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Holiday Celebrations in and around New Jersey

Northern New Jersey
East Rutherford Recreation will hold its 2009 holiday celebration on Friday, Dec. 4, in the Borough Hall park.
The tree lighting will be held at 7 p.m.
The event will include hot chocolate, music, hot pretzels, candy canes and a visit with Santa.

Holiday Lights Spectacular atTurtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Avenue West Orange, NJ
Experience Turtle Back Zoo in the winter as 100,000 bulbs and 50 lit displays illuminate the zoo this holiday season! Regular admission: $7 Adults $3 Children
Beginning Friday, November 27, 28, 29 2009 and then nightly during December until January 2, 2010 (except December 24 & 25th)
Time: 5-9pm

Candlelight Christmas Tour
Friday, December 18 , 2009 6pm-9pm
Main Street Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn
194 Main Street Flemington, NJ
The Inn’s public space will be decorated with fresh greens, twinkling lights and two fresh evergreen trees.
Snowbabies, antique angels and of course, Santa Clauses will grace the dining room.
Merrymakers are invited to visit the grand Manor which will be elaborately festooned for the best of the Holidays.
Hot cider, cheese & crackers along with holiday cookies will be offered to all who come for the tour.
A donation of $5.00 per person is rerquested to supportthe non profit K-9 Soldiers which is a grassroots organization which supports the K9’s & handlers of military working dogs of all four branches of the service, presently serving our Country in Iraq & Afghanistan

Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. Please be prompt!
Call the recreation office on Sunday, Dec. 6 after 11 a.m. for recorded message on possible postponement of Santa’s arrival and/or the tree lighting ceremony due to weather.
Residents are invited to the community sign on Skyline Drive for the lighting of the tree to usher in the holiday season. Refreshments will be served.
Iron Mountain Stage Company and the Lakeland High School Band Ensemble will make appearances.

Ringwood Manor

Victorian Christmas
Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 5 & 6; Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 12 & 13
$7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for children

Tour the Manor, decorated in authentic 19th century holiday decor, with guides in period costumes leading you from room to room. Craft vendors will have hand-made items available- get that perfect last-minute gift!
*please contact Carol Henkel at 973-853-7258 if you are interested in bringing a senior group or other group on Wednesday, December 9th.

Annual tree-lighting ceremony
on Thursday, Dec. 3, at JFK Commons Park (across from the Dover Library) at 6 p.m.
Rain date is Monday, Dec. 7. Share in the holiday caroling by school choral groups.
Hot chocolate will be served, compliments of the Dover Fire Dept.
Children can visit with Santa and receive a treat.

Annual Tree Lighting Event and a Visit With Santa
Montclair Township invites you to the annual holiday tree lighting to take place Friday, December 4, 6:00 p.m., in Church Street Plaza. Listen to music by the Montclair Community Band and enjoy an evening of fun winter entertainment in downtown Montclair. Have a picture taken with Santa Claus - $3.00 with a frame. Please Note: Church Street will be closed to vehicular traffic at 5:00 PM.

Santa Comes to Town
Saturday, December 5, Santa will visit the Business Districts on an MFD fire truck and will have gifts for all youngsters.
11:00 AM - South End Business District (Orange Rd. & Cedar Ave.)
11:30 AM - Walnut Street Lot
12:00 PM - Watchung Plaza
12:30 PM - St. James Church (Bllevue Ave. & Valley Road)
The Montclair Community Band will play at each location, and Santa will have candy and gifts for all youngsters.

Santa's Mailbox
Kids can mail a letter to Santa and will receive a personalized letter in return!
Letters can be mailed to:
205 Claremont Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042

Letters may also be dropped off at the Montclair Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
Please remember to include a return address No letters after December 15, 2009.

South Jersey
Red Bank is alive with exciting activities this holiday season. There is something to help everyone get in the holiday spirit!
The season kicks off on Thanksgiving Day weekend with the annual holiday tree lighting in downtown Red Bank. The Victorian Courtyard on Monmouth Street, with its cobblestone streets and old world charm, is home to the holiday tree, and there couldn’t be a better place. The annual tree lighting ceremony takes place on November 27th. The streets fill with holiday music sung by carolers and the popular holiday group known as Holiday Express. The whole town is lit up with lights and music—what better way to get in the spirit of the holidays!
Staring on Saturday, November 28th, the Red Bank business district is filled with the sounds of live music. From 12 noon until 3pm, shoppers can enjoy the music of traditional carolers, choirs, brass bands, rock and roll, folk, jazz and blues. All these great musicians bring their talent and excitement of the holiday season to the sidewalks of Red Bank in celebration of the holiday season. The music is every Saturday from November 28th to December 19th from 12 noon until 3pm.
If you think the holiday music revved up your holiday spirit, wait until you experience the traditional horse and carriage rides that take place every Saturday in the Red Bank business district. A holiday classic, the horse and carriage rides are a favorite way in Red Bank to enjoy the sights and the sounds of the holiday season. Horse and carriage rides are free and they are available every Saturday from 1pm-5pm beginning on Saturday, November 28th and going through Saturday, December 19th. There are two locations to be picked up—on Bridge Ave, across from the Galleria and in front of Murphy Style Grill at 26 Broad St.
Santa Claus loves spending time in Red Bank during the holidays. On Saturdays and Sundays he spends his time at the Galleria taking pictures with enthusiastic children of all ages! “Pictures with Santa” takes place on Saturdays and Sundays in the Galleria from 12 noon until 4pm staring on November 28th and going through December 20th.
Another fun way to celebrate the season is to take part in the Red Bank Gingerbread Walk. The Gingerbread Walk is new to Red Bank this year. There are 14 participating businesses in downtown Red Bank. Each participating business has professionally decorated gingerbread creations on display for everyone to enjoy. There is also the Red Bank Raffle taking place at stores that are participating in the Gingerbread Walk. People can enter to win an overnight hotel stay at the Oyster Point Hotel, tickets to the Count Basie Theatre, and a Red Bank Gift Cheque Shopping Spree. The more participating stores that you visit, the more chances you have to win, so be sure to check out the gingerbread creations in all 14 participating stores! The participating stores are: Better Housekeeping, Front Street Trattoria, Monmouth Street Emporium, Murphy Style Grill, Pierre Deux, Ricky’s of Red Bank, Riverbank Antiques, Sassy Chic, Selve, SurrayLuggage, Tiffany & Co, Ten Thousand Villages, Vizzini and Company, and White Butterfly at Red Bank.
The Westside Community Group Tree Lighting will be taking place on December 5th at WestsidePark, Drs. James Parker Boulevard & Shrewsbury Avenue.
Red Bank has celebrations for Hanukkah, too! Menorah lighting will take place at the Red Bank Train Station on Sunday,
December 13th at 6pm. Come celebrate the start of the Hanukkah season in downtown Red Bank.

PNC Arts Center Holiday Light Spectacular
PNC Arts Center
Holmdel, NJ

The Light Spectacular usually runs from the end of November through January 2. It is open 5:00pm - 9:00pm 7 days a week.
Each weekend, Red Bank comes alive with holiday spirit. With so many different events and stores to choose from,
there are many reasons to come back every weekend and celebrate the holiday season.
this is one of the most extravagant drive through light displays in the tri - state area.
The spectacular is a 2.5-mile drive through a forest of lights.
Over 5 million lights were used over 225 displays.The display is set up in the parking lot around the Arts Center
on a specially prepared road for the display.
In the premises of the light spectacular, there is a radio station that plays Christmas Carols.

New York City
The 2009 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony is going to be Wednesday, December 2, 2009.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Location:
Rockefeller Center is located in the center of the complex of buildings between 47th and 50th Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues.
The 77th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on December 2, 2009 from 7-9 p.m.
The annual event is televised and features musical performances from a variety of popular artists.
Typically, the Radio City Rockettes perform and there are also ice skaters performing in the Rockefeller Ice Rink.

Special for Disney on Ice Today Only Buy one Get One Free

ONE DAY ONLY - 2 Tickets For The Price Of 1!

Hurry! Offer ends at 11:59 PM on Mon. NOV. 30!
Use Customer Code CYBER

New York Metro Area Performances

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
(Uniondale, NY) - Thu. JAN. 7 - Sun. JAN. 10

Prudential Center
(Newark, NJ) - Thu. JAN. 14 - Mon. JAN. 18

IZOD Center
(East Rutherford, NJ) - Thu. JAN. 21 - Sun. JAN. 24

Santa Claus is Coming to a town in New Jersey

Santa Claus in New JerseySanta Claus will be in Leonia today between 12:30 and 2:30 at Dante's Place an Italian restaurant located at 373 Broad Ave.
Come in for Lunch and get a picture with Santa.
You are welcome to bring your own camera.

for more information about Dante's Place visit:
Dante's Place 373 Broad Ave Leonia, NJ
(201) 592-9071


The Rutherford Holiday Festival is a joyous kick off to the winter holiday season.
The Holiday Festival begins at 9:00 Am and runs throughout the day.

There will be a tree lighting at the library and Story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Twas the night before Christmas) The program will be held in the library auditorium at 4:30 pm.

Activities in the downtown area include:
*Caroling at the Williams Plaza;
*Lighting of the Children's Tree at the Williams Plaza;
*The Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade
*The Children's Village with crafts;
*Entertainment and rides at Lincoln Park;
*A craft sale at the Presbyterian Church;
*Photo's with Santa;
*Horse & carriage rides throughout the downtown;
*A Victorian Tea;
*Lighting of the creche at the Presbyterian Church;
*The Lighting of the Tree at the Library;
* The Night Before Christmas reading by Santa at the Rutherford Public Library.

Pictures from the Holiday Festival

Video of the Community Band performing Christmas Carols

The Santa Train

It's the Holidays! And one of the things I have done the past few years is to take a holiday themed train ride. It always seems like a great idea. Ride the rails along the snowy countryside, everyone is filled with holiday cheer. You sing Christmas Carols together and then Santa comes through and greets all the happy boys and girls. Afterwards you snuggle with you little one sipping Hot Chocolate and eating a cookie as the clack-clack of the trail lulls them off to sleep. Sounds great! right? Unfortunately this has not been the case. It usually goes something like this. We get in the car and drive to some out of the way place park the car and rush to the train. Get on the train and sit our butts on some cold fiberglass seats. (Other Parents must have had similar experiences because there do not seem to be too many smiling faces.)

As the train starts down the track we look out our window to see the countryside rolling by. Unfortunately this year it is not covered in a glistening blanket of white fluffy snow. The Christmas carols are sung by the Santa's elves and a few passengers join in myself included but only at a volume that my daughter and I can hear. Then Santa comes out or at least someone dressed as Santa because inevitably some child will call out that's not the real Santa his beard is fake. Some of the younger children start to cry because they are frightened by the man in red.
After Santa leaves our car we make our trek to the food car to get some snacks, of course that takes us through the gift car. We purchase a train whistle get our snacks and go back to seat. We drink our Hot Chocolate and eat some cookies but instead of relaxing to the clack-clack of the rails I am treated a cacophony of toy train whistles and the voices of sugar charged kids.

At the End of our trip it is not quite the Hallmark holiday special I had planned but I did get a few good pictures to remember the day and my daughter had fun. This year I am determined to get a little closer to the idea.

So here is a checklist to bring the experience closer to the idea
  • Have good directions and a map of where you are going.
  • Book a train ride late enough in the day so that you can get there relaxed
  • Bring a Camera with fully Charged Battery and Plenty of space available on the memory card
  • Thermos with Hot Chocolate (and a baggie of mini-marshmallows)
  • Some Snacks (recommend Oatmeal raisin or Chocolate Chip cookies)
  • Warm Clothes (To make Standing around waiting to get on the train or walking around afterwards more enjoyable) Dress in layers.
  • A Small Blanket for Snuggling up especially if the cars aren't too heated.

Some Tips to make the Santa Train Ride picture perfect.
Pick a good place to go. While there are many Santa trains I find that a ride on a old fashioned steam train can be a better choice for creating that memorable moment than getting on a NJ Transit commuter train, also the old steam trains make that cool Whoo-Whoo sound.

What route will the train take - Is is Scenic country side or an Urban, graffiti strewn route.

Go with friends and family - The more the merrier as long as everyone gets along and is in the holiday spirit. It takes only one Scrooge to ruin the day.
Keep positive, hope for a coating of Snow and enjoy the day.

Here are some Santa Train Rides and Other Holiday Rail Events.

Santa Train RideStrasburg, PA - A little far but a nice weekend trip if you can find the time.
The holiday celebration begins on the platform of the East Strasburg Station as the sounds of the season fill the air and the platform sparkles with lights. Passengers relax as an authentic vintage steam train, warmed by a potbelly stove, travels on a 45-minute journey, past more than 1,000 acres of picturesque farmland on the way to Paradise, PA. As the train chugs down the track, Santa and musicians stroll from

Glen Rock NJ I did this one last year and while the scenery and Train decor was so-so Santa was a hit and the trip was fun
During the approximately 90 minute ride the Santa Claus will Ho Ho Ho his way through the train and visit each child giving them a special gift from his bag. In addition each child can have their picture taken with Santa Claus so they can always remember their ride, so bring your cameras. On board will be Mrs. Claus and several other surprise cartoon characters sure to entertain the kids and make for a great day out for all on board.
For more Info Click Here

Phillipsburg, NJ Did this one a few years back it was okay bit of a car ride for average experience
Santa Train Ride departs weekends in December from Lehigh Junction located in the Historic Main Street area of Phillipsburg New Jersey. This ride features a visit from Santa on the train Website: or call 1-877-train-ride.
Purchase Polar Express Tickets

Other Santa Train ride in and around NJ can be found at:

East Windsor Connecticut
I have never been on this but always wanted to try it
Winterfest has been a tradition in East Windsor for many years and a favorite of museum visitors of all ages. Some visitors return every year from all over the area to see the museum all decked out with holiday spirit.
Ride through the Tunnel of Lights on the electric sleigh, or choose an enclosed heated trolley. Don’t forget to visit Santa in the Visitor Center, where he’ll be holding court among the exciting model railroad displays.
Runs weekend evenings from 5-9 PM plus other select Weekdays
See Connecticut Trolley for more information

The 2009 Macy's Day Parade in NYC

2009 will be the 83rd year of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the celebration is all set to be on a grand scale, one that is certainly going to surpass all the parades that have been held over the years.

The Macy's Thanksgiving parade is counted to be among one of the biggest on-street parties to be held in New York.

The parade will feature 1,500 dancers, cheerleaders, singers and performers; 15 giant character balloons; 800 clowns; 35 novelty or ornament balloons, balloonheads and balloonicles; 24 floats; 10 marching bands; and a slew of celebrity performers.

Parade Route

The Parade will begin at 77th Street and Central Park West, marching south on Central Park West. It will then turn east onto Central Park South, instead of going down Broadway.
When the Parade reaches 7th Avenue the procession will turn south at the corner of Central Park South and march to 42nd Street.
It will then travel east along 42nd Street from 7th to 6th Avenues. At 6th (Avenue of the the Americas), the parade will veer south and march to 34th Street.
At 34th Street the procession will head west to Herald Square, ending at 34th Street and 7th Avenue.

The best Place to view the Parade is the are between 61st and 72nd Streets on Central Park West

New Balloons this Year are the Pilsbury Dough Boy, a Skating Ronald McDonald and a New Sleigh for the Santa Float

If you are planning to Eat along the route, during or after the parade reservations are suggested. You can use

The Parade starts at 9:00 but spectators start showing up around 6:30 AM

Local Holiday fun for the Family

Wayne - Wayne’s major holiday parade this year — and every year for the past 52 — will take place Saturday, Nov. 21, starting at 9:30 a.m., in Preakness Shopping Center, Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne.

The parade will feature the marching bands of both Wayne high schools, clowns, antique cars, Wayne’s fire and emergency apparatus, the Passaic County mounted deputies and other musical attractions.

After welcoming Santa on the Saturday after Thanksgiving 49 times, the 2006 parade began a new tradition by welcoming him to Preakness Shopping Center on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Clearview Cinema gets into the holiday spirit by offering a free showing of the 2008 children’s film "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It will be shown once, at 10:30 a.m. on parade day; children will be admitted first-come, first-served. Attendance is limited to the capacity of the theatre. An adult must accompany very young children. A Wayne police escort leads the parade into the shopping center. Mayor Chris Vergano will serve as grand marshal, riding in an open antique car. Other antique cars on display, driven by members of the North Jersey chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, date back to the early years of the 20th century.

Marching bands of Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley high schools will be the centerpieces of the parade. Shriners from the Salaam Masonic Temple in Livingston will provide entertainment. The temple’s string band, similar to the mummers’ bands that are featured in many parades in Philadelphia, will be playing traditional holiday music as the parade completes two circles around the parking lot.

Accompanying the paraders and then mingling with the parade watchers will be young Wayne residents dressed as popular fairy tale characters or cartoon figures. They will distribute candy to children.

Chiqui de Clown will provide pre-march entertainment and then create animal balloons for the children in Clearview’s lobby after the parade.

Another decades-long tradition at Preakness is an opportunity for youngsters to present their Christmas wishes to Santa Claus. At the conclusion of the parade, Santa will be in the lobby of the Clearview Cinema, where children take turns delivering their gift wish list and have a picture taken with him. The free digital print will be immediately available.

The shopping center’s Merchants’ Association and Hekemian & Co., the corporate landlord, sponsor this free service as well as the parade itself. For further details, call toll free 1-800-785-5710.

The shopping center, with more than 40 shops is located at the intersection of Hamburg Turnpike, Berdan Avenue and Alps Road in Wayne. Macy’s, the anchor department store, occupies more than 81,000 square feet. A Super Stop & Shop supermarket occupies in excess of 61,000 square feet.

Stroller Recall

Maclaren USA Recalls to Repair Strollers Following Fingertip Amputations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Maclaren Strollers

Units: About one million

Distributor: Maclaren USA, Inc., of South Norwalk, Conn.

Hazard: The stroller’s hinge mechanism poses a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard to the child when the consumer is unfolding/opening the stroller.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 15 reports of children placing their finger in the stroller’s hinge mechanism, resulting in 12 reports of fingertip amputations in the United States.

Description: This recall involves all Maclaren single and double umbrella strollers. The word “Maclaren” is printed on the stroller. The affected models included Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller.

Sold at: Babies“R”Us, Target and other juvenile product and mass merchandise retailers nationwide from 1999 through November 2009 for between $100 and $360.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled strollers and contact Maclaren USA to receive a free repair kit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Maclaren USA toll-free at (877) 688-2326 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at