Weekend Family Fun: Bye Bye Birdie, Matilda the Musical, Harborside Kids Fest

Three cheers for the weekend! Now it’s time for some family fun everyone can enjoy. We’ve rounded up some events in the area to help you spend your time. Check ‘em out!

Summit Playhouse (10 New England Avenue, Summit) will present Bye Bye Birdie this on Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Put on a Happy Face! It’s the 1960s, Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie is the talk of the town, and All-American girl Kim MacAfee is chosen for a very public farewell kiss before his departure. Kids, parents, and show biz people hilariously collide as Sweet Apple, Ohio prepares for the big event. With two Broadway runs and a hit motion picture, this classic musical is a fun time for the whole family. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children and students.

Catch Little Shop of Horrors this weekend at Union County Performing Arts Center’s Hamilton Stage (360 Hamilton Street, Rahway). Valencia School of Music’s Broadway Westfield Summer Program is very excited to present Little Shop of Horrors. Based on the B-horror movie of the same name, Little Shop of Horrors is a fun and eccentric show with music from the Doo-Wop era that will you’re your toes tapping for days! Performances will be held Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

At the UPAC Mainstage (1601 Irving Street, Rahway), enjoy one of four performances of Matilda Jr. the Musical. Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly lovable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts and could be the school pupils’ saving grace! Showtimes are Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM, and Sunday at 5:00 PM. Tickets are $25-$35.

On Friday and Saturday (8 p.m.), The Charles Seller Foundation and Talent Time Players present Shrek The Musical! Tickets will be available at the door: $12 for Students/Seniors/Military and $15 General Admission.

Atrium in Harborside (210 Hudson Street, Jersey City) will host the first Harborside Kids Fest on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. This free, family-friendly event offers sweet treats, contests, and demos from a dozen local vendors. Kids under 12 also ride free on all NY Waterway ferries through Labor Day.

On Saturday morning, Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Buzzfest from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Have you ever wondered how honey goes from hive to jar? Come join our local beekeeper as he extracts honey from a real hive! You’ll even get a sample taste. We’ll have crafts, games, an observation hive and more. Learn about bees, their current challenges, and how we can help. Advance registration and minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776. Cost is $5 per person for ages 2 and up.

Barnes & Noble at Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring Cece Loves Science on Saturday at 11:00 AM. In this STEM-themed picture book, Cece and her best friend Isaac team up for a school science project to discover if dogs really do like vegetables. Stop in for storytime and get a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4! Activities to follow. Later, at 2:00 PM, join in on the LEGO Harry Potter Event! Build a mini Hogwarts Express train to take home with you, while supplies last.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Discovery Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Make a discovery and enjoy a unique family experience for children age 5 and up. Drop by the Stackhouse Education Center for an interactive exploration of nature. This week’s topic is “Herbs!” Admission is free for RRA Members and $5 per child for nonmembers. There will also be free guided tours of the Arboretum every Saturday through October at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. No reservation is required but they are first come-first served, and group size is limited.

Also on Saturday, Michaels of Clifton (348 Route 3 West, Riverfront Center, Clifton) will host a Kids Club Kawaii Backpack Tags workshop from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Children between the ages of 3 and 8 can make a quick project. Sign up in store or online, or just drop in. Parent or guardian must remain on premises. Cost is $2 per child and includes supplies. A similar workshop is available for children ages 6 and up at the same time, with a cost of $5 per person.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will host Hitch a Ride! From 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM, enjoy a leisurely open-air wagon ride around the historic farm, and visit the animals, too! Cost is $6 per adult, $5 per senior (65+), $4 per child age 4-16, $2 per child age 2 & 3, and free for children under age 2.

Also on Saturday, Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The Vails lived at a time of great advancement, including in the kitchen. Experience this cooking demonstration as historic recipes are prepared on the open hearth and learn about some of the new recipes they may have enjoyed. Cost is $5 per adult, $4 per senior, $3 per child age 4-16, and free for children under age 4.

On both Saturday and Sunday, Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Summer Weekend Photo Scavenger Hunts. Families are welcome to participate any time between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Grab a camera or a phone and stop by the Hagerty Education Center for a nature photo scavenger hunt and win a prize. Scavenger lists change every month and August’s theme is “Do You See It?” Cost is $10 per family; cash only. Exact change requested.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum will also host Zucchini-palooza! on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. In honor of ‘National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day,’ celebrate this versatile vegetable with an afternoon of zucchini-themed fun. Enjoy Zucchini Car Races, Squash Toss Games, garden tours, and scavenger hunts. Cost is $2 per person.

On Sunday, Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host Scavenger Hunt Sunday: Industry and Invention from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Pick up a family backpack filled with activities to do in the National Landmark Factory Building. Cost is $5 per adult, $4 per senior (65+), $3 per child age 4-16, and free for children under age 4.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will host Wash and Wear Sheep on Sunday at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. Get wet and sudsy while helping the farmers wash the lambs that were born in the spring. Cost is $6 per adult, $5 per senior, $4 per child age 4-16, $2 per child age 2 and 3, and free for children under age 2.

Axelrod Performing Arts Center (100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park) will present Disney’s High School Musical On Stage! on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Based on the smash Disney Channel Original Movie, Disney’s High School Musical tells the story of the students at East High singing and dancing to an infection pop score. A popular high school basketball star and a shy, brainy transfer student discover they share a secret passion for musical theater. Tickets are $28 for adults, $26 for seniors, and $20 for students.

Sundays are for families at the Rubin Museum (150 West 17th Street, NYC). Drop into the Education Center between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM for some art-making, enjoy the 2:00 PM family exhibition tour, and go on your own thematic gallery search. August’s theme is Togetherness Tapestry. Stitch together the pieces to your future! August Family Sundays honor the Shoton Festival (Yogurt Festival) in Lhasa, Tibet, during which thousands of people gather to unveil larger-than-life thangka of the Buddha Shakyamuni. Lend a hand stitching a collaborative tapestry and embrace creativity with community.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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