26 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Weekend December 1-3


It’s officially the happy everything season, and with it, a bunch of festive and fun things to do with the fam. Catch the big guy, decorated trucks, and all the lights at the Jaycees Christmas Parade in Wildwood, see Santa and beautiful decorations, and make crafts at the Let It Snow Holiday House at Barclays Farmstead in Cherry Hill, or enjoy food and fun activities at Family Hanukkah Crafts in South Orange. For more family fun, make sure you hit up all the local holiday activities before January 1. (Featured Photo Credit: istock/jimfeng)

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


Photo Credit: Five Star Swim School

Snowman Splash – Holiday Party at Five Star Swim School 
Five Star Swim School’s Snowman Splash is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays at the pool. Children will enjoy swimming with fun holiday floats, party games, and holiday cookies. Feel free to bring your holiday pajamas to change into after swimming. We will be decorating a craft that you can take home. It is going to be SNOW much fun.
Cost: Tickets are $20 per child; parents can accompany their children for free or swim with them for $10
Dates and times vary by location. Register in advance.

Wildwood Crest Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 1 at 5 PM
Ready to kick off the holiday season? This fun event will feature music, light refreshments, a visit from Santa, and the lighting of the tree.
Cost: Free
Sunset Lake, Atlanta, and New Jersey Avenues, Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260

Greater Wildwood Jaycees Christmas Parade
December 1 at 6:30 PM
Line the street and watch as the beautifully decorated floats go by. Awards will be given to the best floats and decorated businesses. At the end, there will be a Christmas tree lighting.
Cost: Free
15th Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260

Christmas Tree Lighting at Rotary Park
December 1 at 7 PM
This event brings old-fashioned fun to Cape May, including caroling, a special visit from the Big Guy himself, and a gorgeous Christmas tree lighting.
Cost: Free
Rotary Park, 400-498 Lafayette Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

Hometown Holiday
December 1 at 5 PM
This fun-filled evening is the perfect way to kick off the holidays. There will be a tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Clause, music, free horse and carriage rides, and more.
Cost: Free
44 E. Washington Avenue, Washington, NJ 07882

Christmas In The Plaza
December 1-2
Get into the holiday spirit with free carnival rides and vendors. Then, stay for live music and story time with Mrs. Claus, having a great time kicking off the holiday season with the fam.
Cost: Free
Byrne Plaza, 3400 Pacific Avenue, Downtown Wildwood, NJ 08260

Children’s Holiday Shop
December 1-2
Take your little ones and help them discover the joy of giving at this holiday shop. Volunteers will help your children choose their own holiday gifts (prices are $5 and under) for family and friends in a safe environment while parents mingle and enjoy refreshments (just don’t peek!). There’s also a dedicated special needs shopping hour. 
Cost: Free
Community House Library, 16 East Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057

Toms River Winter Wonderland Weekend
December 1-2 & 9
Spend the weekend celebrating all things holiday and winter. There will be a tree lighting, photos with Santa, and live music, followed by a complete Winter Wonderland Village with hot cocoa, vendors, and more.
Cost: Free
Courtyard of Toms River Town Hall, 33 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ 08753

“Let It Snow” Annual Holiday House at Barclay Farmstead
December 1-3
This is a weekend filled with so many things to do and memories to make. From a candlelit house tour and visits with Santa to crafts and beautifully decorated rooms, don’t miss this special event.
Cost: Ticket prices vary
209 Barclay Lane, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

North Wildwood Tree Lighting
December 2 at 5 PM
Usher in the holiday season with a special tree-lighting ceremony at the lighthouse. Bring the entire fam and enjoy music, refreshments, a visit from Santa, and a self-guided tour of the lighthouse.
Cost: Free
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Courtyard, 111 N Central Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ 08260

A Christmas Carol
December 2 at 1 PM
No holiday season is complete without the classic story from The Christmas Carol. See this tale come to life on stage with a melodic score and a beautiful production.
Cost: $15 for adults and $12 for children
Jay and Linda Grunin Center For The Arts, College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754

Christmas Parade in Cape May
December 2 at 4 PM
Ready to see Santa, Mrs. Clause, Elves, and live musicians all in one spot? Stand along the street and watch as the fun parade goes by, and make sure you have your phone out in case they stop to take photos along the way.
Cost: Free
Washington Street Mall, Cape May, NJ 08204

Cranford Kids Christmas Party
December 2 at 9:30 AM
From pictures with Santa to face painters, this is an event for the whole family to enjoy. Take in the holiday atmosphere while you spend time with the fam and listen to music from the Cranford Middle School bands.
Cost: Free
Cranford Community Center, 20 Walnut Avenue, Cranford, NJ 07016

A Magical Cirque Christmas
December 2
Experience the magic of the Christmas season with this holiday variety show. Talented acrobats, contortionists, and aerialists will perform to a holiday score and fly through the air like you have never seen before.
Cost: Ticket prices vary
Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960

Heights Holiday Market
December 2 at 10 AM
Get your holiday shopping done and support local while you do it at this market. There will be local artisans and vendors, live music, food and drink, a visit from Santa, and more.
Cost: Free
498 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07307

Montville Holiday Toy Drive Event
December 2 at 11 AM
This is a wonderful event for all members of your family. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for local children’s hospitals and also enjoy free kids activities, face painting, food trucks, and more.
Cost: Free
Condurso’s Garden Center, 96 River Road, Montville, NJ 07045

Peppa Pig’s Sing-Along Party
December 2
Have a little one who loves Peppa Pig? Peppa, George, Mummy Pig, and Daddy Pig are throwing a fun sing-along party, and you are invited. Bring the whole family to this fun party.
Cost: Ticket prices vary
State Theatre New Jersey, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Pancakes with Maple the Snowman
December 2, 10 AM
This is the perfect time to sit back with the fam and enjoy a pancake breakfast with Maple the Snowman. There will also be games, music, and fun for the little ones.
Cost: Free
314 State Route 12, Flemington, NJ 08822

Elf: The Musical
December 2-17
Buddy the Elf will be on stage for his adventure from the North Pole to New York City, where he has an eventful holiday season. This is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.
Cost: Ticket prices vary
Algonquin Arts Theatre, 60 Abe Vorhees Drive, Manasquan, NJ 08736

Dickens Village
December 2-16
A community tradition, Dickens Village takes over Maplewood with scenes from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol set up in miniature houses all around the square. There are also horse and wagon rides, a petting farm, music, crafts, and more.
Cost: Free
Ricalton Square, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Noyes Holiday Market and Gingerbread Village
December 2-3 at 12 PM
Celebrate the holidays with local vendors, photos with Santa, a gingerbread village and contest, and more.
Cost: Free
The Noyes Arts Garage, 2200 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Breakfast With Santa
December 3 at 9 AM
Come for a festive and fun breakfast with Santa to celebrate the beauty of the season at Renault. Enjoy a delicious meal and professional photos with the Big Guy, and then stay after for the Vinter Wonderland activities like ice skating and vineyard tractor rides. 
Cost: Ticket prices vary
Renault Winery Resort, 72 N Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215

Holiday Party
December 3 at 4 PM
Make memories with the family at this lively celebration with delicious food, music, exciting activities, and beautiful decor. 
Cost: Free
Amwell Valley Conservancy Inc, 117 Bowne Station Road, Stockton, NJ 08559

Kid’s Holiday and Health Fair
December 3 at 10 AM
Looking for a place where the kids can enjoy holiday shopping, entertainment, and healthcare information sessions all in one spot? This event will feature doctors and departments from Hackensack Meridian Healthcare, along with children’s entertainers Miss Sheri and Jungle Jim.
Cost: Free
iPlay America, 110 Schanck Road, Freehold, NJ 07728

Story Time and Hot Cocoa with Santa
December 3 at 10 AM
This third celebration with Santa will feature Christmas tinsel with fairy hair, a hot cocoa bar, letters for Santa, storytime, photos with Santa, and more.
Cost: $40
Cornerstone Montclair, 198 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043

Hanging of the Greens
December 3 at 11:30 AM
Start the holiday season with decorating and holiday cheer with the family. There will be arts and crafts, a children’s gift bazaar, ornaments for sale, holiday music, and so much fun.
Cost: Free
145 Carletondale Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456

Family Hanukkah Crafts
December 3 at 11:30 AM
Bring the family together and enjoy a Hanukkah extravaganza with crafts, activities, pizza, munchkins, and drinks. This is a great way to spend the day with your loved ones.
Cost: Free
222 Irvington Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079

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About Author

Karen lives in Central Jersey with her two dogs, one cat, husband and daughter Olivia. Graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations, she has been writing and working in the social media field for a few years. One of her proudest moments as a writer so far has been interviewing Tim Gunn from 'Project Runway' and subsequently winning Honorable Mention in NJ for Feature Writing. When she is not busy as a mom, she enjoys reading, going to the beach and watching the Real Housewives.