Igloo Dining is Back at Congress Hall! Plan Now Before You're Frozen Out. Plus Holidays in Cape May

Updated: Nov 8


All photos by R.C. Staab

Riding the wave of demand for outdoor dining, the Igloos at Congress Hall are back in 2021 for the Winter Wonderland celebration at this historic hotel. Although reservations have been available for a few days for hotels guests, now make dining-only reservations at one of the 12 heated Winter Igloos arranged on the lawn with the sound of ocean waves breaking in the distance. At the Igloos, the hotel offers an "elevated prix-fix menu" of cocktails and light fare.


Cape May is one of the East Coast's premiere holiday destinations with many activities throughout the town. Details are below.


The Igloos can accommodate parties of up to eight, making them the perfect private and socially-distant outdoor dining option for groups looking to toast the season together. The Igloos are available Wednesday through Sunday after 5:30 pm. You pay an Igloo fee of at least $75 on top of your food and beverage.


Book your reservation by clicking here. Reservations are limited and are only available online.



Inside Congress Hall, holidays treats and events include:

  • Breakfast with Santa -- Saturdays and Sunday in the hotel ballroom

  • Holiday Dinner & Bingo with Blue and the Clauses -- every Wednesday night.

  • Family Night Singalongs and Dinner

If you're looking for the deluxe package, call the hotel and ask for a two-night stay with the igloo site fee waved, and breakfast in the Blue Pig Tavern both mornings of your stay.


Cape May lights the town green and red.

Beyond historic Congress Hall in Cape May, celebrate more than a century of holiday traditions

with special Victorian era tours and start new traditions with farm-to-table special holidays dinners.

Get Ahead of the Rush! Give the

#1 NJ Travel Guide for the Holidays.

Find out more about Cape May and other Jersey Shore attractions, cultural events, outdoor activities, shopping and food and dining options with the book 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die. Click on this link and use the discount code JerseyShore for $1 off the price AND get an autographed copy.

To kick off the season, two special events are planned:

  • Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, November 20. Santa and his elves have decked out the Physick Estate with thousands of lights and holiday trimmings. Starting at 5 pm, enjoy a free performance of holiday classics by the Atlantic Brass Band as we join Santa in lighting the tree! Dawn’s Delights will be serving hot chocolate and baked goods for purchase. Plus there's free admission to the ground floor of the Physick Estate.

  • The West Cape May Christmas Parade, December 4. Now in its 56th year, the parade returns after a year's absence and steps off at 5pm from the West Cape May Volunteer Firehouse and marches south on Broadway, winds east on Perry, and onto Carpenter Lane in the City of Cape May.

Cape May Museums + Arts + Culture (MAC) brings so much to Cape May year-round but is really shows off the town's finery during the holiday season.


The 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, will be decorated in authentic Victorian style and is offering a guided living history tour. The guide portrays a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s and shares stories and traditions.

Physick Estate

While at the Estate, visit “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery from 10am-8pm. The exhibit features a giant indoor Christmas tree display, an elaborate Dept. 56 Dickens Village, model trains, nostalgic photos, toys and much more. Open daily from November 19 through January 2 (except Thanksgiving and Christmas).



Holiday Trolley Tours

If you've been to Cape May, then you've certainly seen the trolleys touring people throughout the town or groups walking throughout the city. During the holidays, there are a variety of special tours including:

  • All that Glitters Trolley Tour -- The year is 1899. Join a friend of the family, who has volunteered to help New Year’s Day Celebration, as she travels through town making plans for this important endeavor.

  • Santa's Trolley Rides -- Mrs. Claus 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.

  • Ghost of Christmas Past Trolley Tours -- Listen to dramatic tales of Christmas woe featuring Victorian ghosts, told by a member of the East Lynne Theater Company, on this ride along the historic streets of Cape May.

  • Holiday Lights Trolley Tours -- To lively Christmas music, ride through the historic streets of Cape May and learn 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.

  • Christmas Candlelight House Tours -- On three nights in December travel to homes, inns, B&Bs, churches and hotels, stepping across the thresholds to take in interiors beautifully decorated for the holidays. This is one of the most popular tours of the year in Cape May so space is limited. Trolley shuttle travels on planned route with limited stops. Walking is encouraged. Advance purchase is highly recommended.

Go to capemaymac.org for information about these tours and other special events and activities.


Beach Plum Farm

A Holiday dining adventure at the farm

Just two miles down the road from the town of Cape May is Beach Plum Farm, which provides ingredients to all of the Cape Resorts hotels & restaurants. There’s no better way to usher in the spirit

Give the Shore for the Holidays.

Discover Cape May and other Jersey Shore attractions, cultural events, outdoor activities, shopping and food and dining options with the book 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die. Click on this link, buy your book AND get an autographed copy.


of the season than with its Holiday Dinner Series in the Hoop House, which is decorated with pine garland and string lights hung above candlelit tables, creating a warm and intimate ambiance. Dinners are BYOB, and designed for guests age 12 yrs and up.


Reservations are highly recommended. Click here.


Hoop House at Beach Plum Farm

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