Weekend Family Fun: Movies, Butterflies, Stage Performances and More

Happy weekend, everyone! It feels like Independence day was just yesterday, but here we are at the end of July! If you’re ready to have some terrific summer fun, we’ve got some activities to keep you busy. Take a look!

Kick off the weekend with a movie! On Friday evening, AAPI Montclair will host a Family Movie Night with a showing of Moana at Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair. The venue opens at 7:00 PM for pre-show music, hula demo, and Polynesian-themed activities and crafts. The movie will begin at sunset (around 8:15). Food will be available for purchase. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy!

Enjoy a viewing of Scoob! at Van Saun County Park (216 Forest Avenue, Paramus) on Friday evening. This free event begins at sunset or approximately 8:30 PM. The movie is rated PG. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets.

Westfield Garden State Plaza (One Garden State Plaza, Paramus) will continue to host Dino Safari: A Drive Thru Adventure now through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Tickets are $49.95 per car up to 7 occupants. Grab a prehistoric passport and join over 40 giant moving dinosaurs on a globetrotting expedition at Dino Safari, a completely drive-thru dino adventure for the whole family. Get up-close-and-personal with the most fascinating prehistoric creatures from the mighty T. rex of North America to the giant amphibious Spinosaurus from Africa while you learn how dinosaurs evolved over time, where on earth they lived, and the discoveries paleontologists have made about how they ate, moved, and behaved. Beware: along the journey, earthquakes might erupt, dinosaurs could battle, and your family might just have to help save a baby dinosaur’s life! So, buckle up for the adventure of a lifetime in this completely COVID-safe experience!

Also this weekend, Stony Hill Farms (15 North Road, Chester) will host a Sunflower Festival. Sunset in the Sunflowers will be held on Friday from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Enjoy a beautiful setting photography, take a wagon ride to the cutting field to select some blooms to take home, then enjoy some homemade ice cream and fresh fruit. On Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the festival will feature a wagon ride into the fields, time for photos, live music, and vendors. Tickets for each day are $19.99-$42.99 with various options and add-ons.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) continues to host the Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Held daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt. A new theme begins this weekend and runs throughout August, which is “Throw Some Shade.” Travel from shady spot to shady spot and hunt for the clues to how trees survive the heat of summer.  Find all the items and win a prize. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or less. Preregistration is required.

Shooting Star Dance Center (403 Broad Street, Bloomfield) continues to offer Pop Up classes on Saturdays at 9:00 AM. This 30-minute class is for children ages 2-5. You must be preregistered. The cost is $10.

The Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host the final day of its Butterfly Tent Safari this Saturday. The tent will be open from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. You must book a time slot by calling the center at 973-228-8776. Walk-ins will not be accommodated. Admission is $8 per person. Children 1 year old and under are free. From 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM, there will also be a program for adults and children ages 8 and up, Butterfly Gardening Workshop. Learn about butterfly gardening in this hands-on workshop. You’ll learn about native host and nectar plants and how they support our New Jersey butterflies. Advance registration is required. Cost is $10 per child and $12 per adult, or $30 per family up to two adults and two children.

Premiere Stages at Kean Stage will present Galumpha on Saturday at 11:00 AM at Enlow Hall (215 North Avenue, Union). Combining stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy and inventive choreography, Galumpha brings to life a world of imagination, beauty, muscle and merriment. The three performers create a sensory feast of images ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, drawn together into a seamless whole, consistently bringing audiences to their feet. Galumpha is a triumphant mix of art and entertainment, offering world-class, award-winning choreography (Edinburgh Festival Critics’ Choice Award, Moers International Comedy Arts Prize) that is equally at home on the concert stage, at a comedy club or at an outdoor festival. Tickets are $15.

On Saturday, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum (45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown) will host Dig it! Plant it! Eat it! Family Saturdays. Through hands-on gardening, a tour of the Museum’s historic rooms, and an art-making experience, children and their caregivers can enjoy nature while learning about life in the past. This event is free, but preregistration is required. Recommended for ages 4-10.

On Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wonders of the Wild for ages 6 to 12. Turtle Back Zoo is an amazing classroom! The Wonders of the Wild program offers students an opportunity to participate in supplementary science and nature-themed programs and projects that facilitate scientific literacy and life-long environmental stewardship. The theme for July 31st is Growing Up Wild. This is a drop-off program, and the cost is $30.

Studio Players (14 Alvin Place, Upper Montclair) will present Ocean Adventures, a series of new works in connection with TSquared Productions on Saturday at 2:00 PM. The performance will consist of four children’s plays with a nautical twist. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online.

This weekend, The Summit Playhouse (10 New England Avenue, Summit) will present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Performances will be held on Friday at 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM. Join an eclectic group of tweens competing for the spelling championship while telling stories that are both hilarious and touching. Tickets are $20.

Also this weekend, Demarest Farms (244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale) will host movie nights. On Saturday, catch The Incredibles 2. Finally, on Sunday, enjoy Finding Nemo. All shows start at 8:30 PM. Tickets are $25 per car and must be purchased online.

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