Christmas comes to West Orange early for Holiday Open House

WEST ORANGE, NJ — As Thanksgiving rolls into the rearview mirror and the weather grows crisp and cold, West Orange will ring in the Christmas season with a full day of festivities during its Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 2, presented by the Downtown West Orange Alliance.

The full-day wintertime event will begin with a Breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Washington School Cafeteria. The fun breakfast will include eggs, pancakes, sausage, cereal, fresh fruit, coffee, hot chocolate and, most importantly, Santa Claus himself. Reservations are recommended and admission is charged.

Next up will be free guided trolley tours around the town with elected officials and local author and historian Joe Fagan. The trolley tours will take passengers around historic downtown and beautiful Llewellyn Park every half hour until 4 p.m.

West Orange will also be hosting a special time to take pictures with Santa. From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., bring your phone or camera and take pictures with Santa surrounded by fabulous Christmas scenery set up inside the Washington School gymnasium, and then again from 3 to 4 p.m. at Benji’s Taqueria, 14 Main St.

From 2 to 3 p.m., the West Orange Public Library will host a Build a Bear Workshop and Winter Wonderland Storytime, where children and children at heart can be regaled with holiday tales and put together and decorate their own stuffed bear just in time for Christmas. Reservations are suggested.

West Orange will be aglow with Christmas lights starting at 4 p.m. with Mayor Robert Parisi’s “Old Fashioned Christmas Tree Lighting” at Town Hall. The holiday celebration will begin with a petting zoo and photos with holiday characters. The Kwanzaa booth will also open at this time.

Starting around 5 p.m. will be season’s greetings with the mayor, a special live musical presentation by the Roosevelt Middle School Chorus and a dance performance by the Unique Performance Arts Center. At 5:30 p.m., there will be a raffle drawing for the chance to win a large screen Smart TV, another musical performance by the Roosevelt Middle School Chorus and then the lighting of the holiday tree.

At 6 p.m., closing out the full day of holiday-themed events, will be the arrival of Santa, and complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. You will then be able to visit Santa in his workshop at Council Chambers inside Town Hall.

For more information, visit or, or call 973-325-4150.