This year, I was lucky enough to attend Six Flags Great Adventure’s Holiday in the Park. Being a life-long New Jersey resident who has frequented Six Flags Great Adventure many times before, I was curious and excited to see how they would transform the park from the normal summertime vibe. Upon entering the park, the holiday spirit was found everywhere. Literally every inch was detailed in some sort of festive light and decoration – there was even fake snow! I greatly appreciated the amount of effort Six Flags took to fill the park with holiday cheer. In the center of the grand entrance, they replaced the familiar fountain with a gigantic Christmas tree (52 feet to be exact!), shining bright with lights. Every 30 minutes or so, the Christmas tree would come to life with dancing lights and festive music playing in the background. Unfortunately, because it was very cold throughout the day, most of the main roller coasters were shut down, except for Batman: The Ride and The Joker. I was also a bit surprised and disappointed to find that half of the park was closed (including Bizzaro, Dare Devil Dive, El Diablo, El Toro, Green Lantern, Kingda Ka, Nitro, Sky Screamer, Slingshot, Superman: Ultimate Fight, and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom). I do highly recommend that folks bundle up with gloves, a winter hat, and a scarf because it can get very cold and windy. Luckily, they sell hot chocolate (editor’s note: I LOVE hot chocolate – extra marshmallows) and have fire pits to help warm you up! All in all, the entire experience is great for kids and one the whole family can enjoy together.

The entire park is categorized into different holiday themes. First, there is the Gingerbread Junction. There you’ll find Peppermint Path, a cool forest of towering red and white swirly lights. There is also the Gingerbread Twist ride, otherwise known as the popular teacup ride, and a Candy Cane Chaos game where you pick a candy cane to reveal a prize, guaranteeing a winner every time! In Snowman City, there’s Pick-A-Present game, Runaway Reindeer Race game and Stewie the Snowman, a jolly inflatable that will definitely put a smile on your face. In Treetop Summit, you’ll find holiday fire pits where you can create s’mores (kits available for purchase). In Merry Market Place, folks can enjoy delectable waffles, creamy hot chocolate, spiked egg nog and cider, seasonal brews and other holiday treats.

Below are some of the main attractions, including scheduled shows, meet and greets and other holiday surprises.

Holiday Magic: A Celebration of the Season
Starting at 5pm and running at 30 minute intervals, watch the 52-foot Christmas tree light up and come to life through dancing lights and festive music. This is definitely a must-see!

Trouble in Toyland
The show is located in the Showcase Theater. When things go amiss in Santa’s North Pole workshop, Mrs. Claus will try to make it right with a touch of holiday magic! Don’t miss this stage spectacular featuring acrobatics and surprise guests.

Storytime with Mrs. Claus
The show is located in the Adventure Theater in Whimsical Wonderland. Hear one of Santa’s favorite stories from the real boss of Santa’s workshop, complete with a touch of holiday magic!

Dot and Drop’s Holiday Dance Party
Join Dot and Drop for a dance party sweet enough to eat! Located next to the Carousel in Gingerbread Junction.

Jingle Jammers
Holiday singers will warm your hearts by the fire, next to the Holiday Fire Pits in Holiday Memories.

Holiday Harmonies with Hotsy Totsy
Exclusive to Saturdays, enjoy the modern melodies of this lively, 1950’s style trio, celebrating the release of their new album “Fresh Pineapple”, located near Fender Benders in North Pole.

Meet and Greet opportunities include: Santa, Snow Queen, Poinsettia Princess, Toy Soldiers and Dot & Drop Gingerbread.

You can find ticket information and more over at Six Flags Great Adventure’s official Holiday in the Park website.

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Kim Manuel