1. Holiday Lights
Take the family for a drive after dinner, and check out some amazing Christmas light displays! Here are some to head to:
- The Gress House Holiday Light Spectacular, 14 Johnson Ave. Union Beach, NJ
- The Sisti Family Christmas Lights, 300 Block of Pitney Ave. Spring Lake, NJ
- Johnny’s Holiday Light Extravaganza, 3 Bauer Ave. Hazlet, Nj
- Ferrante Light Display, 12 Virginia Terrace, West Long Branch, NJ
- Magic of Lights, PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
There’s an entire Facebook page dedicated to finding some of the best lights around in Monmouth County and Ocean County, click here for more information!
2. Ice Skating at Pier Village
The beautiful Pier Village in Long Branch is decked out for the holidays! This season, they’re offering ice skating for the entire family, and skate rentals are also available. Hit the rink for an hour, do some last minute shopping at one of the boutiques, and grab dinner at McLoone’s Pier House, Sirena Ristorante, or Stewart’s Rootbeer, to name a few! Before heading out, treat the kids to Coney Waffle for a dessert they won’t forget!
3. Spend the Day in Town
Always meaning to check out the new spots in Monmouth County? You can make a whole day out of these great Monmouth County towns:
Asbury Park has more to offer than ever, even for the whole family. You can drop into convention hall for the last Holiday Bazaar on December 22nd. Swing by the Silverball Pinball Museum with the kids, and grab some lunch at the family-friendly Langosta Lounge or have some authentic pizza at Porta! Bundle up and take a stroll on the boardwalk, and take some photos of the Atlantic in the winter (our kids love this!). And if your parents are in town, have them stay home with the kids and check out Asbury Park Brewery and sample some local beers.
Red Bank is one of our favorite spots to park the car around the holidays and just walk around. It’s small enough to bring the little ones, and you don’t have to walk miles to get anywhere, there’s still plenty to do! For the older ones, check their schedule at AR Workshop to paint a project for your home. For the younger ones, check out Paint A Tee, where you can design your own t-shirts! The whole family always has a good time at Yestercades, where you can play vintage video games at hourly rates. Swing by the Christmas tree in Marine Park, do some shopping, and grab some lunch or dinner at Dublin House, Patrizia’s, or Birravino.
Freehold is beautiful around this time of year. Downtown is decorated for the holidays, and offers great restaurants to have a nice lunch with your loved ones in town (we love Federici’s). iPlay America offers fun for the whole family, complete with indoor rides and arcade games. Have lunch at the cafe, and take the kids into the candy shop for a holiday treat! Need to return some gifts? Spend some time at Freehold Raceway Mall, bring the little ones to Build-a-Bear, paint some pottery at Color Me Mine, and have lunch at Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Changs!
4. Head to the Movies
We are so excited to finally see some of the great movies out this holiday season. Mary Poppins, The Grinch, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Aquaman are all on the list this week. Here’s a list of some of the movie theatre’s in Monmouth County:
5. Take a Hike!
Need to get some fresh air and work off those Christmas cookies? It’s cold out, but the Monmouth County Park System is still beautiful this time of year! There’s SO many parks to take a small hike, go for a walk/run, or do some outdoor activities with the kids.
One of our favorite places to go for a long walk is Manasquan Reservoir, it’s incredibly scenic, and there’s a five mile trail along the perimeter of the reservoir. Make sure you take pictures, it’s really something!
Holmdel Park offers a paved trail, perfect for strollers, and for the older ones, a 3-mile fitness trail. The farm animals at Historic Longstreet Farm is always a hit with the little ones too.
Thompson Park is a great spot for the whole family. They have a dog park, five mile paved trail perfect for running strollers, and a huge playground. We’ll definitely be here over the holidays, stop by and say hi!
For a full list of over 138 miles of trails here in Monmouth County, click here! And don’t forget to sign up for the many activities in the parks this Winter, as we are very lucky to have such an amazing park system. A full list is here!