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A Holly Jolly (Healthy) Holiday

December 21, 2010

Image courtesy of the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts

By Brianne Harrison

Most people have at least some time off around the holidays (and the kids certainly do), which means you have to find ways to fill the free hours. Fortunately, there are plenty of events going on during the holiday week that will keep everyone happy and can provide a great opportunity for some family bonding time.

First up is a holiday standby: The Nutcracker, performed by the NJ ballet. This year is the ballet’s 40th presenting the holiday classic, which features more than 100 performers and a full orchestra conducted by Gary S. Fagin. Tickets range from $19-59. Act fast! The ballet only runs through December 26. For more information, visit

Those in a museum mood might want to check out Water: Art & Inspiration, which runs through January 2 at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. The show explores water as an element, purifier, allegory, and spectacle using pieces that range from a 17th century Chinese landscape to video work by Bill Viola. Visit for more information.

Younger members of the family may want to spend Christmas with the Fishes at the Camden Aquarium. The aquarium has been transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with lights, trees, and falling snow. Kids can get their pictures taken with a life-sized Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and meet his friend Bumble, the Abominable Snow Monster, then watch Santa go scuba diving! For more info, visit

If you’re craving a little action (or want to start working off those holiday indulgences!) the Hunterdon Hiking Club is leading hikes in Morales Park and along the Columbia Trail and the Four Birds Trail right after Christmas. The hikes range in length, so everyone can find something they’re comfortable with. Start the New Year out on a healthy note! Visit for more info.

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