Enjoy New Brunswick's Winter Wonderland for the Holidays
DEC 1, 2023 to DEC 31, 2023 Times & locations for each event are listed below.
New Brunswick City Center New Brunswick, NJ
New Brunswick City Center is YOUR Host for the Holidays!
Starting with the annual Tree Lighting at Monument Square Park on Friday, December 1st, and every day until the New Year, the season will be filled with multiple activities celebrating the holidays creating a Winter Wonderland of festivities in New Brunswick! #NBWinterWonderland
December 1st @ Monument Square Park at 5 pm - RAIN OR SHINE!!
Starting with the annual Tree Lighting at Monument Square Park on Friday, December 1st, the season will be filled with fun activities celebrating the holidays creating a Winter Wonderland of festivities.
Enjoy live musical entertainment before and after the tree lighting ceremony and bask in the glow of the holiday tree as we flip the switch amongst friends, family, and our community. Make plans to join in on the fun and make a night out with shopping, beauty services, fine dining, and entertainment!
The United Methodist Church at 323 George Street will be open to all visitors during the holiday program to enjoy their Holiday Decor & to keep warm.
December 1st @ Monument Square Park @ 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM
THE DUPREES are known the world over for their romantic interpretations of some of the most beautiful love songs ever written. They have made a career out of giving new life to the big band standards and contemporary hits. If you take the Glenn Miller arrangements of the 1940s along with the tunes of Joni James, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Nat King Cole, (just to name a few) and the vocal harmonies of Tom Petillo, Jimmy Spinelli, and Shawn Stevens put them together, you have the sound of THE DUPREES.
TENOR, AMINE HACHEM
December 1st @ Monument Square Park at 7:15 PM
AMINE HACHEM has been a leading tenor in operas, musicals, concerts, and recitals on the world’s most prestigious stages. He is known for delivering an electrifying and thrilling performance.
GINGERBREAD HOUSE DECORATING CONTEST
December 1, 2023 - December 3, 2023 @ NBPAC - 11 Livingston Avenue
Gingerbread House entries will be on display at the New Brunswick Performing Art Center. Public voting ends December 3rd at 6:00 PM so don't forget to vote for your favorite!
ICE SKATING AT MONUMENT SQUARE PARK
December 1, 2023 - December 3, 2023, @ Monument Square Park - 2 Livingston Avenue from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM on Friday, and from 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Glide over to Monument Square Park for some fun ice skating with family and friends this holiday season. You may bring your own skates or rent a pair at the rink.
A MAGICAL CIRQUE CHRISTMAS
December 1st @ State Theatre New Jersey - 15 Livingston Avenue at 7:30 PM
The world’s greatest entertainers unite for a spellbinding and incredible holiday production—A Magical Cirque Christmas! Experience the enchantment of Christmas with an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.
LIVE ICE SCULPTURE DEMONSTRATIONS
December 1, 2023 - @ Monument Square Park - 2 Livingston Avenue from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Be sure to check out our talented ice sculpture artist as he creates a one-of-a-kind ice sculpture.
JACK DANIEL'S OPERATION RIDE HOME
December 1, 2023 - @ Across from Monument Square Park - 5 Livingston Avenue at 7:00 PM
Operation Ride Home is a program designed to assist junior enlisted service members and those with families to travel from their military bases to homes around the country. Our mission is to raise as much money as possible to assist these heroes with getting home.
In conjunction with Jack Daniel’s Distillery & Operation Ride Home, New Brunswick is pleased to host the FIRST EVER Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree in New Jersey, located at 5 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. While decorated festively for the holiday season, the barrels will go on auction on December 1st, 2023 (for January 2024 pick-up). Select barrels will include some exciting New Brunswick experiences for additional costs. ALL proceeds from the auction & barrel sales will benefit Operation Ride Home, which works to bring members of the military HOME for holidays and important events.
AMERICAN HUNGARIAN FOUNDATION'S 35TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF TREES
December 3, 2023 - January 6, 2024 - Trees are exhibited at the following locations: AHF gallery - 300 Somerset St., NBPAC - 11 Livingston Ave., and Amboy Bank - 350 George St.
The 35th Annual Festival of Trees celebrates the Christmas trees as one of our most important Christmas holiday traditions. The trees have been decorated by local organizations who have been invited to share the holiday traditions of their culture. Many of the trees have been decorated with handmade ornaments. Before Christmas decorations could be purchased, families made their own decorations using whatever materials they had in their homes and whatever was available in nature (pinecones, straw, nuts, etc.) Sometimes the decorations were edible, made from cookies, candy, nuts, or fruit.
This year's trees are decorated not only with the traditional ornaments of their country but also with colored balls representing the colors of each nation's flag.
American Hungarian Foundation Gallery - (21 trees displayed) Hungary, Australia, Austria, Poland, Japan, France, USA, Israel, Germany, Canada, Italy, Scotland, England-Victorian, Brazil, Ukraine-The Christmas Spider, Argentina, Hispanic/Latino, Denmark, Estonia, Belarus, and Solstice
New Brunswick Performing Arts Center - Esperanza Neighborhood Project Tree, Hungarian Tree, New Brunswick Tree, and Irish Tree
Amboy Bank - Greek Tree
If you enjoyed your Christmas trip around the globe, please consider making a donation to the AHF at the front desk or at the museum's store. Or here: DONATE TODAY!
MERCADO ESPERANZA HOLIDAY MARKET & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING
December 3rd @ War Memorial Park - 1 Jersey Avenue, at the intersection of Handy Street from 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Come out and enjoy some local food and craft vendors along with live music and dance. Fun for the whole family.
HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES
Tuesday, December 5th, 12th & 19th 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM @ The Hyatt - Neilson Street
December 15th, 16th & 17th from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ The Hyatt - Neilson Street
Continuing with a New Brunswick holiday classic, City Center will host family carriage rides in the winter evenings.
Come and enjoy the extravagant winter decorations of New Brunswick's City Center with a fun & safe ride through the downtown in our beautiful horse-drawn carriages!
The Percheron draft horses are always well-groomed, wonderfully behaved, treated with great respect, and cared for in local stables, courtesy of KV Carriages. Given a lot of attention and love, which we feel is the key to their all-around performance, personality, and health, you can read up on each horse at kvcarriage.com.
Register here. (1 ticket entitles a family of four to a horse-drawn carriage ride)
December 6th @ East Jersey Old Town Village - Indian Queen Tavern at 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
A wintery holiday show highlighting stories, choral music, and poetry by famous authors like Maya Angelou, Charles Dickens, Robert Frost, and Edgar Allan Poe. This free 75-minute show is appropriate for the entire family (adult themes explored) and is set amongst the magical landscape of Middlesex County's East Jersey Old Town Village.
Free Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, and Seating is Limited to 60 people per show so Reserve your Seats Now!
There will also be a fun holiday market with food, drinks, and crafts available for purchase! Reserve your seats here.
THE ILLUSIONISTS—MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS
December 6th @ State Theater New Jersey - 15 Livingston Avenue @ 7:30 PM
Celebrate the holidays with the entire family at The Illusionists–Magic of the Holidays, a mind-blowing showcase featuring jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. The Illusionists has shattered box office records across the globe, dazzling audiences with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This all-new installment of the world-famous, blockbuster touring magic spectacular is a non-stop show packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.
SOULTOWN TO MOTOWN: HOLIDAY SHOW
December 8th @ New Brunswick Performing Arts Center - 11 Livingston Avenue at 8:00 PM
Under the tutelage of legendary Jersey Shore saxophonist Screamin' Steve Barlotta, The Sensational Soul Cruisers bring to you their Soultown to Motown Holiday Show. This Concert highlights iconic Classic Soul & Motown music from the birth of Motown in 1960 to the release of Michael Jackson’s all-time-selling Thriller Album in 1983. Sprinkled in for the Holiday Season you will hear some of your favorite Christmas Holiday renditions by the Temptations, Jackson 5, The Drifters, Donny Hathaway & Stevie Wonder - with many more magical soulful gems and surprises!
VIENNA BOYS CHOIR
December 8th @ State Theater New Jersey - 15 Livingston Avenue @ 8:00 PM
The illustrious group of child musicians has been delighting music lovers across the globe for six centuries with their purity of tone and distinctive charm. The enormously popular chorus is composed of four touring choirs that hail from dozens of nations and together give over 300 concerts a year around the world. Christmas in Vienna showcases these gifted musicians with voices of unforgettable beauty in an extraordinary program featuring Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, popular songs, and, of course, holiday favorites. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram raves “There’s no more gratifying sound than that of children singing. And there’s no more polished ensemble of children’s voices than the Vienna Boys Choir.”
HUNGARIAN CHRISTMAS MARKET
December 9th @ American Hungarian Foundation at 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Annual Hungarian Christmas Market benefiting the Hungarian Scouts.
Come enjoy Hungarian foods and artisan products.
RUTGERS BIG CHILL 5K
December 9th @ College Avenue Campus Gym at 10:00 AM
This popular charitable event has served the Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ community since 2003. Participation can be in-person (limited to 3,000) registrants) or virtual.
Cash donations benefit the No Hungry Knights Scholarship Fund supporting Rutgers students with food insecurities. Toy donations benefit children in the New Brunswick community through Rutgers Winter Wishes, the New Brunswick Fire Department, and RWJ Barnabas Health.
MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS BY CHIP DAVIS
December 19th @ State Theater New Jersey - 15 Livingston Avenue at 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM
The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller! Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday celebration for over 35 years. Grammy® Award-winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects to create the perfect intimate setting.
December 14th @ New Brunswick Performing Arts Center at 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Holiday Soul featuring DJ RuntheFade is a mix-and-mingle social hour.
• December 15th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 7:30 PM
• December 16th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 2 PM & 7 PM
• December 17th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 1 PM & 5 PM
Every year, American Repertory Ballet brings the holiday classic to stages across the state. American Repertory Ballet brings the beloved classic to the stage with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, stunning new sets, thrilling choreography, and a cast of over 100 performers.
ARB’s professional company will be joined by students from Princeton Ballet School to tell the story of a young girl and how a mysterious gift brings about enchanted dreams and fantastical scenes. Whether it’s your first time, an annual tradition, or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, ARB’s Nutcracker is a perfect holiday treat for your entire family.
SELFIES WITH SANTA
December 16th @ New Brunswick Performing Arts Center - 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Step inside the lobby of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center for a selfie with Santa!!
STONE COLD AND THE JACKAL HOLIDAY SHOW
December 16th @ Stress Factory Comedy Club - 90 Church Street at 2:00 PM
Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson are best known as Jason Morgan and Damian Spinelli from ABC’s soap opera, “General Hospital.” Fans have loved their unique friendship onscreen, but their real-life dynamic is perhaps even more entertaining. In addition to their successful podcast, “That’s Awesome” on Podcast One, and entertaining their legions of fans on social media, Steve and Bradford are delighted to be once again touring all over the country to the delight of their fans everywhere. Join them for a unique 90-minute show full of music, comedy, and Steve and Bradford hijinks!!
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
December 17th @ Nicholas Music Center - 85 George Street at 3:00 PM
On Sunday afternoon, December 17, the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra will present a festive holiday program, “Home for the Holidays,” in Nicholas Music Center, on the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Three local choirs (Highland Park Community Chorus, Cantabile, and Philomusica) will join our full orchestra for a celebration that includes new and old holiday favorites. In a grand finale, the choirs and orchestra join forces in Handel’s powerful “Hallelujah Chorus.” The Nicholas Music Center features excellent acoustics and sightlines, is fully handicapped accessible, and offers free parking.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY COMEDY JAM! TALENT & GUESTS
December 20th @ Stress Factory Comedy Club - 90 Church Street at 7:30 PM
They often say that you can tell a lot about a person from their name. In this case, TALENT embodies the definition with full force. TALENT’s comedic style is firmly grounded within his innate ability to combine impromptu humor and an instinctive timely delivery. Often referred to as comedy’s “King of New York”; with his natural ability to bring laughter into households and venues. He has headlined his own comedy shows and tours as well as made special appearances on such reputable programming as BET’s Comic View, HBO’s SNAPs & Def Comedy Jam, and earned the position as host of New York’s 98.7 KISS FM’s Morning Show. Talent’s capacity for achievement and success is a constantly evolving journey.
COMMUNITY KWANZAA CELEBRATION
December 28th from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
In the third floor exhibition space you can learn all about the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Hosted by the NAACP New Brunswick Area Branch.
THE HIP-HOP NUTCRACKER
December 29th @ State Theater New Jersey - 15 Livingston Avenue at 8:00 PM
The Hip Hop Nutcracker is coming to the State Theatre with a holiday mash-up for the whole family! Directed and choreographed by Tony® and Olivier Award-nominated Jennifer Weber, this contemporary dance spectacle is a re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, smashing hip-hop dance and Tchaikovsky’s timeless music into a heart-stirring and inspirational holiday event.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker is brought to life by a powerhouse cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set.
With new-age visuals and digital graffiti, the classic ballet is reset in contemporary New York City. With the same heart as the original, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince go on a winter adventure battling an army of mice, meeting sugarplum fairies, and visiting a land of candy and treats!
SALUTE TO VIENNA
December 31st @ State Theater New Jersey - 15 Livingston Avenue at 8:00 PM
With European singers, dancers, and a full orchestra with timeless music, dazzling costumes, breathtaking dance, and stunning floral designs, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert returns to State Theatre New Jersey for an unforgettable New Year’s celebration that will enchant and delight audiences of all ages.
Freshly updated each year with a new cast and musical program, the exuberant music of Johann Strauss and his counterparts will spring to life in a joyful spectacle. The maestro, an expert in Viennese music, will lead the orchestra and the audience on a journey through the Golden Age of Vienna with wit, charm, and more than a few jokes along the way.
Energetic, lighthearted, and full of romance, the music of Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert goes down like a glass of champagne. Ring in 2024 with this celebration of music, beauty, and human connection.
NEW YEAR'S EVE FIREWORKS & CELEBRATIONS
• December 31st @ Various Locations in New Brunswick
New Brunswick is a prime destination to ring in the new year. Whether a local or a visitor, spend the last night of the year with thousands of your closest friends, hours of live music, fireworks, and the signature midnight toasts! Come to Monument Square Park at midnight to watch the amazing fireworks display!!
NEW YEAR'S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA!! WITH JESUS TREJO!
December 31st @ Stress Factory Comedy Club - 90 Church Street at 7:00 PM & 10:00 PM
Jesus Trejo is one of the fastest-rising names in the stand-up comedy scene. Trejo will be taping his first-hour stand-up special for SHOWTIME this fall, set to air top of 2020. He can seen recurring on the Netflix series MR. IGLESIAS, and in roles on ALONE TOGETHER (Freeform) and TEACHERS (TV Land). Jesus was selected to be a NEW FACE comedian in 2016 for the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and was named a Variety Top 10 Comic to watch at JFL in 2017. Born and raised in Long Beach, CA, Trejo is a paid regular at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles.
New Brunswick's Winter Wonderland would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors:
New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), Magyar Bank, French & Parrello Associates, Johnson & Johnson, Puffin, Maul Power Group, RAM Law, Russo Development, LBJ Interior Solutions, RWJBarnabas Health, Saint Peter's Healthcare System, New Brunswick Business Alliance, Olympus Construction, Huey's Night Club, Amboy Bank, Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA), and New Brunswick Cultural Center/Arts New Brunswick.
Thank you for joining us this holiday season. We hope you enjoyed your visit!
If you are a local New Brunswick business that would like to promote your winter event or inquire about sponsorship, please email Citymarket@newbrunswick.com.