Get ready for the weekend packed with plenty of family-friendly fun, from story hours to theater and more! Here is our roundup of activities happening in and around town.
This weekend, the Gas Lamp Players will present The SpongeBob Musical: Youth Edition at Ridgewood Avenue School (235 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge). Performances will be Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 1:00 PM. Plunge into this stunning all-singing, all-dancing, dynamic stage show! When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save the fate of their undersea world. With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, a most unexpected hero rises up. The power of optimism really can save the world! The SpongeBob Musical is based on the beloved animated series created by Stephen Hillenburg and features a book by Kyle Jarrow, with original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny and Andy Paley. Additional lyrics are by Jonathan Coulton, with additional music by Tom Kitt. The musical production was conceived by Tina Landau. An exciting new musical featuring irresistible characters and magical music, this deep-sea pearl of a show is set to make a splash with audiences young and old. The future is bright, the future is bold, the future is The SpongeBob Musical. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors.
White Meadow Lake Country Club (100 White Meadow Road, White Meadow Lake) will host White Meadow Lake Festival Days this weekend. It’s a weekend of fun for everyone. Enjoy rides, music, food, drinks, entertainment, a magician, strolling performers, a psychic, a vendor marketplace, and more. This annual event is open to the public, and admission is free. Activities on Friday begin at 6:00 PM, on Saturday at 3:00 PM, and Sunday at 12:00 PM. Check the Facebook page for a full schedule.
Continuing throughout July, Watchung Booksellers is hosting Where’s Waldo? 2023. Participants can grab a passport at Watchung booksellers. Participants have the entire month of July to find where Waldo is hiding at participating business around Watchung Plaza. During the whole month of July, participants will look for Waldo in any of the 20+ locations in the neighborhood. Once a participant finds 10 they will automatically get a Waldo temporary tattoo and a $1 off a Waldo book coupon. When they get 20, they are not only entered for a BIG grand prize, but they are guaranteed some prize. Lastly, we will host a WALDO party the afternoon of July 27 at 4:00 PM with more raffles, prizes, games, and maybe a cameo by Waldo himself! This is a great activity for the kids each summer, and each summer the amount of participants grows. We’ve had hundreds running around the neighborhood finding Waldos. It is a true joy for us and for the participating businesses/organizations. It costs NOTHING to join.
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 theme for July is “Garden Magic.” Fairy houses are on display! This hunt will challenge hunters looking for fairies, fairy houses, and even more important, plants and flowers throughout the garden that bring the fairies here. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.
New Jersey Botanical Garden (Morris Road, Ringwood) will host Garden Safari on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Mary Jo Sichak invites you to meet some of the 1200+ species that live in her garden in north New Jersey, including area wildlife from black bears to insects, reptiles, and birds. You’ll also learn ways to create a wildlife-friendly habitat in your own yard. This program takes place indoors at the Carriage House. The cost is $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers, and free for children under 12.
City Green Farm Eco-Center (171 Grove Street, Clifton) will host Open Saturday at the Farm on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. City Green will be open to the public one Saturday a month for Open Saturdays at the Farm. Visitors can meet the animals, explore the farm and gardens, or head to the Learning Farm for self-led activities.
Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Summer Family Fun! on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family. There will be a MakerSPACE for kids of all ages, planetarium shows, and a Science Drop-In. The Science Drop-In will be Cubelet Challenge. Learn about robots as you piece together different components to make your own creation. Visit the website for a full schedule.
Macculloch Hall (45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown) will host Dig it! Plant it! Eat it! Family Saturdays. This month’s theme is Beautiful Butterflies. Join teaching artist Rachel Ferrante and create nature-inspired art. Through hands-on gardening, a tour of the Museum’s historic rooms, and an art-making experience with a New Jersey artist, participants enjoy nature while learning about life in the past. This activity is suitable for all ages accompanied by a parent or guardian. It will run on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM.
Essex County Environmental Center (621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host their Butterfly Tent Safari 2023 beginning Saturday from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. This activity is for all ages and features live butterflies and butterfly-themed programming. Timeslots must be bucked in advance. Walk-ins will not be accommodated. The cost is $8 per person and includes a take-away item per paid participant.
Essex County Environmental Center (621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will also host The Very Hungry Monarch Caterpillar on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM for children ages 3 to 5. Come dressed for a butterfly story and walk around the trails to learn about a day in the life of a monarch. Pre-registration and payment are required. The cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child and $10 per adult.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host a Free Saturday Tour at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Free guided tours of the Arboretum take place Saturdays at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm from May 6 through October 7. Tours begin at the Visitors Center. No reservations are required, and tours are on a first-come, first-served basis for individuals who would like to learn more about the current season’s highlights. Limit of 10 people per tour. Anyone under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. No groups. Tours last approximately 30 minutes.
Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Drag Story Hour on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. There’s no story time like drag story time! Everyone’s favorite drag queen, Harmonica, will be dressed to the nines to read us stories and teach us new crafts. This activity is for children ages 3-8. Registration is required for all attendees (child and accompanying adult). Montclair residents will be given preference.
STEAM URBAN will present a Family Fun Saturday on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Harriet Tubman Square (501-551 Broad Street, Newark). Enjoy an afternoon of games, activities, and bonding with your loved ones. These activities are perfect for the whole family. The focus for this event will be Glass Bead & Jewelry Making. Admission is free. Reserve your spot online.
Morris Museum and the Great Swamp Watershed Association will host an Outdoor Family Day on Saturday beginning at 11:00 AM as part of their Water Workshop Weekends Series. The event will take place at GSWA’s Conservation Management Area (1 Tiger Lily Lane, Harding Township). The event will feature activities from the Museum and the Great Swamp Watershed Association. Visitors will participate in hikes, family-friendly activities, and nature crafts. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the 16th year of the City of Water Day which builds awareness and reaches towards the goal of a climate-resilient New York and New Jersey harbor. This event is free for Morris Museum and GSWA Members. For non-members, the cost is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-17.
Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (9 Main Street, Madison) will host a Family Fun Day on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Join METC for Family Fun Day! This year’s theme is sustainability, and there will be lots of fun, interactive activities, and crafts for the whole family. The days also include music and entertainment, a bounce house, Pizza Vita’s food truck, and more. There’s something for everyone at this free event for our community. Registration is recommended.
South Mountain Conservancy and SOMA Families will present Fairy Tales on the Fairy Trail on Saturday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Special Guest, Storyteller Rachael Harrington, will activate the imagination of children of all ages with her uniquely creative storytelling both on and off the trail. There will be two Fairy Tale Walking Tours along the trail at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM or bring a blanket for Fairy Tale Time at 2:00 PM in the Locust Grove picnic area. Family members of all ages will also enjoy free face painting, crafts, a scavenger hunt, and more. The event will be held on the South Mountain Fairy Trail (197 Glen Avenue, Millburn).
The Borough of Stanhope will host a Family Fun Day on Saturday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Lake Musconetcong Park (Musconetcong Avenue, Stanhope). All ages are welcome. There will be games, prizes, music, food, and fun.
Liberty Hall will host a Croquet & Ice Cream Social on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Who doesn’t enjoy a good old-fashioned family fun day? Join us for Liberty Hall’s first-ever Croquet and Ice Cream Social Day! Croquet is an ancient game, widely known and practiced in France since the 11th century under the name of ‘jeu de mail’, which gave rise to numerous modern sports, such as golf, hockey, polo, and croquet. Enjoy a family-friendly game of croquet in the lovely gardens of Liberty Hall. Afterward, to celebrate your victory, enjoy a yummy good time at Ice Cream Social! I scream, you scream…we all scream for Ice Cream! This activity is suitable for all ages. The cost is $12 per adult and $8 per child. Reservations are required.
Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host Pots and Stuff on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Learn about the extensive history of potteries in New Jersey and make your own clay creations. The program will consist of a brief tour of the antique ceramic pieces in the collections and an air-dry clay craft where you can learn the same techniques used in New Jersey in the 18th and 19th centuries. This activity is for ages 10 and up and is included in the price of admission.
East Side Mags (491 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 102, Montclair) will host Tee Franklin / Shauna Grant My Little Pony Signing on Saturday from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Legendary writer Tee Franklin (Bingo Love, Harley Quinn Animated Series comics) is returning to East Side Mags to sign her debut MY LITTLE PONY issue – #14 – featuring her very own pony named VIOLETTE RAINBOW! Rockstar artist Shauna Grant (Mimi & the Cutie Catastophe, Adventure Time), who’s responsible for the interior art along with the artwork for the main cover, will also be signing. Everypony meet Izzy’s most favorite crafting protégé: Violette Rainbow! Violette is super excited to see Maretime Bay, have a traditional Unicorn sleepover with her favorite fillysitter, and meet the famous Sunny Starscout. But she is feeling self-conscious about her spotty coat because it’s caused by vitiligo. It’s up to Izzy to help Violette see the beauty in her unique sparkle! Don’t miss this first appearance of a brand-new pony! Get your hands on a fresh copy, get it signed by BOTH creators and let’s have some pony-fun!
Montclair Public Library’s Bellevue Avenue Branch (185 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair) will host Summer Reading Kick-off – Summer Reading Festival on Saturday from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM. This is for all ages, including adults. Celebrate this year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme “All Together Now” by joining the library for an afternoon of fun! School of Rock’s Nitro Blues Band will play a fun, engaging concert while library staff will be at booths handing out a sweet treat, temporary tattoos, a craft, and a special Friend’s of Bellevue Avenue Library book sale to kick off summer reading! Registration is not required but suggested. And don’t forget to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge! All kickoff registrations get the chance to win extra summer reading raffle tickets. Can’t make it? Register for the Summer Reading Challenge online at www.montclairlibrary.org/src.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Moo-sic on the Farm on Saturday from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM. Enjoy some Moo-sic at the farm! Bring a blanket and enjoy an evening concert from Arts International String Orchestra, as they play a beautiful range of music. The cost for this all-ages event is $5 per person.
New Jersey Botanical Garden (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. Smaller children may need to be carried. Wear sturdy shoes and meet at the Carriage House Visitor Center. This activity is free.
Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Swahili Storytime with Sabina Wasonga-Gitau on Sunday from 2:00 PM to 2:45 PM. This activity is recommended for ages 5-12. Learn words and phrases in the Swahili language and listen to bilingual Swahili tales. Storyteller Sabina Wasonga-Gitau is a native Swahili speaker who has taught children in many countries and at Nishuane’s PTA Explorers program in Montclair where she lives with her family. She has performed at the UN during World Kiswahili Day and at the Montclair Literary Festival. Registration is recommended for reminders.
Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) will host Spark!Lab on 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.
Field Station: Dinosaurs is back for another season at Overpeck Park (3 Overpeck Driveway, Leonia). The attraction is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM through September 3. Field Station: Dinosaurs is a world-class family attraction that combines cutting-edge science with the creative minds of great artists to create a one-of-a-kind experience that’s thrilling, educational, and fun. Explore scenic trails, featuring over 30 moving and roaring life-size animatronic dinosaurs! Discover the story and science of Dinosaurs with live shows, games, and activities every day. Laugh with our fearless dinosaur wranglers and come face to face with The Mighty T-Rex.