Lighting Up the Night in New Jersey

The twinkling lights of the holidays make the season extra special. Many New Jersey sites light up with wonderful festive displays.

What makes the holidays magical? Why, the lights of course! New Jersey has some great places to visit that "light up" with magic during the holiday season.

For over 50 years, at Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township it has been tradition around the holidays to host the Christmas Fantasy with Lights. This kid-focused theme park offers a magical setting and winter wonderland for children of all ages and runs from late November through the end of December, every night around 5pm (weather permitting). Santa Claus waves his magic wand to light up the one million lights around the entire park and then you are off to enjoy the scenery, rides and food.

Schaefer Farms in Flemington offers Holiday Lights on the Farm, where you can view an impressive display of colorful lights from the comfort of your own car from Thanksgiving until New Year's. Open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 5:30- 9:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30-10pm. This spectacle is a great way to pack up the kids in the car without hearing "are we there yet?"

Do you prefer to take a winter stroll? The Festival of Trees at the Tuckerton Seaport kicks off the season and creates some holiday cheer. The seaport features dozens of trees, each decorated for a local non-profit organization with a unique theme. Open daily from December 1 to early January 10am-5pm included with general admission.

Many towns also offer walking tours of historical homes and buildings, and lighting ceremonies at various town landmarks. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts Humanities in Cape May hosts the Physick Family Christmas House Tour with authentic Victorian decorations that invite you to step back into Christmas past. Tours are from early December to January 1 at various times. End your evening with a Holiday Lights Trolley Ride around Cape May viewing the festively decorated inns and homes, sing-alongs and Christmas music.

And don't forget about your hometown's tree and holiday lighting ceremonies. Check out the municipality's website to see when and where your town will light up New Jersey this holiday season.