As Christmas Day draws to a close, many parents are faced with the age-old Holiday dilemma: What do we do with the kids after cookies are eaten and presents unwrapped? If you live in New Jersey, have no fear. Here are 11 great options for post-holiday fun before your kids head back to school.
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Camden’s Adventure Aquarium will take guests deep beneath the surface for a glimpse into the magic of the holiday season during Christmas Underwater, taking place through Sunday, December 30. See Scuba Santa decorate the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree!
Take a holiday-lit stroll through Taylor Park in Millburn. The display, courtesy of local Boy Scout Troop 15, features hundreds of lights adorning trees and a giant polar bear! Your walk can continue by the Main Street entrance to the park, and afterwards you can head on over to any of Millburn’s great restaurants for food (or maybe just hot chocolate). Check out the Winter Walk Holiday Lights through January 24 for more information.
This winter, the Santa tracker leads right to Six Flags Great Adventure as this all-new holiday extravaganza — Holiday in the Park — runs weekends and select days through January 1. Millions of glittering lights, dazzling holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats.
Liberty Science Center is back with another amazing 12 Days of Science winter event from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1 — the building is filled with seasonal experiments, shows, live animal presentations, and more. This year, take a photo inside a massive snow globe that you’ve got to see to believe; use gooey gak to learn how glaciers move in the Glacier Gak Lab; solve a mystery and uncover who stole a plate of holiday cookies at the Cookie Caper Lab.
Plus, returning favorites: Take a shot on the indoor ice hockey rink made from a high-tech synthetic polymer surface. Walk into a winter wonderland made completely of TP at the Toilet Paper Blizzard
Head over to the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn for a classic musical featuring some of your favorite Christmas tunes. Based on the beloved Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film, ‘Holiday Inn’ follows Jim Hardy, who leaves showbiz for a quiet agrarian life. Though his efforts to live quietly on a Connecticut farm are unsuccessful, Jim manages to bring a little razzle dazzle to the sleepy town he’s settled into. The show features classic songs like “Cheek to Cheek” and “White Christmas.” ‘Holiday Inn’ at the Paper Mill Playhouse is a heartwarming performance the whole family can enjoy!
One of the amazing things about New Jersey is the wide range of outdoor activities available within a reasonably short drive. Mountain Creek Ski Resort in Vernon, NJ is the largest ski area in the region, and intends to deliver a “true mountain experience on and off the slopes.”
Remaining 2018 dates for Sea of Lights Holiday Lights Spectacular are December 22, and 26-28 from 6-9pm. Aquarium Admission is $8/person.
The character appearances during Sea of Lights Mini Holiday Shows (December 26-28) are as follows:
December 26 – Ice Princess, Ice Queen and Friendly Snowman
December 27 – Glass Slipper Princess, Yellow Dress Princess and Poison Apple Princess
December 28 – Hawaiian Princess, Mermaid Princess and Princess of Avalor
Jenkinson’s Aquarium also offers a Scuba Santa and Pictures with Santa!
Love the story of Scrooge? McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton is putting on a stage musical version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ through December 29. There’s a sensory-sensitive production on December 28. Tickets start at $25 for this performance of the tale of Christmases past, present and future.
Join a magical trip on the Polar Express, powered by the Morristown & Erie Railway. Each ticket includes fantastic entertainment, delicious hot chocolate, a scrumptious cookie, and a keepsake sleigh bell to bring home! Families are encourage to wear their pajamas for the ride.
There are still tickets available for rides from December 26-30, and then later in January. See their website for more info.
Back for its third season, Bergen County presents its Winter Wonderland at Van Saun Park. Complete with an ice rink, carousel, train ride, and indoor/outdoor food tent and beer garden, this is a little kid’s (and his or her parents’) paradise. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available inside the North Pole Pavilion. The event runs until January 1.
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. At the Holiday lights Spectacular, celebrate the season of giving through December 31 by bringing donations of nonperishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats. Admission is free, and different themed activities featured each December weekend makes visiting extra exciting!
Two bonus out-of-state options:
Cape May, NJ is a wonderful Holiday destination. While you’re visiting NJ’s southern-most county, you may also want to enjoy a ride on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and partake in some winter fun on the other side of the Delaware Bay.
About an hour’s drive from northern NJ, the New York Botanical Garden offers a festive and fun model train exhibition through January 21. Watch little locomotives travel around a half-mile of track, passing model versions of famous landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Center! The Holiday Train Show offers kid-friendly programming throughout the holiday season.