- Cape May NJ Travel Guide and Vacation Planner Blog

Month: November 2016

Our top 5 picks this holiday season

The holiday season is upon us in Cape May! Days are growing shorter; cold wind has started to blow. We can’t believe it either. Wasn’t it just summer? Anyway, here are our top picks of what to do in Cape May this holiday season.

Breakfast with Santa

Photo courtesy of Congress Hall

Photo courtesy of Congress Hall

Breakfast with Santa at Congress Hall – SOLD OUT
Congress Hall’s Breakfast with Santa is sold out for all dates. View more info

Brunch with Santa at Congress Hall
Sunday, December 4 & 18 from 11am-3pm. Brunch with Santa features an elegant buffet, a special reservation with Kris Kringle, and a complimentary 5×7 photo from our professional photographer. Enjoy a brunch buffet featuring a full spread of breakfast and lunch complete with omelet stations, carving stations, and desserts. Call (609) 884-6574 for reservations. View more info

Harbor View
Breakfast with Santa on December 3rd. Please call 609-884-5444 for more information.

Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May
November 26th; Dec 3rd, 4th & 10th. One seating from 9:45am – 10am. $17 adults, $12 kids. For reservations, call 609-884-5555. This event will sell out, so please reserve well in advance.

Cape May Ferry Terminal
December 4 & 9; 9am and 10:30am seatings. Each child will have time to sit with Santa and pose for photos taken by Mom and Dad. A buffet breakfast provides a variety of tasty brunch treats, and Mrs. Claus will also be on hand for two story time readings featuring special books Mrs. Claus picked out herself just for these occasions! $17 per adult; $13 per child; children under 4 free. View more info

Christmas Tree Lightings


Photo courtesy of MAC

Emlen Physick Estate – November 19
The Physick Estate’s tree is already lit, but you can visit it on the estate grounds!

Congress Hall – December 2
Gather at Congress Hall for our Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Grand Lawn on Friday, December 2, featuring a wonderful concert by the Congress Hall Festival Choir and the lighting of the beautiful outdoor tree at 9PM. Donations will be accepted for a local charity.

City of Cape May – December 2
Enjoy some old fashioned holiday cheer when the City of Cape May officially kicks off the holiday season on Friday, Dec. 2nd at 7 p.m. with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at the newly renovated Rotary Park Bandstand located on the 400 block of Lafayette Street.  The festive family program will include caroling, a presentation from the LCMR chorus, and a special visit from Santa Claus.

West Cape May Christmas Parade


The WCM Community Christmas Parade sets the stage for the areas holiday season. Now in its 51st year, the parade steps off at 5:00PM sharp from the WCM Volunteer Firehouse and marches South on Broadway, winds East on Perry, and onto Carpenter Lane in the City of Cape May. A small army of volunteers assembles an unforgettable hometown memory each year!

The Parade reschedules to December 4th in the case of inclement weather.

MAC’s Christmas Candlelight House Tours


Photo courtesy of MAC

Experience the high point of Cape May’s holiday season during these self-guided walking tours on December 3, 10, and 17. $30 adults, $20 children (ages 3-12)  Limited tours. Reserve early! Call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278.

Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall


Photo courtesy of Congress Hall

Thursdays through Sundays, November 25 through January 1st. Escape to the North Pole this Holiday Season as Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Explore unique gifts from various merchants in our enchanted shopping village. Sip on a cozy cup of hot cocoa and enjoy special seasonal treats as you mosey on over to Santa’s Workshop. All aboard the Congress Hall Express! You won’t want to miss the train ride as it travels around Cape May’s North Pole. View more info

For a complete list of events in Cape May this holiday season, please visit our event calendar.

Where to get turkey in Cape May this Thanksgiving


I used to be opposed to eating out on Thanksgiving. Growing up, my family traveled to my aunt’s house in Pennsylvania every year for an all-day homemade feast, with four generations of family members contributing side dishes and dessert. I would wake up every Thanksgiving morning on a green, crushed velvet couch too narrow for an adult to sleep on, and the scent of turkey would already be in the air. We ate for hours, and the following day, we had turkey sandwiches for lunch.

As a child, this was bliss. As an adult, I would discover years later (when Thanksgiving involved the actual cooking of said turkey and the laborious cleanup), my opinion on going out to eat on a holiday pulled an abrupt U-turn. And for the last several years, I’ve spent Thanksgiving seated across from my mother on the porch of a Georgian Revival mansion in Cape May, facing the ocean.

This year, it’s back to a family gathering, but for those of you who don’t want to cook on vacation (or simply don’t want to cook), here’s our roundup of where you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner this year, minus the cleanup.

Table Service

Congress Hall has two Thanksgiving offerings: a traditional plated dinner from 2pm to 8pm in the Blue Pig Tavern, or a holiday buffet from 1pm to 5pm in the Grand Ballroom. $45 adults; $19 children ages 3-12. For reservations, call 609-884-6574.

The Ebbitt Room has a 3-course dinner menu for $65 per person, with the option of a whole roasted turkey served family style for groups of six or more (advanced reservations required). For reservations, call 609-884-5700.

Harbor View is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2pm. Call 609-884-5444 for reservations.

Hemingway’s at the Grand Hotel is hosting a Thanksgiving buffet. Call 609-884-5611 ext 550 for information and reservations.

The Merion Inn is offering an a la carte menu or a 3-course sit-down dinner from 12:30pm to 8pm. Live piano music all day. For reservations, call 609-884-8363.

Peter Shields Inn is offering a 3-course, fixed price dinner menu from Executive Chef Carl Messick. $55 adults; $25 children. For reservations, call 609-884-9090.

If you don’t mind a short drive, Rio Station (in Rio Grande, exit 4 off of the Parkway) is offering turkey, ham, or ham & turkey Thanksgiving platters from 1pm to 7pm. $18.99 adults; $10.99 kids. For reservations, call 609-889-2000.

And although they aren’t serving turkey, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House is whipping up pumpkin pancakes on Thanksgiving Day until noon.


If you want to host a large gathering but skip the cooking…

The Depot Cafe offers Thanksgiving Dinners to go! Roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, relish, stuffing, vegetables, corn, rolls, and pie–$22.95 per person. Place orders by November 22; pick up November 24 between 12 and 2pm. Call 609-884-8030.

Lucky Bones offers a Thanksgiving feast to-go that includes a 20lb turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, apple stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, gravy, dressing, pumpkin spice coffee, and two pies. Plenty for 12 people and only $330, plus tax. Order by November 20th by calling the Washington Inn (they’re sister restaurants) at 609-884-5697. Pick up at Lucky Bones on November 24 from 11am – 12:30pm.

Rio Station (Rio Grande, exit 4) offers a whole turkey dinner for takeout that serves up to 6 people. $124.99. Advanced order required. Call 609-889-2000.

Wishing a safe and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all of us at