Holiday Event Guide: Our Neighborhood & Throughout New Jersey 2021

By Stacey Jones November 16, 2021

There are so many exciting holiday events going on in our local community! We've compiled a list of the neighborhood holiday happenings along with other festive fun events throughout the state of New Jersey to help you and your family make it an amazing holiday season in 2021. Enjoy these adventures with your family this holiday season!

2021 Macaroni Kid Candy Cane Hunt: Incredible Prizes and Tons of Family Fun - This brand new experience gives you the opportunity to pop in to local businesses with your family. It's free to participate! You will have your page signed and receive a candy cane with your family at each location and ONE lucky candy cane recipient at each business will receive a special grand prize for that business. Plus, once you visit all of the participating businesses and get your page signed at each one, you'll be entered to win our Grand Prize from Macaroni Kid! 

Saving Santa Escape Room - Holmdel - This game is designed for children, and those who are children at heart, so it's perfect for any age. Adults may find this game too easy so bring the children and let them solve the puzzles! The room has a fun design and there are things to find along the way. Remember, Christmas is at stake! Escapees MIGHT actually get to meet Santa who MIGHT have a small gift to thank them for saving him!

Holiday Train Display at the Monmouth Museum - This Holiday Season the Monmouth Museum Train Display will make its much anticipated return. The Holiday Train Display will be in the Main Gallery along with our holiday trees, decorated by the Friends of the Museum, and artwork created by The Arc of Monmouth participants in our Making Art Possible program. Opening is November 21st and the display runs through December 31, 2021.

Christmas at Allaire Village - Create new family traditions by celebrating the traditions of an Old World Christmas. Join us for a day full of holiday cheer as you experience the Magic and Joys of Christmas Past. Warm up on the open hearth, help make Christmas treats, listen to the musicians, storytelling, preparing the Allaire Mansion for a French Christmas, Gingerbread House Contest, and much more! Drop off your holiday cards at the Allaire Village Post Office inside the General Store. Also keep your eyes out for Santa, a great photo opportunity. All the village buildings will be spectacularly decorated for the Season!

Santa Party with Songs + Photos on Santa's Lap at Gymboree of Red Bank/Middletown - Santa will be interactive with the children. We will be singing songs, playing on the equipment, and sitting on Santa's lap for holiday pictures.

Big Holiday Show Featuring The Nutcracker Excerpts- Performing Arts Ensemble (PAE), a local non-profit 501c(3) arts organization, is celebrating its 40th anniversary season with The Big Holiday Show, featuring excerpts from the beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker, singers, dancers, elaborate costumes, scenery and other holiday favorites. This performance is free and fun for all ages!

Santa at the Crawford House in Tinton Falls - Santa Claus is coming to town on Sunday, December 5th from 1-3pm. Tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Meet and greet Santa at this special drive through event at The Historic Crawford House. 

Allaire Community Farm Christmas Light Spectacular - Starting in mid-November, we will be running nightly Hay Rides around the farm through a dazzling display of lights while playing your favorite Christmas songs. Rides will take place every thirty minutes between 5-9pm. This special event will fill your entire family with Christmas Cheer.

Santa Parade, Holiday Express Concert & Town Lighting - Red Bank - At 6:45pm, Santa and Mrs. Claus will lead the procession down Monmouth Street to Broad Street for the Town Lighting & Holiday Express Concert. 7pm Holiday Express Concert, 8pm Town Lighting. Other Events: 5:30pm Holiday Dance and Music Performance at the Red Bank Train Station, and 1-6pm Gobble, Wobble, and Shop at Red Bank Visitor Center - prize wheel, festive photo ops, free refreshments, and tons of holiday fun.

Dearborn Market Holiday Festival and Pictures with Santa - Loads of family fun and ideas for entertaining at our Holiday Festival. Plus, get your pictures taken with Santa for free.

Santa Photos, Tree Lighting, and Food Drive at Lincroft Village Green - Photos with Santa 3-4pm, Tree Lighting 4:15pm, Make a Christmas Ornament, and bring donations of canned and boxed food to benefit Lunch Break.

Visit With Santa in Holmdel - Father Christmas will invite young visitors and their families to come join him and welcomes them to bring their letters for Santa to read. Pictures are encouraged.

Fair Haven Menorah Lighting - Join us to light the Menorah in Fair Haven.

Making Spirits Bright: A Holiday Pop-Up Event on the Plaza - “Pop” by Two River’s Plaza for our second annual family-friendly Holiday Pop-Up event. Enjoy a cup of complimentary hot chocolate from our friends at JBJ Soul Kitchen, live holiday carols sung by our friends at Monmouth Civic Chorus, arts & craft stations, a festive photo station, story times & more!

Santa at Sickles Little Silver - Come meet Santa at Sickles! Pre-registration required.

Menorah Lighting in Red Bank - Join Rabbi Klein on November 29th as we continue the Festival of Lights celebration as a community with the Menorah Lighting ceremony at Riverside Gardens Park.

Tinton Falls Tree Lighting and Menorah Lighting Celebration - Join us in Liberty Park II for our annual Tree Lighting and Menorah Lighting Celebration.

The Nutcracker at Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank - Every holiday season for over 30 years, the Company of Dance Arts has brought the magic of The Nutcracker to life. Set to Tchaikovsky's stirring score; soloists from ballet companies join the accomplished local dancers in the most popular ballet of all time. Youngsters as well as the young-at-heart will delight with Clara as she journeys with her Nutcracker through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets to meet the Sugarplum Fairy.

Fair Haven Santa in the Park and Holiday Stroll - Holiday Stroll through the Fair Haven Business District from 5:30-7:30pm. Santa's arrival and Photo Opportunity at Memorial Park at 6:00pm.

The Sounds of Christmas - Holmdel - Celebrate the holidays taking a stroll on Longstreet Farm with the backdrop of wistful music as Larry Moser and Mary Nagin play Christmas carols on the hammered dulcimer and fiddle.

Pictures and Sing Along with Santa - Join Love to Learn Playhouse for a one hour session that includes picture time with Santa, open play, and a sing along with Santa. Bring your own camera and take your own picture.

Swim with Santa - Santa Claus is coming to town and making a stop at Goldfish Swim School in Middletown! Join us for festive holiday fun and a little bit of tropical vibes with everyone's favorite jolly, rosy-cheeked visitor. This event is open to everyone.

Santa at Sickles in Red Bank - Come meet Santa at Sickles! Pre-registration required.

Visit With Santa at Longstreet Farm- Father Christmas will be coming to Longstreet Farm. He will invite young visitors and their families to come join him and welcomes them to bring their letters for Santa to read. Pictures are encouraged.

Saturday with Santa - Community Holiday Party in Red Bank. Have a jolly good time with a DJ, photo booth, crafts, games, door prizes and a special visit from Santa.

19th Century Christmas Ballads at Historic Longstreet Farm - This holiday season, come to the Longstreet farmhouse and enjoy 19th century Christmas ballads played on the piano. 

Holiday Harmonies in Red Bank- Immerse your ears in the various harmonies of the season including traditional carolers, choirs, brass bands, handbells, rock, folk, and jazz as musicians fill the sidewalks of Red Bank.

Drive-Thru Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure - Returning for its second season, Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience will offer guests – and family pets – a unique way to experience the beauty of one of the world’s largest theme parks from the warmth, privacy, and comfort of their own vehicles. 

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson- Six Flags Great Adventure’s spectacular winter festival, Holiday in the Park, will sparkle with more than a million glittering lights, festive foods, thrilling rides, and holiday entertainment with a continued focus on safety. Weekends and select days November 13, 2021 through January 9, 2022, the World’s Ultimate Thrill Park will transform into an eye-popping winter wonderland.

Magic of Lights Drive Through Lights Experience in Holmdel - New Jersey will shine bright as guests weave through a spectacular drive through lights display, Magic of Lights, which opens November 19th at the PNC Bank Arts Center and runs through January 2nd, 2021.

Miracle at Game Time Bar and Grill: A Christmas Themed Pop Up - Miracle at Game Time Bar and Grill is a Christmas-themed Pop-Up Bar featuring over-the-top decor for indoor and outdoor dining plus holiday inspired cocktails. Open from November 24 to December 31, 2021 for the ultimate nostalgic holiday experience, it's sure to get even the grouchiest Grinch in the holiday spirit!

Sunday Brunch with Santa - Feeling Festive? Come into Miracle at Game Time Bar & Grill every Sunday starting November 28th through December 19th and share brunch with Ole Saint Nick! Bring the whole family in for brunch and festive fun, 11AM – 3PM. Enjoy over-the-top Christmas décor, a table visit from Santa, a special photo-op and more all conveniently in our Christmas village.

Polar Express Train Ride - All Aboard The Polar Express at the Delaware River Railroad Excursions operated by the non profit New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society. Families have been traveling to ride this very special edition of The Polar Express from all over the world. The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, New Jersey is sure to become an annual holiday tradition for the whole family. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride and join in on the magic of Christmas.

Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquariums, Camden - This holiday season, dive into Christmas Underwater, November 26 through December 24, and discover an incredible world of seasonal under-the-sea fun! Scuba Santa is back in Ocean Realm, sharing Christmas cheer with kids (and animals!) of all ages! Explore even more holiday decor than ever before, including underwater light displays, festive new shows and the World's Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree! Don't miss out on the magic of the season. Explore Christmas Underwater this season!

NYC Winter Lantern Festival - You are invited to step into this whimsical and imaginative world of light at three locations, each with its own theme. Attractions include A Bug's Night: A Drive Thru Adventure at Nassau County Museum of Art in Long Island; ESCAPE! at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island; and Illuminate the Farm at Queens County Farm in Queens. Get 20% off tickets purchased Oct. 16-Nov. 15 by using code KID2021 at checkout. Save 10% on tickets purchased after Nov. 15 with code KID2021 at checkout. Get tickets to NYC Winter Lantern Festival and SAVE!

Scones and Santa in Toms River - Come visit with Santa and have fresh warm scones at the Historic Mathis House.

Brookhollow's Barnyard Christmas Walk Through Holiday Light Show in Boonton - Christmas light show November through January.

Diggerland Winter Festival & Holiday Light Show in West Berlin - It’s our Winter Festival here at Diggerland! Each weekend you and your family can enjoy live music, our famous Parade of Machines, specialty food, hayrides and plenty of fun and games. Holiday Light Show - 2021 marks our second holiday light show and you won’t want to miss this! Experience a light show like no other. Drive a course through America’s only construction theme & water park to witness lights, holiday displays, tunnels, and our very own radio station to fill your car with holiday spirit.

North Pole Express in Flemington- Don't miss North Pole Express, BR&W's most popular annual event! This year's program will feature more entertainment staff, new and improved decor at "North Pole Station", a new choose-your-own props photo experience and more!

South Jersey Holiday Light Show in Swedesboro - The South Jersey Holiday Light Show is the only drive-through light show in Southern New Jersey! Featuring dozens of dazzling displays to delight the entire family, the show is open select dates beginning November 19, 2020, through the end of December.

Crystal Golf Resort - Guests will love our new eco-friendly 'Glice' skating rink located at Grand Cascades Lodge, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, Frosty's Cantina, located at Minerals Hotel, our live Nativity at Grand Cascades Lodge, decorating their very own miniature Christmas tree, enjoy the craft of our professional photographer for a keepsake image, visit with Santa, heated outdoor snow pools which are perfect to enjoy on a chilly winter's day, and huddling around the fire and roasting marshmallows in the crisp winter air! 

Orchard of Lights in Demarest - Join us during the most magical time of year and experience the joy and wonder of the Orchard of Lights. Take your vehicle on a guided tour through 32 acres of brilliant holiday light displays, warm up by the fire pit and enjoy hot cocoa and treats in our retail farm market.

Kringle Railway Adventure Train Ride in Cedar Knolls - The Kringle Railway Adventure is a round-trip thematic Christmas train ride for all ages that is sure to put your family into the holiday spirit!

A Laurie Berkner Virtual Family Concert - Holiday Party! - Sing, dance, and play interactive games through your device with Laurie Berkner (plus some special guests) as they perform your favorite songs, interact with you through the computer, and bring in a few surprises – from Laurie’s house to yours!