‘Tis the season for holiday cheer, and there’s nothing better than seeing the joy through your kids’ eyes at Christmas tree lightings in NJ. A favorite moment every year? Watching those little eyes light up when the tree begins to sparkle and glow. Towns across New Jersey are decking out their trees for the holidays, and we’ve rounded up some of the best and brightest. So bundle up the fam, grab your hot cocoa, and plan to make your way to one of these events coming soon. And don’t miss the Drive Through Christmas Lights and Must-See Light Shows in NJ this holiday season.
Featured photo credit: Istock
Become an NJMOM Insider! For all the best things to do with your family around New Jersey, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox each week, and don’t forget to tag your photos #NJMOM and @njmom for a chance to be featured on our social media.
Here are 14 Christmas Tree Lightings in NJ:
(Covid-19 restrictions are affecting some events, so it’s a good idea to confirm by visiting their Facebook page or calling before you head out.)
Avenel’s Very Merry Holiday Lighting
November 28, 4 PM-6 PM
Come to the Avenel Fire House to watch the tree light up. Before the Christmas tree lighting, get in the holiday spirit with a photo with Santa, holiday caroling, horse and carriage rides, marshmallow toasting fire pits, and so much more. Bring a new, unopened toy to donate to the Bristol Myers Children’s Hospital.
Avenel Fire House (346 Avenel Street)
Jersey City Holiday Lighting Ceremony
December 2, 6:30 PM-7 PM
The Historic Downtown Special Improvement District’s annual holiday celebration includes a Christmas tree and Menorah lighting to put everyone in a holiday mood. Enjoy cookies and hot chocolate and wait for Santa to visit on a fire truck. Gifts will be given out to children in need while supplies last.
Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall (119-158 Newark Ave)
Jersey City, NJ
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Christmas Tree Lighting
December 3, 4:30 PM
Welcome in the holidays in a unique location—next to a lighthouse. In addition to the tree lighting, listen to festive holiday music, grab something to eat and drink, and let your littles safely visit Santa. You can also take a free tour of the lighthouse.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Courtyard
North Wildwood, NJ
Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Newton
December 3, 5 PM
Tree Lighting — 5:15PM, Meet and Greet with Santa – 5:30PM
Get in the holiday spirit with the Newton Tree Lighting. The festivities start at 5PM, with a DJ playing holiday music and yummy treats. The tree lighting will be at 5:15PM, and pictures with Santa for your kiddos will begin at 5:30PM followed by letter writing to the Big Guy.
Newton Town Municipal Court (39 Trinity St)
Holiday Market in the Park in Hopatcong
December 12, 11 AM-3 PM, Tree lighting – 6 PM-8 PM
The tree lighting—along with a visit from St. Nick—will be happening in the evening, but come earlier to explore what the holiday market has to offer. Grab a bite to eat from the food trucks—they have kid-approved choices like fudge and pizza—and do some shopping at the craft vendors. They’re selling a range of goods, from fashion accessories to soap to holiday gifts. And, of course, holiday music will be playing throughout the event.
Long Branch Tree Lighting at Pier Village
November 28, 4 PM-6 PM
Kick off the holiday season this year at this festive holiday tree lighting at Pier Village. There will be so many fun activities, including ice skating, a performance by the Long Branch High School Marching Band and Dance Team, and a special visit from Santa Claus. After the tree is lit, enjoy shopping while you look at the window displays and take in the festive cheer.
Long Branch, NJ
29th Annual Town Lighting & Holiday Express Concert in Red Bank
November 26, Santa and Mrs. Clause Parade – 6:45 PM, Holiday Express Concert – 7 PM, Tree Lighting – 8 PM
The most magical day in Red Bank, this 29th annual event is one you won’t want to miss. Start the day shopping on Broad Street, followed by a fun parade from Monmouth to Broad Street, a Holiday Express concert, and the tree lighting. There will be tons of refreshments, photo ops, and so much more.
Red Bank, NJ
Downtown Toms River Tree Lighting
December 3, 5 PM-7 PM
Come down to the Downtown District of Toms River for some holiday fun. Starting with live entertainment at 5:00PM, Santa will arrive on a fire truck to light the tree at 7:00PM, followed by photos with the big guy.
Courtyard of Toms River Town Hall
Toms River, NJ
Cape May Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 20, 5 PM-8 PM
Start the holiday season right in the charming coastal village of Cape May. Santa and his elves will be in attendance to light the impressive tree, followed by a reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and delicious hot chocolate. Cape May Community Food Closet will collect donations of non-perishable food items at the event.
Cape May, NJ
Christmas Tree Decorating and Lighting Event in Somers Point
December 8, 4:30 PM
Get in the holiday spirit with this Christmas tree decorating and lighting event. Santa will be in attendance for the lighting to visit with all the little ones. Tree decorating can be done any time from Saturday, December 4 to December 8 and a limited number of trees are available at no cost for decorating. This is such a fun event for people of all ages in the community.
Bay Avenue in front of Shore Medical Center
Somers Point, NJ
Fireman’s Park Tree Lighting in Asbury Park
December 3, 5:30 PM
Start the holiday season off right in Asbury Park at one of the shore Christmas tree lightings in NJ. The event will feature a visit with Santa, delicious refreshments, and celebrating with the community.
Asbury Park, NJ
Westwood Home For The Holidays
December 4, Parade begins at 6 PM
Get ready for the holiday season with the return of Westwood’s beloved Home For The Holidays celebration, which features a tree lighting, library storytime, live music, ice sculpting, and more. The parade will begin at 6:00 PM and will include a visit from the big guy in red.
Santa’s Arrival & Tree Lighting at the Morristown Green
November 28, Santa arrives at 5 PM
Bring the kids and see Santa arrive in Morristown at the kick-off to the holiday season. From hot cocoa and cookies to pictures with Santa and lighting the dazzling tree, everyone in the family will get in the spirit and then have a chance to see the big guy in the Santa house.
Palmer Square Tree Lighting
November 26, 5 PM-6 PM
Come down to Palmer Square for their annual tree lighting ceremony. Featuring traditional Christmas music, live performances, surprise guests and even a visit from Santa, this event is a wonderful way to kick off the holidays as all 32,000 lights are lit for a dazzling display.
Palmer Square Green
40 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ