Christmas time is coming, and Long Beach Island is getting ready with all the bells and whistles. While wintertime is a stark contrast to the busy, bustling summer scene, LBI still has plenty to do in December. Whether your family is local to LBI, or you just visit in the warmer weather, you have every reason to get out there and enjoy all that Long Beach Island offers for Christmas.
Long Beach Island New Jersey prepares for Christmas!
Crowded or not, the LBI local community (of about 10,000 year long residents) celebrates the holiday season all month long. While the island’s shore towns host several festive events, the remaining small businesses open throughout December also pull through to help get the community into the holiday spirit.
Mainstream retail shops start their holiday season right after (and sometimes even before) Halloween, but here on Long Beach Island, the holiday season kick-off is Ship Bottom’s Annual Christmas Parade on December 3rd. Local businesses and residents will parade down Long Beach Boulevard on their “A Shell of a Christmas” themed floats. On the same day, the Bellarine Theatre Company will be singing at Tucker’s Tavern. This performing arts group is hosted at LBIF so mark your calendar for the next show on December 17th!
However, some LBI businesses started spreading holiday cheer earlier through charitable work, a humbling act of the season. Giglio Awning in Harvey Cedars has been collecting unwrapped, new toys for the local Toys for Tots drive. Collections end on December 7th, so there’s time to get the presents to the deserving children of the South Jersey community by Christmas.
Another local business that’s giving back to the community this season is Pyour Core, a fitness training and Pilates studio in Surf City. Since November, Pyour Core has been encouraging people to work out and “Sweat for a Cause.” For every fitness class a client takes, Pyour Core makes a food donation to the St. Francis Food Pantry and the Ocean County Animal Shelter. This will continue through the end of December. “The more you work out, the more gets donated,” their website states. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for other giveaways and promotions this holiday season to help get you ready for the next best season, summer!
If sweating for a cause doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, perhaps the Beach Haven Christmas Tree Lighting will. The LBI community is invited to gather in Veterans Memorial Park on the evening of December 10th to see the grand tree, sing Christmas carols, visit with Santa, hear classic Christmas stories, and, of course, enjoy treats from local businesses.
One night of Christmas carols isn’t enough for you? Don’t worry. A selection of locally popular places like Nardi’s Tavern & Grille and The Gateway LBI have regular live entertainment on the weekends, so you might be able to make some Christmas song requests.
Several restaurants deck the halls with Christmas decor and seasonal menu specials all month long. Think of the peppermint cheesecake from The Greenhouse Cafe, gingerbread lattes from How You Brewin, and cranberry fudge from Country Kettle Fudge. You’ll be dreaming of sugarplums soon enough!
For the most accurate weekly updates of all the festive and flavorful specials the Long Beach Island eateries are running, check the island’s free weekly magazine (in print or online), The SandPaper. The SandPaper publishes Shore Traditions, a guide to LBI’s holiday events, promotions, and local gift giving ideas, all month long. LBI businesses are doing a good job at keeping their Facebook pages updated on all the who, what, when, where and why of their businesses throughout the holiday season, so browse around on social media, too, for updates.
Furthermore, if you know anyone who is getting married around Christmas time, LBI is an excellent destination for a winter wedding. Not only will the streets and shops be festively decorated, adding to the charm of the old-fashioned beach town, but the clean ocean air, crunchy sand, and greyish white skies set a romantic environment for a bridal photo shoot.
Whether you’re visiting for a weekend, traveling for a wedding, or enjoying the community that you call home year round, Long Beach Island will have your holiday spirits up and will never let you down. Come and drink the eggnog, find unique presents for your loved ones, and get in on the seasonal fun with the rest of the LBI community. From parades to parties, family portraits to ugly sweaters, there are memories to be made and you’ll be glad you made them here.
Have a very merry Christmas and a hap-hap-happy new year!