The Christmas Ice Caverns of Fairfield NJ: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Saturday, December 16, 2023
I grew up in Morris County, and we had family members who lived in Fairfield, so we were frequent visitors of Essex County, too. Every year without fail, we visited the Christmas Ice Caverns, which were part of Fairfield Home and Garden on Rt. 46 in Fairfield, New Jersey. When I became a mom, I brought my own child there. It was a special place that held wonderful memories for so many. 

*Please note that the Christmas Ice Caverns have unfortunately closed indefinitely. If I hear that they plan to relocate or open again, I will definitely come back to update this post. In the meantime, please feel free to use it as a spot to reminisce or share thoughts and comments!

Don't forget to Pin this post for future use. I promise to keep it up to date for you! If I hear that the Ice Caverns plan to reopen, I will be sure to update everything.

The Ice Caverns opened around 1972, as you can clearly see from this family photo of me (lil' Jersey Momma!) and my sister (lil' Pirate Cupcake!) circa 1976:

The Christmas Ice Caverns became part of Jody's Silk Florist and Patio, which was located on Rt. 46 in Fairfield (it was originally Fairfield Home and Gardens). If you visit that area now you probably wouldn't recognize it. Not only are the Ice Caverns gone, so is Jody's and so is Fairfield Home and Garden. It's a new shopping plaza now. 

What Were the Christmas Ice Caverns?

Chances are, if you are not from Northern New Jersey, you have never heard of the Ice Caverns. So let me break it down for you. Jody's Florist and Patio Shop was located in Fairfield and remained open year round. The Ice Caverns opened mid-November and remained open till shortly after Christmas. Jody's Florist transformed into a giant Christmas shop, selling every tree, decoration and ornament you could imagine. They truly had one of the largest local selections of Christmas decorations I had ever seen. The entrance to the Ice Caverns was inside Jody's store, and it was easy to spot:

The final time I visited, the cost was $3.99 per person (which I gladly forked over every year for the mere fact that they were keeping a childhood memory alive). For that low price you were able to walk through an animated indoor Christmas display, complete with lights, moving puppetry, music and favorite characters. The display changed every year.

Here's the entryway inside from years past:

You would wind through the display at your own pace, so how long it took depended on how slowly you walked or how long you stopped to look at each display, but on average I would say it took about 15 minutes.  They added a 'can you find...' game (you had to spot some cute little plush elves, reindeer or snowmen in each display- it was different every year) and that was actually a fabulous idea, in my opinion. This caused The Jersey Momma's Boy to stay a little longer at each display to find the hidden plushies. They were really well hidden, too.

We liked to walk through it once and then go back through and walk it again.

The Jersey Momma's Boy loved the displays where you could throw pennies into the water and make a wish, so I would often bring along a little bag of pennies just for this reason.

Each year they changed the displays or added to them. The collection of photos I have here are from multiple visits and years, so what you saw on your visits might be totally different than what you see here!

One of my favorite displays in the ice caverns was the little bridge that had been there since I was a kid. They took good care of it and repainted it when it needed updating. It was one of my favorite places to take photos. The rainbow was eventually painted over, but the bridge was still in tact, and I took a photo there every year!

They also added a family brick wall near the entrance, where you could purchase a brick and have your family's name (or an inscription) written on the wall for years to come. The Jersey Momma was there, of course! I couldn't resist being a part of such a treasured childhood memory. I wonder what happened to these bricks now that the display is closed?

For 19.99 you could also have your beloved pet's photo placed on the wall. 

What You Need to Know

**The Ice Caverns are currently closed with no plans to reopen. I will keep you posted if I hear anything new! 

*The Christmas Ice Caverns were around since 1972, and it was a small walkthrough display that didn't cost much to enter.  

*The Ice Caverns and store were wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly.  

*Even though it was indoors, it wasn't entirely heated. We usually kept our coats on for the walk-through. It could be quite cold when the temperature outside dropped!

*You could even have your picture taken with Santa at the end of the walk-through for an extra cost.  Their Santa was always very authentic and classic, and people would wait on line for a while just to see him.

*There's still a lot to do in and around Fairfield, so if you're in the area, you can stop by one of their many restaurants (there are places to choose from all up and down Rt. 46), or drive about ten minutes eastbound to the Willowbrook Mall. The famous Calandra's Bakery also has a location in Fairfield within minutes of the Ice Caverns. It is TOTALLY worth stopping there for fresh, hot bread!!!

*If you know the area, you can even take a drive into West Caldwell (that's what we did the last time we visited).  We had some amazingly good ice cream at West Caldwell Carvel, pizza at Franco's, and stopped for some delicious chocolates at Bromilow's.

Have you been to the Christmas Ice Caverns?  Do you have special memories like I do? Feel free to share your stories in the comment section below!

Again, please remember: *the Christmas Ice Caverns are closed indefinitely. If I hear that they plan to relocate or open again, I will definitely come back to update this post. In the meantime, please feel free to use it as a spot to reminisce or share thoughts and comments!


  1. We love the ice caverns! We used to go to the Fountains of Wayne Christmas walk through, but they closed. This place is just as great. My kids love it and it's a family tradition.

    1. Ah yes! Fountains of Wayne was awesome! I remember waiting on a long line to get in there (all the way up the stairs) when I was little. Such great memories! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Family tradition here as well! Grew up in West Caldwell and went every year as a kid. Now my sister and I meet each year to take our kids there and have lunch. We are actually going day after Christmas this year since schedule conflicts. My kids are a little disappointed it will be after Christmas but would rather go late then wait until next year.

    1. Aw, it's still good even if you visit after Christmas. Plus, you can shop the after-Christmas sale in the store! I hope you enjoy the trip this year! Thanks for reading. :)

  3. I have been going to the Caverns since I was 5 (I'm 46) when it was at Fountains of Wayne. It's amazing! When I go there it's like I'm a kid again and any 'adult' worries are gone for just a little while when I'm there. It's as if you are frozen in time from when you were young. Magical place!

    1. I couldn't agree more, Fred! I remember visiting Fountains of Wayne, too, and the giant Santa statue that stood outside of it. Thanks for commenting and sharing some great memories!

  4. We really miss the Ice Caverns. There is nothing like it as we look for a place to take our grandkids today. It was a great place for kids. Just perfect. Hope they bring it back somewhere.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Hank! I couldn't agree more and I get a lot of messages from people asking me if I know of anything else like it. Some places are similar but nothing ever compares to the original and I, too, miss it dearly! Such great memories.


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