Weekend Family Fun: Service Dogs, Story Times, Dance and More

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!

Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Montclair) will host Saturday Morning Author/Illustrator Storytime on Saturday at 10:30 AM. Tracey West, author of Dragon Masters will appear. Dragon Masters has it all! Dragons, a Dragon Stone, a king, a wizard, and magic! In the first book in this fully illustrated series, 8-year old Drake is snatched up by King Roland’s soldier and taken to the castle. He is to be trained as a Dragon Master. At the castle, he is joined by three other young Dragon Masters-in-training: Ana, Rori, and Bo. The Dragon Masters must learn how to connect with and train their dragons–and they must also uncover their dragons’ special powers. Does Drake have what it takes to be a Dragon Master? What is his dragon’s special power? This series is for children ages 5-8.

Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host a Play Group on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. This drop-in play group encourages socialization among children up to 4 years old. The library will provide age appropriate toys and books to play with while there. Caregivers are required to stay with their children while participating in the group. No registration is required and open to everyone. Children can also enjoy Lego Day from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Build with the library’s huge collection and create something cool.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will continue its season on Saturday with Fox Fables at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Glorious puppetry tells the story of a fox who loses his precious tail and, with it, his identity. He tries to be several other animals instead – with hilarious results – before realizing the moral lesson of this classic ancient fable. WonderSpark Puppets has performed for audiences of all ages since 2009, performing over 200 shows a year all over New York City. 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 Jack Frost vs. The Abominable Snowman on Saturday at 11:00 AM for children ages 2-5. A thrilling adventure awaits as you pick your path and decide how the story Jack Frost vs. the Abominable Snowman unfolds! The big day has arrived, and the racers are set. Will you follow Jack Frost, the mischievous racer with magical winter powers? Or will you follow Abe, the lovable Abominable Snowman with a few surprises up his sleeve?

Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Boomer at Your Service: Children’s Author Vanessa Keel on Saturday from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Children’s book author, Vanessa Keel, will read her new book, Boomer At Your Service, a story about a dog and his dream of finding a family to serve. This will be followed by activities and information about therapy dogs. Books will be available for purchase. Then, from 2:45 to 3:15, the library will host Therapy Dog: Koko Visits the Library. Koko is a 4 ½ year old Shiba Inu who loves to play in the grass and chase balls. Extremely gentle and friendly, she took obedience classes, agility training, and support dog training at St. Hubert’s in Madison, NJ, the Harvard of dog obedience schools. She also studied Advanced Agility at the Dog Dome in Wantage, NJ. Koko can often be seen on Church Street in downtown Montclair, where she loves to greet other dogs, get pets from strangers, and gobble treats from local store owners. No registration is required for either activity, and both are suitable for children ages 3-8.

South Orange Performing Arts Center (One SOPAC Way, South Orange) will preset Rumpelstiltskin on Saturday at 2:00 PM. A young girl is said to spin straw into gold, but a greedy king hears of her talent and desires untold riches for himself. He locks her up in a room filled with straw and nothing more than a spinning wheel. Her terror grows through the night because she can’t really turn straw into gold, and she fears the king will take revenge on her family. Suddenly, a strange man named Rumpelstiltskin appears and promises to spin the straw into gold, but at what price? This classic tale comes to the stage filled with song and audience participation along with the fabulous stage sets and costumes that the Panto Company USA is internationally known for! Tickets are $20 and the show is recommended for children ages 4-9.

Montclair Film (505 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) will present Family Improv on Saturday at 4:00 PM. Montclair Film hosts Montclair Improv Comedy’s 1st show for families!!!!  Geared for children 3-10 years old, this high-energy performance, featuring professional improvisers will be 100% Family-Friendly (G-Rating) and absolutely hilarious!  Tickets are $7 per person, $5 for members.

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.

Peak Performances at Montclair State University’s Alexander Kasser Theater (1 Normal Avenue, Montclair) will present a special children’s event in connection with Martha Graham’s Dance Company’s Appalachian Spring and The Auditions on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Enjoy a special reading of the children’s book Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan and read by the dynamic Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Following the reading, the historic dance company will perform an hour-long program of classic works and a world premiere. Children ages 4+ can attend this event ad performance for a one-time price of $10 per ticket.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morris Township) will host Thanksgiving & Armistice Observance on Sunday at 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Enjoy interactive farm chores, a wagon ride, and create a family-friendly craft. Visit the 1915 Farmhouse to see what holiday fare is being prepared. At 1:00 PM, all U.S. military personnel and veterans are honored in a special program. Join in recognition of the end of WWI. Cost is $8 per adult, $7 per senior 65+, $6 per child age 3-16, and free for children age 2 as well as veterans and current enlisted service men and women.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Baby & Me Storytime Featuring Abby (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 winged messenger birds, inspired by Virgil Ortiz’s Tahu Character Jar on view in the Rand Gallery.


Cora Hartshorn Arboretum & Bird Sanctuary (324 Forest Drive South, Short Hills) will host Hot Apple Cider Hike on Sunday from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. It’s National Take a Hike Day. Join a CHA naturalist for a guided hike and discover how the forest prepares for winter. After the hike, visit the historic Stone House for a cup of mulled Jersey Fresh apple cider and a Q&A about the animals of the woodlands. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Cost is $10 per person; $8 for members.

On Stage at Kingsborough (2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn) will present A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday at 2:00 PM. Everyone’s favorite holiday classic comes to life! Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of the holiday season. Adapted from Charles M. Schulz’s timeless story of the spirit of Christmas, this heart-warming show boasts a live trio playing the unforgettable music of Vince Guaraldi, as well as a concert of beloved holiday carols performed by the Peanuts characters. There’s no better way to discover the magic of the season. Meet the cast after the show. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets are $13.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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