Celebrating the Christmas season with your family and friends doesn’t have to be expensive. Save some money by heading to the shore and checking out these FREE holiday events!
Travel back in time and experience holiday traditions of the past for free at the Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit, held at the Carroll Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Come be dazzled by this beautiful exhibit, featuring model trains, toys, nostalgic photos from Christmas past, a giant Christmas tree, a Dept. 56 Dickens Village and much more. The exhibit runs daily through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 (except Christmas), and hours vary. For more information and hours, call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278, or visit www.capemaymac.org.
Have you ever seen the Wildwoods sparkling with holiday lights and filled with Christmas cheer? Well, now’s your chance at the Family Holiday Celebration! This tradition is full of free fun for the entire family, including shopping, crafts, face painting, local school children’s choruses & band performances, music, gymnastics & cheer performances, a magician, free holiday movies and a special visit from Santa Claus. The celebration in the Wildwoods Convention Center, 4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, begins Friday, Dec. 9 after the Wildwood Jaycees Christmas Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and continues on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (609) 729-9000 or visit www.WildwoodHoliday.com.
The Cape May County Park & Zoo, 707 Rt. 9 N., Cape May Court House, is open year round with free admission, but did you know they often host free special events, too? On Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the zoo will once again host Santa’s Family Workshop where you can enjoy photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Reptile House, crafts stations, educational animals and more, all at no charge! Of course, donations are always welcome to help keep the zoo free. For more information, call (609) 465-5271 or visit www.cmcZoo.com.
Bring the entire family to enjoy two free holiday concerts at Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Ave., Cape May, on Saturday, Dec. 10 and Wednesday, Dec. 14. The Cumberland County College Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble will perform a concert filled with yuletide favorites Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. Their “Christmas in Cape May” concert features classic and contemporary holiday arrangements performed by regional community instrumentalists and vocalists. Hot chocolate, holiday cookies and fudge will be served at the concert. The Angelus Chorus will perform a free holiday concert with a selection of traditional and secular music Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. The Chorus is comprised of 60 voices and is directed by Dr. Richard Stanislaw of Ocean City and accompanied by Ruth Fritsch, organist at the Cape Island Baptist Church. For more information, visit discovercapemaynj.com or call (609) 884-9565.
Mark your calendar for the annual Nick Federoff Community Christmas Celebration at Cape May Convention Hall on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. Enjoy free holiday fun for the whole family including children’s games and crafts, face painting, holiday refreshments, pictures with Santa and much more at the beautifully decorated Convention Hall. For more information, visit discovercapemaynj.com or call (609) 884-9565.
Don’t forget to bring Fido when heading out with the family! The Cape May County Animal Shelter, 110 Shelter Rd., Cape May Court House, is holding a Holiday Open House & Pet Photos with Santa, the perfect way to bring your furry friends in on the free fun. On Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., your pets can take free photos with “Santa Claws”! Bring your own camera, and be sure to stick around for refreshments. For more information, call (609) 465-8923, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit capemaycountynj.gov.
Enjoy the sounds of the season with the John Walter Cape Community Band’s Free Holiday Concert, a sure way to get you in the Christmas spirit! On Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., the band will perform live at St. John Neumann, 680 Town Bank Rd., North Cape May. Although free, the band will be collecting non-perishable items for local food banks. ‘Tis the season of giving, so give back to your shore community! For more information, visit www.johnwalterband.org.
All children up to age 10 are welcome to visit the Sea Isle City Volunteer Fire Department on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. as the department hosts a special Christmas Gathering for free! Inside the City’s Fire House, 233 JFK Blvd., Sea Isle City, kids can enjoy a meeting with Santa Claus and delicious holiday treats. For more information, call (609) 263-1689.
Take in the festive sights of Christmas in Ocean City during Free Horse & Carriage Rides on Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 18 from 12 to 3 p.m. starting in front of City Hall, 861 Asbury Ave., Ocean City. For more information, call 1-800-BEACH-NJ.
Join the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, 1200 Lincoln Blvd., North Cape May, for a Ferry Merry Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 12 p.m. Enjoy a free Winter Carnival featuring iconic Christmas games, face painting and balloon art, and explore Santa’s Workshop in the Gallery featuring crafts and great activities for kids ages 3 to 9. It all gets a little sweeter knowing that there will be a hot chocolate and cookie bar, provided free of charge by the Ferry. Additional food and beverages will be available for purchase in the food court. For more information, visit www.cmlf.com.
Lighting up the holidays in Cape May County is always free! Join multiple municipalities as they make their communities shimmer and shine during their annual Tree Lighting Ceremonies. Remaining ceremonies for the season include Stone Harbor, Wildwood and Woodbine. Visit dotheshore.com for details.
Festive line ups parade down the streets of your favorite shore towns for annual community Christmas Parades, free for you to enjoy! Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of Santa himself. Remaining parades for the season include Wildwood, Woodbine and Lower Township. Visit dotheshore.com for details.
For more holiday events in Cape May County, visit our events calendar at www.dotheshore.com/events/events-calendar!