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Holidays in NJ 2015: Celebrations, events and fun stuff

Santa and child (Jani Bryson, ThinkStock)

It’s hard to believe the holidays are already upon us. New Jerseyans have already started to deck the halls and plan holiday celebrations – from visits with Santa to tree lightings, parades, festivals, light displays and more. Check out our list of some of the upcoming events throughout the Garden State this holiday season.


Storybook Land’s Christmas Fantasy with Lights

6415, Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, 609-641-7847. $24.95 per person, children under 2 free. Saturdays and Sundays 2 to 9 p.m. Weekdays, 4:30 to 9 p.m.
A Christmas tradition for 25 years. More than one million holiday lights as well as Santa, rides, attractions and snack bar.

Skylands Christmas Light Show

Skylands Stadium 94 Championship Place, Augusta, 973-940-0222. Admission is $20 per carload. Thursdays, 4:30 to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 4:30 to 11 p.m., Sundays, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Donations for Toys for Tots will be accepted.
A drive-through light show featuring elaborate light displays and festive holiday music. Admission to the Christmas village in the stadium is free

Historic Smithville Holiday Light Show

Historic Smithville 1 North New York Rd, Smithville. Thursday through Sundays, Nov. 26 to Jan. 6 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This is a free celebration.
Visit an orchestrated show of holiday lights and music. In addition, more than 100 Christmas trees will float along Lake Meone, and will be lit up in harmony with the music.

Turtleback Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular

Turtle Back Zoo 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange. 973-731-5800. Free celebration. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 13. from 5 to 9 p.m.
Stroll through the zoo after dark to see the animals frolicking under the festive light displays. In addition, Myrtle the Turtle, the zoo’s mascot, will join several costumed characters. Donations of canned goods, unwrapped toys and winter coats are appreciated.


Red Bank’s Holiday Express Tree Lighting and Concert

Downtown Red Bank Broad Street at Canal Street, Red Bank. Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
Santa Claus will lead the parade down down Monmouth Street aboard a fire truck. There will then be a concert on Broad Street at the end of the parade route, where the Holiday Express will perform holiday songs followed by the town’s tree lighting.

Rahway Winter Wonderland

City Hall 1 City Hall Plaza, Rahway. Nov. 27, 4 to 8 p.m.
Holiday festivities including ice skating, music, characters from “The Wizard of Oz” and carriage rides through the historic city of Rahway. The celebration continues in the evening with the annual parade and tree lighting at 7 p.m. Arrive early as last year’s celebration saw a crowd of over 10,000 people.

Definitely Dickens Christmas Carolers in Chester

Downtown Chester. Every Saturday from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Follow Christmas carolers as they stroll through historic downtown Chester dressed in Victorian costumes and singing holiday songs.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Christmas Tree Lighting

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse 111 North Central Avenue, Wildwood. Dec. 4, 5:30 p.m.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting, music, Santa Claus and refreshments.

Seaside Heights Annual Christmas Parade

Boulevard, Seaside Heights. Dec. 12, noon to 5 p.m.
Help send Santa off to the North Pole. This celebration features a Christmas parade along the Boulevard, followed by a visit to Santa’s workshop, giveaways, crafts and live entertainment.

PBA Annual Santa Train

Freehold Bus Station, beginning at noon.
Climb aboard a vintage train as it departs from the bus station and rolls through Freehold.


Santa’s Slay at Brighton Asylum

2 Brighton Avenue, Passaic. Attraction runs through December.
If traditional holiday celebrations aren’t your cup of tea, check out this haunted attraction that’s brimming with Christmas “fear.” It’s not for the faint of heart.

Six Flags Great Adventure’s Holiday in the Park

Six Flags Great Adventure, Rt. 537, Jackson.
More than a million glittering lights, dazzling holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, Santa’s village and many popular rides will magically transform the summer thrill destination into a winter wonderland, and is included with all Season Passes and active Memberships.

Santa’s Helicopter Arrival

Nutley Oval Park 44 Park Avenue, Nutley. Nov. 27 at 2 p.m.
Santa & Mrs. Claus ditch the reindeer for a day to arrive at the Nutley Park Oval by helicopter. Free event for all ages.

Adventure Aquarium Christmas Celebration

1 Riverside Drive, Camden. Dec. 4-31.
The aquarium will be transformed for the holidays into an underwater winter wonderland featuring larger-than-life decorations, twinkling lights, glowing trees, and gently falling snow. Check out Scuba Santa and other holiday characters. There will also be holiday-themed live shows.

Holiday Model Train Show in Woodbridge

Barron Arts Center 582 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge. Nov. 28 to Dec. 27 (except Christmas). Monday-Friday, 11 a.. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 2 to 4 p.m.
Numerous model will be shown in a holiday-themed display.

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