Princeton has been preparing for the holiday season since the summer. Ticket sales for The Nutcracker began in July, and McCarter Theatre Center has been promoting A Christmas Carol for months. There are several things to do this season, so this guide will help you navigate the holiday season, illustrating the biggest performances, events, and activities in the Princeton area.
A Christmas Carol – A Princeton tradition at McCarter. The sets rival Broadway! Has an amazing cast and local kids performing. Tickets to the December 15 Fezziwig Party performance is still available. They will present a reimagined version of Dickens’ classic in 2016, so make sure you get to see this interpretation one last time.
American Repertory Ballet Presents The Nutcracker – Another Princeton tradition that has local kids performing. The dancing, costumes, set, and live music make it 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.
Annual Menorah Lighting – Join special guest speakers and the Odessa Klezmer Band on December 8 as they light the Menorah.
Annual Santa Fly-In – Santa will fly into Princeton Airport on December 24 with gifts for area children on Thursday, December 24, 11 AM. You must bring a wrapped gift for each of your children with their names in large print. You must also bring an equal number of unwrapped gifts for needy children.
Celtic Women: Home For Christmas – A breathtaking performance at the State Theatre by this all-female musical quartet of angelic vocalists accompanied by a full symphony orchestra.
Christmas Tree Lighting – Takes place at Palmer Square on November 27. Princeton’s tree has more lights than the renown tree of Rockefeller Center!
Community Lantern Walk – Make your own lantern or purchase one at jaZams and join them for a magical moonlit walk through Princeton on November 14. Plus a joyful sing-a-long and free hot apple cider.
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 – Messiah joins ARB’s Nutcracker and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for a second consecutive year to form an unofficial “Holiday Season Troika” at McCarter.
Morven Festival of Trees – This annual Princeton holiday event has become a must. Enjoy the museum’s decorated galleries and beautifully decorated trees.or McCarter Theatre with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Music and Santa at Palmer Square – Stroll around Palmer Square for live entertainment and Santa sightings!
Princeton Pro Musica – Bach Christmas Oratorio with period instrument orchestra on Saturday, December 19, 2015, 8:00 PM, at the Kendall Theater of The College of New Jersey.
Princeton Tour Company Holiday Trolley Tours – One hour trolley tour of Princeton, which is only available during the holiday season.
Princeton Tour Company Santa’s Helper Tour – This one hour, slow-paced strolling tour is designed for grandparents and parents with four – six-year old children who are fascinated by All Things Santa!
Princeton University A Capella Jam and Toy Drive – Enjoy the sounds from many University groups. Bring a new unwrapped toy to be donated to the YMCA St. Nicholas Project.
Stroll Around Town – Start in the late afternoon and see all the beautifully decorated buildings in Princeton. Stay until it becomes darker and the sparkling lights twinkle, especially 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: An English Christmas – Featuring traditional holiday music from the United Kingdom, including favorite sacred and secular Christmas carols. Delight in the sonorities as the Choir performs on the largest range of handbells and Choirchimes in the world.
Salute to Vienna – An homage to the Vienna New Year’s Concert conveniently performed at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. Takes place on New Year’s Eve.