Best NJ Santa spots in New Jersey 2016 — including train rides!
December is in full swing, and that 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.
Visit Santa on a New Jersey train ride ...
The Christmas Express has been a family tradition at Allaire State Park in Monmouth County for 35 years and counting. Sponsored by the New Jersey Museum of Transportationand 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.There's daytime Sunday rides Dec. 10 & 17 and nighttime rides Dec. 9, 10, 16 & 17.
There are tickets left for the Candy Cane Limited in Flemington for Friday, Dec. 23. Santa and Mrs Claus briefly meet each child on board the train. New additions are more interaction with Santa's Elves and a reading of "The Night Before Christmas." It’s among three featured rides by the non-profit Black River & Western Railroad. But, The North Pole Express and Victorian Christmas Special are both SOLD OUT through Christmas.
The Tri-State Santa Train is chugging through Wayne on Saturday, Dec. 10. The Tri-State Railway Historical Society presents its 24th annual Santa Train, featuring a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with some elves and cartoon characters. As of Tuesday, there are still tickets for the first train of the day, departing at 8:45 a.m. The rest of the day (10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m) is sold out.
The Polar Express in Whippany is SOLD OUT for 2016. The ride is a new one this year, inspired by the holiday classic (operated by the Morristown & Erie Railway.)
Visit Santa on a New Jersey battleship...
Santa joins the crew of The Battleship New Jersey for an annual breakfast, happening on Dec. 10 at the Camden Waterfront. There's still tickets available for the event this Saturday.
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 Fri-Sun until Christmas Eve (closed) and then wider 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 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 two weekends, December 9, 10, 17 and 18.
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 2016.
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 setup in Gloucester County's Deptford Mall.
And, Santa's still 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 on Monday, Dec. 12.
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.