guides

20 picks for Holiday fun in & around Morris Cty this holiday season!

Your guide to festivals, Santa sightings and fabulous light displays!

By Amanda Janke - Associate Publisher November 20, 2017



Festivals & Special Events:

Nov. 4th-Dec. 26th

Christmas Ice Caverns

New Jersey’s Largest Walk Through Animated Display celebrating 50 years! Fun for all ages! Open Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 8 PM Sunday 10 AM to 5PM from 11/4 to 12/26/2017 closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas! 

$3.99/pp


Nov. 17th - Jan. 2nd

Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtleback Zoo

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. Celebrate the season of giving by bringing donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats. Different themed activities featured each December weekend makes visiting extra exciting!


Nov. 18th - Dec. 30th

Christmas Light Show at Skyland Stadium

Our spectacular drive-through Christmas Light Show is bigger and better than before. With more than 2 million dazzling lights on a mile-long course PLUS fantastic new features, it’s a must-see holiday attraction for your whole family.

• Christmas Light Show: Drive through a brand new layout with more lights than ever • NEW! Walk-Thru Lightfest to Benefit the American Heart Association(AHA): Experience brilliant walk-through light displays, including theAdvance Auto Parts Light Tunnel and Brightbaum.com Light Forest. Your donations to the AHA would be greatly appreciated • NEW! Pompton Sport Center Skating Rink: Slip on skates and glide around our 20′ x 40′ outdoor rink • NEW! 8' Polar Bear Statue: Take cool photos with our lovable life-size polar bear • S'mores Station: Roast marshmallows over our fire pit and make delicious s'mores • Outdoor Grill: Feast on mouthwatering grilled foods and treats


Nov. 24th-Dec. 16th

Frosty in Toyland

Caring and Sharing: Frosty the Snowman, the Snow Queen and all the famous Nursery Rhyme and Fairy Tale characters of Toyland join together to find enough food to feed all the animals in Old Mother Hubbard's Animal Shelter. Audience is invited to donate cat or dog food that will collected during the show, and then be distributed to NJ animal shelters.


Nov. 24th -Dec. 10th

Festival of Trees - Clinton @The Red Mill    

This Annual Holiday Favorite returns on Friday November 24th just in time for the holiday season. The Festival features a beautiful display of decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces that are available to win through our raffle.  The Festival opens the day after Thanksgiving, which is also the same weekend as the Clinton Guild-sponsored #DickensDays. It’s a wonderful time to visit the Museum and #ClintonNJ – a perfect outing for your out-of-town holiday guests!  General admission is $5 per person, free for museum members and children age 6 and under.


Nov. 25th-Dec. 24th - weekends only

Visit Santa at Turkey Brook Park

Since 1995, the Kiwanis Club of Mt. Olive has opened the Santa House for the children and families of Mt. Olive. This year, the Santa House will be located at Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake.

Quality photos with Santa are available for only $10.00 each and are printed on-site for your convenience. All children will receive a free toy and candy cane. Pets are welcome!

Join us for this Mt. Olive tradition with no long lines and convenient parking.Santa House 2017 Operating Hours - The Santa House is open every weekend beginning November 25th from 10:00AM to 4:00PM.


Nov. 25th

Jingle on Main Street - Blairstown

Jingle on Main returns once again with great vendors, music, food and more! John us for this beloved annual event in the heart of Historic Blairstown, NJ.  Fun kids events including the bubble guy and a science lab!  The Jingle On Main celebration, sponsored by the Greater Blairstown Business Association (GBBA), will feature unique gift ideas for shoppers from local crafters, vendors, businesses and organizations in Historic Main Street on Saturday, November 25 from 10 am to 4 pm.


Nov. 25th

Pictures with Santa

Get some great pics with the big guy in the red suit! Bring your pets, bring your kids, bring yourself – we’ll capture the moments in 4×6 prints and snowflake photo ornaments. Or, opt for all the poses (and funny outtakes) on a 1GB USB memory stick, so you can print and post to your heart’s content. See options and pricing details here: http://harnesslife.org/2017/11/05/photos-with-santa-2017/


Nov. 25th

Santa visits Solberg Airport

Santa Claus flies into Solberg Airport to visit with local children and adults every fall. This year, join us on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 1:00PM to take pictures with Santa. There will also be airplane rides, static aircraft displays, walk-through hot-air balloons, face-painting, sand-art, a cookout by the Kiwanis Club, and much-much more. Santa Flies in at 2:00PM and the Hot Air Balloon launch is at 3:00PM  As always, admission is free, so bring your family out and enjoy!

*Rain Date: Sunday, November 26, 2017 at 1:00PM


Nov. 26th - Dec. . 22nd

Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green

Santa arrives Nov. 26th @5pm in conjunction with the tree lighting.  Please visit https://www.morristownfestival.com/ for a full schedule of events.  


Dec. 1st

12th Annual Hometown Holiday, Hackettstown

The 12th Annual Hackettstown Hometown Holiday will take place Friday, December 1, 2017 from 5:00-9:00pm. Featuring Santa, local businesses, restaurants, and community groups, it’s a fun night for Hackettstown, residents, and visitors. Starting at Centenary University with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the front parlors of the Seay Administration building for story time, music, snacks and crafts. The evening will continue with the Grand Illumination and carriage rides. Take a carriage to the downtown area and enjoy live musical entertainment, holiday shopping and tasty food.  As in years past, Santa will march up Main Street, arriving at the Gazebo on the corner of Main and Moore St. to light the Christmas tree. From there, he and the elves will go to Moore Street Firehouse for free photos with Santa. Throughout this festive hometown celebration, families and others are invited to enjoy singing, music and other entertainment. Activities will start at Centenary University, going from 5:00-6:30 pm, and then continue along Main Street and at the downtown Gazebo area until 9:00 pm (weather permitting). Come enjoy the holiday spirit in Hackettstown, with festivities and shops open late for the night.


Dec. 2nd


Home for the Holidays Roxbury


This year's event will take place on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm on Main Street in the Succasunna section of town.
This year's Home for the Holidays will be another fun-filled, family event with craft and merchandise vendors, food vendors, carriage rides, Santa Land at the Library and live performances by various artists.
For a list of participating vendors please review our 2017 Vendor List
For full schedule of the days events please review our 2017 Schedule of Events


Dec. 2nd - Dec. 3rd

Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market

The Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market in Sparta, NJ continues to be ranked as “One of the Top Ten Things to Do in December across the entire State”  This magical German Christmas Market beckons to all, with beautifully crafted and unique gifts from 100+ vendors that come from near and afar. With the perfect backdrop of beautiful Lake Mohawk…why go anywhere else?  Authentic wooden huts totally add to the traditional ambience enhancing the enchanting festive atmosphere. This wonderful event enjoyed its humble beginning a mere 16 years ago with sole the aim of raising funds to give back to local charities and organizations. It is now on the map and recognized as New Jersey’s largest Christmas Market, attracting over 20,000 to Lake Mohawk over the weekend.  The German Christmas Market also continues to enjoy a special visitor – St. Nicholas, himself along with the children's petting zoo and pony rides!  DON'T MISS the Entertainment Tent featuring local musicians and dancers and our local wood carver doing demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.


Dec. 2nd - 9th

Chester Festival of Trees

The Festival is a community celebration featuring a spectacular display of Holiday Trees in a Winter Wonderland Setting.  The trees are sponsored and/or decorated by individuals, families, businesses and organizations. The majority of the trees are offered for silent auction during the week-long event.  Festival of Trees is a benefit event which provides funding for the Senior Resource Center (SRC).  The Senior Resource Center is a non-profit organization that provides advocacy, support, information, education, training and referral for seniors and their caregivers. For more information: www.srcnj.org.  ADMISSION:      Adults $10.00    Seniors and Students $5.00    


Dec. 2nd

Winter Wonderland Bazaar and Pet Adoption

Welcome to Eleventh Hour Rescue's 2017 Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar and Adoption Event.

Bring your family, friends and DOGS for a fun filled day inside the Conservatory at the Sussex County Fairgrounds.

Come out and enjoy • Vendors and Shopping • Holiday Gifts & Crafts • Food • Tricky Tray and 50/50 • Photos with Santa (dogs welcome) • Activities & Family Fun   Admission: $5 per person/$10 per family


Dec. 2nd

Holiday Lights Parade

Prizes given out for the best decorated fire and emergency vehicles, personal floats vehicle, and best decorated houses and/or businesses along the parade route.  Parade Starts at Dusk (approx 6:00 pm)

Parade Route:  https://www.facebook.com/SomervilleEngineCompany1/photos/gm.2040766136144373/1719059911722489/?type=3



Dec. 3rd

Holiday Happenings in Long Valley

This fun family event takes place in downtown Long Valley, with fun activities at each business location.  The Long Valley Juniors Annual Gingerbread House Contest takes place at Faith Hall located at Zion Lutheran Church - Come see all the entries!  Tree Lighting Ceremony - Begins with a nondenominational choral concert that leads into the Tree Lighting, followed by a service inside Zion Lutheran.  Cookies and refreshments following the ceremony, generously donated by The Garden Club of Long Valley


Dec. 3rd

Tree Lighting and visit with Santa - Lebanon Township

Come celebrate this tradition with friends and neighbors at the annual tree lighting. Bring your camera for pictures with Santa, enjoy a cup of cider and cookies, listen to live music and welcome in this festive season. This free family fun is a must!


Dec. 3rd

Breakfast with Santa - Allamuchy Fire Dept

The Allamuchy Fire Department will hold its annual Santa Breakfast from 8am-11am on Sunday, December 3rd at the Allamuchy Firehouse. Please add the event to your calendar as the fire department officially kicks off the holiday season!

Entry fee: adults & teens are $9, seniors $7, children 5-12 are $5, and children 4 and younger are free.

Breakfast will include Pancakes, French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Potatoes, Bacon, Cereal, Juice, Coffee and more!  Santa Claus will be available throughout the breakfast handing out candy canes, and for kids to take pictures with.The Allamuchy Firehouse is located on Alphano Road, near the back gates of Panther Valley.Be sure to tag your photos too; #AllamuchyFire#AllamuchyFireSantaBreakfast


Dec. 3rd

Breakfast with Santa - Schooleys Mountain Fire Dept

Bring the whole family to enjoy a pancake breakfast, and visit with Santa!  Don’t forget your camera!


Dec. 5th

Father Christmas at the Farmstead  -Phillipsburg

A free event! Visit with Father Christmas by the fire in the Summer Kitchen at the Van Nest-Hoff-Vannatta Farmstead on December 5, 2017 5PM - 7PM. This has become an anticipated annual event for children of all ages. 

Sponsored by Historic Preservation Commission of Harmony Township and Harmony Historical Society.





Residential light displays worth visiting:


3 Indian Falls Rd, Mine Hill, NJ - Nearly every square inch of this house is illuminated with 40,000 beautiful, twinkling bulbs, set to music.  


12 Baker Street, Mine Hill, NJ 07803 - Celebrate the Spirit of the Season in Mine Hill, NJ. Memorial Park will be illuminated nightly with strands of lights and figures.


128 North Main Street, Cranbury, NJ 08512 - The Cranbury Christmas Lights are touted as one of the best Christmas light displays in all of NJ. Last year, the Cranbury Christmas Lights was featured on two national TV shows, including ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight. Families who donate $100 or more are eligible for the VIP experience, where you will get a personalized tour of the display and premium parking. All proceeds go to local charitable organizations.


13 Sterling Court, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 - (Begins Dec. 2nd) Every year, the Kloos Family puts on a spectacular Christmas light display on their property in East Brunswick, NJ with the goal of raising money for specific charities.This display is walk-up only. Sterling Court will be closed to vehicular traffic. Visitors are advised to park responsibly elsewhere on the surrounding streets and respect the privacy and property of the neighbors.


16 Branton Drive East Brunswick, NJ 08816 - (Begins Dec. 2nd) For people who like to get techy about their lights, The Weber Family Lights is the perfect spot. This Christmas light display utilizes pixel bulbs (the kind used on Jumbotrons and billboards). Each pixabulb can be individually controlled to create unique effects. The entire show is run from a computer unit called a Raspberry Pi, using Vixen 3 software.


Know Before You Go: If you’re planning to visit the Kloos Family Lights listed above, The Weber Family Lights are located right across the street! Nothing like a little friendly competition between neighbors. East Brunswick, NJ will be illuminated by two amazing light displays.

265 Mission Road, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 - Formerly of Denville, NJ, the Mission Holiday Lights are a can’t-miss holiday light display in Northern NJ. Not only does this family erect an enormous display for Christmas, but they also put together a legendary show for Halloween as well. They also collect donations for St. Peter’s Orphanage of Denville, NJ.  Tune your radios to 88.1 FM to listen to the music from your car.

24 Park Avenue, Newton, NJ 07860 - The Park Avenue Holiday Lights are continually adding to their collection. Each show is different year and after year. These holiday displays are made up of a variety of different decorations, such as inflatables, props, molds and synchronized lights. if you can’t wait until December, this house also creates a spine-tingling display for Halloween. All donations benefit charities and organizations, such as Spirit of Children and Ginnie’s House.

10 & 12 James Street, Stanhope, NJ 07874  - This over-the-top display spans two properties on James Street in Stanhope, NJ. Your eyes won’t know where to look first. With tons of lights, blow-molds, structures and figurines, Santa’s Garden lights up the entire block.  This spectacle is quite the experience. There are things to see throughout the property, so be sure to park your car in a safe space to make the most of our spectacle.