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December Events:
Our Top Picks To Plan Your Day Out in New Jersey

New Jersey December Events

Discover New Jersey's Best December Events:
Uncover The Month's Top seasonal attractions, popular events, and hidden gems

The December Events calendar for 2020 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.


State of NJ

COVID-19 executive orders in effect may restrict or require cancellation of events.


With near term cancellations occurring at a rapid rate, and despite trying to remove them as soon as we learn of the cancellations or restrictions, we  recommend viewers contact the event sponsors before heading out to a listed event to confirm their status.






December 2020 Festivals & Themed Events

Skating On The Square
November 20, 2020 - February 27, 2021; 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 card card.
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
The months of November & December, 2020 - Beginning November 22, 2020; Sunday - Thursday: Dusk to 10pm & Friday & Saturday: Dusk to 11pm
PNC Bank Arts Center
Exit 116
Garden State Parkway
Holmdel, NJ
Website/Tickets
Cost: $25-$35, standard vehicle
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.

The Grinch's Grotto at Garden State Plaza
November 27, 2020 - December 31, 2020; 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Westfield Garden State Plaza
One Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ
Tickets
$50 - General Admission (Up to 5 People) / $200 - VIP Experience (Up to 5 people)
From the creators of The Dr. Seuss Experience, step into the Grinch's Grotto, and commemorate the Grinchiest of years with our favorite green resident just north of Whoville.
This Holiday event features a Santa photo alternative for those who are feeling a little bit "Grinchy" this year. Guests will enter this free-standing location for a one-of-a-kind visit with The Grinch in his special cave for a photo-shoot and other special surprises that are both intimate and in true Grinch fashion - socially-distant.
When you reserve your spot, you and your loved ones will get a rare opportunity to visit the Grinch in his special cave and strike a pose (or two) with him. Plus, you won't leave empty-handed. Each group will emerge with not just a photo taken by a professional photographer, but also with a few extra special Grinchy surprises. Space will be very limited to ensure social distancing, so make sure and reserve your spot early!
*All visits will be limited to one family or group of friends at a time, with a limit of 5 people per group.

Smithville Holiday Light Show On The Lake
Every Thursday-Sunday in December, 2020; 5:30pm- 8:30pm (Free event)
Historical Smithville
615 E. Moss Mill Rd.
Smithville, NJ 08205
Website
609-748-8999
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.

Ocean City Train Show
December 5, 6, 2020: 10am – 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 $3 for adults and $1 for children.
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 Encapment
Saturday, December 5, 2020 11:00am-3:00pm
Historic Cold Spring Village
720 US 9, Cape May, NJ
609-898-2300
and entrance for the Village is only through Seashore Road gatehouse. 735 Seashore Road
Tickets - Admission for Wassail Day is $5.00 per adult, $3.00 for children, FREE for HCSV Members Timed tickets are available by pressing the red BOOK NOW button.
The Village paths come alive with the sounds and smells of the holidays at this holiday event!
Select buildings will be open where guests can enjoy live music, hot beverages, and holiday treats served by historical interpreters in period clothing. Visitors can meet Father Christmas in 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. Please understand due to Covid-19 restrictions that not all buildings on Village grounds will be accessible.
While at the Village we are requiring all guests to wear masks. Exception for children under 2 years of age. Please practice physical distancing (6 feet) and be mindful of other guests and Village staff. Public restrooms are available behind the Ice Cream parlor building.March 2021 Southern Jersey Family Festivals and Events

An Old Fashioned Christmas in Cape May
November 21, 2020 through January 1, 2021 (Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas )
Cape May, NJ
Website
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.
The Holiday season kick-off with the Holiday Tree Lghting Ceremony on Nevember 21st. followed by Physick Family Christmas House Tours, Holiday Lights Trolley Rides through Cape May's Historic District to see festively decorated inns and homes as guides talk about Victorian Christmas traditions, lead sing-alongs, and play Christmas music.

Polar Express
Trips run November 27,28,29 December 4,5,6,11,12,13,18,19,20, 2020; Friday 6 & 8 pm, Saturday 2,4,6,& 8 pm, Sunday 2,4,6 pm,

Friday 6 & 8 pm, Saturday 2,4,6,& 8 pm, Sunday 2,4,6 pm
Lehigh Junction
99 Elizabeth St.
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
877-872-4674
Website
Cost: 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.
Inspired by the run-away hit movie produced by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and the award winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Passengers will then be entertained by a reading of the Polar Express. Santa will greet the children and each child will receive their own sleigh bell, just like in the movie, to those who BELIEVE. Experience the joy of singing songs with our roaming hobos, be amazed at our Juggling Chef and make your wishes in person to Santa himself! The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, New Jersey is sure to become an annual holiday tradition for the whole family. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride and join in on the magic of Christmas

Festival of Trees
December 13, 2020; @ 11:00pm - 3:30pm ( rain or shine)
Reeves-Reed Arboretum
165 Hobart Avenue
Summit, NJ
Tickets
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!
Due to COVID, there will be two time slots: 11 am to 1 pm and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm with a limited number of participants for each. While pre-registration is not required, it is strongly recommended. 

Morris County First Night
December 31, 2020; 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. This year, the program will be a virtual event we will bringing together thousands through a virtual program with an unmatched array of performances!





December 2020 Ticketed Events





December 2020 Theatre, Performances