December has New Jersey families scrambling to get through their festive 'to do' lists. A visit with Santa is at the top for many, and there's more ways than ever to make it a memorable one for bright-eyed little Jersey girls and guys.

Best NJ spots to visit Santa this year, including train rides (photo from Kristy Mazza)

If you want to share photos, or a Santa in NJ tip, you can tweet me @ProudJerseyand at @NJ1015!

Visit Santa at a New Jersey theme park turned 'wonderland'...

Six Flags Great Adventure is a hit for all ages with Holiday in the Park. Santa is nestled among some of the already favorite rides, plus light shows, festive displays and Storytime with Mrs. Claus, and much more. The park opens the next three weekends, including Friday the 15 and 22, but is closed Christmas Eve (Sunday). It's also open for longer hours through New Year's. Tickets are cheaper in advance, online.

Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township is a beloved tradition among NJ families, best suited for the youngest revelers. Christmas Fantasy with Lights gives a chance to visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus, while enjoying some rides and festive food. As of Friday the park opens daily and includes a 5 p.m. lighting by Santa, through Dec. 23. Click here for the calendar and daily hours.


Visit Santa on a New Jersey train ride ...

The Christmas Express has been a family tradition at Allaire State Park in Monmouth County for 36 years and counting. Sponsored by the New Jersey Museum of Transportation and run by Pine Creek Railroad, the ride is about 15 minutes long and includes a visit with Santa Claus. **Tickets are not sold online, only in-person- but they go fast. Call ahead for availability.**

The Polar Express in Whippany is nearly SOLD OUT for 2017. The ride is a new one this year, inspired by the holiday classic (operated by the Morristown & Erie Railway.)

The Polar Express in Phillipsburg along the Delaware River Railroad is sold out- better luck for 2018!

The Tri-State Railway Historical Society hosts its 25th annual Santa Train in Wayne this Saturday, but is fully SOLD OUT.

The non-profit Black River & Western Railroad has been busy this year, with The North Pole Express SOLD OUT through Christmas.

Visit Santa on a New Jersey battleship...

Santa joins the crew of The Battleship New Jersey for an annual breakfast, happening at the Camden Waterfront. Check to see ticket availablity for the event this Saturday.


Visit Santa at a New Jersey farm...

Johnson's Farm in Burlington County offers lots of seasonal and Jersey Fresh fun, and it really shines leading to Christmas. Santa is there to greet families, plus there's light show hayrides, s'mores and fresh-cut Christmas trees for purchase. The schedule is full, but does vary depending on weather.

Alstede Farms in Morris County is offering a Country Christmas with Santa. There's also a chance for s'mores, and to buy fresh-cut Christmas trees. For the next three weekends, through Christmas Eve.


Visit Santa at a New Jersey mall, with tech-savvy perks...

The Mall Santa has come a looong way in NJ, with some really interactive experiences for 2017. Monmouth County's Freehold Raceway Mall is offering Santa HQ, complete with “elfie selfies,” a Naughty-or-Nice ‘O Meter and Santa’s Command Center- plus the chance to make reservations. There's a similar Santa HQ in Gloucester County's Deptford Mall. 

At The Mall at Short Hills, it's another season for Santa's Flight Academy.

The Cherry Hill Mall has Santa set up at the Grand Court. Santa's got digs in other NJ landmark malls, including Bridgewater Commons in Somerset County offers a chance to reserve a spot to meet the Big Guy. Bridgewater also still has a final Pet Night with Santa

Woodbridge Center Mall has a Pet Night with Santa left on  and also offers Santa reservations for tiny humans and families.

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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