November 22, 2024 – January 5, 2025

What better place to get into the true spirit of Christmas than Victorian Cape May? This seaside town is transformed into a Dickens village for the holidays with garlands of fragrant greens and twinkling gaslights. Wrap yourself in the warmth of holiday spirit and sample a variety of fun tours and events.


christmas lights around a sign for the emlen physick estate

Kick-off the Holiday season!

November 23, 2024

Santa and his elves have decked out the Physick Estate with thousands of lights and holiday trimmings. Enjoy a free performance of holiday classics by the Atlantic Brass Band as we join Santa in lighting the tree!

Sponsored by Study Savings Bank.


victorian house with a logo over top for christmas candlelight house tour

Cape May MAC launched its first Christmas tour in 1974 and ever since this tour has been a beloved annual tradition and a highlight of the holiday season in America’s only National Historic Landmark City. This self-guided walking tour celebrates the best of Cape May at Christmas, as you travel Cape May’s gaslit streets, hear musicians and carolers, and visit homes, inns, B&Bs, churches and hotels where you’ll step inside to see both Victorian and more modern interiors beautifully decorated for the holidays. Don’t miss Cape May’s longest running and most popular Christmas tour.


a victorian porch decorated for christmas

A virtual experience

(Vimeo On Demand) From the comfort of your home, experience Cape May’s Christmas Candlelight House Tour, a beloved annual tradition for nearly half a century, virtually! Watch this virtual tour with family and friends and bring a bit of Cape May at Christmas into your own home for years to come. Featured are 10 Cape May homes, B&Bs and inns decorated for the holidays including interviews with owners and innkeepers. Participating properties include: The John B. McCreary House (“The Abbey”), Angel of the Sea Bed & Breakfast, The Bedford Inn, The Cherry House, The Emlen Physick Estate, Franklin at 721, The Henry Sawyer Inn, The Mainstay Inn, The Mason Cottage and The Mission Inn. The trailer is available to watch online anytime This presentation was created in December 2020 and is sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and Brown & Brown Insurance. Proceeds benefit Cape May MAC.

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a trolley on a street at night with holiday lights

Who can resist the twinkle of Cape May’s beautiful Victorian homes decorated for Christmas? This trolley ride through the historic streets of Cape May is a delight. Listen to Christmas music and enjoy hearing about the history of many of the Christmas traditions of today. Victorian Cape May is outstanding at Christmas and this is a ride to share with friends and family to revel in Cape May’s Christmas spirit. Trolleys are open-air. Blankets are recommended. Cape May MAC blankets are available for purchase at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth and the Physick Estate. Tour begins and ends at the trolley stop on Ocean Street.

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Accessible with advance notice.


For those looking for a festive daytime tour, the Holiday Inns Tour is your ticket to step inside several Cape May properties decorated for the holidays with garland, bows, trees and more! You’ll get into the Christmas spirit as you tour these festively decorated Cape May landmark properties. This is a self-guided tour, so please bring your ticket to the Washington Street Mall Information Booth located at the junction of Washington and Ocean Streets and get a copy of the map. A trolley shuttle will make continuous loops during this self-guided afternoon tour.


street lamp decorated for christmas

See inside a selection of Cape May bed & breakfast inns and private homes, specially decorated for the holidays on this self-guided evening walking tour that includes a visit to An Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit in the Carroll Gallery at the Physick Estate Carriage House. 


two woman sitting with santa claus on a couch in front of christmas trees

Share a delicious breakfast with family and friends and welcome special guest Santa Claus, himself, as he visits The Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street. He will meet and greet his fans with time for photos and sharing wish lists. Event is limited. Advance purchase required.


a trolley on a street at night with holiday lights

Step on board for this evening trolley ride during the Christmas season in historic Cape May! Hear tales of Christmases long, long ago and not so long ago, as you travel along lovely streets in the historic district. Hear about Santa arriving at this seaside town in odd and surprising ways, ghostly appearances in the 1879 Physick House museum experienced and recorded by staff during the holidays, ghostly shadow spirits out strolling on cold December nights, the weird and risky games Victorians played at Christmas, and more.


victorian house in the snow

Winter is here again, and the Harrison children have poured their attention into planning every last detail for their parent’s annual Christmas party, but when an heirloom necklace goes missing, the entire holiday season is threatened! Can you help the family find the missing jewels, or will this Christmas season go down as the worst one yet? Visitors will step inside Cape May’s Victorian House Museum, the 1879 Physick House Museum, and encounter the characters as this original story unfolds. Don’t miss stepping into this holiday story in this very special Cape May setting. Accessible with advance notice.


Take this guided living history tour of the magnificent 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, decorated in authentic Victorian style for Christmas. Your guide portrays a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s and shares stories and traditions. The tour also includes a visit to the Carroll Gallery to see “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit, a popular annual display featuring a huge Christmas tree, model trains, and an elaborate Dept. 56 Dickens village collection.


Mrs. Claus

Mrs. Claus comes direct from the North Pole to lead this tour! She tells stories and leads holiday songs on this jolly holiday trolley ride through town. Santa joins the fun at the Gazebo on the grounds of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate. Begins and ends at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. (with free parking available) (except on Saturday of Holiday Preview Weekend when it leaves from the Washington Street Mall Information Booth)


Emlen Physick Estate christmas tee

Take this guided tour of the first-floor rooms of the 1879 Physick House Museum, authentically decorated for a Victorian Christmas. See and hear how the Physick family might have entertained friends and family and celebrated in traditional Victorian fashion during the holidays. Afterwards, visit the Carriage House and visit “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery and see this popular annual display featuring a huge Christmas tree, model trains, and an elaborate Dept 56 Dickens village collection.

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Victorian New Year card

Victorians ring in a new century!

It’s the Christmas season in the late Victorian age and Mrs. Frances Brooks leads this first-person trolley tour as she does her important holiday shopping around town, regaling all with then and now stories of the many shops, hotels, landmarks and personalities that make up the lively Cape Island social landscape of her time. This tour immerses you in Cape May social history and takes two steps back in time, as Mrs. Brooks reflects on her present and her past, including memories of her dearest friends, the Physicks.


a ton of christmas ornaments and dicken villages on display at the cape may mac An Old Fashioned Christmas Exhibit

Enter a holiday wonderland and feel like a child again as you see our extensive Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection beneath the boughs of our giant Christmas tree. All this plus old family photos, trains and more. There’s even a place to drop off your letters to Santa!

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Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit

Decorating the Physick House Museum