Weekend Family Fun: Maplewoodstock, Puppet Time, Ice Cream and More!

Happy weekend! If you’re looking for something fun and family-friendly to do nearby, check out some of these local events!

Pixie Dust Players will present A Year with Frog and Toad at the Union County Performing Arts Center (360 Hamilton Street, Rahway) this Friday and Saturday. This whimsical show follows two great friends – the cheerful, popular Frog, and the rather grumpy Toad – through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding and learn life lessons along the way. Throughout the year, two best friends celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special. Tickets are $12 each. Performances are on Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM.

Montclair Public Library’s Bellevue Branch (185 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair) will host Puppet Time Presents: “A Knight’s Tail” and its sequel, “The Princess and the Dragon” on Saturday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Enjoy a puppet show by Montclair’s own Cordelia Siporin and Jonathan McDevitt of the Bellevue Avenue Branch Friends. Colorful characters, chaos, and fun for the whole family with a simple home-spun feel and a Muppet-inspired sense of humor, this event is enjoyable for all ages. Registration is required by visiting the website.

The Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Butterfly Tent Safari on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Flutter on over and visit the live butterfly tent. All are welcome to make-and-take a butterfly craft and participate in table activities. Cost is a suggested donation of $2 per person.

From 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM, the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will also host The Very Hungry Caterpillar for children ages 3 to 5. Come dressed for a butterfly parade around the trails and learn about a day in the life of the monarch. Participants will also check out food sources for other caterpillars and butterflies. The program includes entry into the live butterfly tent. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants are required. Call 973-228-8776 to register. Cost is $10 per child.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Celebrating The Lion King on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Revisit the beloved story of The Lion King before it hits theaters with two books that capture the magic of the classic movie. Also receive a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Also on Saturday, Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host LEGO Event Featuring Harry Potter. Calling all Harry Potter fans! Join us for a special LEGO event and build a golden snitch to take home. Plus, get a coupon for a $1 M&M Blondie Blast.

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts will host Ice’d Cream Family Fun Day on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Join METC on the front lawn for a free day of family fun focused on all things sweet. Historian Deborah Peterson will demonstrate who to make colonial “ice’d creams.” Visitors will have a chance to sample both colonial and modern flavors. Family-friendly entertainment for the day will be provided by the performers of Step Right Up and the band, Cracked Walnuts. There will be lots of other games and activities. Registration is recommended.

Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host Speedwell Goes…Victorian (1830’s) on Saturday 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Explore the hidden histories of Stephen Vail, former owner and resident of Historic Speedwell. Taste food prepared on the hearth and try on period fashion. Cost is $10 per person. Preregistration is required by calling 973-285-6550.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will host Making Hay on Saturday at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. ‘Hay’ there! Weather permitting, watch the farmers “make hay while the sun shines.” 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.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will also host Caroline’s Special Place: Cottage Garden on Saturday from 1:45 PM to 2:30 PM. Caroline Foster was an avid gardener. Take a walk through the Cottage garden she once tended and enjoy its colorful flowers. Create a family-friendly craft to take home.

Cooper Gristmill (66 Route 24, Chester Twp) will host Sail, Sail Your Boat on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Decorate toy boats and sail them in the tailrace. Children must be accompanied by an adult and wear close-toed shoes – no bare feet! Boats may be purchased for $10, borrowed, or bring your own.

Maplewoodstock will be held this weekend at Memorial Park (Valley Street, Maplewood) from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be a variety of vendors of art, collectibles, crafts, clothes and more, musicians, and food vendors. There will be a Kid Zone featuring bouncy rides, face painting, arts and crafts, ice cream, and more. This event is free.

On Saturday and Sunday (and the rest of the week too until October!), Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host a Family Photo Scavenger Hunt from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. 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.  Cost is $10 per family at the door.

The Where’s Waldo Watchung Plaza Scavenger Hunt will run the entire month of July in Watchung Plaza (Montclair). Visit 20 stores in Watchung Plaza and find Waldo. Spend one afternoon on the challenge or visit each store on different days.

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area (472 Boonton Avenue, Montville Twp) will host Who Lives in the Stream for ages 7 and up on Sunday from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM. The stream is alive with aquatic insects. Search for these macroinvertebrates and learn about their interesting life cycles and habitats. Wear boots or water shoes and old clothes. Cost is $5 per person and preregistration is required by calling 973-334-3130.

On Sunday, Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons will host Baby & Me Storytime Featuring Busy Bee: Copy Cat Peekaboo. This event is for and children 0-24 months old and their caregivers. A book will be read, and attendees will be invited to participate in activities featuring sensory growth for the little ones. Plus, get a free Starbucks tall coffee (hot or iced).

Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Play With Your Food for ages 5 and up on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Learn how to make both music and musical instruments from carrots, radishes, zucchini, and more. Be prepared to get messy. Cost is $5 per person and preregistration is required by calling 973-326-7601.

Also on Sunday, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp.) will host Advances in Agriculture from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Since the founding of our nation, agriculture has been at the center of prosperity and innovation. Visit the Upper Barn and check out the collection of historic tools and agricultural vehicles. Learn the history of equipment such as plows and harvesters. 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.

Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) will host SS Savannah: Spode to Home on Sunday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Learn about Spode porcelain that was brought back for the Vails from England and paint your own ceramic masterpieces. Cost is $5 per adult, $4 per senior, $3 per child age 4-16, and free for children under age 4.

The Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT) will present Nutcracker in July on Sunday at The Asbury Park Carousel Building (700 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park). The event will feature dynamic, high-energy excerpts from The Nutcracker Rocks (December) and Alice in Wonderland (August) performed by AXCBT dance professionals as well as dance students from Monmouth County and beyond. Dance students ages 10-15 are invited to a free contemporary dance class at 1:00 PM. The event will conclude with the audience dancing in the party scene. Performances will be at 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

Nature Adventurers, presented by Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, will be held on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at South Mountain Reservoir (9 Cherry Lane, West Orange). Play and learn together in nature as a family with TBZ’s new nature club, Nature Adventurers! Bring the entire family and join Zoo educators as they explore local habitats to learn about native wildlife and play with nature, not just in nature. July’s trip will take you to the beginning of Tulip Springs Trail exploring the creek and small waterfall that begins just below the Reservoir. There’s something for everybody- teens and adults are invited and encouraged to join in the fun, not just little ones! Cost is $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased online.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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