Tis the Season for Traditions

After you've put away the Halloween decorations and visited New Jersey’s fall foliage, it’s time to turn your attention to Thanksgiving traditions and fun holiday “to dos” happening around the state.

On Thanksgiving weekend (November 29 and 30, and December 1) visit the Cultural Arts Center in Sergeantsville for the 19th Annual Covered Bridge Artisans Holiday Studio Tour. Take a free, self-guided tour and visit seven nationally known artist’s studios to see where their art is made and the creative process behind each piece. Items will be sold for holiday gift purchases! 

Many towns host annual Thanksgiving “Turkey Trots” to help you burn pre-Thanksgiving meal calories.  The Sweetie Pig Foundation, for example, hosts a 5K, a 1 Mile Walk/Fun Run, and a Kid’s Trot open to children 12 and younger in Morris Township. Check with municipalities near you to see where you and your family can join in the fun!  (Most New Jersey town’s websites are included here.)

Once you’ve filled your cornucopia with Thanksgiving memories, it’s on to holiday to dos. 

First up may be to get a fresh cut tree. New Jersey has plenty of farms in almost every county that will let you and your family pick your own tree, then cut it down and bring it home. Visit New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association for a complete directory of the locations and types of trees.

From November 23 through December 31, you can enjoy the Cape May Holiday Lights Trolley Ride through Cape May’s Historic District. On this $10 tour, you’ll see festively decorated inns and homes while your trolley guide offers insight and history about Victorian Christmas traditions. There may even be a sing-a-long!  Each tour is about 30 minutes and then you can be off to dinner at one of Cape May’s nearly 50 different restaurants…and some are even BYOB.  

Princeton offers several memory-making events to enjoy with the family:

  • The Morven Museum & Garden Festival of Trees runs from November 27, 2013 – January 5, 2014 and showcases 13 of the museum’s galleries beautifully decorated for the holidays.
  • Over 100 dancers from the American Repertory Ballet (ARB) and students from the Princeton Ballet School will put on the legendary Nutcracker Ballet to Tchaikovsky’s traditional score at McCarter Theatre Center. This year, the ARB is celebrating 50 consecutive years of its Nutcracker production, one of the longest-running productions in New Jersey. Performances only run from November 27 through 30, so buy your tickets early! 
  • If you miss the Nutcracker in November, you can still catch performances of A Christmas Carol throughout December, also at the McCarter Theatre Center



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