Exciting Winter Events

by Press Release | Nov 29, 2005
Exciting Winter Events It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around New Jersey's Southern Shore Region as the pungent aroma of mulled cider and the fragrance of freshly-cut trees entice visitors to enjoy a variety of special holiday events in Cumberland and Cape May counties this yuletide season.

Stroll through picturesque Dutch Neck Village aglow with candles along the walkways or ride through Millville's historic Glasstown Arts District in a horse-drawn carriage with jingling sleigh bells. In Cape May, guests can call on the Physick family at their festively decorated Victorian estate on Washington Street, climb aboard the Holly Trolley or enjoy afternoon tea after a tour of local inns as the nation's oldest seaside resort celebrates Christmas. The Holidays at Wheaton Village provide plenty of time to savor marvelous exhibits, browse in the Christmas Shop or spend a quiet day strolling through the village.

Ah, so much to do and so little time. Bridgeton. Cape May. Millville. Wheaton Village and points in between. Even Santa with his sleigh and those reindeer would have trouble keeping up with all these shopping possibilities and holiday revelry!

Even before the Thanksgiving turkey is carved, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts rings in the holidays with a preview weekend Nov. 18, 19 and 20 that gives everyone a generous sprinkling of holiday spirit and hospitality. Get a head start on the holiday season and enjoy a variety of special Christmas tours and events before the crowds arrive. Indulge your darkside, or your milky desire…whatever your preference, you can fulfill your chocolate fantasy in the decadence of a completely chocolate buffet prepared by Washington Inn Chefs. Other weekend events include a Taste of Christmas tour, an evening wassail tour, a concert by the Atlantic Brass Band and an educational afternoon learning about wines for the holidays. For more information contact the Mid-Atlantic Center for The Arts at (609) 884-5404, 800-275-4278 or www.capemaymac.org.

The holiday season at Wheaton Village provides plenty of time to savor museum exhibits, browse in the stores or spend a quiet day strolling the scenic Village grounds. From November 25 through December 31 you can enjoy the holiday excitement enhanced by a unique shopping experience in one great place.

Exhibitions in the Museum of American Glass include, "Particle Theories: International Pate de Verre and Other Cast Glass Granulations" and "Ornaments Through Time." Watch highly skilled artists employ century-old techniques to create pitchers, bowls, vases and paperweights in the Glass Studio. Marvel at the remarkable transformation of hot molten glass into items of great beauty. Be sure to chat with the artists about their work following one of the daily-narrated demonstrations.

A day at Wheaton Village also includes a visit to the Woodcarving, Flameworking and Ceramics Studios and the Down Jersey Folklife Center. The museum stores, open seven days a week from November 25 to December 31 (closed Christmas Day), offer one-of-a-kind, handcrafted gifts in all media for holiday gift giving. Schedule an appointment to make a paperweight, gift certificates are available in the Paperweight Shop, so family and friends can participate in this unique experience. For more information about the Wheaton Village, call 800-998-4552 or 856-825-6800 or www.wheatonvillage.org.

At the Wetlands Institute’s Holiday Hoopla, smiles start the Saturday after Thanksgiving on Saturday, Nov. 26, with a kids-only Secret Santa Shop and Tommy the Train from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Institute will be a wonderland of crafts and gift items just waiting to help holiday shoppers get in the spirit of the season. The Tidepool Gift Shop at the Institute will be filled with tantalizing gift possibilities plus homemade soups, baked goods and other goodies will be on sale. Continuing the celebration, it’s tea time for youngsters and their favorite stuffed pal on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Institute from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This holiday favorite is a great chance for children to enjoy beary fun crafts and activities along with a visit to the bear nurse to receive a certificate of wellness for their stuffed friends. On Tuesday, Dec. 6, enjoy a family night out at the Wetlands Institute to make your very own graham cracker cottage or castle. All supplies are provided. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. and reservations must be made before Dec. 2. For more information about Holiday Hoopla call the Wetlands Institute, 609-368-1211 or visit www.wetlandsinstitute.org.

Need a great picture to slip into your Christmas cards? In Ocean City, Santa takes a break from the North Pole to pose for pictures in a lifeguard boat at the Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace and the Boardwalk from Noon to 3 p.m., beginning Saturday, Nov. 26 and continuing on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 18. Ocean City’s holiday offerings continue through the season with the popular Inn to Inn Tour. The holiday tour set for Dec. 10 gives visitors a personal glimpse at buildings that are nearly a century old and preserve some of the town's earliest history. Carol Fest set for Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace and the Boardwalk will put everyone in a holiday mood. For information (609) 399-1412, (609) 525-9300 or www.oceancityvacation.com or www.njoceancity.com.

At Dutch Neck Village, the 24th annual Walk of Lights will be celebrated for three weekends beginning December 2 and 3 from 5 to 9 p.m. This special holiday celebration continuing on December 9 and 10 and December 16 and 17 will transform this quaint collection of shops, decorated and ready for Christmas, into a holiday wonderland with luminaries, a live nativity, refreshments and, of course, a visit from Santa himself. Several buildings in the village have been constructed from materials from the old Olivet Methodist Church in Palatine, N.J. that dates to 1851 and the Eglington Cemetery Chapel in Clarksboro, built around 1876. The remaining shops were constructed in colonial and country designs and the landscaped grounds include more than 200 varieties of plants. For more information contact Dutch Neck Village at (856) 451-2188 or www.dutchneckvillage.com.

Historic homes, churches, bed and breakfast inns and other buildings dated as far back as the 17th Century will be open as part of The Historic Bridgeton Christmas Open House Tour set for Saturday, Dec. 3. Bridgeton is a community with a colonial heritage reaching back almost three hundred years. It has touched, and been touched by, nearly every period of American History. The city’s Colonial, Federalist and Victorian architecture boasts more than 2,200 homes and buildings which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information contact Bridgeton Recreation at (856) 451-9208.

Victorian Cape May is decked out for the holidays for seven weeks through New Year's with special events highlighting the city’s architecture. Tours of the historic district homes, bed and breakfast inns and other businesses adorned for the holiday take place daily in Cape May with many of them using the trolley which makes getting around town fun, festive and convenient. Yuletide Calling Card Tours, wassail tours, a Taste of Christmas and Lamplighter Christmas Tours offer visitors the chance to step back a century ago and learn how Victorian families celebrated the holidays while reveling in the beauty of authentically decorated mansions adorned in exquisite holiday finery.

The most popular tour - and there are many to choose from - is the Christmas Candlelight House Tour on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with at least 20 homes, inns, hotels and churches featured on each date. The evening includes Christmas caroling, strolling musicians and trolley service topped off with warm beverages and home-baked treats and abundant holiday revelry. The Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts' museum shops at the Physick Estate and boutique shops around town will help everyone, including those with a "bah humbug" attitude, to get into the holiday spirit and wrap up the perfect gift to tuck under the Christmas tree.

Even Charles Dickens' character Scrooge would have to admit there is no other place quite like Cape May at holiday time. From Sunday, Dec. 4 through Tuesday, Dec.6, it's the 24th annual Dickens Christmas Extravaganza, a celebration filled with the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of holiday festivities popular in the 19th century. This year, events will include lectures, performances, tours and the gala Dickensian Feast with participants dressed as a Dickens character or in Victorian costume. For more information contact the Mid-Atlantic Center for The Arts about the Christmas Candlelight Tours and the Dickens Extravaganza at (609) 884-5404, 800-275-4278 or www.capemaymac.org.

Holiday shopping in Millville’s Glasstown Arts District will begin in November as part of the Third Friday celebrations. Visitors can shop in the galleries that dot High Street and view art exhibits from Philadelphia and South Jersey. Glasstown Arts District’s special celebration, "Soul of the Season," Dec. 9 and 10 from 6 to 10 p.m., is two evenings of traditional family holiday fun featuring horse and carriage tours, All Star Buglers, ice sculpting, magicians, cartoon characters, jugglers and strolling carolers. A holiday revue and Santa’s Village will add to the excitement. For more information or a calendar of events call the Glasstown Arts District at (800) 887-4957 or www.glasstownartsdistrict.com.

After the gifts have been opened and the Christmas feast devoured, make a resolution to celebrate New Year's Eve in Ocean City where a First Night extravaganza begins mid-afternoon Dec. 31 and lasts until everyone has bid farewell to 2005 and officially rung in 2006. Dozens of performers at venues throughout the city, all alcohol-free, provide plenty of New Year's excitement and fun for the whole family topped off with fireworks. First Night buttons are a bargain and some great dinner packages at participating restaurants are also available. For more information about First Night call 609-525-9300 or www.firstnightocnj.com.

If you are still in the holiday mood on New Year's Day, there's First Day at the Beach and the First Day Shopping Extravaganza on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City and the last performance of a Physick Family Christmas in Cape May.

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