Celebrating Christmas in New Jersey with New Jersey Christmas activities!
It’s a strange kind of December. On one hand we should have more time than ever to celebrate. Kids are home more. You may be working from home. Sports schedules aren’t as busy. And yet on the other hand things may still feel hectic and stressful.
We’re trying to squeeze in family time (but not sure who in our family to spend time with), tree decorating, Christmas card sending, holiday movie watching, baking, Santa socially distanced visits, gift shopping and more. We’re here to help you eliminate the mom guilt over not doing enough family fun New Jersey Christmas activities with our kids and not being able to find safe activities to do.
Even with the current restrictions in place, we can help you have safe Christmas activities 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!
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. I can’t blame them. I’m the same way. 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 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 TV account.
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 to have a mix of virtual, prerecorded and 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 15, 2020.
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! Great for taking photos with Santa for Instagram or Christmas cards!
Yes, kids won’t be on Santa’s lap this year or shoulder to shoulder, but organizers have gotten quite creative with this year’s Santa photos. Check out our list by clicking the image below.
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.
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.
Remember the Reason for the Season at a 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.
There are not as many this year as in previous years, but there are some. 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 20, 2020.
Great Adventure Holiday in the Park Drive Thru Experience
Experience the Great Adventure Holiday in the Park in a whole new way! The traditional Holidays in the Park is not going anywhere. In fact guests will be able to experience it TWO ways. The traditional way will be available on weekends, but Mondays through Thursdays, guests can drive thru it.
You can DRIVE THRU GREAT ADVENTURE!!
How cool is that? Your kids are NEVER going to forget the night they drove through Great Adventure!! Head over to read our Six Flags Great Adventure Drive Thru Christmas Lights in New Jersey! for details.
Take a Holiday Boat Ride
Get in the holiday spirit out on the water! Join the Seaport Captain and Tour Guide for a 50 minute guided boat ride on Tuckerton Creek. Learn about how holidays have been celebrated locally for over 100 years. Hear about how a Tuckerton tree once saved Christmas for Times Square. Learn more and get the schedule in our Tuckerton Seaport Holiday Boat Rides event listing.
Learn 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.
Explore more Christmas events in New Jersey
We’ll admit, this year there are less Christmas event in New Jersey that we are used to. There are still some Winter Wonderlands occurring. Santa is still visiting communities. Visit these links to find more New Jersey Christmas events by county. We will update these lists often between now and December 20, 2020.
- Atlantic County Christmas events
- Bergen County Christmas events
- Burlington County Christmas events
- Camden County Christmas events
- Cape May County Christmas events
- Cumberland County Christmas events
- Essex County Christmas events
- Gloucester County Christmas events
- Hudson County Christmas events
- Hunterdon County Christmas events
- Mercer County Christmas events
- Middlesex County Christmas events
- Monmouth County Christmas events
- Morris County Christmas events
- Ocean County Christmas events
- Passaic County Christmas events
- Salem County Christmas events
- Somerset County Christmas events
- Sussex County Christmas events
- Union County Christmas events
- Warren County Christmas events
New Jersey Christmas Activities that are virtual this year
Coming to you from locations in New Jersey, the North Pole or elsewhere these are some virtual Christmas activities families will enjoy.
- Cedar Grove Christmas Tree Lighting
- Union Township Christmas Tree Lighting and Winter Wonderland Weekend – Santa ZOOMS to Union 2020
More Virtual Christmas Events
You don’t need to be in New Jersey or leave your New Jersey home to take advantage of these Christmas events.
Virtual Visits With Santa
Virtual Christmas Story Times
More Ideas for Celebrating Christmas at home
Have a Christmas cookie decorating contest
Have some Christmas fun and support a New Jersey bakery at the same time. Pickup, curbside one of these cookie decorating kits 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
In my house, we go all out decorating for Christmas. We have bins of inflatables, lights, and other outdoor Christmas decorations. This past July, 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.
Here’s a few outdoor Christmas decor items we like. We’ve been testing them out from samples the companies sent us and we love how they’ve added to our outdoor Christmas decorations. (We’ve included some affiliate links to help you select and purchase these products quickly.)
- This stunning 24″ Fresh Cut Noble Fir, Juniper & Cedar Holiday Wreath from Lively Root will look beautiful gracing your front door or windows.
- More coming soon.
Also grab yourself one of these Light Keeper Pro – The Complete Tool For Fixing Your Christmas Lights. It will help you address problems with lights without turning into a Grinch this Christmas season.
Bring the Christmas spirit into the kids’ bedrooms
Read our How to Decorate a Child’s Bedroom for the Holidays, to read about how we gave our kids’ bedroom a holiday makeover. We share our tips for how to decorate a child’s bedroom for the holidays with bedroom holiday decor.
Start a new Christmas ornament collection tradition
Does your family collect a certain kind of Christmas ornaments? If not, make this the year to start a new collection.
For my husband and I we have been collecting Lenox Snoopy ornaments since we’ve been together, 28 years. It’s our tradition to get the latest year and add it to our family’s collection. This year, Lenox treated us to the 2020 Lenox Snoopy ornament, Snoopy’s Letter to Santa Ornament. We love it!
Snoopy is all bundled up for winter and is sending his letter off to Santa with the help of his friend Woodstock. An adorable Christmas ornament for any Peanuts fan!
What kind of Christmas ornament can your family collect?
Make Christmas ornaments
This year 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.
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!
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.
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. Check out our picks for the top 20 holiday movies for your next 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. With everyone sitting in chairs 6 feet apart this can be a fun and safe way to save Christmas activities for your kids.
Bring the fire pit near by for some added warm. Skip the popcorn and instead roast marshmallows and have s’mores.
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 set up 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.
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.
5 More ideas for Christmas activities at home
- Best Children’s Books about Christmas
- Cook up some yummy Christmas desserts.
- Create Christmas Crafts to get into the spirit.
- Make a new Christmas ornament.
- Take up a new Christmas tradition like one from our list of 32 Christmas Traditions to add to Your December Bucket List.
Just because things are different this year doesn’t mean you can’t still make Christmas special. These Christmas activities in New Jersey and the ones you chose to do at home can help you keep and make new favorite Christmas traditions!
For help with your holiday and Christmas Shopping take a look at these posts
- New Jersey Experiences to Gift to Kids ~ Amazing Experience Gifts for Kids in New Jersey
- 100+ Ideas for Stocking Stuffers for Teens
- 20 Gifts People Who Love The National Parks Want
- 20+ New Games for Family Game Night
- Gifts Moms Want This Year
- Unique Gifts for Teenagers
- The 100 Best New Jersey Gifts on Etsy
- The Best Philadelphia & South Jersey Deals for Families
- The Best New York & North Jersey Deals for Families
- Coming Soon
- 10 Games for a Better Family Game Night with Teens