The Jersey Shore transforms into a charming winter destination during the holiday season. There is no shortage of festive events to get locals and visitors in the spirit. From markets to drive-thru light shows and music festivals, Asbury Park and the surrounding beach towns will fill up your calendar all season long. Santa Claus will pose for photo ops with kids and pets while local artists delight shoppers with their unique, handmade gifts. Read on for a schedule of festive holiday-themed events happening in Asbury Park and beyond for the 2023 season.
Holiday Pop-Up at AP Greenery | 729 Bangs Avenue
December 15th – December 17th | 11AM – 5PM
Stop by AP Greenery’s holiday pop-up to check out several local small businesses selling handmade gifts. Look forward to a plethora of art, jewelry, candles, vintage glass, flowers, and plants. Coffee will be available on-site to warm up after walking around the shops of Downtown Asbury Park.
Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar | Grand Arcade of Convention Hall + The Asbury Hotel
December 16th – December 17th | 12PM – 5PM
Asbury Park Bazaar is hosting its 2023 Holiday Bazaar in Asbury Park at both the Grand Arcade in the Convention Hall as well as inside The Asbury. The Bazaar is inspired by the traditional “Weihnachtsmarkts” holiday markets held in Germany. The Bazaar will showcase handcrafted goods and unique holiday gifts by local and regional makers and small businesses. There will be holiday music and entertainment, photos with Santa, food and libations, craft workshops, kids activities, festive décor, music, and much more.
Santa Paws at The Asbury Hotel | 210 Fifth Avenue
December 17th | 12PM – 3PM
After going through the Asbury Park Bazaar, be sure to bring your pets over to Santa Paws at The Asbury Hotel on Sunday, December 17th. Two and four-legged family members are welcome to participate in the Rescue Ridge Santa Paws Photo event. For a $10 donation, participants will receive a stunning framed photo as a cherished keepsake. Donations from the event go to Rescue Ridge, which will help save the life of a homeless animal in need.
Asbury FRESH Holiday Pop-Up at Porta | 203 1st Avenue
December 17th | 12PM – 4PM
Join Asbury FRESH for a shopping event featuring a curated collection of 25 local handmade artists and makers coming together for a holiday celebration at Porta.
What A Wonderful Year Music Festival at The Wonder Bar | 1213 Ocean Avenue
December 29th – December 30th | 7PM – 12:30AM
The seventh annual What A Wonderful Year Music Festival features 10 bands on two stages for two consecutive nights at The Wonder Bar. This festival spotlights local favorites and emerging artists to celebrate the city’s live music community. Two-night festival tickets are available for $39. On Friday, December 29th, guests can catch Des + the Swagmatics, Cranston Dean, Jarod Clemons + the Late Nights, Surfing for Daisy, Via Ripa, Küf Knotz + Christine Elise, Bryan Hansen Band, Kiersten Blue, Lake Champagne, and Songbird. On Saturday, December 30th, Alexander Simone + WHO DAT? Live Crew, Natalie Farrell, The Foes of Fern, Big Boss Noff, Beauty, Heather Hills, Emerson Woolf + the Wishbones, Bobby Mahoney, We’re Ghosts Now, and Space will take the stage.
Belmar Clay Project Holiday Market | 710 10th Avenue
December 16th – December 17th | 1PM – 7PM
Stop by Belmar Clay Project’s Holiday market on Saturday, December 16th, or Sunday, December 17th to support local artists and find the perfect gift. Local artists and BCP students will be participating in the market. Belmar Clay Project is a community pottery studio with classes and workshops — a great gift card idea, just saying.
10th Ave Burrito Christmas Sip + Shop | 801 Belmar Plaza
December 23rd | 11AM – 3PM
10th Ave Burrito hosts Christmas Sip + Shop on Saturday, December 23rd. Last-minute Christmas shoppers can browse merch, art, and hand-crafted gifts. The event is indoors rain or shine. Be sure to enjoy an authentic Mexi-Cali cuisine lunch while there.
Magic of Lights at PNC Bank Arts Center | 116 Garden State Parkway
Sunday through Thursday: 5PM – 10PM | Friday through Saturday: 5PM – 11PM
Magic of Lights is a drive-through holiday lights experience featuring classic holiday scenes and characters of the season using LED technology and digital animations. Visitors get to experience Magic of Lights from the comfort and safety of their own car, following a trail of impressive Holiday light fixtures. At the end of the light show, visitors are welcome to get out of their vehicles to walk around the Toyota Holiday Village which has holiday photo opportunities with Santa, fire pits for roasting s’mores, and an outdoor ice skating rink. Advanced tickets can be purchased online for $30-35.
Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure | 1 Six Flags Boulevard
November 24th – January 1st | Various times
Six Flags Great Adventure transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Take in all of the elaborately decorated sections of the park, adorned with twinkling lights and seasonal decor. Santa is on-site for meet-and-greet opportunities and list collecting. Plus, there is no shortage of whimsical photo opportunities to take advantage of — whether taking a group photo in front of the five-story Christmas tree or doing a fit check in front of the fire pit while toasting up some s’mores. Hot cocoa stations are placed throughout the park and Christmas comfort foods — like turkey, rotisserie chicken platters, soup, chili, and gingerbread or peppermint funnel cakes — are available at various quick-service food stations. Tickets to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure can be purchased online.
Holiday Wreath Bar at Fleur de Mer | 3316 Sunset Avenue
Ongoing through December 18th | Various times
Decorate a hand-bound wreath created with fresh incense cedar, balsam cedar, and white pine at the Fleur de Mer flower bar. The Wreath Bar offers an array of ribbons, pine cones, orange slices, ornaments, and more to adorn the wreaths made by hand in the shop. Wreath Bar attendees will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling cider. The workshop is BYOB for 21+. To participate in the wreath bar, tickets must be purchased ahead of time. Call Fleur de Mer at 908-489-8757 to see if they can accommodate any last-minute reservations.
Pet Pictures with Santa at The Provident Bank | 40 Main Avenue
December 15th |12PM – 4PM
Grab the pets and head over to The Provident Bank on Main Avenue to snap an adorable photo with Santa. The Provident Bank is accepting pet supplies donations for Rescue Ridge at the event.
Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market: Holiday Hangover at Jersey Shore Arts Center | 66 South Main Street
December 30th | 11AM – 5PM
The Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market will take over The Jersey Shore Arts Center at the entrance to Ocean Grove, next to Asbury Park. Expect a large selection of vinyl, music equipment, vintage clothing, macabre artwork, handmade jewelry, and other original creations from over 60 vendors on two floors. The flea market will also include a music showcase and food options on the third floor. The fee for admission is $5, while kids under 10 are free.
Sea of Lights at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk | 300 Ocean Ave North
December 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, + 28th, 2023 | 4PM – 8PM
The Sea of Lights Holiday Spectacular takes place at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant. The winter wonderland includes treats, crafts, pictures with Santa, games, Diving Santa in the aquarium, and holiday entertainment. Jenkinson’s Aquarium, Aquarium Gift Shop, Sweet Shop, Pavilion + Pavilion Arcade will be open during the Sea of Lights hours. More information is available on Jenkinson’s website.