sic xmas

Santa will flip the switch to light up Sea Isle City during its annual tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 29 at Excursion Park.

With a dash of jolly and a touch of jingle, the holidays are here so it’s time to mingle. Brimming with cheer, it’s the most wonderful time of year. So deck the halls then head on out, South Jersey is full of fun!

Parades and Tree Lightings

Cape May County:

The Reeds at Shelter Haven Christmas Sing-a-long and Annual Tree Lighting: Gather on the bay in Stone Harbor while you enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. There will be live entertainment leading up to the main event — Santa and his elves agreed to stop by the Reeds to help light the tree. 4 p.m., Nov. 29

Stone Harbor’s Winter Wonderland Festival and Tree Lighting: The weekend is packed full of events including Black Friday deals, Breakfast with Frosty, scavenger hunts, fun runs, art classes for kids, the annual Christmas parade and pet parade, tree-lighting ceremony and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Satuday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday.

The Annual Congress Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony: Enjoy a holiday concert in the Grand Ballroom then gather on Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn to listen to live music, join in a countdown and be awed by the lighting of Congress Hall’s 30-foot Tannenbaum. Donations for Toys for Tots and Cape May Food Closet will be collected. 6 p.m., Dec. 6.

Ocean City’s Annual Christmas Parade: Get in the festive spirit as participants march along Asbury Avenue. 6 p.m., Dec. 6.

Cape May Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rotary Park: Old-fashion holiday fun will kick off Christmas season in Cape May. Join carolers, the Cape May Regional High School Choir and Santa Claus for this festive tree-lighting ceremony. 7 p.m., Dec. 6.

Christmas in the Plaza: This two-day event kicks off with a Christmas parade and tree lighting on Friday, followed by live music on Saturday and lots of shopping, dining, carnival rides, vendors and mingling with the Kringles. Christmas in Byrne Plaza starts at 5 p.m., Dec. 6 and continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec 7.

Sea Isle City’s parade and tree lighting: Sea Isle City’s 2019 Holiday Season will be launched in grand style when St. Nick and his elves join Mayor Leonard Desiderio during the mayor’s annual tree-lighting ceremony at Excursion Park, which takes place immediately after Sea Isle’s holiday parade. There will also be a free photo station with ice princesses, complimentary refreshments, souvenirs, a sing-along and other enjoyment. Parade along JFK Boulevard is at 6 p.m., tree lighting at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 29. Go to

Atlantic County:

Northfield’s Volunteer Fire Company and Auxiliary’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony: Local Scout Troops will decorate the tree and Santa will arrive by fire truck and meet the kids inside. There will be refreshments and the auxiliary will have handmade crafts available for holiday shopping. 7 p.m., Dec. 6.

Somers Point Holiday Parade and City Hall Tree Lighting: The parade will march along Shore Road with Santa in tow. The parade will finish at City Hall. Following the parade, Mayor Jack Glasser and Santa Claus will light City Hall’s tree, then Santa and his elves will go inside for pictures and special treats. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

Somers Point Mansion Tree Lighting & Victorian “Village Carolers”: Decked with traditional ornaments made by children at the Afternoon Tree Trimming Event. Head to the mansion grounds. Refreshments will be served. 5 p.m., Dec. 7.

Somers Point-Community First Tree Lighting Event: Tree lighting on the grounds of Shore Medical Center off Bay Avenue in Somers Point. Listen to the Holy Spirit High School choir as Santa arrives on a fire truck and you enjoy hot chocolate and other goodies. 4 p.m., Dec. 12

Atlantic City Christmas Parade: Get into the holiday spirit with parade hosts, Nor’Easter Nick Pittman and Michelle Dawn Mooney, as floats, bands and more march along the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. 2 p.m., Dec. 14

Downtown Hammonton Tree Lighting: Enjoy carriage rides, carolers, dance and theatrical performances and the big guy himself, Santa. 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 8.

Cumberland County:

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ Mainstreet Vineland’s Christmas Parade: The festivities kick off with holiday-themed performances by the Vineland Regional Dance Company. Then the parade marches through the Downtown district. 5 p.m., Nov. 30 (rain date Dec.1).

In the Spirit of Giving

Atlantic County:

Swing into Christmas benefiting the Marine Corps Toys for Tots: Head to Resorts Casino Hotel and join Jim “The Singing Lifeguard” Craine & The Atlantic City Allstar Band, “Gentleman Jim” Huffstickler, Suzie Neustadter “Atlantic City’s Songstress, Leslie’s Dance Studio and other surprise guests. Admission is free for guests that bring an unwrapped toy. There will be a cash bar. 7 p.m., Dec. 6.

Winter Wonderland Party 5th Annual “Fill the Cruiser” Toy Drive: Join Margate, Ventnor and Longport Police and Fire Unions at the Margate Baseball Fields for a fun and festive night of giving. Enjoy holiday music, pictures with Santa, train rides, spectacular light display, Christmas tree lighting, Menorah raising, crafts, special guests, face painting, refreshments and more. The event is free, guests are just asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy that will be donated to Atlantic County’s Toys for Kids Program. 6 to 9 p.m., Dec. 6.

For Atlantic City By Atlantic City: Romanelli’s will be accepting toys all season long, as well as host a special Santa breakfast where guests can bring their toy donations and get a picture with the man in red from 9 a.m. to noon, Dec. 7.

Santa Paws: Beacon Animal Rescue will host its 4th annual Santa Paws at Fischer Flowers in Linwood. Bring your furry friend and a donation for Beacon Animal Rescue, and get a picture of your pet with Santa. Noon to 2 p.m., Dec. 14.

Cape May County:

Paws & Pinot: Get your pet in on the merrymaking at Paws & Pinot! Leashed pets are welcome to join in the festivities because our winery is pet-friendly for the day! Enjoy wine and tapas with your four-legged friends and get in some last-minute Christmas shopping from a variety of pet-related vendors. Beacon Animal Shelter will be on hand with adoptable pets looking for fur-ever homes for the holidays. Bring a donation of a non-perishable pet food item or unused pet toy and be eligible for a free sample of Willow Creek Winery’s estate-grown, bottled Pinot Noir. You’ll also be entered to win a private quick flight tasting for 4 ($100 value).

Joyful Performances

Cape May County:

A Congress Hall Christmas: An original holiday play, written by Marlene Lustik and directed by Roy Steinberg of Cape May Stage. The whole family will enjoy this heartwarming Christmas tale. The show will run from Nov. 29 through Dec. 29.

Musical Sounds of the Season: Join the Ocean City Pops along with vocalist Scott Coulter and a cast of Broadway soloists. Enjoy renditions of classic Christmas songs and performances from the Atlantic City Ballet’s production of the “Nutcracker”. This show is family-friendly for kids of all ages. Tickets are $25 and $20. 7:30 p.m., Nov. 30.

‘Lights, Camera, Christmas’: 2019 Holiday Spectacular: Ocean City Theatre Company heads to the Music Pier to present their movie-themed holiday show that will have you “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”. The show runs Dec. 13 to 22.

Atlantic County:

Historic Smithville’s Holiday Light Show: With more than 100 Christmas trees, constructed from more than 50,000 lights that are choreographed to seemingly dance to classic holiday tunes, this show is sure to delight all ages. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thurdays through Sundays, Nov. 28 through Jan. 6.

Home for the Holidays at the Gateway Playhouse: The Shaken Not Stirred Players bring this Christmas classic in a fully staged and costumed production. Tickets are $25. 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m., Sundays. Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15.

The Christmas Carol — Holiday Porch Performance: A delightful performance of this Dickens’ classic will be take place on porches in the Bayfront Historic District in Somers Point. Each act will take place on a different, nearby porch. The evening will wrap up at Gregory’s Restaurant holiday refreshments. 6 p.m., Dec. 7.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Vocalist Cathy Rocco will perform along with the Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band to lend their talents to the Christmas classic at Great Bay Country Club. Tickets are $40 for members and $45 for non-members and includes a holiday buffet. 6:30 to 9 p.m., Dec. 16.

”Messiah”: This community performance will feature a choir of 150 singers composed of Stockton University students, community members and locals. Tickets range from $8 to $14. 7 p.m., Dec. 8.

Bay Atlantic Symphony Holiday Concert Series: Led by music director, Jed Gaylin, this holiday spectacular with delight audiences with festive classics. There are two concerts: 2 p.m., Dec. 8 at Stockton.

The Nutcracker: Atlantic City Ballet brings this holiday classic back to the stage. Join Clara, the Nutcracker Prince and the many sweet characters for a magical journey. Performances start Dec. 13 and run through Dec. 22 at various venues.

Ocean County:

It’s A Shore Holiday in Manahawkin: This Atlantic City Ballet performance is a blend of classic and contemporary dances, set to your favorite holiday tunes. The show will also features singers and a live band.

Festivals and Shopping

Holiday Wine Trail Weekend: Explore South Jersey’s rich winemaking tradition with tastings, new releases, special entertainment and food pairings. Participants will receive free ornaments and grapevine wreaths at stops along the way. Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

Sip & Shop Holiday Love Drive: Sip on wine or sangria at Willow Creek Winery while shopping and supporting local Cape May County artists, authors, jewelers, bakers, makers, and handmade gift crafters as you are giving back to families and pets in need. Bonus: Santa will be there! 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Dec. 14.

Cape May County:

The Christmas in the Downtown, “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue”: Ocean City’s version of “Black Friday” shops, along Asbury Avenue will offer discounts and gifts. There will be free horse-and-carriage rides. At 4 p.m., carolers will perform on the steps of City Hall. Around 5 p.m. Santa will make a special entrance to help light the City Hall Christmas Tree and illuminate City Hall. 2 to 5 p.m, Nov. 29.

Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall: Congress Hall will transform into the North Pole beginning Nov. 29. Browse the Enchanted Vendor Village and Food Court, take a ride on the holiday train and carousel, and visit Santa’s Workshop (beginning Dec. 5).

OC Arts Center “Meet the Artists” Reception and Pottery & Mosaic Gift Sale: For unique gifts, starting at just $5 head to the O.C. Arts Center. 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 6.

Local Artists Holiday Marketplace at the Nature Center of Cape May: Mix, mingle and shop the work of artists across many mediums including glass mosaics, pastels, jewelry, photography, oil painting, woodcarving and repurposed art. Art sale gives a portion back to the Nature Center. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 7.

Crafts at Christmas Art & Craft Show: Enjoy the beautifully decorated Cape May Convention Center as you browse handmade goods. Vendors will showcase jewelry, photography, pottery, home accessories and much more. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 7 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 8.

The Reeds at Shelter Haven Holiday Party: A festive holiday cocktail party is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays. This indoor/outdoor fireside cocktail party invites friends and coworkers to gather around the firepit with a cocktail or dance the night away. 7 to 10 p.m., Dec. 13.

Atlantic County:

Show Us Your “Rack” — A Margate Shopping Extravaganza: City-wide sidewalk sales, carnival rides, pictures with Santa, carolers and more. Noon to 4 p.m., Nov. 30.

Dine with Santa

Cape May County:

Breakfast with Santa at Congress Hall: Enjoy a buffet breakfast and a visit with old St. Nick. Adults are $28; children 4 to 12 are $16, children 3 and under are free. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.

Santa’s Brunch at the Reeds at Shelter Haven: Jump on board the Polar Express for a morning of food, crafts, festive fun and Santa! Wear your pajamas and bring your list for Santa. $30 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sun., Dec. 8 and 15.

Atlantic County:

Lunch with Santa: Santa will head to McCullough’s Pub with his favorite reindeer. Enjoy a festive menu and greet the man in red at noon, Dec. 15. Call 609-926-3900 for reservations.

Atlantic County:

Breakfast with Santa: Fred and Ethel’s Lantern Light Tavern in Historic Smithville will host breakfast with Santa and classic breakfast favorites. Reservations are required. There is one seating, starting at 9 a.m., Dec 7 and 14.

Arts and Crafts

Cape May County:

Gingerbread House Decorating with Mrs. Claus at Congress Hall: Spend the afternoon with Mrs. Claus and decorate your own gingerbread house. Sessions are one hour and $30 per house. Weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to noon on Sundays, Nov. 30 to Dec. 22.

Atlantic County:

Christmas Ceramic Paint Night with Sea La Vie at Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House: Choose from six different ceramic options to paint and enjoy a light buffet. Tickets are $40 and also include a drink voucher. 6 p.m., Dec. 2.

Luminary Light Festival at Absecon Lighthouse: Guests will decorate a luminary bag, fill it with beach sand and place a candle inside. You can light your luminary in honor of a loved one or just for fun. There will be live violin music, sing-a-long caroling, a tower climb, wine or beer and light nibbles. This event is $20. 5 to 7 p.m., Dec. 7.

Children’s Tree Trimming Afternoon Craft: Children are invited to make a traditional Christmas tree decoration and learn how trees were decorated in early America with fruit, candlesticks and fabric. The creations will be hung on the Somers Point Mansion tree. This event is free and will be hosted at the Senior Citizens’ Center. Noon to 2 p.m., Dec.7.

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

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments