NEW JERSEY - There are so many fun, family-friendly holiday activities it’s hard to pack them all in. However, if you’re looking for something simple that’s a throwback to your own childhood, make time to see these fabulous light displays that really get folks in the holiday mood.
- Jenkinson’s Sea of Lights - Summer isn’t the only time to hit the boardwalk in Point Pleasant. The Jenkinson’s Aquarium and the boardwalk become a winter wonderland complete with dazzling lights and more on December 15, 16, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Enjoy games, treats, crafts and see Santa along with other special visitors.
- Turtle Back Zoo - Head to West Orange and take a walk through the Turtle Back Zoo in the evening to see spectacular light displays and take a peek at what the animals do at night. This event is free though donations of canned goods, unwrapped toys or coats are welcome and appreciated. The display is open from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. December 11 through January 3 except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
- Cape May - Spend the day in this historic treasure by the sea to see stunning Victorian homes, inns and hotels dressed in their holiday finest. There is also shopping, trolley rides and more against the backdrop of the Atlantic.
- Johnny Hazlet’s Holiday Lights - What can you say about 75,000 lights and 24 blowups? Wow! This ultra-fabulous display attracts quite a few visitors every year and even the big guy in red makes the time to stop by. Johnny Hazlet’s Holiday Lights is located at 3 Bauer Avenue in Hazlet. The fun starts at 6 p.m. Visit Johnny Hazlet’s Facebook page for updates.
- T&A Sprinkler Lights Show - Stop by 18 Central Avenue in Old Bridge to see 200,000 lights set to music. This awesome annual display is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Updates and weather closures are posted on their Facebook page.
- Cranbury Christmas Lights - Cranbury is the quintessential small town that you should put on your list if you’ve never been. However, make it a point this holiday season to see the Shaw home on 128 North Main Street. You’ll enjoy 120,000 lights that twinkle along with music. Lights are free to view, but donations are welcome and appreciated with the proceeds going to local food banks. There is an online schedule for the dancing lights, but folks can stop by and see the lights aglow any evening from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
- Bayville Christmas Lights Show - Tom Makowski won last season’s Jersey Central Power & Lights Holiday Lights Photo Contest so you know this house is worth the trip. Makowski is promising over 100,000 lights this year and of course, there’s music too. Donations are welcome with the proceeds going to St. Barnabus Church. The Bayville Christmas Lights are located at 279 Woodhaven Blvd. SW.
- Kloos Family Lights – Savor this spectacular free display that is also set to a musical score. Each year this East Brunswick family collects for a special charity. This season the proceeds will go to Powers Promise. Kloos Family Lights is located at 13 Sterling Court.
- Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township really decks the halls. Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus until December 23 against a backdrop of a million lights. Rides and other attractions are open too.
Don’t forget to check out the gems right in your own backyard. A house on Grand Avenue in South River is a sweet holiday stop that even includes a Christmas countdown on the garage door. All the lights were carefully done by the homeowner!