Cape May Holidays

Victorian Cape May captures all the charm of a Dickens village at Christmastime. It’s the perfect destination for immersing yourself in the spirit of the season. Add some jingle to your holidays with a magical getaway during Christmas in Cape May, an annual event being held from November 17, 2023 through January 1, 2024.


The festive highlight of the Cape May holiday season are the Christmas Candlelight House Tours, a self-guided walking tour scheduled on Saturdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy beautifully decorated homes, caroling, traditional goodies and plenty of cheer. The spectacular 1879 Emlen Physick Estate is included on each Christmas Candlelight House Tour date – or you can mark yourself as a guest at even more seasonal events hosted over multiple dates at the estate: the Physick Family Christmas House Tour, Evening Yuletide House Tour and A Dr. Physick Christmas. As you tour Cape May’s “Painted Ladies,” you’ll also gain an appreciation for the destination’s storied architectural legacy. This National Historic Landmark city boasts nearly 600 restored Victorian buildings. 


A festive (and cozier!) way to see the sights is aboard one of Cape May’s holiday trolley rides. You’ll have your choice of these trolley tours 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 foodie-favorite culinary 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 Winery & Farm. You can also see what’s on tap at the Cape May Brewing Company, Cold Spring Brewery and Gusto Brewing Company. Or make your “spirits” bright at Nauti Spirits.


Enjoy a whimsical take on small town Yuletide celebrations featuring 22 characters played by a cast of only two with a performance of A Tuna Christmas at Cape May Stage, running through December 30, 2023.


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.


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. Or extend your stay with a reservation at the famed Congress Hall, America’s oldest seaside resort. This time of year, the property is transformed from a summer coastal escape into a full-blown Winter Wonderland featuring a host of holiday festivities and events – unwrap all the holly-jolly details here.

Before dashing off to Cape May, be sure to check out the official websites or social media channels for the places you plan to visit to review the latest hours of operation and up-to-the-minute details. To discover even more things to do in New Jersey, download our Official Travel Guide – it’s free – and sign-up for our information-packed e-newsletter.