No matter what the weather says, this is the perfect time of year for spring activities! If you’re looking for some family-friendly fun, you’re sure to find it here. Check out these things to do in and around the area.
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.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) hosts Discovery Weekends on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Drop by the Stackhouse Education Center on Saturdays and Sundays anytime between 9am-3pm for this self-guided program for families and children 3 and older. Borrow a magnifying glass (please remember to return it once you’re done), grab an interactive activity guide, and head out to see what wonders big and small await. There may be a surprise or two, a clue to follow, a mystery to solve, a chance to create, and always an engaging nature activity. Each week is a new discovery! The program is free, but donations are requested.
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.
Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint (575 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove) will host Guitar Bob’s Easter Spectacular on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Guitar Bob Messano will perform a “day-before-Easter” kids performance you won’t forget.
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.
On Saturday at 11:00 AM sharp, Family Chiropractors of Montclair will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Watching Plaza Green. Children ages six and under are invited to bring a basket and participate in the fun.
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.
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.
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! The 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. The program includes a visit to the South Mountain Reservation, Reservoir, or Zoo as weather permits. This in-person, drop-off program is for children ages 6-12. The cost is $30 per person. This week’s theme is Radical Reptiles.
Liberty Hall (1003 Morris Avenue, Union) will host their Annual Easter Egg Hunt from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM. Children will explore the grounds of Liberty Hall, searching for plastic eggs, filled with holiday treats, hidden throughout the landscape! A surprise visit from the Easter Bunny caps off the event. This event is rain or shine! Reservations are required. Cost is $10 per child with one adult. Additional adults are $5.00. Don’t forget your baskets!
On Saturday, Schiff Nature Preserve will host Full Moon Hike from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. If you have never had the opportunity to do some night hiking, then don’t miss this as it’s an altogether different experience. Schiff’s Full Moon Hikes are an excellent opportunity to see our beautiful landscape by the light of the moon. Discover the magic of hiking at night while the moon is at its fullest, when even the most familiar trails reveal sights and sounds, they only share with the cool, quiet night. This 2 mile, 1 ½ hour hike is perfect for all experience levels, but guests should feel comfortable walking on uneven terrain. Guests are advised to wear hiking boots, weather appropriate attire, and bring headlamps to have on hand. Member fee is $10 per person. Non-member fee is $15 per person. Guests are asked to have masks on hand.
Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday 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. This event is free with Museum admission, but you must register separately.
Stop by Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City) for the limited exhibition, Butterfly House. Do you sense a lively flutter in the air? It’s no surprise. About a thousand butterflies have landed at Liberty Science Center to help us celebrate spring! Visitors can feel the magic of butterflies fluttering around you, feeding on plants and nectar, and even landing on your shoulder or finger. Butterfly House will be open daily through May 8 and is included with any admission ticket.
Also at Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City) is Minecraft: The Exhibition. This is a 6,000-sq.-ft. multimedia experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, whether they play Minecraft or not. The exhibition features an immersive experience that includes blocky scenes and characters from the game. Minecraft: The Exhibition will be open through September 5, 2022. Liberty Science Center is open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. It is closed this Sunday. Cost is the price of general admission, plus an additional fee. Visit the website for details.