20 Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Family Friendly Things To Do This December

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It’s (almost) time to light up your nights—Hanukkah begins on December 18, and Kwanzaa starts on December 26, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate the traditions with your family all season. See the largest dreidel in the world at Allaire Community Farm in Wall, celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa at the Kwanzaa Community Celebration in Montclair, or join the Car Menorah Parade in Cherry Hill to kick off the festival of lights. And to pick up those special gifts, check out the winter markets in NJ. (featured photo credit:

(Note: It’s always best to check ahead for in-person events)

Allaire Community Farm
Thursdays-Sundays in December
See the largest dreidel in the world at Allaire Community Farm on a tractor-pulled wagon that takes you through beautiful holiday light displays. After, stop by the farmstand to sip hot cocoa and cider. 
Cost: $17
1923 Baileys Corner Road, Wall, NJ 07719

Jersey City Lighting
December 1 at 6 PM
The Historic Downtown Special Improvement District will combine a Menorah and Christmas Tree Lighting. Don’t miss the hot chocolate and cookies. 
Cost: Free
Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, 134-158 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Pre-Kwanzaa Event
December 2 at 7 PM
Stockton University will commemorate the beginning of Kwanzaa for the 47th year with a pre-celebration open to everyone. The evening will include a libation ceremony—outlining the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa during a candle-lighting—and dance performances. 
Cost: Free 
Stockton University, Campus Center Room, 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ 08205

Kwanzaa Community Celebration Montclair
December 3 at 10 AM
The Montclair Public Library will celebrate the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa with a festive community gathering. The event, which will be held at the Main Library, will feature traditional presentations, live entertainment, and programs that illustrate the historical elements of Kwanzaa. One such principle, cooperative economics, will be demonstrated during the Ujamaa Winter Market, featuring local vendors from Montclair and its surrounding communities. There will be balloon twisting, dance, and music.
Cost: Free
50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042

Season of Light
December 4, 11, 18
Light the cold dark season with a warm and bright show celebrating all holidays. Season of Light explores why humans are so fascinated with lighting up our lives during the December holiday season. This show traces the history and development of many of the world’s most endearing holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season — from the burning Yule log to the lighting of luminarias in the American Southwest and the traditional ritual of the Hanukkah Menorah.
Cost: $3 and up
Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University, Science Hall, 201 Mullica Hill Rd, Glassboro, NJ 08028

Harambee Breakfast & Kwanzaa Celebration
December 10 at 9 AM
Feast on breakfast and learn more about Kwanzaa and the unique traditions that reinforce seven fundamental values of African culture, which contribute to building and supporting family, community, and culture among African American people and Africans worldwide. 
Cost: $5 and up
Jumping Brook Country Club, 210 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune City, NJ 07753

Ujamaa Economic Power Kwanzaa Celebration
December 10 at 9 AM
Celebrate Kwanzaa with a candle-lighting ceremony, vendors, food, music, live performances, and children’s activities.
Cost: Free
Rahway Recreation Center, 3 City Hall Plz., Rahway, NJ 07065 

Kwanzaa at New Jersey Performing Arts Center
December 17 at 10 AM
NJPAC honors the seven principles of Kwanzaa with free and joyous programs. The Kwanzaa Festival and Marketplace open at NJPAC on Saturday, December 17, at 10 AM; registration for the Free Kwanzaa Family Festival begins at 9 AM. The festivities include dance classes, storytelling, face painting, a Kwanzaa candle-lighting ceremony, live performances, and traditional foods. The festival is a collaboration between the Newark Museum of Art, Newark Arts, the City of Newark, Newark Symphony Hall, and Newark Public Library. 
Cost: Free
1 Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102

Passaic Hanukkah 5K Race and Kids Fun Run
December 18 at 9 AM
This festive event promotes healthy living, exercise, and running/walking in the greater Passaic and Clifton communities and provides an opportunity for fun and friendly competition by offering a 5K race for men, women, and children. Refreshments, medals, and prizes (to top 3 overall in 1 mile and 5k as well as age group top 3) included. Everyone also gets a race shirt. 
Cost: $5 and up
The Boathouse Café at Third Ward Veterans’ Memorial Park in Passaic Park, NJ 07055

Car Menorah Parade Cherry Hill
December 18 at 4 PM
The parade will be led by a car-top Menorah and a police escort through the streets of Cherry Hill. There will also be a menorah music truck, classic and antique cars, and first responder vehicles.
Cost: Free
1925 Kresson Road to the Barclay Center, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Menorah Lighting and Gelt Drop
December 18 at 5 PM
At this community event on the first night of Hanukkah, there be an 8-foot mega LED robot, Grand Menorah Lighting, a gelt drop, and treats for all.
Cost: Free 
430 Park Ave., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

Woodland Park Public Hanukkah Celebration
December 18 at 7:30 PM
It’s the year of Hakhel which means gathering. Bring the whole family to celebrate in Woodland Park on the first night of Hanukkah.
Cost: Free 
Dowling Gardens, 2 Dowling Parkway, Woodland Park, NJ 07424

Ventnor City Menorah Lighting
December 19 at 5:30 PM
This south Jersey menorah lighting by the shore will take place on the Sacramento side of Ventnor City Hall.
Cost: Free
6201 Atlantic Avenue, Ventnor City, NJ 08406

Palmer Square Annual Menorah Lighting
December 20 at 4 PM
The Jewish Center of Princeton will be there for the annual lighting of the menorah in Palmer Square. There will be music and fun for the whole family.
Cost: Free
Nassau Inn Patio, 10 Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ 08542

Medford Hanukkah Village Walk
December 20 at 5 PM
Take a Hanukkah village walk, visit vendors, and then see the Grand Menorah Lighting. There will also be a trackless train, latkes, candle-making, crafts, and activities.
Cost: Free 
Medford Village Park and Main Street & Allen, Medford, NJ 08055

Little Falls Public Hanukkah Celebration
December 21 at 6:30 PM
Come to Wilmore Park to celebrate Hanukkah in Little Falls with a public menorah lighting and fun.
Cost: Free
Wilmore Road, Little Falls, NJ 07424

Hanukkah on the Morristown Green
December 21 at 5 PM
Bring everyone in the family to the annual Hanukkah Candle Lighting on Morristown Green. This festive event will have doughnuts, hot drinks, gelt, prizes, music, and more. 
Cost: Free
Morristown Green, Morristown, NJ 07960

Collingswood Menorah Lighting
December 22
Join the community for a Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Celebration at the Lumberyard Garden (Collings and North Atlantic Avenues). The evening of fun for the whole family includes music, latkes, donuts, dreidels, and choco-gelt.
Cost: Free
Collingswood, NJ 08108

Voorhees Hanukkah on Ice
December 24 at 7 PM
Head to Flyers Skate Zone for a night of Hanukkah-themed fun. All ages can enjoy gelt, a giant menorah lighting, festive music, and refreshments. Admission includes doughnuts, a skate rental, and drinks.
Cost: $12 
601 Laurel Oak Avenue, Voorhees, NJ 08003

KWANZAA 365 Celebration
December 27 at 11 AM – 6:30 PM
Join performers, dancers, and speakers at this lively all-day celebration, which ends with a Kinara lighting ceremony (it will also be streaming live). There will also be events throughout the day, including arts and crafts, a gaming station, local storytelling, and giveaways. 
Cost: Free
Harambee Circle, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ, 08608

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.

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