christmas bells

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Few Christmas films have captured hearts like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a timeless tale of one man’s generosity to his small town. Seize the simplicity of the film and the joy of the season with a plethora of fun holiday activities during the Stone Harbor’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” weekend, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24 to 25. The 95th Street Water Tower Plaza has been transformed into Bedford Falls, with carousel rides, carnival games, crafts and more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Additional town-wide festivities include a parade, tree lightings, breakfasts with Frosty, and photos with Santa. Read on for five highlights of the weekend.

1. Shopping

Already pretty quaint, Stone Harbor’s downtown has been decorated to reflect the weekend’s theme, “It’s a Wonderful Life in Stone Harbor.” Pass the picturesque holiday storefronts and vote for your favorite decorated store while taking advantage of Black Friday sales. “Merchants’ Hospitality Night” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday with live holiday tunes performed by a brass quartet, and select stores will offer light refreshments. Come back for Small Business Saturday.

2. Showings of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Pretend it’s 1946, the year the classic film starring James Stewart was released, and head to Harbor Square Theatre, which will bring the movie to the big screen once again with showings at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $5. 271 96th Street. Call 609-830-3566.

3. Scavenger hunt

Play for a chance to win free movie tickets during the weekend’s scavenger hunt, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. In honor of George Bailey’s famous line “You want the moon?” participating stores will have a moon posted somewhere within their business. Find the hidden moon and solve the clue next to it to figure out your next location. Begins at the 95th Street Water Tower Plaza. Return with a photo of the final clue and receive a free gift.

4. Fun Run and Candy Scramble

Work off all that turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes with the Downtown Holiday Dash Fun Run 10 a.m. Saturday. Run with “George Bailey” (a.k.a. Mayor Judy Davies-Dunhour) down 96th Street. Fun North Pole attire is encouraged, with awards given for the best costumes. A Candy Scramble will be held for ages 5 and younger. Check in will take place at the Women’s Civic Club (96th Street and the beach) starting at 8:30 a.m. with complimentary breakfast. Entry is a new toy or gift card for Toys for Tots. Call 609-368-1210.

5. Christmas parade

The two days of festivities culminate with the annual Christmas parade 6:30 p.m. Saturday, starting at 11th Street and Third Avenue. The parade’s theme this year will be “It’s a Wonderful Life in Stone Harbor.” For more information on the parade or any of the weekend’s festivities, call 609-368-5102 or 609-368-6101 or go to

—Jacklyn McQuarrie

Get our Best Bets at the Jersey shore delivered to your inbox every Wednesday, just in time to plan your weekend!

Contact: 609-272-7415

I interned with a small magazine in Wildwood before starting at The Press in 2013. I currently handle our Hometown and At The Shore calendar of events submissions and enjoy interacting with the local community.

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