Weekend Family Fun: Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year and More

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! If you’re looking for activities the whole family will love, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up some activities in the area. Check ’em out!

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.

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (9 Main Street, Madison) will host Valentine’s Day Drop In Craft from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Let your love soar as you make a special Valentine’s Day rocket to share with your lived one. This activity is free with museum admission and no pre-registration is required.

AAPI Montclair will host Lunar New Year 2022 Celebration at Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) on Saturday from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. AAPI Montclair’s first-ever Lunar New Year celebration will feature family-friendly educational, cultural, and social activities to offer community members a chance to celebrate and learn about Lunar New Year together. Ring in the Year of the Tiger with cultural performances including a Chinese lion dance and Korean fan dance; arts & craft activities led by MAM educators; and in special theme food, drinks, and merchandise available for purchase, all in a COVID-cautious setting outside on the grounds of the Montclair Art Museum. General admission is $5 for non-members.

On Saturday, 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.

On Saturday, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Hands-On History: Victorian Valentine Craft at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 1:00 PM. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by creating your own Victorian valentine!  Using pressed flowers, Victorian stickers, and other supplies, impress your loved one with this festive craft!  No experience necessary, all supplies provided. This event is suitable for all ages. Cost is $15 per child with an adult.

Also at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown), enjoy Winter’s Day on the Farm on Sunday at 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 1:30 PM, and 2:00 PM. Winter doesn’t halt activity on the farm! Come to Fosterfields for Winter’s Day on the farm. Learn how to cut and harvest ice, help the staff saw wood, pet the cows, and see an outdoor cooking demonstration. Take a wagon ride around the farm to see it in all of its wintery splendor! Cost is $10 per person and free for children ages 3 and under.

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, “Environmental Diversity.” Cost is $30 and you must purchase in advance.

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.

Liberty Hall Museum (1003 Morris Avenue, Union) will host Family Fun Day: Lunar New Year on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. The Year of the Tiger begins on February 1st, and Liberty Hall is celebrating by making lots of crafts- from dragon puppets to “porcelain” plates- that emulate traditional Chinese craftsmanship and icons. Americans have adored Chinese imagery since before the Revolution (what people in the past called chinoiserie), but there are many traditional Chinese symbols that have been used in New Year’s festivities for hundreds of years. Come craft and learn and begin the New Year with lots of good fortune and prosperity! Tickets are $10 for one adult and one child, and $4 for each additional child.

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 Sun Wei band for a physically-distant performance at The Dream Stage in Court A.

On Sunday, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Family Drop-In: Design Your Own Poster. Make a social justice poster that expresses your values and inspires your imagination! We invite you to INSPIRE change! Whether you have 30 minutes or a couple of hours, stop by anytime between 1pm and 4pm. This activity is included with general admission, but you must register in advance.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Zoo Explorers for 4- and 5-year-olds on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Kids will use movement, stories, games, and crafts for this interactive, science-based lesson to learn about the wonderful and fascinating world of animals. This is a drop off program. Cost is $30.

Turtle Back Zoo will also host Family Nature Club: Nature Adventures on Sunday at South Mountain Dog Park (Bear Lane, Maplewood). Enjoy an outdoor adventure before the Superbowl! Bring your favorite snacks for this pre-game adventure, where we’ll discover what food animals are looking for and make a special wildlife treat! Tickets are $15.

Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd Street, NYC) will host Kids ‘N Comedy “Have a Heart” Show on Sunday at 1:00 PM. Valentine’s Day is upon us, and these teens are inspired to find love, thanks Pete Davidson! They’ve spent too much time at home and are ready to break out of snapchat and make some real-life connections. Come celebrate the holiday of romance and frequent humiliation with these charming teenage comedians!  Kids 13 through 18 present their own original standup comedy from the Kids ’N Comedy Pro-Show Kids. Tickets are $18.

The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present School House Rock Live Jr. on Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 4:00 PM, and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Tom is a nervous school teacher about to start his first day of teaching. He tries to relax with a little TV when various characters representing facets of his personality materialize from the television set. Tom is hesitant at first to accept their help, but with a little friendly prodding, they help Tom see how great a teacher he has been all along! Reviving the catchy, playful Saturday morning hits of the 70s, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, Jr. is both educational and enjoyable for everyone! Tickets for this all-youth production are $15.

On Sunday, the Jewish Museum will host Picture This! Painted Animals: Virtual Tour + Art Workshop on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. In this virtual tour and art workshop for families, discover Japanese netsuke in the exhibition The Hare with Amber Eyes, along with varying creatures and animals from the Jewish Museum collection, and design a colorful animal painting inspired by exhibition artworks. This event is free with RSVP, but donations are appreciated

On Sunday, enjoy Laurie Berkner’s Virtual Valentine’s Party, at 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Sing, dance, and play interactive games through your device with Laurie Berkner (plus some special guests!) as they perform your favorite songs, interact with you through the computer, and bring in a few surprises – from Laurie’s house to yours! This special virtual concert event is the 11th in this series, and your ticket helps support the team in continuing operations while we can’t tour. Join us for the hour before the concert for some fun pre-show activities and to make sure your stream is working smoothly! Bring an instrument to play, your dancin’ shoes, a stuffed animal, and your whole family! Laurie will be singing some greatest hits alongside special Valentine’s-themed songs. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through the SOPAC website.

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