He’s making a list and checking it twice—yes, Santa in NJ is back, and he’s coming to a town near you. Stop by any of these malls, towns, festivals, and villages, where kids can visit with the elves or special characters, share their wish list with Santa and get memorable photos to keep. From an old-fashioned celebration to an indoor snowy adventure, there are plenty of places in the Garden State to see Santa this season—ho, ho, ho! And if you want more holiday fun, don’t miss the Santa train rides in NJ. (featured photo credit: Short Hills Mall)
(It’s best to check ahead for in-person events)
Where To See Santa In NJ
Santa at Bridgewater Commons
Now through December 24
Here comes Santa Claus—capture the holiday magic with Santa in the 25 garland-topped light curtains (each adorned with thousands of white, glistening lights) and candy-cane-inspired twists cascading from high above. Santa will be on his chair in grand style, inviting kids of all ages to share their wish lists for memorable moments and keepsake photos. This year, dress up with Santa during three different theme nights for joyful and unique holiday photos. From luau attire to ugly sweaters, there’s a theme night for everyone to join the fun where participants receive Santa’s magic sparkle 3D glasses and more—Luau Night: Wed., Nov. 30 – 4 PM to close, PJ Night: Wed., Dec. 7 – 4 PM to complete, and Ugly Sweater Night: Wed., Dec. 14 – 4 PM to close. Santa will also host sensory-friendly events to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit and photos with Santa in a quiet setting: Sunday, December 4: 10 AM to 11 AM and Sunday, December 18: 9 AM to 10 AM.
Bridgewater Commons, Lower Level and Center Court, 400 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Now-December 21, select dates
Magical Encounters does a variety of photos, but their holiday photography is quite a treat. For Christmas, experience their ultimate Santa photography experience with a real life set complete with all the whimsy and magic specific to the holiday. Meet an authentic Santa Claus to interact with for 25 minutes of private uninterrupted time which creates the perfect holiday cards or photography to hang on the wall for years to come.
62 East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
Have your crew ride aboard a train through millions of Christmas lights and then do a meet and greet with Santa and his elves in his workshop. Don’t miss the Holiday Movie tent, taking a photo with your favorite snowman, and the Toy Market and Walkthrough Holiday Village.
1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037
Santa’s Flight Academy at The Mall at Short Hills
Now through December 24
Bring your littles to learn the sled ropes and join Santa’s Flight Crew at Short Hills Mall. Children will help Santa in NJ guide his sleigh and help him deliver gifts all around the world. When you meet up with the big guy, your kiddos can be a part of an immersive photo experience where they can dance in Santa’s magic mirror and during a magical snowfall party in Santa’s sleigh. And don’t miss the Sensory Santa event on December 4.
The Mall at Short Hills, 1200 Morris Tpke., Short Hills, NJ 07078
Photos with Santa at Deptford Mall
Now through December 24
Head to Center Court and have your kids snap a photo with St. Nick. Visit Santa’s all-new Toy Shop, and pre-booking is recommended. Don’t miss Sensory Friendly Visits with Santa on December 4 and Pet Photos with Santa on November 21, 28, and December 5.
Deptford Mall, 1750 Deptford Center Road, Deptford Township, NJ 08096
Santa Arrives at Westfield Garden State Plaza
Now through December 24
Ho ho ho—Santa will arrive by firetruck accompanied by a drone show on December 18, followed by food trucks and lots of holiday fun. Skip the line by making a reservation before your visit. Santa Paws Pet Nights are every Monday, Pajama Parties are every Tuesday, and Ugly Sweater Days are every Thursday.
Westfield Garden State Plaza, One Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
Now through December 24
Head over to the Bass Pro Shops for a visit with Santa in NJ. Kids will experience the magic of Santa’s Wonderland and receive a free 4×6 keepsake photo. Reservations are recommended for your visit.
Bass Pro Shops, 30 N Christopher Columbus Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Santa at Menlo Park Mall
Now through December 24
Dress up the kids for that festive photo and yearly magical moment with Santa. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Now through December 21, join the Edison Public Library near the Santa Set for a Holiday Pajama Story Time with snacks, crafts, and more. Also, Caring Santa ® will greet special needs visitors for a private experience on December 4, and don’t miss those pet photos on December 11.
Menlo Park Mall, 55 Parsonage Road, Edison, NJ 08837
The Santa Experience
Now through December 24
At this private photography studio, your kids will creatively pose with the most photogenic Santa in NJ to create a memorable keepsake for years to come. From different scenes and setups to one-on-one time with the Big Guy and delicious cookies, your kids will feel the magic and be mesmerized by meeting Santa in a private Christmas wonderland.
Branchburg, NJ 08876
Photos with Santa at Freehold Raceway Mall
Now until December 24
The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s Winter Wonderland. Located at Lower Level, Zara Court, a visit with Santa is always free, and photo packages are available for purchase. There will be events throughout the month, like Pets Nights and Holiday PJ Palooza, with special guests.
Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 US 9, Freehold, NJ 07728
Santa Photos at Cumberland Mall
Now through December 24
Capture the magic of the holidays through the eyes of your little ones with a picture with Santa. Dress up for Santa’s Arrival PJ Party on November 19. Have a furry friend in your family? Bring them to Santa on November 21.
Cumberland Mall, 3849 S. Delsea Drive, Vineland, NJ 08360
5th Annual Big Santa Lighting and Drone Show
November 18 at 5:30 PM
It’s the 5th annual lighting of the iconic Big Santa at Westfield Garden State Plaza. The festivities include a drone light show, musical performances, food trucks, giveaways, and surprise visits from holiday favorites such as The Grinch and Santa Claus. They will arrive in a fire truck escorted by the Paramus High School Marching Band.
One Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
Santa Photo Experience at Newport Centre
November 18 through December 24
Bring the little ones and see their eyes light up when they see Santa Claus this holiday season. Starting November 18, Santa will be available for photos with the kids. Reservations are recommended, and you can also book a day with Santa and Fido.
30 Mall Drive West, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Skylands Stadium Light Show & Christmas Village
November 23 through December 30
Visit Santa’s Workshop in the Christmas Village at Skylands Stadium, featuring a photo station with Mr. Claus, a Ferris wheel, and Champ, the life-size polar bear statue. Enjoy delicious drinks at the snack bars while the kids roast marshmallows over the fire pit to make s’mores. And don’t miss the 1-mile Lightshow.
Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Place, Augusta, NJ 07822
Visit with Santa at Johnson’s Corner Farm
November 25-December 23
Get ready to snap a ton of photos with Santa Claus at this event which features their famous Light Show on the Lake. Take a lighted hayride, decorate a Christmas cookie, and roast a s’more on an open fire.
Johnson’s Corner Farm, 133 Church Road, Medford, NJ 08055
Vinter Wonderland Santa Visits
Starting December 1
Celebrate a successful harvest at Renault Winery with a charming and festive experience for all ages. Santa Claus comes to town in December to light the Christmas tree, read a holiday story each Thursday, and eat breakfast with the kids (reservations required) on Saturdays. Kids will also love ice skating, tractor rides, and live entertainment while you enjoy gourmet dining and wines.
72 Bremen Ave., Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
Avalon’s Festive Friday and Snowfest Saturday
Kick off the holiday season in Avalon with a whole weekend of activities. On Friday, there will be live music, children’s performances, character appearances, face painting, an art bar, crafts, giveaways, hot chocolate, a drive-in holiday movie, and a parade featuring the Big Guy as a special guest. On Saturday, watch ice sculpting, take a photo with Santa, enjoy bounce houses, carnival rides, and obstacle courses, and cozy up with lots of cocoa.
Avalon, NJ 08202
Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular
November 18 through December 31
Take a stroll under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters, and then stop by Santa’s workshop to take a picture with the man himself. Be sure to check the schedule before you go—Santa has to make quick trips back to the North Pole and isn’t always on the property.
Turtle Back Zoo West Orange, NJ 07052
Breakfast with Santa at Bella Vida
November 27 and December 18
Share a delicious breakfast with family and friends and welcome special guest Santa Claus as he visits Bella Vida Restaurant and stops at each table to greet guests on select dates leading up to Christmas.
406 Broadway, West Cape May, NJ 08204
Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms
November 23-January 1
Start your engine and explore 32 acres of holiday light displays at Demarest Farms. You can also warm up by the fire pit with s’mores, enjoy hot cocoa and treats in the retail farm market, and take pictures with Santa while listening to Santa’s reindeer singing.
Demarest Farms, 244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale, NJ 07642
Holiday Events at Pier Village
You can kick off the holiday season at this festive tree lighting at Pier Village with fun activities, including ice skating, Christmas caroling, and a special visit from Santa Claus. After the tree is lit, enjoy shopping while looking at the window displays and enjoying the festive cheer.
Pier Village, Long Branch, NJ 07740
Collingswood Holiday and Menorah Lighting Events
November 25-December 22
Spend the season celebrating, starting with a Holiday Tree Lighting on November 25, a Holiday Parade on November 26, and the Community Menorah Lighting On December 2. Make sure you get your list to Santa (he’ll be around every weekend) and spend the night of December 10 watching live performances, listening to live music, and strolling along the sidewalk admiring the festive lights.
Collingswood, NJ 08108
Santa Claus is Coming to MarketFair
November 25 through December 24
Grab the little ones and meet Saint Nick at MarketFair. Reservations are strongly recommended but not required.
MarketFair, 3535 US Highway 1, Princeton, NJ 08540
Holiday in the Park
November 25-January 1, select dates
Hit your favorite theme park at night to see it completely decked out in colorful lights and mingle with special guests, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ride the roller coasters—plenty of smaller ones perfect for your kiddos—and enjoy the street entertainment all over the park. Finish the night with a festive treat, like a cup of hot chocolate, yummy cider, and fried s’mores.
Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Township, NJ 08527
Santa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony at Cape May County Zoo
Can you keep a secret? Rumor has it that the zebras at the Cape May County Zoo brought Rudolph and his crew in through the back gates. Come see for yourself, and while you’re there, take your photo with the jolly man in the big red suit and ride aboard the holiday train. Catch a holiday performance, check out the ice sculpture demonstration, free treats, and so much more.
Cape May County Park & Zoo, 707 US 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Santa’s Arrival in Morristown
November 27-December 18
Come down to The Morristown Green and take in the magic of the season. Visit and take Santa pictures in NJ to make this holiday season one to remember. Santa will also be at the Christmas Festival on December 2 and will visit until December 18.
The Morristown Green, 10 N. Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960
Breakfast with Santa at Congress Hall
Various Dates in December
Breakfast with Santa returns to Congress Hall! This holiday family favorite will take place in the Grand Ballroom. Kids and adults will love the delicious breakfast buffet, and don’t forget to dress up in your holiday best for photos with Saint Nick by the poinsettia tree.
Congress Hall, 200 Congress Pl., Cape May County, NJ 08204
Holiday on Haddon
The “Parade of Lights” will make its way down Haddon Ave with decorated fire trucks, bands, floats, holiday characters, and, of course, Santa. The tree lighting ceremony will take place immediately following the parade. Families are invited for refreshments at the Westmont Fire Company No. 1, and children will get a chance to give their list to Santa and take a photo.
Haddon Avenue, Haddon Twp., NJ 08108
2022 Weihnachtsmarkt German Christmas Market of New Jersey
Who says you need to fly to Germany to experience an authentic Weihnachtsmärkt? Sussex County Fairgrounds is home to the largest annual Christmas market in the state and the only German Christmas Market in the US, complete with a Biergarten, food market, folk dancers, and live music. Your littles will enjoy a special visit from St. Nicholas and Mrs. Claus. 100% of all proceeds are donated to the local Sussex County charities.
Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ 07822
Ocean Grove Holiday Festival and Christmas in Ocean Grove
During the day, shop with local crafters and artisans, and listen to live music. After, watch a choir performance, see a live nativity, a tree lighting with carols, and a special visitor from the North Pole.
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
Pitman Winter Village
Treat yourself to the charm of a Victorian Holiday in this village, where you can shop for unique, handmade gifts from vendors. Your little ones can visit with Santa at Ballard Park and stroll among the decorations and lights afterward.
Ballard Ave and Park, Pitman, NJ 08071
Westwood Home For The Holidays
Get ready for the holiday season with the return of Westwood’s beloved Home For The Holidays celebration, which features a parade, live music, and tree lighting. The parade will begin at 6:00 PM and will include a visit from Santa.
Bring the kids to enjoy holiday music, fun activities, and a special appearance by Santa. You can also shop the outdoor market offering unique gifts from area artisans and vendors, delicious treats and eats, and outdoor fire pits.
51 Haddon Ave., Haddon Twp., NJ 08108
Atlantic City Holiday Bazaar
Holiday shopping, food and libations, handcrafted and vintage goods, and more. The holiday bazaar is inspired by the traditional “Weihnachtsmarkts” in Germany. Throughout the two event days, there will be nonstop live music, an indoor Biergarten, arts and crafts activities for children and adults, pictures with Santa, and shopping from local artists and makers.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Sea of Lights Indoor Holiday Lights Spectacular
December 9-28, select dates
Where else can you see an actual diving Santa Claus but at Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach? The Indoor Holiday Lights Spectacular also includes treats, crafts, pictures with Santa, games, and entertainment.
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Holiday Market in the Park in Hopatcong
The tree lighting and a visit from St. Nick are at dusk but come earlier to explore the holiday market. There will be free hot chocolate, prepackaged cookies, and ornaments for the kids.
Modick Park, 28 Hopatchung Road, Hopatcong, NJ 07843
Holiday Wonderland and Christmas Market
Stop by this lively festival with vendors, fire pits, and an ice sculpture artist. There will be live entertainment, shopping, and plenty of opportunities to take a family photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Heritage Park, 49 West Bay Ave., Manahawkin, NJ 08050
Where will you be seeing Santa in NJ this year?
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