15 Things To Do This Weekend in NJ, Dec 16-18


New Jersey is glowing with family-friendly winter and holiday celebrations this weekend, and many of them are free! Visit the 18th Annual Kwanzaa Festival at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, Winter Warm Up Family Arts Festival at MarketFair in Princeton, the Holiday Parade at Egg Harbor City, and much more this weekend in New Jersey.

Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmomhq and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.

Here are our top picks for family events in NJ this weekend:

1. Winter Bazaar in Freehold
Friday, December 16, 2016 | 6:30PM – 9:00PM
Join Joseph J. Catena School PTA for their second annual Winter Bazaar for over 40 vendors worth of gift giving opportunities, including children’s jewelry, makeup, bags, skin care, baked goods, travel and real estate services, candles, pottery, ornaments, kitchen accessories, home decor, and more. Kids can participate in crafts, face painting, character shopping, and more!
Joseph J. Catena School
275 Burlington Rd Freehold Township, NJ 07728
Cost: Free

2. Metuchen Cookie Walk
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 8:00AM – 2:00PM
Take a walk through rows and rows of mouth-watering, home-made cookies of all varieties. Participants can fill each box with the treats of their choosing to take home to loved ones that also share a sweet tooth! All proceeds from the Cookie Walk will benefit the Fuccile Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting local families affected by tragedy.
The Social Center at First Presbyterian Church
270 Woodbridge Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840
Cost: $10 Small Box, $20 Large Box (May purchase as many boxes as you would like!)

3. Westfield Holiday Gift Marketplace
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 10:00AM – 2:00PM
Westfield during the holidays is a magical place. Stop by the Westfield Community Center during your day of roaming the brightly lit streets of downtown Westfield for this holiday marketplace featuring local vendors, tricky tray, vacation raffle, and more.
Westfield Community Center
558 W Broad St, Westfield, NJ 07090
Cost: Free Admission

4. Jolly Jingle Jam
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 10:30AM – 12:30PM
Gather the whole family for music and laughter at this kid-friendly holiday celebration featuring a string quintet from Columbia High School, the amazing feats of a unicycle juggler, the witty puppeteer Abby Sher, the interactive sing­along songs of Miss Nina, young talents from Class Act Performing Arts Studio, a debut Maplewood performance by Preschool Of Rock, free face painting by Fifi’s Face Painting and free Holiday family portraits by Lee Seidenberg!
The Woodland
60 Woodland Rd, Maplewood, NJ 07040
Cost: $5 per person or $15 per family

Photo via NJPAC Kwanzaa Festival Facebook Event

5. Kwanzaa Festival
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 12:00PM – 3:00PM
Celebrate the Nguzo Saba at NJPAC’s 18th annual Kwanzaa children’s festival and marketplace, featuring an Arts and Crafts Village and music and dance activities. The entire family is invited to dance, sing and explore the rhythms and culture of the African tradition. Join in a spirited tribute to Cuba, this year’s Country of Honor.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)
1 Center St, Newark, NJ 07102
Cost: Free

6. Annual Winter Potluck Party and Craft-O-Rama
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 12:00PM – 7:00PM
Gallery Affero welcomes all families to this annual open house event to celebrate the winter season with fun activities celebrating the arts. Bring a dish or drink to share with the amazing potluck, make unique holiday cards at the crafts table, and enjoy a performance from Newark Boys Chorus School and a dance performance by Grab A Beat Dance Studio. Three art exhibits and one sound art installation will be open for viewing, in addition to the community book room is open, with 2000 books to browse, plus chess, checkers, scrabble, and many more games. Affordable art is available for purchase, ranging from $5 – $100.
Gallery Affero
73 Market St, Newark, NJ 07102
Cost: Free Admission

7. Welcome to Winter Potluck
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 1:00PM – 11:00PM
Join Princeton’s brand new Cherry Valley Cooperative in their first community event to support their farm’s mission to feed, strengthen, and educate our community by reconnecting people to the land and each other through farming, play, art, yoga and celebration. Explore the property, talk to the Co-Op producers and facilitators, mingle with community members, learn about the mission and facilities, and enjoy coffee from Small World Coffee and hot cocoa from Bent Spoon. At 3:30, participate in the potluck style meal by bringing your own dish to share with others. From 5:30 – 11:00PM, get cozy with a fireside hangout, hot chocolate, and open music jam.
Cherry Valley Cooperative
619 Cherry Valley Road, Princeton, NJ 08540
Cost: Free

Photo via Christmas Parade at Egg Harbor City Facebook Event

8. Christmas Parade at Egg Harbor City
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 5:30PM – 8:00PM
Celebrate the holiday on Philadelphia Avenue. Put your float together, gather your family and friends, and join the community for a fun-filled holiday event. This annual parade features musical acts, firetrucks, floats, Santa, and more. For the perfect viewing point, grab a spot early at the Grandstand in front of Jonny Boys Sub Shop at 246 Philadelphia Avenue.
Philadelphia Ave, Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
Cost: Free

9. Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar
Saturday, December 17 – Sunday, December 18, 2016 | 12:00PM – 5:00PM
The Asbury Park Bazaar and The Marketplace Asbury Park have partnered to bring you one of the most spectacular holiday markets in New Jersey. Featuring 24 vendors each day, live holiday music and special performances, photos with Santa, holiday photo booth, a giant Christmas tree, holiday children’s crafts, holiday food and drink specials, and much more, make this a holiday event to remember. This weekend’s workshops include DIY Pyramid Dreamcatchers Workshop hosted by My Social Heirloom on Saturday and Cookies with Santa: Decorating Workshop hosted by Sweet Dani B on Sunday.
Convention Hall
1300 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Cost: Free Admission (Activities and Vendors Vary)

10. Firetruck Rides and Breakfast with Santa
Sunday, December 18, 2016 | 9:00AM – 1:00PM
Bring the little ones out for this anticipated event to celebrate the holidays in Howell with the Southard Fire Department No. 1! Breakfast will be served from 9:00AM – 1:00PM, and firetruck rides through town will be available from 10:00AM – 1:00PM.
Southard Fire Department No. 1
4611 US Highway 9, Howell, NJ 07731
Cost: Ages 12 and over $8, Ages 3 – 12 $5, Children 3 and under are free

11. Santa’s Sleigh Ride Through Sayreville
Sunday, December 18, 2016 | 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Santa and his helpers will traverse through the Borough of Sayreville greeting children and handing out candy to put everyone in the Christmas Spirit. Santa has a lot of surprises, so be sure to follow the Sayreville Emergency Squad’s page for the latest updates on Santa’s route through town. Visit sayrevilleems.com for more information.
Various locations in Sayreville: Click here for Santa’s route.
Cost: Free

12. Duke Farms Holiday Market
Sunday, December 18, 2016 | 11:00AM – 4:00PM
Visit Hillsborough’s scenic Duke Farms this Sunday for a lovely holiday market featuring holiday gift baskets, seasonal handmade desserts, farmstead cheese, pasture raised meat, jams, spreads, wool winter wear, handcrafted jewelry, locally roasted coffee, handmade chocolate, artisan soaps and candles, fresh breads, local honey, live cooking demonstrations, gingerbread cookie decorating and a seasonal espresso bar.
Duke Farms
1112 Dukes Pkwy W, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Cost: Free Admission

13. Chanukah Workshop with Bob the Builder
Sunday, December 18, 2016 | 11:15AM – 12:15PM
Join Bob the Builder in this interactive Chanukah craft workshop. Build your own holiday toolbox and fill it with your own Chanukah candles and dreidel. This parent-accompanied activity is free, but requires RSVP. Sign up for this free holiday activity by clicking here. This is a project of Chabad of Hoboken and Jersey City, co-sponsored by The Home Depot.
The Home Depot
180 Twelfth Street, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Cost: Free

14. Winter Warm Up Family Arts Festival
Sunday, December 18, 2016 | 12:30PM – 2:30PM
Step inside and out of the cold to make your own light-up holiday cards, get your face painted, participate in an a-capella sing-along, sip on hot chocolate, and more at this free family festival.
3545 US Highway 1, Princeton, NJ 08540
Cost: Free

15. Hanukkah Family Party
Sunday, December 18, 2016 | 1:00PM -4:00PM
Celebrate Hanukkah with a day of play and fun for all ages featuring the “Across the Sea” performance from Goshen Theatre from Israel, holiday games and open play on the Ninja Warrior obstacle course, deliciously sweet sufganiont for all attendees, and many more activities!
189 Brunswick St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Cost: Kids $25, Adults $10, Family Pack $60 (2 adults + 2 kids), Each Additional Child $21.25, First 50 families get $10 off a Family Pack


Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmomhq and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.


About Author

Chelsea is a freelance writer and photographer based in the kid-friendly community of Asbury Park, and she loves sharing tips and news about this cultural beach town with NJMOM readers. When she's not discovering new bike trails, playing in her handbell choir, or reading on the beach, Chelsea works as a Children's Library Associate at a public library. You can catch her out in Asbury Park watching her husband play drums with talented local artists - be sure to come say hello!