Princeton is prepared for the holiday season and has had tickets available to various events since the summer, including venues like McCarter, Richardson, Morven and Drumthwacket. Several productions and things to do are offered this season in all price ranges from free to $107. This guide illustrates the biggest performances, events, and activities in the Princeton area, and there’s something for everyone.
Here is just an example of what could be done the entire day of Black Friday in Princeton. Shop throughout town in the morning, grab an early lunch at one of the many restaurants in town, see The Nutcracker at McCarter, head over to Café Vienna for a slice of Sacher Torte or Linzer cookies and coffee or tea, go on Princeton Tour’s Holiday Trolley Tour, and witness the Christmas Tree Lighting. Top it all off by enjoying some hot cider or cocoa at Small World, and a stroll home or back to your car while taking in the holiday lighting throughout downtown.
A Christmas Carol – A Princeton tradition at McCarter. The sets rival Broadway! Has an amazing cast and local kids performing.
A Seraphic Fire Christmas – Seraphic Fire will be at the State Theatre this holiday season with their Christmas concert, Carols by Candlelight!
American Repertory Ballet Presents The Nutcracker – Another Princeton tradition, which has local kids performing. Magical!
An Evening of Readings and Carols – Holiday music for choir, organ and brass performed in Princeton University Chapel, featuring Westminster’s choirs and Solid Brass, the renowned brass ensemble.
A Take 6 Holiday with NJSO – This sextet infuses R&B, pop, gospel and more, and present a program that includes their unique take on seasonal favorites at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. Come early for caroling in the lobby, and bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
Christmas Tree Lighting – Takes place at Palmer Square West. Princeton’s tree has more lights than the renown tree of Rockefeller Center!
Drumthwacket Holiday Open House – The governor’s residence is decorated for the holidays. Take an unguided tour, with available docents to answer questions.
Handel’s The Messiah – The first collaboration or McCarter Theatre with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Morven Festival of Trees – This annual Princeton holiday event has become a must. Enjoy the museum’s decorated galleries and beautifully decorated trees.
Music and Santa at Palmer Square – Stroll around Palmer Square for live entertainment and Santa sightings!
Princeton Tour Company Holiday Trolley Tours – One hour trolley tour of Princeton, which is only available during the holiday season.
Stroll Around Town – Start in the late afternoon and see all of the beautifully decorated buildings in Princeton. Stay until it becomes darker and the sparkling lights twinkle, especially those on the Christmas tree.
Westminster Community Chorus Holiday Concert – Featuring Vivaldi’s Gloria, as well as holiday favorites, including Infant Holy, O Holy Night, Awake, Arise, Still, Still, Still, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Love Came Down at Christmas.
Westminster Concert Bell Choir – Gallery Concert at Grounds for Sculpture. The Westminster Concert Bell Choir play traditional holiday music from England. They perform on the largest range of handbells in the world.
Salute to Vienna – An homage to Vienna’s New Year’s Concert at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. Takes place on New Year’s Eve.