There’s no shortage of holiday events this time of year, the sum of which can be a bit overwhelming. So, taking a page from the book of the delightfully satisfying Christmas tradition, the advent calendar, we’ve chosen some choice celebrations to hit each day leading up to Dec. 25.


Start December on the right foot with the Ocean City Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 1, on Asbury Avenue from Sixth to 11th streets, or at the Somers Point Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, 5:30 p.m. down Shore Road, where prizes will be given out to the best floats. Go to or

12_2_16_NEW_Somers Point_Parade

Santa Claus made an apperance at last year’s holiday parade in Somers Point. He might just make it back for this year’s parade.


Learn all about Kwanzaa at the Atlantic City Free Public Library 2 p.m. Dec. 2. This popular event is celebrating its 30th year, and will include performances by Afro-One Dance, Drama and Drum Theatre, and teachings about Kwanzaa’s history and principles. Located at 1 N.Tennessee Ave., Atlantic City. Call 609-345-2269 ext. 3112 for info.


Attending Tim McLoon & the Holiday Express Band’s family matinee at noon on Dec. 3, at Ocean County College’s Main Stage is a great way to enjoy holiday entertainment while participating in a bit of charity. The Holiday Express Band is made up of 100 South Jersey musicians, who will perform a mix of traditional, gospel, rock, soul and holiday tunes. Santa, the Grinch and other favorites will be there, as well. The money raised will go toward the band’s mission: to bring music, clothing, food and supplies to veterans, people with special needs, those suffering with addiction and the isolated and in-need. Tickets are $10 to $12. Located at the Grunin Center for the Arts, College Drive, Toms River. Go to


Drive around your neighborhood to check out the local light displays!


Tropicana is back with its Holiday Jubilee, and this year’s show is bigger and better than ever. This sparkling taste of Radio City Music Hall right in A.C. runs throughout December, and has a show 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Tickets are $10 for children and $25 for adults, available at Located at 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City. Go to


Stone Harbor will host its convivial Caroling & Tree Lighting event at 4:45 p.m. Dec. 6. It begins with a trolley ride where all will be encouraged to join in on holiday carols, afterwhich guests will gather at Borough Hall for the tree lighting. The night will end with donuts and a visit from Frosty at the Stone Harbor firehouse, ending at 7 p.m. Located at 9508 Second Ave., Stone Harbor. Go to


Join Mrs. Claus for a story time and some hot cocoa at Cape May’s Congress Hall Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy complimentary Christmas crafts from 5 to 7 p.m., or write Santa a letter at any hour. Don’t worry, Congress Hall will ship it off for you. Located at 200 Congress Place, Cape May. Go to

Congress Hall 2

Congress Hall goes all out on decorations during December.


One of the most classic ways to celebrate the season is by attending a performance of “The Nutcracker.” The Atlantic City Ballet will hold its annual production 7 p.m. Dec. 8, at the Stockton Performing Arts Center. Come revisit the story of Clara, who gets swept off into a land of sugar and sweets when her nutcracker doll comes to life. Tickets are $33 for adults and $12 for children. Located at 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway. Go to


The Absecon Lighthouse has thought of everything for its tree lighting 1 p.m. Dec. 9. From noon to 3:30 p.m. stop by to see Santa, who will be waiting at the top of the lighthouse, and Mrs. Clause, along with their Lighthouse Elves. Holiday souvenir crafts will be available, as well. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for kids ages 4 to 12. Located at 31 S. Rhode Island Ave., Atlantic City. Go to


With 10 days of December gone, we’d say it’s about time for another Christmas parade. Atlantic City’s begins at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 10, at Resorts and continues to Kennedy Plaza then ends at Tropicana. Head to Bass Pro Shop afterwards for a party with live music and more. Go to


The South Jersey Jazz Society presents Ed Vezinho and the Jim Ward Big Band, featuring Cathy Rocco, in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11, this performance will celebrate the beloved music of everyone’s favorite klutz and his mischievous dog. Tickets are $25, with a second show at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18. Located at the Gateway Playhouse, 738 Bay Ave., Somers Point. Go to


Few children of South Jersey don’t have fond memories of Storybook Land, and December is the perfect time to pass those memories on to the next generation. A dazzling display of lights brightens the child-sized theme park, lit up by Santa himself every night at 5 p.m. Tickets are $26.50 at the door or $23.50 online. Located at 6415 E. Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township. Go to


Tropicana goes all out for the holidays every year, and a great way to take in the cheer is to attend its free Holiday Musical Light show, daily, every hour on the hour starting at noon in the Quarter. It features a 35-foot tree blinking with lights that are synchronized to festive music. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Poinsettia Tree located in the Palm Walk. Located at 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City. Go to


Under the direction of conductor Manolo Cagnin, the Vienna Boys Choir comes to the Grunin Center’s Main Stage 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Be witness to their crystal clear tone and charm, as they sing holiday hits, as well as Austrian folk songs and classical masterpieces. Tickets are $40 to $49. Located at Grunin Center for the Arts, College Drive, Toms River. Go to


The Ocean City Theatre Company will present a musical spin on a Dickens’ classic, during their 7:30 p.m. performance of “A Christmas Carol — The Broadway Musical.” The production also runs 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 9 and 16, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 16. Located at the Ocean City Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and the Boardwalk. Go to


Andrea McArdle, known for originating the titular role in “Annie,” will return to South Jersey with a performance with the Bay Atlantic Symphony, 8 p.m. Dec. 16, at Borgata’s Music Box Theater. McArdle’s soaring voice backed by the instrumental power of the symphony will together celebrate the warmth of the holiday season. Tickets are $25 and $35. Located at 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City. Go to

Andrea McArdle

Tony-nominee Andrea McArdle will sing with the Bay Atlantic Symphony on Dec. 16.


Another change to experience live orchestral music will take place on Dec. 16. Head to the Middle Township PAC at 3 p.m. for the Jersey Shore Pops' "Fantasia Christmas," featuring traditional Christmas music and Disney classics. Tickets are $25 to $40. Located at 212 Bayberry Dr., Cape May Court House. Go to


Head to the Gateway Playhouse at 2 p.m. Dec. 17, for a performance of “Home for the Holidays,” a show inspired by heartwarming family traditions and spending the holidays with loved ones. This is the last day to catch it — other performances take place Dec. 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16 — so don’t miss out. Tickets range from $20 to $25. Located at 738 Bay Ave., Somers Point. Go to


There are many wonderfully decorated trees this year, but few are as unique as Borgata’s 12-foot chocolate tree. According to Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois, it’s a real crowd pleaser. He says, “When people realize (it’s) chocolate, they all want to take a picture in front of it.” While you’re there, be sure to stop by Borgata Baking Company for some sweet treats. Located at 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City. Go to


Cross the last items off your shopping list while supporting local business by taking a stroll down Hammonton’s main street. With gorgeous window displays and twinkling snowflakes on every light pole, you’ll feel like you’re in a Christmas card. Located on Bellevue Avenue in Hammonton. Go to

Downtown Hammonton Holiday Decorations

The Toy Market on Bellevue Avenue in Hammonton features an impressive window display every year.


A mid week dinner at Mauro’s on the Ave on Dec. 20, might be just what the doctor ordered just a few days shy of Christmas, especially when saxophonist James White and his band will be there, playing some smooth jazz for the holidays from 7 to 11 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Located at 830 E. Landis Ave., Vineland. Go to


Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn will be transformed this season into the North Pole. One-of-a-kind gifts from a variety of vendors, seasonal treats, hot chocolate, the Congress Hall Express train ride and even Santa’s workshop will fill the space. Check it out Thursdays through Sundays. Located at 200 Congress Place, Cape May. Go to


Catch yet another adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” at Congress Hall’s Harrison Room 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. This version takes on the guise of a 1940s radio play — when a studio’s actors are snowed in and unable to make the live radio performance, the sound effects person instead takes the audiences through the tale alone. Tickets are $59 and include dinner. Located at 200 Congress Place, Cape May. Go to


Ocean City will offer free old-fashioned horse and carriage rides down Asbury Avenue from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, but Dec. 23 is the last day to take advantage of this fun, free activity. Carriage rides start in front of City Hall at Ninth Street and continue down Asbury Avenue. Call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.


DiDonato’s Fun Center has set up a magical world of twinkling lights to celebrate the holiday season. Enjoy the display on DiDonato’s Magical Express, running from 5 to 9 p.m. The ride ends with a trip to Santa’s workshop, where kids will get to see the big man himself. Located at 1151 S. White Horse Pike, Hammonton. Tickets are $14.95. Go to


Happy Holidays!

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