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The Most Delightful New Jersey Christmas Activities for Kids 2023

Celebrating Christmas in New Jersey with New Jersey Christmas activities …!

If your family is anything like mine though, December can be hectic, very hectic. We’re trying to squeeze in family time, tree decorating, Christmas card sending, holiday movie watching, baking, Santa visits, gift shopping, and more.

This year, it seems as soon as Halloween struck midnight or in some cases before out came the preparations for Christmas and the holiday season. While not all towns, businesses, and community groups are ready to share details of their holiday celebrations, we’ve already started updating our NJ Christmas activities and event listings for 2023.

We’ll continue updating these New Jersey Christmas activity lists into late December. If you don’t see something that interests you or is local to you, keep coming back. There will be more!

We’re here to help you eliminate the guilt over not doing enough family fun New Jersey Christmas activities with the kids. We can help you have Christmas family fun in New Jersey with just a few clicks around our website! Just take a look at our ideas below and click over to our ways to celebrate a New Jersey Christmas with kids. Merry Christmas!

New Jersey Christmas Family Fun

The Most Delightful New Jersey Christmas Activities to try with Kids

Drive from neighborhood to neighborhood to see these New Jersey Christmas Lights Displays

Twinkle twinkle little lights, oh how children love Christmas lights so bright. Old fashioned or modern, all white or a rainbow of colors, New Jersey holiday lights will make your heart flutter.

In New Jersey, we have Christmas lights at zoos, parks, neighborhoods and family attractions. Some charge admission, but many are free. Every year, our listing of New Jersey Christmas lights displays is one of our most popular guides to Christmas family fun in New Jersey.

Our listing helps you find Christmas light attractions in North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey. Not only that but this year we are making it even better with the addition of more videos. You can then watch those videos and find a local New Jersey Christmas Light Display in our New Jersey Christmas Lights Displays blog post or as part of our YouTube playlist of the best Christmas lights in New Jersey or on our Instagram and Tik Tok accounts.

New Jersey Christmas Family Fun With Kids Button

Make visiting New Jersey Christmas towns part of your New Jersey Christmas activities

You don’t need to travel to the North Pole or very far to make EPIC Christmas memories in New Jersey. New Jersey is a spectacular place for Christmas staycations.

When most people think of Christmas they think of New England towns but few realize that their own state of New Jersey has so much to offer. Many towns in North, Central and South Jersey do elaborate lights and decorations.

There are often New Jersey Christmas activities such as visits with Santa, hayrides, tree lightings, house tours and more. You don’t need to drive far to find Christmas towns in New Jersey near you.

Read our guide to The Best Christmas Towns in New Jersey to find a Dickens Village or Christmas Town your family will love.

Best Christmas Towns in New Jersey

Make a date to attend one of these New Jersey Christmas Events

Looking for New Jersey Christmas Events for kids? Our list of New Jersey Christmas Events that includes Free and almost FREE NJ Christmas events, parades, concerts, tree lighting, and more will be back. For now, you can find them on our Calendar of Events

You can also visit these links to find New Jersey Christmas events by county. We will update these lists often between now and December 22, 2023.

Watch one of the Holiday Parades in New Jersey

Scouts lead a color guard. Marching bands march down Main Street. Dancers perform their latest routine. Businesses toss candy from their floats. And everyone waits in joyful anticipation of the guest of honor, Santa. It’s a Christmas parade and many New Jersey towns have one.

We help you find your local holiday parades in New Jersey with our holiday events with parades linked together here New Jersey holiday parades. There’s a lot so make sure you keep scrolling and clicking from page to page to find the holiday parade near you. Save the page too because we will be updating our event listings for 2023 through the middle of December.

Holiday Parades in New Jersey

Be part of a community celebration with a NJ Christmas tree lighting.

It seems every town has a tree just right for lighting! When they flip the switch there’s usually a fun New Jersey holiday event to go with it. Don’t miss out on carolers, hot chocolate in the park, Santa and other characters and more.

This year, expect towns many towns to return to in person tree lightings in New Jersey. We’ve got the details on must visit New Jersey Christmas Tree Lightings. We will update this list often between now and December 22, 2023.

NJ Christmas tree lightings

Find Santa Claus in the most unique places with our Where and How to Get Unique Santa Pictures in New Jersey

We have an extensive list of where to find Santa in New Jersey for Santa photos, and it goes way beyond the mall! Find him on a train, in a park, on the farm and on the ice … can you imagine a swimming Santa?

We have it all and you MUST check it out! Find great spots for taking photos with Santa for Instagram or Christmas cards! Check out our list by clicking Where and How to Get Unique Santa Pictures in New Jersey. We’re currently updating it for 2023.

Where and How to Get Unique Santa Pictures in New Jersey (1)

Get jolly at New Jersey Christmas Attractions

Looking for some thrills along with the holiday cheer? Many New Jersey theme parks and zoos offer holiday events like light displays, Santa and special shows. Check out our listing of New Jersey Christmas Attractions listed by region and then county. Coming soon.

  • Six Flags Great Adventure Holiday in the Park Activities for Families

Shop for a real Christmas tree at these New Jersey Christmas Tree Farms

At these local New Jersey Christmas Tree Farms you can tag your own tree or buy one fresh cut from the farm. Some Christmas tree farms have wagon rides, Santa, smores, and more! We’re sharing where the New Jersey Christmas Tree Farms are by county. We can help you find local Christmas Tree Farms in New Jersey.

New Jersey Christmas Tree Farms

Dine out with Santa with these Meals with Santa Events in New Jersey

Is dining with Santa on your holiday bucket list? We hear he loves pancakes, but not just pancakes! Santa loves dining out for lunch and dinner too. This holiday season you can find breakfasts with Santa, lunches with Santa, and even dinner events with Santa ALL over New Jersey. Check out our great list of Meals with Santa Events in New Jersey.

Meals with Santa Events in New Jersey

Get inspired with these New Jersey Holiday Train Shows with Christmas Train Sets on Display

It’s the time of year for some elaborate and festive Christmas train display shows! Let us show you where your family can see and fall in love with Christmas train sets on display. We have a list of where you can find these Christmas trains throughout New Jersey.

Our listing includes details, pictures, schedules, and admission prices on New Jersey Holiday Christmas Train shows all across New Jersey. Click over for more details.

Ride a train with these New Jersey Christmas Train Rides

The glow of all of the holiday lights, the smell of cookies baking in the oven and of course the anticipation for the arrival of the man of honor-Santa Claus!

New Jersey train rides with Santa are just another way to celebrate the wonder of the season. With surprise destinations to the North Pole, amazing visitors such as Santa and his elves and delicious on board refreshments, you are bound to have an adventure that will amaze your entire family.

Click over to our listing of New Jersey Christmas Train Rides for the details on New Jersey Holiday Trains: Santa Express, Polar Express, and other NJ train rides with Santa we think your family will enjoy during the holidays.

New Jersey Christmas Train Rides

Visit A Local New Jersey Festival of Trees

Do you love seeing different Christmas trees and how they are decorated? Do you need inspiration for your own Christmas tree?

You need to visit a local Festival of Trees! These festive and creative Christmas events will be one of your new favorite holiday outings for Christmas family fun in New Jersey. Our listing of New Jersey Festival of Trees helps you find a display of Christmas trees near you.

New Jersey Festival of Trees

Remember the Reason for the Season at Live Nativity Scenes in New Jersey

Jesus is the reason for the season. If your children need a reminder or they would love to see a biblical story acted out visiting a live nativity scene is a beautiful way to do that.

Across New Jersey, we have local church congregations that come together to recreate the event of the nativity. They are often outside and at night, and many have multiple scenes and live animals and refreshments. Our listing of New Jersey Live Nativities helps you find a live nativity near you. We will update this list often between now and December 22, 2023.


New Jersey Christmas activities can include learning about Hanukkah

Join an outdoor, drive-through Chanukah Celebration, visit a Festival of Lights, watch a car menorah parade, or participate in a Zoom Menorah lighting. Even for those that aren’t Jewish there are so many ways to learn about Hanukah, take a look at The Best Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah in New Jersey.

Celebrate Hanukkah in New Jersey With these Events, & Ideas, & Activities

For more Christmas Activities near New Jersey visit these blog posts and listings

Make a trip across a bridge to explore more local Christmas Family Fun.

We support family fun in New Jersey but sometimes you want to get away to see what our nearby cities can offer. Both Philadelphia and New York City offer some amazing holiday displays, events, and Christmas attractions. We have your information on how to make a day of Christmas in the City! Click on any of the links below for more details.


Keep the incredible family experiences going all year long with our Gift Them Experiences Gift Guide ~ Amazing Experience Gifts for Kids in New Jersey

All year long we encourage family experiences over things and the holidays are no exception. This year why not gift tickets, memberships, or season passes? Click Amazing Experience Gifts for Kids in New Jersey for some of our favorite offers from local attractions that your family will love.

Gift Them Experiences Gift Guide NJ

10 MORE Ideas for Christmas Family Activities with Kids

Even if your kids are older and some of the magic is gone, there are still plenty of ways to have some Christmas family fun that will make everyone smile! Here are some of our favorites.

Watch Christmas TV Specials  & Holiday TV movies with your kids.

Tis the season for family traditions, and one of them that so many of us enjoy is holiday movies for Family Movie Night.

Host an Outdoor Wintery Family Movie Night

It’s supposed to be a warm winter in New Jersey. We likely won’t see any snow. So make the most of it. Host an outdoor holiday movie night in the yard. For teens who feel ‘too old’ for Santa this could be a unique way to help them celebrate the holiday with friends.

Bring the fire pit nearby for some added warmth. Skip the popcorn and instead roast marshmallows and have s’mores.

an image of backyard set up for an outdoor movie.

Outdoor movie nights can be as simple as draping a sheet against the side of the house or shed or buy an outdoor movie screen with a projector. Find them on Amazon. 

You can also make your outdoor holiday movie night extra easy by renting the equipment you need from a local party or special events rental business. They’d probably love your support, plus they take care of the setup and breakdown of the equipment for you. Want to splurge? Add a popcorn popper, funnel machine, or cotton candy machine to your rental.

Listen to Christmas carols around a Backyard Campfire

Fire up that fire pit (we found 10 under $100 on Amazon)! On December nights gather around the campfire for s’mores and your favorite playlist of Christmas carols.

Over the summertime, Saturday campfires became a new family tradition. To make this activity even more special I bought Rainbow Flame Crystals on Amazon (affiliate link) so that our Saturday campfires would become colorful campfires.


Have some Christmas fun and support a New Jersey bakery at the same time. Pick up, curbside a cookie decorating kit from a NJ bakery. Then, get your kids involved to see who can design or create the best looking holiday cookie. You can do this with cupcakes too.


Decorate the yard with Outdoor Christmas Decor as part of your New Jersey Christmas activities at home

In my house, we go all out decorating for Christmas. We have bins of inflatables, lights, and other outdoor Christmas decorations. This past few years while many of us were stuck at home, some families got busy bringing out those decorations. Their Christmas spirit brought smiles to their communities.


If you decorate your yard and outside of your house, don’t skip it this year. If you never have before, start this year. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Every light, every inflatable brings joy and hope to those who drive by.

Decorate the Kids’ bedrooms for the holidays. 

Then bring the decorating inside to the kids’ bedrooms. Take the kids to Target, Home Goods, or another home decor/crafting store to pick out Christmas decor for their rooms.

Elf on the Shelf ideas & inspiration

Is your scout elf one of your favorite parts of the Christmas season? Or is it a hassle that you need help with? We have your ideas on where to find him every day, and reasons you should welcome an elf into your home.

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Dress your elf elf on the shelf outfits

Cook up some yummy Christmas desserts.

Create Christmas Crafts to get into the spirit.

Make a new Christmas ornament.

In 2020, we were introduced to a new way to make Christmas ornaments. We were sent the Treemendous Christmas Tree Ornament Decorating Kit. It puts a whole new ‘spin’ on decorating ornaments.

kid uses the Treemendous Christmas Tree Ornament Decorating Kit

From the creators of the original EggMazing Egg Decorator…the perfect DIY craft to embrace the holiday season. Place one of the ornaments included with the kit into the tree-shaped decorator and let the fun begin! The machine holds and spins the ornament while the markers are used to create stripes, line and other designs!

Three ornaments decorated with the Treemendous Christmas Tree Ornament Decorating Kit

Get yours on Amazon with our affiliate link. Grab a refill pack of ornaments too. The kit comes with 3 ornaments, but you will all have so much fun you’ll want more to decorate.

Plan a Christmas Family Vacation with these resorts with Christmas attractions

New Jersey Christmas activities are a wonderful way to fill a few hours or a day. But if you have time to get away for a few days, here are some additional Christmas activities to consider.

Christmas family picture at Woodloch Resort Dining Hall

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