Its the most magical time of the year at the Jersey Shore and there are so many holiday activities and light shows that you don’t want to miss out on before the year ends. Summer might still be a few months away but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy all that the state has to offer all year round. We’ve put together a list of 15 different light shows to watch or drive thru to get you into the holiday spirit.
Over 120 Christmas Trees made from over 50,000 Christmas lights, magically float on Lake Meone in the center of Historic Smithville. The moment darkness falls, an orchestrated show of lights and music is played out across the lake. The lights seem to dance and chase each other to the music all the while reflecting of the water’s surface. This show can be seen from either side of the village as well as the bridge through January 5th. 615 E Moss Mill Rd, Smithville / https://www.historicsmithville.com/smithville-events/lightshow-events/
Local Businesses to check out near Smithville this Holiday Season:
- Village Sweet Shoppe – Satisfy your sweet tooth on your next visit to Historic Smithville by visiting The Sweet Shoppe, located across from the Smithville Inn.
- Woof Woof Barkery & Pet Boutique – the shop is filled with homemade dog treats, pet accessories, cat treats and unique gifts for all. The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful!
Celebrate the season at Six Flags Great Adventure as their five-story tree comes to life in Holiday Magic. Feel the warmth and magic of the holiday season as you enjoy elaborately and whimsically decorated sections of the park — each with their own, unique color palette, décor, scents, and sounds! Don’t miss charming photo opportunities around every corner. 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson Township / https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/events/holiday-in-the-park-2023
- GianMarco’s – Relaxed, rustic Italian eatery set near Six Flags offering pizza, pasta, Italian entrees and subs.
- Tommy’s Inn At Millstone – Family restaurant offering hearty American meals & happy hour in a woodsy, lodge-style setting.
This time of the year, Storybook Land becomes even more magical looking. The best time to see Santa in his Chimney is at 5pm when the lights turn on. This 20-acre amusement park with a classic children’s stories and nursery rhyme theme has been decorating with Christmas lights for the past 30 years! 6415 E Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township / https://storybookland.com/christmas
- Tacos El Tio – Upbeat eatery dishing out familiar Mexican grub and margaritas in their colorful restaurant.
- Naruto – Featuring the Naruto Roll as our signature dish, Naruto’s talented chefs meticulously create and serve both delicious entrees and exemplary dining. Their menu features high-quality sushi and Asian fusion dishes that excite.
Harvest Christmas memories in South Jersey at Johnson’s Corner Farm. Their “Christmas Musical Light Show Hayride” gets you into the holiday spirit as it takes your friends and family on a trip around the farm. You will be surrounded by a light show set to your family’s favorite Christmas tunes. Celebrate the season as you view the Farm with Decorated Barns, Tractors and Farmhouses. 133 Church Rd. Medford / https://www.johnsonsfarm.com/family-activities/holiday-activities/
- Ginger – Ginger Asian Cuisines is a cozy and hip establishment offers a casual atmosphere perfect for lunch or dinner.
- Luce – This quaint, fine dining Italian restaurant offers sushi, fish specialties, raw bar, and hand made mozzarella cheese. The bar has a wide range of fine wines to please anyone. If you are looking for a place hang your hat and feel at home, visit Luce!
Magic of Lights is a dazzling, drive-through holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Experience Magic of Lights from the comfort and safety of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path around one of New Jersey’s most iconic venues. 116 Garden State Pkwy, Holmdel / https://magicoflights.com/events/newjersey/
- Four Bees Bakery – specializes in custom cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more all made fresh to order from scratch.
- Yesterday’s Restaurant & Banquet Center – American surf ’n’ turf and Italian red-sauce fare are served at this refined yet comfy Hazlet staple.
Join Demarest Farms during the most magical time of year and experience the joy and wonder of the Orchard of Lights. Take your vehicle on a guided tour through 32 acres of brilliant holiday light displays, warm up by the fire pit and enjoy hot cocoa and treats in their retail farm market. Take pictures with Santa, make your own S’mores and listen to Santa’s singing Reindeer! 244 Wierimus Rd. Hillsdale / https://orchardoflights.com/
- Bacari Grill – Upscale eatery earns buzz for its creative Italian fare and craft cocktails served in a modern environment. If you are seeking a relaxing, tasteful atmosphere or a creative cocktail at the bar, or venue for your special occasion, Bacari is the perfect choice!
- Mike’s Deli & Catering – Enjoy the time-honored tradition of this famous neighborhood main stay; serving classic deli fare and new recipes to tantalize the taste buds of everyone who comes in. Their catering menu is extensive, and our prices are very affordable.
Take a winter stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this holiday season under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters. Celebrate the season of giving by bringing donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats. This special event is set to the backdrop of some animals. The focus is on an evening stroll outdoors through light displays and photo ops with friends and family, featuring some fun seasonal activities such as a s’mores station, Grinch weekend and photos with Santa! 560 Northfield Ave. West Orange / https://turtlebackzoo.com/discover/holiday-lights-spectacular/
- Mama Dag’s Seafood & Pasta Bar – Mama Dag’s proudly serves elevated Italian seafood-focused fare in a casual, convivial setting reminiscent of an old-school NYC clam bar … or, if you’re Italian American, your family’s basement kitchen!
- St. Cloud Deli & Catering – The primary goal at St. Cloud Deli and Catering, is to serve you with high-quality and mouthwatering American food. Their salads are created daily with passion and are sure to please. Experience the splendid atmosphere and join them in West Orange to find out what all the buzz is about.
Winter Wonderlights is New Jersey’s Largest Animated Holiday Light Show Drive-Thru with over 1.5 million lights animated to some of your favorite holiday tunes. They have 30′ Christmas trees, 4 magical tunnels, a tribute to our first responders & US Armed Forces and tons of other stunning, larger-than-life holiday themed displays for the entire family – all synchronized to the music playing in your car! 655 Cranbury Rd, East Brunswick – https://winterwonderlightshows.com/
- Dootsie’s Kitchen – Brings the authentic flavors of Southern-style cooking to delight your taste buds. From their signature sweet potato cornbread to the 12 flavors of delicious wings, every dish is a labor of love.
- East Brunswick Chinese Restaurant – Come enjoy the delicious, fresh, healthy and nutritious Chinese Appetizers, Soup, Chow Mein, Lo Mein, Mei Fun, Chicken, Beef and Seafood.
Join Diggerland for their Drive-Thru Holiday Light Show and experience a light show like no other. Drive a course through America’s only construction theme & water park to witness lights, holiday displays, tunnels, and our very own radio station to fill your car with holiday spirit. Diggerland USA will be broadcasting holiday tunes through your car speakers and throughout the park. Enjoy music, fun information and more! 100 Pinedge Drive, West Berlin https://diggerlandusa.com/special-events/holiday-light-show/
- Chocolat Michel Cluizel, Store & Chocolate Tours – Discover the history of chocolate and how it evolved throughout the centuries on a privately guided chocolate tour. See the wonders of the cocoa Plantation and learn the craftsmanship of Cluizel French chocolate.
- Red, White & Blue Thrift Store – Find an amazing selection at this thrift store in West Berlin. Daily sales on a huge inventory of merchandise with thousands of items arriving daily.
The 10th Annual Light Show and Christmas Village at Skylands Stadium features a Drive-Thru Lightfest, photos with Santa, live music, S’mores station, local artisan shops, and seasonal food and drinks. This one mile long drive thru is Sussex County’s family entertainment destination and features over two million lights! 94 Championship Place, Augusta, https://skylandsstadium.com/lightshow/
- Yetter’s Diner – classic diner offering a variety of affordable menu options for everyone. They have a delightful selection of cuisine including steaks, seafood, Greek, vegetarian and more.
- Fat Daddy’s – Fat Daddy’s is a family-owned and family-operated business that have been longtime residents of Sussex County. They specialize in Cheesesteaks, Shakes and more.
GLOW at Washington Township is your luminous destination for a seasonal drive-through Christmas display like no other. Nestled in the heart of Washington Township, their enchanting event illuminates the holiday season with a breathtaking spectacle of lights. GLOW is there to kindle the magic and warmth of the season, creating memories that will shine brightly in your heart. 221 Berlin-Cross Keys Rd, Williamstown / https://www.visitglow.com/glow-light-show
- The Breakfast Nook – Family oriented and chef inspired bagel shop/ breakfast eatery. Serving all of South Jersey while promoting local businesses and local artists for our gallery hallway. Featuring End Grain Roasters coffee, cold brew, and nitro cold brew.
- The Jersey G.O.A.T – dining destination that celebrates the best of South Jersey’s culinary heritage while pushing boundaries and redefining what it means to be the G.O.A.T.
This local tradition returns for the 2023 Christmas season with new location. The Christmas Light Show returns for its 17th year of live and in-person shows on the Connelly-Campion-Wright Building in Belmar. The light show is free but donations are recommended to help support RallyCap Sports. The Show takes place December 17th at 6pm. 704 Belmar Plaza, Belmar / http://www.thechristmaslightshow.com/
- Klein’s Fish Market – Klein’s has been a family-owned business for over 93 years! Come and experience Klein’s Fish Market and Waterside Café conveniently located with scenic Shark River views. There’s something for everyone at Klein’s with their vast selection of fresh seafood, soups, salads, burgers, and pasta dishes.
- Miss Belmar – Come aboard one of the largest, cleanest and fastest ships in all of NJ for an unforgettable experience! Miss Belmar has been in business for more than 85 years, so join them for a fishing or whale watch tour.
Celebrate the holiday season at the Novins Planetarium! Now through January 1st, enjoy four holiday-themed shows that will make your season bright! The Laser Holidays (Family Show) features classic holiday favorites like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” modern hits such as “Jingle Bell Rock” and unique renditions of timeless songs. “Laser Holidays” is a fun experience for everyone and gives new meaning to the term “holiday lights” – holiday LASER lights! Ocean County College / https://www.ocean.edu/planetarium/
- Dario’s Pizza – Sample the best pizza Toms River has to offer along with pasta, sandwiches, and other side dishes. They’ve been serving the local community for a while now, so you can rely on them providing great pizza.
- Yellow Brick Ice Cream Carousel – Has been bringing frozen treats and joy to the Jersey Shore since its inception in 1995. In addition to cups and cones they have grab and go cases with ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, brownie pizzas and other novelty dessert items for that special occasion!
The Christmas season is a particularly beautiful time of the year in Cape May. The Washington Street Mall is dotted with lights, greenery, and decorations, and many of the historic homes and hotels around town decorate in unique ways. Victorian Cape May captures all the charm of a Dickens village at Christmastime. It’s the perfect destination for immersing yourself in the spirit of the season. Add some jingle to your holidays with a magical getaway during Christmas in Cape May now thru January 1st. Cape May, NJ / https://visitnj.org/cape-may-holidays
- The Blue Pig Tavern – Updated American fare served on the patio or in the warm and rustic dining room of an 1800s hotel. Known for hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner favorites, its name derives from a gambling parlor sited in Congress Hall in the mid-1800s.
- Ugly Mug Bar & Restaurant – Stop on in, grab a pint and take a look up. See a hundred year old tradition of mugs on the ceiling being preserved! The mugs belong to members of the Ugly Mug Club.
Looking for the perfect gifts for your family and friends this year? Stop stressing and check out our “Ultimate Jersey Shore Holiday Gift Guide for Everyone On Your List” Blog post!