Weekend Family Fun: Cherry Blossoms, Lenape Life, Paddington and More

The weekend is here! If you’re in the mood for some family-friendly fun, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up some activities to help you spend your time. Check ’em out!

The Garden State Model Railway Club (575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon) will host the final weekend of its 63rd Annual Model Railroad Show. This event is fun for the whole family. Children will enjoy the seeing Thomas the Tank Engine and the Kiddie Layout. The show will be open from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and children under 10 free with an adult.

This is the final weekend to see Pinkalicious the Musical at The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong). Performances will be held on Saturday at 4:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Based on the popular book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, this is the tale of Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe–a dream come true for this pink-loving enthusiast. Alas Pinkalicious needs a way out of her pink predicament, and joined by her family, they find unity and appreciation in the quirks that define us all. Tickets are $28 per person.

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 is a new theme each month, and the theme for April is “Kind of Blue.” Spring has sprung! Come see the baby animals, learn how they grow and how they help the farm! This activity is geared toward children ages three to five with an adult. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.

Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center (200 Pottersville Road, Chester Twp) will host Raptor Adaptations on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM for children ages ten and up. Join The Raptor Trust as it takes an in-depth look at the particular biological adaptations raptors have that make them such mighty hunters. You will learn more about each group of raptors (hawks, owls, eagles, falcons and vultures) and what makes each group unique. This program is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy. This activity is free, but reservations are required.

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (23 Main Street, Madison) will host a Wearable Art Bracelet Making Workshop on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Join METC and textile artist Josie Dakers-Brathwaite for a bracelet making workshop. In this workshop you will learn techniques to create your very own felt jewelry. We will mix colors and embellish with beads. If you have small beads or sentimental trinkets, please bring to the workshop. Beads will also be provided. At the end of the class, you will have a custom-made bracelet of your own. Beginners are welcome; however, this workshop is not suitable for those with wool allergies. Please bring a medium size towel and small bucket to class with you. Pre-registration is required for this program as space is limited. Cost is $45 per participant.

Cherry Blossom Family Day will be held on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Branch Brook Park (Concert Grove, Park Street Entrance). Visit the renovated and landscaped concert grove to enjoy an afternoon outdoors with your family. Get your bounce in some inflatables, work out in our paddle boats, construct a craft, get your face painted, our grab food from one of food vendors. The cost for this activity is free.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Daffodil Day on Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Daffodil Day is a decades-old tradition in Summit, when visitors to the Arboretum have an opportunity to enjoy one of the largest daffodil collections in New Jersey – over 50,000 bulbs in bloom in the Arboretum’s glacially carved Daffodil Bowl. Experience firsthand the spectacular display of color of thousands of these iconic daffodils that have made the Arboretum famous. This year we will follow the Earth Day focus of “Invest in Our Planet” with spring themed activities including games and crafts, music, food trucks, art exhibit, vendors, and of course, the Green Goats will be here. Take our story walk, enjoy a treat, and join us for this fun-filled day. You must register in advance and choose a timeslot. The cost for non-Members is $10 per person.

On Saturday and Sunday, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host MakerSPACE from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 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. This program is included with Museum admission.

City Green Farm Eco-Center (171 Grove Street, Clifton) will host Spring into the Garden Workshop on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM. Learn how to plant a spring garden at City Green! Participants will get hands-on experience preparing, transplanting, and watering their own take-home garden, while exploring the farm and visiting the animals at City Green’s Farm Eco-Center.  Parent(s) must accompany children to this program, which is suitable for children ages five to twelve. The fee is $8.00 per person.

And, on Saturdays in April, you can also see Planetarium: Secret of the Cardboard Rocket at Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Embark on an amazing adventure with two children as they explore the Solar System and learn about each of the planets along the way. This activity is recommended for families with kids ages 3-10, and it is included with Museum admission.

Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will also host Family Drop-In: A Time to Grow on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Welcome spring at the NMOA! Plant some seeds and watch them bloom in the upcoming weeks. Explore a fun way to make paper. Family Drop-ins are movement, artmaking, science experiments and storytelling sessions targeted for kids aged 5-10.  Please note seating is on a first come, first-serve basis.  Register online. This program is included with Museum admission.

Essex County Park System will host Bloomfest as part of the Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM in Branch Brook Park (Cherry Blossom Welcome Center, Mill Street Entrance, Belleville). Enjoy a family day in New Jersey’s pinkest park! A packed schedule of events includes Japanese cultural demonstrations, children’s activities, live music, a crafter’s marketplace, food and more! This event is free.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Lenape Life on Sunday from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM for children ages seven and up with an adult. Get a feel for what life was like for the Lenni-Lenape of NJ hundreds of years ago. Tour our authentic, decorated model wigwam, examine stone and wooden tools, learn the games Lenape children played, and try making fire with a bow drill. Cost is $10 per person, and preregistration is required.

Also on Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Creative Play: Seed Magic. Who doesn’t like to paint and get messy? Every season has its own special beauty! In April, we begin to think about warmer weather and gardens. Join us for storytime and a paper-making project with a special twist! This is a program specifically designed for children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration is required and space is limited. This program is included with Museum admission.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 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.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, with sessions beginning on the hour. Join in each Sunday for a fun family art-making activity inspired by our current exhibitions. Explore materials, learn new techniques, and meet other community members while enjoying creative time with your family. Each week features a different project designed by MAM Teaching Artists to spark the imagination and encourage conversation in response to artworks on view in museum galleries. This program is aimed at families with children ages 5–12, but all are welcome. This event is free with admission and registration is required. Inspired by the exhibition Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, families this week explore the many facets of their identity using text, pictograms, graphics and colored pencils to turn a flat surface into a 3D cube expressing their personal voice. This event is free with Museum admission, but you must register separately.

On Sunday at 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM, Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown) will present Paddington Gets in a Jam. Paddington is making his favorite marmalade jam but runs out of sugar, so he goes next door to borrow a cup from his neighbor, Mr. Curry. Mr. Curry, however, is in a panic because he is expecting a visitor; so, Paddington volunteers to help him with his chores. Unfortunately for Paddington, his good intentions end up leading to chaos. Will Paddington be able to fix everything before Mr. Curry’s visitor arrives? This show is suitable for ages three to nine. Tickets are $20-$30.

And don’t miss Mr. Bunny’s visit to Montclair! (Info above).

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