Weekend Family Fun: Upcycling, Monster Jam, Chinese New Year and More

Another weekend is upon us! We’ve rounded up plenty of fun and family-friendly things to do in and around town. Check ‘em out!

All weekend, Prudential Center (25 Lafayette Street, Newark) will feature Monster Jam Triple Threat Series. World-class athletes tear up the dirt in Monster Jam trucks, speedsters and ATVs. They compete head-to-head for points in challenging Racing and Freestyle events testing their agility, speed and versatility. Catch Monster Jam Friday at 7:00 PM; Saturday at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM; Sunday at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $15 – $100.

Also this weekend, NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark) will present Nai-Ni Chen Chinese New Year Celebration. Bring your whole family to welcome the Year of the Golden Rat! It’s NJPAC’s annual Chinese New Year celebration with brand-new dance and music from New Jersey’s famed Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. The stage will be transformed into a stunning garden of flowers, along with majestic dragons, acrobatic lions, elegant peacocks, twirling ribbons and much more to dazzle your senses. Performances are Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $27-$35.

The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales on Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 4:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Tickets to this all youth production are $12-$15.

Cedar Beans Coffee Joint (575 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove) will host Saturday Morning with Guitar Bob from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The spectacular Guitar Bob Messano returns for a morning of music and fun for kids, adults, and families! Music starts at 11:00 AM and is free to the public.

Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Winter Wonderland Club from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM for children ages 5-12. Let your child enjoy the winter landscape and outdoor activity every Saturday through February. Drop off your grade school child for a fun adventure. This is an exploratory club with open focused exploration that highlights areas of participant interest. Warm mint tea and a book reading after outdoor activities may be occasionally held indoors. Dress warmly and in layers. Good boots are a must. If extreme weather prohibits the outdoor experience, the event will be cancelled for safety. Limited space available. Advance registration, pre-payment and a minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776. Cost is $10 per child per session.

Rutgers Geology Museum (85 Somerset Street, New Brunswick) will host its annual Open House on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The event will include Kids Lectures for children 8+ to learn about the latest discoveries in science. Museum staff will lead the children through various earth science based hands-on activities. No registration is required but spots fill up fast. There will also be arts and crafts activities.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring How to Catch a Dragon on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Celebrate Lunar New Year with this fun Storytime. The wily dragon will have to avoid trap after trap as the kids run through paper lanterns, red envelopes, fireworks, and more! Color your own paper lantern to take home.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) will host Who’s At My Feeder for all ages with an adult from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Join experienced an experienced birder for a look at the beautiful birds that visit the feeders. Stay warm during this indoor program and learn about our feathered neighbors. This event is free, and no registration is required.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd) will also host Maple Sugaring Demos on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM and then from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Learn to identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and make syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. Join a taste-test of different delicious syrups, including syrup made at the Great Swamp OEC. Registration is not required, but the even is first come, first served seating. All ages are welcome. Cost is $4 per person age 3 and up.

Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Family Photo Scavenger Hunts on Saturday and Sunday. Participate any time between 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM. Bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Take a photo of every item and receive a prize. Cost is $10 per family.

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 the programs at The Newark Museum of Art on their website.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will present Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Join two-time GRAMMY Award nominee and Smithsonian Folkways artist Elizabeth Mitchell and her family band for a gorgeous morning of gentle, homespun renditions of songs by Bob Marley, The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Gillian Welch, and more. The quiet sweetness and intimacy of Elizabeth’s concerts cementer her as an icon of today’s family music scene. Cost is $14 for members and $17 for non-members.

Shooting Star Dance Center (403 Broad Street, Bloomfield) will host Drop In and Dance on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM. Using songs and large and small props, it’s a 45-minute dance adventure not to be missed. Children will get the chance to explore their creativity and even pick up a step or two. This program is designed and best for age 2 to 5 years. Cost is $12 for one child and $20 for two children. Register online.

On Stage at Kingsborough (2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn) will present Charlotte’s Web on Sunday at 2:00 PM. Charlotte’s Web is based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem, how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hatches a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman. Spinning the words “Some Pig” in her web, Charlotte weaves a “miracle” which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig but also ensures his place on the farm forever. Stick around and meet the cast after the show. This show is recommended for children ages 4 and up. Tickets are $13.

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 Earth Keeper Sculptures inspired by the special exhibition Virgil Ortiz: Odyssey of the Venutian Soldiers. This event is free for members and included with Museum admission for non-members.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) will host Wintering Reptiles on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM for ages 3-8 with an adult. Learn the many different species of reptiles survive winter in New Jersey and meet a LIVE reptile. Cost is $5 per child. Preregistration is required by calling 973-635-6629.

On Sunday, A Sip of Art (235 Prospect Avenue, West Orange) will host Designer Upcycle Workshop from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM for ages 7-13. Where sustainability, design and fun meet! Enjoy design, hand sewing and embellishment as students explore how to take socks that have lost their match or are too small be repurposed and redesigned into a stuffed kitten toy! Students will explore “Upcycling” which is also known as creative reuse. In this class, they will learn and enjoy the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products. This is the perfect workshop to ignite or fuel a passion for the environment. Help your child develop creative thinking, keep items out of the landfill and learn useful hand sewing skills. Cost is $30 per seat. Register online.

Rubin Museum of Art (150 West 17th Street, NYC) will host Candied Corrosion as part of their Family Sundays series on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Embrace change during the Rubin Museum of Art’s 2020 theme of Impermanence. Explore the powerful forces of time and corrosion by using water to transform a structure made of sugar, inspired by Genesis Breyer P-orridge’s sculpture “Touching of Hands” in the exhibition Shrine Room Projects: Shiva Ahmadi/Genesis Breyer P-orridge/Tsherin Sherpa.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.