Are you ready to have a holly jolly holiday season?! Each year, Central New Jersey is filled with fun holiday activities for the whole family. We've rounded up a few of our festive favorites, from spectacular Christmas light sightings and gift bazaars to Chanukah events and shows! 

But one thing before we delve into this month's events—do you love Christmas lights?! Then we recommend checking out our blog post that's all about the gorgeous holiday light displays in New Jersey: 

Amazing Holiday Light Displays in Central New Jersey

Ring in the holiday season with the most special people in your life and enjoy spectacular...

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image source: Patch

1. 39th Annual Festival Of Trees To Light Up The Holidays

When: December  2 -28, 2016 (Closed Dec. 23 - Dec. 26)

Time:  9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge

Marvel in the stunning displays of holiday trees at the 39th Annual Festival of Trees! Featuring Christmas trees creatively designed by individuals and groups who have selected a theme of their own choice, these artistic masterpieces are a must-see this holiday season! 


image source: http://www.wfafnj.org/events/holiday-boutique/

2. Annual Holiday Boutique

When: December 2nd, 9th, 16th (10:00 AM - 2:00 PM) 
December 3rd (10:00 AM - 7:00 PM) 
´┐╝December 10th, 17th (10:00 AM - 4:00 PM) 
December 4th, 11th, 18th (12:00 PM - 3:00 PM)

Where: 197 Mountain Ave, Warren, NJ 07059

The children's garden will be filled with beautiful holiday lights this season! Have your photo taken with Santa in his sleigh then watch the Watchung Hills Regional High School Chorus sing Christmas songs. 


image source: New Jersey Hills

3. Watchung Tree of Lights with Fireworks

When: December 3, 2016  

Time: 5:30 pm

Where: 10 Stirling Road Watchung NJ, 07059

Village Green celebrates the 26th Annual Tree of Lights this holiday season! The Watchung Rescue Squad, in coordination with Garden State Fireworks, will light up the skies with a magical fireworks display. Be a part of this memorable celebration by placing a red light on our tree in honor of a person, family, friends and others.  


image source: www.huffingtonpost.com

4. Picture Perfect with Santa at Wagner Farm Arboretum

When: December 3, 2016

Time:  2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Where: 197 Mountain Ave, Warren NJ 07059

Bring your kids and your pets and grab this chance to take a memorable photo with Santa on his sleigh at the Wagner Farm Arboretum. Click here to reserve your special slot with Santa and receive a small gift! Stay after sundown and enjoy their special yearly light display and a night of Yuletide music. 


image source: Jersey Family Fun

5. 25th Annual 2016 Gingerbread Wonderland & Craft Show - Weekends from December 3-4, 10-11

Date and Time:  Friday thru the following Sunday – December 3 thru 11, 2016 (25th annual) – 10AM to 4PM daily. 

Craft Show Weekends: December 3 & 4 and December 10 & 11, 2016 – 10AM to 4:30PM

Where:  The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Township NJ 07960

Each year the New Jersey trains get all decked out for the Yuletide and offer memorable holiday-themed train rides you can choose from. It may not take you all the way to the North Pole, but it will be close enough! 


image source: www.nj.com

6. Holiday Festival

When: December  3 -4, 2016

Time:  10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: 256 South Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Enjoy hayrides, pony rides, games, craft projects, food, and much more while the adults enjoy exploring the offerings at the annual Silent Auction, a fundraiser which benefits the Lord Stirling School Horse Retirement Fund.


image source: Jacobus Vanderveer House

7.14th Annual Colonial Christmas

When: December 3 - 4, 2016  

Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Where: 3055 River Road, Bedminster,NJ, United States

Jacobus Vanderveer House signature fundraiser allows you to experience a Colonial Christmas! Clydesdale-drawn wagon rides, Colonial musicians, and live reindeer are just a few of the things you can enjoy at this event. This year, enjoy the addition of a special exhibition of Revolutionary War military antiques from International Military Antiques.


image source: Raritan Valley Community College

8. Winter Wonder Lights

When: December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18

Time: 4:00pm

Where: Raritan Valley Community College, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, New Jersey 08876

Enjoy holiday hits such as “Wizards in Winter,”“Dominic the Donkey,”“Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree.” (Recommended for ages 6-adult) 


image source: Edible Jersey.com

9. Edible Jersey Celebrates Foods of the Garden State

When: December 4, 2016

Time:  11 am - 4:00 pm

Where: Willow School in Gladstone

Numerous vendors will be selling their locally crafted brands that include pottery, gourmet foods, wines and much more! Admission is free, but a $5 donation (which goes benefits Foodshed Alliance) is welcome. 


image source: Jersey Bites

10. Cookie Decorating & Food Bank Sharing Brunch

When: December 4, 2016

Time:  10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Where: 225 Route 202 Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Spend this weekend with your kids and see how excited they are creating their own masterpiece! Cookies will be provided and you get to do the fun part of the preparation... decorating! This event is also an opportunity to donate food and items to the Grain House for the Community Soup Kitchen. The Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center are supported by The Grain House by donating food on a weekly basis. 


image source: Tap Into

11. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Warren Holiday Parade

When: December 6, 2016

Time:  2 pm - 4:00 pm

Where: Front of Walgreens

This Yuletide walk event with Santa is free and open to all. Santa lands in front of Walgreens at 2pm and will promptly be whisked off to a parade headed by the Watchung High School Marching Band whilst escorted by the Washington Valley Fire Department. Santa will be spreading love and greeting the children later; attending kids are encouraged to bring him their Christmas letters!


image source: Mommy Poppins.com

12. Quality Time with Santa

Berkeley Heights YMCA – Berkeley Heights
December 9 & 15

Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School – Bridgewater
December 10

The Bernards Inn – Bernardsville
December 11

It's right around the time of year when Santa is checking his list twice. Get the kids ready and check out the venues (listed above) where Santa will be making an appearance!


image source: TAPinto

13. Christmas Shoppe and Soup Festival

When: Saturday, December 10, 2016

Time:  10 am – 3 pm

Where: 201 Lincoln Avenue, corner of Walnut and Lincoln Avenues, Cranford

This year, the 6th annual Christmas Holiday Shoppe and Soup Fest is hosted by The Cranford United Methodist Church and they are bringing in over 45 vendors that will be selling lots of  merchandise, crafts, and gifts.


image source: events.funnewjersey.com

14. Grain House Santa Brunch

When: December 11, 2016

Time:  10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Where: 225 Route 202 Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

After their Sunday Brunch, the children can visit Santa and make a wish. A photographer is available to catch the moment and take a free family photo with Santa. You can also create Christmas decorations at the craft party in the Olde Mill Inn!


image source: Shirlala

15. Family Chanukah Party

When: December 16, 2016

Time:  6:00 pm

Where: The Barons ClubhouseDexter Drive North, Basking Ridge

It's a party filled with food, games, fun activities, and lots of singing! Celebrate this candle-lighting event with your loved ones. Bring your contribution as this is a potluck dinner: main course, salad, vegetable, or latkes. 


image source: Branchburg Sports Complex

16. Family Holiday Party

When: December 18, 2016  

Time: 9:00am to 11:00am

Where: 47 Readington Road, Branchburg, NJ

At the Family Holiday Party in Branchburg, kids can enjoy the PlayMaze, bounce houses, soft play equipment, prizes/giveaways, picture taking with Santa, arts & crafts, and much more!

Children will also enjoy a visit from local children’s author, Felicia Chernesky.  Felicia will have a variety of games and activities inspired by her new book “The Boy Who Said Nonsense.”


image source: Warren Frie.org

17. Santa Claus Pays You a Personal Visit

When: December 21, 2016

Time:  2 pm - 4:00 pm

Where: Delivered to your house

Show love for and support the Mt. Bethel Volunteer Fire Company this season and spread  holiday smiles. For a small donation of $50 (which goes toward funding repairs and upkeep of the fire station) Santa Claus ( a firefighter in lieu of St. Nick!)  will deliver any child's holiday present to their doorstep. Watch their delighted looks as it rolls up the drive lights ablaze and siren activated! Be the one amongst the 100 lucky households Santa will visit this year!


image source: Branchburg Sports Complex

18. Shop 'Til You Drop

When: December 23, 2016  

Time: 5:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: 47 Readington Road, Branchburg, NJ

In dire need of a last minute holiday errands? Drop your kids off at BSC and take care of those last minute shopping lists. Your children will enjoy all kinds of games and activities like arcade games, laser tag, field games, PlayMaze, and more. 


image source: Eventful

19. Grain House Caroler Brunch

When: December 23, 2016  

Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm

Where: 225 Route 202 Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Enjoy your country brunch while the carolers sing a lovely Christmas music performed by the members of the Bernards High School Madrigals!


Photo courtesy of ChabadCentral.org 

20. Grand Menorah Lighting 

When: December 24

Time: 6pm

Where:  Chabad Basking Ridge

Open and free to the entire community, join Chabad Basking Ridge for a night of Chanukah fun! Music, dancing, hot latkes and cider, cookie decorating, and a gift for each child are all in the mix. It's free, but you'll want to reserve your spot in advance here!


image source: New Jersey Leisure Guide

21. Hanukkah Concert and Dinner

When: December 25, 2016  

Time: 4:00pm

Where: 177 Speedwell Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960,

 Celebrate the first day of Hanukkah with loved ones and be a part of the annual celebration of lighting the Hanukkah. New Jersey Cantors Concert Ensemble will serenade you on this event.


Photo courtesy of CoolMomPics.com

22. Lego Chanukah Extravaganza 

When: Sunday, December 25

Time: 11am

Where: JCC Bridgewater, 775 Timing Road, Bridgewater

Join Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge for a fun day of legos! Help them build (and light!) a 6-foot menorah made from legos, and even make your very own lego dreidel. You can also enjoy donut decorating, a lego photo booth, Chanukah games, and more! It's free, but sign up here to save your spot. 


23. Grand Outdoor Menorah Lighting

When: Tuesday, December 27

Time: 6pm

Where: Flag Plaza in Warren

Join Chabad Central to light the Menorah with your neighbors, all while enjoying hot latkes, hot cider, music, and more! 


Do you love holiday light displays? 

Check out our list of Christmas light displays in New Jersey:

Amazing Holiday Light Displays in Central New Jersey

Ring in the holiday season with the most special people in your life and enjoy spectacular...

Read More