Fun Things To Do in NJ in January: Music, Family Events and More

Events and activities to check out in New Jersey

Complexions Ballet
Complexions Contemporary Ballet presents "Bach to Bowie" at State Theatre New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Sharen Bradford

Happy New Year! Check out these events and activities set to happen all over New Jersey this January. Please note that all schedules are subject to change; please visit the venue’s website or call for more information.

Art

Jeanne Silverthorne: What’s Going On Here?
Thru January 8
New York-based sculptor Jeanne Silverthorne displays her cast-rubber figures with stark imperfections as a metaphor for flimsy social constructs. Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro (rowan.edu; 856-256-4521).

In Nature’s Realm: The Art of Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh
Thru January 9
The Morven Museum’s first exhibition on the work of Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh showcases the late artist’s wildlife paintings, porcelain designs, chromolithographs, and games and charts. Morven Museum & Garden, Princeton (morven.org; 609-924-8144).

Growing American: The Alliance Agricultural Colony in South Jersey
Thru February 4
Stories and pictures showcase the challenges and achievements of Eastern European Jewish refugees who fled Russian pogroms and created agricultural colonies in New Jersey. Noyes Gallery of Art at Stockton University’s Kramer Hall, Hammonton (noyesmuseum.org; 609-626-3420).

Community 5D: All Faces on Newark
Thru February 27
Newark photographer Alessandro “Fresco” Cerdas’s collection of portraits showcases the “special, sometimes unseen” people of New Jersey’s largest city. Newark Museum of Art, Newark (newarkmuseumart.org; 973-596-6544).

Night Forms
Thru February 27
Experience Grounds for Sculpture like never before. This evening event melds video, light and sound to create an immersive walk to site-specific works as well as an illuminated tree-lined path. 5-9:30 pm; $14-$28. Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton (groundsforsculpture.org; 609-586-0616).

On and Off the Streets: Urban Art New Jersey
Thru February 27
This exhibition features the works of a dozen artists who create both street art and studio pieces. The centerpiece of the show is a collection of murals painted directly onto the Morris Museum’s walls. Morris Museum, Morristown (morrismuseum.org; 973-971-3700).

Comedy

Gilbert Gottfried
January 8
The stand-up legend and one of comedy’s greatest roasters, who is known for his raucous voice, gives an unfiltered and outrageous night of laughs. 8 pm; $34-$45. Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan (algonquinarts.org; 732-528-9211).

Wanda Sykes
January 8
The always hilarious Wanda Sykes brings her comedy chops to New Jersey. 8 pm; $35-$85. Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Red Bank (thebasie.org; 732-842-9000).

Tom Papa
January 15
The actor, radio host, author, observational comedian and New Jersey native returns to Newark with new material on his Family Reunion Tour. 7 pm & 9:30 pm; $42.50. NJPAC, Newark (njpac.org; 888-696-5722).

Jeff Dunham
January 15
Jeff Dunham and his kooky puppet counterparts present a sure-to-be-unforgettable night of a unique brand of animated ventriloquism that has influenced pop culture. 5 pm; $52.50. Cure Insurance Arena, Trenton (cureinsurancearena.com; 609-656-3200).

Chris Distefano
January 29
Hey babe! The one and only Chrissy Chaos and his size-38 waist bring comedy fans a gut-busting experience, alongside his podcast partner, Sal Vulcano, who is acting as the opener. 7 pm & 10 pm; $35-$153. Music Box at the Borgata, Atlantic City (borgata.mgmresorts.com; 609-317-1000)

Holiday Events

Magic of Lights: Drive-Through Holiday Lights
Thru January 2
Kick off the new year with a dazzling drive-through light display that’ll extend the holiday season into 2022. Various times; $25-$80. PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel (pncbankartscenter.org).

Skylands Stadium Light Show & Christmas Village
Thru January 9
Don’t let January pass you by without checking out this spectacular drive-through light show, featuring more than 2 million dazzling lights, as well as Skylands’ free holiday village, with a ferris wheel, ice rink, winter beer garden and plenty of festive fare. Various times; $29 per car for light show. Skylands Stadium, Augusta (skylandsstadium.com).

Music

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Experience
January 29
Celebrate the King of Rock ’n’ Roll’s 87th birthday with a show starring Shawn Klush and Cody Ray Slaughter, two of the best Elvis tribute artists around. 8 pm; $39. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City (hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com; 609-449-1000).

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
January 29
Delight in the sounds from this American country singer-songwriter from Mississippi known for his mixture of rockabilly, honky tonk and traditional country music styles. 8 pm; $44-59. The Newton Theater, Newton (skypac.org; 973-940-NEWT).

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
January 30
Observing its 75th year, the British orchestra performs “Four Sea Interludes” from Benjamin Britten’s opera, Rachaminoff’s last major composition, and more. 3 pm; $17.50-$70. State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick (stnj.org; 732-246-7469).

Special Events

Monster Jam is an action-packed event for the whole family. Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Monster Jam
January 29-30
Get thrilled to the max at Monster Jam as 12,000-pound monster trucks go head-to-head in various competitions. The main event will be preceded by a Pit Party for the Friday and Saturday-afternoon events, where fans can meet drivers and see the trucks up close. $25-$95. Prudential Center, Newark (prucenter.com)

Stage

Dancing With the Stars Live
January 11-12
Foxtrot your way around the state to see America’s number one dance show live with an all-new cast, starring last year’s champ (and current Bachelorette cohost) Kaitlyn Bristowe and more faves. The show hits Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center from January 11-12 (8 pm; $58-$96. mayoarts.org; 973-539-8008), followed by New Brunswick’s State Theatre New Jersey on January 19 (8 pm; $55-$369. stnj.org; 732-246-7469) and the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City on January 21 (8 pm; $58.32-$575. borgata.mgmresorts.com; 609-317-1000).

Dreaming Zenzile
January 15-February 13
Based on the life of South African singer and anti-apartheid activist Miriam Makeba, this show portrays Makeba’s spiritual journey and path to becoming a revolutionary. Showtimes vary; $65-$85. Berlind Theatre, Princeton (mccarter.org; 609-258-2787).

Rent the musical

Bid farewell to beloved musical “Rent.” Photo courtesy of Amy Boyle

Rent 25th-Anniversary Farewell Tour
January 19-23
There’s really no day but today to see Jonathan Larson’s beloved musical Rent—whether it’s your first or 15th time. The show is embarking on a 25th-anniversary farewell tour, meant to be its final set of performances. From January 19-20, the show stops at Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre in Red Bank (8 pm; $20-$99. thebasie.org) before moving to Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center January 21-23 ($59-$99. mayoarts.org).

Biloxi Blues
January 22-30
This second part of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach trilogy tells the story of Eugene Morris Jerome as a young soldier in World War II finding passion in love and writing alongside his fellow soldiers and his unconventional sergeant. Showtimes vary; $35-$42. Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan (algonquinarts.org; 732-528-9211).

Clue
January 26-30
A dinner party at Boddy Manor goes awry when a murder brings the night to a halt. Find out which one of the six curious characters did the deed. Showtimes vary; $36-$98. Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn (my.papermill.org; 973-376-4343).

Bach to Bowie
January 28
Complexions Contemporary Ballet presents Bach to Bowie, a glorious dance-and-musical tribute to two icons from very different periods, Johann Sebastian Bach and David Bowie. 8 pm; $19-$49. State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick (stnj.org; 732-246-7469)

Benefits

Polar Bear Plunge
January 1
Take the plunge on a brisk beach day in support of year-round Special Olympic sports training, competitions and more. Presented by Law Enforcement Touch Run and the Special Olympics of New Jersey. 10 am; $25. Wildwoods Convention Center, Wildwood (sonj.org; 609-896-8040).

First Day Live and Virtual 5k Run & 1 Mile Walk
January 1
Start the year off right by getting active to benefit Fair Lawn Sunrise Rotary, a service organization comprised of local business, professional, and civic leaders who provide humanitarian service around the world. 11 am; $15-$27. Memorial Middle School, Fair Lawn (1stday5k.org).

VP Charity Basketball Tournament
January 15
Lace up your kicks and get ready to shoot some hoops for the kids at St. Peter’s Orphanage. Stick around on the sidelines for raffles, prizes, and giveaways. 2 pm; $10-$30. Lakeview Elementary School Gymnasium, Denville (vpcharity.com; 973-945-2040).

The Ike Foundation 2022 Scholarship Dinner
January 28
Enjoy a night of great food, drinks and prizes awarding scholarships to high school seniors who’ve made strides in their communities through their love of all things outdoors. 6 pm; $55. The Grove at Centerton, Pittsgrove (theikefoundation.org; 856-712-2328).

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