Weekend Family Fun: Circus, Hot Chocolate, and More

Yes, it’s January 2022! If you’re looking to have some fun with the family, check out these events in the area. Check for any weather or COVID-related cancellations before you go.

At Van Saun County Park (216 Forest Avenue, Paramus), Friends of the Bergen County Zoo will host Let It Glow – A Holiday Lantern Spectacular from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Let it Glow is a symphony of vivid glowing colors to tease your eyes and dazzle the mind. Enjoy an enchanting stroll throughout the zoo. With over 30 scenes, these hand-made artistic wonders are more breath-taking than the last! The last night for this event is January 30th. Tickets can be purchased at the door but buying online is recommended as the event may sell out. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for children 3 and older. Children 2 and under are free.

The Garden State Model Railway Club’s 63rd Annual Model Railroad Show (575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon) will be open for its final 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.

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 “Black & White.” There’s a lot of beauty to be seen in Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s winter garden just waiting for you to go look for it! You might even see some hints that spring is really only two and a half months away. Get outside and explore the gardens with this contact-less family photo scavenger hunt. The cost is $10 per family or group of 4 or less. Preregistration is required.

Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Roc Avenue, Roseland) will host a Hot Chocolate Hike on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. For this family event, enjoy a hike around the Environmental Center Forest, build a winter campfire, sip hot cocoa, and make s’mores. Dress warmly. Advanced registration is required. Cost is $30 per family, up to two adults and two children, or $10 per child and $12 per adult.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wonders of the Wild! on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Turtle Back Zoo is an amazing classroom! Our 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. Available to students ages 6 -12. The program includes a visit to the Zoo or South Mountain Reservation as weather permits. Classes are on Saturday from 1 pm to 3 pm. This is an in-person, drop-off program. Face coverings are required indoors and during close animal encounters but not outdoors. This Saturday’s theme is Climate Change. Tickets are $30.

On Saturday at 1:00 PM, State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will host Dinosaur World Live. Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World Live in this roarsome interactive show for the whole family. Grab your compass and join our intrepid explorer across uncharted territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favorite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor, and Segnosaurus! Don’t miss this entertaining and mind-expanding Jurassic adventure, live on stage! Tickets are $15-$35.

Big Apple Circus will present shows each weekend through January 30th at Lincoln Center (10 Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC). The performance puts a modern twist on a beloved classic and performing throughout the holidays and into the New Year. This all-new production will feature Guinness world record holder, daredevil, Nik Wallenda, and his fearless family of highwire walkers. Joining the Wallendas is an international cast of gold-medal-award-winning, world-class circus artists in this Reenergized, Reimagined, and Reinvigorated production of circus artistry. See these performers, previously on America’s Got Talent, The X-Factor, or YouTube, “live” in this up-close and immersive event. Tickets start at $35 and there are performances on Saturday at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM and Sunday at 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM.

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