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Oh There’s No Place Like the Jersey Shore for the Holidays!

Grab your family and take a well deserved break from the holiday busy-ness!

Many members of our Philadelphia Family community have grown up with weekends or vacations at the shore, and it’s one of the first places newcomers learn about as a welcome escape from city life during summertime. But did you know that there are tons of fun things to do at the shore during the holiday season, too? Whether you’re taking a day trip or making a weekend out of it, we have rounded up a whole bunch of fun reasons to take your shore trip to the off-season!


Walking in a Vintner Wonderland… at Renault Winery


Gave you an ear worm, didn’t I? The Vintner Wonderland Festival is an opportunity to gather loved ones, savor the season, and create enduring memories. As the second oldest winery in America, founded in 1864, Renault Winery’s warmth and hospitality revives the soul. Vintner Rink is open through February and designed for skaters of all ages and skill levels, plus you’ll find local artisans, entertainment, culinary delights – and of course – wine! There’s something for everyone. There are hot cocktails, cafe treats, and reservations for dining available in their Champagne Patio Garden where live bands perform. You can also rent a fire pit or a champagne bubble igloo! This spot is kid and adult friendly, and we know you’ll want to come back for even more fun during the warm months!


Christmas in Cape May

A visit to Cape May on any day is like taking a step back in time. During the holidays, even more so! Cape May is home to many Victorian style houses, and Washington Street Mall is a quaint place to shop and eat. During the Christmas season Washington Street Mall is dotted with lights, greenery, and decorations, and many historic homes and hotels around town display unique decorations. The Holiday Events lineup includes: a Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting Ceremonies (there are 3!), Customer Appreciation Days at Washington Street Mall, Breakfast with Santa (deliver your wish list in person!), holiday-themed trolley rides, and a Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall.


At Congress Hall you’ll find an outdoor shopping village and children’s activities. The Congress Hall Winter Wonderland runs through New Year’s Day. All aboard! There’s a mini train that children can ride on, many opportunities to meet Santa, and activities in Santa’s Workshop. Stay overnight and make a new holiday tradition!




Christmas Fantasy Lights at Storybook Land


This South Jersey tradition has been happening for over 30 years! Experience holiday magic before  your eyes with over 1 million lights decorating Storybook Land for the holiday season. Visit Santa and see the lights through December 23, the last night of operation for the season is December 30. Rides, attractions, and snack bars are all open. Bring a donation for Toys for Tots and get a coupon for a free hot chocolate and free popcorn for each toy you bring!



Wind Down Your December in Smithville


We all know how much work it is to get from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Holiday parties, project deadlines, obligatory cookie baking, dress like an elf day at elementary school, and then some. Plan a day at Smithville to slow it down, enjoy your family, and be reminded of the simple pleasures of the holiday season! With extended store hours and festival days there isn’t a bad time to visit. Plus there is the Light Show on the Lake every day in December from 5:30 – 8:30 pm! Don’t miss the Holiday Train Ride, Magic Talking Tree (you have to see it to believe it!), Hospitality Night, Girls Night Out, Breakfast with Santa, and s’mores on the green every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during December.

Content Director, Main Line Parent & Philadelphia Family. Email me at pamela@familyfocus.org