Winter Adventure Day Trips in Central Jersey

Red Bank remains a popular place for celebrating the holidays this winter. / Patch Photo
Red Bank remains a popular place for celebrating the holidays this winter. / Patch Photo
Written by Brianna Gunter

The holiday season is finally upon us, but don’t wait the New Year to make memories with friends and family. Here are four winter adventures in Central Jersey that you can get to on just one tank of gas.

Red Bank Holiday Events

46 English Plz.

Red Bank, NJ

(732) 741-9211

Why Go? Downtown Red Bank is filled with holiday-themed events this winter season, many of which are free and appeal to all ages.

Insider Tip: Parking can get crowded on Broad and Front streets, so it is usually best to head straight to a public lot.

Must Do: Take a horse and carriage ride--for free. “It is wagon style, so [it's] good for kids and adults of all ages,” said Red Bank Visitors Center director Margaret Mass. “Each ride is approximately six minutes around a large rectangular block of town.”

The Fine Print: Horse and carriage rides run between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays until Dec. 21 (pick up spots are in front of Murphy's Style Grill, Broad Street and in front of Two River Theater on Bridge Avenue). Families can also do pictures with Santa until Dec. 22 Check the Red Bank Visitors Center website for full details on these winter events.

Holiday Tram Rides

Grounds for Sculpture

18 Fairgrounds Rd.

Hamilton, NJ

(609) 586-0616

Why Go? Grounds for Sculpture is always fun to visit year round, but the winter season is particularly special. Dress warmly and enjoy a holiday-themed tram ride around the grounds to hail in the new season.

Insider Tip: The tram rides are free, and are included with park admission— $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for children ages 6 through 17, and free for those 5 and under. If you come in after 6 p.m. in December, admission is only $6.

Must Do: Going on one of the later tram rides is recommended, since you’ll get to see everything lit up and shining brightly at night. Get your camera ready!

The Fine Print: Tram rides run on Fridays and Saturdays in December between 5 and 8:30 p.m. They are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Christmas Spectacular on Main Street

128 North Main St.

Cranbury, NJ

Why Go: This annual holiday light display is the biggest in the state. The whole family will enjoy a dancing light performance choreographed to more than 15 songs. 

Insider Tip: Because this is located in a residential area, park only on the street or designated parking areas.

Must Do: Dress warm and definitely bring a camera, as you'll need to stand on the lawn to view the show. Get there early to get a good view.

The Fine Print: The event is free, with performances running between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Dec. 20-25 and Dec. 27- 31.


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