The Poricy Park Conservancy Holiday Shop opens its doors at 9 a.m., with a wide selection of hand-crafted items – original hand-made quilts and needlework, jewelry, homemade jams and jellys, stockings and ornaments, and much more. Everything sold at the Holiday Shop is made by master crafters and available at an affordable price. Visitors may also shop at the Poricy Park Nature Center Gift Shop, where nature-inspired items and colonial-style gifts can be found year-round. The Holiday Shop will be open for business 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Nov. 25 – Dec. 4 and Dec. 9 – 12.
345 Oak Hill Road, Middletown, (732) 842-5966, www.poricypark.org
Kick off the holiday season on with the Red Bank Town Lighting and Holiday Express Concert. For the 18th consecutive year, Holiday Express will be performing all of your holiday favorites in rock star fashion in concert. The concert begins at 7 p.m., on Broad Street at Canal Street. Broad Street from Peters Place to Monmouth Street will be closed to traffic from 4 -11 p.m.
On the same day there will be a free Santa Express train that departs from the Little Silver Train Station and arrives at the Red Bank Train Station with a parade down Monmouth Street in time for the Holiday Express concert. Starting at 4 p.m., the Little Silver Train Station will host Santa & Mrs. Claus.
The train will leave Little Silver at approximately 6:29 p.m. for Red Bank. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be the grand marshals of the parade and will make an appearance later in the evening at the concert
The Christmas tree at 30 Monmouth Street in the Dublin House Courtyard will be lit as Santa parades up Monmouth Street at approximately 6:45 p.m.
(732) 842-4244 www.OnlyOneRedBank.com
Celebrate the spirit of Christmas Past as the annual Holiday Lantern Tours of Shrewsbury’s Historic Four Corners, a National and State designated Historic District. On this special evening, the historic buildings at the corners of Broad Street and Sycamore Avenue will be open to welcome the public. Tours begin at 6 p.m. and 8p.m. and are by reservation only.
The tours will include four historic properties: Monmouth County Historical Association’s Allen House, which was built circa 1710; Christ Church (1769); the Presbyterian Church (1822); and Shrewsbury Friends Meeting House (1816). At the Allen House, which served the community as a tavern in the mid-18th century, visitors will be greeted by the tavern keeper and his family who will discuss tavern life and 18th century fare, followed by musical entertainment, cookies and cider, and general merriment.
In Christ Church, the Rev. Samuel Cooke, who served as rector from 1751-1775, along with many of his notable 18th-century parishioners, will be on hand to guide visitors through the church and the graveyard. Christ Church’s bazaar opens on the night of Lantern Tours for visitor shopping. Tours of the Presbyterian Church will also be offered Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the Shrewsbury Friends Meeting House, learn more about the Quakers’ unique style of worship, and be treated to light refreshments.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $9.50 for seniors, and $8 for children 12 and under. Call Renee Meislohn (732) 915-5862 for information and reservations.
Mother Teresa Regional School’s annual Christmas bazaar and breakfast with Santa is a fun-filled family event with activities for children, games, music and a visit from Santa Claus.Breakfast with Santa begins at 9:30 a.m. in the St. Agnes Parish Center. Tickets are $5 for children and includes a photo with Santa. Adult tickets are also available. Order online at www.mtregional.com.
The Christmas bazaar runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., with more than 50 vendors selling gifts, toys and puppets, unique handcrafted jewelry, home decor, clothing items and more. Many of the Atlantic Highlands Farmers’ Market vendors will also be present. Refreshments and a bake sale will be available all day with lunch beginning at 11 a.m.
103 Center Ave., Atlantic Highlands, (732) 291-1050 ext. 110, www.mtregional.com
The Presbyterian Church House in Shrewsbury will be transformed into a late 19th century Christmas wonderland. The church’s Christmas bazaar, “A Currier & Ives Christmas,” will be held 9:30 a.m. – 2: 30 p.m. There will be traditional booths with Christmas Handcrafts, Trim-A-Tree decorations, ‘Nearly New’, recycled jewelry, books and toys (featuring Boyd’s Bears) as well as poinsettias, photos with Santa, wonderful baked goods and gourmet treats. Two new booths are the Furry and Feathered Emporium for pet lovers and those who cater to wild birds and The Village Gourmet with all sorts of savory treats for holiday entertaining. Boy Scouts will be selling wreaths and church deacons will serve up a delicious lunch in The Five and Six Pence Pub.
352 Sycamore Ave., Shrewsbury, (732) 747-3557, www.tpcas.org
Red Bank’s West Side rings in the holiday season with a festive tree lighting celebration from 4 to 5 p.m. There will by carols sung by local children, hot chocolate and refreshments for all, and Santa arrives by fire truck at 4:15 p.m.
Westside Park, Shrewsbury Ave. and Drs. James Parker Blvd., Red Bank
December 3 – 4
The Stone Church Players of All Saints’ Memorial Church will present a return engagement of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (short version) at 2 and 5 p.m. This adaptation by Joe Landry of the original screenplay features a small ensemble of local actors performing multiple roles as if in a live radio studio of the 1940′s Golden Age of Radio, complete with live sound effects. Tickets $5 for seniors and children under 12, and $10 for adults. Call the church office or email@example.com for tickets.
202 Navesink Ave., Navesink, (732) 291-0214, www.allsaintsnavesink.org
Monmouth University’s Department of Music & Theatre presents its annual holiday concert, “Season’s Greetings,” at 7:30 p.m. on the grand staircase of historic Wilson Hall. A limited number of General Admission Tickets are available for $15 at the Box Office, (732) 263-5507 or online at www.monmouth.edu./arts. Some tickets will be available at the door.
The 50-voice Tower Hill Choir presents a program of lessons and carols in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank, beginning at 7 p.m.This Christmas concert is a wide-ranging exploration of seasonal choral music and the sacred texts that inspired it. It includes classics—such as Michael Praetorius’ “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and excerpts from Handel’s Messiah—as well as newer works such as Andre Thomas’ “African Noel” and the traditional “Comfort, Comfort Now My People,” in a contemporary arrangement by Chester Alwes. Admission is free; an offering will be taken to defray expenses.
255 Harding Rd., Red Bank, (732) 747-1348, www.towerhillchurch.org
The New Jersey Chamber Singers will present their Magnificat Concert at United Methodist Church of Red Bank, 247 Broad St., at 8 p.m. The New Jersey Chamber Singers (NJCS), under the direction of Reid Masters, is one of the premier vocal chamber ensembles of the Jersey Shore. The concert will also feature traditional holiday favorites. Tickets: $20 adults; $5 students. Those interested in purchasing tickets can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspirational singer Nancy Scharff presents a night of music, “Christmas – The Gift of Love.” Joined by an ecumenical choir, children’s choir, gospel choir, bell choir of the First Presbyterian Church, Freehold, 16-piece orchestra, and other special guests, Nancy and her band perform traditional and contemporary Christmas favorites, like “O Holy Night,” “Joy to the World”, “Light of the Stable”, and much more. Audience participation is always a highlight of the concert. Bring a nonperishable food item. Tickets: $15 – $25; a portion of tickets sales will benefit Love INC., helping the poor by meeting immediate needs such as food and clothing, and longer-term life skills, like training and housing.
Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, (732) 842-9000, countbasietheatre.org.
Celebrate the holidays with a joyous musical event. Colts Neck Community Church will present their annual Cantata, this year titled “The First Noel Born is the King.” Members of five churches from Monmouth County will come together for an evening of music beginning at 7 p.m. Immediately following the music will be a dessert reception. Admission is free; child care is available.
25 Merchants Way, Colts Neck, www.ourcncc.org