Make a holiday list and check it twice, and if a joyful holiday trip is on there be sure to check out Cape May, NJ for one of the most charming displays of holiday merriment. You may already be familiar with Cape May for its award-winning beaches and charming Victorian architecture, but did you know it is one of the most treasured holiday beach towns in the country?
And no one does it grander than the Grand Dame of the northeast, America’s oldest seaside resort, Congress Hall. Making spirits bright since 1816, this magical Big House by the Sea celebrates with an annual Winter Wonderland for kids 1 to 92.
Even the jolly big guy in the red suit spends the holiday season in Cape May. Here’s where you can find Santa (and other holiday fun) this season:
Take a walk in Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland
Saturday, November 29th kicks off Congress Hall’s magical Winter Wonderland! Welcome the yuletide season and watch the Big House By the Sea’s enchanted transformation. Kids from 1 to 92 will love the festive holiday decorations, rides on the Congress Hall Express & Carousel, Santa’s Workshop, arts & crafts, tasty treats and so much more.
The Congress Hall Tree Lighting takes place Friday, December 6, 6pm-10pm
Head to Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn as the hotel ushers in the spirit of the holidays with its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy live music from the hotel’s Festival Choir while waiting for the resort’s 30-foot Tannenbaum tree to light and officially kick-off the holiday season.
Breakfast with Santa, Saturdays and Sundays before Christmas (November 30, December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22) – Tickets on sale now!
One of the most anticipated Cape May holiday events of the season is Congress Hall’s Breakfast with Santa! Enjoy a delicious breakfast and get the chance to see Jolly Old St. Nick. The breakfast buffet includes scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, bacon, fruit, buttermilk pancakes, sweet treats, and much more. Kids will get the chance to tell Father Christmas all of their Christmas wishes, while parents snap a pretty picture for the mantle.
9:00 am — 12:00 pm in the Ballroom at Congress Hall
Holiday Dinner & Bingo with Blue and the Clauses, Saturday December 14,21,28
Bingo is back by popular demand, this time with a festive holiday spin! Join Blue the Pig in the Ballroom as he hosts his very own dinner and rounds of Bingo, his favorite game.
See a show: A Congress Hall Christmas
In collaboration with Cape May Stage, this year’s show, A Congress Hall Christmas, begins Friday, November 29 through December 29 every Thursday, Friday (7:30pm) and Sunday (3pm) in the Harrison Room of Congress Hall.
With Christmas soon approaching, Santa and Mrs. Claus head to their favorite vacation spot for some rest and relaxation. With the assistance of their new friend Blue, Mr. & Mrs. Claus soon meet some of the ghosts hanging around Congress Hall and find the holiday spirit they were searching for! $25 general admission, $15 children. Visit congresshall.com or call Congress Hall’s concierge to purchase tickets.
Fun for grownups at Winter Wonderland includes exploring the shopping village and seeing the annual festive play. For the kids, there’s gingerbread decorating, story time with Mrs. Claus, a train trip aboard the Congress Hall Express, a ride on a classic carousel… and a lot more.
Festive Farm Life:
Beach Plum Farm (which provides ingredients to all of the Cape Resorts hotels & restaurants) will be hosting Holiday Farm-to-Table dinners on weekends during the holiday season.
Start a new tradition this season with a festive holiday farm-to-table dinner at Beach Plum Farm. Begin an evening with a stroll among the twinkling lights the Elfin Woodland Marsh Trail where cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres will be served around the glow of a crackling fire.
Each menu will be curated by Beach Plum Farm’s own Chef Josh Liwoch inspired by what’s fresh at the farm that week. Highlights might include roast heritage turkey with sweet potato spätzle or braised Berkshire pork loin and gratin of leeks. The dining experience itself will remain a surprise and will depend on the weather – it could be dining al fresco, under a tent or in a greenhouse– abundantly decorated with the greens and lights of an Old Fashioned Christmas.
Cap off the night with a Carol Sing and a complimentary Beach Plum Farm Songbook to take home as a souvenir. The Beach Plum Farm Market will be open for holiday shopping during the dinner so that guests can fill their Christmas Lists with unique local artisanal products, farm-inspired cookbooks, home goods, and Christmas ornaments.
All dinners start at 6:30pm with hors-d’oeuvres and are BYOB. Guests are invited to bring their own wines or spirits. Farm-fresh juices and herbs will be provided as mixers to make individual craft cocktails. Enjoy this magical night as a time to create Christmas memories with family and friends.
Christmas in Cape May includes Christmas candlelight house tours, Santa Trolley rides, the annual West Cape May Christmas Parade (12/7) and so much more.
Stay in Cape May for a holiday experience the entire family will cherish forever. Retreat to your plush guest room at Congress Hall after a day of Winter Wonderland whimsy, or unwrap gifts in the cozy living room of one of our Beach Plum Farm cottages. With accommodations ranging from quaint and intimate boutique rooms to whole-house luxury rentals, a stay with Cape Resorts is a guarantee that your season will be merry and bright. Congress Hall’s Breakfast with Santa offer is one of the most popular holiday getaways! View accommodations and offers here.