The Best Things to Do in NJ This December: Holiday Performances, Ballets and More

See The Nutcracker, attend a Taylor Swift dance party and catch the Jonas Brothers' return to Jersey.

Jonas Brothers performing
The Jonas Brothers return to their hometown this month. Photo: Alamy Stock Photo

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.


Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale

📅: Through Sunday, January 7
: Montclair Art Museum • Montclair
ℹ️: Ten works from a 2021 exhibition of leading female artists at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, plus 13 works from the museum’s permanent collection. Kara Walker’s monumental cut-paper silhouette Virginia’s Lynch Mob (1998), last on view in 2018, is among them.
💸: Admission is free for members and children under 12; student and senior tickets are $12; adult tickets are $15.

Diversity in Sand and Clay: New Jersey Glass and Ceramics

📅: Through Wednesday, January 10
: Newark Museum of Art • Newark
ℹ️: Artists from diverse backgrounds have created pieces from the natural materials found in our state’s landscape.
💸: Admission is free for members, Newark residents, active duty military, veterans & family, students attending colleges and universities in Newark, and children under 2; student, senior, children, and teacher tickets are $8; adult tickets are $10.

Art House Gallery at The Hendrix in Jersey City

Photo: Andrea McKenna

The Affordable Art Show

📅: Friday, December 1 (opening reception, 5-9 pm) – Saturday, December 23 (1-6 pm)
: Art House Gallery at The Hendrix • Jersey City
ℹ️: Featuring paintings, sculpture, jewelry and more from nearly 90 local artists, all priced at under $500.
💸: Free


Michael Rapaport

📅: Friday, December 1 (7 & 9:30 pm); Saturday, December 2 (7 & 9:30 pm); Sunday, December 3 (7 pm)
: Stress Factory Comedy ClubNew Brunswick
ℹ️: An actor and comedian, Rapaport has appeared in more than 100 films and TV shows and has a popular podcast, I Am Rapaport.
💸: $35-$270

This Is Important Live!

📅: Wednesday, December 6 (8 pm)
: New Jersey Performing Arts Center • Newark
ℹ️: The comedic quartet behind the podcast of the same name discuss serious topics like diarrhea, naked grandmas and grown men fighting children.
💸: $39.50-$69.50


Forces of Nature Dance Theatre: Kwanzaa Celebration

📅: Saturday, December 23 (3 pm)
: New Jersey Performing Arts Center • Newark
ℹ️: A powerful performance that combines West African and neo-African dance, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary modern dance and martial arts to celebrate Kwanzaa.
💸: $49-$59


"Nutcracker" ballet

Photo: Shutterstock/IgorGolovniov

American Repertory Ballet

📅: Friday, December 1-Sunday, December 3 (times vary)
: Two River Theater • Red Bank
ℹ️: The Princeton-based ballet company’s Nutcracker features professor dancers and more than 100 children from Princeton Ballet School, the official school of American Repertory Ballet.
💸: $29-$69

New Jersey Ballet

📅: Saturday, December 2 & Sunday, December 3 (1 & 4:30 pm)
: Bergen Performing Arts Center • Englewood
ℹ️: New Jersey Ballet‘s Nutcracker is the longest running professional production across the state, with its first Nutcracker performance dating back to the holiday season of 1971.
💸: $35-$65

Atlantic City Ballet

📅: Friday, December 8 (7 pm) & Saturday, December 9 (11 am) 
: Stockton Performing Arts Center • Galloway
ℹ️: The Atlantic City Ballet have been performing The Nutcracker since 1982. These performances will be held at Stockton University.
💸: $10-$40

American Repertory Ballet

📅: Saturday, December 9 (1 & 5 pm)
: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial • Trenton
ℹ️: The Princeton-based ballet company will have two performances in the historic theater, built back in 1930.
💸: $20-$55

Sensory-Friendly Performance by New Jersey Ballet

📅: Sunday, December 10 (2 pm)
: Union County Performing Arts CenterRahway
ℹ️: This performance is designed for children with autism and other sensory sensitivity. Lighting and sound have been adjusted to be relaxing and more sensory-friendly for attendees.
💸: $8

Atlantic City Ballet

📅: Sunday, December 10
: The Strand Theater • Lakewood
ℹ️: The Atlantic City Ballet have been performing The Nutcracker since 1982. The Strand Theater offers orchestra, lodge, mezzanine and tier seating. Limited handicap accessible seating in the orchestra.
💸: $15-$35

The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine

📅: Tuesday, December 12 (3 pm) 
: New Jersey Performing Arts Center • Newark
ℹ️: As Ukraine’s most prestigious ballet, the State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine has an international reputation. New Jersey is just one stop on their American and Canadian tour.
💸: $39-$89

American Repertory Ballet

📅: Friday, December 15-Sunday, December 17 (times vary)
: State Theatre New Jersey • New Brunswick
ℹ️: The American Repertory Ballet will perform with a live orchestra and choir in these Nutcracker performances.
💸: $29-$69

New Jersey Ballet with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

📅: Friday, December 15-Wednesday, December 27 (times vary)
: Mayo Performing Arts Center • Morristown
ℹ️: MPAC’s resident ballet company will be performing with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. There are 13 chances to catch the visually and musically enchanting production.
💸: $39-$79

Atlantic City Ballet

📅: Saturday, December 16 (7 pm)
: Caesars • Atlantic City
ℹ️: This performance by Atlantic City Ballet is held in an elegant theater at Caesars Casino.
💸: $38-$48

Atlantic City Ballet

📅: Friday, December 23 (5 pm)
: Scottish Rite Auditorium • Collingswood
ℹ️: Enjoy the timeless ballet in a 125+-year-old Masonic Temple.
💸: $39.95

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

📅: Friday, December 23 (2 & 7:30 pm) 
: New Jersey Performing Arts Center • Newark
ℹ️: The classic holiday tale told through high-energy hip-hop.
💸: $49-$79


Evening With Chevy Chase and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

📅: Friday, December 15 (8 pm)
: New Jersey Performing Arts Center • Newark
ℹ️: A live conversation and Q&A with the star behind the Christmas classic before a screening of the 1989 film.
💸: $39.50-$95.50


Kenny G: The Miracles Holiday and Hits Tour

📅: Monday, December 4 (8 pm)
: Bergen Performing Arts Center • Englewood
ℹ️: The saxophonist, one of the best-selling artists of all time, is also a composer and producer. His first holiday album, Miracles, sold over 13 million copies, and here he celebrates holiday tunes.
💸: $49-$99

Jonas Brothers: 2 Nights in New Jersey

📅: Wednesday, December 6 & Thursday, December 7 (7 pm)
: Prudential Center • Newark
ℹ️: Jersey-bred Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas are back on home turf for their Five Albums. One Night. The World tour. The pop-rockers, who began their careers in 2005, reunited in 2019 after a nearly 10-year hiatus. They’ve since released two albums loved by fans new and old.
💸: $50-$530+

Earth, Wind & Fire

📅: Friday, December 8 & Saturday, December 9 (8 pm)
: Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena • Atlantic City
ℹ️: The funk and soul group behind ’70s and ’80s hits like “September” and “Let’s Groove.”
💸: $79-300+

Christmas in Carol and Song

📅: Saturday, December 9 (6 & 9 pm) & Sunday, December 10 (5 & 7:30 pm)
: Kirkpatrick Chapel • New Brunswick
ℹ️: The Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir, consisting of approximately 60 members, will perform with the Rutgers University Glee Club, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.
💸: $10-$20

The Maccabeats

📅: Monday, December 11 (7 pm) 
: Bergen Performing Arts Center• Englewood
ℹ️: The all-male Jewish a capella group from New York use humor and their culture in performances of Jewish, American and Israeli songs
💸: $31-$55


📅: Saturday, December 30 (8 pm) & Sunday, December 31 (10 pm)
: Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena • Atlantic City
ℹ️:  Ring in the New Year with international Mr. Worldwide, known for hit tunes like “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and “Timber.”
💸: $181-“$400+


The New Jersey Symphony and Singers of Montclair State University

📅: Friday, December 15 (8 pm) 
: Richardson Auditorium • Princeton
ℹ️:  A festive New Jersey Symphony tradition held in a historic Princeton building, performed with university singers. 
💸: $25-$97

The Masterwork Chorus

📅: Saturday, December 16 (7 pm) 
: Randolph High School• Randolph
ℹ️: The Masterwork Chorus’ performance of Messiah features more than 100 voices, professional soloists and a professional baroque orchestra.
💸: $25-$50

The New Jersey Symphony and Singers of Montclair State University

📅: Sunday, December 17 (7 pm) 
: Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart • Newark
ℹ️:  Handel’s Messiah performed by the New Jersey Symphony and Montclair singers in the fifth-largest cathedral in North America. 
💸: $25-$97


Burlington Coin Show

📅: Sunday, December 10 (9 am-2 pm) 
: Burlington Masonic Lodge Burlington Township
ℹ️: Novices and experienced collectors browse, buy, sell and trade coins. Shows are on the second Sunday of each month.
💸: Free

Taylor’s Version: A Swiftie Dance Party

📅: Friday, December 15 (8:30 pm) 
: White Eagle Hall • Jersey City
ℹ️: This is your Fun Era as a DJ spins Taylor Swift tunes for a lively dance party.
💸: $15

Hoboken SantaCon

📅: Saturday, December 16 (10 am-2 am) 
: Madd Hatter; The Shannon; Willie McBrides; The Shepherd & The Knucklehead; Mikie Squared; The Ainsworth; The Ferryman; Pilsener Haus • Hoboken
ℹ️: The annual holiday bar crawl features access to at least eight participating Hoboken bars. Dressing as Santa is encouraged.
💸: $9.99-$49.99


Hip hop dancers on stage

Hanzel & Gretel: Lost in the Hood takes classic tales and meshes it with hip-hop, humor, singing, dancing and rapping. Photo: Courtesy of NJPAC

Grimmz Fairy Tales

📅: Thursday, November 30 (7 pm)
: New Jersey Performing Arts Center • Newark
ℹ️: Dance-pop sensations Jay and Will Grimmz (no relation to the Brothers Grimm) infuse classic tales with hip-hop, humor, singing, dancing and rapping. Hanzel & Gretel: Lost in the Hood and more are sure to have kids and adults alike bopping along.
💸: $30-$35

Acrobat in "A Magical Cirque Christmas"

Photo: Courtesy of A Magical Cirque Christmas

A Magical Cirque Christmas

📅: Saturday, December 2 (3 & 8 pm) 
: Mayo Performing Arts Center • Morristown
ℹ️: Open to all ages, this wondrous show features performers with various jaw-dropping talents.
💸: $39-$69

Fiddler on the Roof

📅: Wednesday, December 6 – Sunday, January 7 (times vary)
: Paper Mill Playhouse • Millburn
ℹ️: The beloved classic and timeless score about a Jewish patriarch striving to uphold his family’s religious and cultural traditions comes to the Paper Mill.
💸: $35-$125

Stockinged elf feet

Photo: Shutterstock/LI Cook

Elf the Musical

📅: Friday, December 2-Sunday, December 17 (times vary)
: Algonquin Arts Theatre Manasquan
ℹ️: Based on the fan-favorite Christmas film, this musical follows Buddy the Elf’s journey to New York City. Children under 4 are not permitted.
💸: $26-$45


Asbury Park Santa Run

Photo: Patricia Burke Photography/Courtesy of Asbury Park Santa Run

Asbury Park Santa Run

📅: Saturday, December 2 (10 am) 
: The Stone Pony • Asbury Park
ℹ️: A 5K fun run supporting the Monmouth County charity Lunch Break. Participants of all ages receive their own Santa suits to run or walk in, and those 21+ have access to various after-parties.
💸: $44.95

Jersey Shore Running Club New Year’s Eve 2-Mile Twilight Fun Run/Walk & Party

📅: Sunday, December 31 (4 pm) 
:  Leggett’s Sand Bar Manasquan
ℹ️: Spend New Year’s Eve evening running or walking in a yearly tradition benefitting the Women of Irish Heritage of the Jersey Shore and VFW Post 1838.
💸: $20-$35

No one knows New Jersey like we do. Sign up for one of our free newsletters here. Want a print magazine mailed to you? Purchase an issue from our online store.

Click here to leave a comment
Read more Arts & Entertainment, Things to Do articles.