It’s no joke, the weekend is here! If you’re ready for some fun and looking for family-friendly things to do in the area, we’ve got you covered. Check out these local events!
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) continues to host the Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Held daily from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt. This is the first weekend for the April theme, which is “April Fools!” Plants offer some of the best camouflage in the garden. Use your eyes and camera to spot some of the spring garden’s hidden gems. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Lamb Frolic on Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, and 1:00 PM on both days. Meet the newest arrivals to the farm! Help the farmers socialize the baby lambs by playing with them one on one. Everyone will have a chance to pet and hold a lamb. This event is suitable for all ages. The cost is $50 per lamb. Registration is required.
Glen Ridge Public Library will host Play Group on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. This drop-in play group encourages socialization among children up to 4 years old. The library will provide age-appropriate toys and books to play with while at the library. Caregivers are required to stay with their children while participating in the group. No registration is required. Open to everyone.
Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Science Extravaganza on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun science activities for the whole family at The Newark Museum of Art. Activities include MakerSPACE, Chemical Wizardry with Dan “The Science Man,” Planetarium shows, Creative Play: Chemistry Fun, Science Drop-In: Ooblek, and Family Drop-In: Owl Pellet Dissection. This activity is free, but pre-registration is required. Check the website for the schedule of activities and shows.
Essex County Environmental Center (621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Spring Forest Egg Hunts on Saturday at 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM. For families with children ages 1 to 6. Celebrate the beginning of spring with a reading of the “Little White Rabbit” and an egg hunt within the forest grounds of the Environmental Center. Kids can bring their favorite basket to collect eggs and earn surprises! In the spirit of being “green,” participants will exchange eggs for small prizes. The eggs are sanitized and reused for future events and programs. Refreshments and a spring craft giveaway per child are included. Registration is required. The cost is $15 per child.
Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains) will host its Opening Day on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Historic Speedwell is back for the 2023 season! Explore the fascinating history of the Vail family, the telegraph, and life in 19th-century Morristown with a brand-new house tour, lawn games, craft activities, and interactive exhibit spaces. This event is suitable for all ages. The cost is $5 per person.
New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation (150 Snake Den Road, Ringwood) will host Geology Hike on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Enjoy an easy to moderate forest hike and survey the landscape looking for geologic clues to the forces that shaped the land, the minerals it’s made of, and the unique geologic history of the area. This activity is for ages 6-adult. The cost is $10 per person.
The Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from April 1-16. This Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, enjoy Bloom Fest at Branch Brook Park. Enjoy a family day in the pink park! A packed schedule of events includes cultural demonstrations, children’s activities, live music, a crafter’s marketplace, food, and more at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center. Additional musical performances will be held at the Prudential Concert Grove. Admission is free. Food and merchandise will be for sale.
The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (23 Main Street, Madison) will host Makerspace Saturday on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Whether you are looking for a kid-friendly project or for something creative to do after spending time at our Museum, drop by Makerspace for hands-on activities in our new collaborative work space geared towards kids ages 5 to 12! Kids will build with Legos, paint, make jewelry, experiment with engineering and coding robots, and more! Children must be accompanied by guardians at all times. Registration is not required. This activity is free.
Van Vleck House & Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) will host Sensory Celebration from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, this event invites you to explore the Van Vleck gardens using your senses as your guide. Activity stations throughout the gardens are self-paced and optional and focus on using our senses to discover nature through art, movement, literature, and exploration walks. Meet and greet animals from Eyes of the Wild, an exotic animal rescue, and learn about the incredible senses these animals have to help them survive. Enjoy movement sessions with Laura Marchese taking inspiration from the surrounding beauty of the gardens. This outdoor family program is an inclusive event, open to people of all ages and abilities, and will be held entirely outdoors. In case of inclement weather, the rain date is April 15th. The cost is $10-$15.
South Orange Performing Arts Center (1 SOPAC Way, South Orange) will present The Heart & Soul of Magic: No Smoke, No Mirrors Tour featuring Ran’D Shine and Jamahl Keyes on Saturday at 1:00 PM. Breathtaking, mind-blowing, and astonishing are just a few words that describe The Heart & Soul of Magic. This show features two world-class magicians, Ran’D Shine and Jamahl Keyes, in a unique production that weaves a tapestry of psychological illusions, comedy, and music to create an immersive amazing experience that will keep you at the edge of your seat. This is a show the entire family will enjoy! Tickets are $18-$25.
Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Spring Drop-in Crafts for children in grades K-3 on Saturday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Stop in for a fun spring craft all through the month of April! No registration is required.
NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark) will present The Peking Acrobats Featuring the Shanghai Circus on Saturday at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM. A breathtaking spectacle 3,000 years in the making! The time-honored art form of Chinese acrobatics combines with traditional music and high-tech special effects for a jaw-dropping extravaganza. The Peking Acrobats join with The Shanghai Circus to perform thrilling stunts including juggling, tumbling, contortion, rope walking, and trick cycling. They’ll push the limits of human ability. They’ll defy gravity right before your eyes. They’ll have you asking: “How did they DO that?” Bring the whole family to experience this showcase of athletic precision and dazzling artistry. Tickets are $49-$59.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Discovery Weekend on Sunday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Explore the Arboretum when the gardens and grounds are alive with the sights and sounds of spring. Drop by the Stackhouse Education Center on Saturdays and Sundays anytime for this self-guided program for families and children 3 and older. Borrow a magnifying glass (please remember to return it once you’re done), grab an interactive activity guide, and head out to see what wonders big and small await. There may be a surprise or two, a clue to follow, a mystery to solve, a chance to create, and always an engaging nature activity. Each weekend is a new discovery!
Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Avenue, Newark) will also host March Family Sundays on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Activities include a MakerSPACE for kids of all ages, which is a fun interactive area where kids play, tinker, and create on their own. There’s a Family Drop-In: Painting Illusions for kids ages 5 and up, where kids can try painting in reverse! Check the website for the schedule. This event is free with general admission.
The Cooper Gristmill (66 Route 24, Chester) will host it’s Opening Day on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Celebrate the reopening of the Cooper Gristmill for the 2023 season. There will be timed tours of the mill throughout the day. Spread out with a picnic lunch on the grass while the kids conduct science experiments and make crafts with the Education Team and enjoy a walk along the scenic Black River trail. This event is suitable for all ages. The cost is $5 per person.
Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sensory Sunday Studio: Exploring Contemporary Plains Cree Nation Artists with Emily Kenselaar on Sunday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Stop in on the first Sunday of the month for a special hour of Sunday Studio designed for families with members on the autism spectrum or who have other sensory sensitivities. Drop into Geyer studio for an art-making activity inspired by the current exhibitions. Each month features a different project designed by MAM Teaching Artists that is accessible to artists of all ages and abilities. This program is a great fit for people who learn best in smaller groups in a controlled environment with extra support. Inspired by the new exhibition, Meryl McMaster: Chronologies, families will use oil pastels and watercolors to paint colorful compositions influenced by contemporary indigenous artists. This activity is free with Museum admission but registration is required.
South Orange Performing Arts Center (1 SOPAC Way, South Orange) will present The Great DuBois: Masters of Variety on Sunday at 1:00 PM. The Great DuBois: Masters of Variety is a fast-paced, high-energy circus show for all ages showcasing incredible feats of juggling, hula hoops, unicycle, circus stunts, contortion, magic, and audience interaction all wrapped up in a blanket of comedy. It is recommended for ages 5 and up. Tickets are $23-$28.
Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio: Exploring Contemporary Plains Cree Nation Artists with Emily Kenselaar on Sunday with sessions at 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Visit the Museum each Sunday for a fun family art-making activity inspired by our current exhibitions. Explore materials, learn new techniques, and meet other community members while enjoying creative time with your family. Each week features a different project designed by MAM Teaching Artists to spark the imagination and encourage conversation in response to artworks on view in museum galleries. This program is aimed at families with children ages 5-12, but all are welcome. Inspired by the new exhibition, Meryl McMaster: Chronologies, families will use oil pastels and watercolors to paint colorful compositions influenced by contemporary indigenous artists. This event is free with museum admission. Advance registration is required.
Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown) will present Dragons and Mythical Beasts on Sunday at 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM. The 5:00 PM show is a sensory-friendly performance. Calling all brave heroes! Enter into a magical world of dragons, myths, and legends in this fantastical new show for all the family. Unveil a myriad of dark secrets and come face to face with some of the most magnificent monsters and terrifying beasts ever to walk the earth. Discover the colossal Stone Troll, the mysterious Indrik and Japanese Baku; the Tooth Fairy (not as sweet as you’d think), an adorable Unicorn, and majestic Griffin. Take your place among legendary heroes, just don’t wake the Dragon… Tickets are $15-$30.
Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Spark!Lab offers any child ages 5-12 (and accompanied by an adult), a new informal approach to hands-on learning. Created by the Smithsonian, Spark!Lab ignites kids’ ingenuity with fun, hands-on challenges. Instead of following instructions, kids tap into their natural creativity to tackle engineering and design challenges in Spark!Lab’s projects stations. Specially designed for our youngest inventors (Ages 1-4), Spark!Lab’s new Young Inventor Space features a train and an exploration table filled with unique tools to spark creativity and learning.