Safe Holiday Fun


Ella Perini, Staff Writer

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed so much of what we perceive to be normal. Things are constantly changing, and with that, people are finding new ways to enjoy themselves. With the 2020 holiday season readily approaching, many are unsure what that will look like. Will we still be able to celebrate our favorite festive season? Well, I am here to assure you that no matter what the pandemic brings in the coming winter months, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the Christmas season while staying safe, and staying within the state borders. Here are some of my favorites!

  1. Orchard of Lights: First up we have the Orchard of Lights located in Hillsdale, NJ. A mere 20 minute drive from Hawthorne, this event takes you through a tour of Demarest Farms, during a magical time of year in which it is adorned with lights. You can fill up your car with mask wearing friends (bonus points if you play your favorite holiday tunes) and take the guided tour through the gorgeous and festive 32 acre property. When you’re done, you can warm up by the fire pit and enjoy hot cocoa and other treats at the retail farm market. This event will be open starting November 24 through December 29, so I fully recommend you head over and check it out.
  2. Long Branch Holiday Bazaar: If you love holiday shopping, then this event is the one for you! Located in Pier Village in Long Branch, this event is completely free for entry, and takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting on November 27 until December 20. This open-air outdoor market is the perfect place to start your holiday shopping! The market is under a heated tent, so very pandemic friendly. It features vendors, holiday workshops, festive decor, holiday music, food, drinks, and more.
  3. Winder Village at the Red Mill: The Winter Village at Red Mill is a three-day outdoor tented, heated winter craft market located in Clinton, NJ. It takes place only from Friday, November 27 through Sunday, November 29, so be sure not to miss it! This event features more than 40 local craft artisans, activities, and food trucks. While you’re there, you can explore the Festival of Trees, tour the historic grounds, and listen to Christmas carolers. 
  4. Cape May Tree Lighting Ceremony: This event would be especially enjoyable in a family with young kids. Everyone knows and loves Cape May, and while it is a bit of a hike from Hawthorne, this gorgeous town decked out for the holidays is something well worth the trip. This mask mandatory, socially distanced event will take place on Saturday, December 5 at the Rotary Bark Bandstand. This festive family event will feature food, carolers, and even a visit from Santa himself!
  5. Skylands Stadium Christmas Lights Show: Skyland Stadium’s annual Christmas light show will make its return in 2020! Located in Augusta, this event takes place November 20 all the way through January 3. It features a drive through light show and breathtaking displays set to joyous holiday music. You can see more than 2 million dazzling lights, walk the Outdoor Village and Winter Carnival, or even take a spin on the ice rink. There will also be food and beverages, including the famous “hot chocolate bar.”