Weekend Family Fun: Elf, Willy Wonka, Holiday Lights and Wizard of Oz

Happy weekend! If you’re wondering what to do, we’ve got you covered with plenty of family fun! Check out this week’s roundup of activities in the area.

This weekend, Gaslamp Players will present Willy Wonka Jr. at Ridgewood Avenue School (235 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge). In this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book, this musical will include songs from the 1971 film as well as fun new songs. Join Charlie Bucket as he takes a tour of the Chocolate Factory with his grandfather and a group of other golden ticket winners. Performances are Friday at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM, and Sunday at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $10-$12 for adults and $5-$8 for children, students, and seniors.

Beginning this weekend, the Holiday Lights Spectacular is back at Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange). From 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, take a winter stroll through the Zoo under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters. There will be a Meet & Greet with Mrs. Claus, with the option to purchase professional photos. The Spectacular will be open next weekend as well at the same times, and then nightly from December 7 through December 31 (closed December 24 and December 25). Admission is free, but a donation of non-perishable food items, new toys, or gently used coats is requested.

Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Montclair) will host Saturday Morning Story Time on Saturday at 10:30 AM. This week’s book is I Am Not A Fox by Karina Wolf. A curious creature that looks like a fox but acts like a dog sets out to find where he belongs in this charming tale of self-discovery and friendship perfect for fans of Gaston and Not Quite Narwhal.

Newark Museum (49 Washington Street) will host its Creative Play Program on Saturday at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. This early childhood drop-in program will be held every first and third Saturday of the month. Join in to explore art and creativity. This Saturday’s theme is Line. All lines lead to the Newark Museum! Explore the way lines connect, travel, and intertwine with each other. Reservations are suggested by calling 973.596.6672. Every Saturday, the Museum will host its Family Drop-Ins program. November’s theme is Architecture. Our environment, cityscapes, and landscapes fill us with limitless beauty and wonder, and it is all built using shapes to create interiors and exteriors. Drop in anytime between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM.   Both of these programs are included in the price of admission.

On Saturday at 11:00 AM, Kolo Klub (1422 Grand Street, Hoboken) will host the Monster’s Ball CD Release Party. Michael and the Rockness Monsters new album, Monster’s Ball, is a party album rich with themes of celebration, inclusion, and accessibility. The diverse collection not only captures the live spirit of this super energetic band but also the love and care they have for the families they have performed for over the past 10 years. Celebrate with the band at this fun event where there will also be face painting, a balloon artist, a hula hoop master and special guests. Tickets are $10.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will continue its 2018-19 season with Moona Luna on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Join a joyous sing-along with the Brooklyn-based kindie group. Staying true to their bilingual mission, most songs are in English and Spanish. Tickets are $14 for Members and $17 for Non-Members.

On Saturday at On Stage At Kingsborough (2001 Oriental Blvd, Brooklyn), from the award-winning Vital Theatre Company comes an enchanting adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Rediscover the joy of following the yellow brick road with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and munchkin puppets, as they travel through Oz. This one-hour adaptation of the classic work will delight children of all ages, and they will have the opportunity to meet the cast after the show! Tickets are $13.

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 “Wild Turkeys!” Admission is free for RRA Members and $5 per child for nonmembers.

Barnes & Noble at Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring Bear Says Thanks on Saturday at 11:00 AM. What better way for Bear to say thanks than to have a big dinner with all his friends! Activities to follow.

On Saturday at 2:00 PM, South Orange Performing Arts Center (One SOPAC Way, South Orange) will present Pinocchio. The beloved story of a wooden boy carved from the loving hands of his “Mother,” Dame Gina Gepetto, is brought to live as only The Panto Company can. Join Pinocchio on an adventure full of magic and wonder as he sings and dances his way to becoming a real boy. He’ll experience Stromboli’s travelling show, Pleasure Island, the inside of a whale’s mouth with his companions, the Blue Fairy and Jimmini Cricket among many others. This show is recommended for children ages 4-10. Tickets are $20.

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 periodically, and the current theme is “Scarecrows.” Cost is $10 per family; cash only. Exact change requested.

On Sunday, join the Rock ‘n Roll Geology Hike at Pyramid Mountain (472 Boonton Avenue, Montville Twp.; Intersection of Mars Court and Boonton Avenue) from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM. Enjoy a guided hike and learn why Pyramid Mountain really ‘rocks.’ This hike is rated Moderate and is for ages 7 and up. Cost is $1 per person. Preregistration is required by calling 973.334.3130.

On Sunday, Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown) will present Elf the Musical at 7:00 PM. Based on the movie, Elf the Musical, is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf! Tickets are $59-$99.

Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd Street, NYC) will host its monthly Kids n’ Comedy Show on Sunday at 1:00 PM. It’s Thanksgiving, and that means being thankful for everything good in your life. Pilgrims, turkey, and long overbearing family dinners. What could be worse? Watch kid comedians give their personal guidance in surviving this wonderfully painful holiday, and how best to enjoy the food! Comedians are aged 11-18. Tickets are $18.

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.

Family Sundays continue 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. November’s theme is Whimsical Warlis and Radiant Rangolis. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil as depicted in the Hindu epi Ramayana. To symbolize a new beginning as Diwali approaches, people use rice flour to paint beautiful designs on the outside of their homes. Learn more about traditional Diwali activities by making art with rice flower.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.