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Get into the holiday spirit in South Orange and beyond

 As the semester draws to a close, students are starting to get more into the holiday spirit on campus and beyond.

Seton Hall’s holiday festivities were kicked off by the 12th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Monday. It was a first for many, thanks to the event being moved online last year. 

While the tree lighting is complete, there are still plenty of things to do to get into the holiday spirit before the semester ends. 

Being ranked number one in the nation for the college with the best Christmas celebrations comes with a lot of pressure to uphold the title. Making sure Seton Hall stays on top is the Student Activities Board, which planned numerous holiday events. 

Their upcoming events this week include Winter Wonderland on Friday and a trip to the Philadelphia Christmas Market on Saturday.

To sign up and find more information about upcoming events, either follow SAB on Instagram @shu_sab or learn more on Engage.

“I am very happy with the events we put together for Christmas,” SAB’s marketing coordinator Alyssa Ventura, a sophomore public relations major, said. “The organization works hard to make sure students can get in the holiday spirit despite upcoming final tests and assignments.”  

In the surrounding area, there are other ways to celebrate the holidays. Turtle Back Zoo, which is only a 15-minute car ride from campus, celebrates the holidays with its Holiday Light Spectacular. 

Turtle Back Zoo will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night until Dec. 31 for those who wish to see the light displays. Admission is free with no reservations required, but donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and/or gently used coats have been encouraged.

The zoo’s cafe will be open with other options of s’mores, pizza, and coffee available in designated areas around the zoo. Santa will also be in attendance for photo opportunities.

Seton Hall is also a 30-minute train ride away from the holiday magic that New York City has to offer. Make sure to visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, but also check out the Christmas markets located at Bryant Park, Union Square Park, and Chelsea Market.

While there are so many ways to celebrate the holidays, many students appreciate what those on campus do to make Seton Hall special during the holidays.

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“Christmas at the Hall is great because there are so many students and staff who take the season so seriously and make celebrating all the more fun,” Max Dempsey, a junior political science major, said.

Some students emphasized their appreciation of Seton Hall’s celebration after the lack of one in-person last year.

“Christmas at the Hall makes me feel very happy,” Sofia James, a sophomore biology major, said. “It ties together the community after a long time of being so separated due to COVID-19.” 

Alyssa Bernhammer can be reached at alyssa.bernhammer@student.shu.edu.

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