Weekend Family Fun: Chocolate, Frozen, Amber Brown and More!


The weekend is here! If you’re looking for some family-friendly fun, check out these events happening in and around the area!

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will continue its 2018-19 season with performances of Liz Joyce and Couple of Puppets: The Doubtful Sprout on Saturday at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Get ready to explore the world under your feet in this underground puppet adventure. Tunnel down with Worm and Sprout as they discover the mysterious life found in soil. Puppeteer Liz Joyce brings this ecological wonderland to life with several styles of puppets, projections and song. Tickets are $14 for Members and $17 for Non-Members.

Every Saturday, the Newark Museum (49 Washington Street) will host its Family Gallery program. February’s theme is Heritage and Identity. Our community, environment and cultural celebrations define us as well as our families and friends who fill us with joy and wonder. Drop in anytime between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. On both Saturday and Sunday, enjoy self-guided weekend family programs. There are three Gallery guides, Red, Yellow, and Blue, developed to encourage 3-5-year olds and their families to discover together and encourage observation and conversation. These guides are available at the front desk from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Finally, on both days, enjoy the MakerSPACE Drop-in Programs from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Inspired by the Museum’s collections and special events, monthly themes are designed for visitors of all ages to drop in and experiment with the tools and materials of artists. Get messy with clay and paint and found materials. Get creative with blocks and digital computer tools.  All of these programs are included in the price of admission.

Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host “Era Uma Vez, na Biblioteca”: Storytime in Portuguese on Saturday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the main library auditorium. “Era Uma Vez, na Biblioteca” (Once Upon a Time, at the Library) welcomes all families to be part of this experience of storytelling in Portuguese. The program will be run in Portuguese, and is oriented towards families with children from newborns to 9-year-olds. The stories will be interwoven with little songs and rhymes, all in Portuguese. The storyteller, Ana Cristina Coura, is an educator with a background in psychology who has taught children in Brazil for many years, and worked as an art educator (for a nonprofit in N.Y.C.) for a few years before moving to Montclair with her husband and children. This program is suitable for children up to 9 years old. No registration is required.

Barnes & Noble at Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring All You Need Is Love on Saturday at 11:00 AM In this book, the beloved song “All You Need Is Love” comes vividly to life, showing that if we follow the music we will see there is indeed love all around us. Stop in for storytime, activities, stickers and a craft and get a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4! Activities to follow.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) will present Morgan’s Journey on Saturday at 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM in the Bickford Theatre. A piece of interactive theatrical magic that has become the longest-running touring play in Canadian history! From the moment of his birth, we follow Morgan on an intriguing journey of discovery, learning valuable lessons along the way about love, friendship, and the true meaning of happiness. Tickets are $10 for members and $12 for non-members.

Saturday is also the Museum’s Chocolate Family Fun Day, with events from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Enjoy the Showcase of Chocolate featuring vendors, presentations by Susan Fine including A Chocolate Tasting and A History of Chocolate, craft making, and a hands-on exploration of different musical instruments (10:00 AM to 2:00 PM). Family Fun Day is included in Museum admission which is free for members and $7 per child/$10 per adult for non-members. Combo tickets for the theatre performance and museum are available.

Morris County Parks Commission will host Nature Detectives at Pyramid Mountain (472 Boonton Avenue, Montville Twp) on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Put on your detective cap and head out on the trails to search for animal signs and solve the mysteries of Pyramid Mountain. Preregistration is required by calling 973-334-3130. Cost is $1 per person per session for ages 3 and up.

The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will host John Henry on Friday at 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 PM. Based on the traditional American folk-ballad about the “steel driving man,” John Henry blends music, history and storytelling to tell the tale of the first African American folk-hero. Young Jayjay and his best friend Grace are the children of railroad workers, and live in a camp in the Allegheny Mountains, just after the Civil War. When their fathers’ jobs are threatened by the invention of a steam drill, Jayjay’s dad challenges it by proposing a race though the mountain to prove a man can work better and faster than a machine. The race is on, but when John Henry’s conquest ends in sudden tragedy, Jayjay must find a way to honor his father’s legacy, while still being true to himself. Despite setbacks, and with the help of his friends and family, he finds a way to go forward and to take his place in the burgeoning industrial world. This event is recommended for ages 7 and up. Tickets are $18.

State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will continue its Milk & Cookies series with Tahira this Saturday at 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. By popular demand, TAHIRA returns to the State Theatre with her entertaining songs and stories. Drawing from the African and African American folklore tradition as well as her own lively imagination, she enthralls and delights audiences of all ages. Milk & Cookies is a lively, interactive storytelling and music series for families. This program is the perfect way to introduce young children to live theater. Tickets are $3.

On Saturday and Sunday, Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host a Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Grab a camera or phone and stop by the Haggerty Education Center for a nature photo scavenger hunt. Visitors can pick up the list, head outside and shoot away. Take a picture of every item, return to the Education Center and pick up your prize. Lists change monthly. January’s theme is “Love Is in the Air.” Cost is $10 per family at the door.

This weekend, Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park) will present The Jungle Book. This new ballet is based on Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories about a boy adopted and raised by wolves fulfilling his quest for identity, love and belonging. The Jungle Book features contemporary and classical Indian dance. Performances are on Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Tickets start at $26.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) will host Maple Sugaring Demonstrations from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM and then from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Learn to identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and make syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. Taste-test different delicious syrups, including syrup made right at the Great Swamp OEC. Preregistration is not required, but seating is first come, first served. Cost is $3 per person per session for ages 3 and up.

South Orange Performing Arts Center (1 SOPAC Way, South Orange) will present Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon on Sunday at 10:00 AM. Amber Brown is having what may be the worst year of her life. She and Justin Daniels were the perfect team: they laughed at each other’s jokes, sat next to each other in class, and stayed best friends when Justin’s dad had to move away. But now things are different. Now, Justin’s house has been sold and he is going to Alabama; that’s too far from New Jersey to think about. Tickets are $18. Recommended for ages 4-9.

On Sunday, Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Games and Gardens: Family Garden Game Day from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Shake that cabin fever. Play Garden-opoly, Plant Scrabble, Life-Sized Chess, and Garden Bingo Challenge to win prizes. Enjoy popcorn and other seasonal snacks. Cost is $3 per person.

Also on Sunday, State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will present Frozen Sing-Along at 3:00 PM. Sing-along with the whole family and your friends Anna, Elsa, and Olaf! Watch this Disney favorite now with the songs’ lyrics on the big screen. Sing-along to “Let It Go,” Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” and more. Accompanied by mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven, Anna sets off on an epic journey to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like extremes, mystical creatures, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. Tickets are $10.

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.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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  1. Tonight is a good night to be out stargazing. Clear skies, a fabulous 14% crescent phase Moon hanging softly over the WSW horizon. Earthshine glowing brightly. Earthshine is when we see the nighttime side of the Moon alongside the illuminated crescent, this happens due to sunlight reflecting off Earth and onto the night side of the Moon.

    During the winter months, Earth’s nighttime sky is orientated away from the center of the galaxy, facing the outer edge of our galactic hemisphere. At this vantage point, only the Perseus Arm of the galaxy is visible, silhouetted against dark space beyond. This gives us a significantly dimmer view of the Milky Way in the winter months, a view that is rather featureless (at first glance) than the summertime view.

    For those of you who are obsessed with that summertime view of the Milky Way galactic nucleus, you can catch an early morning preview right now. Set out about 2 hours before sunrise and look to the SE to catch a view of the galactic nucleus rising with pre-dawn.

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