Christmas is a magical time of year at the Jersey Shore. Here, historic homes and hotels sparkle with decorations, and Santa Claus makes an appearance at a variety of events. From parades and parties to tree lighting ceremonies, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate a Jersey Shore Christmas! Check out a few of our favorites below. Then, download our free Vacation Guide to begin planning your trip!
How to Experience a Jersey Shore Christmas
1. Victorian Inn & House Tour | Ocean Grove
There is no town more beautiful than Ocean Grove during the holidays. After all, our area is known for its vintage architecture and rich history! In December, visitors are invited to step back in time during a special two-day event known as the Victorian Inn & House Tour. These walking tours take guests through homes, inns, and hotels adorned in beautiful holiday lights. Enjoy sipping warm beverages and munching on home-baked goodies as you admire the decorations.
In addition to guided tours, Ocean Grove hosts a variety of free events. We love the Christmas display inside the Historical Society Museum, the live nativity in the Great Auditorium, and the Christmas tree lighting with carolers from the Great Auditorium Choir. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Main Ave stores are open until 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday for your shopping pleasure.
Tickets for the Victorian Inn & House Tour may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce office.
2. Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony | Asbury Park
The Asbury Park Boardwalk tree lighting ceremony is a Jersey Shore tradition that takes place in November. During the ceremony, staff members light a spectacular three-story tree inside the Convention Hall. The Douglas Fir tree takes a full day to raise and boasts more than 40,000 glowing lights. It shines as the backdrop of a performance stage in the Grand Arcade, where live performances are scheduled throughout the holiday season.
3. Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony | Bradley Beach
Bradley Beach also hosts a fantastic tree lighting ceremony that’s just steps from our inn. Simply walk over to Riley Park and enjoy wagon rides, cookies, hot cocoa, ice carving, and a visit from Mr. Claus. Live holiday music completes the festive atmosphere.
4. Christmas Light Show | Belmar
The Christmas Light Show in Belmar is a must-see! This impressive, family-friendly display includes lighting, fog, and pyrotechnics, all synchronized to concert-quality sound. Visitors should arrive 40 minutes prior to the show to allow time to park and walk to the venue. (Don’t forget to dress warm and bring a flashlight!) Free food and drinks are available and Santa usually makes an appearance.
5. Jenkinson’s Aquarium Sea of Lights | Point Pleasant
Looking for something different to do this Christmas? Check out the Sea of Lights Holiday Festival at Jenkinson’s Aquarium. You’ll see the aquarium done up with hundreds of festive lights and decorations! Arts and crafts, face painting, and a scuba diving Santa provide hours of fun for visitors of all ages. Visit the aquarium website for details.
Book Your Stay at The Ocean Plaza Hotel
We invite you to join us for the holidays! Come see our beautiful decorations and experience the traditions of an old-fashioned Jersey Shore Christmas. Our century-old bed and breakfast features beautiful accommodations and luxury amenities to make you feel at home. Plus, we offer a hot, delicious breakfast each morning of your stay!
Feel free to search our website to see what’s available. Then, make your reservations! We look forward to spending the most wonderful time of the year with you.