Congress Hall Brings North Pole to Cape May

CAPE MAY – Known for having the top beaches in the country, the historic town of Cape May also lights up in the winter with a variety of activities to capture the spirit of the holidays. The annual tree lighting ceremony it set to take place Dec. 6 and the holiday cheer will continue through the season with festive getaway options, as Congress Hall and the Virginia Hotel transform into holiday havens for both families and couples.

Transforming into its own winter wonderland, Congress Hall is infused with holiday spirit and decorated from head to toe with Christmas trees, wreaths and garland. With twelve foot toy soldiers at the front entrance; sixteen life-sized candy canes gracing guests in the lobby; and nutcrackers by the elevators and in the retail hallway, Congress Hall creates the ultimate holiday environment. Seasonal festivities include breakfast with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, gingerbread house building, caroling in the Brown Room and the Congress Hall Express, a children’s holiday train that cruises around the grand lawn. Children should also bring their letters for Santa as Congress Hall is providing a magic mailbox to deliver the letters directly to the North Pole.

Beginning Nov. 30 and running through Dec. 29, Congress Hall along with Cape May Stage will be offering a cheerful theatrical show right at the hotel. SantaLand Diaries, by famous author David Sedaris, is the hilarious story of his seasonal gig as an elf at Macy’s in New York City. His account of working with bad Santas and abusive customers in humiliating conditions is sardonic, witty, and downright funny. Go deep into the heart of Christmas as it exists in our world and get your holiday in high gear with this hilarious 90-minute one-man show. The performance will be Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Enjoy Lunch and a Show on Sunday afternoons or Dinner and a Show on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Blue Pig Tavern –a 3-course meal along with your ticket for only $39 for lunch and $59 for dinner.

On Dec. 6, celebrate the season at Congress Hall with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Concert. This year the Congress Hall Christmas tree is a 32-foot Blue Spruce Evergreen with over 8,000 colored lights. The Congress Hall Festival Choir will start the celebration with a performance in the Ballroom at 8 p.m. The annual fun and festive tree lighting follows at 9 p.m. Celebrants are asked to bring canned goods and unwrapped toys to benefit Toys for Tots and the Cape May Food Closet.

Both the Virginia Hotel and Congress Hall make an excellent holiday destination for families by offering true togetherness without the hassle of at-home entertaining. From quaint cottages at The Virginia that sleep the entire extended family to Congress Hall’s breakfast with Santa, Cape Resorts knows how to create simple pleasures year-round for their multi-generational guests.

For families looking to spend the holiday under one roof that feels like their own, The Virginia creates a holiday home away from home with cottages fit for large groups. Each of the six cottages can sleep up to 16 people, enabling guests to welcome family in a home-like setting while indulging in the luxuries of a hotel to avoid the stress of hosting and just enjoy the company of friends and family. Cottages are outfitted with amenities such as gourmet kitchens, flat screen TVs, wood-burning fireplaces, as well as customizable services that include catered meals from The Ebbitt Room, which allow families to focus on connecting instead of clean-up.

Children will feel like they are at The North Pole as they participate in a range of activities such as breakfast with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, family holiday ceramics and caroling in the Brown Room. The Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland package, available Nov. 29 – Jan. 1, allows guests the opportunity to take a train ride on the Congress Hall Express to see the property’s festive decorations and later sip hot chocolate while relaxing by the fire. Also included is a holiday gift from the North Pole, daily breakfast with kids eating free at the Blue Pig Tavern, and accommodations at Congress Hall, Star Inn or Sandpiper Beach Club.

For couples traveling over the holidays, The Virginia offers a Deck the Halls package, available Dec. 23 – Dec. 27, which includes luxurious accommodations in one of the Virginia’s 24 guest rooms, Christmas Dinner for two at the acclaimed Ebbitt Room, two cocktails in the Ebbitt Room or The Front Porch, and a special holiday notecard gift set. When it’s time to ring in the New Year, The Virginia also offers a New Year’s Eve Gala package. Available Dec. 29 – Jan. 2, it includes a three-night stay, five-course dinner for two at The Ebbitt Room, champagne toast and breakfast in-room each morning. Congress Hall’s Glitter Ball Getaway package is another perfect way to celebrate. This package includes a two or three night stay, two tickets to the hotel’s Glitter Ball, featuring Tribeca Grand Entertainment, open bar, party favors, a champagne toast, and five-course dinner, as well as breakfast daily.

For additional information on the holiday packages or activities offered at The Virginia or Congress Hall, please visit