Holiday Activities for the Penniless Student


Staff Writer

The holiday season is finally here, which means it is also the season of spending. There are a lot of extra expenditures, but no one should have to choose between having fun and buying gifts. There are plenty of holiday activities to do in the FDU area that are both fun and affordable!

1. Bergen County Winter Wonderland:

Located in Paramus, New Jersey, only 10 minutes from campus, Van Saun Park is turning into a winter wonderland. Take a day trip to the park, go ice skating in the open-air rink, take a walk through the zoo and grab something to eat at one of the many food trucks. It is $16 for a general admission ticket, which gets you unlimited ice skating, Bergen Express train rides, carousel rides, and zoo entry. The Bergen County Winter Wonderland is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, now until Jan. 1, 2018.

2. Watch a Performance of “The Nutcracker”:

Another event right in Bergen County around the corner from FDU is the traditional holiday ballet performance of “The Nutcracker”. The show is presented by the New Jersey Ballet Company and will be at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New  Jersey on Dec. 2 and 3. They are having two shows a day, one at 1:00 p.m. and another at 4:30 p.m. However, if unable to attend the shows at Bergen PAC, there is another showing at NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey on Dec. 16. Tickets for the show start at $23. However, if you purchase a ticket from Groupon it is as low as $18.50. There is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by attending a live performance of ‘The Nutcracker.”

3. Holiday Lights Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo:

Walk through the Turtle Back Zoo after dark under the sparkling lights. Thousands of lights and over 50 animal and holiday themed figures will illuminate the zoo and make for a perfect winter night out. Grab a hot cocoa or a holiday treat from the snack bar and make your way to the petting zoo to see reindeer! The light display is located at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey and is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until Dec. 10. Starting on Dec. 11 the zoo is open daily until Jan. 2. From 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The best part about this activity is that admission is free.


4. Campgaw Mountain:

The Campgaw Mountain Reservation is a hidden gem in northern New Jersey. Once arriving at the snow-covered mountain, it is hard to believe you are less than a half hour from the city! Take a day trip to Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah, New Jersey and go snow tubing, skiing or snowboarding. The tubing is especially popular because it requires no prior experience and the prices are great. Two hours of tubing costs between $23 and $26 depending on what day of the week it is. The resort is open daily between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

5. Visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree:

This activity is a little farther from campus, but still only a quick train ride away to Midtown Manhattan in New York City. The tree at Rockefeller Center has been a world-wide symbol of the holidays for over eight decades that attracts millions of people a year. It is free and open to the public until Jan. 7, 2018. This is an iconic sight worth the trip!

6. Winter Village at Bryant Park:

This winter bazaar has everything one could ever imagine, surrounded by the beauty of Bryant Park’s winter village and ice skating rink. There is free admission for ice skating, hundreds of shopping kiosks and food vendors. Go for a skate in the rink, grab some delicious food and treats, then wander through all 176 unique shops from hand-made jewelry, apparel, artwork, books, crafts and so much more. They have some of the most famous food vendors such as Chick’n Cone and DŌ Cookie Dough Confections. The holiday shops are open daily from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and the skating rink is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is plenty of time to visit as the winter village is open all of winter through the beginning of march.