Weekend Family Fun: Winter, Holidays, Nature and More

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


Happy weekend! Are you ready for some family-friendly fun? If you’re looking for something to do over the next couple of days, we’ve got you covered!

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

We’ve also gathered information on a number of holiday shows. You can check them out here.

Bergen County Winter Wonderland 2021 continues 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 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 “Let It Snow.” 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.

South Orange Downtown will host Hometown Holiday: Elf Edition on Saturday with events all day. Kickoff the day with a free screening of Elf at 9:00 AM at The Village at SOPAC (1 SOPAC Way, South Orange). Then stay for Selfies with Santa beginning at 10:30 PM. From 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, visit Spiotta Park (20-32 Village Plaza, South Orange) for crafts, winter treats, elf entertainment, and a special visit from Santa. Finally, at 5:00 PM at 76 S. Orange Avenue (South Orange), enjoy a tree lighting with a special performance by the CHS Choir.

Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Meteorites and Stardust with Prof. Manavi Jadhav on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM. This virtual program is recommended for grads 2-12. Learn about meteorites and stardust from Prof. Manavi Jadhav of the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Registration is required.

On Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Community Day: Winter Wonderland. Step inside the Winter Wonderland for food, art, and festive fun! The transformed Museum presents Hip-Hop performances, music, and dance that celebrate holidays around the world. Visit the website for a schedule of events and COVID protocol. Admission is free.

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

The Garden State Model Railway Club’s 63rd Annual Model Railroad Show (575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon) will be open for its third of four weekends beginning this weekend. The show will be open from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on 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.

On Saturday, Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint (575 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove) will host Kris & The Kringles Live – Santa Rocks! The all-ages show begins at 7:00 PM. Kris Kringle (Himself) and his Band will appear for live, rockin’ renditions of favorite holiday songs, stories, and fun for the whole family. The show is free, but a donation of a non-perishable food item for Human Needs Food Pantry is requested.

On Sunday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Turtle Back Zoo will host Zoo Explorers Program. Join in to use movement, stories, games, and crafts for these interactive, science-based lessons to learn about the fascinating world of animals. This is a drop off program for children ages 4 and 5. Cost is $30.

On Sunday at 11:00 AM, The Newark Museum of Art will host Virtual Family Drop-In: Endangered Animals. This free event is recommended for kids ages 5-12. Enjoy a virtual meet and greet with endangered animals. Understand the environmental and social impacts that have contributed negatively to the survival of these animals and learn how we can help. Registration is required.


On Sunday at 12:30 PM, The Clairidge will show the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. After a divorced New York mother hires a nice old man to play Santa Claus at Macy’s, she is startled by his claim to be the genuine article. When his sanity is questioned, a lawyer defends him in court by arguing that he’s not mistaken. Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio: Zig Zag Assemblage with Peg Kenselaar on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Inspired by Louise Nevelson’s artwork Black Zag A in the exhibition Transformed, this week families will create a one-of-a-kind assemblage using found objects and recycled materials. Learn additive sculpture techniques while experimenting with pattern, depth, direction and texture. 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.

On Sunday, enjoy Sleep, Stay or Fly Away? at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) from 3:300 PM to 4:30 PM. Every animal must make a choice in the wintertime in order to survive. Learn what NJ wildlife do – you’ll be surprised at the answers! – on an easy hike with a naturalist. Cost is $4 per person and preregistration is required. This activity is suitable for ages 6 and up.


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