The Holidays at Drumthwacket
Jack Frost is in the air, and the “most wonderful time of the year” is about to begin…
Mark your calendar for these festive events that celebrate the season:
By Laurie Pellichero
Now Through December 17
The North Pole Express
Flemington Station, 80 Stangl Road, Flemington; Various times
Take a holiday fun family train ride to North Pole Station — and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus! Enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, sing along with Santa’s elves, tell Santa your Christmas wish, have your photo taken in Santa’s sleigh, and much more. The train operates rain or shine; allow approximately two hours for your trip.
November 22 (Ongoing)
Annual Festival of Trees
Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton; Wednesday through Sunday 10am-4pm
Morven Museum’s annual Festival of Trees is a Princeton holiday tradition. Visitors will enjoy the museum’s elegant galleries, hallways, and porches artfully decorated for the holidays by local businesses, garden clubs, and nonprofits (on view through January 7, closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
Princeton Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Green on Palmer Square, Princeton; 5pm
Palmer Square’s 65-foot Norwegian spruce tree, decorated with more than 32,000 lights, will be lit with the help of Santa Claus at this annual ceremony. There will also be music by Holiday Brass and the Princeton High School Choir, and a special performance by the Princeton Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker and Clara.
Old City Hall Holiday Train Show & Annual Tree Lighting
Thanksgiving weekend marks the start of the annual Old City Hall Train Show, with trains displayed throughout City Hall. The Annual Tree Lighting is Saturday, November 25 at 5pm at Crosswicks Street and Farnsworth Avenue with songs, hot chocolate, and a special appearance by Santa.
Holiday Christmas Tree Lighting & Visit By Santa
Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton; Noon-2pm
At this annual event Santa will catch a ride to the shopping center on a hook and ladder fire truck with some of Princeton’s bravest, and later be available for photos There will also be festive carol singers and other activities.
Kick off the Holiday Season Weekend
Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, 10am-5pm
Enjoy fun for the whole family with wagon rides and visits to the animals in the barnyard. You can choose the perfect Christmas tree and wreath and start your holiday shopping with Terhune’s unique selection of gift baskets with farm-grown fruit, baked goods, and wine. Santa will be in the barnyard from noon to 4pm. Warm up with hot mulled wine and try their award-winning wines in the Tasting Room from noon to 5 p.m. Sample homemade baked goods, cheeses, apple butter and more.
51st Annual Mill Hill Holiday House Tour
Historic Mill Hill, Trenton; Noon-5pm
Sponsored by the Old Mill Hill Society, the theme of this year’s Mill Hill Holiday House Tour is “Attention to Detail,” celebrating the architectural details that make the Mill Hill neighborhood unique.
December 5 (Ongoing)
A Christmas Carol
McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton; Various times
Dickens’ classic returns to McCarter Theatre in this reimagined production. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge on a magical journey through Christmas past, present, and future and watch as a community ensemble comprised of local performers brings the story to life both on stage and in the theater (through December 31).
December 6 (Recurring)
The Holidays at Drumthwacket
354 Stockton Street, Princeton; 11am – 1:30pm
The Drumthwacket Foundation, in partnership with New Jersey Garden Clubs, presents the annual holiday open house at Drumthwacket, the governor’s official residence. Guests can view rooms decorated for the holidays, with docents on hand to answer questions. Reservations are required. Wednesdays and Sundays, December 6, 10, 13, 17, and 20.
Sauce for the Goose Market
Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton
Presented by the Arts Council of Princeton, this annual holiday sale of artwork by local and area artists has established itself as a resource for ceramics, glassware, ornaments, and other forms of fine art and crafts for gifts to friends and family. This year’s market will be held at ACP’s pop-up studio at the Princeton Shopping Center. Sale hours: Friday, December 8, 5–8pm; Saturday, December 9, 10am–5pm; and Sunday, December 10, 11am–4pm.
Annual Menorah Lighting
North Plaza on Hulfish Street, Princeton; 5-6pm
Special guest speakers and the Odessa Klezmer Band will be at this year’s Menorah Lighting in Princeton. The ceremony will take place in front of Mediterra restaurant, rain or shine. Afterwards, there will be music and refreshments in the Senior Room at the Nassau Inn.
Ugly Holiday Sweater Party & Competition
Hopewell Valley Vineyards, 46 Yard Road, Pennington; 6-8:30pm
Celebrate the season at Hopewell Valley Vineyards during Music & Merlot at their annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party & Competition. Enjoy light fare menu additions, and come wearing the ugliest holiday sweater you can find to compete to win title of Ugliest Sweater of 2017.
Princeton University, Richardson Auditorium; 4pm and 7pm
Get into the spirit of the holiday season with arrangements of beloved carols performed by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton High School Choir. There will also be a carol sing-along. Rossen Milanov, conductor; Princeton High School Choir, Vincent Metallo, director.
George Washington’s Annual Christmas Day Crossing
Washington Crossing Historic Park, Routes 532 and 32 (River Road), Washington Crossing, Pa.; Noon-3pm (Actual crossing at 1pm)
George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River and defeat of the Hessians in Trenton is considered a turning point in the Revolutionary War. Witness this historic event for yourself during this reenactment. This Bucks County tradition features several hundred reenactors clad in Continental military dress and George Washington himself. Listen as General Washington delivers an inspiring speech and then leads his troops across the river in replica Durham boats.