Many local businesses and attractions in New Jersey get into the holiday spirit throughout the month of December, putting on uniquely elaborate light displays. Spend an evening walking through hundreds of thousands of lights on the golf course at Crystal Springs Resort, or sit back and enjoy a festive show from a Christmas trolley in Cape May. Book a stay at a vacation rental in New Jersey today. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and candy cane while you venture through breathtaking holiday displays in these New Jersey cities and towns.

1. Storybook Land’s Christmas Fantasy with Lights, Egg Harbor Township

The Storybook Land amusement park in Egg Harbor Township is a popular attraction year-round, but from mid-November through late December, it becomes a magical winter wonderland. The enchanted fairytale village of Storybook Land features fanciful castles and cottages straight from classic stories of your childhood. During the late autumn season, the village comes alive, as it’s decked out in over a million Christmas lights. At five o’clock each evening, Santa himself comes to the park to light the lights after sunset. All rides and attractions at Storybook Land remain open, so you can get an even better view of the lights from the kid’s roller coaster or the Tick-Tock Clock Drop. If you want to get an early jump on your holiday festivities, come to the park on opening night (usually the second Saturday in November) to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to the park as they arrive in a fun Christmas-themed parade.

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2. Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show, Augusta

For a unique take on a scenic Christmas drive, head straight from your Augusta vacation rental to Skylands Stadium, where you can drive right through the annual Christmas light show. A winding 1-mile stretch of the stadium takes you through bright tunnels of light and past holiday-themed scenes, with lights arranged in the shapes of penguins, snowflakes, and even a nativity scene. Sing along to the holiday tunes that are played during opening hours while you drive slowly through this winter wonderland. After your ride, head to the Christmas Village in the Stadium to enjoy even more attractions on foot. Stop by Thorlabs S’mores Station to enjoy a sweet campfire treat, and get your photo taken with Santa or next to the giant snowman. The Village even includes a skating rink where you can warm up with a few laps around the ice.

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3. The Winter Light Walk at Crystal Springs Resort, Hamburg

In late autumn, the Grand Cascades Natural-Grass Putting Course at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg is transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland. Enjoy a cup of complimentary hot chocolate while you wander the grounds, checking out the imaginative light displays. The path begins at the Grand Cascades Lodge. Discover candy canes, a dragon, a mystical golden swan and more while you walk through this well-maintained golf green, serenaded by Christmas music. The gingerbread village and Christmas light New York skyline make for great photo opportunities. Enjoy the romance of the season, and be sure to bundle up so you can experience all this attraction has to offer without catching a chill. The Winter Light Walk is open every evening from late November until New Year’s Day.

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4. Holiday Lights Trolley Tour, Cape May

Book a vacation rental in the historic town of Cape May to experience Christmas cheer the way it was a century ago. Book a Holiday Lights Trolley Ride and sit in comfort as you enjoy a variety of creative festive light displays. Purchase your tickets at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Rides leave from either the Washington Street Mall or the Physick Estate on Washington Street. Enjoy a 30-minute tour as the trolley winds its way through Cape May’s Historic District. Experience beautiful light displays on Victorian-style inns, shop fronts and homes, while a narrator regales you with tales of Victorian Christmas. Learn all about the holiday traditions of a bygone era, and enjoy raucous a caroling sing-along session during the trip. This Christmas tour is available from mid-November to the end of December.

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5. Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular, West Orange

What’s more fun than a trip to the zoo? A Christmas-themed trip to the zoo, of course. Head to the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange in late autumn to experience the joy of the season with a host of wild friends. A variety of displays, including animal-shaped Christmas lights placed in and around the exhibits, illuminate the zoo while you wander through the grounds. The Spectacular is open on weekends only from mid-November to mid-December, and daily during the evenings from mid-December until Christmas. Take a trip from your Essex County vacation rental to the zoo to enjoy the special themed events that coincide with the light display, including story time with Mrs. Claus at the zoo education center. Dress warmly, and bring a thermos of hot cocoa to enjoy the outdoor exhibits. Donations of non-perishable foods or winter jackets in good condition are welcomed.

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