It’s that time again…sipping hot chocolate, attending holiday parties and feeling the merriness in the air, as we share in the season of giving. There is so much going on to enjoy: things to do, places to go and people to see. With the shoppping frenzy still in full swing and parties to enjoy, there are so many the holiday things to do in Central New Jersey. Whether you are seeking indoor or outdoor festivities, some events will keep you busy as the new year approaches. Guiding you where to go, here is a list put together out by the Central Jersey Leisure Guide. Contact me for more holiday event ideas to enjoy at 732-995-5609 / NJHomesbyRoslyn.com
Central Jersey Christmas Events:
Best Holiday Events for 2018
Central Jersey Christmas Events
Magic of Lights at PNC Bank Arts Center
November 16 thru December 30, 2018; 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.
The North Pole Express
Weekends, Beginning Saturday, November 17 until Sunday, December 23, 2018
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.
Holiday in the Park
1 Six Flags Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527
November 17, 2018 thru January 1, 2019
This event features a holiday season filled for special family fun outings with spectacular lights, dazzling shows and thrilling coasters, and more.
Festival of Trees
Wednesdays – Sunday, beginning Wednesday, November 21, 2018 through Sunday, January 6, 2019; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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. Festival of Trees is open to the public during regular museum hours. No reservations are required.
Trips run November 23, 24, 25 ,30 December 1, 2 ,3 ,7 ,9, 14, 15, 16, 2018; Friday 6 & 8 pm, Saturday 2,4,6,& 8 pm, Sunday 2,4,6 pm
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.
Princeton Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 23, 2018; 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.Holiday Express Concert, Tree Lighting, & Activities
Friday November 23, 2018 @ 7pm
Red Bank, NJ
Kick off the season with the annual Holiday Express Concert & Town Lighting. Now in it’s 26th year, Holiday Express will be rocking the streets with all of your favorite tunes plus plenty of special guests. The holiday lights will be lit for the first time this season during the concert. The Red Bank Fire Department will be on hand with free hot chocolate. And don’t miss the LIVE countdown to light the town with News 12! Free parking throughout town.
Santa rides the NJ Transit train into Red Bank for the annual Town Lighting & Holiday Express concert. Join Santa on the train in Little Silver or meet him at the Red Bank train station when he arrives. There’ll be festivities before and after the train arrives with the Kathryn Barnett dancers and the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch. Once in Red Bank, Santa will board a firetruck and lead the parade to Broad Street for the Holiday Express Concert & Town Lighting.
11th Annual Asbury Park Boardwalk Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 24, 2018; @ 5:30m
1300 Ocean Avenue
The tree is scheduled to light up the Grand Arcade at 6:45pm preceded by live music, holiday cheer and followed by continued festivities and a visit from the man with the big white beard, Santa Claus himself— who will be at the tree for photos every Sunday thereafter until Christmas from 12pm-3pm.
Off-stage, families and friends can also enjoy Small Business Saturday during the holiday weekend kick-off with the launch of the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar at Convention Hall from 11am until 10pm on Saturday, November 24th. The Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar will feature a curated roster of the best local and regional artists, vendors and shops selling vintage and handmade, art, jewelry, home goods, food and more every Saturday and Sunday until December 23. Each weekend, the Holiday Bazaar will also feature live music and special performances, kids’ classes & holiday workshops, holiday photo booth pictures, a fireplace lounge and beautiful holiday decor.
Inspired by the traditional “Weihnachtsmarkts” Christmas markets in Germany, the Asbury Park Bazaar will also feature a hot drink bar to enjoy traditional glühwein (hot mulled wine), hot chocolate or hot cider while shopping, along with a seasonally-inspired menu and holiday drinks at the Anchors Bend and Asbury Oyster Bar.
Children and pets can have photos taken with Santa, at the Grand Arcade Christmas Tree, every Sunday through Christmas from 12pm until 3pm. Guests are encouraged to bring a toy or gently used coat for the Asbury Park Toy & Coat Drive or donation to receive a 4×6 print along with photos with Santa emailed.
Cook’s Christmas Lights
The show will begin Saturday, November 24, 2018 and run through New Year’s Day. The Light Show can be seen Sunday through Thursday 6pm to 10pm, as well as Friday and Saturday 6pm to 11pm
1 Carlson Ct.
The Cook’s Christmas Lights display returns for its fourth season to raise money for the National MS Society. This year’s display features over 20,000 lights, 4 singing faces and a 1,008 bulb pixel matrix, playing through 7 Christmas-themed songs and runs for about 25 minutes. Pull up to this marvelous display, turn your radio to the designated station and watch the magical light show from the comfort of your vehicle. The Cook’s Christmas Lights display is free, but donations are greatly accepted and 100% of proceeds are donated to the National MS Society.
Downtown Somerville Holiday Jubilee
Saturday, November 24, 2018;5pm – 9pm
Division Street Plaza
This annual family event features Tree Lighting, Photos with Santa, Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, Holiday Music, Entertainment and Refreshments to Highlight . Attendees will get to enjoy music and dancers in anticipation of Santa’s arrival on board Somerville’s vintage fire truck. Santa will light the towering tree, adorned with hundreds of energy efficient LED lights, and the holiday festivities will last all evening long
At 5:30pm Santa arrives and the tree lighting is at 5:45pm Carriage rides begin at 6pm.
Bradley Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, November 25, 2018 @4 pm
Santa will arrive by Fire Truck Horse and wagon rides Bradley Beach. Refreshments & Entertainment and Santa Claus.
The Annual Long Branch Tree Lighting in Pier Village
Sunday, November 25, 2018; from 4-6 pm
Long Branch, NJ
This family fun event features a performance by Tim McLoone and the Shirley’s and the annual tree lighting. The Ice at the Pier Rink will be open will be open from 10am-9pm. The cost ranges from $10 to $18.
Highlands Tree Lighting
November 30, 2018 @6pm (Rain date Dec. 1st)
The event features music performances, holiday dancers, along with free hot chocolate, candy canes, horse and buggy rides and a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Asbury Park Downtown Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 1, 2018; @5 pm
Cookman Ave. at Emory St
Asbury Park, NJ
This holiday event features the lighting of the 25 foot tall tree with carolers, photos with Santa Claus, cookies and hot coca for all.
Christmas on the Farm
December 1, 2018; 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Howell Living History Farm
70 Woodens Lane
Lambertville, NJ 08530
Revisit the 1900 era on a horse drawn wagon to help shock and pick corn, and return to the barnyard to help shell it, grind it, and bake it into cornbread. Children are invited to join the fun of cutting and decorating the tree before St. Nick arrives to hear their Christmas wishes and give out cookies and coal as the case may be. Throughout the day there will be farmhouse tours, live music, wagon rides, and a children’s craft program. In the Visitor Center, there is hearty lunch fare, a gift shop featuring the farm’s own honey, maple syrup and popcorn … and a 2-seater sleigh perfect for taking family portraits. Parking & Admission are free.
Spring Lake Candlelight Christmas Inn & House Tour
December 1, 2018: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1507 Ocean Ave
Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Enjoy a spot of tea at the magnificent Breakers Hotel to kick off this self-guided tour and then view our magnificent B&Bs, hotels & private homes decorated in holiday splendor.
Holiday Lighting at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial
December 1, 2018, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial
1 Memorial Lane
Exit 116, Garden State Parkway (on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center)
The ceremony includes the lighting of a Christmas tree and Menorah, and a reading about Kwanzaa.
Christmas at Allaire
December 2, 2018 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Historic Village at Allaire
4263 Atlantic Avenue
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.
Colts Neck Holiday Concert & Tree Lighting
Sunday, December 2, 2018 @ 3PM, Tree Lighting @3:45pm
Colts Neck Town Hall
124 Cedar Drive
The event features bell ringers, dancers, Santa’s arrival and Tree Lighting. Colts Neck Business Association holiday window decorating winners to be announced.
Metuchen Holiday House Tour
Sunday, December 2, 2018; Noon -5pm
Website (On-line tickets available) $20advance, $25 at the door
Tour beautifully decorated homes, enjoy complimentary seasonal refreshments and visit the artisan’s bazaar and raffle at The Old Franklin Schoolhouse, 491 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen NJ.
Downtown Freehold Christmas Tree Lighting
Tuesday, December 4, 2018; 5 – 7pm;
Hall of Records Plaza
1 East Main Street
The annual Christmas tree lighting marks Santa’s arrival in the borough! FRESH 102.7 will be here with a prize wheel. The Rock and Roll Choir will perform, Court Jester will be providing hot cider, and Ray Catena Auto group will be helping to transport some of Santa’s elves. We also understand the Freehold Fire Department may stop by with a very special Guest!! Downtown Freehold’s Tree Lighting
Downtown Toms River Tree Lighting
Friday, December 7, 2018; 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Town Hall Courtyard
Toms River, NJ
Annual Tree Lighting and the arrival of Santa Clause! Ceremony. Live holiday musical entertainment, reading of “A Christmas Carol” by Mrs. Claus, Santa arrives on fire truck at 7:00pm to light the town tree. Photos with Santa after tree lighting. Hot chocolate and cookies for sale by Fire Co. #1.
Christmas Tree Lighting at Seaside Heights
December 7th, 2018; 5pm – 6pm
Courtyard in front of Borough Hall
Seaside Heights, NJ
The Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place Friday at 5pm in the courtyard in front of Borough Hall. Festivities include the lighting of the tree, light refreshments and a very special appearance by Santa!.
Ocean Grove Victorian Holiday Festival & House Tour
December 8th & 9th, 2018
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.
Breakfast with Santa
December 9, 2018; 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
110 Schanck Rd
Freehold, NJ 07728
Lois Melillo 732-577-8200, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Event Cost: $15.95 – $29.95
This annual event features a Breakfast with Santa! Enjoy a delicious hot breakfast buffet that includes an omelet station, assorted breakfast breads, yogurt and granola, pancakes, fresh fruit and more! While you are eating, Santa will walk around and visit with guests at their tables and Miss Sheri will be performing live! The whole family can get in on the fun and dance and sing along! Then, gather the whole family together for a picture with Santa Claus taken by our professional photographer with a free digital download.
Jenkinson’s Aquarium Sea of Lights Holiday Festival
December 14, 15, 21, 22 and 26-28, 2018: 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.
The Annual Christmas Delaware River Crossing Re-enactments
The reenactment is held each year on December 25 at 1 p.m.
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