With the holidays fast approaching and the cold quickly setting in, we found some fun upcoming family friendly local events to keep the days bright, merry and warm. Enjoy!

11/28 – 12/20: Kringle Railway Adventure in Whippany

The Kringle Railway Adventure is a round-trip thematic holiday train ride for all ages produced by Morristown and Erie Railway and The Whippany Railway Museum. The train ride was designed specifically to comply with New Jersey State Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Orders and CDC Guidelines to keep your family safe while celebrating the holidays!

12/5, 1pm: Shop the Block – An Outdoor Holiday Shopping Experience in Montclair

Step out and come support local shops, vendors, and businesses on Bloomfield Ave in Downtown Montclair! Local shops on Bloomfield Ave, starting at the corner of Bloomfield and Maple Place will have tables, racks, vendors and wares outside for safe and social distanced shopping! Masks will be required.

12/5, 4-8pm: A Lighthouse Production Pop Up Winter Festival at 895 Frelinghuysen Ave, Newark

Winter Festival Pop-Up Shop: All tickets are free❣️ Let’s Shop BlackOwn Business this Holiday season. This Pop-Up Shop event will have Music, Food, Holiday raffle giveaways and More: this event will showcase 11 black owned business and upcoming entrepreneurs! The event will be inside and all participants are required to wear a mask and get a evite ticket for free. Tickets are required to track numbers and to gain entry! 

12/6, 1-4pm: Free Photos with Santa at Mud Sweat Tears – 561 Bloomfield Ave, Verona 

12/10, 12/17 & 12/24: South Orange Open-Air Holiday Market

This temporary outdoor retail marketplace offers an outdoor, socially distanced holiday shopping experience selling finely crafted jewelry, apparel, accessories, art and gift items made by many of our area’s finest local artisans and craftspeople. The market is generously sponsored by Investors Bank and Fran Lichtman and Randy Rabney of Hearth Realty

The Open Air Holiday Market will be held in the Sloan Street Parking lot on the following dates and times:

– Thursday evenings: 12/10, 12/17 from 4-8pm

– Christmas Eve – 12/24 from Noon to 3pm

*All COVID-19 Guidelines will be strictly implemented and enforced. Click here to view the list of participating vendors. 

12/12, 11am – 5pm: Maplewood Village Outdoor Holiday Market

Village merchants, along with outside vendors, will take to the streets to sell festive merchandise under appropriate local health and safety guidelines. In addition to the merchants and makers, there will be live music and a DJ.  

“Supporting local business this holiday season is crucial to the success of our community. It’s no secret that Maplewood is home to numerous innovative and creative entrepreneurs and we want to give them another safe and responsible platform to reach the residents” said Deb Yohannan, Maplewood Village Alliance Manager. Maplewood Village Alliance ensures all health and safety guidelines will be followed throughout the event. Masks required. For more information on the event as well as health and safety updates, please visit our Facebook page.

12/12 at 6pm: Santa Night Live – A Special FREE Outdoor Socially-Distanced Concert with Kris Kringle

The Big Man from up North — SANTA CLAUS – performs a LIVE music concert outside Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint on Saturday night, December 12th at 6PM. The heat lamps will be on but you can expect a hot time with fun Holiday tunes and stories from Kris Kringle. Please wear your masks and practice social distancing for the show.

This is a free event, but we ask you to bring new, unopened, unwrapped toys, kid’s clothing, games, video games, etc. for The Glimmer of Hope Foundation @glimmerofhopefdn Help make the holidays magical for families with children battling cancer!

12/13: Verona Fire Department Santa Sunday Drive By

Your favorite VFD Elves will be out with Santa. Please stay inside and wave to Santa as they drive by! We are still collecting food for the Holy Spirit Food Pantry so if you’d like to donate, please leave a bag out by the curb for us to collect.

*Please note, no candy canes or dog treats will be handed out this year and will be a contactless event. 

12/17, 5:30pm: Free, Safe Christmas Village & Show at 747 Northfield Ave, West Orange

Come one, come all! The Christmas season is upon us, and The Life Christian Church invites you and your loved ones to our free Christmas village and show! Come experience a sense of awe and wonder as you admire our Christmas village’s original handcrafted window displays dreamt up by a team of local artists and retail designers, complemented by our extravagant light display glowing over Northfield Avenue. Walk through our festive outdoor Christmas Market bustling with local artisans, food trucks, and live music, rekindling the warmth and joy of the season. And sit down and relax to enjoy our Christmas show, led by Broadway stars Haven Burton and Denny Paschall, as these talented performers awaken the hope and joy of the season on stage.

COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed to the highest standard. For more information about TLCC safety procedures, visit https://christmas.tlcc.org/saf.

12/19, 9am: Free Mini Photo Sessions at Verona Park Boathouse

Capture you and your loved ones (furry ones included!) with a fun 30 minute photoshoot at Verona Park with one our local photographers. 

    • Visit our website to view & reserve remaining time slots. 
    • Receive your digital gallery of 40+ high-res photos in less than a week and pay only for the ones you love at $15 each or less. 
  • Use code PATCH for 10% off 5+ photos 

12/20, 5-7pm: Living Nativity | Free | Rain or Shine at Calvary Lutheran Church – 23 S. Prospect St., Verona

Experience the Nativity with real actors in elaborate costumes with live animals, music and refreshments.