This weekend gather the fam with some hot cocoa and hop into the mini van for the Magic of Lights Opening Weekend in Holmdel, meet Santa and watch fireworks at the Holiday Lights Festival in Hackettstown or enjoy a glass of warm mulled wine at a traditional German christmas market, the Christkindlmarkt in Clark. So enjoy mamas—and kickoff the holiday spirit before the madness begins.
featured image via Magic of Lights
Here are 8 kid-friendly things to do this weekend around New Jersey:
Magic of Lights Opening Weekend
November 22 – 24
The entire fam will delight in this spectacle, as you drive through a sparkling path of hundreds of dazzling light displays of holiday scenes and characters. After, head into the Jolly Holiday Village where you can sip on hot cocoa, watch holiday classics, skate on the ice rink, play games, decorate cookies and spend some time talking to Santa. Ho, ho ho!
PNC Bank Arts Center
Cost: Weekday $25 per car, Weekend $30 per car, $20 in advance
Cape May Holiday Preview Weekend
November 22 – 24
Are your kids itching to see Santa? Head to the Physick Estate where the big guy and his elves have decked out this historical house with thousands of lights and holiday trimmings (on Saturday night Santa arrives for the tree-lighting ceremony).Your littles will love the trolley rides with stories led by Mrs. Claus and An Old-Fashioned Christmas exhibit, with displays of model trains and a Dickens Village. To keep the holiday spirit going, bring non-perishable food items to donate to the local food bank.
1048 Washington St.
Cape May, NJ
Granny’s Attic Craft Show
November 23, 9AM-4PM
Start a new holiday shopping tradition with the family at the 39th annual Granny’s Attic Craft Show. You never know what unique treasures you will discover: There are more than 250 vendors of handcrafted items including ornaments, candles, children’s accessories, holiday decor, ceramics and more. Sample tasty bites from local food trucks such as Empanada Guy and Pasta Amore or satisfy your sweet tooth at the pop-up baked goods shop. We hear there will even be some decadent, gourmet chocolates to taste–YUM!
Thompson Middle School
Cost: $5 for Adults, $2 for Children 14 & under
Fredon Old-Fashioned Christmas
November 23, 11AM-4PM
Let the tales of Christmases long, long ago come to life at this historic home.Treat the kids to holidays of yesteryear, when they watch an authentic 1950’s train set as it chugs along its tracks and pose for pictures with Santa on his antique sleigh on the decorated front porch. They’ll be food in the 1805 kitchen, and tours throughout the house—don’t miss the chance to explore this beautiful property while it’s all dolled up for the holidays.
Col. John Coursen Homestead
Cost: suggested $5 donation per family
Hackettstown Holiday Lights Festival
November 23, 5PM-6:30PM
Mix, mingle, and get ready for the season at this fun, festive festival in Hackettstown, that will put the whole family in a holiday mood. Enjoy live entertainment and snacks, while kids make crafts and visit with Santa. After, watch the beautiful tree lighting ceremony and spectacular fireworks to close the night.
Hackettstown Medical Center
Swedish Christmas Fair
November 24, 10AM-4PM
Take a trip into another culture at this festive fair, where you can sample Swedish foods and shop for the holidays with handmade Christmas decorations, linen, and wooden items. Kids will be entertained by making crafts and watching the highlight of the day—the beautiful Lucia pageant and choir that’s a truly unique Swedish tradition. Don’t forget to try the Glögg, a typical Swedish spiced holiday drink.
Upper Montclair, NJ
Cost: $2 donation
November 24, 12PM-5PM
Kick off the holiday season and find special gifts at this annual traditional German Christmas market. They’ll be plenty of German vendors offering beautiful Christmas ornaments, paper stars, stollen and candles, while your kids feast on traditional foods like bratwurst and cookies. If you’re feeling festive, sip a mug of the Gluhwein, a warm mulled wine while walking around.
787 Featherbed Lane
Give Thanks Free Family Swim
November 24, 3:30PM-5PM
Escape the chilly weather outside and get some energy out, when you and the littles go for a swim in a heated, indoor pool. There’s no charge, but advance sign up is required, so reserve your family spot ahead. And in the spirit of giving this season, plan on bringing a donation of non-perishable food or diapers that will be delivered to the Human Needs Food Pantry.
SafeSplash Swim School
Cedar Grove, NJ