Restaurant, Bridgewater & Atlantic City, NJ - This seafood restaurant is a high end national chain and the Cherry Hill location is one of four in New Jersey.
[ Read Review ]
Cafe Madison, Riverside, NJ
Cafe Madison is one of the top fine dining restaurants in southwest New Jersey. Popular with diners who enjoy well prepared, creative food with vibrant, elegant industrial chic ambiance.They are open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
[ Restaurant review ]
For other restaurants open on Christmas Day, visit NJ Holiday Dining
New Jersey Restaurant Reviews - New Jersey has over 23,000 restaurants and finding about them is often times a time consuming task. Find a restaurant in a town of your choice with comprehensive restaurant reviews.
This Month's Featured Restaurant:
Popular with diners who enjoy a creative menu with quality ingredients in an attractive, rustic, farmhouse setting, with bar service.