11 Things to Do With Your Kids This Holiday Season in New Jersey

6 Flags Great Adventure

As Christmas Day draws to a close, many New Jerseyans are faced with the age-old Holiday dilemma: What do we do with the kids until school re-opens in the New Year? Don’t get your stockings in a twist. We’ve got 11 great options here. (Got some more to add? Email us at editor@newjerseynext.com.)

1. Adventure Aquarium in Camden Celebrates Christmas Underwater Thru Dec 30

From Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ: How is Christmas celebrated in the underwater world? 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 Saturday, December 30.
More information here.
2. Skylands Stadium Christmas Lights Show in Frankford Thru December 30
Skylands Stadium’s 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. The event also includes a skating rink, s’mores station, restaurant and loads of parking.

3. Six Flags Great Adventure Holiday in the Park

This winter, the Santa tracker leads right to Six Flags Great Adventure as this all-new holiday extravaganza — Holiday in the Park — debuts at the world’s largest theme park on November 18 and runs weekends and select days through January 1. Millions of glittering lights, dazzling holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats,

More information here. 

4. Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails Pulls Into the Liberty Science Center
As any Thomas the Tank Engine fan knows, it’s impossible to board an express train to the Island of Sodor. But thanks to Liberty Science Center, rail enthusiasts can enjoy the next best thing.

5. ‘Annie’ Hits Paper Mill Playhouse Stage in Time for the Holidays

Annie at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Annie, the world’s best-loved family musical returns to Paper Mill Playhouse through December 31. Little Orphan Annie is taken from her orphanage, and the clutches of cruel Miss Hannigan, to stay at billionaire Oliver Warbucks’ mansion for the holidays. When Annie wins the hearts of Warbucks and his staff, they set out on an epic mission to find Annie’s parents. Winner of the Best Musical Tony Award, Annie includes such unforgettable songs as “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “A New Deal for Christmas,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

Dates and Showtimes here. 

6. Skiing at Mountain Creek

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 had a 25″ snow base as of December 25, with 6 of 10 lifts and 27 out of 46 trails open. Other options in NY and PA make for good short trips.

Find out more here.

7. Jenkinson’s Sea of Lights in Point Pleasant Beach Dec 26-28

2017 dates for Sea of Lights are December 15, 16, 22, 23 and 26-30 from 6-9pm. Aquarium Admission is discounted to $8/person during Sea of Lights.

The character appearances during Sea of Lights are as follows:

  • December 26 – Pink & Blue Troll
  • December 27 – Ice Queen, Princess & Snowman
  • December 28 – Hawaiian Princess & Hawaiian Guy
  • December 29 – Patrol Pups
  • December 30 – Glass Slipper Princess & Yellow Dress Princess

Jenkinson’s is collecting for the children’s hospital again, asking for NEW pajamas, blankets and craft kits. Donations can be dropped off at the Aquarium Gift Shop.

More information here.

8. Morris Museum Offers Kid-Friendly Exhibits & Events to Brighten Winter Break

For kids, part of the excitement of the holiday season comes from that big old break from school that falls between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Finding fun and educational experiences can be the key to not only making great memories but also keeping families happy (and sane) during that downtime.

9. The Polar Express in Whippany

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.

More information here. 

10. Bergen County’s Second Annual Winter Wonderland

Back for its second 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.

11. Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo

Holiday Lights at the Turtle Back Zoo runs through Jan. 1. Admission is free.

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 nonperishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats. Different themed activities featured each December weekend makes visiting extra exciting!

More information here. 

Plus one bonus out-of-state option:

Take a Ferry Ride to Delaware for WinterFest at Lewes Terminal

Recently, we reminded readers that Cape May, NJ is a wonderful Holiday destination. But we failed to mention: 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: