Mt. Laurel is the place to be this holiday season

Don’t miss any of the holiday fun this year right here in Mt. Laurel.

Mt. Laurel really comes alive during the holidays. Whether you’re looking for kids’ activities, good food, shopping or pictures with Santa, you can find it all in town this holiday season.

Santa will be making his annual trip to Mt. Laurel riding atop a firetruck Thursday, Dec. 12. He is set to arrive at the Mt. Laurel Community Center, 100 Mt. Laurel Road, at 4 p.m. and will be sticking around until 7 p.m.

Children are encouraged to bring their Christmas wish lists to read to Santa and parents are welcome to bring a camera to capture the moment. The free event will also feature crafts, snacks and refreshments. 

Residents are asked to register ahead of time by calling or emailing Samantha Higareda with the recreation department at (856) 234-0001 ext. 1220 or shigareda@mountlaurel.com.

Lenape High School is offering another opportunity to meet the man of the season at their annual Breakfast with Santa. On Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 to 11 a.m. the local high school will be transforming their cafeteria into the North Pole.

There will be holiday activities, photo opportunities with Santa and of course a delicious breakfast. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $10. Children under 2 will be admitted for free. For more information or to register ahead of time, visit lrhsd.org/breakfastwithsanta.

To really get into the holiday spirit, be sure not to miss the high school’s Winter Instrumental Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. and the Winter Choral Concert on Thursday, Dec. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. Both performances will be taking place in the school’s auditorium.

As they have for the past 25 years, the Fellowship Community Church, 1520 Hainesport Road, will be hosting the Mount Laurel Living Nativity where visitors can walk through 13 indoor and outdoor scenes depicting the story of Jesus.

The free production has become quite the spectacle, utilizing a cast and crew of around 200 and attracting more than 12,000 visitors each year. Upon arrival, visitors are assigned a group number and are seated in the sanctuary until their group is called. Once the walk through the nativity begins, it takes about 45 minutes to complete. The tour ends in the church’s gym where cookies and hot chocolate await groups coming in from the cold.

The nativity will run from 5 to 8 p.m. the evenings of Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22. For more information, including directions to the church, visit livingnativity.org.

Paws Discovery Farm, 1105 Hainesport-Mount Laurel Road, is hosting several holiday-themed events this month beginning with a candy cane hunt on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

For the general admission price, visitors can enjoy a visit with Santa, vendors, holiday music, crafts, animal encounters and the Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt.

On Sunday, Dec. 15, the farm is hosting Cookies with Mrs. Claus from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mrs. Claus will be coming for a visit to the farm to do some cookie decorating, storytelling and crafts.

The farm is celebrating Hanukkah on Sunday, Dec. 22, with Latkes and Applesauce. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can enjoy tastings of their latke bar and homemade applesauce, available while supplies last.

On Thursday, Dec. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. the Mt. Laurel Police Department will be hosting its first Holiday Cookie Decorating with the Cops event at the Mt. Laurel Community Center, 100 Mt. Laurel Road.

The free event will feature cookie decorating, snacks and a live DJ playing holiday music. Santa will also be attending the event and will be available for pictures.

Holiday Cookie Decorating with the Cops is open to the public, however, according to MLPD, spots are limited. Residents must make a reservation beforehand by emailing communityrelations@mountlaurelpd.org.

Finally, your local library has a calendar of holiday events for all ages throughout the month of December. 

Get your holiday season started off right on Dec. 5 with a creative craft and gift idea for children grades two through five. The program will run from 7 to 7:45 p.m. and will walk kids through making their own mason jar hot chocolate mixes. Supplies will be provided. Register online at mountlaurellibrary.org.

On Sunday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 3 p.m., the library’s Sunday concert will feature a holiday Show Choir performance, a yearly favorite at the library. Show Choir is a high-school-age group of performers who are professionally staged and choreographed in a musical revue for the holidays. No registration is required for this free performance.

Young ones ages 7 and under are invited to come to the library in their pajamas on Thursday, Dec. 12, for a special storytime reading of the holiday classic, “Polar Express,” from 6 to 6:45 p.m. There will be a reading of the book and an optional craft. Register online at mountlaurellibrary.org.

For an event as educational as it is festive, come to the library Saturday, Dec. 14, for Christmas Traditions Around the World from 1 to 2 p.m. Tea historian Judith Krall-Russo will be stopping by the library to talk about unique Christmas customs and traditions held around the world.

Last but not least, don’t miss a performance of the puppet show, “It’s a Jolly Holiday,” Saturday, Dec. 21, from 2 to 3 p.m. Come to the library to witness this magical cast of marionettes perform to a musical score of holiday favorites. Register online at mountlaurellibrary.org.