Enjoy New Brunswick's Winter Wonderland for the Holidays
DEC 2, 2022 to DEC 31, 2022 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 2nd, 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
Register here to be updated weekly about Winter Wonderland 2022 Events, Activities, and Specials!
VIRTUAL TOY DRIVE BENEFITTING THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AT SAINT PETER'S UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
November 1st through December 31st
Help spread cheer this holiday season!
Help raise funds to provide toys and other items for pediatric patients throughout The Children's Hospital at Saint Peter's University Hospital.
Your support will enable us to purchase items such as:
Barbie dolls, Action figures, Board games, Art supplies, Video games, Books, Items for infants, Gift cards, iPads, and other devices.
Host Your Own Fundraiser.
As part of our Virtual Toy Drive, you can host your own online drive! Click "Start Fundraising", located on the right of your screen, and follow the prompts to start your own Virtual Toy Drive. Share your Virtual Toy Drive with friends and family on social media to reach your goal and bring a smile to countless children's faces.
The Salvation Army New Brunswick Corps "Red Kettle" campaign will celebrate the season of kindness with several collection dates & locations around New Brunswick and support New Brunswick City Center events. This year, The Salvation Army New Brunswick Corps’s red kettle goal is $15,000 in order to continue helping local families in need through the upcoming year. Click here to Donate Online.
FESTIVAL OF TREES
November 25th through December 31st
Amboy Bank at 350 George Street will display a Greek Tree
New Brunswick Performing Arts Center at 11 Livingston Avenue will display an Irish Tree, a Hungarian Tree, a New Brunswick Tree, and a Latin American Tree.
This year marks the Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation's 34th year exhibiting their Annual Festival of Trees.
MIRACLE ON GEORGE STREET
• November 25th through December 31st
Santa's elves will again transform Catherine Lombardi's into The Miracle Bar!
We are going to be The Center of Holiday Cheer for all of Central Jersey and Beyond. It will be impossible to escape the spirit of the season. Wait until you see how these halls will be decked! You can drink from our special Miracle cocktail menu in Miracle glasses, mugs, cups, and shot glasses. The Christmapolitan, Santa's Little Helper, Christmas Cricket, and Elfing Around are just a few of the specialty cocktails being served at Miracle Bar.
• Make your Reservations at Catherine Lombardi, which is open seven days a week.
• Make your reservations with Stage Left Steak, which is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
THE WIZARDS OF WINTER
• November 25th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 8 pm
The Wizards of Winter is a holiday rock event for the whole family! Featuring former members of Classic Rock Giants, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Def Leppard, Rainbow, Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, along with Broadway and theater veterans. Join The Wizards of Winter on a musical journey in search of the true meaning of Christmas in the holiday rock opera, The Christmas Dream. The story is based on the music from their latest release The Christmas Dream along with music from their self-titled CD and album The Magic of Winter. This 11-member ensemble boasts soaring vocal harmonies, precision string instrumentation, powerful percussion, and stunning keyboard work, layered around a rich storyboard that evokes memories and emotions of December’s past!
CELEBRATE THE SEASON WITH PATTI LABELLE
• December 1st @ State Theatre New Jersey at 8 pm
This holiday season, see Grammy® Award-winning artist Patti LaBelle as she performs holiday classics and the hits you know and love! Known for her powerhouse vocals and electrifying live performances, LaBelle’s hits include “If Only You Knew,” “When You Talk About Love,” “New Attitude,” “Stir It Up,” and “Lady Marmalade."
HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING
December 2nd @ Monument Square Park at 5 pm
Starting with the annual Tree Lighting at Monument Square Park and Facebook Live on Friday, December 2nd, the winter season will be filled with fun activities celebrating the holidays creating a Winter Wonderland of festivities.
Enjoy live ice carving demonstrations while Hub City Sounds provides musical entertainment before the tree lighting ceremony and bask in the glow of the holiday tree as we flip the switch amongst carolers and friends. Make plans to join in on the fun and make a night out with shopping, beauty services, fine dining, and entertainment! Plus stop by the table out front of the NBPAC with your best "Ugly Sweater" on you or your dog and you'll be in the running for a special contest!
The United Methodist Church at 323 George Street will be open to all visitors during the Tree Lighting to enjoy their Holiday Decor & to keep warm.
The Heldrich Hotel will be serving FREE Hot Cocoa to the community during the Tree Lighting.
Brought to you thanks to our sponsors, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, Central Jersey Convention and Visitors Bureau, and RAM Law.
SPECIAL VISIT FROM SANTA
Visit from Santa @ Monument Square Park at 6:30 pm on December 2nd
While the community gathers to enjoy all the fun activities during the Annual Tree Lighting, Santa will make a surprise appearance and join in on the fun. While the community gathers to enjoy all the fun activities during the Annual Tree Lighting, Santa will make a surprise appearance and join in on the fun.
The competition is @ Monument Square Park at 5:00 pm on December 2nd
Brought to you thanks to our sponsor, Saint Peter's Healthcare System. Chefs from our top restaurants will compete in a chili cook-off competition. The winner will be selected by the public during the Annual Tree Lighting. Our chili cook-off competitors are The Frog and The Peach, Destination Dogs, Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe, and Fritz's.
PET COSTUME PAGEANT
Pet Pageant is @Monument Square Park at 6:00 pm on December 2nd
Dress up your four-legged children and come show them off at our Pet Pageant during our Annual Tree Lighting event. It's FREE to participate! Registration is required at the event. Humans are encouraged to participate so that you are in the running for the best human-pet-duo prize.
LIVE ICE SCULPTURE DEMONSTRATIONS
December 2nd @ Monument Square Park at 5 pm
Be sure to check out our talented ice sculpture artist as he creates a one-of-a-kind ice sculpture.
20TH ANNUAL RUTGERS' BIG CHILL 5K
December 3rd @ College Avenue Gym at 8 am
The Rutgers Big Chill 5k is a charitable event that has served the Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ community since 2003. Similarly to last year, we will offer both an in-person and virtual race. Our in-person race will occur on December 3 at 10 am, with runner check-in beginning at 8 am. The Rutgers Big Chill has been a staple within the Rutgers University-New Brunswick Community for 20 years and is enjoyed by thousands of runners yearly. We aim to continue the Big Chill tradition while giving back to the community and keeping participants active and motivated.
KID'S HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!
December 3rd @ Above Art Studios from 12 pm - 4 pm
Take pics with Frosty, play games, eat cookies and drink chocolate, create art, dance and ride ponies (not included in admission). Purchase tickets here.
MARTINA MCBRIDE - THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS TOUR 2022
December 4th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 7:30 pm
See country superstar Martina McBride live this holiday season in The Joy of Christmas Tour 2022! Enjoy hits like “Independence Day,” “A Broken Wing,” “Wild Angels,” and “This One’s for the Girls” along with holiday favorites.
The multiple Grammy® nominee has sold over 23 million albums to date, which includes 20 Top 10 singles and six #1 hits. McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four wins for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Top Female Vocalist. She has been awarded 14 Gold Records, nine Platinum honors, three Double Platinum Records, and two Triple Platinum Awards.
McBride was awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and the Music Business Association’s prestigious 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence. She has released two cookbooks—the first, Around the Table, a full-color illustrated collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice, and themed décor inspiration. She released her second book, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life, in October 2018. Most recently, McBride was honored with the Cliffie Stone Icon Award at the ACM Honors event for her impactful contributions to country music.
When McBride isn’t in the studio, she focuses her time on charitable causes dear to her heart through her Team Music Is Love charity initiative.
MERCADO ESPERANZA HOLIDAY MARKET & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING
December 4th @ War Memorial Park at 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Come out for a special holiday market and the lighting of the Christmas tree! There will be local food and craft vendors and live music and dance. This will be the last Mercado Esperanza of the year.
Brought to you by New Brunswick Tomorrow's Esperanza Project and CoLAB Arts.
JOY, A NEW MUSICAL
December 7th - December 30th @ The Performing Arts Center at 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM
This holiday season, George Street Playhouse is thrilled to be producing the World Premiere of JOY, a heartwarming and powerful biographical musical based on the life of Joy Mangano—the entrepreneur, inventor, best-selling author, and self-made millionaire whose journey epitomizes the real American Dream. This uplifting true story is about one woman’s triumphant climb, from divorce to single motherhood and bankruptcy, to becoming a wildly successful dynamo that all started with the invention of a mop – her Miracle Mop!
JOY is a feel-good musical about finding yourself through determination, imagination, and reinvention with a twist, and is sure to inspire audiences long after they leave the theatre. From Tony Nominee AnnMarie Milazzo (Music & Lyrics) – returning to George Street after last season’s recent hit A Walk on the Moon – this is a one-of-a-kind, moving and empowerment-charged musical theatre event that is not to be missed!
THE IRISH TENORS 'WE THREE KINGS' CHRISTMAS CONCERT
December 8th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 8 pm
The evening will feature holiday favorites such as "I’ll Be Home for Christmas," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Winter Wonderland," "White Christmas," and more. Other songs in the program include "Danny Boy," "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," "Toorah Loorah," and all the classic Irish songs for which they are known.
The Irish Tenors have been the acknowledged Celtic music kings since they burst upon the scene during 1998 special. With 10 best-selling CDs to their credit, they share company with the likes of The Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli as the biggest money makers PBS has presented. The Irish Tenors rekindled the love of all things Irish in America and opened the door for countless Irish music groups to hit the United States.
The Irish Tenors have performed all over the world, including the best venues in America, from Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Carnegie Hall to The Hollywood Bowl in California—they have blazed a trail from coast to coast stopping in nearly every city in between; thrilling audiences at every single stop with their enchanting Irish repertoire, sweeping secular selections, and dynamic holiday fare.
WRESTLING 25TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT TO BENEFIT NEW BRUNSWICK RECREATION
December 10th @ New Brunswick Middle School at 6 pm
Middlesex County is bracing for full-throttle family fun as IWF Wrestling comes to New Brunswick, New Jersey for an adrenaline-charged Live Event.
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, IWF features world-class athletes locked in intense competition of muscle and power, all to benefit City of New Brunswick Recreation. Tickets are available for purchase at CamplWF.com!
December 10th @ George Street Co-op from 12 pm - 5 pm
If you're buying gifts this season, please support local artists and artisans!
George Street Co-op is hosting an artisanal Makers' Market to bring central-NJ-based crafts under one roof. Everything handmade you might want to get that special friend (or yourself), including artwork, candles, jewelry, toys, and accessories.
KENNY G THE MIRACLES HOLIDAY AND HITS TOUR
December 11th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 7 pm
Kenny G is bringing his Christmas show to State Theatre New Jersey! A phenomenally successful instrumentalist whose recordings routinely made the pop, R&B, and jazz charts during the 1980s and '90s, Kenny G's sound became a staple on adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio stations.
Kenny Gorelick started playing professionally with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1976. He recorded with Cold, Bold & Together, worked with Jeff Lorber Fusion, and later signed to Arista, recording his debut in 1982. His fourth album, Duotones (which included the very popular "Songbird"), made him into a star. Soon he was in demand for guest appearances on recordings of such famous singers as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Natalie Cole. Kenny G's own records have sold remarkably well, selling over 30 million copies worldwide. He has since dipped into the tropical territory, Latin rhythms, and R&B, but one thing remains true. Kenny G has been, and always will be, the King of Smooth Jazz.
THIRD THURSDAYS POP-UP HAPPY HOUR
• December 15th @ New Brunswick Performing Arts Center from 4 pm - 7 pm
Meet us at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center for some Holiday Soul and a chance to win a gift card to one of New Brunswick City Center's restaurants. Since this is the last Third Thursday of 2022 we will randomly pick five lucky winners to receive a gift card to one of our City Center restaurants!
There will be a live performance by the Charles Tyler Trio.
• December 16th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 7:30 PM
• December 17th @ State Theatre New Jersey at 2 PM & 7 PM
• December 18th @ 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.
HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES
December 16th, 17th & 18th from 4 PM - 7 PM
Brought to you thanks to our sponsors, New Brunswick Parking Authority, Amboy Bank, and Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health New Brunswick.
Continuing with a New Brunswick holiday classic, City Center will host family carriage rides in the winter evenings on December 16th, 17th & 18th. $20 per carriage family.
Feel the festive nature of shopping & dining in New Brunswick's city center while listening to the holiday melodies of strolling costumed Victorian carolers on George Street paired with a magical Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride. Purchase tickets here.
2ND ANNUAL WINTER WONDERLAND
December 17th @ The Youth Sports Complex from 2 PM - 6 PM
Come join the City of New Brunswick Division of Human Service for a fun-filled day of ice skating, winter-themed inflatable, craft vendors, holiday treats and more!
THE QUEEN'S CARTOONISTS HOLIDAY HURRAH YULE LOVE IT!
• December 23rd @ State Theatre New Jersey at 8 PM
Welcome to The Queen’s Cartoonists Holiday Hurrah! Keenly aware of all things holiday-oriented and completely ridiculous, musical ensemble The Queen’s Cartoonists have set out to find the best of the best (and best of the worst) holiday-related cartoons, films, and jazz. Bring the entire family to this hilarious holiday concert!
The show includes traditional holiday vocal numbers (“White Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah”), paired with jazz arrangements and classic cartoon characters (Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Popeye the Sailor Man, Porky Pig, and more!). There are also a good amount of novelty comedy numbers, props, sound effects, and jokes. And we haven't forgotten to include your daily dose of screwball holiday classics, like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!
COMMUNITY KWANZAA CELEBRATION
December 29th @ New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (3rd floor in the exhibition area) from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
For more information please follow @nbabnaacp on Instagram.
NBPAC PRESENTS NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH CAROLINE RHEA!
December 31st @ New Brunswick Performing Arts Center at 7 PM
Come celebrate New Year’s Eve with an evening of comedy with Caroline Rhea at NBPAC! This marks Caroline's 30th year as a stand-up comedian. She has had numerous comedy specials on Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime, and most recently headlined the Showtime special 'More Funny Women of a Certain Age.' Caroline is perhaps best known for her role as 'Hilda Spellman' on the ABC hit series 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch,' and has appeared in many hit series, including 'Two Broke Girls,' 'The Mark Maron Show,' and 'The Grinder.' She starred as 'Noleta Nethercott' in the cult classic series 'Sordid Lives,' later reprising her role in the film 'A Very Sordid Wedding,' which ranked #1 on Amazon Films for a full month following its release.
SALUTE TO VIENNA - NEW YEAR'S EVE CONCERT
• December 31st @ State Theatre New Jersey at 5 pm
Waltz into 2023 with Salute to Vienna New Year’s Eve Concert, a State Theatre tradition! This dazzling performance evokes a golden age of Viennese music, brimming with energy, merriment, and romance. Backed by the Strauss Symphony of America, the performance is rich with selections from beloved operettas, elegant dances, lively overtures, and the beautiful Blue Danube Waltz.
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! Here are some of the best places to celebrate on Saturday, December 31, 2022. This is a running list, so be sure to bookmark this page for new additions and get ready for a happy new year!
34th ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF TREES
Featuring Christmas trees representing several countries’ cultures and traditions and is presented by the American Hungarian Foundation.
REPLENISH HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE
Help REPLENISH (Middlesex County’s hunger eradication program) provides nutritious food and necessities to those in need. Canned and Packaged Goods Only, NO GLASS ITEMS. More information on REPLENISH is here.
HAND-BLOWN GLASS DEMONSTRATIONS
Local glassblower, Dimitri, from Hub City Smoke, is bringing his craft and talent to George Street to demonstrate his talents and showcase items you can only find at Hub City Smoke. From jewelry to ornaments, and pipes, Hub City Smoke offers a variety of hand-blown glass gifts that will be crafted in a contained area.
New Brunswick's Winter Wonderland would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors:
Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, Central Jersey Convention and Visitors Bureau, RAM Law, Puffin, Boraie Development, Saint Peter's Healthcare System, New Brunswick Parking Authority, Amboy Bank, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health New Brunswick, New Brunswick Fire Department, Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, Maul Electric, City of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Cultural Center.
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.
Attention! With Covid-19 and the different variants we will comply with CDC regulations, so please wear/bring a mask, and comply with all the rules and regulations of all the City Center establishments while attending all our events. Thank you & enjoy your visit.