Weekend Family Fun: Literary Festival, Dinosaurs, Harvest Fest and More

Three cheers for the weekend! Are you ready for some fun? We’ve gathered some family-friendly things happening in and around town. Check ’em out!

On Friday and Saturday evenings, Field Station Dinosaurs (3 Overpeck Park Driveway, Leonia) will host Dinosaurs After Dark from 6:45 PM to 9:30 PM. A spooky, funny, and thrilling adventure for the whole family featuring a lantern lit tour of the park! But watch out! The trails are dark and there’s a hungry T-Rex lurking in the shadows. A fearless Dinosaur Wrangler will lead a Tyrannosaurus Hunt along the Field Station’s darkened trails with a stop at every dinosaur and a few surprises along the way. At the end of the night, everyone will gather around the campfire for a dinosaur sing-a-long, roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate! Tickets are $24. Children under 2 are free.

Succeed2Gether’s Montclair Literary Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday at Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) and First Congregational Church (40 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair). There will be several free events throughout the day on Saturday for families, children, and teens. Visit the website for the full schedule and read on for the children’s lineup.

  • Henry “The Fonz” Winkler will appear live on screen at 10:00 AM in the Library Auditorium. Henry will talk about his journey as a dyslexic student to a Hollywood superstar to a children’s author of the “Hank Zipzer” and “Alien Nation” series.
  • Mean Girls, Friends and Frenemies will feature a YA/Teen talk with local author Hayley Krischer and poet and professor Nicole Cooley. They will discuss the complexities of girls’ relationships. This is for ages 12+ and will be held in the Church tent at 10:0 AM.
  • Sankofa Stories with Shirley Johnson will bring to life African stories through words and music, including Frog and Centipede (a story from Tanzania), Kulu (story from Mashsona Bantu People of Southern Africa), and Brer Opossum (African American traditional folktale). Shirley will be accompanied by drummer Chris White III. This event is at 10:00 AM in the tent outside the Library and is for children ages 4-12.
  • Bunny’s Staycation with Lori Richmond will be at 11:00 AM in the Library tent. Recommended for ages 4-6, children can hear Lori read her picture book and participate in an interactive live drawing activity with kids calling out ideas and brainstorming while Lori draws them the picture they describe.
  • Library Mouse with Daniel Kirk will be at 12:15 PM in the Library tent. The bestselling author/illustrator of the beloved Library Mouse series, Daniel will read several of his picture books and novels for young readers, including Chugga Chugga Choo Chooand Library Mouse. He will also give a drawing demonstration so young children can learn to draw their own Library Mouse and lead a sing-along about the joys of writing your own stories. Recommended for ages 4-12.

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Shooting Star Dance Center (403 Broad Street, Bloomfield) will host pop up dance classes on Saturdays at 9:00 AM. Dazzle, twirl, leap and play with one of our instructors as they lead your dancer through a 30-minute dance adventure.  Pop up classes are a great way to check out the studio without committing to more than 30 minutes at a time. All pop-up classes are $10. You must register in advance.

On Saturday at 10:15 AM, The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Creative Play: Mini Zoo Edition! Enjoy a fun time with friends from Turtle Back Zoo. There will be a story time and a presentation of live animals. This program is free and designed specifically for children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Register online.

Drop into Craft Saturdays at Dey Mansion (199 Totowa Road, Wayne) for a free parent and child art project. Craft demonstrations start at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. The event is open from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. New projects every week and all materials are included. The event will be held outdoors, weather permitting. RSVP online.

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On Saturday, the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (9 Main Street, Madison) will host Bottle Hill Day from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Celebrate Bottle Hill Day at METC where the past meets the present! Join us on the front lawn for traditional woodworking demonstrations and learn some modern home repair hacks from Tyler Merson of Merson Home Consulting Service. The whole family will also enjoy playing some historic lawn games. Admission to the museum is free to all!

New Jersey State Botanical Garden (Morris Road, Ringwood) will host Harvest Fest on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Activities include hayrides, a craft fair, pumpkin painting, applesauce making, free children’s games, an autumn plant sale, and a fairway full of booths and exhibits. You can also take a free tour of the Gardens. Admission is free but parking is $5.

From 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, Pockets of Light will host their 3rd Annual Scavenger Hunt and Fundraiser at Anderson Park (331 N. Mountain Avenue, Montclair). The day includes family-friendly activities, a way to honor and remember babies, and a scavenger hunt around town. More details and registration available online.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) continues to host the Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Held daily from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt. There’s a new theme every month and October’s theme is “Scarecrows in the Garden.” Can you use the clues to find all the scarecrows in this fun family photo scavenger hunt? Take a photo of each and win a prize. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or less. Preregistration is required.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wonders of the Wild! On Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. This program offers students ages 6-12 an opportunity to participate in supplementary science and nature-themed programs and projects that facilitate scientific literacy and life-long environmental stewardship. This week’s session is Pets. Cost is $30 for this in-person, drop off program.

This is the final weekend for the New York Renaissance Faire (600 NY-17A, Tuxedo Park, NY). The faire will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The Faire is a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England, set within the Majestic Groves of Sterling Forest. Tickets are $29.95 for adults, $13 for children ages 5-12, and free for children under 5. Visit the website to buy tickets and learn more about special events and theme weekends.

 

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