Weekend Family Fun: Scavenger Hunt, MakerSpace and More

Three cheers for the weekend! If you’re looking for some fun and family-friendly things to do in and around the area, you’re in the right place!

Be sure to confirm events during inclement weather.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) continues to host the Family Phot 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 new theme for February is, “Growing Presidential.” Nothing like a month full of presidents to get you thinking about plants. Lots of plants are named in honor of presidents and lots more are just plain presidential. Thomas Jefferson described botany as “among the most useful of the sciences,” so put on your thinking cap and keep your eyes open! Get outside and explore the gardens with this contact-less family photo scavenger hunt.  The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or less. Preregistration is required.

On Saturday, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host MakerSPACE from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The MakerSPACE at The Newark Museum of Art comes back on selected Saturdays! Be part of a fun, interactive area where visitors of all ages play, tinker, and create as they make connections between the materials, processes, and concepts of artwork and natural science objects in the Museum’s collections and their own creativity. Look at the artwork in the galleries, learn more about it, then experiment with materials and processes in the MakerSPACE. Register online. This program is included with Museum admission.


Liberty Hall Museum (1003 Morris Avenue, Union) will host My Little Man & Me: Valentine’s Day Party on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Get ready for Valentine’s Day with your little man! Moms, grandmas, and aunts: grab your sons, grandsons, and nephews and have some fun! Enjoy games, crafts, snacks, punch, and a photo booth area while making special memories. This activity is $5-$30 and is recommended for children ages 4-8.

For the next two Saturdays, you can catch Lunar New Year performances at Hudson Yards (20 Hudson Yards, NYC). At 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 5:00 PM, enjoy traditional lion dances and ribbon-twirling performances by The New York Chinese Cultural Center in The Great Room on Level 1 of Hudson Yards.

Maple Sugaring Demos will be held at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham Township) on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM. Learn how to identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and make real maple syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. This year, the program will be held entirely outdoors, so dress for the weather. Spiles and syrup will be available for purchase, while supplies last. Cost is $5 per person. You must preregister and select your time slot.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wonders of the Wild! Winter Edition on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. This 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. This week’s session is entitled, “Urban Ecology.” Cost is $30 and you must purchase in advance.

On Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Winter Journaling. Discover the joy of phenology, the cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. Find a special place to write down and draw your winter discoveries and appreciate the cold and brisk change of the season. Maybe partake in some winter birding! Also, hike the grounds to note seasonal changes and beautiful discoveries. Journals will be made at the event. Dress warmly. Advanced registration is required. This is an all-ages activity, but children under 5 require caregiver supervision. Cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child and $12 per adult.

American Dream Mall (1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford) will present a series of Lunar New Year events now through February 20th. This Saturday, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, watch the Yang Fei Fei band for a physically-distant performance at The Dream Stage in Court A.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:0 PM. Spark!Lab offers any child (ages 5-12 years old and accompanied by an adult), a new informal approach to hands-on learning. Instead of following step-by-step instructions, young inventors will be empowered to problem-solve and overcome real-world obstacles. Spark!Lab offers many unique, project-specific stations, where inventors can engage directly with engineering and design challenges. There is also a newly created space with a train and exploration table filled with unique tools to help spark creativity, thinking, and learning for children ages 1-4). The cost is included in admission, which is $12 for adults, $8 for children 3-17, and free for children under 3.

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