Caroling, concerts, tree lightings, parades and, of course, Santa. Throughout South Jersey, the holiday events are in full swing, from house tours in Cape May to a Christmas carol-themed lighthouse climb in Atlantic City to the popular tree festival at Tuckerton Seaport.
Below is a roundup of some of the holiday events taking place throughout the region.
'Santa Express' train rides return
The popular Santa Express train rides have returned this year. Cape May Seashore Lines operates the trains, which run between Richland and Tuckahoe every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23. The Santa "Starlight" Express will operate on the evenings of Thursday, Dec. 13, Tuesday, Dec. 18, Wednesday, Dec. 19, and Thursday, Dec. 20. During each ride, Santa walks through the train and spends time with each child.
Online ticket purchases are highly recommended as train rides sell out quickly. Adult tickets are $15, and tickets for children ages 2 to 12 are $10. Cafe and lounge car tickets are $25 and include light refreshments. All tickets are round trip. The Richland Village Train Station is located at 1275 Harding Highway, Richland. The Tuckahoe Village Train Station is located at Railroad Avenue and Mill Road.
For more information and a detailed train schedule, go to www.the-santa-express.com.
Bay-Atlantic Symphony Holiday Concert Series
The Bay-Atlantic Symphony's Holiday Concert Series will include festive music by Bach, Pachelbel, Respighi, Straus and others on Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9.
The Saturday show will take place 8 p.m. at the Frank Guaracini Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center at Cumberland County College, Sherman Avenue and College Drive in Vineland. The Sunday show will take place at 2 p.m. at the Richard Stockton College Campus Center Theatre, Jimmie Leeds Road in Pomona. Music Director Jed Gaylin will conduct the concerts.
Tickets are $25. Call the Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center box office at 856-692-8499 or the Stockton College Performing Arts Center box office at 609-652-9000. Call the Bay-Atlantic Symphony at 856-451-1169, or go to www.bayatlanticsymphony.org.
'Louisa May Alcott's Christmas'
The East Lynne Theater Company continues its run of "Louisa May Alcott's Christmas," adapted and performed by ELTC's Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth, through Friday, Dec. 14.
Tales include the opening of "Little Women" as well as Alcott's short stories "How It All Happened" and "Tessa's Surprises." All involve the coming together of family, friends and neighbors at Christmas time to give gifts of love, laughter and hope.
Performances take place 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Dec. 7 to 9, and Friday, Dec. 14, in addition to a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Dec. 8. Shows take place at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St. in Cape May. Tickets are $25 and $15 for full-time students. Children under 12 are free.
Call 609-884-5898 or go to www.eastlynnetheater.org.
'Polar Express' at Eagle Theatre
The Hammonton Mothers' Club will be partner with DiDonato Family Fun Center for the fourth annual Movie in Pajamas and the special holiday showing of "The Polar Express" at the Eagle Theatre 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.
In the spirit of the movie, children are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas. Floor seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The theater is located at 208 Vine St., Hammonton. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. for the 3 p.m. showing. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online at hammontonmothersclub.com. Children one and under are free. Call Sheryl at 609-502-7588.
'Sister's Christmas Catechism' at Levoy
Theatergoers who enjoyed "Late Nite Catechism" won't want to miss "Sister's Christmas Catechism," taking place 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Levoy Theater.
Sister takes on the mystery that's intrigued historians throughout the ages - whatever happened to the Magi's gold? Tickets are $29.50, $32.50 and $17.50 for students and seniors 62 and over and available at the Levoy Box Office at 126 N. High St. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and two hours prior to all shows, at www.levoy.net or by calling 856-327-6400.
O.C. Christmas Parade
Ocean City's annual Christmas Parade will take place 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in the downtown district. The parade route runs from 6th to 11th streets on Asbury Avenue. Santa will be the guest of honor. He will be escorted into town on a horse drawn carriage. The Ocean City High School Band and the Pitman Hobo Band, along with other musical groups, will be featured, plus floats, costumed characters and a walking Christmas tree. Most of the City's 100 downtown specialty shops and restaurants are now open. Go to www.ocnj.us.
Christmas in the Wildwoods
The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse will host a free Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Lighthouse Courtyard 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. Santa Claus will make a special appearance and refreshments will be available. The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is located at 1st and Central avenues in North Wildwood. For more information, call 609-522-4520.
Free holiday house tours will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at three locations in the Wildwoods: The Candlelight Bed and Breakfast, 24th and Central avenues, North Wildwood; Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast, 2110 Atlantic Ave., North Wildwood; and the J. Thompson Baker House, 3008 Atlantic Ave., Wildwood. Call 609-522-3639.
The Wildwoods Family Holiday Celebration also takes place 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. The parade begins at 15th Avenue in North Wildwood and heads south along Central and Pacific avenues, through the Holly Beach Station Mall to Heather Road in Wildwood Crest, then proceeds east onto Ocean Avenue, and makes its way north to the Wildwoods Convention Center.
The rain date for the Christmas Parade is 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. If the weather is uncertain, tune in to 98.7-FM The Coast or go to www.WildwoodHoliday.com for more information.
A Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place after the parade 8 p.m. Saturday inside the Wildwood Convention Center.
A full day of shopping, crafts, music and holiday events will take place inside the Wildwoods Convention Center 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Two separate rooms will also play free classic holiday movies throughout the day.
Call 609-729-9000 or go to www.WildwoodHoliday.com.
S.J. Wind Ensemble presents 'The Bells of Christmas'
The South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble will present its 16th annual winter concert, "The Bells of Christmas," 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at the Performing Arts Center of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
The evening's program recalls days of old when church bells were heard throughout the town in celebration of Christmas. A chorus of hand bell ringers will enhance the music.
Admission is $10. Call 609-652-9000, 609-402-5575 or go to www.sjawe.com.
'The Nutcracker' at Stockton
Atlantic City Ballet will bring its annual tradition of "The Nutcracker" to the Stockton Performing Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20 and $35. Children's tickets are $10. Call 609-652-9000 or go to www.stockton.edu/pac. The box office is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 90 minutes before the performance.
'A Tuna Christmas'
"A Tuna Christmas," the hilarious sequel to the hit comedy "Greater Tuna," continues its run at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse through Dec. 30. Director Marlena Lustik takes the audience through a hilarious 24-hour yuletide journey of 24 comical characters being performed by only two multi-talented actors, Turner Crumbley and Jody Cook.
"A Tuna Christmas" will run 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse, 405 Lafayette St., Cape May. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors and $15 students. Thursday, Dec. 6, is Pay-What-You-Can Night, and Sunday, Dec. 9, is a half-price senior matinee, with half-price tickets for seniors 62 and older.
Call 609-884-1341 or go to www.capemaystage.org.
Festival of Trees
Join the Tuckerton Seaport's celebration to raise money for area charities by decorating one of the seaport's holiday trees. During the "festival of trees," participants decorate a tree in honor of their favorite charity. Visitors to the seaport will "vote" for their favorite tree by placing donations in a ballot box designated for your tree. All proceeds gathered for your tree go to your charity.
Trees must be decorated by Friday, Dec. 7, and will be on display until Jan. 6. The Tuckerton Seaport is located at 120 W. Main St., Tuckerton. Call 609-296-8868 or go to www.tuckertonseaport.org.
Angelus Chorus in Cape May
The Angelus Chorus will perform a free concert at Cape May Convention Hall 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, For more information or to join the chorus, call 609-898-0324.