Weekend Family Fun: Matilda, Holiday Lights, Kids Comedy and More

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Happy weekend! Got plans? If you’re looking for some fun and family-friendly things to do in and around the area, you’ve come to the right place!

Gas Lamp Players will present Matilda the Musical this weekend at Ridgewood Avenue School (235 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge). Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the 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 will be on Friday at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM, and Sunday at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children, students, and seniors.

Turtle Back Zoo’s Holiday Lights returns this weekend for the season through December 31. Holiday lights will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Enjoy a walk around the zoo, featuring thousands of holiday lights. Special events will be held on various nights; this weekend will be Who’s Your Super-HERO Weekend. Some animal exhibits and attractions are open (Reptile House, Farm, Touch Tank, Carousel, Train, Pony Rides), but much of the Zoo animals are not on exhibit. Check the website for details. Admission is free, though some events require a fee. Donations of non-perishable foods are requested.

The Polar Express Train Ride (1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany) will run on select dates through December 30th. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on The Polar Express for a magical one-hour trip to the North Pole. Once on board, your car hosts will work their way through the coach and punch your golden ticket before hot chocolate and a delicious cookie are served y dancing chefs. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Passengers will take part in caroling and onboard entertainment and receive a keepsake sleigh bell to take home. Coach Class tickets start at $46 for adults and $41 for children. First Class tickets start at $70 for adults and $65 for children. Visit the website for ride schedules.

Skylands Stadium (94 Championship Place, Augusta) will host their annual Christmas Light Show and Village through December 30. With more than two million dazzling lights on a mile-long drive-through course plus a new outdoor village, it’s a must-see holiday attraction for the whole family. The Light Show cost is $20 per carload. The Outdoor Christmas Village includes Walk-Thru Lights, Santa’s Workshop, a Skating Rink, 8’ Polar Bear Statue, Yuengling’s Ice Cream Shop and Hot Chocolate Bar, S’mores Station, Carnival Games, Concessions, and Vendors. Admission and parking for the Village is free, though some attractions have an additional cost. The light show is open this weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Note that the light show is closed this weekend but will be open next weekend.

Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Montclair) will host Saturday Morning Author/Illustrator Storytime on Saturday at 10:30 AM. Suzanne Morris, author of A Trapezoid is Not a Don will appear. Dragon Masters has it all! Shape up, shapes! Triangle is hosting auditions for all the best shapes to be in his play. Circle, Square, and Star each get a part. But Trapezoid just doesn’t “fit in.” Is he even a shape? The others think he sounds like a type of dinosaur. Determined to show off his usefulness, Trapezoid tries to act like the other shapes, to no avail. Eventually, though, Trapezoid celebrates his own distinct shape properties in order to become part of the performance.

Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Thank-o-Rama. “The Thank You Book” tells the delightful story of Elephant & Piggie. Although it’s their last book together, don’t be sad, they’re going to make the best of it. Piggie realizes he has so much to be thankful for and wants to thank EVERYONE! That’s what Thank-o-Rama is all about – giving heartfelt thanks to those around you. Family, friends, or even someone you see at the store or school Stop in to celebrate what you’re thankful for.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will continue its season on Saturday with Alastair Moock at 11:00 AM. Sing along with this GRAMMY nominated folk singer in a rowdy, rootsy, sing-along dance party for the whole family. Tickets are $14 for members and $17 for non-members

The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark), formerly Newark Museum, will host Creative Play on Saturday beginning at 11:00 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. November’s theme is Line – All Lines Lead to the Newark Museum. Let’s explore the way lines connect, travel and intertwine with each other, and explore art and creativity! 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. November’s theme is Piles of Prompts.

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

  • Family Drop-Ins – November’s theme is Abstraction: Come and Explore the World of Realism and Abstraction. Is it a face? Is it a house? Let’s explore and convey the different ways we can express realistic aspects of our lives in an abstract way with the use of color, shape, line, form and gesture using the Museum’s collection of works for inspiration.
  • 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 of Art on their website.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring Frozen 2 Little Golden Book and Anna, Elsa, and the Secret River on Saturday at 11:00 AM for children ages 2-5. Get ready for Frozen 2, in theaters on November 22nd, with these two new books featuring the magic and adventure of the new movie.

Later, B&N will also host a LEGO Frozen 2 Build Event. Return to Arendelle with this LEGO build event. Join in to build a castle from Frozen 2 to take home. This event is for ages 8-12 and signup is required.

This weekend, Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham Twp) will host Apple Cidering with two sessions per day at 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM. Discover the reasons you’ve been looking at apples upside down your entire life, and help make fresh apple cider by and with an old-fashioned cider press. Enjoy a taste of sweet cider. Cost is $4 per person age 3 and up.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will continue to host Scarecrows in the Garden continuing on select days through December 1, 2019. Take a stroll through the gardens to see dozens of ghoulish, whimsical, and colorful scarecrows. If you’ve made your own and dropped it off, see your work of art showcased. Visit anytime between 8:00 AM and sunset. This is a free event.

Also this weekend at the Arboretum, enjoy a Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Bring your camera or phone for this season’s hunt, ‘Scarecrows Everywhere.’ Take a photo of every item and receive a prize. Participate any time between 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM. Cost is $10 per family. This activity will continue on select days through December 1, 2019.

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.

On Sunday at Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp), children ages 6 and up can enjoy Thanks for Thanksgiving from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM. Use a variety of fresh-cut, seasonal greens and flowers to create a centerpiece perfect for the Thanksgiving table. All supplies provided. Preregistration is required by calling 973-326-7601. Cost is $20 per person.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Baby & Me Storytime Featuring Big Bird (Sesame Street Friends) on Sunday at 11:00 AM. This activity is for caregivers and children 0-24 months old. Read a book and participate in activities featuring sensory growth for your little ones.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will also host their Drop-In Studio on 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 project this Sunday will include making light catchers inspired by Larry Kagan’s exhibition, Impossible Shadows.

Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd Street, NYC) will present Kids ‘n Comedy’s The Pre-Turkey Show on Sunday at 1:00 PM. It’s Thanksgiving, and that means being thankful for everything good in your life. Turkey, pie and long overbearing family gatherings. What could be worse? Come down and watch the kid comedians give you their personal guidance in surviving this mutually challenging time of the year. Tickets are $18.

If you’re looking for holiday shows, check out our round up here.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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