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Holiday Events and Traditions 2012

The Holidays are here and for some, "The most wonderful time of the year" can be the most stressful time of the year.
There is a little more than a month till we ring in the New Year and so much to do between decorating and gift getting and holiday get togethers it can be overwhelming. Or with a little planning it can be the stuff that creates some lifelong memories.
So don't let the stress of the Holidays turn you into a Scrooge take a pause and get out and enjoy some holiday events.

If you event is outside here are some tips to make the most of it.
Get there early enough to find close parking. Especially if you are going with young children, walking a few blocks and standing around can equal crankiness.
If your children are 3 or younger use a stroller or a wagon to tote them around and provide a place for you to store items.
Make sure you have your cellphone to coordinate meeting up or regroup.

Dress warm and in layers. Have a hat, gloves, scarf, warm socks, and shoes nothing can make an outdoor event miserable like cold toes and fingers.

Scope out a nearby restaurants and coffee shops for a break from the cold or bathroom break (An app like yelp can be helpful)

Bring snacks and thermos with hot chocolate.

If you are going into NYC and are driving know where you are going to park and how you are going to get from place to place.
If you are taking the Ferry in I highly recommend the NYC waterway App which is a lifesaver for getting your bus back to the ferry terminal. You can even purchase you ferry tickets ahead of time and show the phone screen at the boat.

Hopefully these tips will make you event more enjoyable and now onto the events

Live Shows

The Nutcracker - Ballet

David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center
Now through December 30th
Best Priced Seats starting at $29 are 11/29,12/4,5,6,11,12 (Mat & Eve) or 212-496-0600

Paramus Catholic High School 425 Paramus Road Paramus NJ
Featuring the Internationally acclaimed Donetsk Ballet
Dec 7&8 at 7:00 PM Dec 9th at 2 PM
Tickets are $35-$40

Arts and Crafts Shows
Saturday December 1 9 am-4 pm
Christmas Craft boutique & bake sale
St. Philip the Apostle school
797 Valley Road Clifton NJ
Free Admission over 40 Vendors

Sunday December 2 10 am -4 pm
Indoor Arts and Craft Show
Clifton Jewish Center
18 Delaware Street Clifton NJ

December 1-2 11 am - 5 pm
Hoboken City Hall Holiday Craft Fair
94 Washington Street
for more information goto or call 201-239-6639

House Tours

Van Riper-Hopper House Museum
Dutch American Holidays-Living History
Nov. 30, Dec. 1, Dec. 2 12:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Period decorations, music, holiday food and games of the past at Van Riper-Hopper House Museum
533 Berdan Ave., Wayne, NJ 07470
Admission:$5 adult; $1 child

Candlelight Christmas Tour and Tea
Saturday Dec 1
Tea at 2:00 and Tour betwenn 3:30 - 7:00 pm
$25 per person
For tickets and information, call 732-449-0577 or 732-449-9090

Model Trains
Ramapo Valley Model Railroad Club Holiday Show
12/2, 12/9 and 12/16 1-4 pm
620 Cliff Ave Ho-Ho-Kus NJ
Annual Holiday open house featuring more than 500 feet of mainline track

Holiday Model Railroad Sound and Light Show
11/30,12/2 and 12/7-9
295 Jefferson Ave Union NJ 908-964-9724

Train Festival
Camden Children's Garden
3 Riverside Drive Camden NJ
Model Trains, Crafts, and a reading of The Polar Express
Check dates

Real Trains

The Santa Train
December 8, 2012
Westfield station ( between North Avenue and South Avenue at the foot of Summit Avenue)
Raritan station (between Thompson Street and Anderson Street, 1/4 mile south of Route 202
The Jersey Central Chapter, in conjunction with Santa and Mrs. Claus is operating a Santa Claus Special for the kids.  The train departs from Raritan at 8:30 AM and also from the eastbound platform (off South Avenue) of the Westfield Station in Westfield at 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. There is no afternoon departure from Raritan. The trip features Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus along with a few of Santa's helpers. There are sing-a-longs, candy canes and coloring books for the kids. In addition, each car on the train features a drawing for a trainset; that's ten train sets per trip! The trains operate west to Highbridge, NJ and back, a two hour trip. Santa pays a visit to each car and is more than happy to pose for pictures with the kids. This year, tickets are only $14.00 for adults and $12.00 for children age 1 to 12. Children under 1 are FREE. So join Santa and the crew for two hours of fun and Christmas joy!!!
To Purchase tickets & infomation visit  JCRHS Hotline (908) 233-3603 or email at

Whippany Railway Museum's 21st Annual Santa Claus Special
The Santa Claus Special departs the Whippany station on:Sunday, December 2 Saturday, December 8 Sunday, December 9 Saturday, December 15 Sunday, December 16, 2012
The 10-mile, 45-minute round trip excursion from Whippany to Roseland and return allows riders time to enjoy the Spirit of the Season and the merriment on the train. All of our past trips over the last 20 years have been virtual sell-outs, and seeing the excited faces of the children as they climb aboard the Christmas Holiday-decorated trains, ensures an afternoon of Family Fun. During each excursion, Santa makes his way through the train and visits with every child onboard. Santa's helpers follow along, giving the kids a special gift from Santa. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures of the kids with Santa, so they can always remember their day onboard the train! order tickets on line at Any available walk up tickets go on sale at the Museum ticket office each operating day at 12 Noon.
(973) 887-8177

Tree Lightnings and Holiday Festivals 
Nov 28th 80th Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center
The 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 with live and taped performances from 7-9 PM, at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues. Tens of thousands will crowd the sidewalks for the event and hundreds of millions will watch it live across the globe. The Tree will remain lit and can be viewed until 11pm on January 7th, 2013.

Holiday Light Show
Nov 26-Jan 2
Lake Meone in Historic Smithville
615 East Moss Mill Road
Over 100 Christmas trees float magically on the lake in this orchestrated show of lights and music

Festival of Trees
Red Mill Museum Village
56 Main Street Clinton NJ
Dozens of Beautifully decorated trees dot the village

Season of Light
Sat & Sun now through 12/30 3-4 PM
Newark Museum
49 Washington Street Newark NJ
Holiday Planetarium show traces many of the worlds holiday customs
From Santa Claus and the Yiule Log to Christmas Tree Lights and the Hanukah menorah

Christmas in Cape May
Now through Jan/3
Seaside Town is transformed into a Dickens Holiday Village Christmas Celebration

Christmas Tree and Neapolitian Baroque Creche
Metropolitian Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave NYC
A vivid eighteenth Centure Nativity scene and lighting ceremonies

Annual Origami Tree
American Museum of Natural History 79th Street NYC
The display pays tribute to some of the museums biggest and best
including the Blue Whale, Dinosaurs, and the Space Shuttle

Family day at the Montclair Art Museum
3 South Mountain Ave Montclair NJ
December 2nd
Participate in a day of Museum wide art activities

Downtown for the Hoilidays in Ridgewood
11/30 5:30 pm -9 pm (Lighting takes place at 7:30)
Annual Tree Lighting ceremony
Live music and theatrical Performances
Food Games and lots of Holiday Cheer

Happy Holidays

Harry Potter Spells

If you are going to be a character from Harry Potter for Halloween this year. Why not get into the spirit and cast a few spells while you are in character.
If you want to repair an object just say: Accio Repairo.
To levitate an object say: Wingardium Leviosa.
To open locked objects say: Alohomora.
Expecto Patronum  Conjures an incarnation of the caster's innermost positive feelings, such as joy or hope, known as a Patronus.
Here is a video with All Eight Harry Potter Movies (Just the spells)

RideYourBike: West Milford Pump Track

Got Kids who like to ride their bikes. Why not pay a visit to the West Milford Pump track where your little Kenevil can challenge themselves and hone their skills.
Dont quite know what a pumptrack is click here to get all the details
RideYourBike: West Milford Pump Track

Boo at the Zoo 2012

Boo is Back!
Celebrate a New York Halloween tradition
Come visit our bats, tiger cubs, and creepy-crawly critters and enjoy the crisp fall weather at the zoo. Take the family on a hayride, explore a Haunted Mansion, and enjoy music, magic and more. Treat stations around the park will sweeten your visit. Buy four or more tickets online and get a free limited edition Boo at the Zoo Snake Hat
weekends September 29-October 28, 2012.

Creepy Hollows Hayride Enjoy a thrilling hay ride beneath a canopy of beautiful fall foliage past the Birds of Prey exhibit and through the animated town of "Creepy Hollows." The ride includes a look at an abandoned town where anything can happen, so watch out for crashing crates, shaky houses, and strange creatures. The adventure is accompanied by spooky Halloween music. Hayride admission is included with Total Experience Tickets.

The Haunting at Habitat Mansion The Habitat Mansion, once owned by wildlife conservationist Dr. Benton Broome, is said to be the most haunted landmark in the Bronx Zoo. Dr. Broome left his legacy of preserving animal wildlife, habitats and conserving the earth's precious ecological resources to his son, Dusty. But Dusty is not up for the challenge and the ghost of his father wants to ensure the memory of all endangered species is not forgotten. In the Haunted Habitat mansion, ghosts of the past, visions of extinct animals, and the messages of Dr. Broome's ghostly house servants encourage guests to remember the importance of protecting wildlife from the threat of extinction. Mansion admission is included with Total Experience Tickets.

Costume Parade Visitors can join the enchantment of a Halloween Parade. Hand-made puppets and props built by master costumers will be part of the fun as participants march through the zoo alongside a giant python and 8 foot witch on stilts as well as other creatures from the Alice Farley Dance Company. Time: Noon & 2:00 p.m. Location: Starts at Zoo Center

Hay Maze Let yourself get lost at the zoo with a Halloween maze filled with sudden starts, stops and lots of adventure. Purchase tickets online

Open house at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

October 6th there is an Open house at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Fun events and attractions for the whole family there are over twenty exhibit tent and lectures throughout the day visit house for more information.

Archery for Kids

With the recent popularity of  Brave and the Hunger Games. Interest in Archery has also grown in popularity with kids of all ages. According to Targeteers located at  Saddle Brook, NJ they have seen a rise in parents requesting lessons for their kids.

By taking lessons with a certified instructor your child will learn the basics with a focus on proper form and safety.

To setup a lesson at Targeteers give them a call at: (201) 843-7788 .

They are located at
101 Route 46 West
Saddle Brook, NJ

Related Links

Jersey Shore Guide

Point Pleasant, NJ
Here is a handy one page  guide to the Jersey Shore from

Wildwood Waterpark Deal - Today Only!

Wildwood SplashZone Set records as you zip down the Speed Dominator, and get your thrills barreling down the enclosed Midnight Run. Then relax a little on the winding Rivy's River ride or hanging out under The Giant Bucket. Just watch out if you hear the bell ring — that bucket's full, and the water's going somewhere!
Big kids aren't the only ones who get to have fun. Infants and toddlers rule in the shallow waters of Zoe Zone (and parents stay worry-free).

$17 for one pass or $64 for four passes to Splash Zone Water Park

Click for Deal

Things to do today

The town of Ridgewood is bustling with activities. There is a bike rodeo at Graydon pond from 9-12 and the Ridgewood YMCA is hosting a health fair all day long with lots of activities for the whole family including a magician and a chance to tryout various classes.
For more information go to

Winter Fun

Winter Fun in New Jersey - Snow tubing

Winter on the East Coast this year has been missing one key ingredient. Snow!
Unlike last year, where we received a fresh helping almost weekly.
This year has failed to produce any measurable snow.
But rest assured through the marvel of today's technology you can have some fun in the snow and ice (without the hassle of driving in it)

If you live in Bergen County Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah NJ offers a tubing experience close to home Everyday of the week.
Tubing sessions are 2 hours and range from $18 on weekdays and $24 during holidays and weekends.
* Save 2 dollars on your pass when you purchase online for more information visit:

The drop Zone Tube Park at Mountain Creek offers a great 2 hour tubing session
Thursday & Friday Between 4pm-9pm
$20 per person, per 2 hour session

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 10am-9pm
$25 per person, per 2 hour session

Tickets for the Drop Zone Tubing Park are sold at the Red Tail Lodge Ticket Windows.
Tubing is accessed via Shuttle Bus from the Red Tail Lodge Transportation Center.
Your session time starts 30 minutes from time of purchase.

Family Tubing Night
Bring the family (up to 6 people) out for tubing between the hours of 5pm - 8pm on select Fridays for just $59/ 2 hour session.
Call 973-827-2000 or goto for more information

Visit: for a kids specific site with Games, Information and more.

Ice Skating in NJ
If skating is more you speed there are a number of indoor skating rinks in NJ that offer public skate hours

The Ice House in Hackensack NJ
Public Skate Schedule
Saturday 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM and 8:00pm-10:00pm
Sunday 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Admission Prices
Adults: $9.00
Children (11 & Under) & Senior Citizens $8.00
Skate Rental $4.00

Skylands Ice World in Stockholm NJ (15 minutes from Mountain Creek)
For Public Skate schedule click here
Admission and rental fees
Adult 13+ $9.00
Child 12 & under $7.00
Seniors 55+ $7.00
Skate Rental $3.00
Helmet Rental $3.00

Ice Vault in Wayne NJ
For Public Skate Schedule click here
Admission and rental fees
Adults $9.00
Children $8.00
Seniors $8.00
Skate Rental $4.00

Mackay Park Ice Arena Englewood NJ
I really like this one it is an indoor open air rink
Public Skate Times
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 12:00 - 2:00 pm
Saturdays 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Sundays 1:30 - 5:30 pm
Admission and rental fees
Adults: $10
Children (under 12): $9
Seniors (62 and over): $9