Kids Off For Teacher Convention? Minicamps and Activities!

The NJEA Teacher’s Convention is coming up on November 7th and 8th, and that means it’s time to line up some activities. These local minicamps are still accepting registration, but for many, spots are filling fast.

The YMCA of Montclair (25 Park Street, Montclair or Bullock School, Washington Street, Montclair) will offer its Staycation School Vacation Program from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM both Thursday and Friday. This program is for children in grades 1 through 7. Children can participate in art, games, outside time, reading and free time. Registration is required by 2:00 PM on the day prior. The per-day cost is $65 for Family Members, $75 for Youth Members, and $85 for Community. Registration is required an is available up to the day before the program. Choose one day or two.

SafeSplash Swim School in Cedar Grove has a Teacher’s Convention Open Swim on Thursday. Your kids can warm up in a 90-degree pool and get some exercise in the process! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is limited; register here.

Montclair Learning Center (360 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) will offer STEM Minicamps on both Thursday and Friday for children in grades 1 through 8, as well as one for Little Engineers. Choose from morning only (9:00 AM -12:00 PM), afternoon only (12:00 PM -3:00 PM), or a full day (9:00 AM -3:00 PM). Cost is $40 per half day or $80 per full day. After Care is available from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM for an additional $15 per day.

Camp Caldwell at the Caldwell Community Center (1 Provost Square, Caldwell) will offer Mini-Camps for children ages 4 to 12 on both Thursday and Friday from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. A typical day includes swimming, indoor and outdoor activities (weather permitting), and arts & crafts. Per day cost is $80 per child for members and $120 per child for non-members. Registration required by Saturday, 11/2 for Thursday and Sunday, 11/3 for Friday.

South Mountain YMCA (13 Jefferson Avenue, Maplewood) will also offer Vacation Camp for children in Kindergarten through 5th grades. The program runs from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Member fee is $88 per child and community fee is $120 per child. Advance registration is required. See website for locations.

Express Yourself Studios (1877 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood) will offer School Break Mini-Camps both Thursday and Friday for children ages 4-10 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Participants will create paintings inspired by Master Artists using a mix of mediums (acrylics, watercolor, and pastels) and other projects using a myriad of materials (clay & paper collages). All materials included, 3-hours of studio time, $90 per child for two days, $50 per child for one day only, or $45 per child per day if registering 2 or more children. Registration is required and closes on 11/1.


The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (9 Main Street, Madison) will host a Teachers’ Convention Mini Camp: A Day in the Life on Thursday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Time travel back to the 1800s and experience a child’s daily life by trying your hand at making butter, simple weaving, making a toy and more! Cost is $10 per child for members and $12 per child for non-members. This activity is suitable for children in 1st through 5th grades. Registration is required and can be completed online.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) will host Vacation Day Workshops on Thursday and Friday. From 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, children can enjoy two days of fun at the Museum. On Thursday, they can create a paper handprint owl for the fall season. On Friday, they can make and personalize their own photo frame. These workshops are free with Museum admission. On Friday at 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM, Hampstead Stage Company will present Oliver Twist in the Bickford Theatre. This Dickens Classic is about the young orphan, Oliver, who overcomes great hardships in Victorian London. It is a coming of age tale about survival and friendship. Tickets are $10 for Museum Members and $15 for Non-Members. Make a fun craft each day and enjoy science demonstrations in BASF’s Kids Lab each day from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

Montclair History Center will host Breakfast on the Hearth on Friday from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Crane House & Historic YWCA (110 Orange Road, Montclair). Kids will enjoy a fun time harvesting, chopping and stirring as they plan, cook and share breakfast from the hearth. Participants will learn about our cooking and agricultural past as they meet the chickens to collect eggs, harvest fresh herbs from the garden and pick fall veggies from the Montclair Community farm. Activities also include firing up the hearth fireplace, cooking with historically accurate implements, and discovering vintage recipes. This activity is for ages 9-15. Registration is required and closes on November 6. Cost is $75 per person.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host a Foul is Fabulous minicamp on Thursday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Explore some of the weirdest, oddest, and most bizarre features and behaviors of the animals from around the world and inside the zoo. This camp is for children ages 5-10. Cost is $85 per person per day. Fresh fruit or veggie snack will be provided.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host a Media Mashup Minicamp for ages 5-12. Paint, draw, collage, sculpt, print! Campers will explore a variety of materials and techniques to create their own original works of art, inspired by those on view in the galleries. Cost is $100 per day. Camps run from 9:30 Am to 3:00 PM.

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