The holiday season has arrived! Here at Best of NJ, we aim to provide the most comprehensive list of holiday features and events in New Jersey. That’s why our Holiday NJ guide continuously updates all season long as new holiday content is published. Whether you’re looking for the hottest holiday gift ideas, the best spots for photos with Santa or in search of creative alternatives to traditional greeting cards this year, we’ve got all that and more.

Of course, New Year’s Eve is also right around the corner, so don’t forget to search through our events for upcoming New Year’s celebrations as well. But above all else, from all of us at Best of NJ, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Holidays!

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Holiday Features

The Best Limited-Time-Only Holiday Markets in New Jersey

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…

Simply Hanukkah: A Stress-Free Way to Embrace the Festival of Lights

The eight days of Hanukkah changes every year since it follows the Jewish calendar. (This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Tuesday, December 12th and ends the evening of Wednesday, December 20th.) Because of this, Hanukkah seems to “creep up” on many parents who find themselves unprepared for the holiday…

The Best Holiday Tree Lighting Events in New Jersey

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…

Christmas Celebrations at the Jersey Shore

Everyone knows that the Jersey shore is the best place to spend the summer. But did you know that the Garden State’s seaside towns are also the perfect place to celebrate the holiday season? Come December, these great towns come alive with unique holiday festivities, including house tours, holiday bazaars, Christmas parades…

10 Great Hanukkah Events for NJ Families

Break out the menorahs, dreidels and chocolate coins–it’s time to celebrate Hanukkah! December 24th marks the first night of the holiday and New Jersey is gearing up with menorah lightings, parties and festive celebrations throughout the month of December. The best part of these festivities? They’re all free to attend…

Holiday Gift Ideas Perfect for Preschoolers

Christmas and Hanukkah are less than one month away and NJ parents are busy searching for the perfect gifts for their toddlers and preschoolers. Think your kid already has everything under the sun? We’re here to help with some great ideas that will spark the imagination and bring a smile to their faces…

NJ Restaurants Open on Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and you know what that means; we’ve officially entered “the most wonderful time of the year.” But it’s also the busiest time of the year. Between gift shopping, attending parties and trying to keep up with daily activities, it can be difficult to save any energy for the big day itself…

nutcrackerThe Best Nutcracker Performances in NJ

Every holiday season, The Nutcracker comes to life on stages across the Garden State. The classic ballet tells the story of a young girl whose beloved toy nutcracker comes to life, taking her on a magical journey. This year’s productions include traditional full-length ballets, kid-friendly abridged versions and an unexpected hip-hop rendition…

Making dough for a Christmas cookiesThe Best Holiday Cooking Classes in NJ

It’s that magical time of year for season’s greetings — and season’s eatings. But you say you don’t know the difference between bake and broil — and the most adventurous dish you’ve ever made is cereal? No worries, there are dozens of holiday cooking classes taught by the finest culinary wizards in New Jersey available all month long…

holidaylightshows8 Amazing NJ Holiday Light Displays

There are so many ways to get into the holiday spirit this month. But if you’re looking for a winter activity that really dazzles, why not visit some of NJ’s biggest and best light displays? We promise they’ll delight even the family’s biggest Scrooge. Bundle up, grab some hot cocoa and check out these amazing light shows around the state…

struffoliBakeries with the Best Holiday Treats

There are a ton of wonderfully exclusive things to enjoy during the holidays. From pop-up shops and sales to nostalgic movies and jolly music on the radio, there’s no shortage of reasons to smile in December. But one of the greatest seasonal treats is the food. Here are a few of the best bakeries offering sweet holiday-only treats this season…

The Best Christmas Tree Farms in NJ

Sure, you can buy a Christmas tree at the closest store. But maybe you’d rather go directly to the source and cut down your own tree this year. It’s a great holiday outing the whole family can enjoy. New Jersey boasts many great farms where you can choose the perfect tree to showcase in your house this season…

The Best Holiday Shows for NJ Families

The holiday season is just not complete without a trip to the theater. New Jersey is home to some outstanding playhouses, many of which offer festive, seasonal shows sure to delight the entire family. From classics like A Christmas Carol and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas to a new production of Frosty the Snowman…

Up Close with Radio City Rockette Katie Hamrah

Christmas is a time of traditions, family, joy and more. Speaking of traditions, a world famous one is gearing up to perform on 50th Street to kick off the holiday season. The Rockettes are an internationally known dance troupe, famous for their high kicks and the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

The Best Holiday Train Rides in New Jersey

With Christmas just around the corner, New Jersey families with young children are on the lookout for magical ways to celebrate the season. There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by climbing aboard a holiday-themed train. New Jersey is home to several great train rides that feature beautiful holiday music and decorations…

Holiday Wedding Cakes: Q&A with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro

When you hear the words ‘holiday’ and ‘wedding cakes’ in one sentence, you might picture Santa’s sleigh flying down three tiers of white frosted snow. Or perhaps you imagine tons of red and green icing, looping around the edges of your cake. Maybe you’re thinking the cake has to be — shudder! — a fruitcake…

Gingerbread House

Craft Show: Walking Through a Gingerbread Wonderland

If you’re looking for a sweet way to celebrate the wonder of the season, be sure to visit Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s 24th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland and Craft Show. From traditional houses and cabins to lavish castles and even high-tech gadgets, the show is a family-friendly treat for all ages. You have to see this…

Santa PhotoThe Definitive Guide to the Best Santas in NJ

The cold is finally coming to New Jersey, the holidays are around the corner, and for all you parents and guardians with young kids, it’s time to get your game face on. There are presents to be bought, milk and cookies to be devoured, and, perhaps the trickiest part of it all, Santa photos to be taken. Smile while you continue reading…

Holiday EtiquetteHoliday Etiquette: How to Mind Your Ps and Qs

In the midst of seasonal nuttiness, it can be all too easy to forget the importance of good manners. So who better to ask about minding our manners and holiday etiquette than noted author and spokesperson Daniel Post Senning from The Emily Post Institute? Would you please read more…

Holiday Experience

The Ultimate NJ Holiday Experience: Gifting Without the Gifts

Everyone you know and love has too much stuff. They’re editing down; they’re decluttering. They want to use their garage for, you know, their cars. So how can you possibly give them presents for the holidays? Simple: Don’t give them things – give them experiences. Experience it for yourself now…

Holiday GreetingsCreative Ideas for Holiday Greeting Cards

Sending out holiday greetings is a tradition for many. But the number of holiday cards we find in the mailbox has seriously dwindled. People no longer want to waste paper and postage on cards. With that in mind, here are some fun, creative, and interactive greeting ideas for the holidays to replace your typical greeting cards…

MorvenMuseumMorven Museum Hosts Holiday Festival of Trees

If you’re looking for a festive way to spend your weekends in Central New Jersey this holiday season, take a trip over to Princeton’s Morven Museum & Garden. Until January 3rd, the museum is hosting a Festival of Trees every Wednesday through Sunday during regular museum hours…

Holiday Gift Guides

Handcrafted GiftsBest of NJ Gift Guides

The holiday season is all about spreading good cheer… and GIFTS! Sweet, sweet gifts. No matter if you’re shopping for friends, family, or a significant other, our Best of NJ Gift Guide series has everything you need and more. From handcrafted one-of-a-kind presents to goodies for foodies, you don’t want to miss this…

Holiday Gifts for Homebodies

Do you know someone who prefers takeout over dining out? A person who would prefer to  watch movies at home instead of at the theater? Perhaps they drink most of their coffee in the kitchen, instead of at the local shop? If these questions describe someone you know, they’re a homebody through and through…

Presents for the Chef in your Life

If you’re a tried and true chef, you already have kitchen basics like aprons, dish towels and spatulas. But what about the items that make cooking and hosting easier? Or ones that enhance the presentation of a meal? For holiday shoppers looking to find a gift the chef in their life will love, picking something can be tough…

TV ShoppingHoliday Tech Gift Guides

Geek is chic, and now that your home is filled with gamers and techies (whether they realize it or not), it’s time to start learning about pixels and ports. But don’t fret! The Best of NJ Holiday Tech Gift Guide series is here to help! If it’s a new video game console, camera, or TV you’re after, we’ve got all that and more…

Jersey PrideJersey Pride Gift Guide

Whether you were raised here or recently moved to New Jersey, there’s plenty to love about the Garden State. Right now, there’s no better time than the holiday season to show your Jersey pride with gifts that highlight the state’s best features, from city to shore. Check this out…

Geek GiftsBest of NJ Gift Guide: Geek Edition

Being a geek is finally cool, and taking pride in your geekiness is even cooler. If you’re shopping for a geek in the family or friend circle this holiday season, we recommend some of these great gifts. After all, there’s nothing worse than buying a sonic screwdriver for someone who wanted a vibranium dagger…

Featured Events

Coming soon!

Holiday Event Listings

Here’s a full list of all the Holiday and New Year’s events we’ve curated from throughout NJ! We hope you find some fun activities to make your holidays even more enjoyable.

Find Events

Woodstown By Candlelight

Woodstown By Candlelight

Downtown Woodstown: Friday, December 1, 2017
Plan a visit to historic Woodstown, NJ for the 41st Woodstown Candlelight Tour. Craft Fair: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm. …

Tree lighting

Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration at the Zoo

Cape May County Park/Zoo: Friday, December 1, 2017
Don’t miss this new holiday tradition for the entire family! Info

christmas fireplace

“A Christmas Carol” at The Historic Village at Allaire

The Historic Village at Allaire: Friday, December 1, 2017
Join in for a wonderful retelling of “A Christmas Carol” to get into the holiday spirit.  The program takes place …

Christmas tree in snow

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse: Friday, December 1, 2017
Holiday decorations, music, hot chocolate, cookies, and hot dog sale. A visit from Santa and the lighting of the official …

merry christmas with santa and reindeer

Downtown Toms River Christmas Tree Lighting

Downtown Toms River: Friday, December 1, 2017
Toms River's Christmas Tree Lighting! New this year, Food & Dessert Trucks! Info

Holiday Fur Ball

Silver Paws Holiday Fur Ball

The Flanders Hotel: Friday, December 1, 2017
Join in for a night of dinner, dancing and donating. There will be live entertainment provided by Animal House Band. …

Santa's waiting

Santa’s Arrival at Ocean County Mall

Ocean County Mall: Friday, December 1, 2017
Join Ocean County Mall for Santa’s arrival on Dec 1st from 6 pm until 8 pm. Santa will arrive on …

santa with tree

Borough of Lavallette Tree Lighting

Downtown Lavallette: Friday, December 1, 2017
Tree lighting beginning at 7pm. Refreshments after at the Lavallette School compliments of the Lavallette Business Association. Bring your camera …

clinton christmas parade

Clinton Annual Christmas Parade

Downtown Clinton: Friday, December 1, 2017
The parade takes place in the center of Clinton. Floats will line up on New Street and Center Street; viewing …

christmas ornaments

Magnolia Christmas Tree Lighting

Magnolia Borough Hall: Friday, December 1, 2017
Celebrate the season with the annual Magnolia Christmas Tree Lighting at Borough Hall Lawn on December 1st. Info

merry christmas with santa and reindeer

Silent Film: 2nd Annual Christmas Spectacular!

Boardwalk Hall: Friday, December 1, 2017
Annual Christmas Spectacular! Showing off the versatility of the W.W.Kimball Opus 7073 they will have silent film shorts, a Christmas …

orchestra by the sea

Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea

Pollak Theatre: Friday, December 1, 2017
There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday season than to spend a special evening with the Orchestra of Saint …


Historic Bridgeton Holiday House Tour & Festival of Lights

Downtown Bridgeton: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Two overlapping tours running 1-5 and 3-7pm. Over 15 holiday decorated homes, churches, shops and public buildings! Info

Irish Christmas Market

St. Mary’s Irish Christmas Market

Gloucester Catholic High School: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Irish Shoppe articles, childrens/womens clothing, crafts, jewelry, ornaments, teacup bird feeders, baked goods, candles, beauty products, kitchen products, doll clothes, …

Santa Photo

Wassail Day

Historic Cold Spring Village: Saturday, December 2, 2017
The Village paths come alive with the sounds and smells of wintertime at this free family event. Select buildings will …

salem house tours

30th Annual Yuletide in Salem

Salem Main Street: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Yuletide Tour of Historic Salem: 1-6 pm. Tree Lighting Ceremony: Follows Tour. Info

christmas on the farm

Christmas on the Farm

Howell Living History Farm: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Join in and celebrate Christmas on Howell Living History Farm! Info

christmas wreath

Christmas Open House

Sea Isle City Historical Museum: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Join in this Christmas for the Open House at Sea Isle City Historical Museum! Info


Tea Time with The Sugar Plum Fairy

Cake Box by Neelma: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Story time with a Ballerina. Meet the Cast of The Nutcracker, presented by The Central NJ Ballet Theatre. Juice and Tea …

santa pic

Celebration of the Holidays at Rutherfurd Hall

Rutherfurd Hall: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Celebrate the Holidays at Rutherfurd Hall. Visit the historical mansion while it is decorated for the holidays. Family photo ops …

toy drive

iPlay America’s Pointsettia Toy Drive

iPlay America: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Help kick off the holiday season by helping others! To benefit the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation! Please bring an unwrapped toy …

holiday candle

Beverly Holiday House Tour

Beverly House Tour: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Tour 14 historic and beautifully decorated homes in the Beverly and Edgewater Park area with a detailed map and balloons …

The Three Doctors

The Three Doctors Foundation Holiday Health Basketball Benefit

Edison Job Corps Academy: Saturday, December 2, 2017
The Three Doctors Foundation Holiday Health Basketball benefit is open to the general public. Guests will enjoy entertainment, giveaways and …

Christmas Inn and House Tour

2017 Spring Lake Christmas Inn and House Tour

The Breakers on the Ocean: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Self-Guided Driving Tour. Start the Tour with Tea & Cookies at The Breakers on the Ocean. Tickets & maps will be available …

merry christmas with santa and reindeer

Burlington County Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

Burlington City Hall: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Features many High School Bands (including Burlington’s own national-award-winning Blue Devils); String Bands; hometown heroes: the Fire Companies and Police; …


Annual Dickens Festival

Downtown Medford: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Downtown Medford is transform into a Victorian-era Christmas wonderland. The festival features many exciting attractions including music, food, stilt walkers, a …

Blackwood Fire Christmas Parade

Blackwood Fire Christmas Parade

Veterans Park - Clementon: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Join the Blackwood Fire Company at their Annual Christmas Parade. Come back to the Fire Station after the parade and …

hospitality night

Hospitality Night at Historic Smithville

Historic Smithville: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Enjoy refreshments and extended shoppe hours to enhance your shopping experience while enjoying the Holiday atmosphere at Historic Smithville. Info


Pop Up Dinner: City Sidewalks

Hunterdon Art Museum: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Enjoy a five-course dinner of classic holiday flavors at the Hunterdon Art Museum on Saturday, Dec 2 at 6 pm. This pop-up …

Christmas Queens

Christmas Queens

The Music Box: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Get in the holiday spirit this December in the Music Box with Christmas Queens! Enjoy an evening of drag featuring …


Historic Smithville Park Victorian Holiday Event

Historic Smithville Park: Sunday, December 3, 2017
Kick off the Holiday Season at Historic Smithville Park complete with a visit from St. Nick. Festivities will include ice …

jingle bells run 2017

19th Annual Jingle Bells 5K Run

Downtown Toms River: Sunday, December 3, 2017
The Toms River Police Foundation is proud to present the Jingle Bells Run in historic downtown Toms River! Info

Salem County Brass Band

Salem County Brass Christmas Concert

Davidow Theatre Salem Community College: Sunday, December 3, 2017
Salem County Brass Christmas Concert! Great Holiday music for the whole family! Info

Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop

Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop

Sweet Dani B: Sunday, December 3, 2017
Learn Sweet Dani B's tricks of the cookie trade as you ice and decorate an amazing and adorable pre-assembled gingerbread …

The Colors of Christmas

The Colors of Christmas

State Theatre New Jersey: Tuesday, December 5, 2017
The Colors of Christmas captures the magic of Christmas in one spectacular performance. Featuring beloved holiday songs “Oh Holy Night,” “I’ll …

christmas mantle

The 25th Annual Holiday House Tour

Reeves-Reed Arboretum: Thursday, December 7, 2017
The premier holiday event in the area, bringing the community together by offering a fun and entertaining way to spend …

grande arcade christmas lights

Oaklyn Christmas Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights

W Clinton Ave, Oaklyn: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Kick off the holiday season in Oaklyn on December 7th with the Annual Parade of Lights, followed by the Christmas …

let it snow

Winter Wonderland Vegan Cookie Workshop for Adults

Sweet Dani B: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Learn Sweet Dani B's tricks of the cookie trade in this vegan cookie workshop! First, learn how to make "the …

merry christmas

Edible Ornaments For Wildlife, Nature in Art for Preschoolers Series

Rancocas Nature Center: Friday, December 8, 2017
Children will learn about different wildlife and create ornaments to hang outdoors. This program is designed for preschoolers ages 3-5 …

Santa Claus and little girl

Santa at Above and Beyond Holistic Wellness Center

Above and Beyond Holistic Wellness Center: Friday, December 8, 2017
Santa is making a special stop at Above and Beyond Holistic Wellness Center this Friday, December 8th from 3:30pm to …

Annual Tree Lighting

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Seaside Heights Borough Hall: Friday, December 8, 2017
The Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place Friday at 5pm in the courtyard in front of Borough Hall. Festivities include …


Adult Gingerbread House Workshop

Liberty Hall Museum: Friday, December 8, 2017
Enjoy cocktails & decorate a gingerbread house! They provide the assembled gingerbread house, icing and all of the candy you …

holiday lights

Collingswood's Parade of Lights

Downtown Collingswood: Friday, December 8, 2017
Fire trucks and floats strung in glittering lights! Trucks from fire companies and organizations all over the region compete for top …

Santa with baby

Breakfast with Santa at the Berkeley Heights YMCA

Berkeley Heights YMCA: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Come for a light breakfast, craft and a visit with Santa. Two time slots available with limited seating: 8:30am - …

Breakfast With Buster

Breakfast With Buster Holiday Food & Toy Drive

FirstEnergy Park: Saturday, December 9, 2017
The 18th annual Breakfast With Buster Holiday Food & Toy Drive! Once again, Buster will be joined by his holiday …

santa on battleship

Breakfast with Santa Aboard the Battleship

Battleship New Jersey: Saturday, December 9, 2017
For an unforgettable holiday treat, come enjoy breakfast with Santa on the Battleship New Jersey, Saturday, Dec. 9 at 9am. …

Santa at Wildwood

Wildwoods Family Holiday Celebration

The Wildwoods Convention Center: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Held at the Wildwoods Convention Center from 9 am until 4:30 pm. Enjoy Free admission to holiday-themed crafters and movies, photos …

'Pinch the GrYnch' 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk

'Pinch the GrYnch' 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk

Wildwoods Convention Center: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Enjoy running the Wildwoods Boardwalk! Help Santa and bring a toy! You will save $15 on the race. Participants are …


8th Annual Gingerbread House Contest

Cumberland County Historical Society: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Delivery and judging will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017 – 10 a.m. to Noon. Info

Santa Brunch

Brunch with Santa

Gloucester Township Recreation Department: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Come see Santa & enjoy bagels, donuts, refreshments, fun & games. Bring your camera and get your picture taken with …

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