Weekend Family Fun: Fall Festivals, Pajama Walk, Great Glass Elevator, Hansel and Gretel


Welcome to the weekend! Looking for some fun and family-friendly things to do? We’ve got you covered. Check out these events happening in our area!

This weekend and next, Studio Players (14 Alvin Place, Upper Montclair) will present Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, based on the book by Roald Dahl. In this sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket pick up the story right where it ended… in the sky in a Glass Elevator. Chaos ensues as astronauts, a pompous head-of-state, and even space aliens challenge the gang’s return to the Chocolate Factory. Performances will be held on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM. Tickets are $10.

The Essex County Environmental Center’s 14th Annual Fall Family Festival will be held on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Celebrate the autumn equinox with fun-filled activities for the entire family including hands-on nature games and crafts, canoeing, Native American life, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, food, and more. This event is free; however, some items may be for sale.

Makerfest at the Newark Museum will be held on Saturday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This Museum-wide event brings together tinkers and techies, educators and engineers, and everyone in between in a showcase of the local maker community. Featured exhibitors include Fern & Fossil (build your own mini terrarium), Maplewood Shop (learn woodworking with hand tools), I’m So Yoga, Girls on Bikes (decorate your own bicycle helmet), and many more. This event is included with Museum admission ($15/adults, $8/children, seniors and teachers, free for kids 2 and under, Newark residents, and Museum Members).

The Township of Montclair Recreation Department will be hosting a Fall Festival at Edgemont Park in Montclair on Saturday, from 1pm-4pm. The Fall Festival will feature a variety of fun activities for all ages! The Duck Derby will launch at 3pm with “adoptions” available till 2:45.

On Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m., Opera Theatre of Montclair presents its fifth full mainstage production, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. This fully-staged, costumed production will be sung in an English translation (from the original German). The show will run approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes with two short intermissions. The 22-piece orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Elizabeth Hastings. Performances will take place in Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair Center.

The Bergen County Fall Harvest Festival will be held this weekend fat Van Saun County Park (216 Forest Avenue, Paramus) on Friday from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Attendees can enjoy food, rides, games, entertainment, farmers market, animals, music, pumpkin picking, and more. There will be fireworks on Friday evening. Admission and parking are free.

The Third Annual Pajama Walk and Family Festival will be held on Saturday at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park (555 12th Avenue between W. 43rd and W. 44th Streets, NYC). Pajama Program believes every child has the right to a loving bedtime routine: Good nights for good days for all children everywhere. Proceeds from the Walk will support Pajama Program’s mission and children affected by instability. To date, Pajama Program has collected and distributed over 6 million pajamas and story books. Join in for a day of fun, food, music and laughter, with a special appearance by Laurie Berkner, children’s musician and picture book author. Cost is $25 per adult and free for kids 18 and under. The Walk begins at 10:30 AM (check in at 10:00 AM), followed by the Festival from 11:15 AM to 2:30 PM. Be sure to wear your pajamas!

Barnes & Noble at Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring I Am Neil Armstrong on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Learn about Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, in this fun picture book that focuses on the traits that make our heroes great. 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.

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 “Leaves!” 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 Paper or Felt Owl 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.

Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host Squeaky Clean: Soap Making on Saturday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. One of women’s responsibilities throughout history was to prepare the home for winter. Harvest tie is a time of plenty, but it is followed by lean times, meaning that budgets must be prepared, and supplies must be put aside to sustain the family through the winter months. Learn what was done to get ready and create a soap-making craft. Cost is $5 per adult, $4 per senior, $3 per child age 4-16, and free for children under age 4.

Also on Saturday, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will host Meet the Servants at The Willows at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. During a special hands-on guided tour, learn about the domestic help at the Foster home, The Willows, during the WWI era. Help the maid with some household chores and assist in the preparation of historic foods for the cook to bake in the wood-burning cook stove. Cost is $6 per adult, $5 per senior, $4 per child age 4-16, $2 per child age 2-3, and free for children under 2.

On both Saturday and Sunday, Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Family 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 September’s theme is “Mellow Yellow” Cost is $10 per family; cash only. Exact change requested.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will present Save Those Seeds on Sunday from 2:00 PM to 2:45 PM. As the growing season ends, help collect seeds from plants in the garden to sow next spring. Cost is $6 per adult, $5 per senior, $4 per child age 4-16, $2 per child age 2-3, and free for children under 2.

Also on Sunday, Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host Upcycle Sunday: Cardboard Cell Phone Holder from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Get the most out of your things by upcycling cardboard into cell phone holders. Cost is $5 per adult, $4 per senior, $3 per child age 4-16, and free for children under age 4.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host its Sunday Drop-In Studio. Drop by MAM’s Helen & Bill Geyer Art Studio to explore a range of art materials and processes based on artwork on view in the galleries. Open-ended activities are designed to spark creativity in artists of all ages and abilities with seasoned MAM studio instructors standing by to provide hands-on assistance and technical advice. Reservations are not required and visitors of all ages are welcome! This event is free for members and included in museum admission for non-members.

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. September’s theme is Future Figures. Dive into artist Chitra Ganesh’s fantastical exhibitions Face of the Future and The Scorpion Gesture by creating a poster of movable, futuristic figures. Ganesh reimagines how science fiction, mythology, and storytelling intersect. Inspired by the artist’s brilliant color palette and graphic animation style, bring to life the characters in your imagination by animating them with movable joints.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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