Our Top 14 Holiday Festivities Down the Shore

Our Top 14 Holiday Festivities Down the Shore

The holiday season is here, and what better way to make lasting memories than by joining the festive celebrations down the New Jersey Shore? From dazzling light displays to lively New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Jersey Shore has something for everyone this holiday season. Let’s dive into the top 14 NJ Shore holiday events that will make your 2023 season unforgettable.

Cape May, NJ

#1 –Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland

2023 NJ Shore Holiday Events - Congress Hall Winter Wonderland

All aboard! The Congress Hall Carousel and Express train have returned to Cape May. Coupled with candy-cane striped tents and 17 festive themed vendors, Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland is the perfect NJ Shore holiday event for the entire family. Shop for Cape May themed gifts for everyone on your list while the kids enjoy the Christmas magic. Winter Wonderland has taken over Cape May now through Christmas. In addition to the fun running all season long, kick off December with Congress Hall’s annual tree lighting ceremony on Friday, December 1st with live music and a sing-along choir.

Cape May, NJ

#2 – Cape May’s 50th Annual Christmas Candlelight Tours

2023 NJ Shore Holiday Events - Cape May’s 50th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours

Immerse yourself in the charm of historic Cape May during their 50th annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour. Wander through festively decorated Victorian homes, self-guided by the warm glow of candlelight alongside carolers. Experience the magic that is Cape May’s longest running and most popular Christmas Tour enjoyed every year since 1974.

Cape May, NJ

#3 – Holiday Lights Trolley Ride

Cape May, NJ Holiday Lights Trolley Ride

What’s better than one Cape May holiday tour? Two! Hop on the trolley and ride through the historic streets of Cape May decked out in twinkling Christmas spirit. Bring your blanket and cozy up to learn the history of many Cape May Christmas traditions along with Christmas music. The tour runs all December long. Buy your tickets here and plan a trip to enjoy these 3 NJ Shore holiday events in Cape May.

Wildwood, NJ

#4 –Wildwood Winter Wonderland at Holly Beach Park

2023 NJ Holiday Events - Wildwood’s Winter Wonderland at Holly Beach Park

Kick off the holly jolly season with a stroll through Wildwood’s very own Winter Wonderland at Holly Beach Park. Sip hot chocolate and have a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus meanwhile enjoying the dazzling light show and decorations on display now through mid-January. The light show will run every half hour accordingly from 5-9 pm and begin the weekend of December 8th.

Wildwood, NJ

#5 –Greater Wildwood Jaycees Downtown Christmas in the Plaza

Downtown Wildwood, NJ Christmas in the Plaza

Downtown Wildwood’s Byrne Plaza transforms into a winter wonderland during the first weekend in December for Christmas in the Plaza. Enjoy live entertainment from the John Walter Band, a holiday market, and free carnival rides. Lastly, don’t miss story time with Mrs. Claus! The fun will run from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday and from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Avalon, NJ

#6 – Avalon’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration

Avalon, NJ NYE Fireworks

As the year draws to a close, bring the family to the sandy shores of Avalon for the second annual NYE celebration. Enjoy live music, crafts, trivia, and hot chocolate at Surfside Park from 3:30-5pm followed by a beautiful firework display of lights from the 30th street beach to welcome the New Year. Bring your beach chairs and blankets for an unforgettable night.

Ocean City, NJ

#7 – Festive Fridays Along Downtown Asbury Avenue

Ocean City, NJ Festive Friday

Shop ‘til you drop with Christmas cheer on Festive Friday in Ocean City, NJ. Likewise, browse local merchants and check off your gift list while enjoying the beautiful lights of the decked out town. Wrap up the evening with a horse and carriage ride from 4-7 pm, departing at 6th & Asbury.

Ocean City, NJ

#8 – First Nights 2024

Ocean City, NJ First Night NYE

December 31 – January 1.

The NJ Shore holiday events and fun don’t stop at Christmas! Bid farewell to 2023 in style at Ocean City’s First Night celebration. One of the most fun filled nights of the year, First Night’s lineup includes over 20 venues and 70+ events! The schedule of events includes live music, ice skating, and dueling pianos for the adults, coupled with inflatables, Lego at the Library, and Wonderland Pier rides for the kids. Round off the night accordingly with the Atlantic City Ballet Nutcracker performance followed by a spectacular midnight firework show from the 5th street beach to welcome the New Year. Continue the fun through the New Year on the first for the First Day at the Beach 5K Fun Run followed by the First Day Plunge!

Long Beach Island, LBI, NJ

#9 – Holiday Happenings & Santa Visits in the LBI Region

Holiday Happenings & Santa Visits in the LBI Region

Shop Small in the LBI Region between November 25 – December 31st this season. Also, check out local retail and restaurants offering special sales and promotions for the holidays!

Atlantic City, NJ

#10 – Atlantic City Tinseltown Holiday Experience

Atlantic City, NJ Tinseltown Holiday Experience

Prepare to eat, drink, and be merry through Atlantic City’s Tinseltown Holiday Experience! Follow the Cocktail-Mocktail Trail all December long for festive drinks and holiday pop-up bars all over Atlantic City. The Tinseltown experience kicks off with multiple tree lighting celebrations, a winter wonderland themed parade, and holiday markets, alongside countless decked out holiday experiences.

Smithville, NJ

#11 – December in Smithville

December in Smithville, NJ

Venture to Christmastown in Smithville and witness the dazzling light show in effect on the lake every evening in December from 5:30-8:30pm. Marvel at the synchronized lights and music, creating a festive atmosphere that’s sure to leave you in awe. Begin your trip aboard the holiday train to visit the magic talking tree, then conclude your visit with s’mores on the green every weekend in December.

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

#12 – Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Sea of Lights

Point Pleasant Beach NJ Sea of Lights

Head to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach for the Sea of Lights extravaganza. The whole family will delight in the holiday-themed aquarium exhibits coupled with dazzling light displays. Lastly, you’ll even have a chance to meet with Santa Claus on the boardwalk.

Asbury Park, NJ

#13 – Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar

2023 NJ Shore Holiday Events - Asbury Park Bazaar

Ranked by Food and Wine as the best holiday market in New Jersey, Asbury Park’s Holiday Bazaar is taking over Asbury Park for another season! Right on the boardwalk, the old convention hall turns into a festive Christmas market in light of the holiday season. The two Bazaar locations will showcase handcrafted goods and gifts from local small businesses in addition to live holiday entertainment, visits with Santa, craft workshops, kid’s activities, and more.

Long Branch, NJ

#14 – Coastal Holidays in Pier Village

NJ Shore Holiday Events - Coastal Holidays in Pier Village

Pier Village’s city by the sea is transformed into a winter wonderland this holiday season. Bringing together nights of celebration coupled with live entertainment, craft events, and photos with Santa (for kids and dogs). Celebrate your holidays accordingly with various NJ Shore Hanukkah events alongside Christmas events. Join for their Menorah lighting ceremony on December 7th and view the list of events in detail here.

To conclude, the New Jersey Shore comes alive during the holiday season, offering an array of events to suit all. Whether you’re captivated by twinkling lights, enchanted by historic homes, or eager to dance the night away, these NJ Shore holiday events may be the perfect celebration for you. Make this holiday season and New Year’s Eve unforgettable by joining in the light of the festive spirit down the Shore. 

Don’t forget to book accommodations early, as this popular destination can get quite busy during the holiday season. Browse over 1,900 New Jersey Shore vacation rentals in various towns at ShoreSummerRentals.com and contact hosts directly to find your perfect holiday season rental.

Cheers to a joyful and memorable conclusion 2023 and festive welcome to 2024!

Posted on Posted in blog, book direct, fireworks, NJ Shore Events, Uncategorized