Weekend Family Fun: Matilda, Sister City Day, Costume-Making and More

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The weekend is here! We’ve rounded up plenty of fun and family-friendly things to do around town and beyond. Check ’em out!

MATILDA The Musical will open on Friday evening at The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong). Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical is a captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Performances are Friday at 7:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 PM. The show will close October 20th. Tickets are $28 for adults, $18 for young people, and $22 for seniors.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will begin its season on Saturday with Oran Etkin’s Timbalooloo at 11:00 AM. Internationally acclaimed jazz musician Oran Etkin invites young children to join his band and explore the world of jazz. With loads of audience interaction including singing, clapping, dancing and drumming, children see instruments come to life and learn that making music means bringing their own character, humor and emotion along for the ride. Tickets are $14 for members and $17 for non-members.

Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Montclair) will host Saturday Morning Author/Illustrator Storytime with Reena Puri and her book Twinkle Twinkle, Diwali Lights on Saturday at 10:30 AM. This book is the perfect introduction to the celebration of Diwali. The unique illustrations capture the bright colors, twinkling lights, and glittery fireworks that are a part of this festive holiday. Learn about the traditions, foods, and festivities that surround the festival of lights.

Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Italian Heritage Sister City Day – Drop In Crafts. Join in for part of Italian Heritage Sister City Day and create Paper Pizzas (ages 2-5) and decide which mountain peak our Italian Mountain Climber will summit (ages 6-11). There will be two sessions: one from 10:15 AM to 12:15 PM and one from 2:15 PM to 4:15 PM. All ages are also welcome at the Italian Heritage Sister City Day: Storytime from 11:30 AM to 12:00 PM. Listen to Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona and other Italian-American favorites.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring A Night at the Bookstore: A Barnsie & Noble Adventure on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Barnsie loves living alone in the bookstore and quietly reading at night, but all that changes when noisy, messy Noble moves in. These two set off on adventures Barnsie never saw coming. Can these two find a way to get along? Activities to follow, plus, get a coupon for the Café for a $4 grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Newark Museum (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Creative Play on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Three- to five-year-olds and their caregivers enjoy a special time before the Museum opens to the public. Explore the Museum’s art and science collections through storytelling, song, playful activities and an art-making project. October’s theme is Color – Hop on Board the Color Train! Children will be introduced to, as well as reinforce, primary and secondary color. Utilizing the Museum’s comprehensive collection, explore the galleries with a culminating activity in a studio setting. From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, enjoy Design Thinking Drop-Ins. Inspired by the Museum’s collections and special events, month themes are designed for visitors of all ages to drop in and experiment with the tools and materials of artists. Stay as long as you’d like. October’s theme is Brainstorming with S.C.A.M.P.E.R.

Newark Museum will also host several activities weekly on Saturday and Sundays, from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM:

  • Family Drop-Ins – October’s theme is Mindfulness: Be Here Now! Author Ram Dass. In our fast-moving lives, we find a need to slow down and be in the moment. Let’s contemplate and create in a conscious and inspiring environment, the Newark Museum!
  • Imagination Station – Spark your creativity while thinking outside the box. Have fun while achieving the challenge.
  • Family Back Pack – A fun self-guided tour for the entire family! Utilize a spy glass, a timer and more, as well as prompts as your family interacts with great works of art to explore Community / Animals / People / Places!
  • Self-Guided Family Programs – These guides were developed to encourage three- to five-year-olds and their families to discover together. Designed to encourage observation and conversation, they are available free with Museum admission at the Front Desk and in the Education Lobby. Choose from the Red, Yellow and Blue Gallery Guides.

You can find information about all of the programs at the Newark Museum on their website.

Glen Ridge Free Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host a Spider Print Craft on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 12:00PM. Drop into the Children’s Area to make a spider print craft.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host a Parent/Child Costume Making Workshop on Saturday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Inspired by the artwork of exhibiting artist Virgil Ortiz, participants will design and create their own costume. Come prepared with your character idea and create an original costume using cardboard, fabric, yarn, paint and other materials Trick or Treat in style this year. Cost is $60 for members and $80 for nonmembers. Register at the website.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will host three separate events on Saturday.

  • Little Farm Friends: What’s Cooking on the Woodstove? will be held from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Listen to a story about the fall harvest and work together to create a healthy meal. This activity is for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Cost is $8 per child-parent pair, $45 for a set of 6 classes, $4 for each additional participating sibling. Preregistration is required by calling 973-661-5344.
  • Orchard Cooking will be held from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Fosterfields once had extensive apple, pear, and peach orchards. Learn about these heirloom fruit trees and watch as delicious dishes are prepared in the Farmhouse kitchen. 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 age 2.
  • The Time to Mourn will be held at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. Explore the unique death and mourning traditions of the Victorian period at the Foster family home, The Willows. Customs now considered strange influenced loved ones for months and years after the deceased had passed. This is appropriate for adults and mature children. 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 age 2.

Enjoy Awake at Night at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham Twp) on Saturday from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Hit the trails on a night hike and learn about nocturnal animals with a naturalist. Preregistration is required by calling 973.635.6629. Cost is $6 per person.

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area (472 Boonton Avenue, Montville Township) will host Bear Rock Hike on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM for children ages 7 and up. Enjoy a moderate hike to Bear Rock while learning about New Jersey’s black bears. Cost is $1 per person. Preregistration is required by calling 973.334.3130.

Cooper Gristmill (66 Route 24, Chester Twp) will host Grains in the Garden II on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Roll up your sleeves and harvest grains from the garden to prepare for winter. Compare the Gristmill’s garden with your own and learn about these heirloom plants. Cost is $5 per family. Preregistration is required by calling 908.879.5463.

Each weekend, Dimenna Children’s History Museum (170 Central Park West at 77th Street, NYC) makes available a History Detective Briefcase. Calling all history detectives! Check out a free (with museum admission) History Detective Briefcase from the Membership Desk and use it to explore the Luce Center on the 4th floor, with its fascinating array of historical artifacts. Each briefcase provides fun, interactive, family-centered challenges—like games, sketching, and other activities—that help you discover even more about the past. At the end of your visit, simply return it to Membership! The Museum is open on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is $22 for adults, $17 for Seniors/Educators/Active Military, $13 for students, $6 for kids age 5-13 years old, and free for kids 4 and under.

In addition, on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, the Museum will host Living History: Trades of the New Nation. Let’s get to work! What did jobs look like in the 18th century? Join the reenactors and historical interpreters as they bring important professions to life, including milliners, apothecaries, and bookbinders. This event is free with Museum admission.

On Sunday, Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Baby & Me Storytime Featuring Zoo (Peek-a-Flap Series) and Dinosaur Dance. 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 coupon for the café.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host their Drop-In Studio every Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. 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. Each week features a new art-making activity and gallery talk inspired by current exhibitions. Reservations are not required, and visitors of all ages are welcome! This program is free for members and included with Museum admission for non-Members.

The Caldwell Street Fair (Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell) will be held on Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The fair will include arts and crafts, rides for the kids, plenty of new merchandise and food.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Twp) will host three separate events on Sunday.

  • Hitch a Ride will be held at 12:15 PM to 2:00 PM. Join the farm staff for a narrated ride around the historic farm. 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 age 2.
  • The Time to Mourn will be held at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. Explore the unique death and mourning traditions of the Victorian period at the Foster family home, The Willows. Customs now considered strange influenced loved ones for months and years after the deceased had passed. This is appropriate for adults and mature children. 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 age 2.
  • Enjoy Tripod Rock Hike: Moderate from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. This activity is for ages 7 and up. Visit the rock star that helped put Pyramid Mountain on the map. Cost is $1 per person. Preregistration is required by calling 973-334-3130.

The Rubin Museum (150 West 17th Street, NYC) will host September Family Sundays: Diwali Delights on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil as depicted in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Learn more about traditional Diwali activities by making your own diya lamps. Drop into the Education Center for some art making and enjoy the 2:00 PM family exhibition tour. These events are free.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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