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Christmas Events in NJ, PA, and NYC

Updated on October 30, 2014

Things to Do in Tri-State Area at Christmas

Christmas Events
Christmas Events | Source
Pitman, NJ
Pitman, NJ | Source

South Jersey Christmas Events

  1. Storybook Land - Located in Egg Harbor Township, Storybook Land offers the magical Christmas Fantasy with Lights from late November through December every year. Kids will adore this special attraction where they can meet Mr. and Mrs. Santa and marvel at the elaborate Christmas lights. What's better than rides, food, Christmas lights, and Santa?!? Be sure to check out the specials they run during the holiday season. Certain dates are marked for 25% off admission price and they also have a "Toys for Tots" gift drop where you receive one free admission per family for donating an unwrapped toy.
  2. Christmas in Cape May - Christmas in Cape May is nothing short of spectacular. The entire Victorian town is decorated in a Dickensian style complete with lights and greenery to take you back in time when life was a bit simpler. Every shop and hotel has their own unique way of dressing up that is a must see. Some events that take place include the West Cape May Christmas Parade (first Saturday every December), the tree lighting ceremony, Santa's Trolley Ride, Lamplighter Christmas Tour, Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Ride, Dickens' Christmas Extravaganza, Hospitality Night, and the Evening Yuletide Tour. Check out Cape May's Calendar of Events for a complete list.
  3. Winterland Ice Skating Rink - Located in Glassboro, Winterland offers open air ice skating from November to February.
  4. Adventure Aquarium Christmas Celebration - From late November through January 1, Adventure Aquarium transforms into a winter wonderland complete with Scuba Santa, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, falling snow, lights, trees, decorations, and live shows! All of this is included in general admission tickets.
  5. Johnson's Farm - Located in Medford, Johnson's Farm hosts many holiday activities including Fire and Lights in the Discovery Barnyard, a Musical Light Show Hayride, Visits with Santa, Gingerbread Man and Cookie Decorating, Horse Drawn Hayrides, and Marshmallow Roasting.
  6. Medford Christmas - Medford holds an annual Dickens Festival and Tree Lighting on Main Street the first Saturday in December. The town is dressed up in Victorian style décor and offers food, music, horse drawn carriage rides, a live Nativity, a visit with Santa, and much more!
  7. Smithville - Historic Smithville, located near Atlantic City, offers several Christmas events including a Holiday Light Show, Girls Night Out, Hospitality Night, Breakfast with Santa, a Victorian Christmas, Magical Talking Tree, a Christmas Train Ride, and Story Time with Mrs. Claus.
  8. Mullica Hill Christmas - This historic town begins their holiday season with a Christmas Tree Lighting festival, called Lights on Main, at the end of November complete with the tree lighting, carriage rides, Christmas carols, food, drinks, and a visit from Santa! In December, join them in a Candlelight Shopping event and Christmas House Tour.
  9. Swedesboro Christmas - Neighboring Mullica Hill, Swedesboro celebrates Christmas with their annual Christmas parade and tree lighting. Visit with Santa, the Grinch, and Elmo!
  10. Tuckerton Christmas - Join in the holiday fun with Tuckerton's Festival of Trees and their Annual Christkindlmarkt which includes craft vendors, food, drinks, horse drawn rides, kiddie rides, trackless train, and wine tasting for the adults! Fun for everyone!
  11. Heritage Vineyards - Located in Mullica Hill, celebrate Christmas with a Winter Trolley Tour.
  12. Wildwood Christmas - This shore town hosts an annual Family Holiday Celebration complete with a parade, tree lighting ceremony, pictures with Santa, and a holiday bazaar!
  13. Ocean City Christmas - The "family friendly town" of Ocean City offers many holiday events including a train show, photos with Santa, free horse and carriage rides, a Pops Concert, Christmas Parade, and a Holiday Spectacular.
  14. Battleship New Jersey - The Battleship holds an annual Breakfast with Santa every December. Breakfast is hosted in the Crew's Mess with music, prizes, and more! Enjoy a tour of the Battleship as well. Children 2 and under are free!
  15. Pitman Christmas - The quaint town of Pitman is known for their parades. They host an annual Santa Parade down Broadway and Ballard Park. Also, be sure to take a stroll through the Pitman Grove during the holiday season for some of the area's best Christmas lights!
  16. Cohanzick Zoo Festival of Lights - A free zoo located in Bridgeton, the Festival of Lights is in December and features vendors, train rides, an animal gift drive, entertainment, and more!
  17. Exley's Christmas - Exley's is a Christmas tree farm with two locations: Sewell and Monroeville. Along with a hay ride to find your tree, you can also visit their "Santa Land" featuring holiday house displays, Santa Claus, and a train display!

Storybook Land at Christmas

Let it Snow
Let it Snow | Source
Let it Snow!
Let it Snow! | Source

Pennsylvania Christmas Events

  1. Kitchen Kettle Christmas - This Lancaster County village features caroling every Saturday from Thanksgiving through Christmas, marshmallow roasting over open fires, gorgeous Christmas décor and lights, and Breakfast with Mrs. Claus and Yummie. The breakfast is served PA Dutch family style and includes storytelling by Mrs. Claus and a gift for the children.
  2. Strasburg Railroad - Strasburg Railroad offers several unique Christmas events during the holiday season. "Santa's Paradise Express" includes Santa visiting with families on the train ride to Paradise, PA and back. "The Night Before Christmas Train" captures the excitement of Christmas Eve. The "Christmas Tree Train" transports you to Leaman Place Grove where you can select a Christmas Tree and have it delivered by steam on a flatcar back to the train station.
  3. Choo Choo Barn Christmas - From late November through January, the Choo Choo Barn (Strasburg, PA) transforms its gigantic train display into a winter wonderland!
  4. Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt - The Christmas City of Bethlehem, PA holds an annual Christkindlmarkt that runs six weeks and includes over 125 vendors each week!
  5. Hersheypark Christmas Candylane - Hersheypark at Christmas features over two million lights, rides (including the popular Twilight Express), decorations, seasonal shows, and Santa's reindeer.
  6. Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas - From late November to the end of December, Sesame Place offers tons of wintry fun with seasonal lights and décor, Christmas shows, and visits with Santa.
  7. Longwood Gardens - Words cannot express the beauty of these gardens at Christmas!
  8. Linvilla Orchards - Get into the holiday spirit by choosing your Christmas tree on a hayride, visiting the animals, viewing the Christmasland display, and singing Christmas carols while sipping on hot mulled cider!
  9. Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show - Located in Yardley, PA, experience this magical light show by driving through in your car or by wagon ride. After, indulge in some hot cocoa and smores by the bonfire. This runs every night from late November through early January and proceeds from the show benefit The National MS Society and other local charities.
  10. Comcast Holiday Spectacular - Annual free giant display with music and holiday images. Runs late November through January 1.
  11. Macy's Christmas Light Show - This free light show runs every hour on the hour in Philadelphia. More than 100,000 bright LED lights create amazing holiday images and they are accompanied by music from the Wanamaker Grand Organ.
  12. Morris Arboretum - Celebrate the holiday season with the Holiday Garden Railway and Friday Night Lights at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia.
  13. A Brandywine Christmas - From late November through early January, enjoy the O-gauge model train and critter ornaments all decorated for the holiday season.
  14. Lucia Fest & Christmas Market - Located in South Philadelphia, experience a Swedish Christmas with events such as Julbord, Lucia Fest and Christmas Market, and the Swedish Museum Singers' Holiday Concert.
  15. Philadelphia Zoo - Join the animals in December for Zoo Noel which features life-size replicas of Santa from the different areas of the park. Children 1 and younger are free!

BELIEVE Pillow | Source
NYC Radio City
NYC Radio City | Source
NYC | Source
NYC at Christmas
NYC at Christmas | Source

North & Central NJ, NYC Christmas Events

  1. The Polar Express - Located in Phillipsburg, NJ, the train ride mirrors the movie, The Polar Express. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening to a reading of The Polar Express. Children will then visit with Santa and receive their own sleigh bell as long as they BELIEVE!
  2. The North Pole Express - Based out of Flemington, NJ, enjoy a train ride singing with elves to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Includes hot cocoa and a cookie, a small gift for each child, and face painting.
  3. Red Bank Christmas - Red Bank offers several holiday events including a Santa Express Train, Holiday Parade, Holiday Concert, 12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt, Holiday Open House, Town Lighting, Holiday Horse and Carriage Rides, Holiday Harmonies, and Pictures with Santa.
  4. Morven Museum & Garden - Located in Princeton, NJ, experience Morven's Festival of Trees beautifully decorated by local businesses, clubs, and non-profit organizations.
  5. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas/The Nutcracker - Experience the excitement and wonder of Christmas Eve with this entertaining musical by The Kelsey Players in West Windsor, NJ. Perfect for small kids!
  6. Allaire Village Christmas - Allaire Village, located in Farmingdale, NJ, hosts several Christmas events including A Christmas Carol, Christmas Lantern Tour, Christmas at Allaire, and Horse and Wagon rides.
  7. Train Ride with Santa - Located in Wayne, NJ, take an hour long train ride with Santa and his elves. Free gifts are included for the children! Ride proceeds fund the Hawthorne Railroad Station.
  8. Whippany Railway Museum's Annual Santa Claus Special - Enjoy the spirit of Christmas with a 45 minute train ride beautifully decorated for the season. During the ride, Santa will visit with the children and give out gifts.
  9. NYC Ice Skating - Celebrate the season ice skating at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Chelsea Piers, or Prospect Park.
  10. NYC Radio City Christmas Spectacular - Legendary tradition!
  11. NYC George Balanchine's The Nutcracker - One of the greatest shows in the city...a beautiful mix of ballet and Peter Tschaikovsky's music.
  12. NYC Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows - Get into the holiday spirit seeing the intricate holiday window displays on Fifth Avenue. Macy's, Barneys, Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, and Tiffany's are just a few of the stores that feature these windows.

Central Park
Central Park | Source

The Nutcracker

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