Eight “Not to be Missed” Morris County Holiday Events with a Historic Twist

The most wonderful time of the year is here for Morris County families and friends.  With Covid on the wane, many of our local historical and cultural sites are welcoming visitors back in person.  Here are some of our suggestions for the best holiday events upcoming in the Morris County area.  Let’s make some holiday memories and enjoy Christmas 2021 through New Year’s 2022.  Scroll down to the bottom of this list to learn about the Morris County Tourism Bureau’s 2021 Thomas Nast ornament, on sale now.  It’s from a drawing of Nast’s which appeared in 1881 called “Merry Old Santa Claus.”

1. Deck the Halls-December 3rd and 4th at Maculloch Hall and Acorn Hall

Macculloch Hall and Acorn Hall an early December program called “Deck the Halls” with the sites fully decorated. One ticket admits you to both sites on one day. The event features a “candlelight” program on Friday night, December 3rd from 4 to 8 pm.  You can alternatively choose the Saturday tour option for December 4th from 10 am to 4 pm.  Tickets will be available via Eventbrite and can be purchased for either Friday OR Saturday for $25 pp. Your ticket includes a holiday art kit with a make-at-home craft from Macculloch Hall.  Enjoy live holiday music on an historic 1872 Chickering piano at Acorn Hall.  There will be festive photo opportunities at both sites (indoors and outdoors) and the gift shops will be flowing with holiday merchandise for everyone on your list.  View the current exhibits at both sites which include Christmas drawings by Thomas Nast and the newly restored and installed St. Cecilia glass window at Acorn Hall.  If you are a fan of past Morris County Holly Walks, this event is for you!

2. Holiday CraftMorristown 2021-December 10th to 12th

Spend the day shopping for uncommon and one-of-a-kind gifts for every age, taste and budget from 150+ of America’s finest craft artists. Wow your loved ones with handmade gifts they will never forget. Find original fashions, accessories and jewelry; functional and sculptural works in ceramics, glass, metal, fiber, wood and mixed media; fine art painting, printmaking, drawing and photography; and handcrafted gourmet specialties, foods and beverages.  Visit the “historic” return of CraftMorristown at the Armory, Western Avenue. Schedule:  Friday from 4 to 8 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $10, Seniors (62 +) $8, Under 16 FREE.  For more info, a list of the crafters who will attend, and a discount admission coupon click here

3. A Christmas Carol at Centenary Stages-November 26th to December 12th 

“A Christmas Carol” written by Stephen Temperley and based on the story by Charles Dickens returns to Centenary Stage Company’s Sitnik Theatre.  Nineteenth-century London comes to life with this adaption made specifically for the Centenary Stage Company. Performances will take place November 26 through December 12 at 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown on the campus of Centenary University. Tickets range from $25.00 – 29.50 for adults with discounts available for seniors, students, and children 12 and younger.  A live stream is also available on December 5 at 2:00 pm for $10.00. For more information, go to centenarystageco.org or call the Centenary Stage Company’s box office at (908) 979-0900.

A Christmas Carol | Hanover Theatre For The Performing Arts

4. The Story of the Nutcracker at The Growing Stage-November 26th to December 19th

Fun for the whole family, enjoy a 90-minute holiday production at the Growing Stage, New Jersey’s children’s theatre.  “The Story of the Nutcracker” will be performed at the Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong. The Growing Stage’s original adaptation transforms the classic holiday ballet into a fully formed theatrical production laced with the music of Tchaikovsky.  The program will be offered from November 26th until December 19th, Fridays at 7:30PM, Saturdays at 4PM, Sundays at 2PM.  Group sales, as well as individual ticket sales, are available.  Regular price is $28 pp, with senior and youth ticket prices available. Purchase tickets online 

Missing 'The Nutcracker'? How to Get Your Holiday Fix at Home - The New York Times

5. A Child’s Christmas in Wales from The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ-December 8th to January 2nd

Last presented here in 2016, this song-filled celebration of the season has become one of their most requested holiday offerings. Based on Dylan Thomas’ classic story about his childhood Christmases in Wales in the 1920s, this heartwarming piece about a time gone by rejoices in the simple delights of childhood, the spirit of goodness, the comfort of family, and the magic that music and the imagination bring to us all.  On stage from December 8th to January 2nd on the campus of Drew University in Madison. Tuesdays to Sundays, tickets from $40 to $50, with pay what you can and $30 under 30 options. Tickets online.

6. New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker at MPAC-December 17th to December 26th

New Jersey Ballet’s beloved annual tradition enchants youngsters and grown-ups alike with splendid dancing, eye-popping special effects and a touch of holiday magic, set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score performed live by New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Ages 4+  Performed at MPAC in Morristown.  Tickets $35 to $75.  Purchase online

7. First Night Morris-December 31st to January 1, 2022

How’s this for history-it’s the 30th anniversary of First Night Morris this year.  A family-fun, alcohol-free, substance-free event at venues throughout Morristown to ring in the New Year. Live & virtual program features over 30 Performances, 80+ Screenings, 12 In-Person Venues, 1 Streaming Venue, and 1 On-Demand Venue.  All Tickets include access to First Night Morris County 2022 on December 31, 2021, and On-Demand access to all Films and Virtual Performances from January 1st – 3rd, 2022. Early-Bird Tickets (Buttons) start at $25 and $90 for a 4-Pack ($22.50 Each) through December 21.  Event info

8. Morris County Tourism Bureau 2021 Thomas Nast Ornament on sale now

Thomas Nast, father of American cartooning, drew 33 Christmas drawings for Harper’s Weekly.  This year’s special edition ornament features his 1881 drawing called “Merry Old Santa Claus.”  It’s on sale now and available for pick-up at our Morristown office at 6 Court Street.  You can call 973-631-5151 for more information, or purchase online for $12 each at:  ornament

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and safe holiday season, Leslie, Carol A and Carol B

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