12 Days of Holiday Fun: Princeton Events

For a holiday destination brimming with seasonal spirit, don your festive apparel and head to Princeton, New Jersey. This charming Ivy League destination offers plenty of holiday fun…here are 12 ways to celebrate!



  1. See a Holiday Classic. No work of literature has captured the true spirit of Christmas more than A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Small wonder that the annual stage production at McCarter Theatre is a treasured Princeton tradition. Catch A Christmas Carol at McCarter, which features members of the greater Princeton community, December 10-29.



  1. Listen to Carols. The Gothic-style Princeton University Chapel is the grand setting for An Evening of Readings and Carols 2019 with Westminster’s choirs and the renowned Solid Brass ensemble on December 13-14. Advance tickets are highly encouraged for this popular event. Here’s your chance to hear music performed on the Chapel’s magnificent Mander-Skinner organ, which features 7,897 pipes!



  1. Join a Carol Sing-Along. Another jolly Princeton tradition is the Holiday Pops Concert with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, December 14 at 3 and 6 p.m. on the Princeton campus. Featuring tap-dancing toy soldiers, the concert is capped by a carol sing-along with the Princeton High School Choir.



  1. Stroll Through Palmer Square. You can’t miss the centerpiece of Palmer Square, a 65-foot-tall Norway Spruce festooned in 32,000 lights! What’s more, on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-2 p.m. through December 22, you can also listen to carolers and instrumental music. Be on the lookout for Santa, who will also be strolling around the Square.



  1. Go Skating on the Square. A new addition to Palmer Square’s holiday cheer is an outdoor “eco-friendly” skating rink. Located on Hulfish Street behind the Nassau Inn, the rink will be open through November 30-February 29. Check here for open skate times, as well as special hours on the holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Admission is $10 per person (including skate rental).



  1. Stockpile Some Holiday Pies. Find holiday entertaining essentials like jams, winter veggies and apple cider donuts at Terhune Orchards Vineyard & Winery, located on the outskirts of Princeton. Visit the wine tasting room Friday-Sunday and don’t forget to pick up a homemade pie or two in the farm store, open daily.



  1. Take a Hot Beverage Break. Savor Princeton’s coffee culture at Small World Coffee and Rojo’s Roastery. Or warm up with The Bent Spoon's decadent hot chocolate or Pumpkin Spiced Hot Cider at the Nassau Inn’s Yankee Doodle Tap Room.



  1. Hop on a Holiday Trolley. The Princeton Tour Company regales you with fascinating Princeton history and a chance to enjoy festive decorations on their Holiday Trolley Rides on Saturdays and Sundays (every hour 11 a.m.-5 p.m.) November 23-December 29.



  1. Visit a “Decked Out” Historic Landmark. Make plans to see the Festival of Trees at Morven Museum & Garden. This National Historic Landmark, which is the former New Jersey Governor’s residence, features trees inspired by décor from the 18th through 20th centuries. Festival of Trees is included with regular admission. Open to the public Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m-4 p.m. November 27-January 5.



  1.  Walk Your Way Through History. See holiday decorations and learn a little history, too! The Historical Society of Princeton offers a two-mile history walking tour every Sunday at 2 p.m., starting from the Bainbridge House on Nassau Street. Tickets are $7.



  1. Crush Your Holiday Shopping. Not only is Princeton walkable, it’s shoppable! Ho-ho-ho your way through every item on your shopping list as you enjoy Princeton’s festive vibe. Shopping ranges from J. Crew and Kitchen Kapers to Labyrinth Books and the Lindt Chocolate Shop.



  1.  Gather Around the Table. You’re certain to be ravenous after a day of shopping and touring, so reserve a table at one of Princeton’s many dining establishments. Try a TripAdvisor favorite like Blue Point Grill or a Princeton classic like PJ’s Pancake House.