34 Best New Jersey Christmas Lights: Where NJ Really Shines 

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Introduction

Christmas has always been more than just a holiday for me; it’s a season of genuine joy and warmth. Far removed from the commercial frenzy and the clamor of big-box retailers, it’s about a deeper, more heartfelt connection. This connection, rooted in cherished memories and traditions, is what truly embodies the spirit of Christmas—a spirit that lives on in our hearts forever. Whoever coined the phrase ‘all that glitters is not gold’ clearly never experienced New Jersey during the Christmas season. As someone who has played both Santa and recipient in the dance of holiday giving, I’ve felt the enchantment firsthand. There’s something undeniably magical about the way the Tri-State area comes alive with festive lights. Each twinkle seems to tell a story—a whisper of the Christmas spirit weaving through towns and touching hearts. It’s a time when every light seems to glimmer with memories and the promise of joy, reflecting the true essence of what I’ve always believed Christmas to be.

Alright, Snap Out of It—Let’s You and I Go Get Lit!

After soaking in all that heartwarming, twinkly light nostalgia, let’s cut through the mushy stuff and dive into the real deal—New Jersey’s most dazzling Christmas light shows. Because, let’s face it, nothing says holiday spirit quite like a million watts of electric joy lighting up the night sky.

So, let’s put aside the sentimental reflections (before we start sounding like a Hallmark card) and check out the best and brightest spots in the Garden State. From the eye-popping, jaw-dropping displays to the more understated but equally charming lights, we’ve got a line-up that’ll make you forget all about your electricity bill for a moment.

Here are my top five, not-to-be-missed, ‘light up your holiday season‘ picks, followed by 29 other sparkling gems. Think of it as my tribute to ‘Miracle on 34th Street”—but with more LEDs and less Kris Kringle. Grab your coat, your sense of wonder (and maybe a portable charger), and let’s light up this holiday tour!

DubG’s Top 5: “It’s My Prerogative” 

#1 George’s House: Christmas Vacation in Real Life!


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The first stop on our tour is George’s House in Mullica Hill. What began as an homage to the Griswold family’s over-the-top Christmas decorations and Steve Harbaugh’s late father, who passed just a few short weeks after Christmas 2017, has drawn crowds so big that he and his family had to move out of respect for the neighbors. It’s like stepping into a scene from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, chaos included.  You can almost hear Chevy Chase’s laughter echoing.National lampoons homage

Wait, hold up! Chevy, is that really you?

Details at George’s House .

#2  Harbaugh Village: A Christmas Town Like It’s Straight Out of a Sugarplum Fairy Tale 

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In 2021, due to the popularity of this must-see destination and out of respect for the neighbors, Steve and Pamela Harbaugh made the decision to move out of their Mickleton family home. The Harbaugh family moved their humble abode (not really humble; it’s pretty sick, actually) from Mickleton, NJ, to a beautiful home in a neighboring town, Mullica Hill.

I can only assume that for a family this size, in a home of that size, it was not an easy decision. But I guess they thought they might as well just go big or go home. So, that is exactly what they did—big, really big, a ridiculously over-the-top extravaganza! That’s my jam.

George’s house, the shrine of all things Christmas Vacation, was now bigger and better than ever, but to top it off, Steve Harbaugh also built what is now known as Harbaugh Village, New Jersey’s  seemingly coolest holiday destination. Who knew… a Christmas village right here in my home state!

Harbaugh Village, a Christmas town that looks like it sprang right out of a storybook, offers ice skating, igloo rentals with a full bar and wait staff, fire pits, and—wait for it—Snowball Zone. It’s a holly-jolly mix of childhood dreams and adult indulgences, which for me are pretty much the same thing.  I think I might move into an igloo for a few months while I wait for some big check advertisers to take a chance on little ole’ DubG, which will solve at least some of my debt divorce woes and maybe even allow Santa to visit this year on Christmas morning. But until then, I heard the igloos are heated and I’ll just give up food for a few weeks to get my kids the socks they asked for this year.

I know I joke a lot on this blog, but I’m not even kidding. My kids asked for socks. They also beg me to cook them broccoli, so I guess I’m doing something right after all.

More about this festive village at

#3  DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express: All Aboard, The Train Is Leaving the Station! 

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Next up is DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express in Hammonton. There’s something timeless about a holiday train ride, isn’t there? It’s a journey wrapped in lights, laughter, and the excitement of children.

My oldest sister and her family, her hubby, a retired police detective serving 20 years in the community of Hammonton, and three boys, who I should probably be referring to as young men now (dammit, I’m old), all live down there in their white picket fence house.

Although the 18-mile post-parkway backcountry, middle-of-nowhere drive wasn’t my favorite, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in another dimension every time we went down there.  It’s a quaint little town because, and I say quaint because there are no other words to describe this twilight zone feeling I get when I’m there, much like I imagine a real-life Stepford Wife lives.

I’m confident enough to say that I believe it’s likely that every single parent in this town belongs to the PTA and actually attends the meetings because they want to, not because they have to, every single time.

Yep, it’s that kind of town. A town where I stick out like Marisa Tomei in the cult classic My Cousin Vinny So, you can probably imagine how special this holiday train ride really is, so go choo-choo your way through the town, into the Christmas spirit or just grab a spirit at the local pub to deal with all of the perfect people there. Either way, you can get more info here.

#4  Skylands Stadium: Where Christmas Meets Carnival Meets Winter Beer Garden

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2Skylands stadium christmas light show

Hey everyone, get ready to rev up your holiday spirit with Skylands Stadium‘s dazzling drive-thru light show! This isn’t just any festive display; it’s a one-mile journey through over two million twinkling lights. Talk about turning Sussex County into a winter wonderland!

Now, let’s talk logistics. You gotta snag your tickets in advance, with time slots going for $29 on select days. Feeling fancy? There’s an ‘anytime’ ticket for $79 per person. A bit steep for my wallet, but hey, for a one-time holiday extravaganza, it might just be worth it.

But wait, there’s more than just a light show. Step into their Christmas Village, where holiday magic comes alive. Picture this: you, your fam, and Santa Claus in one epic holiday photo. Got some last-minute shopping? Their holiday vendors have got you covered and your wallet smothered! And for the adults? A Winter Beer Garden, because nothing says ‘festive’ like a cold one in hand. Meh… I like a full bar. Beer gives me gas.

Don’t forget the treats! We’re talking roasting s’mores by the fire pit, warming up with hot cocoa and coffee, and indulging in holiday treats and special seasonal food. Ice cream in winter? Why not! Skyland Stadium’s got the eats to make your holiday outing complete.

So, if you’re in the mood for a light show that’s more than just a drive-thru, Skyland Stadium is your go-to spot. Lights, Santa, snacks, and maybe a beer or two?

Sounds like a holiday plan to me!

#5  Winter Wonderlights: A Radiant Display of Merriment (East Brunswick, NJ)

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Alright, folks, let me take you on a little tour of what holiday cheer looks like in the Garden State. For over 20 years, there’s this family that’s been lighting up the Middlesex County Fair Grounds like nobody’s business. Winter WonderLights isn’t your average neighborhood string-up; we’re talking a whopping 1.5 million lights, choreographed to those holiday tunes we all pretend to get tired of. Picture this: you’re cruising through 30-foot Christmas trees and tunnels that feel like you’ve stepped into a festive sci-fi movie, all while saluting the real MVPs—our first responders and armed forces.Winter wonderlights christmas light show nj

And guess who’s crashing this light party? Dave’s Delicious Fries Food Truck serves up fries that’ll make you forget about counting calories, or at least wish you could forget. Sure, they’re just along for the ride, but hey, no one ever said no to tasty fries while basking in the holiday glow, right?

Or is that just me?

This Winter WonderLights spectacle is more than just a light show; it’s a mash-up of Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa—all in a half-mile joyride. Open every single day for your viewing pleasure, this year’s got even more eye candy with brand new displays. So, if you’re looking to jazz up your holiday evenings, you know where the party’s at.

Tickets and even VIP season passes are available HERE. Oo-la-la fancy pants.

What Else You Got In That Sack Santa?

(No, Not That Sack, the Other One ! )

  • Magic of Lights at the PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, Monmouth County): More Info
  • Martel’s Christmas Wonderland (Trenton, Mercer County): More Info
  • Weber Family Lights (East Brunswick, Middlesex County): More Info
  • Connelly Christmas Light Show (Jamesburg, Middlesex County)
  • Trela Christmas Lights Spectacular (Kendall Park, Middlesex County): More Info
  • Dano Lights (Monroe, Middlesex County): More Info
  • Christmas at the Nietzer’s (South Plainfield, Middlesex County): More Info
  • Crazy Christmas Lights (Old Bridge, Middlesex County): More Info
  • Cranbury Christmas Lights (Cranbury, Middlesex County): More Info
  • Kloos Family Lights (East Brunswick, Middlesex County)
  • Andrew’s Christmas Wonderland (North Middletown, Monmouth County): More Info
  • Christmas in Holmdel (Holmdel, Monmouth County): More Info
  • The Gress House Holiday Light Spectacular (Union Beach, Monmouth County)
  • Johnny’s Hazlet Holiday Light Extravaganza (Hazlet, Monmouth County): More Info
  • Liam’s Spectacular Christmas Display (Middletown, Monmouth County): More Info
  • MacCary Christmas (Ocean, Monmouth County): More Info
  • Murphy Road Light Show (Port Monmouth, Monmouth County): More Info
  • Sisti Family Christmas Lights (Spring Lake, Monmouth County): More Info
  • Sims Holiday Lights (Spring Lake Heights, Monmouth County): More Info
  • The Christmas Lights Show (Belmar, Monmouth County): More Info
  • Lights on Glendale (Manalapan Twp., Monmouth County): More Info
  • Christmas Light Spectacular (Wall Township, Monmouth County): More Info</

Personal Reflection: The True Magic of Christmas

“As I journey through New Jersey’s kaleidoscope of Christmas lights, it’s more than just a visual feast. It’s a poignant throwback to those years of quietly spreading joy, adopting a star from the church’s Christmas tree each year—a tradition my mother, with all her complexities, passed down to me. It’s about the silent yet powerful moments of surprise, relief, and heartfelt gratitude from the families we helped. This ritual of giving, ingrained in my being, taught me the unparalleled joy of generosity, far surpassing any material gift.

All my life, I’ve dreamt of sharing this tradition with my children, to pass on the invaluable lesson of selfless giving—the kind where you expect nothing in return but the warmth of genuine kindness.

Yet, this year, the tables have turned. I’m on the side, needing a hand—a stark reminder of the true value of compassion and assistance. It’s a humbling shift but one that deepens my belief in the Christmas spirit. It’s not the grand lights or the lavish gifts that define this season. It’s about creating moments of joy and being a beacon of hope in someone else’s challenging times.”

Conclusion: Embracing the Season’s Spirit

As we immerse ourselves in New Jersey’s magnificent light displays, let’s hold on to the true spirit of Christmas. Let’s be a part of someone else’s holiday joy, just as these lights brighten ours. Whether it’s continuing my mother’s legacy of adopting a star or just sharing a warm smile with someone you’ve never met, every act of kindness and empathy makes a difference.

Christmas in New Jersey and New York transcends the festive lights and jingles. It’s an emotion—a feeling that lingers. In the end, the brightest lights aren’t those strung up on trees or houses; they’re the ones we ignite in each other’s lives through small acts of love and kindness.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

From Wendy, Kid 1 & Kid 2 (the names we shall never speak of), Jackson (the notorious sock-burying culprit) and even Mr. Ex Green, because it’s Christmas after-all

May your holidays overflow with jolly ole’ belly laughs, a touch of peanut butter whiskey magic, and a sock or two rescued from Jackson’s treasure trove. I wish you a season sprinkled with joy, merriment, and the kind of festive fun that keeps our spirits bright. Cheers !


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