Weekend Family Fun: Dance, Art, Trains and More

Yes, it’s the first weekend of 2020! We’ve rounded up some fun and family-friendly things to do in and around the area. Check ‘em out!

JoySpring at The Afro-Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey (554 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield) will host First Friday Family Pleasure on Friday from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Cost is $9 per adult and $6 per child. All ages are welcome. This is a light-hearted community experience through art, voice and movement to engage your authentic self-expression, to harmonize, re-balance and deepen a relationship with joy. Enjoy this unique and timely liberation ground open to all ages, abilities and interests. Register online.

Van Saun County Park (216 Forest Avenue, Paramus) will continue to host the Bergen County Winter Wonderland this weekend. Hours are Friday 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Visitors can enjoy open air ice skating, kids’ beginner synthetic rink, Santa’s North Pole Dome and Workshop, a heated hospitality pavilion, kids’ activities and games, unlimited Bergen Express train rides and carousel rides, zoo entry and programming, indoor/outdoor beer garden, and food trucks. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and active military or veterans, and free for children age 3 and under. This weekend there will be a balloon artist and face painting. Check the website for a schedule.

This is the final weekend for the Garden State Model Railway Club’s 62nd Annual Model Railroad Show. Open from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, visitors can view intermodal, mixed freight, coal and passenger trains, both steam and diesel. Tickets are $6 for adults. Children under 12 are free with an adult.

Cedar Grove Free Public Library (1 Municipal Plz, Cedar Grove) will host Story Snacks on Saturday at 11:30 AM. Families are invited to join in for a special story time. Instead of ending the session with a regular craft, participants will create an edible masterpiece. Best for ages 2.5 to 6 years old. No sign-up is necessary. This activity is first come-first served.

Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host The Eco-Friendly Home on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Make and take a hand-made food storage wrap with eco-friendly materials. Learn how to customize your own stationary and recycle paper at the same time. Let’s talk about how to reduce waste at home, be kind to our environment, and make special customized, usable, and fun crafts. Fee is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child; $12 per adult.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring Grumpy Monkey on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood and has a bit of a meltdown when everyone starts giving him advice as to what makes THEM happy. Sometimes everyone just needs a day to be GRUMPY! This book shows kids they are allowed to demonstrate their feelings without hurting others in the process. Activities to follow!

The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Creative Play on Saturday beginning at 10:00 AM. Three- to five-year-olds and their caregivers can explore the Museum’s art and science collections through storytelling, song, playful activities and an art-making project. January’s theme is Seasons, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, OH MY! Children will be introduced to seasons and explore the beauty of all the seasons represented in the Museum’s collection of art. Register online or by calling. Also on Saturday, there will be a MakerSPACE Drop-in from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for ages 6-12. Full STEAM Ahead! Children will be introduced to the different elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics through activities that push their creativity and critical thinking.

The Newark Museum of Art will also host several activities weekly on Saturday and Sundays, from 11:00 PM to 2:00 PM:

  • Family Drop-Ins – January’s theme is Self-Care. Explore ways to nourish yourself and your loved ones.
  • 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!

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

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will present Beats, Rhymes, and Breaking on Saturday at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. From head spins to windmills, and from 6-step to the trusty pop and lock, prepare the kids for a unique program of jaw-dropping break dance action from Manzana City Crew, a collective of artists in New York City. Kids will join company members onstage to try out their own moves in an engaging and fast-moving atmosphere of fun. Cost is $14 for members and $17 for non-members.

ARTeVINO Studio (51 Upper Montclair Plz, Montclair) will host Hibernate – Family Paint on Saturday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM for both adults and children aged 6 and up. A great way to introduce young ones to the basics of acrylic paint. Cost is $25 per person.

On Sunday, Shooting Star Dance Center (403 Broad Street, Bloomfield) will host Family Dance Class from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Warm up together and learn a short combination along with some movement games with a focus on moving together and creating memories. Comfy clothing and sneakers suggested. This class is pay what you can, with a suggested donation of $10 per family. Register online.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host their Drop-In Studio on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Get creative in the Drop-In Studio! Each week features a new art-making activity and gallery talk inspired by current exhibitions. Reservations not required and visitors of all ages are welcome! This week make a shadow painting on the last day of the special exhibition, Impossible Shadows: The Art of Larry Kagan. This event is free for members and included with Museum admission for non-members.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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