New Jersey

Best Holiday Light Displays in New Jersey

It may be hard to believe, but Christmas is right around the corner, which means holiday shows, visiting Santa, snowy sleigh rides, and of course, checking out the amazing light displays throughout the state. These sparkling spectacles—some of which feature more than a million lights—are sure to impress even the grinchiest member of your family. So bundle up the kids and head out to one of these illuminating shows soon! And of course, you can find even more ways to be merry in the Mommy Poppins Holiday Fun Guide.

25 Free Things To Do in NJ this Holiday Season

The holiday season has finally arrived! It’s time for festive shows, visits with Santa Claus, and spectacular light displays. All the hustle and bustle is great fun, but it can also be a strain on the wallet. With that in mind, we've rounded up 25 free events taking place in New Jersey this season. 

Read on for ways to have some budget-friendly holiday cheer. And to get the scoop on wonderful activities all year long, subscribe to our newsletter.

The Newark Museum: Out-of-This-World Fun for NJ Kids and Families

Nestled in the heart of downtown Newark’s Art District, 10 miles from New York City, is New Jersey's largest museum. The Newark Museum, established in 1909, is an art and science center that truly has something for everybody. I recently visited with my 5-year-old daughter to see a show at the planetarium, and I was impressed—not only is the planetarium perfect for young kids, but the museum offers tons of other family-friendly programs as well.

If you're looking for indoor activities for the winter ahead, put the Newark Museum on your to-do list. Read on for more about this Essex County gem.

Weekend Fun: Holiday Lights, Thanksgiving Celebrations, Nutcrackers

Thanksgiving is just a stone’s throw away, so get in the spirit this weekend at events like the farm-themed Friendsgiving, a history-oriented Early 19th Century Thanksgiving, and a Turkey Talk nature program.

The holiday light displays are off to a brilliant start with Turtle Back Zoo’s Holiday Lights and Skyland Stadium’s Christmas Light Show. And it’s not too early to enjoy a holiday performance, with a Holiday Concert by the Laurie Berkner Band and productions of The Nutcracker by American Repertory Ballet and NJ Ballet

Find many more ideas for fun this weekend and throughout the season in our November GoList and Holiday Guide. And be sure to check our Event Calendar for a full listing of activities this weekend and beyond.

Holiday Giving in New Jersey: Volunteering for Families

Looking for new ways to connect as a family this holiday season? Volunteering together can spark the joy of giving in children of all ages. 

Holiday time is full of family traditions like carving turkeys, sharing gifts, and ringing in the New Year. It's also a great time to inspire your kids to give back. Create new family traditions this year by contributing to a favorite charity or reaching out to those in need. From the youngest kids coloring holiday greeting cards to teenagers serving Thanksgiving dinners, we've got the low-down on family-friendly holiday volunteering in New Jersey. 

A Dozen Must-Do Holiday Activities for New Jersey Kids

There are five weekends from December 1 to January 1, and hundreds of ways to fill them. Overwhelmed by the possibilities? If you’re looking for fun activities the kids will love that don’t cost an arm and a leg, look no further than our list of the best family outings worth adding to your busy December to-do list. From holiday light shows to breakfast with Santa, we’ve compiled 12 great memory-making activities for this month.

Check out our full calendar of events and our holiday guide for more options.

Best Nutcrackers and Holiday Shows for New Jersey Kids

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for lots of things, including performances. Over the next several weeks, New Jersey theaters will come alive with dancing sugar plum fairies, singing reindeer, and more than a few Christmas ghosts. 

This season, you can dance and sing along with the Laurie Berkner Band or listen to the world-famous Vienna Boys' Choir. Beloved characters such as Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Garfield take the stage in musicals based on animated holiday specials. 

Annie brings Broadway talent to NJ in an all-star production at the Paper Mill Playhouse (OK, this one isn't technically a holiday show, but the story takes place at Christmastime, and it's a classic). And Ebeneezer Scrooge gets spooked into a change of heart in several productions of A Christmas Carol at theaters throughout the state, including McCarter Theatre and the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College, plus kid-friendly musical versions at Paper Mill and BergenPAC.

If your child is nuts about The Nutcracker, you don't have to go to New York City to see a great production—there are several top-notch companies performing the holiday fave right here in NJ, including American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and Moscow Ballet. For a sweet twist on the classic, don't miss the Hip Hop Nutcracker at NJPAC. 

Read on for a list of the best productions happening this holiday season.

New Grammy Museum in NJ Offers Hands-on Musical Fun for Kids

Rocking out is encouraged at the new GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Strutting onstage, playing electronic instruments, and singing karaoke-style are part of the fun at this new museum celebrating pop music's biggest stars, including many with New Jersey roots. An electronic jam session may be the coolest way for kids to spend a rainy day

Where To Have Breakfast with Santa in New Jersey

Ho, ho, ho! It’s that time of year when Santa Claus starts making his list and checking it twice. If your kids are looking to spend a little QT with the Big Guy, then a breakfast with Santa might be for you. At these events, kids can enjoy some delicious food and share their holiday wish lists with St. Nick. And of course, there will be time for photos, too. Read on for our roundup of breakfast events happening this season.

Want more time with Santa? Book your ticket on a Christmas train ride. And for more seasonal activities, check out our Holiday Fun Guide.

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