Weekend Family Fun: Nature, Community, and More

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

Happy weekend! If you’re looking for some fun and family-friendly ways to spend your time, you’re in the right place! We’ve rounded activities in and around town happening this weekend. Check ’em out!

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.

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 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, join One River School for a Party on the Plaza in Wellmont Arts Plaza (6 Seymour Plaza, Montclair). Drop in for art and design workshops, help create a community mural, jam with School of Rock, boulder with Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gym, and more. The event is free. Register online.

Saturday is Lego Day at the Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge). Stop in between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM to build with the library’s huge Lego collection and create something cool!

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

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 Ecosystems. Cost is $30 for this in-person, drop off program.

Liberty Hall (1003 Morris Avenue, Union) will host Family Fun Day: On the Home Front on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Rations and “Meatless Mondays” became the norm when American entered the Great War in 1917. Brothers John and Robert Kean enlisted in the Army, and over the next 19 months until Armistice Day on November 11th, the Kean family supported the war effort at home and abroad. Join in for activities and explorations and learn about this oft-forgotten piece of Liberty Hall’s history. Tickets are $10 for 1 child and 1 adult and $4 for each additional child.

The Montclair Foundation and Van Vleck House and Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) will host a Family Day – Fun + Community in the Gardens as part of their Good Grows Here Gratitude + Gatherings event on Sunday. The activities will include a scavenger hunt, live music, making seasonal crafts together and meeting other families while making centerpieces and décor for “Sharon’s Harvest” Thanksgiving guests at Toni’s Kitchen. Member tickets are $75 for 4 people and non-member tickets are $100 for 4 people. Additional tickets are $15 per person. Choose between Session A from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and Session B from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

On Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Turtle Back Zoo will host Family Nature Club: Woodland Wanderers. Enjoy a casual hike as you wander on and off the trails to discover what our local wildlife are up to this Fall. This hike is great for anyone who just wants to get out and explore, whether it be climbing logs, digging in the dirt, and enjoying the beautiful Fall weather! Meet in the parking lot across from Regatta Playground (Cherry Lane, West Orange). This activity is recommended for ages 6+ and all minors must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $10 per person.

On Sunday from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM, Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Twp) will host Lenape Life. Get a feel for what life was like for the Native Americans of NJ hundreds of years ago! Tour our decorated model wigwam, try out stone and wooden tools, learn the games Lenape children played, and try making a fire with a bow drill. You can even make a game to take home! This event is for ages 7 and up, and the cost is $10 per person. Register online.

On Sunday at 2:00 PM, Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair) will host Sharon Dennis Wyeth, author of Evette: The River and Me, and Denise Lewis Patrick, author of Makena: See Me, Hear Me, Know Me. These are two of three new books in the American Girl series. These new characters stories reflect several important social issues, including racial equality, environmentalism, and immigration, and the value of working together to create a better world. As told in a unique series of overlapping stories, the three young friends become passionate peers in speaking up for the causes they care about. Shared scenes told from multiple perspectives showcase each girl’s point of view and emphasize the importance of friendship, respect, fairness, and inclusion.

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