celebrating a sense of place

Now through November 12, Shakespeare in Love

This exuberant theatrical "love letter" is based on the award-winning film of the same name and it's no less a joy than the original screen version. Filled with music, a huge cast of colorful characters (including a feisty little dog), the play captures the Bard as he struggles with writer's block and a forbidden romance with the woman who becomes the muse who inspires some of his greatest work. An epic Elizabethan extravaganza, it is rousing, funny, and a beautiful homage to love, art, and Shakespeare himself. Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, music by Paddy Cunneen, and directed by Bonnie J. Monte. Performances begin October 11 at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, 36 Madison Ave, Madison, NJ. shakespearenj.org

Now thru November 19 at Chester Theatre Group, Our Town

Like you’ve never seen it before! By Thornton Wilder, Directed by Kate Lyn Reiter. Performances: November 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 at 8 p.m. and November 12, 19 at 2 p.m. at CTG’s Black River Playhouse,  54 Grove Street (at the corner of Maple Avenue), Chester, NJ. chestertheatregroup.org

November 7 & 17, Paint & Wine at The Hive

Sip your wine or drink (BYOB) while you create your very own version of a featured painting. No previous experience needed! The Hive will teach you everything you need to know. Come early to meet and greet, find your seat, get your paint, apron & drink. Meet and greet is from 6:30-7 p.m. Painting is from 7 - 9:30 p.m. The price includes all materials, instruction, aprons and a 16x20 take-home canvas! Alcohol consumption is permitted only for adults over 21. Have a great night out by yourself, with friends, or with a club or group. 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at The Hive at the Chester Springs Shopping Center, 197 Route 206 North, Chester NJ. mcartsworkshop.com

November 11 & 12, Apple Cidering

Find out why you’ve been looking at apples upside down your whole life and help make fresh apple cider by hand with an old-fashioned cider press. Taste the sweet cider at the end! 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. At the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, 247 Southern Blvd., Chatham Township. morrisparks.net

November 11 - 19, Ron Albanese is Polka Dot the Elf!

Polka Dot is super excited to return back to Chester - his home-away from the North Pole. He always brings along his guitar - a gift from Santa Claus - to spread his holiday cheer singing songs with everyone! He also will have some fun giveaways, courtesy of the HCBA member businesses. Who will get these prizes? Look for him and say, “Hey POLKA DOT!,” and maybe it will be YOU!" This acclaimed, unique children's and family entertainment personality will be performing throughout Downtown Historic Chester on November 11, 12, 18, & 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

November 12, Walking with Lanterns

Join our festive parade of lanterns! Raritan Headwaters continues the tradition of celebrating Lanternenlaufen this year on November 12 (rescheduled due to weather from Nov. 5). This is a historic European festival celebrating autumn at the end of the agricultural year and the beginning of the harvest. Festive music plays as we carry our lanterns through the meadows of Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve. Advance registration required due to limited capacity. Lantern, bonfire, music and snacks included with admission. (Nov. 12 Rain Date.) First walk at 5 p.m. (recommended for those with small children), Second walk at 7 p.m. (best for adults). Opens 4 p.m. at Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve, 2121 Larger Cross Road, Bedminster, NJ. raritanheadwaters.org

November 12, "Turkey Tracks" Trail Ride

See native wild turkeys and other wildlife in their natural habitat on this pre-holiday ride through the woods and meadows of Lord Stirling Stable. The ride will be at the walk and trot, weather and ground conditions permitting. Registration is open from October 30 - November 9. For riders at Intermediate 2/C-2 and higher levels. 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 S. Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ. somersetcountyparks.org

November 12, Thanksgiving Harvest Home & Armistice Observance

Enjoy interactive farm chores, a wagon ride, and create a family-friendly craft. Visit the 1915 Farmhouse to see what holiday fare is being prepared. At 1 p.m., join in a special program honoring all U.S. military personnel and veterans, which recognizes the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in WWI. 12 noon - 4 p.m. at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Road, Morris Township. morrisparks.net

November 16 thru December 23, 2017 International Juried Exhibition at The Center for Contemporary Art

The Center for Contemporary Art’s 2017 International Juried Exhibition opens on Thursday, November 16, with the opening reception and awards ceremony take place from 6-8 p.m. and which are free and open to the public. Juror Stephen Westfall selected 51 pieces from 1,112 entries submitted by 386 artists from across the U.S. and Canada, and as far away as China, Cyprus, India, Korea, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The exhibition consists of work representing 48 artists in a broad range of subject matter and media. Three artists will be selected for 1st, 2nd and 3rd cash awards, as well as a Special Exhibitions Committee Award which will award one or more artists a solo exhibition at The Center. The Center for Contemporary Art, 2020 Burnt Mills Road, Bedminster, NJ. ccabedminster.org

November 17, Thankful Lights - Floating Luminaries at Leonard J. Buck Garden

Borrowed from a traditional Japanese ceremony, floating a candle on water is thought to awaken the spirit of nature within us all. You will create your own lantern and decorate it with a personalized message, attach it to your illuminated float, and release it on Buck Garden's Lower Pond. Come see and experience how magical the floating lights are as they drift on the water into the night. Materials will be supplied. Pre-registration is required. 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Leonard J. Buck Garden, 11 Layton Road, Far Hills, NJ. somersetcountyparks.org

November 24, Fall "Family & Friends" Introductory Ride

With everyone around for the holiday, the "rider in the family" can share their love of horses with the rest of the clan! A brief lesson will take place before a one hour trail ride. Inexperienced riders will enjoy a leisurely walk along the trails. Participants must be at least 9 years of age and weigh less than 200 pounds. Registration is available in the Stable office from November 6 - 16. 10 a.m. – Noon at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 S. Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ. somersetcountyparks.org

November 24 - 26, Dickens' Days in Historic Clinton

Dickens’ Days is an annual event that transforms Clinton into a Victorian Village. Visitors can expect to interact with Scrooge, Charles Dickens, and Father Christmas as they stroll through downtown Clinton entertaining shoppers. The town will be decorated for the holidays, with toy soldiers on the famous Clinton Bridge, holiday greens, and twinkling lights. Horse drawn carriage rides, in full Victorian costume, offer a glimpse into the past. Musical performances of all genres will be performed by local artists and music groups throughout the weekend. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in historic downtown, Clinton, NJ. clintonguild.com

November 25 – December 3, 15th Annual Colonial Christmas

A Colonial Café, an array of holiday merchants, musical performances, reindeer, gingerbread workshops for children, a holiday decorating workshop for adults, and pet photos with Santa Paws are just a few of the highlights in store for visitors to the 15th Annual Colonial Christmas at Bedminster’s historic Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum. The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House invite visitors of all ages to experience Christmas past and present when the circa 1772 Dutch Colonial home opens its wreath-clad doors. A tree lighting will kick off this year’s two weekend-long event on Friday, November 25 at 7 p.m. The tree lighting is free to the community and features caroling with the Harmonium Choral Society, hot pretzels and hot chocolate. Saturday and Sunday, November 25-26 and Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For tickets and a complete schedule of events, including Friday’s cocktail reception, visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.

November 25 and December 2, 9 & 16, Manhattan Holiday Dickens' Carolers

No holiday celebration is complete without the stunning sights and sounds of Manhattan Holiday Dickens' Carolers - An a cappella caroling quartet. Performing a variety of traditional and contemporary holiday classics in beautiful hand-made Victorian-style costuming, these festive troubadours will be performing throughout downtown Chester on November 25, December 2, 9 and 16, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and again at The Streets of Chester Shopping Center on Sunday, December 3 and Sunday, December 10. chesternj.org

​​December 1 – 10, Gingerbread Wonderland and Craft Show at Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Kick off the holiday season, and explore the magical Gingerbread Wonderland and Craft Show. Join the thousands of visitors that come each year to marvel at the skill and creativity displayed at this charming exhibit featuring hundreds of awe-inspiring, edible, gingerbread creations. Explore the sweet, candy-filled room, and choose your favorite design. Past masterpieces include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Santa’s Workshop, Hanukah Menorahs, Notre Dame Cathedral, a grand piano, and even the White House. Open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Fridays until 7:30 p.m. The Craft Show is open on Saturday and Sundays, December 2, 3, 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Township. morrisparks.net.

December 2, Steam Circus at Far Hills Country Day School 

Calling all kids 3 to 7 years old! Join us for a fun-filled morning with Mr. Fish from Phenomenal Physics, a circus performer who uses boomerangs, eggs, balloons and more to teach kids about velocity, friction, sonic booms, and other science lessons. Plus, kids can build their own musical instruments, code Dot and Dash robots, create bubbles, and engineer eagles' nests with hands-on instruction by FH faculty, FREE. 10 - 11:30 a.m. at Far Hills Country Day School, 697 US-202, Far Hills, NJ. fhcds.org

December 2 & 3, Holly Walk 2017 at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

MHHM celebrates the holidays during Holly Walk 2017 by fully decking its halls with a tree in every room. Decorations are inspired by how the Old House would have been decorated in the nineteenth-century, though modern flourishes abound. In addition, The Garden Club of Morristown will be providing live arrangements throughout the museum. A Thomas Nast Christmas, featuring the artist’s famous Santa illustrations, will be on display in the Upstairs Gallery. Visitors are invited to tour the museum at their leisure to take in all the holiday magic. On December 2 from 2 - 4 p.m. children are invited to help make decorations for the Drawing Room Christmas tree as we remember how famous presidents celebrated Christmas at the White House. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For advances ticket sales and more information, visit maccullochhall.org (Holly Walk is a tour of six Morris County historic sites decorated for the holidays. You may visit the sites in any order you wish over the course of December 2 and 3. Each site will have special Holly Walk programs. The sites have wonderful gift shops, so bring your holiday giving lists and support local historic preservation. Sites included are: Macculloch Hall, Ford Mansion, Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, Schuyler-Hamilton House, Morristown Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farm, and Acorn Hall.)

December 2 – 9, SRC Festival of Trees 2017 “Holly Jolly Christmas!”

Join us as we celebrate the 15th year of our annual holiday celebration featuring community decorated trees in a winter wonderland setting. Leave a bid for your favorite tree and bring it home if you win! Visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Caroling and Wassail, Sing-Along and Story Time, Be a Princess and meet Belle’s prince, cookies and refreshments, and more! All proceeds benefit the Senior Resource Center. All week during December 2 – 9, at The Barn at Highlands Ridge Park, 100 North Road, Chester (across from Black River Middle School). Visit srcnj.org for a complete schedule and times.

December 9, Santa Visits the Magic Shop

Snack on hot cocoa and cookies and  do some holiday shopping while you wait for your turn to ride in a special pony cart, that's all decked out for the holidays, to Santa's house.  Don't miss this wonderful Tewksbury Tradition! 2 - 4 p.m. at the Magic Shop, 60 Main Street, Oldwick, NJ. (908) 439-2330.

December 16, Sculpted Ice Works

Don't miss this holiday's crystal-clear performance by the amazingly-talented ice carvers from ICE WORKS. An amazing and spectacular artistic talent not to be missed, come and see how they create dazzling sculpted ice displays. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. downtown historic Chester, NJ. chesternj.org

December 16, Santa Claus Comes to Pottersville

Santa will be arriving in a shiny red firetruck! Bring your list to Santa and tell him what you want this Christmas. After your visit create a special holiday craft that you can bring home. Cookies and refreshments will also be available.  Don't miss this hometown tradition sponsored by the PVFC Ladies Auxiliary.  10 a.m. to Noon at the Pottersville Firehouse, 4 Hacklebarney Road, Pottersville, NJ. 

BRJ Online

Holiday 2017

Our Almanac of Events offers the best in seasonal family fun, entertainment, and cultural happenings in our area. We constantly update our Almanac to offer our readers a resource that they can come back to week after week for the latest events. While we try to inlcude as much information as possible, we encourage readers to visit the websites included to learn more about fees, pre-registrations, etc.

To have your non-profit event listed in the BRJ Almanac, send a press release of 120 wds or less, to  brjournal@comcast.net.

To advertise your business's special event call Lee Wolfe at 908-439-9968 or email brjournal@comcast.net

BRJ Almanac of Events