New Jersey

Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in New Jersey

Too pooped to put on Christmas this year? Not to fret! There are plenty of restaurants in New Jersey where you can pull up a chair on Christmas Day. So, once all the presents under your Christmas tree have been unwrapped and the stockings scavenged, you can lounge in your PJs, sip your coffee, and watch the kids play with their gifts and goodies without having to worry about cooking and cleaning before guests arrive.

We’ve rounded up 11 of New Jersey’s best haunts to feast on festive fare. Call ahead to secure your spots at the table, and then start mapping out the holiday light displays you can catch after dinner. You won’t have to build in extra travel time, because chances are you’ll have the roads all to yourselves. Merry Christmas!

Weekend Fun: Santa Train, Paw Patrol Live, Christmas Underwater

This mid-December weekend is jam-packed with holiday spirit, from seasonal shows to Santa visits to theme park fun. Santa's on track this weekend, climbing aboard Allaire's Christmas Express and Heaven Hill Farm's free train rides, while stopping for Cookies & Cocoa at Reeves Reed Arboretum, and wild fun at Cape May Zoo's Santa's Family Workshop.

Theme parks are decked out for the holidays. Rides, shows, and Santa are all part of the thrills at Six Flags Holidays in the Park and Christmas Fantasy with Lights at Storybook Land

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday preps, and take in a kid-friendly show, like Paw Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue, The Laurie Berkner Band Holiday Celebration Concert, or Dragons Love Tacos.

Find even more weekend options in our Holiday Guide, including 30 Christmas and Holiday Events for NJ Babies and Toddlers and the Best Places to Take Pictures with Santa in New Jersey. And look to our December GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

25 Christmas Movies to Fill Your Family with Holiday Cheer

 Is your house brimming with the magic of Christmas and the holiday season? When the tree has been trimmed, and all the gifts have been wrapped, it's time to put the kids into those Christmas jammies to snuggle up with the perfect family Christmas movie. Don’t let picking the wrong festive flick turn you into a Grinch.

Unlike the naughty list, this holiday movie list is filled with positive messages, classic tales, and just the right amount of seasonal cheer. So, pop some popcorn and enjoy a family movie night with one of these Christmas classics perfect for kids. 

50+ Awesome Santa Activities in New Jersey

December is here, and that means Santa is here, too! Your kids are sure to want to meet St. Nick, and you’re sure to want to snap a pic or two for a keepsake.

From photo ops to breakfasts and brunches, train rides, and even special holiday shows, we’ve rounded up more than 50 of the best places to see Santa across the state this year. They include some old classics as well as a few new favorites.

Whether you want to take in the holiday lights, have your preschooler mingle with Kris Kringle, or hear a token ho-ho-ho at a free event, there’s something for everybody.

Read on for where to catch up with the jolly jet-setter all over New Jersey this holiday season. 

You'll find even more ways to get the yuletide party started in our Holiday Fun Guide and Dozen Holiday Must-Dos.

Best Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina with Kids

Warm, charming, and packed with history, Charleston, South Carolina, regularly tops the lists of America’s most visit-worthy cities, and it’s easy to see why. Beautiful beaches and waterways, leafy streets and parks, gorgeous architecture, and a thriving cultural scene mean there’s always something to see and do. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Charleston is one of the best food cities in the country.

Best of all, Charleston is especially fun to visit with kids. It’s easy to get around, the weather is almost always nice (even though the summer months can be sticky and humid), and the overall vibe is incredibly welcoming to families. Our family has been vacationing in Charleston and the neighboring barrier islands for over a decade: Here are the things we love to do, the places we love to eat or stay at, and—just as important—what we’d recommend skipping with children in tow.

December GoList: 25 Best Things To Do in NJ for the Holidays

The month of December is like one big jolly holiday. Santa's making his rounds via planes and trains, and even underwater. Local towns and Jersey's favorite haunts are glowing with holiday lights. Plus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve round out the month-long festivities. 

If you and your kids are eager to celebrate the season, you're in luck—there are so many wonderful events and activities happening throughout the state every day this month. You'll find plenty of free things to do, as well as activities just for little ones. You can have breakfast with Santa, catch a seasonal show, and see at least one of the spectacular light displays around NJ.

We know you’re busy with things like shopping, baking, and figuring out what the heck to do with your Elf on the Shelf, so we’ve sorted through all of this month's happenings and picked 25 of our favorites.

For even more ideas, check out our Holiday Guide and Event Calendar. And sign up for our FREE newsletters so you can have our picks delivered directly to your inbox!

Happy Holidays!

Weekend Fun: Christmas Underwater, Hanukkah, Dickens Village

Holiday celebrations are in full swing on this first weekend of the last month of 2018. December kicks off with an aquatic-Santa theme: you'll find the big guy making rounds on a ferry, celebrating Christmas Underwater, and diving into the pool for a Snack and Swim.  Local towns are gearing up for the holidays with Maplewood's Dickens Village, Morristown's Christmas Festival, Red Bank's Holiday Horse & Wagon Rides, and Bergen County Winter Wonderland

Hanukkah makes its debut this weekend! Celebrate the first night at the Jewish Center of Springfield Menorah Lighting, Hooray for Hanukkah, and the unique Car Menorah Parade

Come in from the cold at theatrical performances of Milk & Cookies: Alex & The KaleidoscopeCharlotte's Web, and Junie B. Jones The Musical. Plus, warm up at free storytimes, including Where's Spot? Storytime at Indigo and Barnes & Noble's Snowman and Hanukkah Storytimes

Find even more options in our Holiday Guide, including A Dozen Must-Do Holiday and Christmas Experiences and 30+ Free Holiday and Christmas Events for NJ Kids. And look to our event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Party City Opens Toy City Pop-up with Hot Holiday Toys

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and the folks behind Party City are offering tired parents one more shopping outlet in 2018. Toy City, a seasonal pop-up similar to the Halloween City shops also owned by Party City, opened this fall with about 50 locations across the country. Expect to find some of the season's hottest toy items, from LOL dolls to Legos, at Toy City.

A number of the Toy City locations opened within former Halloween City stores and have been busy converting the shelves from spider webs and broomsticks to Play-Doh and Transformers. 

Win a Family 4-Pack of Tickets to PAW Patrol Live! "Race to the Rescue"

This contest is closed

Enter below for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to the Nickelodeon PAW Patrol Live Show at NJPAC on Sunday, December 9 at 6pm!

PAW Patrol Live! "Race to the Rescue" is on a roll with their hit live show! Ryder and the heroic rescue pups of Nick Jr.’s hit animated series PAW Patrol return by popular demand with their rollicking, action-packed live tour. Sing along, dance, clap and join the heroic pups on their big adventure.

30 Christmas and Holiday Events for NJ Babies and Toddlers

Now that Santa has paraded into our living rooms and shopping malls, the 2018 ho-ho-holiday season is officially underway. And whether you have an infant who can really only look cute in his or her "First Christmas" footie pajamas, a toddler who’s a bit more clued-in to the Santa scene, or a preschooler who’s been on his or her best behavior to impress your Elf on the Shelf, you can rest assured that you’ll have enough fun things to keep your under-5 crew occupied.

We’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of some wonderful holiday must-dos to take you through the New Year—from Christmas light displays to breakfasts with Santa, rides aboard the Polar Express to the merriest musicals—and we’re pretty sure you’ll find them nice!

So, cue up that seasonal soundtrack and make a note of all the local little one–friendly yuletide hangs in our Holiday Guide, plus be sure to check out everything festive flagged in our Event Calendar.

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