Christmas events abound close to the luxury apartment complex
The chill of winter also brings a great deal of delight to people in the form of the holiday season. As Christmas draws ever nearer, families begin decorating their home with festive cheer, choirs begin practicing songs of faith, and shopping for that perfect gift begins in earnest. Families and friends spend December congregating, and they usually do so at a special event or activity to mark the holiday. Fortunately for the residents of The Avenue at South Orange, New Jersey, there’s quite a few holiday-themed events found within close proximity to the luxurious apartment complex.
South Orange, New Jersey, is a quaint, comfortable township that lies less than eighteen miles from New York City. South Orange has a population of only 16,198 individuals, making it a close-knit community. (1) Christmas is always a special time of year for the area, but those living at The Avenue feel that the town’s unique gas light street illumination makes the season even better. The almost 1,500 gas lights give the township an almost Dickensian feel, which is perfect for caroling in the evening. (2)
There’s a plethora of holiday fun to be found close by to The Avenue. In nearby West Orange, young children can have a magical experience by having stories read to them by Mrs. Claus. Families can travel to the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo and hear a holiday story read to them by Mrs. Claus, as well as being able to meet one of her animal friends. Every ticket also comes with a holiday cookie to enjoy. The story times are 6pm and 7pm on December 15th and December 22nd; 3:30pm, 6pm, and 7pm on December 16th, December 17th, and December 23rd; and 6pm for December 18th through the 21st. (3)
For those looking for a unique gift, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is bringing back their popular Pop n’ Shop. This temporary retail outlet features apparel, jewelry, art, body products, accessories, and other items made by the area’s local artists and craftsmen. The store is open from December 7th through the 10th, December 14th through the 17th, and December 22nd and 23rd. A number of residents at The Avenue plan on attending the Happy Joyous Hanukkah concert by the Klezmatics at SOPAC on December 21st at 7:30pm. (4) The concert features the group playing songs that they set against the unsung lyrics of Woody Guthrie.
A popular destination for those living at The Avenue at South Orange is the Van Vleck House & Gardens, located in nearby Montclair. The 12-acre estate features a bevy of holiday-themed events. The first weekend of December finds Santa visiting, and children can have their picture taken with the jolly old elf. Of critical note is that there are several Sensitive Santa sessions that are designed for children with autism, anxiety, or special needs. December 7th has a festive holiday concert with the Opera Theatre of Montclair performing selections from Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann.
Cynthia Hernandez of The Avenue at South Orange says, “There’s nothing quite like Christmas time in South Orange. Our town’s gas lights give you the feeling that you’re stepping into A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Our residents have a lot on their hands, getting ready for the holidays, making plans with family and friends, and attending any number of holiday-themed events that are found nearby. A lot of people enjoy visiting the Van Vleck House & Gardens to meet Santa, as well as to enjoy the peace and quiet of the gardens in winter. Another popular event is the Snowflake Parade in nearby Milburn that features marching bands, clowns, the Wells Fargo horse and carriage, and Santa himself. Personally, I love going to the Holiday Festival at the Lord Stirling Stable. You can go on a hayride and see Santa at his house. There’s a Santa’s Workshop that has games, food, and craft projects, and there are several Winter Holiday Horse Shows held at the stable where students can show off their equestrian skills.” (5)
Christmas time is always special in South Orange, New Jersey. The unique street gas lights gives the entire town that Victorian patina everybody associates with the season. There’s plenty of fun events to attend, as those living at The Avenue can attest to. Parades, hayrides, visiting Santa, hearing classic stories, and concerts are just some of the holiday fun that people can enjoy to get into the holiday spirit.
5) Quote from Cynthia Hernandez of The Avenue