Are you ready for the weekend? Are you ready for some family-friendly fun? Well, you’re in luck because it’s time for both! We’ve rounded up some activities to help keep you busy all weekend long!
Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair) will host Beth Ferry, “The Umbrella” on Friday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The store will welcome back beloved children’s book author Beth Ferry to celebrate her newest picture book, The Umbrella. In a dreary town where it always rains, a little girl and her dog discover an unexpected way to spread the light. Told with surprise and humor, here is a story of generosity, perseverance, and the way that happiness can be contagious—all it takes is one person and a bright idea. This gorgeously illustrated story is a feel-good classic in the making for all bedtimes and story times.
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. The April theme 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.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Discovery Weekend on Saturday 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 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!
The Northeast Earth Coalition (NEEC), Montclair Climate Action, and Bike and Walk Montclair invite you to join their Earth Day Celebration 2023 at Crane Park (Glenridge Avenue, Montclair) on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM. This activity will include a pollinator garden tour, planting of native plants, and park cleanup.
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum (45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown) will host At Your Own Pace: A Sensory-Friendly Tour on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 11:30 PM. For families and care partners with neurodiverse children and teens – experience the historic house with plenty to touch and time for questions and explore the new garden sensory pathway through sight, sound, touch, and smell. This activity is free for members and with museum admission. No appointment is required.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Let’s Get Growing! Buried Treasures on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Do you think If you plant a potato, you can harvest French fries? Or if you grow a carrot, you’ll have pesto? You’ll find out the answers to these questions and more, while learning how things grow, in this interactive, hands-on garden DIY program. Participants will also take a hike around our historic property, visit the Roehm Greenhouse to see what interesting things are in bloom, and return to the garden to dig in the soil and pot up a plant or two. Registration is required. This activity is for ages 5-10. The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members.
Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City) will host a pop-up Butterfly House through April 30th. Feel the magic of hundreds of painted lady and monarch butterflies fluttering around you, feeding on plants and nectar, and landing on your shoulder or finger. You’ll even meet some caterpillars, too! Visitors can also navigate their way through the Hedge Maze, filled with pollinator facts and fun photo ops. Plus, wear goggles to see how butterflies see, look at butterflies under microscopes, and use crayons to do rubbings of the life cycle of a butterfly. This activity is included in LSC general admission. LSC is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and Sunday.
State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick will present Alex & the Kaleidoscope as part of their Milk & Cookies series on Saturday at 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Are you ready for an adventure? Emmy® Award-winner Alex of Alex & The Kaleidoscope is your trusted guide on a journey to all the treasures of the world. This interactive show encourages and inspires kids to celebrate and learn through the power of songs, fun facts, and adventures to interesting places around the world! In 2015, Alex won an Emmy® Award for Best Children’s Programming. Tickets are $5. The 12:00 PM performance is sensory-friendly.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Kids in the Wild: Tracks on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Get into the woods, learn different outdoor skills, meet other like-minded kids, and build confidence. In this session, gain some basic tracking skills as you learn about animal tracks, measurements, and gaits. This activity is for children ages 8-13. The cost is $10 per child. Preregistration is required.
Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host April Family Saturdays on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family at The Newark Museum of Art. Activities include MakerSPACE, Planetarium shows, Creative Play: Insects, Science Drop-In: Ooblek, and Family Drop-In: Illusions. This activity is free with general admission, but preregistration is required. Check the website for the schedule of activities and shows.
Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host Lego Day on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The library will provide the LEGOs. Children should bring their creativity! Duplos for younger children will also be provided.
City Green will host Spring into the Garden! Family Program at Weasel Brook Community Garden (1 Westervelt Place, Clifton) on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Learn how to plant a spring garden at the Weasel Brook Community Garden! Participants will get hands-on experience preparing, transplanting, and watering their own take-home salad garden while exploring the gardens for signs of spring! This activity is open to ages 5 to 9!
The Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey (400 Fred Wehran Drive, Teterboro) will host Open Cockpit Day on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Visitors will have the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a very rare Lockheed Bushmaster plane, a U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter, and a M*A*S*H Bell 47 Helicopter. There will be various other aircraft and vehicles to see as well. Admission is $20 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+ and children ages 3-11. Children 2 and under are free.
Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Ukranian Easter Storytime on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM. Join the teen volunteers for a wonderful Easter-themed storytime where kids will learn about Ukrainian cultural traditions. Registration is required. This activity is for children ages 4-7.
Essex County Family Day will be held on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 Pm in Essex County Branch Brook Park, Concert Grove, Southern Division, Park Street Entrance, Newark. Visit the renovated and landscaped concert grove to enjoy an afternoon outdoors with your family. Work out in our paddle boats, construct a craft, get your face painted, jump in a bouncy house, climb a rock wall, or grab food from a food vendor and enjoy the cherry blossom trees! Dialed Action Sports will provide Main Stage Entertainment at 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM. This event is free.
The Garden State Model Railway Club (575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon) will host the 65th Annual Model Railroad Show on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Visitors can enjoy a stunning model train display. This event is fun for the whole family and is a kid-friendly model train show. Children will enjoy seeing Thomas the Tank Engine and the kiddie layout. Refreshments will also be available. Donations are $8 for adults. Children 10 and under are free with an adult.
Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host Dig It: A Junior Archaeology Field Day on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM for children ages 6-12 with an adult. Learn the basic skills of archaeology and discover the treasures we walk over each day in the new outdoor dig center. The field team will each have an area to dig, sketch, and explore before learning about how to preserve the artifacts that are found. This activity is free with admission.
Montclair Film will present Montclair Comedy’s Kids Show at Cinema505 on Saturday at 4:00 PM. Geared for children 3-10 years old, this high-energy performance, featuring professional improvisers, will be 100% family-friendly (G-Rating) and absolutely hilarious! So bring the kids to an improv show and let’s laugh together! Concessions will be available for purchase. Tickets are $12 ($10 for members).
Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host FNC: Nature Guardians on Sunday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Nature Guardians is a new citizen science program centered around discovering and protecting wildlife. Join in to discover species, the challenges they face, and the action we can take to be a part of wildlife conservation. This week’s theme is Searching for Salamanders, and it is geared toward children ages 6 and up. The cost is $5. Register online.
The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation will host Spring Migration Bird BioBlitz! On Sunday from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Become a citizen scientist for the day with a birding BioBlitz during peak migration season. As you wander along the private winding paths, visit different bird habitats, and check in on the bird feeding stations, you will record all of the bird species you see using tally sheets. Afterward, the group will compile the species findings on Ebird and have a follow-up discussion about the wonders of spring migration. No birding experience is necessary. The cost for this activity is $10 per person. It is suitable for ages 6 and up.
Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Turtle Back Hatchlings on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM for children ages 12-24 months with a caregiver. Learn how to meet and greet some of our small, friendly animals up close in the classroom and learn how to touch animals gently. Your child will also enjoy sensory interactions with feathers, turtle shells, puppets, and more in a lightly structured program. All children must be accompanied by an adult who is prepared to take part in the activities. The cost is $25 per class. Register online.
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.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Daffodil Day on Sunday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Daffodil Day is a decades-old tradition in Summit when visitors to the Arboretum have an opportunity to enjoy one of the largest daffodil collections in New Jersey – over 50,000 bulbs in bloom in the Arboretum’s glacially carved Daffodil Bowl! The day’s activities include spring-themed games and crafts, a story trail, music, food, market vendors, our current art exhibit, and of course, the Green Goats will be here. Staggered entry times will be at 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm. This event is free for members and $10 for non-members.
Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Turtle Back Zoo Tots Program on Sunday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM for children ages 2-3 years old with a caregiver. This program is designed for toddlers and adults to discover the natural world together. We will use the alphabet to explore different animals in the zoo. In each session, discover a different animal type such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Stories, projects, and special animal visitors in the classroom enhance the class experience. All children must be accompanied by an adult who is willing to take part in the activities. The cost is $25 per child.
Montclair History Center will host Guided House Tour: Many Voices on Sunday from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Crane House & Historic YWCA (110 Orange Road, Montclair). Stop by and receive a guided tour of the Crane House & Historic YWCA! Hear the many voices of the men and women who lived, worked, and played in the house throughout its 226-year history. While you’re there, see what’s cooking on the hearth and explore the herbs in the Landsberger Learning Garden. Tours begin at 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, and 2:00 PM. All tours begin at the little red Nathaniel Crane House & Visitor Center located at the back of the parking lot. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $8 for children under 18. Children under 2 and MHC members are free. No pre-registration is needed.
Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Bilingual Sunday Studio: Magpie Prints with Emily Kenselaar on Sunday with sessions at 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. Enjoy this fun family art-making activity taught in both English and Spanish. 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 explore printmaking techniques to create unique embellished foam relief printed magpies with. This event is free with museum admission. Advance registration is required.
New Jersey Botanical Garden (2 Morris Road, Ringwood) will host Family Woodland Hike on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Join NJBG hike leaders on an easy, child-friendly hike in the Garden’s woodlands, where you’ll learn a bit about the plants and animals around you in a hike designed to fit the group. This activity is free.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Lenape Life on Sunday from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. Get a feel for what life in New Jersey was like hundreds of years ago for the Lenni-Lenape! Tour the decorated model wigwam, try out stone and wooden tools, learn the games Lenape children played, and try making a fire with a bow drill. This activity is for children ages 7 and up with an adult. Preregistration is required. The cost is $12 per person.
Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Author Visit with Robert Schechter on Sunday from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Celebrate National Poetry Month with author Robert Schechter who will be reading from his new book of poems, The Red Ear Blows Its Nose: Poems for Children and Others. Registration is recommended.
Bergen Performing Arts Center (30 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood) will present New Jersey Ballet’s Once Upon a Time on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Once Upon a Time is a family show taking its audience on a comical tour through some of classical ballet’s greatest stories. Part educational, part dance, the performers will dissect classic tales, providing insight into the movement while giving you a fun and entertaining peek behind the balletic curtain. The performance will be hosted by British actor and former Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Martin Harvey. Tickets are $30-$55.
Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host All About Robotics! on Sunday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, followed by All About Robotics! Demonstration from 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM. The first session invites children in 3rd through 8th grades to join friends from the Montclair High School Robotics Team for some fun STEM activities. Registration is required for this session. In the second session, the MHS Robotics Team will provide an amazing robotics demonstration. Registration is not required for the second session.
Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday and Sunday 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.