Weekend Family Fun: Theater, Music, Storytime, STEM, and More

It’s time for another weekend! Are you looking for some fun and family-friendly things to do in and around town? We’ve gathered up some activities for you to enjoy. Check ’em out!

On Friday afternoon at 4:30 PM, Watchung Booksellers will host Storytime on the Green with Adam Gustavson, author of The Froggies Do Not Want to Sleep. Why go to bed when you can play the accordion, dance underwater ballet, and hold burping contests with strange alien lifeforms? For every kid who ever came up with an outlandish excuse for why it can’t be bedtime yet, these froggies’ antics will delight and entertain. Acclaimed illustrator Adam Gustavson’s raucous authorial debut shows parents there’s more than one way to do bedtime.

Westfield Garden State Plaza (1 Garden State Plz, Paramus) will continue to host the Paramus L.E.A.D. Carnival this weekend. The carnival will be open Friday from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, then Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The price of admission will include free entertainment and attractions. General admission tickets are $5.00. Day passes and ride tickets are also available.

On Saturday, the Bloomfield Public Library (90 Broad Street, Bloomfield) will welcome Brady the Therapy Dog for a special storytime in the courtyard. Weather permitting, the event will be held at 11:00 AM in front of the main library. Masks and social distancing are required, and you are asked to bring your own seating.

On Saturday at 12:00 PM, the New York Transit Museum will present All Aboard for a Party on Wheels with Dan + Claudia Zanes! This online event is free, though RSVPs are required, and donations are requested. All aboard! Join Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes and Haitian-American jazz vocalist Claudia Zanes on Saturday, June 12th as they take the Transit Museum stage online! Settle in with a virtual walkthrough of some of their favorite vintage train cars before the show, and then dance and sing along to some favorite Dan + Claudia tunes right from home! Close out the event with time for a few questions for our special guests, and a music- and transit-inspired drawing activity.

On Saturday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Central Presbyterian Church of Montclair (46 Park Street, Montclair) will host a STEM – Second Saturdays Event on the church lawn. The church will partner with The MLC Stem Center for a fun afternoon of discovery and experiments. Make your own slime and take it home, launch a water rocket, learn about electric circuits, and much, much more. This is a free family event. RSVPs are required.

On Sunday at 10:00 AM, Turtle Back Zoo will present Zoo Explorers. This in-person event is for four- and five-year-olds and will be held in The Berson Education Center at the Zoom (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange). The program uses movement, stories, games, and crafts for interactive, science-based lessons to learn about the wonderful and fascinating world of animals. Supervised outings to specified areas of the zoo are included as weather permits. Advanced registration and payment are required. Classes are $30 per child.

On Sunday at 2:00 PM, Vanguard Theatre Company (180 Bloomfield Avenue, 2nd Floor, Montclair) will present Shrek the Musical Jr.! Beauty is in the eye of the ogre in Shrek Jr., based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and fantastic Broadway musical. It’s a “big bright beautiful world” as everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek, leads a cast of fairytale misfits on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Part romance and part twisted fairytale; Shrek JR. is an irreverently fun show with a powerful message for the whole family. Tickets can be purchased online are $21 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

The Newark Museum of Art will host Virtual Family Drop-In: Drag Queen Story Hour with Harmonica Sunbeam on Sunday at 2:00 PM. Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like, drag queens reading stories to children. It is a program for children that teaches literacy through singing, talking, reading, and playing. Join Harmonica Sunbeam as she reads stories and sings songs focused on diversity, uniqueness, and kindness. This activity is recommended for children ages 5-10. Registration is required.

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