With the annual SantaCon bar crawl set to return to Hoboken Dec. 17, the Hoboken Business Alliance (HBA) is offering up a more family-friendly option for holiday fun the following day.
Along with an outdoor market featuring more than 125 artisan vendors from across the region as well as two dozen local businesses, the Hoboken Holiday Extravaganza under the 14th Street viaduct will include games, crafts, music and some seasonal surprises.
Planned activities include:
Food from a number of well-known Hoboken establishments will also be available for purchase, including dishes from San Giuseppe, Tunkas Food Truck, The Madison Chili Bar, Bang Cookies, Pickle Licious, Haley’s Donut, BWE Café, Gringos Tacos Truck and Java Coffee.
The Holiday Extravaganza, which is presented in partnership with The Main Street Pops, will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Extending the viaduct, several local shops are also getting into the spirit, according to the HBA.
Wine Dads will offer a special hot mulled wine tasting, while Hudson Table is serving up hot chocolate and rainbow marshmallows. Families can also stop into Hudson Table to make their own gingerbread house or have their dog’s photo taken with The Grinch at Camp Bow Wow.
The holiday market isn’t the only reason to visit Hoboken, Roxanne Earley, executive director of the HBA said, adding that Santa Claus will also travel through the city on a float from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“Cookie decorating, fresh s’mores, and even a chance to meet one of the stars of Survivor, on top of some great shopping, music, and more will pack your day in the Mile Square City,” Earley said. “But that’s only a fraction of what we have to offer.”
Ahead of the holiday season, the HBA launched a new, branded seasonal shop local campaign as a way to drive foot traffic into retail stores and encourage locals to shop at small businesses rather than online or at big box retailers. As part of the initiative, the organization debuted a Holiday Passport program, which is a wallet-sized card that features a map of small, local and independent retailers where customers can focus their holiday shopping.
While Santacon has drawn mixed reactions from residents, businesses and local officials, it does give the city’s bars a much-needed boost heading into the typically quieter winter months. With more than 140 liquor licenses in a square mile radius, the city’s hospitality industry is a key part of the local economy.
This year, the holiday-themed pub crawl kicks off at 10 a.m. and has more than a dozen participating bars in Hoboken, according to event organizers.
In advance of SantaCon, NJ Transit announced it would ban all beverages on its buses and trains this Saturday, whether alcoholic or not, open or closed.r