Fun Things to Do in NJ in December: Art, Concerts and More

Looking for ways to enjoy New Jersey this December? Check out these events, including holiday festivities and spectacular shows.

Nefesh Mountain
Nefesh Mountain from Montclair is putting on a special Hanukkah show this month. Photo courtesy of South Orange Performing Arts Center

Looking for fun this December? Check out these events and activities happening all over New Jersey.

Please note that all schedules are subject to change; visit each venue’s website for more information.

Art

Hand holding small ticket with words "Admit One"

Take in an exhibit of works by local Black women at the Zimmerli Art Museum. Photo: Shutterstock/John Gomez

Collective Yearning: Black Women Artists from the Zimmerli Art Museum
Thru Dec 11
This month is your last chance to see this exhibition of prints, photographs and multimedia works from Black women—established and emerging artists alike, many of whom are from New Jersey, Manhattan and Philadelphia. Wednesday-Sunday, varying hours; FREE. Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. zimmerli.rutgers.edu

Saya Woolfalk’s artwork is a vast blend of different medias. Photo courtesy of Joseph Wong

Saya Woolfalk: Field Notes From the Empathic Universe
Thru Dec 31
Multimedia artist Saya Woolfalk’s exhibition, “Field Notes From the Empathic Universe,” is a unique blend of portraits, landscapes, videos, digital collages and murals. $8-$10. Newark Museum of Art, Newark. newarkmuseumart.org

Comedy

Canadian comedian Russell Peters is heading to Newark this month. Photo courtesy of NJPAC

Russell Peters
Dec 3
Emmy- and Peabody award–winning Canadian comedian Russell Peters is hitting the road with his humorous observations on culture and his own childhood. Peters is best known for being the first comedian to get a Netflix stand-up special (2013’s Notorious). 7 pm; $51-$101. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. njpac.org

Scott Seiss is known for his skits reenacting his experiences working at Ikea. Photo courtesy of Scott Seiss

Scott Seiss
Dec 16-17
Scott Seiss has garnered millions of views on TikTok and Instagram for his videos reenacting interactions with rude and annoying customers during his time as an Ikea employee. Now Seiss is hitting the road to get audiences laughing with more of his relatable humor. 7:30 & 10 pm; $22-$33. Bananas Comedy Club, Rutherford. bananascomedyclub.com

Music

Patti LaBelle is taking the stage at State Theatre New Jersey this month. Photo: Shutterstock/William Ruben Helms

Patti LaBelle
Dec 1
The Grammy-winning “Godmother of Soul,” who has been captivating audiences with her powerful vocal abilities since the early 1960s, will be taking the stage at State Theatre this December. 8 pm; $49-$209. State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick. stnj.org

Daddy Yankee, the “King of Reggaeton,” is bringing the heat to Newark’s Prudential Center this month. Photo courtesy of the Prudential Center

Daddy Yankee
Dec 8
Ahead of his retirement, the “King of Reggaeton” is embarking on a farewell concert tour in support of his final studio album, Legendaddy. The Puerto Rican superstar is best known for his 2004 hit single “Gasolina,” and his collaboration with Luis Fonsi on the 2017 international hit “Despacito.” 8 pm; $130-$895. Prudential Center, Newark. prucenter.com

Dogs in a Pile
Dec 17
This five-piece band from Asbury Park blends rock, jazz, funk and psychedelia influences. They’re returning to the Stone Pony after selling out the venue in the summer of 2021. 8 pm; $25-$30. The Stone Pony, Asbury Park. stoneponyonline.com

Nefesh Mountain
Dec 21
Nefesh Mountain is putting on a special Hanukkah show. The boundary-pushing bluegrass group released its third album, Songs for the Sparrows, last year. 7:30 pm; $23-$33. South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange. sopacnow.org

Special Events

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is coming to Newark to discuss his latest book. Photo courtesy of NJPAC

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Dec 8
Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has studied and taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, earning countless awards and honors along the way. Tyson will be discussing his latest book, Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization, and how having a cosmic perspective can influence the world around us. 7:30 pm; $39.50-$199.50. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. njpac.org

Rupi Kaur
Dec 12
Rupi Kaur made a name for herself when her 2014 self-published debut collection of poems, Milk and Honey, became an international sensation, selling millions of copies. Kaur has since published two more collections, and will be touring to perform both published and unpublished pieces about love, loss, mental health, growth and friendship. 7:30 pm; $39-$59. Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Red Bank. thebasie.org

Stage

The live production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” is coming to Red Bank. Photo courtesy of Karen Almond Photography

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
Dec 1
Adapted from the beloved television Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is coming to life onstage. Bring the entire family to kick off the holiday season with this classic! 2 & 7:30 pm; $35-$59. Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Red Bank. thebasie.org

Red theater curtain

See a show at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo: Unsplash/Rob Laughter

The Sound of Music
Opens Dec 2
The famed Paper Mill Playhouse will ring in the holidays with a production of The Sound of Music, an adaptation of the 1959 Tony-winning Broadway show and the 1965 Oscar-winning film. Showtimes vary; $50-$145. Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. papermill.org

Benefits

Jingle & Mingle
Dec 8
Join the Brielle Education Foundation’s first event since December 2019 for a festive night of mingling, live music, appetizers and finger foods, an open bar featuring wine and beer, and a grand-prize auction for a six-person electric golf cart. Funds will benefit the students of Brielle Elementary School. 7 pm; $100. Boatyard401, Point Pleasant Beach. befnj.org

Ugly Sweater Murder Mystery Dinner
Dec 17
The Collingswood Foundation for the Arts is hosting this event. Tickets include two drink vouchers and a buffet dinner; the night will also include raffles, a silent auction and an ugly-sweater contest. Proceeds will benefit the CFFA Inaugural Scholarship and the revitalization of the Scottish Rite Auditorium. 5 pm; $50. Collingswood Grand Ballroom, Collingswood. scottishriteauditorium.com

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