Home Essex CountyBloomfield Festive Holiday Date Night Ideas in North Jersey

Festive Holiday Date Night Ideas in North Jersey

by Samantha Bonizzi
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The holiday season is the perfect romantic backdrop for a date night — whether you’re seeing someone new or cozying up to your longtime special someone. The lights are twinkling, people are feeling extra merry, and seasonal events and experiences are aplenty. This is especially true in the North Jersey area, with its abundance of winter festivals, light displays, and festive decor lining our favorite locations. Read on for a list of festive holiday date night ideas in North Jersey, many of which can be stacked together for an unforgettable evening.

Catch a Holiday Movie at the Clairidge

the clairidge

The historic Clairidge theater in Montclair is known for showing the classics in addition to current films. This holiday season, you can catch showings of A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, and White Christmas — all of which are bound to get you and your date into the Christmas spirit.

Read More: The Best Office Holiday Party Venues in Essex County

Dine at a Festively Decorated Restaurant


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A post shared by The Barrow House (@thebarrownj)

While there’s no shortage of restaurants in the area that get decked out for the holidays, there are a few that stand out as must-tries for the season. Fiorentini, a farm-to-table Italian restaurant in Rutherford, is one that’s at the top of the list. With an emphasis on sustainability and design, Fiorentini has a special ambiance that can set the mood for any date night. But it’s especially charming at Christmas — from the Nutcracker that guards the entryway, to the lush greenery adorned with ornaments hanging from the restaurant’s ceiling.


For those really looking to impress, The Highlawn in West Orange pairs a magnificent 20-foot-tall Christmas tree with its views of the NYC skyline. The Italian-style cuisine and elegant atmosphere make for a superbly romantic experience.

For a more casual and homey vibe, The Barrow House in Clifton is also a great choice. This farmhouse-style restaurant has an incredible interior even during the regular season, but shines during the holidays with all of its enhancements. Plus, the restaurant offers a seasonal menu to get diners feeling extra festive.

Go Ice Skating at a Winter Festival

newark winter village

(Photo credit: @newarknjblog)

Ice skating is a great date activity that can be planned for any time of day, and there are a number of winter pop-ups in the area that feature an outdoor ice skating rink as its centerpiece. And since these aren’t year-round, it’s something to take advantage of in December.

The Newark Winter Village is one such open-air festival, taking place now at the Prudential Center. After ice skating, you can enjoy food and beverages from local businesses inside a cozy heated private pod or igloo.

A second option is Bergen County’s Winter Wonderland at Van Saun County Park in Paramus. The park is situated right next to the Bergen County Zoo, so after a skate, date goers can complete their evening with a stroll through the zoo’s holiday lantern spectacular. More on light displays below. MG Tip: If you’re feeling boozy, grab a hot beverage from one of the local food stands and head into the Polar Bear Pub for a spike of Bailey’s or a Peppermint Schnapps.

Grab a Festive Cocktail at a Miracle Pop-Up


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North Jersey residents are lucky enough to be near three Miracle locations, the Christmas cocktail pop-up bars that are sweeping the globe. The kitschy Christmas decor paired with a holiday-themed cocktail list can be found at Miracle on Bloomfield (The Parkside Social in Verona), Miracle on Centre (Cowan’s Public in Nutley) and Miracle on Valley (Gus’ Last Word in Wood-Ridge). What better way to end your holiday date night than with a nightcap of a Christmapolitan or a Snowball Old Fashioned?

miracle on bloomfield

See More: Where to Buy Holiday Decorations in Hoboken + Jersey City

Take a Stroll Through a Holiday Light Display

One way to feel the magic of the season is to take a romantic stroll through a holiday light display. The Winter Walk in Taylor Park, located in Millburn, is a great setting for this. All season long the park will be decorated with twinkling lights — from the beautiful bridge that welcomes you into the park, to the trees dotting the walking path. Brightly-lit characters including winter and animal characters can also be found at Turtle Back Zoo’s Holiday Lights Spectacular — which also includes an open-air train, a carousel, a reptile house, an aquarium, and pony rides for kids of all ages. Be sure to check out the comprehensive list of light shows and holiday displays as well.

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