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The Best Holiday Tree Lighting Events in New Jersey

The latest update for The Best Holiday Tree Lighting Events in New Jersey is written by Lindsay Podolak.

New Jersey kicks off the holiday season with brilliant tree lighting events throughout the state. These celebrations bring on the holiday cheer with fun and free festivities, such as Santa visits, live music, ice skating and carriage rides. From the cities of Northern New Jersey to the towns along the shore, there’s no brighter start to the holidays!

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Featured Holiday Tree Lighting


Official Holiday Tree Lighting at Tropicana

Tropicana holiday musical light

Where: Tropicana Atlantic City, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City
When: Wednesday, November 20 at 5:30 pm
Details: You can bet that this Atlantic City tree lighting is something unique. The 35-foot tree is adorned with lights synchronized to holiday music and is located indoors at Tropicana. Once lit, the tree will be on display with its music and lights through early January. Daily shows run from Thursday, November 21 through Friday, December 27; these shows take place every hour on the hour starting at noon. Click here to learn more.
Why I like it: For the event’s 15th year, all guests will enjoy a special anniversary dessert; plus samples from A’dam Good Deli, Broadway Burger Bar, Carmine’s, Hooters, La Petite Creperie, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, and Zeytinia.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


North Jersey

crowd at the front of a stage


Downtown for the Holidays & Tree Lighting Celebration

Where: E. Ridgewood Ave and Memorial Park, Ridgewood
When: Friday, December 6 at 5:30 pm
Details: Ridgewood welcomes December and the holiday season with the 34th annual lighting of their spectacular Christmas tree. The event goes along with a Santa visit and live music by the RHS Marching Band, Carolers and Orchestra. Attendees are encouraged to explore the shops and restaurants of downtown Ridgewood, which will be open for the evening.
Why I like it: Special for this year is the “Winter Fire and Light Show in the Park” event; this is put on by the Ridgewood Parks and Recreation Department.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


Holiday Lighting Xchange at Secaucus Junction

Where: Secaucus Junction, Secaucus
When: Saturday, December 7 at 5:00 pm
Details: This lighting celebration is bursting with activities, including Santa photos, inflatables, snacks, and both tree and menorah lightings. Plus, for an extra bright finale, the evening tops off with fireworks.
Why I like it: Vendors will be set up at the holiday bazaar; so you can also get your shopping done here, too.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


Phillipsburg Tree Lighting Celebration & Santa Visit

Where: Shapell Park, 353 S. Main Street, Phillipsburg
When: Monday, December 2 at 6:00 pm
Details: At Phillipsburg’s free annual community event, guests can sip hot chocolate, munch on Christmas cookies, and make holiday crafts. Listen to carolers and watch performances from local dancers as you await Santa Claus. Don’t forget to bring a donation for the winter coat drive!
Why I like it: Each child who attends gets the chance to take a photo with Santa; but that’s not all, they will also receive a special holiday gift from him.
More info: Visit the website.


Central Jersey

crowd surrounding lit trees


Christmas Tree Lighting at Palmer Square

Where: Palmer Square, 40 Nassau Street, Princeton
When: Friday, November 29 at 5:00 pm
Details: More than 32,000 lights illuminate the 65-foot tree at Palmer Square. This year’s celebration features live holiday music, performances from the Princeton High School Choir and School of Rock Princeton. And of course…a visit from Santa!
Why I like it: Princeton’s downtown is chock full of restaurants and shops; it’s a great spot for some strolling around after the tree lighting.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


Winter Wonderland 2019

Where: 2 City Hall Plaza, Rahway
When: Friday, November 29 at 1:00 pm
Details: Rahway pulls out all the stops every holiday season when its downtown is transformed into a magical wonderland. The fun includes ice skating, Santa pictures, carriage rides, food and, of course, the annual tree lighting. Roaring bonfires will keep you warm in the winter weather!
Why I like it: Sensory-friendly Santa photos for children with disabilities are available from 11:00 am to Noon; just visit the Rahway Rec Center.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


Jersey Shore

willow reindeer and sleigh surround christmas tree


The Annual Long Branch Tree Lighting at Pier Village

Where: Pier Village, Long Branch
When: Sunday, December 1 at 4:00 pm
Details: Pier Village brings on the winter season with a Santa visit, ice skating and live music. The highlight of the evening is, you guessed it, the lighting of the tree.
Why I like it: Pier Village goes all out with mini train rides, a carousel, stilt walkers, and more.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


Holiday Express Concert & Town Lighting

Where: Broad and Canal Streets, Red Bank
When: Friday, November 29 at 7:00 pm
Details: There’s lots to celebrate as Red Bank hosts its 27th annual welcoming of the season. The festivities include live music, holiday lights, hot cocoa, and the arrival of Santa via train. Santa will then lead the parade by fire truck to the official tree lighting.
Why I like it: Performances by Holiday Express and the youth band of the Monmouth Conservatory will keep you entertained until the live countdown at 8:00 pm.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


South Jersey

large lit tree in center of town square


Collingswood Tree Lighting

Where: Borough Hall, Collingswood
When: Friday, November 29 at 7:30 pm
Details: Watch Santa descend from the roof of Borough Hall, with the help of a fire truck! Afterward, Santa leads the official town tree lighting, along with live music and greetings from the mayor.
Why I like it: After the tree lighting, check out the live ice carving demo; this takes place at the Millennium Clock/Zane Schoolhouse at 7:30 pm.
More info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.


Dickens Festival

Where: Main Street, Medford
When: Saturday, December 7 at 4:30 pm
Details: For nearly three decades, Main Street in Medford has become an old-fashioned winter wonderland at the start of the holiday season. The official tree lighting begins when a town crier transports Santa and Mrs. Claus to the center of downtown. Upon Santa’s arrival, the town gets busy with tons of activities, plus magic, comedy, and juggling shows.
Why I like it: Feel like dressing up? Put on a costume that is either Dickens, Victorian or Steampunk Era and join the festive costume contest.
More info: Visit the website.


Tree of Hope Lighting Ceremony

Where: South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, 1244 North Delsea Drive, Vineland
When: Saturday, December 7 at 4:30 pm
Details: Join other animal lovers at the shelter’s annual tree lighting. Enjoy light refreshments and warm beverages while you mingle. You may even find an adoptable pet you want to take home!
Why I like it: Sponsor a light in honor of loved ones or pets and be featured in the video presentation.
More info: Visit the website.


Hero (Top) Feature Image: © bozhdb / Adobe Stock
Additional Images: ©
Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce / Facebook
Palmer Square Princeton / Website
Pier Village / Facebook
Borough of Collingswood / Facebook