Weekend Family Fun: Dinosaurs, Maple Syrup, Improv and More

Happy weekend! Got plans? We’ve rounded up plenty of fun and family-friendly things to do in and around town to help you decide how to spend your time!

This weekend, Prudential Center (25 Lafayette Street, Newark) will present Jurassic World Live Tour. Get ready for this all-new touring event featuring life-sized Jurassic World dinosaurs! Your trip to Isla Nublar takes a terrifying turn after the Indominus rex escapes and causes chaos in the park! The adventure continues as you join forces with a team of scientists to unravel a corrupt plan and save Jeanie, an all-new dinosaur, from a terrible fate. Performances are Friday at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM, and Sunday at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM. Tickets range from $15 to $230+.

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.


Michaels of Riverside Center (348 Rt 3 West, Clifton) will host two craft workshops for kids on Saturday. From 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM is Kids Club Mixed Media Canvas for kids age 3+. This workshop is $3, and supplies are included. From 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM is creative family fun with MAKE break Floral Hoop Wreath. Buy the wreath base, and the supplies to decorate it will be provided.

Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host its final Winter Wonderland Club on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM for children ages 5-12. 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 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 and pre-payment are required by calling 973-228-8776. Cost is $10 per child per session.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Celebrating Dr. Seuss on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Stop in for a very Seussical Storytime with fun activities.

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. February’s theme is Community. Come and discover the different facets of our community! From community helpers to our neighbors and families and to the beauty that surrounds us as we grow. 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 – February’s theme is Black History: A Modern Narrative. Let’s explore the rich history of African Americans who have contributed to the advancement of the art, history and the humanities, both in and outside of our communities. Explore identity as you roam around the Museum’s rich collection of African American art and artists.
  • 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.

Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Koko: Therapy Dog Visit for ages 5 and up on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Meet and greet with therapy dog, Koko the Shiba Inu. Learn about what therapy dogs do and how they help the community. No registration is required.

Later, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, the Library will host Let It Shine: The American Civil Rights Movement, which his recommended for grades 3-12. Bright Star Theatre portrays events and heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Students will learn about pivotal American milestones between the years 1955-1968. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, Brown v. Board of Education, Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. come to life through stories and song, while demonstrating the price paid by those who fought for equal rights. No registration is required for this event.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will present Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Get ready to dance to jubilant swing numbers by GRAMMY Award Winners Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats. Described by Red Tricycle as “Squirrel Nut Zippers for the younger set,” Lucy brings bilingual songs of joy, community, and resilience. Cost is $14 for members and $17 for non-members.

Grace Episcopal Church in Nutley (200 Highfield Lane, Nutley) will host a Blessing of the Dolls Service and Tea on Saturday. Dolls and other toys are such a special part of our children’s lives. Give thanks for them and the joy they bring our children at this simple service which begins at 12:30 PM. A lovely tea follows at 1:00 PM in the parish hall. The service is free, and the tea is a $5 donation.

Enjoy a Leap Day Hike at Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area (472 Boonton Avenue) on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Take advantage of the extra day this year by spending it outside. Join in for leap year hiking and rock hopping. This hike is for ages 5 and up. Cost is $1 per persona and preregistration is required by calling 973-334-3130.

Montclair Film (505 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) will host 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! So, bring the kids to an improv show and laugh together! Cos is $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers.

Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Family Photo Scavenger Hunts on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Take a photo of every item and receive a prize. Cost is $10 per family. Saturday’s theme (February) is “You’d better believe it.” Sunday’s theme (March) is “Everywhere Signs.”  Both themes focus on signs of spring.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd) will 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 event is first come, first served seating. All ages are welcome. Cost is $4 per person age 3 and up.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Maple Sugaring Fest on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Learn how early settlers tapped maple trees and turned the sap into delicious maple syrup! Take part in the family scavenger hunt and see whether you can successfully complete the “Maple Syrup Challenge.” Round out the day with a sampling of maple syrup made at the Arboretum. This event is free for members and children under 3. The cost for non-members is $5 per person; $25 maximum per family. Pre-registration is not required, and payment will be taken at the front gate.

On Sunday, at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham Twp), enjoy a Weekend Family Walk from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Discover the unique animals and plants found on the trails while learning new nature facts. This activity is for all ages with an adult. Cost is $2 per person ages 3 and up. Preregistration is required by calling 973-635-6629.

A Sip of Art (235 Prospect Avenue, West Orange) will host Kid’s Pokemon Paint & Card Exchange on Sunday from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Join in to paint Pikachu and exchange your cards with other Pokemon fans. Bring your cards to exchange in the last half hour of the paint session. This session is for kids ages 5+. Cost is $25 per seat. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host a Drop-In Studio from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sunday. 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 new a new art-making activity and gallery talk inspired by current exhibitions. Reservations are not required, and visitors of all ages are welcome. This activity is free with admission ($12).

Snowshoe Sundays will take place at Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area (472 Boonton Avenue, Montville Twp.) on Sunday at 1:30 PM. This activity is for ages 10 and up. Enjoy an afternoon of guided snowshoeing and trekking. No experience necessary. Arrive by 1:00 PM if renting shoes. Cost is $5 per person for trek, $15 for trek and snowshoe rental. Preregistration is required by calling 973-334-3130.

Arts & Creations Pottery Studio (964 McBride Avenue, Woodland Park) will host Kid’s Canvas Class on Sunday at 1:00 PM. Cost is $25 per child.

Rubin Museum of Art (150 West 17th Street, NYC) will host Holi Rangoli Family Sundays on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for children age 3 and older with accompanying adults. Sundays are for families! Bring your family to the Rubin Museum for a Sunday afternoon of activities both kids and grownups will enjoy. Drop into the Education Center for some art making and enjoy the 2:00 PM family exhibition tour. In March, celebrate Holi, the festival of colors and love, signifying the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. Take inspiration from the traditional art form of rangoli – geometric or nature-inspired patterns that are often made during Holi celebrations in India – and create your own floral designs using bright and vibrant hues!

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.

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