It’s the start of the most wonderful time of year, and this weekend there are lots of family-friendly things to do to get into the spirit. Welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus at Fantasy with Lights First Night at Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township, get ready for a Candy Cane Hunt at Winterfest at Diggerland in West Berlin, or have a merry time at opening weekend for Holiday in the Park, the Wine Fest, and the Drive-Thru Experience at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson. And if you are looking for more to do this season, take a peek at our Fall Activities in New Jersey Guide.
Featured Photo Credit: Six Flags Great Adventure/Joel Nufe
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(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)
Nature on the Move – Autumn Nights
November 12 and 19
Follow a Park Naturalist for a 45-60 minute hands-on interactive program. Look for the colorful Nature on the Move van in Perrineville Lake Park, Millstone, the Agress Road parking area, or Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold.
Perrineville Lake Park, Access Road parking area, Millstone, NJ 08535
Historic Walnford, 62 Walnford Road, Allentown, NJ 08501
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
November 12-December 30
All aboard a train ride through millions of Christmas lights with a meet and greet with Santa and his elves in his workshop. Don’t miss the Holiday Movie tent and take a photo with your favorite snowman and the Toy Market and Walkthrough Holiday Village.
Cost: 12 months and younger are free, $17.95 online, $19.95 at the door, there is a discount after December 26
1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037
Second Saturday in Collingswood
November 13 and December 11
Enjoy live music and art on Second Saturday in Collingswood, an event started by a collection of store owners that had an interest in promoting the arts in town. From March to December visitors can plan a night on the town to experience the arts, music, shopping, and dining. Don’t miss the local artists and musicians on each block.
Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108
The Big Bike Ride
November 13 from as early as 9 AM
Explore Duke Farms on two wheels. The journey begins at the Bike Tent, then gets rolling to complete a 5-mile circuit that will note the main points of interest. At each landmark, there will be stops to discuss the history and ecological significance of the area. The pacing will be slow to moderate and most of the paths are level paved pathways.
Cost: $10 without a bike rental. If you are renting a bike, it is an additional $7 and this is paid the day of the program at the Bike Tent. If you have your own bike and helmet, meet at the Bike Tent at 9:15 AM, if you are renting a bike and helmet meet at the Bike Tent by 9 AM.
Duke Farms, 1112 Dukes Parkway W., Hillsborough, NJ 08844
908-243-3626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Princess Beauty Tea Party
November 13 from 10 AM-11:30 AM
It’s tea time for your little prince or princess. Each little participant will receive a box of goodies along with pink princess tea. Adults can enjoy seasonal scones with curd and cream and hot or cold seasonal tea.
Cost: $22.95 per person
A Sweet Memory Cake Shoppe and Tea Room, 521 Route 9, Waretown, NJ 08731
Bacon, Sausage, and Scrapple Making
November 13 from 10 AM-4 PM
It’s the annual work of making sausage, scrapple, and bacon to give visitors a chance to see the techniques used to make these products, with tastings encouraged. Visitors can lend a hand filling the sausage stuffer and grinding the corn used in the scrapple and cornbread recipe and get a taste of cracklins and other delicacies made in the process.
Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Twp., NJ 08530
Kid’s Craft & Flea Holiday Market
November 13 from 10 AM-2 PM
Vendors from grades K-12, with food trucks, music, live performances, and more. The rain date is the next day. Cost: $30
118 Creek Road, Mount Laurel, NJ
Princess and Pirate Day at the Zoo
November 13 from 11 AM-2 PM
It’s the Cape May County Park and Zoo’s annual “Princess and Pirate Day,” where the whole family is encouraged to dress up. There will be activities for the kids, a craft station, games, entertainment, animals, an inflatable pirate ship, and more. Your favorite princesses will hold coronation ceremonies and Disney Trivia along with Kaptain Kristian, the pirate, and his crew.
707 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Grounds For Sculpture String Theory Family Open Studios
November 13 from 11 AM-2 PM
Explore the unique Grounds For Sculpture attraction and then help transform their studio into a canopy of string to contribute to 3D weaving. The workshop will be open for the day and all ages are welcome to contribute.
Cost: Free with admission
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Why Leaves Change
November 13 at 11 AM
All ages will be able to take a closer look at why leaves change color and why some leaves don’t. Make sure to dress for the weather.
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, Pakim Pond Highway Route 72 East, New Lisbon, NJ 08064
Edible History Series at Historic Walnford: Coffee Cake
November 13 from 2 PM-3 PM
Grab a steaming cuppa and try some coffee cake made from a 19th-century recipe. Learn all about the history and evolution of coffee and the sweet cake that goes with it.
Historic Walnford, 62 Walnford Road, Allentown, NJ 08501
Fantasy with Lights First Night at Storybook Land
November 13 from 2 PM-9 PM
Welcome Santa and Ms. Claus to Storybook Land for the Holidays. There will be a character meet and greet, a Magic Show by “Ken the Magician” followed by the first lighting of Storybook Land. The Fralinger String Band will be there and KOOL 98.3 will also be doing a live broadcast.
6415 E. Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
November 13-November 28
Head out to Diggerland for the diggers and stay for the Winterfest fun. The whole family can spend the day operating all the fantastic machines while enjoying live music, the famous Parade of Machines, specialty food, hayrides, and fun and games. Of course, you’ll get to celebrate all things winter with Photos with Santa, a Candy Cane Hunt, Fire Truck rides, and more.
Cost: $44.95 per ticket
100 Pinedge Drive, West Berlin, NJ 08091
Holiday in the Park Six Flags Great Adventure, Wine Fest, and Drive-Thru Experience
November 13-January 9
Take a ride on your favorite Six Flags amusement ride while being surrounded by glittering lights. There will be shows, rides, food, and even a Wine Fest for the adults on November 13 and 14 see e. The Drive-Thru Experience starts November 15, so get ready for a ride full of holiday cheer and be on the lookout for the big guy in red.
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527
Allaire Village History Kids Club
November 14 from 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
Kids can learn about holiday traditions while making holiday wheat ornaments for the tree.
Cost: $10 per child
4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ 07727
Awesome Autumn Amble
November 15 from 10 AM-11:30 AM
New Jersey parks are a kaleidoscope of color in the fall. Explore trails with a Park System Naturalist and learn about the plants and animals that call the Monmouth Park System home. This program is open to all ages, but under 18 must have an adult. Sturdy footwear is recommended.
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen – 360 Monastary Lane, Aberdeen Township, NJ 07747 Meet in the Visitor Center parking area
The Polar Express Whippany
Punch your golden ticket and get all aboard The Polar Express. Experience the magic of The Polar Express and take a one-hour trip to the North Pole with the whole family. Experience the sites and sounds of the motion picture while enjoying hot chocolate, Walkers Shortbread, storytime, and a silver sleigh bell surprise too.
Cost: $48 and up
1 Railroad Plz., Whippany, NJ 07981
RWJBarnabas Health: Cooking Classes for Kids
Dates and times vary depending on the program
Kids of all ages will love cooking up healthy treats in these virtual hands-on cooking classes (adult supervision required during class): Try Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen for kids 8-12, where they’ll learn to use a recipe, cook with nutritious ingredients, and utilize kitchen basics or try Taste Testers in Hannah’s Kitchen, a Mommy and Me style class for 2-4-year-olds.