Weekend Family Fun: Holidays, Trains, SpongeBob and More

This weekend family fun guide is sponsored by The Newark Museum of Art.

Thanksgiving weekend is underway and it’s the perfect time to spend time with the ones you love! We’ve rounded up activities in the area that the whole family can enjoy. Check ’em out!

Hanukkah begins this weekend. You’ll find events and activities in this round up.

If you’re up for viewing some holiday lights, there are plenty to see in the area. Check out our roundup!

On Friday, BergenPAC (30 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood) will present A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage at 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM.  Just in time for the holiday season, everyone’s favorite Peanuts television special comes to life in Englewood. A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage celebrates the timeless television classic as the whole family can join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts characters in their journey to uncover the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets are $29-$59.

This weekend, The Growing Stage: The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present The Story of the Nutcracker. Performances will be held Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 4:00 PM, and Sunday at 2:00 PM. The Growing Stage’s original adaptation transforms the classic holiday ballet into a fully formed theatrical production laced with the music of Tchaikovsky. The mysterious Uncle Drosselmeir brings his niece, Clara, a very special gift, a Nutcracker. After the family has gone to bed, Clara sneaks out from her bedroom to see her gift. As the clock chimes twelve, the adventure begins! Clara and the Nutcracker, who is really a prince, journey through the Land of Sweets, battle an army of mice, sail on the Lemonade Sea, rescue the Sugar Plum Fairie all to finally reclaim the prince’s crown from the Dowager Mouse Queen and her inept son. Tickets are $18-$28.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) continues to host the Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Held daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt. There’s a new theme every month and the current theme is “The Secrets of Trees.” Trees are shedding their leaves, but are they shedding their secrets? Explore the arboretum to find the big, the historic, and the most remarkable trees in this fun, family, non-contact photo scavenger hunt. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or less. Preregistration is required.

On Saturday and Sunday, Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Twp) will host Apple Cidering Demonstrations for ages 4 and up. Find out why you’ve been looking at apples upside down your whole life and help make fresh apple cider by hand with an old-fashioned cider press. Cost is $5 per person. Preregistration is required. There are sessions from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM and sessions from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

The SpongeBob Musical begins this weekend at Axelrod Performing Arts Center (100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park). Performances will be held on Saturday at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM, and on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Presented by the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy, The SpongeBob Musical is based on the beloved animated series created by Stephen Hillenburg, TV’s number-one kids’ show for over 20 years. The Broadway production—which The New York Times called “brilliant”—was a surprise to children and adults alike! This production, directed by Broadway’s original Mrs. Puff, Abby C. Smith, takes place in Bikini Bottom where SpongeBob and his undersea cohorts face imminent annihilation. Thanks to the power of optimism (and musicals!), a new hero arises, and the world is saved. With a score by some of the great pop songwriters of the past 50 years, The SpongeBob Musical is the hippest kids’ musical to ever open on Broadway. Tickets are $36 for adults and $18 for students.

Bergen County Winter Wonderland 2021 begins this weekend and runs through January 2 at Van Saun County Park (216 Forest Avenue, Paramus). Bergen County’s Winter Wonderland at Van Saun Park is northern New Jersey’s premier winter event featuring open air ice skating, a kid’s zone ice rink, hospitality tent, children’s games and activities, carousel rides, food trucks an indoor/outdoor beer garden and the Bergen County Express Train Ride! All activities (including skate rentals) are included with admission. Tickets are $15 and children 3 and under are free. Visit the website for a full schedule of activities.

The Garden State Model Railway Club’s 63rd Annual Model Railroad Show (575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon) will be open for its first of four weekends beginning this weekend. The show will be open from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets are $8. Children under 10 are free with an adult. The show is fun for the whole family, including Thomas and special trains for children. Refreshments will be available.

Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show will be held this weekend at the New Jersey Expo Center (97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison). This is the longest running train and toy show in the northeast. The show will feature 550+ tables of trains for sale, 150+ exhibitors, huge operating model train displays, free workshops and demonstrations, door prizes, and much more. Tickets are $11 for Saturday and Sunday, and $10 for Saturday only (on-site and cash only). Kids 11 and under are free and don’t need a ticket.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio: The Cigar Box, Transformed, Recycled and Reclaimed with Mansa Mussa on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Inspired by the exhibition Transformed, this week families will learn collage and assemblage techniques to upcycle old cigar boxes into colorful gift boxes – just in time for the holidays! This program is geared toward families with children ages 5–12, but all are welcome. This event is free with MAM admission. Registration is required.

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