30 Holiday Things to Do in New Jersey and Eastern PA
December and the Christmas season has always held a special place in my heart. Besides the long, lazy months of summer, it's my favorite time of the year. However, as I get older, I find it harder and harder to get in the holiday spirit. Between deadlines and fighting crowds to finish my gift list, it feels like one long sprint to Christmas Day. And after talking to friends and co-workers, a lot of people feel the same way. Growing up is hard. But the best way to feel the holiday cheer (besides singing loud for all to hear #ELF) is to make time to enjoy the season. So if you're in the Philly, Eastern PA, and New Jersey area, here are 30 different holiday activities to get you feeling festive!
1. Visit Terrain in Glen Mills for all the holiday inspiration.
2. Shop the Made in Philly Market and Wintergarden at Dilworth Plaza.
3. Admire the lights at the Miracle on South 13th street.
4. Take a holiday carriage ride in downtown Princeton, NJ.
5. Stroll among the lights in downtown Collingswood.
6. Sip on hot European drinking chocolate from Franklin Fountain and pick up some Christmas confections next door at Shane Confectionery.
7. Skate and relax at Penn's Landing Winterfest.
8. Grab some made in NJ goods at the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar at the Asbury Park Convention Hall.
9. Shop among the lights of Peddler's Village in Lahaska, PA.
10. Drive around to view to the different light displays in the suburbs like Cranbury, where one homewoner has a charity light display.
11. Cut down your very own Christmas tree at a local farm in Plainsboro like Simonson's or Barclay's.
12. Sing loud for all to hear at the Princeton University Messiah Sing on December 11th (admission is $5).
13. Drive through the huge light display at Shady Brook Farm in Newtown, PA.
14. Stroll through historic Smithville village in south Jersey then watch their light display over the lake.
15. Listen to the amazing organ and watch the light show at Macy's in downtown Philly.
16. Make your own glass blown ornament at Hot Sand in Asbury Park.
17. Drink some hot cocoa while you shop the Love Park Holiday Village.
18. If you haven't seen enough Christmas lights yet, you're going to want to watch the Electrical Spectacle Light Show at Franklin Square in Philly.
19. Enjoy holiday greenery and magical lights at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square.
20. Trek down to Cape May to see the Victorian homes all lit up.
21. Get dolled up for a performance of the Nutcracker by the Pennsylvania Ballet at the Academy of Music in Philly or A Christmas Carol at McCarter Theater in Princeton.
22. Take a chilly hayride to celebrate the season and see the lights at Johnson's Corner Farm in Medford, NJ.
23. For fun with kids or a kid-at-heart, ride with Santa on the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad leaving from New Hope, PA.
24. See how others decked the halls at The 40th Festival of Trees in Basking Ridge where Christmas trees have been decorated by different community organizations and are on display at the Environmental Education Center.
25. Get a thrill at Six Flags Great Adventure's Holiday in the Park. Ride the rides, toast a marshmallow at the smores pit, be dazzled by the lights, and more.
26. Another place to get a thrill and enjoy the lights this season is Hersheypark at their Christmas Candylane where there's rides, candy, and Santa.
27. Attend a small town holiday parade (most local towns have one; just check their municipal websites!)
28. Though technically not a "holiday" activity but still a unique way to celebrate the season, watch the re-enactment of George Washington's crossing of the Delaware with two dates, December 10th and Christmas Day at Washington Crossing State Park.
29. Enjoy lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea at a spot decorated for the holidays. Some of my favorites are The Dandelion in Philly and The Yankee Doodle Taproom in Princeton.
30. Instead of planes and automobiles this season, what about trains? Visit a holiday train display at spots like Reading Terminal Market and Morris Arboretum in Philly or the Old Bordentown City Hall in Bordentown, NJ.