The latest update for this article is written by Lindsay Podolak.
As the holiday season takes hold, it’s time to think about buying the perfect presents for everyone on your list. But, instead of heading to the usual big box stores, why not get into the holiday spirit and head to some of the most festive holiday markets in New Jersey? These limited-time-only markets won’t be around for long, so you’ll have to act fast.
For those who have never been to a holiday market, it’s important to note that these are not your typical events; instead, think of them as an outing in itself, an afternoon where you can have fun, do some shopping and eat some food all in one place. Here’s to making holiday shopping fun again!
Christkindlmarkt Old Time Holiday Craft Market
Where: Tuckerton Seaport, 120 Main Street, Tuckerton
When: November 30 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, December 1 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and December 2 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Details: Celebrate the traditions of the season at Tuckerton Seaport’s annual holiday market. Start (or finish!) your holiday shopping amongst the dozens of craft, gift and gourmet vendors in a nice, heated tent or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Live entertainment plus food trucks will be on hand, so why not make a day of it? Admission is $5 per person and if you bring a new, unwrapped toy donation you can ride the Frozen Woods Hay Ride for free!
Why I like it: Late hours on Friday mean you can enjoy the twinkling holiday lights as you shop!
More Info: tuckertonseaport.org or call 609-296-8868
Sauce for the Goose Market
Where: Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton
When: November 30 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, December 1 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and December 2 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Details: It’s the 25th year for the Sauce for the Goose Market and you don’t want to miss it! Local artists will have ceramics, glassware, ornaments and other forms of fine art and craft available to purchase. Enjoy refreshments while you peruse the wares and check off people on your holiday shopping list.
Why I like it: Free admission plus a welcome reception to kick off the market on Friday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm!
More Info: artscouncilofprinceton.org
Lake Mohawk Weihnachtsmarkt
Where: Lake Mohawk Country Club, 21 Boardwalk, Lake Mohawk & Sparta Train Station, 30 Station Road, Sparta
When: December 1 from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm & December 2 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Details: For the 17th annual German Christmas Market put on by Lake Mohawk, a second location is being added. Both will have live music, vendors and food, but the Sparta Train Station locale will feature more children’s activities. Shuttle buses will run between the country club and the train station, and patrons are encouraged to use the Park & Ride service at either Sparta Middle School or Sparta High School for stress-free parking.
Why I like it: Santa will be in attendance collecting toy donations for Operation Toy Train, so be sure to bring one along.
More Info: lakemohawkgermanchristmasmarket.com
Annual Edible Jersey Holiday Market
Where: The Willow School, 1150 Pottersville Road, Gladstone
When: December 2 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Details: Known for being one of the state’s best food-loving magazines, Edible Jersey will be hosting its annual Holiday Market featuring dozens of the most edible food, wine and gift vendors. This is the market to find artisan, organic and fair-trade coffees, 100% grass-fed cow’s milk cheeses, pasture-raised and grass-fed organic meats, raw honey and much more all under one roof and all from local vendors. It’s a foodie’s dream come true.
Why I like it: Donations are encouraged at the door and a portion of the proceeds benefit local charities.
More Info: ediblejersey.ediblecommunities.com
Asbury Park Bazaar
Where: The Grand Arcade of Convention Hall, 1300 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park
When: Saturdays and Sundays from November 24 through December 23, noon to 5:00 pm
Details: The Asbury Park Bazaar has made a name for itself bringing together artists across New Jersey to hang out in one of the Jersey Shore’s most beautiful and historic buildings. Inside Convention Hall – where the likes of everyone from Bruce Springsteen to The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones have rocked out – this holiday market features unique shopping, live music, a visit with Santa and even a holiday drink or meal at one of Convention Hall’s restaurants where you can sit and people watch into the evening.
Why I like it: A hot toddy (or hot chocolate) bar? Sign me up!
More Info: www.asburyparkbazaar.com
Hoboken City Hall Holiday Craft Fair
Where: 94 Washington Street, Hoboken
When: December 1 & 2 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Details: Not only can you purchase everything you need to finish your holiday shopping list at this craft fair, but you can also add family portrait to your list too! The Hoboken City Hall Craft Fair is the site to purchase handcrafted gift items featuring everything from jewelry to baby sweaters, holiday ornaments and candles, to balsamic vinegars and artisanal olive oils. Crafters will be set up on all three floors of City Hall, which has elevators and is wheelchair accessible.
Why I like it: Mrs. Claus will be on hand both days, doing face-painting for the kiddos!
More Info: facebook.com
Where: City Hall Plaza, 280 Grove Street, Jersey City
When: December 1 & 2
Details: Celebrating their sixth year, the Jersey City Project’s MARKET has a lineup of over 60 local merchants offering everything from food to arts and crafts and more in a (very) large heated tent. This holiday market stands out from the rest with food trucks, an outdoor bar and tons of seating areas. Whoever said shopping was boring never had tacos and alcohol while they were doing it.
Why I like it: This free event gives back to the community by collecting toys for the holiday toy drive and distributing them to families in need throughout the city.
More Info: www.thejerseycityproject.com