Celebrate the Holidays: Lights, Shopping and Special Events

  • Christmas Lights in Palmer Square in Princeton, New Jersey

‘Tis the season for merrymaking, as the holidays begin to approach. Get in the festive spirit with these family-friendly traditions, shopping destinations and special performances that make the magic of the season come to life.

Holiday Light Displays in New Jersey

All around New Jersey, twinkling holiday lights and marvelous decorations transform everyday landscapes into fantastical sights. In northern New Jersey, bring the kids to Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show in Augusta or the Holiday Lights Spectacular at West Orange’s Turtle Back Zoo. In the central area of New Jersey, watch 120,000 lights dance to music at Cranbury Christmas Lights, or attend the Holiday Lights Show Benefitting Hugs for Brady in North Brunswick. In southern New Jersey, see more than 100 illuminated Christmas trees “float” on Lake Meone at Smithville’s Holiday Light Show, or stroll along Cape May’s Washington Street Mall to take in the holiday lights and decorated shops.

Find even more holiday events in New Jersey, or plan a holiday weekend getaway to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the season.

Holiday Shopping

From an array of shopping options to the no sales tax on clothing and footware, New Jersey is a shopper’s paradise. Looking to save money on your holiday list? Check out some of the many outlet stores, such as the Jackson Premium Outlets in Jackson or The Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City. If money is no object, you won’t want to miss the luxury stores at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, which includes brand names such as Tiffany & Co., Versace and Gucci, while The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack boast labels like Cole Haan, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. For those hard-to-buy-for people on your guest list, take a stroll through New Jersey’s unique antique districts, or peruse the boutiques tucked away along charming small-town main streets. Get even more ideas for shopping local in New Jersey.

Plays, Performances & Special Events

It’s easy to get in the holiday spirit at festive productions, which will transport you and your whole family to a Christmas wonderland for an evening. From holiday train shows and Polar Express train rides to special performances of "It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Nutcracker," there's plenty to choose from every holiday season.

Discover upcoming events.