This weekend meet enjoy a magic show with Illusionist Matt Dwinells in Toms River, skate with Mickey and Minnie at Holiday Skate in Brick Township, and learn about older Christmas traditions at Christmas at the Historical Village at Allaire in Wall.
Here are 15 kid-friendly festivals around New Jersey:
A Night with Illusionist Matt Dwinells
November 30, 7PM – 8:30PM
Have your littles been to a magic show in a while? Take a break from the hot cocoa and gingerbread men with illusionist Matthew Dwinells, who’s been practicing from a very young age.
Toms River, NJ
Big Chill 5K
December 1, 10AM
Early on a Saturday morning participants gather to walk or run a 5K to help support local families and charities who are less fortunate. On the Monday following the race, toys are wrapped by over 100 volunteers and sent out. The Big Chill might leave your body chilly, but your heart will be warm.
College Avenue Gym, Rutgers University, 130 College Avenue,
New Brunswick, NJ
Cost: Unwrapped toy for age 3-14, or monetary donation
Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquarium
November 23 – December 30
Dive deep into the big blue sea with your holiday favorites at Adventure Aquarium. Scuba Santa is back this year to greet visitors through the glass and take selfies with each child. Not only is this home to the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree, but it’s home to the World’s Smallest Underwater Christmas Tree too. RSVP for milk and cookies with Santa.
Cost: Adults $30, Kids 2-12 $22
Project: Market 2018
December 1 – 2, 11AM – 6PM
This holiday market in Jersey City encourages visitors and locals to kick off their holiday season by shopping local. Combine an old world bazaar aesthetic with pop culture and that’s what you’ll find here. This event features jewelery, clothing, home goods, stationary, food, and drinks. Be sure to pay it forward by donating a toy or nonperishable food item at the market.
Jersey City, NJ
Mosaic Dance Theater Company: Celebrating 15 Years of Mediterranean Magic
December 1, Performances at 4PM and 8PM
This dance company is dedicated to the dance and folklore traditions of the Mediterranean. For a new style of dance, and a fun way to learn about different cultures, bring the family to this free performance. Celebrate dance, history, and tradition with these dancers.
Mosaic Dance Theater Company
Glen Ridge, NJ
20th Annual Holiday Festival Friends of Lord Stirling Stable
December 1 – 2, 10AM – 3PM
Bring the whole family to the horse stables for a fun festive celebration. Your littles will love hayrides through the woods to see Santa, pony rides, Santa’s workshop, and a horse show.
Lord Stirling Stable
Basking Ridge, NJ
Santa at Van Vleck
December 1 – 2, 10AM – 2:30PM
Visit with Santa at Van Vleck House & Gardens and enjoy holiday arts and crafts, write that special letter we look forward to every year, and decorate a holiday cookie. Enjoy snacks, holiday beverages, and shop too.
Van Vleck House & Gardens
Cost: $40, $30 for Members
Festival of Trees
December 1 – 8
Monday – Friday 10AM – 8PM
Saturdays, 10AM – 5PM, Sundays, 12PM – 5PM
Enjoy an enchanting display of holiday trees in a Winter Wonderland setting. Each tree is sponsored by a family, business, or local organization and your family can purchase a tree to donate to a family in need. All proceeds go towards the Senior Resource Center. Stick around for fun events like visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and sing along story time.
Barn at Highlands Ridge Park
Cost: Adults $10, Students and Seniors $5
Holiday Open House and Winter Wonderland
December 1 – 2, 10AM – 8PM
Celebrate the first weekend of December getting some holiday shopping done under the stars. Strut around the Winter Wonderland in Pete Sensi Park and enjoy caroling, hot chocolate, soups, and treats.
Holiday Skate with Mickey & Minnie
December 1, 1:45PM – 3:45PM
Amp up the holiday spirit with an ice skating session with your favorite Disney characters – Mickey and Minnie at Ocean Ice Palace. With each admission comes free face painting, giveaways, and opportunities for photos.
Ocean Ice Palace
Brick Township, NJ
Cost: $8, Ages 5 and under $6, Skate rental $4
Drive Through the Christmas Story
December 1, 2, 8, 9, 5PM – 7:30PM
Be a part of a cherished holiday tradition, all from the comfort of your car. Your family will enjoy live characters, live animals, and live narration as you drive your car around Sayre Woods Bible Church. Get there early, the event only accepts 200 cars per night.
Sayre Woods Bible Church
Old Bridge, NJ
Krampus AP 2018
December 1, 12PM – 7PM
This full day of family fun really puts a spin on Christmas – this day is for those little tikes that aren’t afraid of anything. Krampus is an old German folklore that takes care of the bad kids! This day celebrates him with a market, contests, caroling, a reading of the naughty list, Krampus march, and tree lighting. At 2PM, you can join the Monsters of Yule Walking Tour, to learn all about the dark stories of Yuletide from around the world.
Asbury Park, NJ
Jingle Bell Run
December 1, 8AM – 12PM
Start the holiday season off right by supporting a fantastic cause and wearing jingle bells! Everyone is invited to run or walk a 5K in beautiful Lake Como to fight and conquer arthritis. This run wants everyone to dress up and be as festive as possible – from jingle bells to Christmas socks and sweaters.
Lake Como, NJ
Cost: $40, Kids Run $20
Santa’s Here! at Laurita Winery
December 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 1PM – 4PM
Visit NJ’s favorite winery this December for a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus and have plenty of photo opportunities with them. They’ll be listening to your littles’ holiday wishes, and your littles will be chowing down on cookies and cocoa in this relaxing setting.
New Egypt, NJ
Christmas at the Historical Village at Allaire
December 2, 11AM – 4PM
Celebrate the joys of Christmas Past at the Historical Village at Allaire. This event features the historic buildings decorated to show different Christmas traditions, storytelling, silhouette cuttings, caroling, a visit from Santa, trains, wagon rides, and pine-cone feeder making.
The Historical Village at Allaire
Cost: Adults $7, Kids 12 and under $5
More fun things to do this weekend:
13 Top Ice Skating Rinks in New Jersey
Best Light Shows in NJ This Holiday Season
20 Winter Markets Around NJ
Diggerland’s Winterfest at the Park
Where to Take Pictures with Santa in NJ
Aquariums around New Jersey
Museums around New Jersey