New Jersey ‘Griswold House’ expansion nears opening
What started out as an elaborately decorated house has expanded into a Christmas village. New Jersey’s famed “Griswold House,” which paid tribute to the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” complete with Cousin Eddie’s RV, has moved and gotten bigger.
As we told you back in August, Steve Harbaugh, who transformed his Mickleton house every year into the holiday attraction, decided the event had outgrown his suburban street, so he decided to build a whole Christmas village. While construction continues, a soft opening is scheduled for Dec. 1, according to NJ.com.
Even with the change of address, and scale, the mission remains the same: collect toys and donations to help needy families. Their charity, Harbaugh House has collected over 12,000 toys and $50,000 in donations.
The new Harbaugh Village is located in a field in Mullica Hill and when it is complete will feature all sorts of fun, including a skating rink, fire pits, food trucks, heated igloos, a carousel, a toy shop, and an event tent for this year that will be replaced by a more permanent barn in the future.
There will also be a fully decorated house with the family trickster (complete with oversized Christmas tree strapped on top) and the RV.
This year, instead of filling the RV with toys, Harbaugh hopes to fill the entire house. He is hoping to get sponsorship for some of the attractions, including a performance stage and the house itself.
Unlike the drive-by nature of the house in years past, the new village will have 500 permanent parking spots, so he’s hoping to avoid any traffic problems. Sounds like it will be an amazing place!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.