27 FREE Events in November in NJ

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Ready to start ushering in the holiday season? As we transition from fall fun into Thanksgiving and the holidays, there are lots of FREE activities to do with the fam. Crank up the cider press for a taste of fresh juice while Cider Making at Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell Twp, take an old-fashioned Horse and Carriage Ride through Ocean City, or get into the holiday spirit with a Winter Wonderwalk in historic Cape May. And if you are looking for more to do this season, take a peek at our Fall Activities in New Jersey Guide.

Featured Photo Credit: Istock/Kirkikis

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(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)

Virtual Polar Night at the Museum Rutgers Geology Museum
November 3 from 6 PM-7:30 PM
Travel to the Earth’s coldest places. This virtual, online event will include do-at-home arts & crafts, a trivia game, and a guest presentation, open to visitors of all ages. Tune into the Late Night Event here.
Virtual
(848) 932-7243

Climb Time at Shark River Park
November 4 from 12 PM-3 PM
Catch a glimpse of your county’s parks from a whole new angle and experience rock climbing on the way to the top of a 25′ portable climbing wall. You must be 42″ or taller to climb. This program is open to ages 8 and up, under 18, with an adult.
1101 Schoolhouse Road, Wall Township, NJ 07753
(732) 922-4080

Let’s Talk Cranberries
November 6 at 10 AM
Bring a blanket or chair and hear the story of Double Trouble’s former cranberry industry from the porch of the Packing House. This program is for ages 5 and up. Heavy rain or thunder will cancel this event. Pre-registration is required.
Cost: Free
Double Trouble State Park, Double Trouble Packing House, 581 Pinewald Keswick Road, Bayville, NJ 08721

(732) 341-4098

Cider Making
November 6 from 10 AM-4 PM
With apple season over, it’s time to make cider. To earn a taste, all you have to do is turn the crank of the cider press and help re-fill the hopper with a variety of apples that make for a perfect blend. Don’t miss the farmhouse kitchen, where apple pie is in the oven, and applesauce is on the stove.
Cost: Free
Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Twp., NJ 08530

(609)737-3299

May’s Landing Fall Festival
November 6 from 11 AM-4 PM
In its 20th year, the Mays Landing Merchants Association is hosting the May’s Landing Fine Crafts Fall Festival and Family Fun Day at War Memorial Park. There will be train rides, pumpkin painting, a mummy wrap, and more.
Cost: Free
109 NJ-50, Mays Landing, NJ 08330

Day of the Dead Community Celebration
November 6 from 3 PM-5 PM

Celebrate Mexico’s El Dia de Los Muertos with strolling mariachis, sugar skull decorating, folk arts and crafts, and food. Don’t miss the traditional dances too.
Cost: Free
Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
(609) 924-8777

Riverside Fall Festival
November 7 from 10 AM-4 PM
In conjunction with the Explore Warren History Trail, activities will include apple tastings and apple press, tours of the historic buildings, self-guided scenic walks along the interpretive trail and Delaware River.
Cost: Free
Route 46 and Ramsaysburg Road on the Delaware River

(908) 475-5352

Awesome Autumn Amble
November 8 and 15 from 10 AM-11:30 AM
New Jersey parks are a kaleidoscope of color in the fall. Explore trails with a Park System Naturalist to check out all the plants and animals that call Monmouth Park System home. This program is open to all ages, but under 18 must have an adult. Sturdy footwear is recommended.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, 331 Georgia Tavern Road, Howell, NJ 07731 – Meet in the parking lot
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen – 360 Monastary Lane, Aberdeen Township, NJ 07747 Meet in the Visitor Center parking area

Nature on the Move – Autumn Nights
November 12 and 19
Follow a Park Naturalist for a 45-60 minute hands-on interactive program. Look for the colorful Nature on the Move van in Perrineville Lake Park, Millstone, the Agress Road parking area, or Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold.
Perrineville Lake Park, Access Road parking area, Millstone, NJ 08535
Historic Walnford, 62 Walnford Road, Allentown, NJ 08501

Bacon, Sausage, and Scrapple Making
November 13 from 10 AM-4 PM
It’s the annual work of making sausage, scrapple, and bacon to give visitors a chance to see the techniques used to make these products. You can even taste some of the results. Visitors can lend a hand filling the sausage stuffer and grinding the corn used in the scrapple and cornbread recipe and get a taste of cracklins and other delicacies made in the process.
Cost: Free
Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Twp., NJ 08530

(609)737-3299

Princess and Pirate Day at the Zoo
November 13 from 11 AM-2 PM
It’s the Cape May County Park and Zoo’s annual “Princess and Pirate Day,” where the whole family is encouraged to dress up. There will be activities for the kids, a craft station, games, entertainment, animals, an inflatable pirate ship, and more. Your favorite princesses will hold coronation ceremonies and Disney Trivia along with Kaptain Kristian, the pirate, and his crew.
707 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
(609) 465-1000 

Edible History Series at Historic Walnford: Coffee Cake
November 13 from 2 PM-3 PM

Grab some coffee and try some coffee cake made from a 19th-century recipe. Learn all about the history and evolution of coffee and the sweet cake that goes with it.
Historic Walnford, 62 Walnford Road, Allentown, NJ 08501
(609) 259-6275

2nd Annual Winter Wonderwalk
November 19–into winter 2022
Wrap yourself in the warmth of the holiday season as the grounds of Cape May’s only Victorian House Museum. The Emlen Physick Estate will be lit up and glowing. Join the Winter Wonderwalk to walk the grounds and view these fun and whimsical display of winter’s past. And continue the festivities by walking along the streets of Cape May’s decorated homes.
1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 884-5404

Logging and Firewood Cutting
November 20 from 10 AM-4 PM
Visitors can cut and chop firewood, split locust logs into fence rails, and make barn pegs for use in barn frames around the farm. Meanwhile, the farmers will be using horses to skid saw logs out of the woods and haul firewood to the sap house in preparation for maple sugaring season. Also, at the sawmill, farmers will be cutting boards for horse stalls, fences, and a new hog shed.
Cost: Free
Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Twp., NJ 08530

(609)737-3299

Gratitude Fest
November 20 from 11 AM-4 PM

Get a jump on holiday shopping and take in the sea air at this outdoor festival featuring artists, creatives, and vendors of all kinds.
6101 New Jersey Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260
For more information, visit chrissymariedesigns.com or (609) 780-2761

Horse and Carriage Rides
November 20-21, 26-27 
The Asbury shopping district in Ocean City will transform into a “Miracle on Asbury Avenue,” celebrating the holiday with decorated shops and special holiday offers. There will also be free horse and carriage rides throughout the downtown and much more.
6th and Asbury Avenue, Ocean City, NJ 08226
800-BEACH-NJ

Smithville Holiday Light Show On The Lake
November 25-January 6
Over 120 Christmas Trees with over 50,000 Christmas lights float on Lake Meone in the center of Historic Smithville. When darkness falls, an orchestrated show of lights and music is played out across the lake. The show can be seen from either side of the village as well as the bridge.
Historic Smithville, 615 E. Moss Mill Rd., Smithville, NJ 08205
(609) 748-8999

Avalon’s Festive Friday, Santa Lights at Dune Drive, and Avalon’s Drive-in Movie
November 26 from 11 AM-4 PM, Santa Lights at 4:30 PM, Drive-In Movie at 6:30 PM
Embrace the holiday season with Festive Friday, featuring more than 40-holiday activities for the entire family to enjoy. There will be live music, children’s performances, and head over to Dune Drive at the end of the day for a special appearance by Santa himself during the 2nd annual Santa Lights Dune Drive parade. After the official nod from Santa to start the holiday lights, cozy up for a showing of “Home Alone!” at the drive-in.
Dune Drive and 80th -8th Street and 29th Street Parking Lot, Avalon, NJ
(609) 967-3936

Barnegat Light Tree Lighting and Santa’s Viking Christmas Village
November 26 at 6:30 PM and November 27 from 10 AM-4 PM
Santa arrives on the fire truck to light the “Borough Christmas Tree” and will be ready to greet visitors at the First Aid Squad building. Then on November 27, there will be live music, local artists, and crafters. Local shops will be open from 10 AM- 5 PM. Santa will arrive by fire truck at 1 PM and will be available for visits and pictures.
19th and the Bay, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006
(609) 494-9196

Stone Harbor Holiday Weekend
November 26-27
Watch a pet parade, join in a scavenger hunt, experience family activities, enjoy a merchants’ hospitality night, partake in Small Business Saturday activities, and don’t miss the Christmas Parade too.
Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
(609) 368-5102

Fanwood’s Famous Christmas House
November 26-January 8 from dusk to 10 PM
See over 30,000 lights at Fanwood’s Famous Christmas House. Santa will visit on December 4 from 4:30 PM-7 PM. Donations will be accepted for the NJ Institute for Disabilities.
82 Paterson Road, Fanwood, NJ 07023
(908) 403-6486

No More Grist for the Mill at Historic Walnford
November 27 & 28 from 11 AM-3 PM
Decorate a stocking, take a selfie in a sleigh, and sip on some hot cocoa to celebrate the start of the holiday season at Historic Walnford. Take a tour of the historic house, built in 1773, and enjoy the rumbling of the gristmill during its last run of the year.
Historic Walnford, 62 Walnford Road, Allentown, NJ 08501
(609) 259-6275

Holiday Dickens Fest
November 27 at 1 PM and 7 PM and November 28 at 1 PM
The Riddlesbrood Touring Theatre Company will bring the Spirit of Christmas back to Historic Smithville when they return to present their two-day outdoor “Dickens Fest” with interactive singing for all ages. There will also be holiday-themed art, artistry, and collectibles show.  Admission to “Dickens Fest” is free and parking is free.
Historic Smithville, 615 E. Moss Mill Road, Smithville, NJ 08205
(866) 276-6399

Santa’s Tree Lighting Celebration
November 27 from 3 PM-6 PM
Head down to Cape May for this celebration will include live holiday music by the John Walter Cape Community Band, an ice sculpture demonstration, the polar express train ride, bounce house castle & slide, character appearances, dance performances, free treats for all, and a visit by Santa himself.
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
(609) 465-1000

Long Branch Holiday Bazaar
November 27-December 19 from 12 PM-5 PM
There will be food, vendors, and more at this Bazaar, with live music, holiday photo stations, craft workshops, and beautiful holiday décor. The holiday market is inspired by the traditional “Weihnachtsmarkts” held in Germany. While you shop, enjoy delicious food and libations, and craft beers from Whitechapel Projects.
15 2nd Ave., Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 963-9218

RWJBarnabas Health: Cooking Classes for Kids
Dates and times vary depending on the program
Kids of all ages will love cooking up healthy treats in these virtual hands-on cooking classes (adult supervision required during class): Try Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen for kids 8-12, where they’ll learn to use a recipe, cook with nutritious ingredients, and utilize kitchen basics or try Taste Testers in Hannah’s Kitchen, a Mommy and Me style class for 2-4-year-olds.
Cost: Free
RWJBarnabas, Virtual
(973) 926-7371

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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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