Cape May Sparkles during Christmas Tours and Activities this Holiday Season

Cape May welcomes visitors with an abundance of good, old-fashioned cheer for the Christmas holiday during six weeks of festive tours and events sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) through Jan. 1, 2019.

Cape May’s longest-running and much-beloved holiday tour, the 45th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours will take place on Saturdays, Dec. 1, 8 and 15. Each night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., tour-goers can walk to their choice of homes, inns, hotels and churches, beautifully decorated for the holiday season. Along the streets, carolers and strolling musicians serenade, imparting good old-fashioned Christmas cheer, while hospitality centers offer holiday revelers warm beverages and traditional holiday treats. All this is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Admission is $35 for adults and $20 for children (3-12) and includes entry to the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, authentically decorated for a Victorian Christmas, and to “An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery in the Carriage House. Limited shuttle service on heated trolleys is available. Christmas Candlelight House Tours are limited; advance reservations are strongly recommended.

The wonders of the season are on display at “An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit: Holiday Traditions through the Years,” at the Carroll Gallery located in the Estate Carriage House, 1048 Washington St. Here you can experience an exhibit of holiday traditions complete with a giant Christmas tree, a Dept. 56 Dickens Village, model trains, nostalgic photos from Christmas past and much more! The Gallery is open daily through Jan. 1, 2019 (except Thanksgiving and Christmas); hours vary. Admission is free and free parking is available.

Take a guided, daytime, living history tour of the magnificent 1879 House Museum, decorated in authentic Victorian style for Christmas, during Physick Family Christmas House Tours, presented from the viewpoint of a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s. The tour also includes a visit to the Carroll Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate where you can see “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit. Offered daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) through Jan. 1, 2019; hours vary. $12 for adults and $8 for children (3-12).

During the Historic District Trolley Tour, you’ll get acquainted with Cape May on a trolley tour as knowledgeable guides present entertaining and educational stories about the nation’s oldest seashore resort. $12 for adults and $8 for children (3-12). Offered daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas); tour times vary.

Enjoy a guided trolley tour of Cape May’s Historic District, followed by a guided tour of the Physick House Museum at the Emlen Physick Estate, decorated in true Victorian style for Christmas and presented through the eyes of a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s, during the Combination Trolley/Physick Family Christmas House Tours. $22 for adults and $14 for children (3-12). Offered daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas.) Hours vary.

Relive the memories of Christmas past on Lamplighter Christmas Tours, self-guided evening tours of Cape May’s inns or private homes specially decorated for the holidays. Hear a holiday presentation by the owner at each location. The tour also includes a visit to the Carroll Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate where you can see “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit and enjoy warm beverages and holiday treats. $20 for adults and $15 for children (3-12). Offered 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24; Fridays, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28; and Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Be inspired and get into the Christmas spirit during Holiday Inns Tours, self-guided tours where you’ll visit three of Cape May’s festive inns or private homes delightfully decorated for the holiday. $15 for adults and $10 for children (3-12). Offered Monday-Thursday, Nov. 26-29 & Dec. 3-6, 1-3 p.m.

See over a dozen beautifully decorated rooms in this 169-year-old, privately owned home on one of Cape May’s oldest streets during the Cheery Cherry House Christmas Tour. Frank and Beth Acker invite you to travel back through time while viewing Santa and Mrs. Claus beside the tinsel-covered tree; the dining room table set with Christmas turkey and trimmings; the parlor Christmas tree ornamented with family decorations from the 1800s; and the glow of Dicken’s Village lit windows and mantel. $10 admission; children (under 10) free. Offered Monday-Thursday, Dec 10-13 at 1 p.m.

Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides feature a member of the East Lynne Theater Company who will regale you with a Victorian holiday ghost tale as you ride through Cape May’s festively decorated Historic District. Ride begins and ends at Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street except for the Nov. 17 ride which leaves from the Emlen Physick Estate. Offered Fridays, Nov. 23-Dec. 21; Saturdays, Nov. 17-24 & Dec. 29; Sundays, Nov. 25-Dec. 16 & Dec. 30; Wednesday-Friday, Dec. 26-28; Monday, Dec. 31. Hours vary. $12 for adults and $8 for children (3-12). Advance reservation strongly recommended.

Thousands of Christmas lights and holly transform Cape May during the holiday season. Take one of the many Holiday Lights Trolley Rides through Cape May’s Historic District to see cheerfully decorated inns and homes as guides talk about Victorian Christmas traditions, lead sing-alongs and play Christmas music. Rides last about 30 minutes. Offered nightly, Nov. 23-Dec. 31, except Dec. 1, 8, 15, 24, 25. Trolley rides leave from the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, Washington Street at Ocean. $12 for adults and $10 for children (3-12).

Mr. and Mrs. Claus have made their way to Cape May from the North Pole to host Santa’s Trolley Rides. Bring the kids to the Physick Estate on weekends for a ride around Cape May with stories and songs led by Mrs. Claus. Santa will greet children with a sweet in the Carriage House. Saturdays & Sundays, Nov. 25-Dec. 16; Saturday, Dec. 22. Hours vary. $10 for adults and $8 for children (3-12). Advance reservation strongly recommended.

Revel in the sparkly lights of Cape May’s beautiful Victorian homes decorated for Christmas on a trolley ride through town, then take a guided tour of the first floor rooms of the 1879 Physick House Museum, authentically decorated for a Victorian Christmas during the Evening Yuletide Tour. See how the Physick family would have entertained for the holidays. Afterwards, visit the Carriage House for holiday refreshments and a visit to “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit. Tour begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop. $22 for adults and $14 for children (3-12). You can also take just the 30-minute house tour portion, the Evening Physick Estate Tour. Included is a visit the Carriage House for holiday refreshments and a visit to “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” exhibit. Both tours offered every evening, Nov. 23-Dec. 29, except Dec. 1, 8, 15, 24 and 25. Hours vary. $12 for adults and $8 for children (3-12).

The man in the jolly red suit will be coming to town and visiting the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., for Breakfast with Santa at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, Nov. 24, Dec. 1, Dec. 8 and Sundays, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. Share a family-friendly breakfast buffet with Santa. Children can visit with Santa Claus, share their Christmas lists and hear a Christmas story. $18 for adults, $12 for children (3-12) and $5 children under 3 who are dining.

It’s a bountiful buffet for chocolate lovers! Enjoy seven plated courses of delicious chocolate desserts and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it during the Chocolate Lovers Feast. at The Blue Rose Inn. This is a limited event so reserve early. The Blue Rose Inn, 653 Washington St. Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. Admission is $40.

Come home for the holidays! Celebrate with a festive five-course dinner paired with a selection of wines at the famous Mad Batter restaurant during the Mad Batter Wine Dinner — “Home for the Holidays” on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Limited to 60; reserve early. Admission is $75 (tax and gratuity included).

Are you a wine aficionado? Learn all about wines made for celebrating during the Cape May Wine School Class “Classic Champagne: A Tour of Sparkling Wine” on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. Before you pop the cork, prepare for your holiday celebrations by tasting delicious sparkling wines perfect for holiday celebrations at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington St. Call the Washington Inn directly at (609) 884-5697 for tickets. Admission is $40 (gratuity not included).

Don’t miss this special opportunity! Enjoy a five-course, gourmet feast this holiday, with each course served in one of Cape May’s premier restaurants during the unforgettable Chefs’ Dine-Around on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 6 p.m. Wine will be selected for each course, and a representative from the sponsoring winery will explain the pairings. A trolley shuttle between restaurants is provided. Limited to 34; reserve early. Admission is $125 (gratuity included).

A must-visit to help complete your holiday gift-giving list is the Holiday Crafts & Collectibles Show. Shop for unique hand-made gifts and seasonal decorations over two days inside Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place. Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2.

Immerse yourself in the storied world of Dickens at the Dickens Christmas Extravaganza, with lectures and performances offered daily. All lectures will be held at Cape May Stage, 405 Lafayette St. A Dickensian-style, four-course feast will be held at Union Park Dining Room, 727 Beach Ave. Admission to the extravaganza is $175. Complete packages with accommodations are also available from participating inns. Some events are also available for individual purchase at $15 (adults), $10 (MAC members) and $5 (students) admission at the door. Offered Sunday-Tuesday, Dec 2-4.

Bring a bag lunch to Cape May United Methodist Church, 535 Washington St., and dive into history with Holiday Lunch & Learns. Topics are: Christmas Traditions on Dec. 5, Christmas Music on Dec. 12 and Victorian Views of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 19. Light refreshments. Admission is $5; MAC members free. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and program starts at noon.

Enjoy a buffet luncheon at Lucky Bones Restaurant, 1200 Route 109, Cape May, and a richly illustrated lecture on Victorian consumer culture during Lunch & Learn at Lucky Bones: Let’s Go Shopping. Admission is $20 and includes a buffet lunch. Beverages available for purchase separately. Limited to 30. Offered Saturday, Dec. 15 at noon; doors open at 11:30 a.m.

Cape May Stage presents “An Actor’s Carol” Having played Scrooge many times a cranky actor finds himself visited by three spirits of his own. A cast of four play 17 characters in this hilarious new look at a classic that reminds us that the most jaded among us can find magic in the holiday season – and in the theater as well. Now-Dec. 30, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays-Sundays at 3 p.m. Advance reservation strongly recommended. The Robert Shackleton Playhouse is located at the corner of Bank & Lafayette streets.

East Lynne Theater Company presents “O. Henry’s Christmas Tales” “One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That’s all I have,” sighed Della in “The Gift of the Magi,” just one of the O. Henry stories adapted and performed by Gayle Stahlhuth, who brings to life 30-plus characters in her memorized, unique tour-de-force storytelling style. With the flick of the wrist and change of accent, she glides seamlessly from one character to another in this tour-de-force performance that delights all ages. Nov. 23-24, Dec. 2, 6, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m.; Saturday matinee on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St.

Schedules are subject to change. Visit for the most up-to-date schedule and ticket information.