7 New Jersey Suburbs Packed with Holiday Spirit

Dec 20, 2021

These towns really know how to celebrate the season.

Without question, the New Jersey suburbs are the place to be during the holiday. From seasonal festivals to tree and menorah lightings to Santa meet-and-greets and amazing light displays, there’s so much happening once December rolls around. As you’re exploring, get in the spirit — and get to know some sought-after suburbs — starting with these festive finds.

Morristown
This historic town gets decked out with lights and festive decorations each year. Locals especially look forward to the massive Christmas tree and glowing lights creating a magical glow throughout the Morristown Green. The community also comes together on December weekends for winter-themed crafts and to take pictures with Santa.

But Morristown’s seasonal spirit doesn’t stop there. Every year families get dressed up and head to performances of The Nutcracker or another family-friendly performance at the Mayo Performing Arts Center.

Princeton
Locals really get into the seasonal swing of things in Princeton — ice skating in Palmer Square, an annual Menorah lighting, and family-friendly gingerbread workshops at the Morven Museum & Garden are just the beginning — Princeton also hosts multiple spots to meet Santa, a Festival of Trees and yummy seasonal drinks at several popular cafes and bars (hello, pumpkin-spiced hot cider).

As you explore the town, listen for carolers and keep an eye out for the Holiday Trolley. Book a tour to experience even more of the ‘burbs’ festive cheer.

Short Hills
There’s a ton of holiday spirit to go around in Short Hills. Residents really get into decorations and you’ll see beautiful lights, garlands and wreaths on houses and businesses all over town downtown.

Got kids in tow? Don’t miss out on your chance to meet Santa at The Mall at Short Hills. But there is more than just a photo-op. Kids get to take part in the Flight Academy and step inside Santa’s sleigh. There might even be a magical indoor snowfall during the meet-and-greet.

Edison
Edison locals know how to bring the holiday season to life. Tons of houses around town are lit up with over-the-top displays (some even feature 25,000 lights and synchronized soundtracks).

Each year, locals can check out the Edison Arts Festival to get a head-start on handmade holiday shopping. And the kids can share their list with Santa at the mall (sometimes there are even cookies and crafts too). And four-legged family members aren’t left out of the cheer. Check the site for days when pups can visit Santa.

Freehold
This New Jersey town brings tons of holiday spirit each winter season. There are town-sponsored Menorah and Christmas tree lightings plus plenty of festive decorations hung throughout the ‘burb. Locals love to take in the lights from a family-friendly Jolly Trolley tour. For a more romantic winter date night, There’s also a 21+ option.

Your kids have so many chances to meet Santa in Freehold. The classic mall photo-opp and a few local eateries even offer meals with Santa throughout December.

Maplewood
As soon as there’s a chill in the air, Maplewood is ready to celebrate. Homes are covered in sparkling lights and the Springfield Ave Gazebo is transformed into a center of holiday spirit. There’s an annual Menorah lighting complete with blessings and songs. The Christmas tree lighting festival is also held here and locals look forward to the photo-ops, music and hot chocolate that go along with this event. Swing by anytime before the new year to check out these epic installments.

With tons of boutiques downtown and the annual Handmade Holiday Craft Market, residents can easily cross off their holiday shopping list in town.

Montclair
Montclair locals put so much care into their holiday decorations. Houses are draped in multi-colored lights and yards are filled with festive displays.

But there’s even more cheer to go around in Montclair. The New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble puts on The Nutcracker at an auditorium in town. And many of the town’s historic buildings are also dressed up with festive decorations — Lights on Myrtle alone boasts 100,000 lights.

Some other ways to celebrate? Give your kids a taste of holidays past at the Montclair History Center.

Ready to explore the suburbs this holiday season? Let’s talk. Schedule your FREE Suburbs Strategy Session to get started.

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