5 Awesome NJ Things to do this Holiday Season
Tis the season once again. As another year draws to an end, it is tempting to just play the Grinch and scowl at the commercial hustle and bustle of Christmas. As difficult as it may be, I urge you instead to bust out a special blend of New Jersey holiday cheer. Everyone has their favorite holiday traditions and events to inevitably attend throughout the month of December. While the smallest of traditions should never be abandoned such as picking the perfect tree, or gaining ten pounds from too many cookies and glasses of eggnog, this year more than ever it is important to embrace our Jersey pride and celebrate the wonderful Christmas traditions New Jersey has to offer us. Here are just a few of the endless choices this great state has to offer this year to get you started, and many of them won’t land you on the treadmill in January.
1. Visit Victorian Cape May now through January 1st and witness the transformation of this shore town in a Dickens village. There is plenty to do for all ages from trolley rides, wine tastings, house tours and more. If the southernmost tip of the state is a bit too far, there are many more gorgeous Jersey towns sure to entertain and keep the spirits high such as Ocean City, Morristown, Smithville and Chester, just to name a few.
2. Smithville’s Light Show – Over 100 trees light up on Lake Meone in in synch with Christmas music. While they don’t have the lights synched to Slayer like a recent YouTube Christmas favorite, it is still something spectacular to see, and it keeps getting better every year. There are great restaurants and bars around Smithville as well, sure to make your night a fun one.
3. Ride a train with Santa – The Whippany Railway museum as well as Allaire State park will not disappoint with their spirited railroad adventures. There are several great local bars in Whippany all within walking distance to the train ride. Relive your childhood with a traditional train ride with Santa and then get warm and toasty at Molly Malone’s or Billy’s Red Room. It is highly recommended that you do the train ride first, or you might find yourself on Santa’s naughty list.
4. Holiday Concerts - Check your local high school for their schedule of holiday concerts. Not only will you be entertained but you will be supporting your local students as well. You can also check out the very entertaining variety of shows and concerts put on by Rutgers University and several others throughout the season. Also, the State Theater in New Brunswick has a loaded schedule of holiday shows. Kenny G, Jazz bands and Swing bands are all on the schedule along with a performance of The Nutcracker and more!
5. Watch Washington Cross the Delaware – Take part in the reenactment of likely the most pivotal moment in our country and state’s history. The Annual Christmas Delaware River Crossing Reenactment begins in Washington Crossing, PA, but will deliver you back home to New Jersey as you cross the Delaware River just as George Washington didin 1776. The reenactment takes place on Christmas day just as it did so many years ago.
Bonus 6. Give a Little Something Back – The last, but certainly by no means the least important suggestion is to volunteer in some way. So many New Jersey families will not be spending Christmas in their homes this year. They have lost everything and in many cases will not be able to afford to have anywhere near the holiday a family should. Whether it be a food donation, pet fostering, or inviting people into your home, help is needed in any way you can give it. It certainly will not go unappreciated, especially this time of year. Join “Waves of Action” and join in on volunteer projects that will include beach, town, and park cleanups; donation drives for food, furniture and household items; fundraisers for wildlife and communities in need; and home clean outs and repairs. You can also like the Jersey Shore Hurricane News Facebook page to be kept up with all the up to date volunteer efforts going on. Giving is truly the meaning of the holidays after all. The people of New Jersey are known to take care of their own. So why not help give someone in need a little Christmas miracle.
Don’t be a Grinch this holiday season. Get out there and celebrate the season and celebrate New Jersey. It will fill you with Christmas spirit, and bring you joy and fulfillment. Plus, it is important to have as much fun as possible this year just in case those Mayans were on to something.
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