December Events: Our Top Picks To Plan Your Day Out in New Jersey
Discover New Jersey's Best December Events: Uncover The Month's Top seasonal attractions, popular events, and hidden gems
The December Events calendar for 2021 is packed with exciting things to do in NJ. It includes concerts, theatre, festivals, kids events, and entertainment, that have appeal to people of all ages and interest.
NJ COVID 19 Update: At this this time, New Jersey has lifted all COVID-19 Restrictions.
We continue to recommend viewers contact the event sponsors before heading out to a
listed event to confirm their status.
Northern NJ December 2021 Festivals and Themed Events
Dasher's Newark Drive thru Christmas Light Show November 19th until January 2nd, 2022: Seven days/week starting at 5pm until 10:30PM
220 Orange St
Newark, NJ Website/Tickets
This spectacular, unforgetable Christmas celebration features
the syncing of over 1 million lights dancing to holiday music played through your car radio on 97.5 FM.
The drive thru time is approximately 30 minutes.
Skylands Christmas Light Show & Christmas Village November 24th until January 9th, 2022
94 Championship Pl.
Augusta, NJ 07822 Website
Light Show: $29 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.
Christmas Joy is coming back to Sussex County…Bigger, and Better than Ever. This Winter, Skylands Stadium will be Dazzled with Lights on a Mile Long Drive-Thru course that now goes ON THE FIELD. Plus a NEW & EXPANDED Outdoor Village & Winter Carnival. It's a Must-See Holiday Attraction for the Whole Family. The event is Safe, Spacious, and Distanced.
Let It Glow: A Holiday Lantern Spectacular
Friday, November 26 - Sunday, January 30, 2022; Every Thursday thru Sunday , 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Bergen County Zoo at Van Saun County Park
216 Forest Avenue
Paramus, NJ 07653 Website/Tickets
Larger-than-life glowing lanterns have been installed creating 30+ glowing scenes. See animals real and imagined laid out throughout the zoo.
Let it Glow is a symphony of vivid glowing colors to tease your eyes and dazzle the mind. Come and enjoy an enchanting stroll throughout the zoo These larger than life lanterns are amazing in picture but stunning in person! With over 30 scenes, these hand-made artistic wonders are more breath-taking than the last! Its one of those things you need to see in person to truly appreciate.
Online reservations are recommended. The ticket includes a train ride.
Chanukah Drive-In Party
Thursday, December 2nd, 2021; 5:00 PM
756 East Broad Street
908-232-6770 Website - Registration
Meet in the parking lot as we join together to Celebrate the Festival of Lights. We will sing songs with the clergy, eat from the Glazed and Confused Donut Truck, and watch the Chanukah Rugrats episode.
Annual Tree of Lights Festival
December 4, 2021; @5:30pm (rain date Sunday December 5th)
Watchung, NJ Website
This event is dedicated to the Educators of Watchung.
The ceremony will include music, fireworks, and more! Attendees can place a red light on our tree to honor a person, family, friends, and others. send honoree(s) name email to firstname.lastname@example.org after your transaction.
Community Day: Winter Wonderland
Saturday, December 11, 2021; 10am-5pm
49 Washington St
Newark, NJ Registration:
Step inside our Winter Wonderland for food, art, and festive fun! Our transformed Museum Garden presents Hip-Hop performances, music, and dance that celebrate holidays around the world. Local vendors Pure Joi Jewelry and Spicegrove will be on-site to satisfy all your holiday shopping needs! Grab food from Hot Dog Lady and Tonnie's Minis, and the first 300 people will receive a free treat from Tonnie's Minis!
Throughout the evening, be part of the creation of Newark's Harriet Tubman Monument by decorating ceramic tiles with your stories of freedom and liberation. The tiles will later be fired and integrated into the final design of the monument.
10am: Doors & Ice Skating Rink
11am: Jingle Bell Hip-Hop Master Class
1pm: Jingle Bell Hip-Hop Performance
2pm: Dance performance by Premiere Dance
Festival of Trees
December 12, 2021; @ 11:00pm - 3:30pm ( rain or shine)
165 Hobart Avenue
Summit, NJ Registration - While pre-registration is not required, it is strongly recommended. There will be timed entry and be limiting the number of participants for each time slot
Cost: Members $5; Non-Members $10
This holiday event features a Multicultural Celebration of the Holidays. There will be arts and crafts that celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and the Solstice; musical entertainment; as well as food trucks; and holiday vendors. The highlight of the festival will be over 20 festive trees placed around the grounds decorated by local organizations, businesses and families!
Celebrate New Year's Eve with a Fireworks Dinner Cruise
December 31, 2021
Boards 9:30 PM - Cruises 10:00 PM - 1:00 AM
Spirit of New Jersey
Lincoln Harbor Marina
Weehawken, New Jersey Website This celebration features a three-hour cruise and offers amazing views of New York City's sensational skyline, a delicious dinner buffet, a DJ for your dancing entertainment, with their talented wait staff singing solos, a premium open bar and a champagne toast at midnight. Stunning views of the illuminating fireworks display at the Statue of Liberty sponsored by Spirit Cruises as synchronized music accompanies the show in perfect harmony.
Morris County First Night
December 31, 2021; 9:15pm - Midnight Website
First Night® Morris County began in 1992 and is the LARGEST First Night® in New Jersey, attracting nearly 10,000 participants each year. An alcohol-free and substance-free celebration of arts and culture, First Night® Morris County attracts families, seniors, singles and anyone looking for an exciting way to ring in the New Year!
With the Dazzling Light Up The Night show at 9:15pm and a Midnight Countdown to Welcome in the New Year at Midnight. Our Live & Virtual Program features over 30 Performances, 80+ Screenings, 12 In-Person Venues, 1 Streaming Venue, and 1 On-Demand Venue. All Tickets include access to First Night Morris County 2022 on December 31, 2021, and On-Demand access to all Films and Virtual Performances from January 1st – 3rd, 2022. Early-Bird Tickets (Buttons) start at $25 and $90 for a 4-Pack ($22.50 Each) through December 21.
Central NJ December 2021 Festivals and Themed Events
Skating On The Square
November 20, 2021 - February 27, 2022; Thursday – Friday, 4pm – 7pm Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm & 4pm – 7pm (Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas)
Hulfish Street (behind the Nassau Inn Hotel)
Princeton, NJ Website
Cost:$10 cash PER PERSON/ $12 +fees with credit card. Bring your own skates or borrow ours! (skate rental included in ticket price)
Start new traditions this holiday season at Palmer Square's "eco-friendly" outdoor synthetic skating rink!
Bring your own skates or borrow ours! (skate rental included in ticket price) ALL skaters/guardians must sign the electronic waiver to be eligible to participate! Please sign in advance for a contactless experience at the rink.
Magic of Lights at PNC Bank Arts Center
November 13th - January 2nd, 2021 Sunday - Thursday 5pm - 10 pm. Friday - Saturday 5pm - 11pm.m.
PNC Bank Arts Center
Garden State Parkway
Holmdel, NJ Website/Tickets 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.
Six Flags Great Adventure Holiday in the Park - Drive-Thru Experience Begining November 15 and runs weekends and select days through January 9, 2022
1 Six Flags Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527. Website/Tickets
Enjoy Holiday in The Park Lights from the comfort of your car with the Drive-Thru Experience! Dazzling lights and holiday cheer aren't the only things on this Drive-Thru Experience! Say hello to all of your favorite holiday characters as you travel through 10 themed areas filled with thousands of colorful lights.
New for 2021! Once you've made it through the Drive-Thru Experience, extend your magical evening with the NEW Jolly Jamboree Walk-Thru Experience. There's so much to do for young and old, like getting to meet Santa and his jolly elves and toast some S'mores by the fireside. Grab the whole family and enjoy a delicious meal at the Holiday Feast, or shop for unique and memorable gift items for all of those who made the nice list.
Trips run November 26, 27,28 December 3,4,5,10,11,12,13,17,18,19, 2021: Friday 6 & 8 pm, Saturday 2,4,6,& 8 pm, Sunday 2,4,6 pm
99 Elizabeth St.
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
Child $32.00 ( ages 2 to 12), Adult $42.00
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.
Jurassic Quest's Epic Indoor Event
Wednesday - Sunday, December 29, 2021 - January 2, 2022
New Jersey Convention & Expo Center
97 Sunfield Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837 Website/Tickets
Tickets must be purchased online. Tickets
are for timed entry.
Ticket Prices depend on options: from; $19 - $36
See over 100 life size animatronic dinosaurs including Apatosaurus, Spinosaurus, T-Rex and an incredible 50 foot long Megalodon. Jurassic Quest is the world's largest, most popular dino event on tour with unique and exciting experiences for the whole family. Meet our trainers, baby dinos and see our walking dinosaurs in live interactive show. You don't want to miss the dinosaur rides, giant fossil dig, animal art tattoo, inflatables, science stations, crafts, games & MORE!
Quest Packs are a great add-on to your Jurassic Experience! The Explorer Pack comes with 3 dinosaur surprises. The Tracker Pack comes with 3 dino surprises PLUS crafts and activities to do at home. The Trainer Pack is the best value and includes 6 Incredible Dinosaur Surprises PLUS crafts and activities to take and do at home.
Ring in the New Year at Pier Village
December 31. 2021
Long Branch, NJ Website
Ring in the New Year at Pier Village with a magnificent fireworks spectacular and Ice Skating under the Stars. Firework Show starts at 9PM.
The new oval skating rink features festive drinks and food from the Pier Village retailers,and a robust live entertainment schedule.
Southern NJ December 2021 Festivals and Themed Events
DiDonato's Magical Holiday Express
November 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, December 1-23, 2021; Hours: 4:45 pm - 9:00 pm
DiDonato's Family Fun Center
1151 S White Horse Pike
Hammonton, NJ Website/Tickets
Cost: $10.95 per person online/ $12.95 at the door, Children 12 months and younger are free.
This holiday event features a ride on an exciting train through millions of Christmas lights. The fun includes meeting Santa, a gift from Santa, a holiday movie, cookies, and a walk through the Holiday Village.
Diggerland Drive thru Holiday Light Show November 17, until
Sunday, January 2, 2022; 5:30pm - 9:30pm
100 Pinedge Drive
West Berlin, NJ Website/Tickets
This holiday event features a Drive a mile-length course through America's only construction theme & water park to witness hundreds of thousands of lights, tour our holiday displays, enjoy tasty treats, and listen to our very own radio station to fill your car with holiday spirit!
Atlantic City Holiday Musical Light Show
November 18 - December 27, 2021
Atlantic City, NJ Website
The light show features festive lights synchronized to the sounds of the season. Daily shows are presented every hour on the hour starting at noon.
South Jersey Holiday Lights Show
Selected nights from November 18 until December 30, 2021; Opens at 5pm
83 Flood Gate Rd
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
(856) 213-2838 Website
The South Jersey Holiday Light Show is the only drive-through holiday light spectacular in Southern New Jersey! Featuring dozens of dazzling, larger-than-life holiday themed displays to delight the entire family! Visitors are welcomed to bundle up in their car, pack a favorite snack or beverage and tune their radio to enjoy the synced light performance as they travel the more than 1 mile route through the holiday light show!
The show is approximately 20-25 minutes long.
An Old Fashioned Christmas in Cape May
November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022
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 variety of fun tours and events.(Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas )
Cape May, NJ Website
Smithville Holiday Light Show On The Lake
Thanksgiving thru Jan 6th, 2021 (Free event)
615 E. Moss Mill Rd.
Smithville, NJ 08205 Website
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.
17th Annual Antique Toy Train Show
Thursdays-Sundays, November 26 - January 30th , 2022; 10 a.m.-3 p.m
Museum of American History
138 Andaloro Way
Deptford, NJ Website
$4 Adult, $3 children.
Features O and O-27 gauge toy trains, from the 1930s-'50s.
Ocean City Train Show
Saturday & Sunday, December 4, 5, 2021, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM10am – 4pm. Saturday and 10am – 4pm Sunday. .
Historic Music Pier
Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace
Ocean City, NJ Website
For more information call 609-399-6111
Admission is Free.
Large model train displays are featured every holiday season at this resort's popular Train Show and Sale.
The show features colorful working displays that delight children and adults alike plus vendors who sell trains, parts, accessories and memorabilia suitable for year around and holiday exhibits. The stage of the Music Pier will highlight a working exhibit of Gauge 1 railway trains by thy South Jersey Garden Railroad Society. The exhibit is a favorite of children, as they can sit on stage and watch large models circle through colorful foliage and forest settings. Members of the Society will discuss outdoor garden exhibits and youngsters will be permitted to take the controls of the display.
Wassail Day & Winter Encampment Saturday, December 4, 2021: 11:00am-3:00pm
Historic Cold Spring Village
720 US Rt 9
Cape May, NJ Website
The Village paths come alive with the sights and sounds of the holiday season at this event!
Select buildings will be open where guests can enjoy live music, hot beverages, and holiday treats served by historical interpreters in period clothing.
Hanukkah Fireworks at KBA Sunday, December 5th, 2021; 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Kellman Brown Academy
1007 Laurel Oak Road
Vorhees, NJ Website
Free; Open to the Community
This celebration of the festival of Lights features
a Hanukkah candle lighting, songs, donuts, hot chocolate, crafts, games, and an awesome fireworks display.
Experience a Holiday Train Display Aboard the Battleship New Jersey!
December 11 - 26 , 2021 @ 3:00 pm
Battleship New Jersey
100 Clinton Street
Camden NJ Website
Cost: Free with Tour
Experience a Holiday Train Display Aboard the Battleship! A new Holiday model train display will be available for guests to experience in the Wardroom This display, courtesy of the South Jersey Garden Railroad Society (SJGRS), will be free to experience with a tour of the Battleship. The Battleship will be open for tours everyday in December, except for Christmas, Dec. 25.
New Year's Eve Fireworks & Balloon Drop December 31, 2022 @9pm
Atlantic City, NJ Website
Start the night off with a bang! At 9 PM on the Boardwalk, Tropicana will dazzle the sky with a vibrant firework performance. Welcome in the New Year under a kaleidoscope of balloons accompanied by a live broadcast of the Times Square Countdown!
First Night Ocean City December 31, 2021
Ocean City, NJ 08226
The non-alcoholic, family friendly event features more than 70 opportunities to catch 30 different shows and activities at 21 venues throughout town. You will find entertainment that satisfies every taste and age group.
The grand finale is the Fireworks display shot off at midnight from the 5th Street Beach
New Year's Eve Fireworks aboard the Battleship New Jerseey
December 31, 2021; @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Battleship New Jersey
100 Clinton Street
Camden NJ 08103 Website/Registration
Watch fireworks over the Delaware River from the historic deck of the Battleship New Jersey! Enjoy live music, food concessions, a cash bar for adults, and have the chance to fire a Gun Salute.
Proceeds go to the on-going restoration of the Battleship, a non-profit museum and memorial. $10.00 Parking All guests must: Sign a COVID-19 Waiver of Liability before boarding and maintain social distancing.
Fully vaccinated guests and children under 3 are not required to wear face coverings. NO chairs, food, or alcohol can be brought aboard Members: Register or sign-in above to receive your free tickets.
For $200, take-in the Admirals VIP New Year's Fireworks experience for a guided tour at 3:30 P.M., followed by a view of the fireworks from the navigation bridge – where the captain would have commanded the ship from! This special experience is limited to just 30 guests.