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

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…

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.


15th Annual Newport Tree Lighting

Newport Town Square: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Newport Town Square will be “merry and bright” with the return of the community’s annual celebration. The event will feature: …


It's a Wonderful Life

The Strand Center for the Arts: Thursday, December 1, 2016
It's a Wonderful LifeThis beloved holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help …


It's A Wonderful Life! Exit 82 Theatre Company

The Strand Theater: Thursday, December 1, 2016
The beloved holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940' radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble …


A Child's Christmas in Wales

Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Nov 30 through Jan 1. Monday through Sunday.Dates and times may vary. Based on Thomas' classic story about his childhood …


Chanticleer

St. Mary's Abbey at Delbarton: Thursday, December 1, 2016
A Chanticleer Christmas comes to the Somerset Hills Twelve men whose voices range from soprano to bass – “the world’s …


The King’s Singers at Grunin Center For The Arts

Grunin Center for the arts: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Acclaimed worldwide for their virtuosity, life-affirming energy, and charm, The King’s Singers are in global demand. Their work, synonymous with …


A Tartan Terrors Christmas

Levoy Theater: Friday, December 2, 2016
features a group known for mixing rock's energy with traditional Celtic folklore, dance and humor; and for using an arsenal …


City of Cape May Christmas Tree Lighting

Cape May Convention Hall: Friday, December 2, 2016
Enjoy some old fashioned holiday cheer when the City of Cape May officially kicks off the holiday season on Friday, …


Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse and Museum: Friday, December 2, 2016
enjoy holiday music, a visit from Santa Claus, and more, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2. (609) 522-6464. www.herefordlighthouse.org.


The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Art House Productions: Friday, December 2, 2016
Art House Productions and the Access Committee at Art House Productions presentThe Twelve Dates of Christmas by Ginna Hobenstarring Rachel …


Bus Trip to See "Winter Wonderland"

Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit: Friday, December 2, 2016
Join us for a Bus Trip To the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA to see the 2016 Christmas Show …


Rustic Natural Christmas Tree

Cloverdale Farm County Park: Friday, December 2, 2016
You will be creating your own rustic styled 8-12 inch tall Christmas tree by adorning them with lights and natural …


Christmas Lights

New Brunswick Tree Lighting

Monument Square Park: Friday, December 2, 2016
New Brunswick invites its residents, visitors and surrounding communities to kick off the holiday season at the 24th Annual Downtown …


christmas tree

Tree Lighting Ceremony & Entertainment

Congress Hall: Friday, December 2, 2016
Gather at Congress Hall for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Grand Lawn, featuring a wonderful concert by the …


christmas-tree-with-lights

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse: Friday, December 2, 2016
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is a working lighthouse, as well as a museum. Visitors will learn about the history of Hereford …


outdoor-christmas-tree

Annual Ship Bottom Christmas Tree Lighting

Borough Of Ship Bottom: Friday, December 2, 2016
Music, hot chocolate and donuts! Decorate tree with homemade ornaments - all invited to participate. Bring an ornament and receive ticket …


santa-in-sleigh

Downtown Toms River Christmas Tree Lighting

Downtown Toms River: Friday, December 2, 2016
Town Hall Courtyard. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas," read by Mrs. Claus. Santa Arrives! Photos with Santa! Info


Santa in christmas parade

60th Annual Salem Christmas Parade

Salem Main Street: Friday, December 2, 2016
If bad weather forces cancellation, the parade will be rescheduled for Monday, December 5, 2016. Info


"A Christmas Carol" with Gerald Charles Dickens

Broad Street United Methodist Church: Friday, December 2, 2016
Gerald Dickens is a great-great grandson of author Charles Dickens, and he performs a one-man show of "A Christmas Carol," …


The Nutcracker

Bergen County Academies Auditorium: Friday, December 2, 2016
Nunnbetter Dance Theatre Presents its Annual Production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker A full length, lush production of the Christmas classic, …


A Christmas Carol

“A Christmas Carol”

Allaire Village: Friday, December 2, 2016
Join in for a wonderful retelling of “A Christmas Carol” to get into the holiday spirit.  The program takes place in …


A Christmas Carol

Count Basie Theatre: Friday, December 2, 2016


It's a Wonderful Life

The Strand Center for the Arts: Friday, December 2, 2016
It's a Wonderful LifeThis beloved holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help …


It's a Wonderful Life Live Radio Play and Wine Tasting

Grape Expectations: Friday, December 2, 2016
Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd at 8pm. (Please use drop down menu to select your desired date) Join …


It's A Wonderful Life! Exit 82 Theatre Company

The Strand Theater: Friday, December 2, 2016
The beloved holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940' radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble …


Westminster Concert Bell Choir at Grunin Center

Grunin Center for the arts: Friday, December 2, 2016
The 16-member Westminster Concert Bell Choir is composed of undergraduate and graduate students of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, …


Down Jersey Onstage Concert Series: The Bells' Christmas

Cumberland County College: Saturday, December 3, 2016
audience members will join Linda Bell and Ken Bell on stage for a holiday show; also Ken Bell will display …


Down Jersey: On Stage with Linda Bell and Ken Bell "The Bells Christmas"

Cumberland County College - Frank Guaracini Jr Fine and Performing Arts Center: Saturday, December 3, 2016
In this intimate series of “living room” concerts, you will be seated on stage with some of the region’s best …


Nebraska Theatre Caravan presents A Christmas Carol

Wilkins Theatre: Saturday, December 3, 2016
This celebrated Charles Jones adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is rich with thrilling ensemble music, alive with color …


Singing Ambassadors Christmas Concert: "Countdown to Christmas"

Vineland High School North: Saturday, December 3, 2016
3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3, auditorium, tickets $8 for adults, $4 for ages 13 to 17 and seniors and …


West Cape May Christmas Parade

Cape May Convention Hall: Saturday, December 3, 2016
West Cape May Christmas Parade - 5PMFor more information call (609) 884-1005 or go to westcapemay.us


Annual Christmas Bazaar

Audubon United Methodist Church: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Visit the bake shop, independent vendor area, Christmas Boutique, and the famous Attic Treasures room. There will also be plenty …


Christmas Gift Shop

Tri-Boro First Aid Squad: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Christmas gifts and bake goods


Crafts at Christmas

Cape May Convention Hall: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Crafts at Christmas December 3rd -4th      9AM-4PMDozens of crafters offer everything from jewelry to leather goods, from fashion and accessories to …


OLC's Breakfast with Santa

Our Lady of Czestochowa School: Saturday, December 3, 2016
2 SEATINGS: Seating 1: 9:00 A.M.- 10:30 A.M. Seating 2: 11:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M. Enter through doors on Grand St. Please …


Christmas in Island Heights House Tour & Craft Shows - 33rd Annual

Island Heights United Methodist Church: Saturday, December 3, 2016
This festive tour in historic Island Heights features six unique homes, all beautifully decorated for the holidays. Visitors can shop …


Christmas Bazaar

St. Mary's Episcopal Church: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Crafters and vendors at Christmas Bazaar.


St Nick

Christmas on the Farm

Howell Living History Farm: Saturday, December 3, 2016
St. Nick's sleigh will descend from the Farm's northern slopes at 12:00pm. Its white-bearded navigator will check Christmas lists and …


terhune orchards in winter

Kick Off the Season

Terhune Orchards: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Enjoy fun for the whole family with wagon rides and visiting the barnyard of animals. Choose the perfect Christmas tree and …


Make your own Gingerbread House - Session 1 - 10 AM

Kitchen 19: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Join Chef Belle for Christmas in the Kitchen! Our cozy kitchen will be filled with music, laughter and the sweet …


Red Bank Christmas Festival & Parade

Red Bank Main City Park: Saturday, December 3, 2016
The Annual Red Bank Christmas Festival & Parade is an outdoor family friendly festival held the first Saturday in December. …


Simply Christmas (Women's Event)

Jacksonville Chapel: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Jacksonville Chapel Women's LIFE presents Simply Christmas on Saturday, December 3!  Featuring speaker Vicki Courtney and music by I Am …


christmas-5k

St. Catharine’s School Christmas 5K

St. Catharine School: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Join in for a fun-filled morning! Alumni Tent and Holiday festivities for the whole family : photos with Santa, crafts and games, …


Santa on Rooftop

Christmas Open House

Sea Isle City Historical Museum: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Christmas Open House at the Historical Museum! Info


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime

Barnes & Noble Booksellers Springfield: Saturday, December 3, 2016
"Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!" and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole …


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime

Apple Store Menlo Park: Saturday, December 3, 2016
"Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!" and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole …


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime

Barnes & Noble Booksellers - Woodland Park: Saturday, December 3, 2016
"Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!" and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole …


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime

Barnes & Noble Booksellers - Cherry Hill: Saturday, December 3, 2016
"Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!" and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole …


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime

Barnes & Noble Booksellers Howell: Saturday, December 3, 2016
"Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!" and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole …


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime

Barnes & Noble Booksellers The Shops @ Riverside: Saturday, December 3, 2016
"Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!" and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole …


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