‘Tis the season for celebrations, and with current social distancing guidelines in effect, Christmas things to do in NJ are going to look a bit different this year. Though holiday events and gatherings need to be much more intimate than ever before, it can still be the most wonderful time of the year (and couldn’t we all use that right about now?). From must-see performances to spectacular light shows, outdoor carnivals, holiday tours, and more, here is an epic lineup of Christmas things to do in NJ that your whole family will love.
Note: Most of these NJ Christmas events require advanced ticket purchasing and limited capacities, so book early. Also, please call before you head out, as some events could be affected by last-minute Covid-19 restrictions.
Featured photo via capemaymac.org
Check Out These Christmas Things To Do In NJ
Northern New Jersey
Christmas Light Show & Outdoor Village
November 20th through January 3rd
Pile the kids in the car and head to Skylands Stadium for one of the best Christmas things to do in NJ. Drive through the wondrous mile-long light show course, have fun on the carnival rides, visit a s’mores pit, customize your drink at the hot cocoa bar and take a whirl around the skating rink.
$29 per car, additional cost for carnival, skating, and drinks
94 Championship Place
A Christmas Carol
November 27th through December 13th
Nineteenth-century London comes to life at the Sitnik Theatre at the Lackland Performing Arts Center, courtesy of the Centenary Stage Company. This new adaptation of the Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, should be at the top of your list for Christmas events in NJ. Though indoors, the safety measures in place are contactless ticketing, required masks, social distance seating (with a max of 112 people in the theater), and regular deep cleaning.
$25 per ticket
715 Grand Avenue
Live Nativity — CANCELLED
December 12 – 13, at 5PM and again at 7PM each day
Don warm clothing and masks for this must-see traditional Christmas event, held outdoors at the Times Square Church, North Jersey Campus, with socially-distanced seating. The whole gang will be entertained and moved by the live actors and animals, in addition to the stirring Christmas carols.
450 Howard Blvd.
Mount Arlington, NJ
Central New Jersey
Long Branch Holiday Bazaar at Pier Village– CANCELLED
November 27th – December 20th (Thursday – Sunday)
There’s so much to see and do at this pop-up open-air bazaar, inspired by the traditional “Weihnachtsmarkts” holiday markets in Germany and one of the best Christmas things to do in NJ. Go for a few hours or make a weekend out of it as you shop, eat, and drink to your heart’s content. You can pick up the perfect handcrafted and vintage gifts for your loved ones while the kids can enjoy music and special live musical performances. Also, sign up for holiday workshops that include wreath making and essential oil blending, view the Christmas tree lighting and Menorah lighting ceremonies, and visit the festive photo selfie stations, all under heated, cozy outdoor tents.
Pier Village Festival Plaza
1 Chelsea Avenue
Long Branch, NJ
Christmas at Allaire
December 6th, 13th, and 20th
Experience what an 1830’s Christmas was like at the decorated-to-the-nines Allaire Village. Each Sunday until Christmas, wander through the village with each house decorated in an old-world style, watch the blacksmith, wood carving, and tinsmith demonstrations, partake in a Christmas scavenger hunt, and watch a historical cooking session. You can even mail your letter to Santa in the village’s Post Office.
4263 Atlantic Avenue
Wall Township, NJ
Festival of Trees
November 18th through January 10th
Year-round, inspiring, and educating people is the name of the game at Morven Museum & Garden, and during the holidays, definitely add this to your list of Christmas things to do in NJ. You’ll want to feast your eyes on the extra-special juried collection of holiday trees and mantles on display throughout the mansion. There will be timed admissions tickets, and don’t miss the gorgeous decor and beautiful lighting outside if you don’t want to go in.
$10, children under 6, free
55 Stockton Street
Southern New Jersey
Six Flags Great Adventure Holiday in the Park
November 14th – January 3rd
Spot millions of glittering lights, dozens of rides for all ages, festive foods and drinks, and live entertainment in this winter wonderland-themed thrill park that will delight all ages. Even if your kids are not into the rides, there’s plenty of fun Christmas things to do at the Jolly Jamboree, where you may spot a visit from the big guy and Mrs. Claus.
1 Six Flags Blvd.
Jackson Township, NJ
Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquarium
November 27th – December 24th
Want to surprise the fam with something a little different this holiday? See Santa in scuba gear swimming with sharks and the world’s tallest and smallest underwater Christmas trees. You’ll also want to check out the unique exhibits featuring touch tanks, penguins, hippos, and thousands of other aquatic animals.
1 Riverside Drive
Lamplighter Christmas Walking Tour
November 20th – December 26th (Thursday – Saturday)
Who doesn’t love a good mystery and a chance to see the charming Cape May houses up close? Gather the family and embrace your inner detective as you and your group of loved ones help the Lamplighter discover clues in this 45-minute immersive mystery walking experience. It starts at the Emlen Physick Estate and continues through the village, past the Victorian houses all decked out for the holidays.
Adults, $35, Children (3-12) $28
1048 Washington Street
Cape May, NJ
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
Now until December 23
Littles will be thrilled to take a train ride through millions of holiday lights, meet Santa and his elves in his workshop, watch an outdoor holiday movie, chat with Mrs. Claus, play games, and eat cookies. Everything is outside, and COVID safety measures like extra cleaning after each train ride, mask requirements, and one car per family on the train make this a safe and fun way to celebrate Christmas events in NJ.
Tickets $13.95 per person
1151 South White Horse Pike