The holidays are here and it’s time to reflect, rest, and recline in a big, comfy chair surrounded by friends and family. This 25-day guide will give Montclair Girl readers day-by-day opportunities to get into the holiday spirit in the Montclair and Essex County area, starting on December 1st and going through Christmas Day. Read on—with a cup of hot cocoa—for all the winter feels!
Kick off the last month of the year by taking a self-guided tour of holiday-themed cocktails in Montclair. The MC Hotel is serving up spiked apple cider with Misunderstood Whiskey whipped cream and cinnamon, and Blue Steel Pizza aka Rabbit Hole speakeasy is offering a cocktail called “It’s a Jersey Thing” made with Asbury Distilling barrel-aged gin, calvados, spiced pear jam, fresh lemon, honey, and sparkling cider.
Pick out the perfect Christmas tree at one of these locations across New Jersey and New York – including cut-your-own-farms. See our guide to real trees here.
Stop by the annual “Santa Comes to Wyckoff + Tree Lighting” event at 7PM at Town Hall. Note: prior to making his appearance at Town Hall, Santa will make an appearance at Cedar Hill Shopping Center at 5:30PM, then at Boulder Run Shopping Center at 6:15PM.
The Verona Hanukkah Celebration starts at 5PM at Verona Town Hall. Participants can watch the menorah be lit, sing songs, and view local art.
Visit the Nathaniel Crane House for a self-guided tour of this 225-year-old house and its spectacular, award-winning, period holiday decorations made by the Garden Club of Montclair. It is open every Wednesday and Sunday from 10AM-2PM starting December 5th and ending December 22nd.
Attend Montclair Music Club’s seasonal opening concert at 9AM. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo credit: Jones Road)
Shop locally for holiday gifts. Check out our Montclair gift guide here.
The Livingston Public Library will host its virtual Bookish Vibes book club at 7PM. The club will discuss The Kitchen House by bestselling author Kathleen Grissom, who will join the book club discussion for the evening. Register here.
For an at-home holiday experience, join The Eclectic Chic Boutique for a virtual holiday candle-making workshop at 7PM. Register here so supplies can be sent prior to the class.
Take a winter stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this holiday season under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters from 5PM-9PM.
Get a group together, map out a route, spread the holiday cheer, and go caroling in the Montclair area.
(Photo credit: @vestachocolate)
Stop by one of these hot chocolate spots for a soul-warming beverage.
Make memories with loved ones and have your picture taken with Santa. Check out spots to see. Here’s where to see him this year in North Jersey.
Go on a holiday lights tour of North Jersey in your car to view all the holiday decorations around the area.
Attend the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party at The Wellmont Theater from 7PM – 11PM. Together for over 28 years, the band has appeared in concert venues across the world, sold millions of records, and had their music appear in hundreds of movies and television shows.
Peep all the windows of Essex County holiday-themed decorations — as we know, our cities come to play when it comes to next-level decor.
Go ice skating at one of the rinks in North Jersey and NYC. See our guide here.
Shop at this holiday indie-maker market, celebrating the arts, history, and culture of New Jersey from 10AM-4PM.
Volunteer at the Saint James Social Service Corporation which provides Christmas food baskets and toys for children of families in need. Sign-up to make a difference here.
Live your best influencer life at The Floral Escape interactive photo-op event located at Westfield Garden State Plaza (just outside of Essex County). There are 10 floral activations designed for you to capture all your memorable moments, including rainbow Christmas trees.
(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)
Dine at Halcyon and enjoy a live holiday concert by Vanessa Milanessi in the upstairs lounge at 7:30PM.
Learn more about the 7 principles of Kwanzaa, which starts on December 26th.
Warm up and support your local business by ordering fresh chocolate chip cookies from any of these Montclair spots.
Reflect on a holiday season well-spent. And share your pics with us @themontclairgirl on Instagram!