Christmas in Cape May

Victorian Cape May captures all the charm of a Dickens village at Christmastime. It’s the perfect destination for immersing yourself in the true spirit of the holidays. Add some jingle to your holidays with a getaway during Christmas in Cape May, which runs from November 18, 2022, through January 1, 2023.


Enjoy a one-man tour-de-force performance of the famed holiday story with One Christmas Carol at Cape May Stage, running November 16 through December 30. The East Lynne Theater Company is staging Christmas Presents From The Past, American classic Christmas stories adapted and performed by Gayle Stahlhuth. (On stage November 25 – 26 and December 4, 8, 9 and 10.)


The festive highlight of the Cape May holiday season is the Christmas Candlelight House Tours, a self-guided walking tour scheduled on Saturdays, December 3, 10 and 17, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Enjoy beautifully decorated homes, caroling, traditional goodies and plenty of cheer. Entry to the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate is included, which gives you the chance to explore “This Old House: Preservation of the Physick Estate.” Also at the Physick Estate is the Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Exhibit from November 18 – January 1, 2023, and Winter Wonderwalk starting in November and lasting into winter 2023. As you tour Cape May’s “Painted Ladies,” you’ll also gain an appreciation for Cape May’s architectural legacy. This National Historic Landmark city boasts nearly 600 restored Victorian buildings. If you miss the Candlelight tour, you can still enjoy bedecked and bedazzled Victorian homes and B&Bs with a virtual tour.


Head to the famed Congress Hall, America’s oldest seaside resort, for a host of holiday events at their Winter Wonderland, including Breakfast with Santa, Congress Hall Express rides and Santa’s Workshop activities. Or dine outdoors under the glow of Congress Hall’s dazzling 30-foot Christmas tree in a private igloo. Check here for details.


A festive way to see the sights is aboard one of Cape May’s holiday trolley rides. (Much cozier, too!) You’ll have your choice of rides throughout the season: Holiday LightsSanta’s Trolley RideAll That Glitters and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, where members of the East Lynne Theater company share Victorian ghost tales that will spook the Scrooge out of you. Check Christmas in Cape May for ticket prices and times.


Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to one of the many restaurants that make Cape May a dining destination. Some of the acclaimed options for festive seasonal dining include Mad BatterUnion Park Dining RoomWashington InnLucky Bones Back Water Grille and Tisha’s Fine Dining.

Cape May dining possibilities pair nicely with tastings in Cape May Wine Country, at Cape May Winery & VineyardHawk Haven Vineyard & WineryTurdo Vineyards & Winery and Willow Creek Farm & Winery. Or see what’s on tap at the Cape May Brewing Company.


Enhance your season with an outdoor adventure or two. Seaside Cape May is a natural for beach walks, bird watching and wild encounters. Work up an appetite for that lavish B&B afternoon tea by climbing the 199 steps of the historic Cape May Lighthouse, open on select dates in December. Explore Cape May Bird Observatory and learn why birding enthusiasts always include Cape May on their bucket list. Or treat the family to a day at Cape May County Park & Zoo. While the Zoo is closed on Christmas, it’s open every other day, currently from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Take a stroll and pick up holiday gifts at downtown Cape May’s Washington Street Mall, where you can shop for art, toys, books, apparel and more at quaint, one-of-a-kind retailers. If you can't decide, surprise those on your list with a gift certificate redeemable at one of their favorite merchants.

Of course, Cape May is known for its gracious bed & breakfasts offering a romantic respite from the holiday rush. Why don’t you give yourself an early Christmas present with a weekend at one of Cape May’s charming inns or B&Bs. A few to check out: Angel of the SeaThe Queen VictoriaBeauclaire's Bed & BreakfastWilbraham Mansion and the Mason Cottage. You can also learn about current deals in Cape May.

Before dashing to Cape May, be sure to check out the official website or social media channels for the places you plan to visit to review the latest hours of operation and details. To discover even more things to do in New Jersey, download our Official Travel Guide—it’s free.