November GoList: The Best Things To Do With NJ Kids This Month

Put away the pumpkins and get out the garland! November is here, and the holiday season has officially begun.

Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season, and you can celebrate the old-fashioned way at Thanksgiving Harvest Home & Armistice Observance and the Historic Village at Allaire. And it's already beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with the start of holiday train rides and holiday light shows like the ones at Skylands Stadium and Turtle Back Zoo. Santa Claus is coming to town, too, with celebrations of his arrival at Storybook Land and in Nutley.

November is also a month full of drama, with everyone's favorite characters taking the stage. Check out family-friendly performances of SpongeBob, Rudolph and Disney Junior Holiday Party.

Read on for more can't-miss events coming up in November, and for even more kid-friendly choices, be sure to check out our Event Calendar, updated daily with new happenings. Happy (beginning of the) Holidays, New Jersey!

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The Great Pumpkin Sail — Mountainside 
Friday November 1, 2019
Bid farewell to your carved jack-o'-lantern at Echo Lake Park the day after Halloween. Watch as your pumpkin is set afloat on the lake, sing songs around the campfire, and enjoy hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Day of the Dead – Princeton
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Strolling mariachis, sugar skull decorating, face painting, crafts, food, and more are all part of the fun at this celebration in honor of the traditional Mexican holiday. FREE


The mermaids swim back to Adventure Aquarium this month! Photo courtesy of the aquarium

Mermaids at Adventure Aquarium – Camden
Saturday, November 2 – Sunday, November 10, 2019
The mermaids are back! They'll be swimming with sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and fish in Adventure Aquarium's 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit. Some mermaids will be available for meet-and-greets and photo ops, and there will also be an appearance by a pirate captain, as well as face painting, crafts, and more.

Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures – Newark 
Wednesday, November 6 – Sunday, November 10, 2019
Come along on a road trip with Disney friends, as they journey to exciting destinations like London, a Pride Lands Safari, and larger-than-life carnival.

Train Festival at Camden Children's Garden – Camden
Saturday, November 9 – Sunday, November 10, 2019
Take a ride to Camden Children's Garden for this train-centric festival, featuring train stories, crafts, games, and a train ride through the gardens.

Disney Junior Holiday Party on Tour – Morristown
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Join the party with Disney favorites as they sing and dance to Disney Junior tunes and holiday classics.

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The popular drive-through holiday light show at Skylands Stadium returns on November 15.

Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show – Augusta
Friday, November 15 – Monday, December 30, 2019
This drive-through holiday light show features more than two million lights on a mile-long course. Afterward, head indoors to visit the Christmas Village to take pictures with Santa, have a snack, make crafts, and see live entertainment.


Wear your jammies and meet Santa on the Polar Express. Photo courtesy of the railway

Holiday Train Rides – Various
Starting Saturday, November 16, 2019
Get a jump on your Christmas celebrations with a holiday train ride. Several New Jersey Railroads start their annual Christmas rides this month, including the Christmas Express, the Polar Express, and Santa's Paradise Express. Check out our roundup of holiday trains for more info.

Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights – West Orange 
Friday, November 22 – Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Turtle Back Zoo transforms into a twinkling winter wonderland after dark starting November 22, with more than 50 illuminated winter scenes and characters decorating the property. Bundle up, grab a hot cocoa, and take a stroll with the family—it's festive and it's FREE


Welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to Storybook Land on November 16. Photo courtesy of Storybook Land

Christmas Fantasy with Lights Parade at Storybook Land – Egg Harbor
Saturday, November 16 – Monday, December 30, 2019
Welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to Storybook Land with a parade featuring your favorite storybook characters. After the parade, Santa will appear in his chimney and light the park with more than a million lights for the holiday season. 

Holiday Light Show – Smithville
Saturday, November 16 – Monday, December 30, 2019
After your Thanksgiving feast, head to Historic Smithville Village to see more than 100 Christmas trees magically float on Lake Meone. The trees light up to music in an orchestrated show every Thursday–Sunday from 5:30–8:30pm. FREE

Thanksgiving Harvest Home & Armistice Observance – Morris Township
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Enjoy interactive farm chores, take a wagon ride, and create a family-friendly craft. Then head to the 1915 Farmhouse to watch as a holiday feast is prepared. The afternoon also includes a special program honoring U.S. veterans and recognizes the anniversary of U.S. involvement in WWI.  

Early 19th Century Thanksgiving – Farmingdale
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Celebrate an old-fashioned Thanksgiving at the Historic Village at Allaire, where you can see a reenactment of a typical 19th-century holiday feast.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Englewood
Sunday, November 24, 2019
The title reindeer joins Santa, the Abominable Snowman, Hermey the Elf, and other holiday friends on the bergenPAC stage.


The Model Railroad Show includes 1,200 square feet of tracks. Photo courtesy of the Garden State Model Railway Club

62nd Annual Model Railroad Show – North Haledon
Friday, November 29, 2019 – Sunday, January 5, 2020
Train fanatics young and old will go wild for this event, hosted by the Garden State Model Railway Club, which features a 1,200-square-foot layout filled with steam and diesel locomotives, freight and passenger trains, rural and urban scenes, and working signals.  


Santa will return to Nutley via helicopter. Photo courtesy of the Nutley Educational Foundation

Santa's Arrival 2019 – Nutley
Friday, November 29, 2019
It's a bird; it's a plane; it's Santa arriving via helicopter in Nutley. Stick around for photos, balloons, and hot chocolate. FREE

The SpongeBob Musical – New Brunswick
Friday, November 29, 2019 – Sunday, December 1, 2019
State Theatre New Jersey channels Bikini Bottom when Nickelodeon favorite SpongeBob takes the stage in this Broadway musical.


Roxey Ballet presents its 26th annual production of The Nutcracker this season. Photo courtesy of the production

Roxey Ballet's Nutcracker – Ewing
Saturday, November 30 – Sunday, December 8, 2019
It's Nutcracker season! Continue a holiday tradition or start a new one by taking the kids to see Roxey Ballet's production of this enchanting ballet featuring magical mice, marching soldiers, swirling snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy. You can also catch NJ Ballet's production on Nov. 24, as well as American Repertory Ballet on Nov. 23 and 24

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