30 Free Family-Friendly Events in December

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Tis’ the most wonderful time of the year to enjoy a local holiday or crafter’s market, a tree lighting, or a fun holiday-themed festival with your little ones. From Jersey City

1. JCC Community Tot Shabbat
Friday December 1, 2017 | 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Open to the community this event is family-friendly fun for ages one to four. Enjoy the playgroup, snacks, crafts and meeting new friends. Celebrate Shabbat, experience music, candle lighting and mingle with other parents.
Katz JCC
1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

2. Holiday Steam Hour
Friday December 1, 2017 | 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Ages 8-17, come learn about STEAM while also participating in fun science experiments. Make your own Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer slime, dissolve some candy canes, and make some fake snow. Snacks included, registration is required through their website or at the branch.
Warren County Library, Northeast Branch
40 US HWY 46 West, Hackettstown, NJ

3. Boonton First Friday: Old Fashion Holiday
Friday December 1, 2017 | 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Need a jump on the holiday shopping, look at this festival as the one stop for all your holiday needs. Enjoy Christmas Carolers all up and down Main Street, try your luck at entering your gingerbread house in the Best Gingerbread House in Boonton contest at the BMS store. Take advantage of the sales, socializing, art, dining and shopping all through the night.
Boonton Main Street
620 Main Street, Boonton, NJ

4. Greasy Luck
Friday December 1, 2017 | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
A family-friendly event that brings the exciting story of Leland Emerson to life. The captain of the whaling ship Sarah Ann, the year 1843, with historical based characters songs, activities and storytelling your child will enjoy every moment. This event is made possible by the generous funding from Investors Bank.
Museum of Early Trades & Crafts
9 Main Street, Madison, NJ

5. North Pole Pajama Party
November 18, 2017 – December 30, 2017 | 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Take the family out for a meal at the Melting Pot, kids wearing pajamas will get a free sweet treat.  Whether your train is heading north or not, make a new holiday tradition with the family.  *Kid’s will receive a child’s portion of chocolate fondue with purchase of one adult cheese and chocolate fondue portions.
The Melting Pot of Whippany
831 Rt 10 East, Whippany, NJ

6. 40th Festival of Trees
Friday December 1, 2017 – Friday December 29, 2017 | 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Visit the Environmental Education Center to get into the holiday spirit. An indoor exhibit with decorated trees from all different community groups and individuals. Enjoy some live holiday music on select Saturdays and Sundays, or have a seat at the Snowflake Cafe. A five dollar suggested donation is appreciated.
Environmental Education Center
190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge, NJ

7. Holiday Lights Spectacular
Monday, December 11, 2017 – Tuesday, January 2, 2017
Take a stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this holiday season under the beautiful sparkling lights. With over 50 winter and animal characters, every child will be delighted by the sights. Donations of nonperishable food items, new toys and gently used coats to celebrate the season of giving.
Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, New Jersey 07052

8. Kick off the Holiday Season Weekend
Saturday, December 2, 2017 – Sunday, December 3, 2017
Enjoy a fun day of wagon rides, holiday festivities and visiting the barnyard animals. Find your perfect tree and wreath for this holiday season, unique gift baskets from Terhune Orchards fruits, baked goods, and even wine Let the kids visit Santa from 12-5pm while the adults hit the wine tasting room
Terhune Orchards
330 Cold Soil Rd., Princeton, NJ

9. Joe Fischer Holiday Magic
Saturday December 2, 2017 | 11:00 am – 11: 45 am
Want to welcome winter in a magical way, check out this interactive magic show to bring in the season. Whimsical and entertaining Fischer will sweep your child off their feet with his charm and flair.
Public Library
Booth Dr, Nutley, NJ

10. Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market
Saturday, December 2, 2017 – Sunday, December 3, 2017 | 10:15 am – 9:15 pm
Also known as Weihnachtsmarkt, the 16th Annual Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market has everything your family could want to experience this winter. With an entertainment schedule that’s sure to keep everyone on their feet to the countless vendors ready to give your family a brand new cultural experience. Donations of one dollar are asked for at the door.
Lake Mohawk Boardwalk
21 Boardwalk Lake Mohawk, Sparta, NJ

11. Casino Pier Holiday Festival
Saturday December 2, 2017 | 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Celebrate the holidays at Casino Pier Arcade, wear your ugliest Christmas sweater for their contest to win a prize. Creative minds are encouraged to build your own Olaf Sock Snowman, Bird Feeder, and Santa Beard. Even make a card to send to Service Members, and stick around for the indoor snowball fight.
Casino Pier Arcade
800 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, NJ

12. Holiday at Essex County Kip’s Castle
Saturday December 2, 2017 – Saturday December 30, 2017 | 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
During the month of December for a self-guided tour of the first floor of Kip’s Castle, and experience the holidays circa 1928. A dining room set for a holiday feast and a parlor festooned with greenery and ribbons. Refreshments will be provided.
Essex County Kip’s Castle
22 Crestmont Rd, Verona, NJ

13. Christmas Bazaar, Hot Breakfast, and Photos with Santa
Sunday December 3, 2017 | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, crafts, balloon artists, face painting and more, come down to St. Rose of Lima School for a Christmas styled event you’ll never forget. With gift vendors for all the holiday shopping needs everyone will be sure to find something for that special someone in their life. Check out the raffle table which will have this season’s hottest toys for you to try and win.
St. Rose of Lima School
51 Lincoln Place, Freehold, NJ

14. Art Together
Sunday December 3, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Explore a wonderful day of art for all ages, work side-by-side on arts and crafts projects. Each session includes a brief instructor-led tour through one of the galleries. With interactive workshops led by Mason Gross MFA students and teaching arts, it’ll spark the inner artist in your child.
Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ

15. Winter Festival
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Celebrate the season with activities and entertainment including crafts, games and more.  Find something for everyone on your list, experience a little magic before the holidays start.  Get the perfect holiday photo with the family under the beautiful lights.
SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library Branch
64 Washington Street, Rocky Hill, NJ

16. Pokemon Club: Holiday Party
Friday December 8, 2017 | 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Ready for a Poke-tastic holiday party, come on down and make some Pokemon salt dough ornaments while sipping hot chocolate and watching holiday Pokemon episodes. Registration is required, please either visit the branch or sign up online. Your Pokemon fan won’t want to miss this wonderful event.
Warren County Library, Northeast Branch
40 US HWY 46 West, Hackettstown, NJ

17. Sensory Library Time at the Cranford Public Library
Friday, December 8, 2017 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
An after-hours program that was created for children with autism and their families. Sponsored by a grant from the Union County Freeholders, this event brings families together with minimal unnecessary stimulation Registration is not required but tickets are served on a first come first serve basis
Cranford Public Library
224 Walnut Avenue, Cranford, NJ

18. The Caboose Mystery with Steve the Magic Conductor
Saturday December 9, 2017 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Join Steve the Magic Conductor for a special performance of “The Caboose Mystery”, an interactive piece that gets the whole family involved in this train-themed mystery. Come in early and make the Meet and Greet to get a photo with Steve, enjoy some free hot chocolate and arts and crafts.
Brunswick Square
755 State Route 18, East Brunswick, NJ

19. Music in the Museum
Sunday December 10, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The fourth year of Music at the Museum, a monthly concert series featuring classical and jazz musicians from the faculty of the Mason Gross School of Arts Extension Division. Take a seat and enjoy the music or walk around and browse the side-by-side art. The concert series is designed to attract all ages but come early to grab a good seat.
Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ

20. Star Wars BB-8 Kids’ Craft
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Ages 3-8 welcome, get ready for the new Star Wars movies by coloring in your own BB-8. With even, the ability to spin it’ll be the perfect craft to take home. Registration required, please sign up online or at the branch.
Warren County Library, Northeast Branch
40 US HWY 46 West, Hackettstown, NJ

21. Star Wars Movie Showing and Pizza Party
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 6:00 pm – 8:15 pm
All ages welcome, (PG-13 Warning, 136 minutes) Get ready for the new movie by watching the latest one. Watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Luke Skywalker Smoothies and pizza. Please register in advance either online or at the branch
Warren County Library, Northeast Branch
40 US HWY 46 West, Hackettstown, NJ

22. Festive Friday Night Swim at Goldfish Swim School Wyckoff
Friday December 15, 2017 | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Join Goldfish Swim School for their Festive Friday Family Swim. Hot chocolate will be served and children will work on their “fishlist.” With supplies provides to create a holiday list for Bubbles to look over. If you’re lucky you’ll be chosen to win a month of lessons and a free Bubbles stuffed animal (valued at $125).
Goldfish Swim School Wyckoff
327 Franklin Ave, Wyckoff, NJ

23. Stocking Making Demo at Langosta Lounge
Sunday December 17, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Celebrate the holiday season with the family at Langosta Lounge and Third Avenue Pavilion. Marilyn Schlossbach and the family will be hosting a stocking-making demo. With sweet treats everywhere the family won’t be the only ones thrilled to be there
Langosta Lounge
1000, Asbury Park, NJ

24. Miracle on Elm Street
Saturday December 17, 2017 | 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Get into the winter spirit and enjoy an afternoon of skating at Summits Miracle on Elm Street. Warm up around one of the bonfires with a cup of chili or soup from the featured food trucks. Skating, on synthetic ice, is allowed every half hour and no pre-registration is needed.
Village Green
365 Broad Street, Summit, NJ

25. Winter Solstice Carnival
Sunday December 18, 2017 | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
All ages are welcome, for fun carnival games of all varieties to make even adults feel like kids once again. Beanbag toss, bowling, pin the tail on the donkey and make & take gifts. Stick around for How the Grinch Stole Christmas with seasonal snacks. Please register either in person or at the branch.
Warren County Library, Northeast Branch
40 US HWY 46 West, Hackettstown, NJ

26. Free Yoga Class for Kids (Ages 4-12) at HRC Fitness
Monday December 19, 2017 | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Yoga for kids? You bet, looking for the stress-free event to give the kids a new perspective on all the academic worries they have then look no further than here. Develop confidence, control, and concentration all in one session.
HRC Fitness
30 Brower Lane, Hillsborough, NJ

27. Chanukah Give/Get Program
Monday, December 19, 2017 | 5:00 pm
Open to children of all ages to teach the spirit of giving. Light Chanukah candles, enjoy latkes and applesauce. Participate by bringing in a new book or pair of pajamas to give back to the community.
Congregation B’nai Israel
53 Palisade Avenu, Emerson, NJ

28. Winter Solstice Celebration
Thursday, December 21, 2017 | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Celebrate with Grow It Green Morristown and your community with an evening at Early Street Community Garden. With s’mores and relaxing yoga to renew the spirit. Learn about past solstice and let go of the past year to bring in the new.
Early Street Community Garden, 17 Early Street, Morristown, NJ

29. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Movie Showing and Craft
Friday December 22, 2017 | 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Ages 3-8 welcome, color in your own Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Stocking. Then stick around for the classic movie while sipping hot chocolate and munching on snacks. Registration is required online or in person.
Warren County Library, Northeast Branch
40 US HWY 46 West, Hackettstown, NJ

30. First Night Ocean County in Seaside Heights
Sunday December 31, 2017 | 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Come on down to the boardwalk to celebrate the New Year. With family-friendly activities everywhere you look, even get some last minute shopping or find something to bring you luck in the New Year. Fun and games for everyone and fireworks at 5:00 pm.
Boardwalk
Sheridan Avenue, Seaside Heights, NJ

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