Wherever you are, marvel at the holiday exhibits as NJ prepares for the magical holiday season. Visit one of the many light and train displays or walk through historical houses and places found throughout New Jersey. As you look for things to do with family this holiday season, check out our list of places guaranteed to make you feel warm and bright. Wander the brightly lit displays and listen for the sounds of trains running along the tracks and then look at the glow in your child’s eyes. Please check dates and times as they are subject to change.
Holiday Lights Spectacular
Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Ave, West Orange 973-731-5800
Friday thru Sunday: Every Night: Dec 12 – Jan 3, 2017; Closed: Dec 24 & 25 5-9PM. Take a winter stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this holiday season under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters. Admission is free, but please donate non-perishable food, unwrapped new toys and winter coats.
Skylands Stadium Christmas Lights Show
94 Championship Place, Augusta
Experience their spectacular Christmas Light Show at Skylands Stadium! Drive through a 1-mile course of breathtaking holiday displays. They will have more than 2 MILLION LIGHTS for your viewing pleasure! Dec through Jan 1, 2017
Festival Of Trees
Red Mill Museum Village, 56 Main Street, Clinton 908-735-0914
Dozens of beautifully decorated trees dot the village. Nov 25-Dec 11.
Gigantic Holiday Model Train Show By Ramapo Valley Railroad
Ho-Ho-Kus VFW Hall, 620 Cliff St, HoHoKus.
Massive permanent, train layout, with cities, farms, drive-in movie theaters and wind mill farms (that work), mountains, and plenty of trains running. To celebrate more than 50 years of operation, donations will be reduced to $1 per person so as many people as possible can enjoy the shows. Dec 4, 11 and 18; 1-4 PM.
All Aboard! Historical Train Weekend
New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street) NYC
All aboard! Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection is sure to delight and enchant kids of all ages — as well as kids at heart! While you’re here, don���t forget to journey on our special train scavenger hunt, create a train-inspired craft, listen to train tales, and move, giggle, and laugh out loud with Conductor Abe! Free with Museum Admission.
Grand Central 15th Holiday Train Show
89 East 42nd st, NYC
This popular model railroad exhibition features Metro- North, New York Central, and subway trains departing from a miniature Grand Central Terminal on a 34’-long, two-level “O” gauge layout. Thru Jan 31, 2017
Holiday Model Train Show
Barron Arts Center, 582 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge 732-634-0413.
Nov 26 – Dec 30 (closed 12/25 & 26) FREE. Holiday model train show.
Garden State Central Model Railroad Club Train Show At Info Age
2201 Marconi Rd, Wall 732-280-3000
Three weekends prior to Christmas. Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots for one free admission.
Model Railroad Club
295 Jefferson Ave, Union, 908-964-9724
Annual train and holiday light show and open house. 100-car trains, large scale steam locomotive & steel mill displays! Dec 2-4, 9-11
New York Botanical Garden Train Show
Dozens and dozens of trains glide through intrinsically constructed models of NYC landmarks and beautifully landscaped backgrounds. Thru Jan 16, ‘17.
Festival Of Trees At Morven Museum & Garden
55 Stockton Street, Princeton
The holiday event features the museum’s elegant galleries decorated for the holidays and adorned with trees artfully decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations. Festival of Trees is open to the public during regular museum hours. Through Jan 8
Chanukkah, Festival Of Light At Berrie Center
505 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah
Come and celebrate Chanukkah, the Festival of Lights, with lights of the klezmer, jazz, world music artists, Eleanor Reissa and Frank London and the Klezmer Brass Allstars. Listen to a full ensemble of musicians. Dec 10.
The Christmas Light Show
2744 Belmar Blvd, Wall Township (Parking located at the North Wall Little League Field)
This Christmas Light Show is a family tradition at the Jersey Shore. The show is an impressive displays of lighting, fog, and pyrotechnics synchronized to powerful concert quality sound! Dec 10, 11, & 17; 6:30 and 8:30PM
Christmas Fantasy With Lights At Storybook Land
6415 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township 609-646-0103
Come and experience holiday magic right before your eyes! Santa Claus appears at 5pm in his chimney, waves his magic wand, and lights the park with over one million lights for the holiday season! 2-9pm. Parade begins: 4:30pm. Lighting: Immediately following the Parade, around 5:00pm. Through Dec 30
Sea Of Lights @ Jenkinson’s
300 Ocean avenue, Point Pleasant Beach
This Indoor Holidays Lights Spectacular inside Jenkinson’s Aquarium. Crafts, Holiday Treats, Photos with Santa & friends, Games, Holiday Gifts, and more! Dec 16, 17, and 26-28 from 6-9pm.
Christmas Festival At The Morristown Green
Four weekends of Activities & Entertainment on the Green including: visits & photos with Santa in the Santa House, Goody Bags, miniature Electric Train Rides around the Green, Ice Sculpting Demonstrations, hands-on activities including Gingerbread House and Snowflake Making. Nov 27 through Dec 18
Hugs For Brady Foundation’s Holiday Light Show In North Brunswick
630 Route 1, North Brunswick
Come experience the ONLY Large animated light show in NJ. The event benefits Hugs For Brady, a charity supporting children suffering from cancer. For 35 nights, walk around our outdoor fair and experience a massive holiday light structure including a 20 min animated light show to music and free activities for kids. Thru Dec 30.