This weekend events guide column is sponsored by Kate McDonough and Paul Gold.
The weekend is here! Ready for some family-friendly fun? We’ve got you covered! Check out these local activities!
Watchung Booksellers (44 Fairfield Avenue, Montclair) will present Dan Yaccarino, Grandparents’ Day Storytime on Friday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Join Watchung Booksellers as they welcome back beloved children’s book author Dan Yaccarino to read from two special books in honor of Grandparents Day. Dan will share his illustrated works One, Two, Grandma Loves You and One, Two, Grandpa Loves You. Set to the classic rhyme of “One Two, Buckle My Shoe,” each full-color picture-book story is a joyful ode to the special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. Register online.
Circus Vazquez will be held at Garden State Plaza (One Garden State Plaza, Paramus) now through September 25. Performances will be Friday at 7:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 7:00 PM. The Circus Vazquez performing artists come from different parts of the world. Bringing magic and joy. The show is filled with non-stop thrills and unforgettable acts. Tickets are $30-$80.
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 September is “Winding Down.” Summer is winding down, but the gardens and plants are still growing strong. Get your camera and search for signs that fall is coming while summer is still hanging on. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Bird Nerds on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM. Kids can join this fun new series all about birds and meet other birding kids! Each month, participants will cover some birding basics and head out on the trails to look for birds and use field guides, binoculars, and birding apps to hone identification skills. Binoculars will be provided. The cost is $7 per child, and pre-registration is required. This activity is suitable for children ages 8-13.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) brings back Discovery Weekends on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Explore the Arboretum’s gardens and grounds as autumn brings amazing changes! Drop by the Stackhouse Education Center on Saturdays and Sundays 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, a clue to follow, a mystery to solve, a chance to create, and always an engaging nature activity. Each weekend is a new discovery!
Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host Grandparents Day on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Visit the library with your grandparents and get a sweet treat.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Antique Tractor and Engine Day on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Visit Fosterfields to learn about how the combustion engine changed farms and communities a century ago. See antique tractors, automobiles, and stationary engines in action and understand how they run! The cost is $10 per person for this all-ages event.
Field Station: Dinosaurs is back for another season at Overpeck Park (3 Overpeck Driveway, Leonia). The attraction is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM through November 12. 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 the fearless dinosaur wranglers and come face to face with The Mighty T-Rex. This Saturday, join paleontologists from Elevation Science Institute who will share discoveries from recent paleo-digs. Bring your dinosaur questions and find out what it takes to go on fossil digs. This event is free with Day Pass Admission.
NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark) will present Bluey’s Big Play on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Bring the whole family to see Bluey, live on stage! Bluey’s Big Play is the brand-new theatrical adaptation of the Emmy® Award-winning children’s television series. Join the Heelers in their first live theater show made just for you. Featuring brilliantly created puppets and new songs, this is Bluey as you’ve never seen it before, brought to real life. Bluey’s Big Play is presented by BBC Studios and Andrew Kay in association with Windmill Theatre Co. Tickets are $25-$65.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Family Nature Stroll on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Bring the whole family out on this guided hike to learn about the wildlife along the trails of the GSOEC. There’s always something new to discover, no matter the season! This activity is suitable for all ages and is free, but registration is required.
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 3-11. Children 2 and under are free.
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 on 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.
Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) will host Spark!Lab on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Spark!Lab will be closed on Sunday for the Labor Day holiday. 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.
Turtleback Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wonders of the Wild on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Turtle Back Zoo is an amazing classroom! The Wonders of the Wild program offers students an opportunity to participate in supplementary science and nature-themed programs and projects that facilitate scientific literacy and life-long environmental stewardship. This week’s theme is Tyrannical Terrain. This activity is for children ages 6-12. The cost is $30 per person.
Montclair Jazz Festival 2023 Downtown Jamboree will be held on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Lackawanna Plaza (Montclair). 8 hours of live music, curated selection of food and merchandise, and fun for the whole family. The festival will take to the streets of downtown Montclair to support the vibrant main business district. Bloomfield Avenue will be closed to traffic at Grove St. to Midland Ave.
New Jersey Botanical Garden will host Fall Wildflower Walk on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Join the Wildflower Team to check out the magical sights and sounds of fall in the woodlands of the Wildflower Garden! Wear sturdy shoes, meet at the Carriage House. The cost for this activity is $5 per person, and children under 12 are free.
Turtleback Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Family Nature Club: Nature Guardian Salamander Sunday on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Family Nature Club (FNC) is all about discovering the world and playing WITH nature, not just IN nature. Experience the sounds, smells, and sights of the outdoors with FNC as we explore the natural heritage within Essex County’s parks. The cost for this activity is $5 per person, and it is best suited for children ages six and up.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Dashing Dragonflies for Littles on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The late summer is a perfect time to look for dragonflies at the Great Swamp. Bring your little one to learn all about these fast-flying insects with a fun activity and a walk on our trails. This activity is for ages 2-5, and the cost is $7 per child. Registration is required.
Durand-Hedden House & Garden (523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood) will host Welcome Autumn with Apple Cider-Making in Old Maplewood on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Join Durand-Hedden as they kick off the season on Apple cider was the drink of choice for 18th and 19th century residents of this area. History enthusiast Tom Vilardi will take participants back to a time when Maplewood (then called Jefferson Village) was a small farming community where fertile apple groves and cider-making marked the change in seasons. Visitors of all ages can watch cider being made with our antique cider press. View our local history exhibits, Obadiah Hedden’s Farm 1800 and Apple Cider-making in Old Maplewood. The house and country store will be open, and the event is free.