January 2024 is
almost over, and we have already had two actual snow storms this year. Depending on where you live in the state, you may have seen anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow. To some, this is a call to huddle up and hunker down – but to others, this is all the more reason to get out there and enjoy the special festivals and celebrations happening around New Jersey this year! Here’s a list of our top 10 New Jersey Winter Festivals to keep active and enjoy until Spring.
January 28 – February 18 New Jersey Film Festival, New Brunswick
In its 42nd year, this New Jersey Winter Festival that showcases independent films is always a major event in New Brunswick. This year 15 visiting filmmakers will be on hand to answer questions and over 40 films will be screened. Click here for schedule and ticket info. Love visiting New Brunswick, want a little culture but on a budget? The Zimmerli Art Museum is free and open to the public Wednesdays – Sundays (Closed Monday & Tuesday). This 70,000 square foot museum has over 60,000 works of art in their collection and exhibits change frequently.
February 2 – 4 Atlantic City Motorcycle Show, Atlantic City
Billed as “the country’s most complete bike show” and being hosted at the Showboat Hotel & Convention Center, this is shaping up to be a really big show! From the latest models to vintage bikes – it’s all here. There will be hundreds of motorcycles in addition to vendors with the latest in parts and technology related to motorcycles. There will be food, music and even a full bar for this 3-day festival celebrating bike culture.
February 3 Winter Eagle Festival, The Glades Mauricetown
Sponsored by The Natural Lands Trust in partnership with Cumberland County and the NJ Audubon Society, this day celebrates raptors of all kinds. Bald eagles, falcons, harriers and owls are all local residents here. The day’s events include talks and expert-led timed walks around the trails of The Glades Preserve. This one is weather dependent – so check, and dress accordingly. Before you head our to this winter festival be sure to get up to speed with our The Ultimate Guide to New Jersey National Wildlife Refuges
February 3 – 4 Fire & Ice Festival, New Egypt
This family friendly weekend just gets more popular each year. Hosted by the New Egypt Flea Market Village, this event really does have something for everyone. With 40+ vendors in the village to choose from there’s no shortage of places to grab a snack or a hot drink to warm up. The event will feature ice carving, fire pits, food trucks and more. Live music will be provided and photo ops with characters are in the works. Amazing Mutts Puppy Rescue is based out of New Egypt; stop by and see the new space and meet some adorable, adoptable puppies. If that doesn’t warm your heart, nothing will.
February 9 – 11 & 16 -18 Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekends, Statewide
Over 60 wineries in the state of NJ have signed on to participate in these celebrations over the course of two weekends. NJ growers produce over 80 varieties of grapes and can be seen as 4 distinct viticultural areas. Visitors can sample a variety of reds and whites as they tour NJ wineries. The best way to participate – just like in real life – is to grab a passport and plot your journey. Each of the participating wineries will offer their own delicious ideas for wine and chocolate pairings. Check out our NJspots Takeover: Willow Creek Winery in South Jersey.
$15.99 ($8.00 / Count)
February 17 Red, White & Brew Fest, Trenton
George Washington was brewing “small pints” in the colonies, so it isn’t such a stretch for the capital city to be hosting a winter beerfest in an area rich in colonial history. Because of the proximity to President’s Day, the event will have an historical theme. There will be live music, DJs and lots of food. The over 50 craft beer styles that are sure to be the star of the show as this New Jersey Winter Festival takes over the Cure Arena in Trenton.
February 24 Mac and Cheese Mayhem Festival, Morristown
Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? This popular event has a lot going on. In addition to the 12 different mac & cheese vendors (list from Instagram here) to sample and vote for – there is a lot of other entertainment. A petting zoo, sand art and hatchet throwing are all planned for inside the arena in designated areas. You can bring the kids, but there will be margaritas, beer and sangria available along with live music, so you may not want to bring the littles. This is indoor rain or shine so it’s a solid bet to get tickets in advance.
February 25 Jersey Nerd Festival, Swedesboro
Nerds, geeks, anime freaks, cosplay fans – all are welcome to this two-day festival celebrating an interesting mix of folks who enjoy Lego, Star Wars and more! The vendor tables are all sold out for 2024 so it looks like this will be the biggest show ever. If you are a fan of comic books and collectibles you may just find that special something you were seeking here.
March 1 – 3 Super Pet Expo, Edison
Shopping for pet related items, education on multiple training alternatives for pets, adoptable pets and so much more will be happening over this jam-packed weekend. In its 23rd year and billed as the largest consumer animal event in the U.S. – over 150 exhibitors will be showcasing their goods and services to the over 20,000 attendees expected to visit the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center. Since you are already in Edison, you may want to continue on another 20 minutes up the road to Menlo Park and stop in at the Thomas Edison Center. If the museum is open (Thursday – Saturday) you can catch a tour. If it’s closed you can still wonder at the 1938 Memorial Tower and wander the 36-acre state park. The giant lightbulb is a popular photo op as well.
March 12 Lines on the Pines, Galloway
This one-day celebration of all things related to the Jersey Pine Barrens has been going on for 26 years. Hosted now at Stockton University, it is a family fun event. There are artists, photographers, musicians, authors and artisans all celebrating the beauty of our South Jersey treasure, the Pinelands. This New Jersey Winter Festival is always free and there will be music and plenty of local authors doing book signings. Lots of special activities have been planned to keep the kids engaged too. This is an indoor event and over 80 “celebrities” from the Pinelands have signed on to attend. If you love South Jersey, you’ll probably love this event too.
Get out there, support NJ Businesses and Artists – Let them know we sent you to these great #NJspots.
New Jersey is such a diverse state. From High Point State Park to the beaches of the Jersey Shore we represent a varied geological profile. The people of New Jersey are equally diverse and rich in a wide variety of cultural heritages and ethnicities. One thing we all have in common is our desire for connection- be it with other humans or with nature. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we can’t get out and do something! Here’s hoping this list inspires you to try something new.