Winter Festivals in NJ: Holiday Fun All Season Long

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It’s the time of year when going to winter festivals in NJ will get the whole family into the holiday spirit. And with a bunch happening now through January, you’ll be able to check out a different one every weekend (and then some). Take a tractor ride and skate at Vinter Wonderland at Renault in Egg Harbor City, kick off the holiday season with family fun and Santa at Avalon’s Festive Friday and Snowfest Saturday in Avalon or go back to 19th century merry England at the Dickens Festival in Smithville. Want more to do this season? Check out our guide to the holiday light shows this season. (featured photo credit: The Renault Winery)

(Note: It’s best to check ahead for in-person events)

Winter Festivals in NJ: Holiday and Cold Weather Fun

November Winter Festivals in NJ

Let It Glow
November 10- January 15
It’s a holiday spectacular with stunning, larger-than-life lantern displays of animals and nature that will wow you and your littles. Walk through the exhibits up close, then take a train ride through the zoo.  
Cost: $9 and up
Bergen County Zoo, 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652

Winterfest By the Sea
November 12 at 9 AM
Where can you see Santa and the Grinch in the same place? Kick off the season with a Holiday Shopping Extravaganza, where the big guy will visit with kids while mom and dad shop for gifts.
Ocean City Civic Center, 500 Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226

Vinter Wonderland
Starting November 18
Celebrate a successful harvest at Renault Winery with a charming and festive experience for all ages. Kids will love the ice skating, tractor rides, and live entertainment while you enjoy gourmet dining and wines. Santa Claus comes to town in December to light the Christmas tree, read a holiday story, and eat breakfast with the kids (reservations required). 
Cost: Prices vary
72 Bremen Ave., Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215

Avalon’s Festive Friday and Snowfest Saturday
November 18-26
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. 
Cost: Prices vary
Avalon, NJ 08202

Old Fashioned Christmas
November 18-January 1
See the seaside town of Cape May transform into a Dickens village just in time for the holidays. Don’t miss free events like the Winter WonderWalk on November 18, tours of the Physick Estate, Tree Lighting on November 19, and the Christmas Candlelight House Tours. They also have a Lamplighter Christmas Tour and Santa’s Trolley Tours throughout the season. 
Cape May, NJ 08204

Gratitude Fest
November 19 at 10 AM
Get a head start on holiday shopping at this local maker festival featuring artists, creatives, and vendors on the boardwalk. 
Cost: Free
6111 New Jersey Avenue in Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260

Winter Walk 
November 20-January 15
Visit Taylor Park and enjoy magical light displays as you stroll along a path at the lake’s edge. After you and your family enjoy the lights, visit Millburn’s unique retailers and restaurants. The park is lit from 4:30 PM until 10:00 PM nightly.
Cost: Free to enter
100 Main Street, Millburn, NJ, 07041

Christmas Light Show & Village
November 23-December 30, dates and times vary (check ticket schedule for full details)
Drive through a beautiful exhibit that twinkles with over two million dazzling lights—your littles will be amazed by all the sparkle and shine on this mile-long course. Afterward, head to the village to spot Santa, go ice skating, dine on hot cocoa and s’mores, and play lots of festive-filled games.
Cost: $29 standard admission or $79 VIP admission
Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Pl., Augusta, NJ 07822
(973) 383-7644

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.
Cost: $35 per car
Demarest Farms, 
244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale, NJ 07642
(201) 666-0472

Holiday Light Show on the Lake
November 24-January 6
Visit Historic Smithville to hear your favorite holiday tunes synchronized to a unique light display. There will be over 120 Christmas trees, constructed from 50,000+ Christmas lights, magically floating atop Lake Meone in the center of the village. An orchestrated show of lights dances across the water to Christmas music when the sky is dark. The show can be seen from either side of the village and the bridge.
Cost: Free
Historic Smithville Village, 
615 E Moss Mill Road, Smithville, NJ 08205

30th Annual Town Lighting & Holiday Express Concert in Red Bank
November 25
The most magical day in Red Bank, this 30th annual event, is one you won’t want to miss. Start the day shopping on Broad Street, followed by pre-show activities and then a Holiday Express concert, followed by the main event—the lighting of the Red Bank Christmas tree. 
Cost: Free
Broad Street,
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Model Train Show  
November 25-27, December 3-4, 10-11, and January 7-8
Got kids who love trains? There will be running steam and diesel trains on a 1200-square-foot model layout, including Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. Kids can try running trains on the children’s layout or check out the new second railroad. 
Cost: Kids under 10 are free 
575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon, NJ 07508

Holiday Events at Pier Village
November 25-27, Ice Skating will continue thru February 28
You can kick off the holiday season this year 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 you look at the window displays and take in the festive cheer.
Cost: Free
Pier Village,
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar
November 25-December 18, days may vary per location; check ahead
Step into a traditional Christmas market where you can shop, celebrate, and enjoy holiday decor and entertainment in Asbury Park at the Grand Arcade. There will also be crafts and a holiday photo booth. 
Cost: Free
Grand Arcade of Convention Hall, 1300 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

The Asbury Hotel, 210 5th Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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 10th watching live performances, listening to live music, and strolling along the sidewalk admiring the festive lights.
Cost: Free
Collingswood, NJ 08108

Light Show on the Lake
November 25-December 23
Gather ’round the fire pits at Johnson’s Corner Farm’s Discovery Barnyard to roast marshmallows and watch the lake light up in this breathtaking display. Be sure to hop on the Christmas “Light Show” Hayride to see more of the farm lit up for the holidays. 
Cost: $7.95 and up
Johnson’s Corner Farm,
133 Church Rd., Medford, NJ 08055
(609) 654-8643

Creamy Acre Farms Night of Lights
November 25-December 24, select dates

Drive through a dairy farm transformed into a Christmas Wonderland filled with huge light displays, a Musical Dancing Tree light show, and dazzling displays newly expanded with double the lights and scenes this holiday season. There will also be concessions, a country store, and fire pits.
Cost: $30 per vehicle
448 Lincoln Mill Road, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062

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.
Cost: more information to come
Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Township, NJ 08527

The Winter WonderLights
November 25-January 1
New Jersey’s largest animated holiday light show drive-thru will dazzle your whole family with over 1.5 million lights dancing to your favorite holiday music. The trees, the tunnels, and a tribute to first responders and US armed forces are just a sample of what you will see on the half-mile drive.
Cost: $30 per car or $125 VIP season pass per car; guests are encouraged to buy their tickets online.
655 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Dickens Festival in Smithville
November 26-27
See an original musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens’ heartwarming tale, by Riddlesbrood Touring Theatre Company performed on their portable outdoor stage. Visit the shops and restaurants after the show, along with the Smithville Train and Carousel.
Cost: Prices vary
Route 9 & Moss Mill Road, Smithville, NJ 08205

Bell Works Fresh Holiday Market
November 26-December 10, select dates
If the weather outside looks frightful, you can still shop at this indoor market with 75 local farmers, food purveyors, local artisans, and more. 
Cost: Free
Bell Works, 101 Crawfords Corner Road,
Holmdel, NJ 07733

Long Branch Holiday Bazaar
November 26-December 11, Saturdays and Sundays
Bring the whole family to this holiday tradition featuring music, food and libations, and kids’ craft workshops on Saturday. Families will also get to meet special holiday characters and take memorable photos at our Instagram-worth selfie station with the Grinch, Elf on a Shelf, and Frosty the Snowman.
Cost: Free
Whitechapel Projects (WCP), 15 2nd Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

Asbury Fresh Pop-Up at Porta
November 27, December 4, and December 8
Experience a warm and toasty holiday market season in good ol’ Asbury Park. Shop locally curated vendors and enjoy pizza and festive drinks.
Cost: Free
Porta, 911 Kinsley Ave.,
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

December Winter Festivals in NJ

Holiday on Haddon 
December 2
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.
Cost: The township will collect unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items for the Annual Holiday Toy Drive that evening.
Haddon Avenue, Haddon Twp., NJ 08108

2022 Weihnachtsmarkt German Christmas Market of New Jersey
December 2-4
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.
Cost: $7 and up
Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ 07822

Cape May City Crafts at Christmas
December 3

You’ll find something for everyone on your list at Cape May’s Annual Crafts at Christmas Show, where makers and artists display their handmade and original works. Comb the aisles of the legendary Convention Hall for maker goods like jewelry, soaps, candles, and artwork. 
Cost: Free
714 Beach Avenue,
Cape May, NJ 08204

Ocean Grove Holiday Festival and Christmas in Ocean Grove
December 3
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. 
Cost: Free
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

Pitman Winter Village
December 3
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 the Santa Village, live music, and meet Elsa and Olaf.
Cost: Free
Ballard Ave and Park, Pitman, NJ 08071

Westwood Home For The Holidays
December 3
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.
Cost: Free
Downtown Westwood

Winter Wonderland Weekend in Toms River
December 3
The courtyard at Town Hall in Downtown Toms River will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland Village where vendors will be selling great gifts for the holiday season. There will also be kid’s activities, a s’mores station, food trucks, and holiday music. 
Cost: Free
33 Washington St., Toms River, NJ 08753

Winterfest 6
December 3
When families can enjoy holiday music, fun activities for kids, and a special appearance by Santa, the outdoor market will offer unique gifts from area artisans and vendors, delicious treats and eats, and outdoor fire pits. 
Cost: Free
51 Haddon Ave., Haddon Twp., NJ 08108

Atlantic City Holiday Bazaar
December 3-4
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.
Cost: Free
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

44th Annual Hope Christmas Craft Market
December 3-4
Bring the whole family to shop, snack on festive treats, shop for holiday gifts, cut down your own tree, and enjoy some hot apple cider. 
Cost: $4 
Various locations townwide, parking available at 407 Hope-Great Meadows Road, Blairstown, NJ 07825

Count Basie Center Holiday Market
December 9-11
Get ready for holiday shopping, drinks, and more at The Count Basie Center For The Arts. Get into a festive mood with a highly curated collection of 50 local makers, handmade gifts, and unique presents.
Cost: Free
The Count Basie Center For The Arts, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07711

Holiday Market in the Park in Hopatcong
December 10
The tree lighting and a visit from St. Nick are at dusk but come earlier to explore what the holiday market has to offer. There will be free hot chocolate, prepackaged cookies, and ornaments for the kids.
Cost: Free
Modick Park, 28 Hopatchung Road,
Hopatcong, NJ 07843

Holiday Wonderland and Christmas Market 
December 10
This winter festival in NJ has everything from vendors to fire pits to an ice sculpture artist. There will be live entertainment and shopping and don’t forget to take a family photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 
Cost: Free
Heritage Park, 49 West Bay Ave., Manahawkin, NJ 08050

Warren Township Holiday Festival 
December 10
A bonfire, tree lighting, and fireworks are just the beginning of this winter festival in NJ. There will also be horse and carriage rides, a petting zoo, an iceless skating rink, food vendors, and free hot chocolate. 
Cost: Free
46 Mountain Blvd., Warren, NJ 07059

Bayshore Holiday Bazaar
December 10-11
Find all those unique gifts at this bazaar inspired by German Christmas markets featuring local and regional artists, vendors, and shops selling vintage, handmade art, jewelry, home goods, and more. While you shop, enjoy holiday hot drinks, food and libations, and a holiday photo station.
Cost: Free
Shore Casino, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

Historic Downtown Jersey City Happy Holiday Market
December 10-11, 17-18

Last-minute gifting is inevitable, so why not stop by for live music, food, and gifts made by local artisans? You’ll find that and more at this festive market in historic Jersey City.
Cost: Free
Grove Street PATH Plaza and The Ashford Rooftop,
Jersey City, NJ 07302

River Edge Family Hannukkah Celebration
December 11
Start the celebration with traditional Hanukkah goodies to eat with fun take-home crafts. There will also be an interactive musical performance by KidzMusic at 4:30 PM. 
Cost: Tickets are just $20 per family. Grandparents welcome
Temple Avodat Shalom, 385 Howland Ave, River Edge, NJ 07661 (between Paramus & Hackensack)

Jurassic Quest  
December 29-January 1
Walk back in time to see life-size dinosaurs, and while you are there, Ride-A-Dino, jump in a bounce house, create a dino craft, dig for fossils, learn about ancient oceans, walk with dinosaurs, and even meet baby dinos.
Cost: $19 and up
New Jersey Expo Center, 97 Sunfield Ave., Edison, NJ 08837

Which winter festivals in NJ do you plan on attending?

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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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