Weekend Family Fun: Valentine’s Day, Chocolate Family Fun Day, STEM, Trains, and More

The weekend is here! There are so many things going on in and around town, we promise — no cabin fever!

On Friday from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM, Montclair Learning Center (360 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) will host a Valentine’s Day STEM Party. There will be Valentine’s Day themed STEM activities and science experiments. Pizza and drinks will be served and there will be freeze dance. This party is for Little Engineers (3-5) and grades 1-6. Cost is $35. Register online. Note that this activity will be repeated at the same time on 2/14.

Also on Friday evening, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Brookdale Christian Church (1350 Broad Street, Bloomfield) will host a Family Valentine Dance in the church gym. Enjoy dinner, dancing, games, photos, and more! Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Tickets are available online.

The Women’s Club of Glen Ridge will host a Sweetheart Dance on Friday from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM for children between the ages of 3 to 14 from the surrounding area. Any important figure including a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, or coach is welcome to accompany the child or siblings to the event. Decorated for the season, the magical evening begins at 7:00 PM and includes dinner, dessert, and exciting raffle opportunities to win fun experiences for the children. Tickets are $45 per member adult/child couple and $55 per non-member adult/child couple. Tickets can be purchased for additional adults and children starting at $15.

On both Friday and Saturday Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach) will host Family Date Nights from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The package includes admission for four to Jenkinson’s Aquarium, a plain pizza and pitcher of soda at the Pavilion, a $10 PlayCard for the Pavilion Arcade and treats from the Sweet Shop. There will also be special character appearances and face painting.

The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present Bunnyboy this weekend and next. Through a series of accidents, Peter, a sixth grader, develops superpowers and becomes Bunnyboy. Now what? Peter and his friends, Skip and Karen, discover it’s complicated being a superhero – there’s no manual. And when Bunnyboy has to face an actual super villain, the Animal Master, is he up for the task? And will he get his homework in on time? This show is appropriate for the entire family. Performances will be Saturday at 4:00 PM, including an opening night performance and reception, and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $28.

Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show will be held at Meadowlands Expo Center (355 Plaza Drive, Secaucus) on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show is the largest and longest-running model train and collectible toy show in the country. The show is geared towards the general public and towards modelers and hobbyists, featuring hundreds of tables of trains and accessories for sale, huge operating exhibits, activities for kids, and more. All aboard! Tickets are $10 for Saturday and Sunday and $9 for Sunday only. Kids 11 and under are free and do not need a ticket.

On Saturday, Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host Binge Movie Day: Despicable Me Movies! Take in showings of Despicable Me at 10:00 AM, Despicable Me 2 at 1:00 PM, and Despicable Me 3 at 3:00 PM. All three movies are rated PG.

Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Family Yoga on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM for ages 5 and up. Happy Baby, Cats and Cows, Tree, Elephant and Child’s Pose. Enjoy an adventure of calming breath, fun asanas/poses, and gentle stretches with your nearest and dearest in a friendly, go-with-the-flow atmosphere. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants required; call 973.228.8776. Cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child, $12 per adult.

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Chef It Up of Nutley (512 Franklin Avenue, Nutley) will host Show Your Love Cake Decorating Class from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM for children ages 5-12. Learn to use fondant and pastry bags to decorate like a pro and make Valentine’s cake! The class is $35.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) will host Chocolate Family Fun Day on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Stop in to participate in chocolate inspired activities such as Showcase of Chocolate, History of Chocolate, Craft Making, and more. All activities are included in Museum admission, which is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and kids 3-18, and free for children under 3. There will also be a performance of Mystery and History of Magic in the Bickford Theater at 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM. Tickets to this all-ages show are $10 and include Museum admission.

Barnes & Noble Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host Storytime and Activities Featuring Always More Love on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Discover a heartwarming story in this interactive book that shows us how love grows for our dearest friends and family. This special Storytime features fun activities following the reading!

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.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC) will present Doktor Kaboom: Look Out! Science Is Coming! on Saturday at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Doktor Kaboom is an over the top German physicist with a passion for science that knows no bounds. Sporting chrome goggles, orange lab coat, motorcycle boots, and wicked cool hair, Doktor Kaboom travels the world, thrilling adults and children alike with an explosive comedic style that is guaranteed to please. His improvisational skill promises no two shows will ever be the same, and his character driven comedy will entertain audiences of every age. Nothing says science like KABOOM!  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.

NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark) will present Drum Tao: 2020 at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM. The power percussionists of DRUM TAO combine athleticism and artistry, lending a contemporary flair to ancient Japanese drumming, backed by the mesmerizing accompaniment of Japanese flutes and harps. Tickets are $49-$69.

>Central Presbyterian Church of Montclair (46 Park Street, Montclair) will host Second Saturdays at Central on Saturday from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. STEAM is back with Montclair Learning Center! Enjoy three STEAM stations including make your own slime, build and electric circuit, and build a robot. Free play from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM follows with imagination playground blocks, Legos, and Magformers.

On Saturday afternoon from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Re-Deme Studio (354 Passaic Avenue, Nutley) will host Valentine’s Day Open Studio and Pop Up Shop. Get in the spirit of love and gift-giving at this Valentine-themed Open Studio Event. Shop artwork, handmade gifts, sweet treats, and more unique treasures; meet local artists, crafters and business owners; and hand make gifts for loved ones. Cost is $15 to make as many cards as you want. Register online.

Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Family Photo Scavenger Hunt on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt, “You’d better believe it,” and search for blooms and signs of spring, big and small. Take a photo of every item and receive a prize. Cost is $10 per family.

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.

On Sunday, The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Second Sundays: Black History X Black Future from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Honor the legacy of Black icons and build creative visions for the future. Take part in activities and witness great performances from contemporary talent. Registration is required. All activities are included with admission, which is $15 for adults, $8 for veterans and their families with valid ID, children, seniors (65+), and teachers and students with valid ID. Children 2 and younger are free.

The Eclectic Chic Boutique (547 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) will host a Valentines Day Card Making Workshop on Saturday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Give the gift of handmade for Valentine’s Day. This is a great opportunity to learn how to make your own unique Valentine’s Day cards. Each participant can make up to 12 cards. This class is appropriate for ages 6 and up. Cost is $35 per participant and all materials and tools are provided. RSVP is required and can be completed 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. This week create animal masks inspired by Federico Uribe: An imalia. Reservations not required and visitors of all ages are welcome! This event is free for members and included with Museum admission for non-members.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) will host Games and Gardens: Family Garden Game Day on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Shake that cabin fever and head out into the gardens. Play Garden-opoly, Plant Scrabble, life-sized chess, and Garden Bingo challenge to win prizes. Enjoy popcorn, hot cocoa, and seasonal snacks. Cost is $3 per person.

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.

On Sunday from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM at St. Luke’s Church (73 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair), Montclair Bounce will host Heart Full of Bounce. All are invited to come make valentines or thank you notes to those in our lives – family, friends, crossing guards, baristas, bank tellers, or anyone who makes our days brighter. Cards and notes can be mailed in a special Heart Full box. This event is free with registration requested.

Bergen Performing Arts Center (30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood) will present Dinosaur World Live on Sunday at 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World Live in this “roarsome” interactive show for the whole family. Grab your compass and join an intrepid explorer across uncharted territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favorite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor, and Segnosaurus. Tickets are $15-$39.

On Sunday, State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will present Star Wars: Return of the Jedi with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at 3:00 PM. In the spectacular climactic sixth episode of the Star Wars saga, Darth Vader readies the second Death Star to unleash the final blow to the Rebel Alliance. Luke Skywalker joins R2-D2, C-3PO, and Princess Leia to free Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt and launch a desperate attack upon the entire Imperial Fleet. Watch the complete film unfold as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs John Williams’ legendary score live. Additional activities will be held before and after the show. Tickets are $65 to $110.

Arts & Creations Pottery Studio (964 McBride Avenue, Woodland Park) will host Kid’s Canvas Class on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Cost is $25 per child.

For more upcoming events, check out Baristanet Calendar.