Written by Tarvin Agent Jane Vandevander
Looking for Ways to Enjoy the Holidays in Bergen County?
Who says you have to leave home to enjoy the holidays? Many Bergen County residents feel the need to head into the city to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays, but the truth is that there’s more than enough fun to be had here at home. Save the stress and cost of a trip to the city this holiday season and make your own memories at home in Bergen County while remaining safe and socially distanced during these unprecedented times.
Here are our top picks for fun and exciting holiday activities:
RIDGEWOOD’S “DOWNTOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS”
Ridgewood kicks off the holiday season with their 35th annual Downtown for the Holidays celebration on December 11th from 6-8:00pm.
Viewing the trees: Ridgewood’s 60’ Christmas tree will be proudly standing at the top of the town and will be lit throughout the night! Check out the beautiful trees located at Westside Station Plaza and Memorial Park at Van Neste Square. Both trees will have lights and decorations donated by the residents and friends of Ridgewood.
Santa and Mrs. Claus Visiting Ridgewood: Santa will be with the performers in Panico’s Salon window. Mrs. Claus will be on the West Side of Ridgewood. See if you can find her singing and waving!
“Don’t let the Grinch steal Christmas from Ridgewood”: There will be Grinch sightings all around town this very night! High above the rooftops, in the stores & restaurants. Find the Grinch and enter to win a prize. The contest will run from December 4th- December 21st.
Musical Performances: The RHS Marching Band and local choral groups will be performing
Window Displays: Thirteen stores will have their windows filled with dances, in full costume, performing scenes from the Nutcracker and Babes in Toyland, on the east & west sides of Ridgewood.
On Saturday, December 5th the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating the Village of Ridgewood’s First Annual Holiday Sale Day! There will be FREE PARKING in lots and Hudson Street Parking Garage on December 5th, 12th and 19th. (Normal meter rates for street parking). Visit your favorite downtown Ridgewood stores for great sales and get your holiday shopping done while also supporting local businesses!
BOROUGH OF HAWTHORNE’S HOLIDAY DRIVE-BY-PARADE
Even though Hawthorne’s tree lighting will be broadcasted live on Facebook this year, you can take part in their Holiday Drive-By Parade on Friday, December 4th at 6:00pm.
Decorate your car and join the procession of holiday-themed cars or watch as they drive through town to greet the Mayor and Santa! If you would like to participate, decorate your car and be sure to line up at 5:45pm behind Hawthorne High School!
Head to https://www.hawthornenj.org/DocumentCenter/View/1993/Tree-Lighting-Parade?utm_source=BestofNJ&utm_medium=Outbound&utm_campaign=Feature_Holiday_Tree_Lighting&utm_term=North_Jersey_Passaic_County_Hawthorne for more information!
WESTWOOD WELCOMES WINTER
Stroll along Westwood Avenue and downtown business district on December 5th from 4-8:00PM and get your shopping done while enjoying street-side performances by musical ensembles and twinkling light displays in store windows. You’ll also want to catch the lighting of the Westwood Christmas Tree, making the start of the holiday season!
VISIT SANTA AT WESTFIELD GARDEN STATE PLAZA
Even the toughest critics will agree that the Santa visiting Westfield Garden State Plaza is the most realistic Santa around. He’ll be available during regular mall hours to take socially distanced pictures with your kids and even your pets if you so choose!
To ensure everyone’s safety, all family members as well as Santa must wear a mask and appointments will be by reservation only! Head here to book your reservation now!
VISIT ABMAS FARM
The fun continues throughout the winter at Abmas Farm. Plan your visit around Santa’s schedule and attend their socially distanced outdoor event for story time with Old St. Nick and Mrs. Claus followed by a family photo op. There’s tons of other fun to be had at the farm as well, enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate while you take in the petting zoo or visit the produce market for fresh and local goodies.
There is even fun for the adults! Join Abmas Farm for their Wreath Making Workshops (December 1,3, & 5 @ 10:30am) or Holiday Centerpiece Workshops (December 17, 18 & 19 @10:30am). Head to the link below to learn more and register!
VISIT DEMAREST FARMS
Join Demarest Farms during the most magical time of the year and experience the joy and wonder of the Orchard of Lights! Take your vehicle on a guided tour through 32 acres of brilliant holiday light displays, warm up by the fire pit and enjoy hot cocoa and treats in their retail market. Take socially distanced pictures with Santa in their greenhouse (face coverings required), make your own S’mores and listen to Santa’s singing Reindeer!
Visit the link below for dates/time and to purchase tickets as tickets will not be able to be purchased at the farm market!
SHALOM BABY: CHANUKAH MENORAH LIGHTING AND SING ALONG
Join the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ and the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation on Wednesday, December 16th at 6:30pm for a 30 minute program for ages 2-8. Enjoy a virtual live celebration of Chanukah with your little ones with a Chanukah Sing along with Matty Roxx. The program will include a free Chanukah goodie bag (limit of 2 per household) that will include a Menorah + Candles, Dreidel + Gelt and a Chanukah book that will be available for pickup at various location in Bergen County on December 14th and/or 15th. Sign up below and reserve your goodie bag!
ENJOY THE CHRISTMAS TRADITION OF THE NUTCRACKER
William Peterson University will be live hosting a Christmas Stream of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker on December 19th at 8pm and you can watch from the best seat in the house- your living room! Take this opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and experience the smash-hit Holiday tradition in this ground-breaking Video on Demand debut. Take a trip backstage with the cameras for a look at how the magic is made. Hear it first-hand from world-class artists, designers, and the creators of this cherished production. See the full performance as captured on stage plus an up-close look at the behind-the-scenes action. All tickets must be purchased in advance, see below!
TAKE IN YOUR NEIGHBORS HOLIDAY DISPLAYS AND LIGHTS
Whether it’s taking a drive with the family to admire the lights after dark or going to some of the official holiday displays around Waldwick, Wayne, North Haledon and Demarest, nothing is more magical than watching the twinkling lights on a cold December night. Bring a Thermos of hot chocolate for an added treat.
Waldwick- 137 Manhattan Avenue (https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasOnManhattan/)
North Haledon- 24 Suter Ave. (https://www.facebook.com/lightsonsuter/)
Demarest- Demarest Farms (https://demarestfarms.com/orchard-of-lights/)
For more information on the benefits of living in Bergen County, call the team at Tarvin Realtors at (201) 444-0690.