Weekend Family Highlights: Kwanzaa Festival, The Polar Express and More

BY  |  Friday, Dec 16, 2016 9:00am

The weekend is here! We’ve rounded up some fun and family-friendly things to do in the area. Enjoy!


Friday is Family and Friends Day for the Cherry Blossoms in Winter project in Branch Brook Park (Branch Brook Park, Newark). From 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, enjoy this multimedia public art installation which includes the work of local school children and teachers, Arts & Sciences undergraduates and faculty from across Rutgers University, artists of Newark, and others. The trees will be part of the exhibit, sound boxes will be used to send out songs and poetry recordings, and other literary and musical events will be on display.


NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark) invites you to celebrate the Nguzo Saba at their 18th annual Kwanzaa children’s festival and marketplace, featuring an Arts and Crafts Village and music and dancing. Admission is free! Explore the rhythms and culture of the African tradition. The celebration begins at 12:00 PM.

On Saturday, Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host their monthly Family Art Adventure from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Explore and discuss artwork and participate in a hands-on project in the studio. This activity is for children ages 6-12 and their adult companions. Reservations are not required. Cost is $18 per family for non-members and $6 per family for members.


Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, NYC) will present Puppetkabob: The Snowflake Man on Saturday at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The story is inspired by Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, the first person to photograph a single snow crystal. It combines art, science, and history for a look at 1920s life told through marionettes. Expected run time is 60 minutes and tickets are $17 ($14 for members).

polar-expressCenter Cinemas at The William Carlos Williams Center for the Performing Arts (1 Williams Plaza, Rutherford) will present a special screening of The Polar Express on Saturday at 11:00 AM. This modern holiday classic starring Tom Hanks is rated G. Advance tickets are $8. Later on Saturday, enjoy Family Stories with Arts & Crafts at 7:00 PM, a free community arts event.

Also on Sunday, stop by Montclair Art Museum for Drop-In Studio between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. The new Helen & Bill Geyer Art Studio will be stocked with a range of art materials to explore with a seasoned MAM studio instructor. This is free for members and included in Museum admission for non-members.

If you’re looking for more holiday related activities for the family, check out our article from earlier in the week with events throughout the month.

For more upcoming events, check out the family friendly events, showcased in green, on Baristanet Calendar.

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And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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