Holiday Guide 2023

Our Holiday Guide 2023 is here to help you find holiday fun & shop locally for all on your list.

By Glenda Robson, Macaroni KID Summit Short Hills SOMA Publisher December 13, 2023

This content is brought to you by our generous sponsors: 

AIR® Aerial Fitness and Good Bottle Refill Shop

The holiday season is in full swing, and our local towns are buzzing with lots of activities and open shops. You’ll find story times, Santa time with photo opportunities, and outdoor entertainment. Enjoy holiday lights, horse rides, carolers, and even a petting farm. 

Our guides are updated regularly, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often for updates. Follow along on Instagram and/or Facebook for special announcements and updates.

If you run a local family-friendly business that you'd like added to this list or if your business is on here and you'd like to upgrade to a featured listing, please email me at

Now, let's start with tackling that holiday list...


AIR®  Aerial Fitness #ad (South Orange & New Providence)

Winter has some of us seeking indoor fun activities. AIR® Aerial Fitness is fun, PLUS great exercise for the kids and adults. The kids love twisting and twirling in the aerial hammock that lifts them off the ground. They get to fly without a pilot’s license nor any experience! Adults get to work out their core efficiently with highly skilled and qualified instructors in quality classes while bringing out their inner child. Twirling has no age limit!

Gift a lucky one on your list a gift card of $100 on sale for $80 to use for classes, camps, parties, and so much more.

More Experiences

  • Imagine That!!! (Florham Park): Toddlers and preschoolers love this place full of events and character visits.
  • Innovation Foundry (Summit) - this STEAM learning center, brainstormed by a local kid, offers Robotics, 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, AI, AR/VR, & Unity classes and related clubs.
  • River Ceramics (Chatham): Kids can handbuild ceramics, learn about the wheel, glazing!
  • Village Play Cafe (Chatham): Indoor play space for the littles. Tiny houses and slides!
  • Zumbini with Allie (New Providence): Baby music classes, open play, & birthday parties!


Good Bottle Refill Shop #ad (Maplewood)

In 2019, inspired by refill shops in Germany, I became an early visitor to this store. My bathroom now has beautiful, matching amber glass bottles for hand soap, lotion, and leave-in conditioner.

As a regular customer since their opening, I’ve seen their selections expand. They now have gifts sets! This Bath & Shower Gift set, available in a basket or box, includes a lotion bar, shower steamer, bath soap bar, loofah, and bath salts! Lavender mint, eucalyptus, rose, as well as the intriguing cashmere and bombshell are some of the scent options.

Visit to check out their gifts, while you refill your empty containers with their bath, laundry, cleaning, personal care, and pantry supplies. Find them at The General Store in Maplewood or order online.

More Gifts

  • The Book House (Millburn) - lovely selection of books for all genre tastes and age ranges. Did I hear book club and/or book tasting?!?
  • Cam Jam (Summit) - new! - this eagerly awaited shop landed in the old Toy Professor spot and does not disappoint. Your Swiftie can exchange ERA-like bracelets from their tree, though you’ll most likely be buying a good amount of things from their curated selections.
  • Color Me Mine (Summit) - under new ownership! A new spark of life in this beloved spot. I need more space to add to the many ceramics my kid has made & will make here. Great for parties.
  • Hopscotch (Maplewood) - Tartan dresses and cute baby clothes.
  • Jabberwocky (Chatham) - classic toy shop around for over three decades. One of our go-to’s for birthday gifts for a wide age range.
  • Murray and Finn (Summit & Maplewood) - organic stuffies, adorable pacifier clips, and natural rubber rattles are just a few of the many baby and toddlers items that will make you feel environmentally friendly, while being stylish. Win!
  • A Paper Hat (Maplewood) - stationery, stickers, cards, and more. Hello, POSCA!
  • Toy Division (Maplewood & Summit) - Whimsical toys? Check. Classic wooden toys? Check. Take my money? Check, well card, but you get the idea.
  • Wool & Grace (Summit) - this center for all things knitting, needlepointing, and crocheting was highly recommended to me before we landed in town. If the terms purl, cast-on, and bind off mean something to you, this is your place.
  • Words Bookstore (Maplewood) - excellent choice of kids books and a basement for story time by authors.
  • YesterToys (Chatham) - new! Take a step back to yesteryear. If you or your loved one are seeking Star Wars, Golden Girls, or Gremlins toys & paraphernalia, you have found your place.

Need a break from shopping?

Stop into RAM Gallery (Summit) to view their latest exhibit! Tweens will love the pop art.

How about a hot cocoa / coffee or something more filling?

  • Artie's (Maplewood) - artisanal pasta, pizza, & sandwiches.
  • Baker Street Market (Maplewood) - cute olive oil bottles with eyes, that might help the kids want to cook. Plus, Spanish imported jamon & potato chips.
  • Birch Bark Confections (Summit) - their ingredients are ones you may have at home. Mom approved.
  • Boxwood (Summit & Westfield) - coffee, tea, macarons, treats from Doughnut Plant. Kids love their pastries.
  • Fleur de Sel (Chatham) - delectable pastries. Swoon!
  • Saigon Cafe Millburn (Millburn) - Pho sure! Sorry... not sorry for the pun. Their food is so good. Kids are also into it! Ordering some ASAP.
  • Scoops (Chatham) - ice cream in the winter? The answer is YES.
  • Star Tavern (Orange) - on top of most people's best pizza list. Only wish they had more locations.
  • Summit House (Summit) - the first time we visited, we felt transported to the city. Parents, treat yourselves!
  • Sweet Nothings (Summit) - generally packed with kids of all ages having a sweet tooth.
  • T.M.Ward of Chatham (Chatham) - Coffee, fun selection of candies, & gifts for over a century!


Local displays and events

  • ๐ŸŒŸ 2023 HOLIDAY LIGHTS, Turtle Back Zoo (West Orange) Nightly through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 24 & Dec. 25)
  • ๐ŸŽ„Camuso Holiday Display at Livingston Memorial Oval Gazebo (Livingston) - after dark through Jan.1 - Closed 12/29 due to weather
  • ๐ŸŽ The HillTop Elf Scavenger Hunt, (Summit) through 12/23
  • ๐ŸŽ„Holiday Music Series at The Mall at Short Hills, (Short Hills) Saturdays & Sundays
  • ๐Ÿ“š Holiday Storytime 2023 at Turtle Back Zoo (ages 8 and under), (West Orange) Dec. 16, 17 (sold out), 21, 22, & 23
  • ๐Ÿ“š Storytime at Barnes & Noble Livingston (Tuesdays & Thursdays), (Livingston) Tuesdays & Thursdays

ONE-TIME EVENTS (visit event page to add to your calendar)

December 14, Thursday

  • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ South Orange Downtown Holiday Market on Village Plaza

December 15, Friday

  • ๐ŸŽ NCJW/Essex Mitzvah-in-a-Minute Holiday Toy Drive and Gift Wrap 2023

December 16, Saturday

  • ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ Dickens Village at Ricalton Square: Horse and Wagon Rides & Petting Farm (Maplewood)
  • ๐Ÿฆ FNC: Nature Guardians - Christmas Bird Count at Orange Reservoir (ages 6+) (West Orange)
  • ๐ŸŽ„Carriages and Carolers in Downtown Summit at Lyric Park (Summit)
  • ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ LACD Special Event at Camuso Holiday Display (Livingston)
  • ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ Visit Santa ~ Camuso Holiday Display at Livingston Memorial Oval Gazebo (Livingston)
  • ๐ŸŽ„Winter Fest 2023 (South Orange)

December 17, Sunday

  • ๐ŸŽ„Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green 2023, Saturdays & Sundays (Morristown)
  • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Handmade Holiday at The Woodland (Maplewood)

December 19, Tuesday

  • โœ‚๏ธ Teen Craft: Holiday Ornaments at Millburn Public Library (ages 12+) (Millburn)

December 21, Thursday

  • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ South Orange Downtown Holiday Market on Village Plaza (South Orange)
  • โ„๏ธ Winter Solstice Celebration at Reeves-Reed Arboretum (ages 4+) (Summit)
  • ๐Ÿ“š Holiday Storytime 2023 at Turtle Back Zoo (ages 8 and under) (West Orange)

December 23, Saturday

  • ๐ŸŽถ Celebrate in Summit (Summit)
  • ๐ŸŽ„Carriages and Carolers in Downtown Summit at Lyric Park (Summit)
  • ๐ŸŽ„Holiday Music Series at The Mall at Short Hills (Short Hills)
  • ๐Ÿ“š Holiday Storytime 2023 at Turtle Back Zoo (ages 8 and under) (West Orange)

December 24, Sunday

  • โ„๏ธ Visit the Watchung Reservation Sensory Friendly Trail (Mountainside)

December 30, Saturday

  • ๐Ÿ–ค SOMA Justice Kwanzaa Celebration at The Woodland Parlor (Maplewood)

December 31, Sunday

  • โ›ธ๏ธ Public Ice Skating Sessions, Codey Arena (West Orange)

Know of any fun holiday events you don't see listed here?
Know of any cancellations/reschedules/relocations/missing or incorrect information for any events listed? 

Tell me at our Contact Us page.

**As of publication, this list is correct and complete, however events may be cancelled or rescheduled for any reason. Check with the venue or host for any cancellations!**

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Serving: Summit, Short Hills, South Orange, Maplewood, Chatham, Livingston, Millburn, West Orange, Orange, Vauxhall, and Florham Park.

Winter and holiday events in our towns and surrounding areas.