The Ultimate Holiday Fun Guide 2018 Edition

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Ultimate Holiday Guide

Holiday Exhibits and Displays

November 16th to December 31st 5:00 PM until 9:00 pm (West Orange, NJ) Take a nighttime stroll through the Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights to see more than 50 illuminated winter scenes and animal characters. Donations of non-perishable food items, new unwrapped toys, and new or gently used winter coats are appreciated and collected at the entrance. Some of the zoo’s vendors remain open for late-night snacks, including cocoa and cookies, and you can even grab a ride on the carousel (for a fee). FREE

November 16th to December 30th 5:00 PM until 9:00 pm (Augusta, NJ) The spectacular Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show & Village is back for its fifth festive year! With more than two million dazzling lights on a mile-long drive-through course PLUS a new outdoor village, it’s a must-see holiday attraction for your whole family. The Christmas Light Show & Village will be open rain, snow, or shine on select dates and times check website for details.

Saturday, November 17th, 2018 – Monday, January 21st, 2019  (Bronx, NY ) Don’t miss the  New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show. Enchanting model trains zip through a display of more than 150 landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming past familiar sights on nearly a half-mile of track. This year’s exhibition showcases Lower Manhattan, with iconic skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island sharing the spotlight among old and new favorites. Making its debut in the collection is the historic Battery Maritime Building along with two classic Staten Island Ferry boats. Tickets $10-$30

November 19th, 2018 to January 13th, 2019 10:00 am-5:45 pm (NYC, NY)  Marvel at the Origami Holiday Tree at the Museum of Natural History  An annual Museum tradition, the delightfully decorated Origami Holiday Tree and two merrily lit 19-foot Holiday Barosaurs welcome visitors to the Museum throughout the holiday season. The theme of this year’s 13-foot tree is Oceans of Origami, with models inspired by the Museum’s special exhibition Unseen Oceans. Attendees can expect to see angelfish, lionfish, anglers, various sharks, whales, dolphins, tangs, eels, among other treasured models. Volunteers, including local, national, and international origami artists, fold year-round, contributing to a collection of over 1,000 models that will be displayed on the tree. Free with museum admission.

Monday November 19th 2018 until February 3rd 2019 (Midtown NYC) Traveling into NYC? Don’t miss the Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal.  Lionel trains travel along two 34’ long “O” gauge model train layout, where onlookers will start off in a mini Grand Central and follow along as the route heads toward the North Pole as work from Ebony Bolt is displayed throughout the exhibit.  All ages. FREE

Friday November 30th to Sunday December 9th 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (Morris Township, NJ) Get lost in a Gingerbread Wonderland at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and admire dozens of delicious creations. The magic of gingerbread goes beyond houses; it includes landmarks, trains, planes, animals, and themes varying from family vacations to superheroes. You’ll have a chance to vote for your favorite. Please note that Friday the exhibit will stay open until 7:30pm.  $2 per person; free for children under 2


Sunday November 25th 11:00 AM-3:00 PM (Summit, NJ) Fall is a time for change at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum. Take a crisp hike, and learn all about Thanksgiving Trails. Please dress for the weather and be prepared for changing trail conditions. During the hike, the Arboretum’s Teen Volunteers as they tell you about their ongoing Citizen Science Projects, how this impacts conservation in our community, and how you can become a citizen scientist with the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum. Hikes will last about 45 minutes. Hikes depart at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Suitable for all ages. Not suitable for strollers  Members: $5, Non-members, $8

November 26th, 2018 to January 1st, see website for hours (Paramus, NJ) When the sun goes down, the lights come on in Van Saun Park for six weeks of wintertime fun Activities include; Open Air Ice Skating, Kids’ Beginner Synthetic Rink, Additional Kids’ Activities and Games,  Unlimited Bergen Express Train Ride, Santa’s North Pole Workshop Unlimited Carousel Rides, Zoo Entry and Programming, Indoor/Outdoor Beer Garden and Food Trucks. Check the online calendar for a detailed schedule, including Santa appearances. Admission includes all activities and skate rental. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Advance tickets are available online for $14.

Saturday December 1st- Saturday December 15th 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm (Maplewood NJ) Dickens Village in Maplewood is a festive gift from the business community to local residents and visitors. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, concerts, refreshments, children’s activities, and more. This treasured community tradition opens in December and runs every Saturday until Christmas. A detailed schedule of events is listed on the website. Don’t miss the tree lighting on December 1 at 5pm and loads of fun activities throughout the weekend. FREE

December 1st, 6pm – 8pm (Summit, NJ) Want to build a snowman (out of ice cream) and meet Elsa! Join the Naturalist staff  at the Hartshorn Arboretum for a “Frozen” Fun Night:  a fun evening learning about snow and what all the animals are doing during winter! Price: Member: $10 Non-Member: $15.

Sunday December 2nd 11:00 am- 4:00 pm (NYC, NY) Celebrate the festival of lights as a family at the Jewish Museum! Build a sculptural Hanukkah lamp with funky found objects, dance to the pop-rock tunes of Josh & The Jamtones, and sketch Hanukkah lamps from around the globe on a gallery tour. Watch a unique Hanukkah story come to life through a drawing performance by Jeff Hopkins and collaborate on a giant work of art. Free with museum admission

Sunday December 2nd  11:00 am -12:45 pm (Jersey City, NJ)  Calling all kids to come and build a Menorah at the Home Depot in Jersey City You’ll also get to pick up some Chanukah candles and enjoy some Chanukah goodies and be prepared for the festivities which begin that night. FREE and OPEN to all – RSVP required as space is limited.

Saturday December 8th 11:30 AM (Summit, NJ) Drop by Reeves-Reed Arboretum for cookies and cocoa and have your picture taken with Santa in the Arboretum’s beautifully decorated, historic Wisner House. Kids may also enjoy stories and crafts. Holiday portraits will be taken by a local photographer. Portraits are $15 per pose Admission: FREE


October 20th 2018 -January 27th 2019 (Lincoln Center, NYC) The 41st Edition of the Big Apple Circus brings together the world’s most acclaimed circus acts from around the world. Extraordinary jugglers and aerialists join the beloved circus, and the Flying Tuniziai’s will thrill audiences with not one, but two simultaneous flying trapeze acts side by side, culminating in the quadruple somersault, a feat perfected by only 10 flyers in the history of the world. Plus, horses, dogs, clowns, acrobats, and more. Tickets $25-$125

Thursday November 29th 7:30 PM (South Orange, NJ) Celebrate Hanukkah at the South Orange Performing Arts Center with the fam and sing along to Woody Guthrie lyrics with the Klezmatics. This Grammy-winning band has had tons of fun celebrating the Festival of Lights for more than 30 years. $30-45 per person.

Friday November 30th 7:00 pm (Wayne, NJ) The Shea Center for the Performing Arts hosts the Moscow Ballet’s performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker adding beautiful twists to the classic tale. Hand-painted sets, Snow Maidens and nesting dolls will bring a new flair to your favorite Christmas story. $47-177 per person.

Friday-Sunday December 7-9 (see website for showtimes) (New Brunswick, NJ) Come for 20 acts from Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the State Theater of NJ  featuring original music, soaring vocals and plenty of spectacle celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. There’ll be acrobats, theatrical numbers and stunts that’ll keep your crew riveted. $35- 98 per person.


Saturday December 8th and Sunday December 9th (see website for showtimes Newark, NJ) What child wouldn’t love to see Nick Jr.’s popular animated series Paw Patrol- Race to the Rescue as it comes to life on stage at NJPAC in an action-packed adventure. When Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found on the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race with Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, it’s PAW Patrol to the rescue! Best for ages 2-6  $23 – $79

Saturday December 10th 10:00 AM -12:00 PM (Millburn, NJ) Paper Mill Playhouse presents Charlotte’s Web, based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. The classic tale explores true meaning of friendship. Suitable for children 5 and older. Tickets $15

Saturday December 15th 10:00 am-10:00 pm (Newark, NJ)  Don’t miss NJPAC’s  20th year of the Kwanzaa Family Festival. The fun includes crafts, West African dance and drums, Kwanzaa ceremony and storytelling, arm knitting, snacks, performances and more. Best for ages 3 and up. Pre-registration is required.

Saturday December 15th 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm (Newark,  NJ) Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert Live to Film Head over to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Check out the 1993 classic starring spooky favorites like Jack Skellington and Sally, plus Prudential Hall’s transformation into Halloween Town. There’ll also be a costume contest. $39-89 per person.

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