Weekend Family Fun: Art, Dance, Outdoor Fun and More

Montclair, N.J. Here we are at the end of February! Did it fly by or drag on – or can you even tell anymore? Either way, the weekend is here, so it’s time for some family fun! We’ve rounded up some things to do, so check ‘em out!

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will begin Studio Explorers: Celebrate Friendship II, a 4-class series, on Saturday at 10:00 AM. This season’s theme, celebrate friendship, cultivates kindness and community as kids create art inspired by playful companionship. From invisible playmates to beloved animals, and favorite games to acts of kindness, kids will enjoy making friends artistically. Each 4-week session will feature different projects. Limited spaces are available. Price for all four classes is $138 for members and $172 for non-members. This class is meant for children ages 6-8.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Township) continues to host its Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. This is the final weekend for February’s theme, “Brrr! It’s Cold.” Take a photo of every item and get a prize. Cost is $10 per family/groups of 6 or fewer. Visit Saturday or Sunday between 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM. Register online.

New York City Ballet will host Ballet Breaks on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Experience New York City Ballet from your home with these lively Saturday morning movement workshops for children ages 3-8. No prior dance training is needed. Each 30-minute workshop will be taught by a different NYCB dancer who will lead your little ones through a warm-up and choreography inspired by a beloved ballet from the NYCB repertory. Tickets are offered on a sliding scale. Regular price is $8 per workshop, though a $0 option is available.

Maple Sugaring Demos also continue at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham Township) on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM and 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Learn how to identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and make syrup over a wood fired evaporator. The program is held entirely outdoors. Cost is $5 per person ages 3 and up. Preregistration is required.

Turtle Back Zoo will kick off Sophisticated Science – Healing our Habitats on Sunday from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM. This is the first in a four-part series that explores how animals are dispersed throughout different habitats across the globe. Participants will learn about the characteristics of each habitat and how various animal species adapt to thrive in these habitats. This is an in-person program. The other sessions will be held on 3/7, 3/14, and 3/21. The cost for the entire program is $30 and is suitable for children age 14+.

On Sunday at 2:00 PM, The Newark Museum of Art will host Family Drop-In: Ancient Egyptian Stories with Jonathan Kruk. Go on a journey to Ancient Egypt with master storyteller Jonathan Kruk. Hear tales of the Gods of Ancient Egypt in this interactive storytelling experience filled with moments of mystery, thrills, and fun! This free, virtual event is recommended for kids aged 5 to 10. Register online.

Brooklyn Museum will host their annual Family Party virtually this year on Sunday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Grab the kids, some art materials, and your dancing shoes, and get ready to amplify your weekend at home with an hour of artmaking, movement, and creativity. A list of activities and supplies is available on the website. Tickets are $25 per family, though larger donations will be accepted.

Do you have a dinosaur lover in your household? If so, this activity is for you! These easy-to-make dinosaur fossils will provide plenty of fun. Use flour, salt, and water to make a dough, flatten it out, then press mini plastic dinosaurs into it. Bake them for 30-60 minutes and you’ll have your fossils! These can be painted after for a secondary activity. If you don’t have dinosaurs, you could use this same technique with any small plastic animals. Or try pressing different things from around the house to see what kinds of patterns you can make!

This Secret Letters activity is simple and adaptable to suit different ages and interest levels. Write letters on a piece of white paper with a white crayon. Then have your child paint over the crayon with watercolor paints. The letters will become visible because the paint won’t stick on them! This could be a fun way to teach letter and color recognition for the little ones. Older kids might enjoy writing a secret message for a sibling. Another option would be to draw a picture, then paint over it so the outline appears. The sky’s the limit with this one!

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