Savor some quality family time this weekend before the holidays kick into full gear. Celebrate the release of Disney’s newest movie at the Frozen II Social in Point Pleasant Beach, collect little ocean treasures at the LBI Seashell Festival or learn how Santa makes it around the world in one night at Santa’s Flight Academy in Short Hills.
featured image via Train Creative
Here are 10 kid-friendly things to do this weekend around New Jersey:
Santa’s Flight Academy
November 29-30, December 1, 10AM-9PM
Who doesn’t want to take flight with Santa’s sleigh and be part of his magic? Each visiting cadet (aka your kid) receives a flight crew badge and will be fitted with a virtual flight suit. With the help of Santa’s elves, littles will love working through a series of interactive stations to inspect and power Santa’s sleigh. They’ll have a blast in the snowfall dance party, get covered with “snow”, and then meet the man himself, Mr. Claus. Sign up online in advance to avoid the lines.
The Mall at Short Hills
Short Hills, NJ
Cost: free with photo packages available for purchase
Holiday Lights Trolley Rides
November 29 & 30, December 1, 5:30PM-8PM
Go back in time during this evening trolley tour through Cape May’s festively decorated streets. As your family rides through the historic district of this seaside town, you’ll notice how the evergreen garlands and twinkling gaslights transform the neighborhood into a picturesque Victorian holiday village. Guides will explain the local Christmas traditions and lead sing-alongs of popular holiday carols. Each trolley ride will last about 30 minutes.
Washington Street Mall Information Booth
Cape May, NJ
Cost: $15 adults, $10 children (ages 3-12)
Toys for Tots Operation Toy Train
November 30, 1PM-5PM
Ho, Ho, Ho! We hear Santa’s coming to town on board the Toys for Tots Operation Toy Train. Bring an unwrapped toy for a child in need (they’re hoping to reach 2000 donations), and get ready to celebrate doing a good deed with the fam. Your littles will be in awe of the holiday extravaganza featuring music, games, crafts, food and ice-carving demonstrations all afternoon.
Sparta Train Station
Newark Downtown District’s 6th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
November 30, 4PM-8PM
Say hello to the holidays with this beautiful tree lighting ceremony. The sparkling lights aren’t the only reason your littles will be smiling—Santa and his elves will also be there. While kids enjoy holiday-themed arts and crafts, bounce houses and a trackless train, parents can sip complimentary hot beverages, listen to Victorian carolers and watch ice-carving demonstrations. It’s a win-win for the whole family!
Battleship New Jersey’s Toys For Tots Event
November 30 and December 1, 9:30AM-3PM
It’s the most wonderful time of year to spread holiday cheer. Remind your littles about the reason for the season by helping to ensure every child has a gift to open on Christmas morning. The Battleship New Jersey is partnering with the US Marine Corps Reserves “Toys for Tots” Program to help local families. Bring an unwrapped toy or game to donate, and with the purchase of one adult tour of the ship, you’ll receive a free self-guided tour for the whole family.
Battleship New Jersey
Cost: Visitors who donate a new toy or game to Toys for Tots will receive a free self-guided tour with the purchase of an adult tour.
Festival of Trees and German Style Winter Market
November 30 & December 1, 12PM – 6PM
Bring your crew to Clinton for an old-fashioned Christmas celebration: Enjoy a beautiful display of hand-decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces donated by members of the community at the Festival of Trees. After, check out the German-style Winter Village craft market, which features over 40 vintage and craft vendors, and fuel up on snacks from the food trucks. While you’re gift shopping, have the kids board a horse-drawn carriage to take a tour around town, listen to carolers and visit with Father Christmas. It’s a two-day event you won’t want to miss.
The Red Mill Museum
Cost: $10, free for children age 6 and under
LBI Seashell Festival
November 30 – December 1, 10 AM-3PM
Take one last trip down the shore to this festival, where you can shop for authentic handmade sea glass jewelry, nautical gifts, original metal art, home decor and photography. Then, gather your crew to hunt for natural treasures hidden in the sand. Find something on the beach but not sure what it is? Local sea glass and beach-find experts will be on-hand to identify your finds and answer your questions. Wrap up a great day by taste-testing entries for the Homemade Cookie Challenge and vote for the one you like best.
Things A Drift
Ship Bottom, NJ
Gaudio’s “G Boys” Animation Wonderland
November 30, 10AM-8:30PM and December 1, 10AM-5:30PM
Bring the whole fam on a magical journey as you walk through this animated holiday display of moving figures in charming Christmas scenes. Your kids will be mesmerized by Santa’s elves, Eskimos and animals all moving to festive music. After, go see the big guy and snap your Santa photos surrounded by trees and greenery. Your littles can also enjoy pony rides on Saturday and Sundays from 11-5pm (weather permitting).
McNaughton’s Garden Center
Cherry Hill, NJ
Cost: $4.45 each, free for children under 4. For families of 4 or more, the tickets are $3.98 each.
Frozen II Social
December 1, 10AM – 12PM
You’ll all let it go at this Frozen II-themed party that’s coinciding with the movie’s theatrical release. Your kids will have a blast singing and dancing to all the best songs from the movie’s soundtrack, and with a DJ spinning tunes, everyone can join in the fun. Plus, we hear that a certain ice queen will be making a special appearance for photo opps.
Night Club for Kids and Teens
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Cost: $20 per child, adults are free
WLB 90th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
December 1, 3PM-6PM
Why deal with NYC traffic and crowds for an ice-skating experience under a tree all dressed up in lights? Just head over to West Long Branch for a fun, winter-weather event and don’t worry about skates—they’re providing them too. Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, live entertainment and a jolly visit from Santa. Be sure to bring gently worn or new children’s winter gear to be donated to a local food pantry.
West Long Branch, NJ