Fun things to do this Thanksgiving weekend in North Jersey

Fun things to do this Thanksgiving weekend in North Jersey

2021-11-24T17:31:44+00:00November 24th, 2021|Economy, North Jersey, Tourism|

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Writer: Sara Suarez

thanksgiving2 min read November 2021 — If you are looking to go out and enjoy a few hours of socialization before eating or looking for something to do after eating, look no further. Here are some of the activities for this Thanksgiving weekend in North Jersey:

New Jersey’s Largest Animated Holiday Light Show Drive-Thru

Watching 1.5 million lights distributed along a half-mile-long drive you can complete from inside your warm car seems like the perfect thing to do on a cold holiday. But, wait, it gets better: There will also be lights representing every holiday, not just Thanksgiving. If you are a follower of Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, or Kwanzaa, feel free to come and watch the light display. The show has specific showings depicting each tradition along with a variety of holiday songs in the background. The show is open seven days a week, from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. starting on Friday, Nov. 26, until Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets are $28 per car. Purchase your tickets at the gate or online.

Walking Around Historic Smithville 

If you don’t mind walking in the cold, this event is perfect for you. Smithville has restaurants, small shops, cobblestone walkways, footbridges, a carousel, a train, and even paddle boats. The town has a lot to offer so, if you don’t fit everything in your schedule, stay the night at one of its hotels and continue your holiday journey the next day. Smithville is a fun town to visit any time of the year. However, this Thanksgiving weekend the Town has a superb “Dickens Fest” that includes a classic musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ play, “A Christmas Carol,” and a plethora of themed vendors with arts and crafts. This specific show is free to attend on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 28, at 1 p.m. For more information and a map, visit their website.

Wine Trails 

What is a holiday without a commemorative drink? If you prefer to keep warm with a delicious glass of wine in your hand, check out these two events. Valenzano Winery’s 21st Annual Holiday Wine Trail Weekend has a private wine tasting menu for only $15. Additionally, if you buy one case of wine, you get the second case at half the price. This event starts on Nov. 26, starting from 11 a.m. It runs until Nov. 28, at 6 p.m. You and your dog, if you decide to bring it along — the event is dog friendly — can enjoy food and live music. To make a reservation, take a look at their flyer here

If you don’t have a dog, the Garden State Wine Growers Association Annual Holiday Wine Trail has another option available with live music but no four-legged attendees. Their offers include 25% off of all Moscatos and discounted platters and boards paired with New Jersey and International wines. For more information and to make reservations, please visit this link.


Don’t leave your holiday shopping to the last minute. Rushed shopping is never a good idea but with the current economic state of the global supply chain and added pent-up demand, it may be especially chaotic this year. If you would like to visit shopping malls and grab a Black Friday Deal, here are the hours of the most popular malls for the North Jersey Region:

American Dream: Closed on Thanksgiving, opening on Black Friday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. For a list of stores, check out their directory here

Bridgewater Commons: Closed on Thanksgiving, opening on Black Friday at 8 a.m., with some stores opening as early as 6 a.m. The closing time is at 10 p.m. For specific store times, check this link

Brunswick Square: Closed on Thanksgiving and open on Black Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. For specific stores, visit their website.

Cherry Hill Mall: Closed on Thanksgiving and open on Black Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. For store listings and their discounts, visit this link

The Mills at Jersey Gardens: Closed on Thanksgiving and open on Black Friday from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Visit their website for more information here