10 Best Things to Do in New Jersey This November

  • Apple Cider
    Getty Images/YelenaYemchuk

As the year transitions from fall to winter, New Jersey has lots to offer from fall festivals, foodie feasts and kick-off events for the holidays. Here are 10 ways to enjoy your trip this month.

1. See the latest exhibits at a museum.

If the weather outside is chilly, head indoors for a day of arts and culture. At the Princeton University Art Museum, explore special exhibits, such as The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to the 14th Century (October 19, 2019–February 16, 2020). Or explore artwork and history across centuries and continents at the Newark Museum. Afterwards see how Christmas was celebrated in the late Victorian era at the Christmas in the Ballantine House (November 20, 2019–January 5, 2020), a historically accurate installation showcasing German, Dutch and English traditions.

2. Attend a foodie festival.

Enjoy the flavors of the season at special events around the state. You can sample more than 30 types of pie at Alstede Farms’ Pie Tasting Experience in Chester (November 9, 2019), make your own apple cider using a hand-cranked press at the Apple Cidering event at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (November 9–10, 2019) in Chatham Township, or enjoy seasonal specials and prix fixe menus during Flemington Fall Restaurant Week (November 10–15, 2019).

3. Show some team spirit at a sports bar.

Whether you’re into football, basketball or hockey, when the game is on, make your way to the Asbury Ale House Sports Bar and Grille in Asbury Park, where more than 50 HD TVs and 60 beers on tap keep the atmosphere lively. Or see the sports action on a giant LED video wall at The Book in Bally’s Atlantic City.

4. Get your holiday shopping done early.

No matter who’s on your gift list, holiday shopping in New Jersey is a surefire way to make everyone happy. You will find brand name gifts at shopping malls like the three-story Newport Centre in Jersey City, or score deals at The Mills at Jersey Gardens, outlet mall with more than 200 stores. You may also want to stroll local boutiques in small towns like Cape May or Historic Smithville.

5. Sip and sample New Jersey wine at a local vineyard.

New Jersey is home to more than 40 wineries, from Columbia’s Brook Hollow Winery up north to West Cape May’s Willow Creek Farm & Winery down south. Stop by the winery nearest you, or follow this wine tasting road trip to sample a variety of wines across the state. If you’re in New Jersey November 29–December 1, 2019, don’t miss the Holiday Wine Trail Weekend at various wineries.

6. Listen to some live music.

From arts centers to music halls, there are so many places to experience performing arts in New Jersey. Make plans November 8–10, 2019 to watch the live jazz performances at Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May. Or experience the music of Harold Mabern, one of the greatest living jazz pianists, at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in South Orange during Giants of Jazz on November 16, 2019.

7. Visit a nearby farm to stock up for Thanksgiving dinner.

Go straight to the source to make your dinner this year by stopping by one of the many farms in New Jersey. Stock up on pumpkins for pie, grab a jug of fresh apple cider, pick out a farm-raised turkey for the main course, and pick up dried corn and gourds for your table décor.

8. Eat your way through a food hall.

While New Jersey is home to plenty of the hottest food trends, visit one of the new food halls for a chance to experience a wide variety of these cutting edge culinary experiences, all while staying cozy under one roof. At District Kitchen in Jersey City, fill up on everything from ramen to gourmet burgers at individually owned eateries. Or at Bell Market Social House + Eatery in Holmdel, take your pick from Japanese street-food, artisanal pastries, innovative pizzas and more.

9. Explore a scenic state park.

There are so many ways to enjoy New Jersey’s state parks during winter, from sledding and cross-country skiing to ice fishing and ice skating. Hike or cross-country ski at High Point State Park in Sussex, hunt the lands at Swartswood State Park in Swartswood, or go ice fishing at Long Pond Ironworks State Park in Hewitt.

10. See the holiday lights and décor.

This is the start of the holiday season! From November to January, the charming seaside town of Cape May transforms into a Victorian holiday wonderland, with twinkling gaslights, string lights, garlands, trolley rides, candlelight house tours and more. Be sure to stop by Cape May’s  Congress Hall, the country’s oldest seaside resort, where the Winter Wonderland festivities include festive décor, a carousel, seasonal treats and Santa’s Workshop, opening November 29, 2019. Or attend the Christmas Festival in Morristown, when holiday lights, visits with Santa, holiday crafts and more make the season bright and jolly.