Ho ho ho! 'Tis the season for being holly and jolly, spending time with family and loved ones, and warming your body and soul with holiday cheer.

But sometimes your neighborhood Christmas lights just don't cut it. New Jersey has really exploded over the last few years with spectacular holiday attractions ranging from drive-through lights to walk-through displays, to hayrides, to full-blown theme parks, and more.

Every corner of the state has holiday magic to explore. And it would be impossible to do it all. I did the research for you and picked out some of the best, biggest, and brightest holiday destinations in the state for 2023. All you have to do is "ooh" and "aah".

This is part of a special series brought to you by the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism.

Augusta: Christmas Light Show & Village at Skylands Stadium

This is a one-mile-long drive-through wonderland, featuring over two million lights. A Christmas Village features photos with Santa, holiday vendors, s'mores, hot cocoa, and a beer garden. Open most days through December 30.

Cape May: Christmas in Cape May

The southern tip of New Jersey really goes all out for the holidays. Cape May hosts numerous events during the holiday season, including tours of its renowned Victorian houses. Walk around, go shopping at Washington Street Mall, and soak in some vintage holiday cheer. The town reportedly stays decorated through January 1.

East Brunswick: Winter WonderLights at the Middlesex County Fairgrounds

This claims to be "NJ's largest animated holiday light show drive-through," with over 1.5 million lights synchronized to favorite holiday songs. The half-mile trail highlights all the seasonal holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa. A food truck is on-site too. Closing date December 31.

East Rutherford: Winter Chinese Lantern Festival at American Dream

Traditional, hand-painted lantern frames accented by LED lights highlight this new indoor walk-through attraction at the American Dream mega-mall. You can make your own paper lantern and enjoy some rides too. Open through January 2.

Egg Harbor Township: Christmas Fantasy with Lights at Storybook Land

As night falls at Storybook Land, Santa Claus himself waves his magic wands and lights up the park with brilliant, glittering lights and displays. Most rides and eateries stay open for even more fun. Last night for the season will be December 30.

Hammonton: Magical Holiday Express at DiDonato Family Fun Park

A train ride through millions of twinkling lights will bring you to visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus, the North Pole elves, and Frosty the Snowman. And if that VIP lineup isn't enough, you can check out the holiday movie tent or toy market, grab a quick cookie, or enjoy a free game of bowling. Daily through December 23.

Hillsdale: Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms

A drive-through lights display set on a real 32-acre orchard. Farm Market and Santa are open until December 24. The lights stay open until December 29.

Holmdel: Magic of Lights at PNC Bank Arts Center

Possibly New Jersey's most well-known holiday drive-through display, Exit 116 on the Garden State Parkway plays home to over 2 million twinkling lights this season. A Holiday Village offers more spectacle and more fun. Open through December 30.

Jackson: Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure

Dazzling lights, seasonal shows, fun characters (including Santa), and thrilling rides? Yes, please! A holiday mirror maze, hayride, and firepits also put you in the holiday mood to close out the park's operating season. Park admission or a season pass is required. Check the website for exact operating hours, through January 1.

Manalapan: The Village at Anne Ellen Christmas Tree Farm

Start with a hayride through the fields, leading to a Christmas wonderland where over 100,000 lights, interactive displays, and Santa Claus await. Also visit Santa's Coal Mine, the Candy Cane Factory, the Train Room, a life-sized igloo, a huge gingerbread house, and more. Plus the farm is open for cut-your-own Christmas trees (although not at night). Farm closes for the season on January 1.

Medford: Light Show at Johnson’s Corner Farm

Combining a musical hayride surrounded by dazzling lights, a walk-through "Fire and Lights" experience, and a choreographed "Light Show on the Lake". At the animal farm, even the cows and goats are in the holiday spirit. Classic treats like s'mores and hot chocolate are available too. Open nightly until December 23.

Mullica Hills: Night of Lights at Creamy Acres Farms

This 100-acre farm is transformed into a Christmas Wonderland, with a 1.5-mile drive-through light display. Their retail store offers gifts, treats, and cozy firepits. Open most nights until December 23.

Paramus: Let It Glow at Bergen County Zoo

This holiday lantern spectacular hosts over 30 scenes of enormous light-up animals, a train ride, fire pits, and s'mores. It operates Thursday through Sunday nights until January 14.

Smithville: Holiday Light Show at Historic Smithville

Don't expect millions and millions of lights at this one. (In fact, they "only" boast 50,000.) But the synchronized lights and music on trees and decorations on Lake Meone present a reflective and amazing show. Plus, you can find gifts for everyone on your Christmas list at the dozens of stores. Check hours carefully though, as shopping hours do not necessarily match up with the light show. Decorations stay up through January 1.

Wall: Allaire Farm Lights at Allaire Community Farm

This year's newly reimagined "Old-Fashioned Christmas" walk-through display at Allaire has a ton to explore. From the Yuletide Wagon Ride, to the Polar Express train, to a petting zoo, to the Farmer's Market. Santa makes an appearance nightly too. Open through December 23.

West Berlin: Holiday Drive-Thru Light Show at Diggerland USA

This unique construction-themed amusement park decorates their trucks and grounds to create a fantastic drive-through experience. The Fork Lift Cafe has tasty treats too. Open nightly through January 1, with final showings on January 6 & 7.

West Orange: Holiday Lights at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

Not only do you get to see sparkling lights and (select) animals throughout the zoo, nighttime admission is free during the holiday season! (Donations of non-perishable food items, new unwrapped toys, and/or coats are encouraged.) Take a ride on the train, grab a festive snack, and hang out with sting rays, lizards, goats, and more. Special character appearances and demonstrations too. Last night for the lights will be December 31.

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