The holiday season is in full swing but there’s still plenty of time to watch a few more festive flicks. Did you know that some of the best Christmas movies were actually filmed locally in New Jersey? We recommend adding these to your list — if they aren’t there already — making some hot chocolate, and settling in for a cozy Christmas movie night. Read on for some of our favorite holiday movies that were filmed in New Jersey.
The Family Man (2000) | Closter, Newark, + Teaneck
This twist on an It’s a Wonderful Life-style story stars Nicholas Cage as a “fast-lane investment broker” in New York City. Jack — played by Cage — wakes up on Christmas in a New Jersey suburb to experience what his life could have been like if he’d made different choices along the way. Not only is the movie set in the Garden State, but it was filmed throughout the state, too. Scenes were shot in Newark, Closter, and Teaneck with plenty of fake snow.
The Family Man is available for streaming on Peacock, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Redbox.
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Elf (2003) | Weehawken
While most of this beloved Will Ferrell Christmas classic was set and filmed in New York City, there’s a key part of the movie that takes place in New Jersey. To get to New York in the movie, Buddy the Elf says, “I passed through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gumdrops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.” While we’re not sure where the sea of swirly-twirly gumdrops is (we hope he didn’t mean the Hudson), we do see Buddy walk through the Lincoln Tunnel which connects Weehawken to Manhattan. He had to cross more of New Jersey to get to the start of the tunnel.
Elf is available for streaming on HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and YouTube.
The Perfect Holiday (2007) | Hoboken, Jersey City, Clifton, Elizabeth, + More
This holiday comedy, starring Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Charlie Murphy, Terrence Howard, and Queen Latifah, tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a mall Santa — and what better state to find a mall than Jersey? The mall scenes were filmed at The Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth and many other scenes were shot throughout the area. IMDB notes that the theater scenes were shot in Jersey City, so keep an eye out for those when you watch the movie.
The Perfect Holiday is available for streaming on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.
The Preacher’s Wife (1996) | Jersey City + Paterson
New Jersey native Whitney Houston starred in this Oscar-nominated remake of The Bishop’s Wife. An angel — played by Denzel Washington — helps save the preacher’s church and family during the Christmas season. IMDB lists Jersey City and Paterson as two filming locations for this film.
The Preacher’s Wife is available for streaming on BET+, The Roku Channel, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV.
The Family Stone (2005) | Madison
Starring Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, and Dermot Mulroney, this heartwarming holiday story is set in New England but was filmed in New Jersey. Most of the town scenes were shot in Madison in March — and the crew even got a real snowfall the night before filming.
The Family Stone is available for streaming on Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, and Redbox.
A Jersey Christmas (2008)
With Jersey in the name, we can’t skip over this lesser-known holiday film. A Jersey Christmas tells the story of store clerks working late on Christmas Eve in New Jersey who start a debate about “cultural and religious differences.” The film was shot on location in New Jersey.
A Jersey Christmas is available for streaming on Peacock.
See More: 12 Movies + TV Shows Filmed in Essex County
Christmas at the Golden Dragon (2022) | Cape May
This new Hallmark movie follows two siblings after their parents announce they will be closing the family’s Chinese restaurant. While the movie wasn’t filmed in New Jersey, some viewers noticed a shot of Cape May’s Washington Street Mall near the end of the film. Maybe it was stock footage but we’re including this as a New Jersey Christmas movie — plus it sounds like a fun new one to check out this year.
Christmas at the Golden Dragon is airing on Hallmark.
We are ready for a New Jersey holiday movie binge. Did we miss any holiday movies filmed in New Jersey? Let us know!