Hockey Games & Light Shows Headline Busy Slate for Meadowlands in Coming Weeks

Nothing announces Christmas in the Meadowlands like the iconic jumbo Santa at the Garden State Plaza! The 45-foot-wonder will light up the sky on Rt. 17, ushered in by 200 choreographed drones set to music.

Get out your calendars. It’s a busy November in the Meadowlands.

Holiday Drone Show & More at Westfield Garden State Plaza

Westfield Garden State Plaza kicks off the holiday season with its 6th Annual Big Santa Lighting and Holiday Drone Show on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 5-11 p.m. with host, Queen of Freestyle, Judy Torres.

The event will feature 200 choreographed drones lighting up the sky, live musical performances, and food trucks, including NYC Mac Truck, Shake Shack, Johnny Zeppoli and Hold My Knots.

Aside from Santa Claus, holiday characters will be making appearances include Buddy the Elf, Elsa, Olaf and Santa Claus.

The real Santa Claus will arrive in a fire truck escorted by the Paramus High School Marching Band.

At the end of the show, everyone is invited to continue the celebration inside the mall for exclusive offers. People are asked to RSVP.

The 45-foot Santa is a replica of the original 51-foot jolly elf, which debuted in 1957, the same year the plaza opened as an outdoor shopping center. When the Plaza became an indoor shopping mall in the 1980s, the jumbo Santa took a permanent hiatus until the concept was reimagined in 2018.

Zoo Glow Event

The Bergen County Zoo will be hosting the “Let It Glow!” holiday lantern show  Thursdays to Sunday, Nov. 9 through Jan. 14.

Buy tickets at Tickets include a walk through the zoo and a train ride.

The show will feature over 30 life-sized animal-themed lanterns. .The traditional Chinese lanterns will include dozens of hand-painted, larger-than-life structures that celebrate culture, animals, and the warmth of the holidays.

There will also be fire pits and s’mores. Kits for making s’mores kits will be available for purchase at an additional cost.

Meadowlands Racetrack Hosts Watch Parties for Breeders’ Cup, UFC 295

The 2023 Breeders’ Cup will be taking place at Santa Anita Park in California, but fans looking to watch the match can do so at the Meadowlands Racetrack, who will be simulcasting the race.

On Friday, Nov. 3, Day 1 of the race will be simulcasted and Day 2 will be shown the following day.

Rutgers and RIT Face Off at Hockey Rink in American Dream

American Dream’s The Rink, an NHL regulation-sized ice rink typically used for skating, hockey tournaments and private events will play host to two matches between Rutgers and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) next week.

On Nov. 10 & 11 at 8 pm, the two teams will face off in a competitive hockey game that is free for all to watch.

Veterans Day Celebrated on Friday, Nov. 10

New Jersey observes Veterans Day on Friday with state offices closed. Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on Nov.11. It is dedicated to honoring and paying respects to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

At The Graycliff, 122 Moonachie Road, Moonachie, is hosting a free Veterans Day luncheon from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all veterans on Nov. 22. Register here. Hosted by the Graycliff owners, the Papamarkos Family.

The holiday dates to the end of World War I. On Nov. 11, 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the armistice agreement was signed, effectively ending the Great War. In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day.

Meadowlands-area celebrations are taking place around the area and a number of companies offer either free items or discounts for veterans on Veterans Day. A full list can be found at

School of Rock Grand Opening  Concerts

School of Rock in Carlstadt held its grand opening with a ceremonial guitar smashing and ribbon cutting, plus a slate of concerts from student performers.

Dominique Abita, Owner / Music Director, is a trained rock, opera, and jazz vocalist with over 20 years of experience. She has sung on many stages —  including Carnegie Hall — and toured with a band. She has a Masters degree in Music from Catholic University, loves to teach, plays guitar, bass, and keys. 

What Do You Want From Santa?

Santa and his Elves will be stopping by American Dream, Garden State Plaza, the Shops at Riverside and the Newport Centre will for photo opps and to hear gift lists.

Both the Shops at Riverside and the Newport Centre will start taking Santa pictures on Nov. 17, while Garden State Plaza will begin the week prior on Nov. 10. American Dream starts taking holiday pictures on Dec. 1.

Garden State Plaza, the Shops at Riverside and the Newport Centre are all offering reservations, so any parents that are eager to have their children take pictures with Saint Nick can do so now by visiting their websites.

UFC Flyweight Women’s Champion

Next week, on Nov. 11, UFC 295 will be taking place at Madison Square Garden. The Meadowlands Racetrack will be hosting former UFC Flyweight Women’s Champion, Valentina Shevchenko for a meet and greet with fans. Anyone looking to watch the fight after the meet and greet can do so at the FanDuel Sportsbook, where wagers can also be placed.

Jets Host Chargers at MetLife for Monday Night Football

On Monday, Nov. 6, Zach Wilson and the New York Jets will host Justin Herbert and the Chargers under the lights. This is the Jets second consecutive week playing at MetLife, as they took down the Giants in the Battle for New York last week. The Jets have won three straight games and are looking for their fourth to improve to a record of 5-3.