Weekend Family Fun: Healthy Kids Day, Storytime, Wizard of Oz, Bubbles and More

Happy weekend! Are you looking for some fun things to do with the family? We’ve got you covered! Check out some of these activities in and around town.

Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair) will host Beth Ferry, No Nibbling Storytime on the Green on Friday at 4:00 PM. Storytime on the Green is back! Join author Beth Ferry and illustrator A. N. Kang for a reading of their new book “No Nibbling!” One warm spring day, Derwood the goat planted a garden and patiently tended it as it grew. But when Tabitha, a precocious bunny hops on the scene, what ensues is a pun-filled tale that will leave you saying, “No nibbling!” Bring a blanket and enjoy this afterschool storytime and activity on the Watchung Plaza Green. Signed books 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 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. May’s theme, “The Nose Knows,” begins on Sunday. Grab your camera and follow your nose. Use your senses to find all kinds of scents and smells around the gardens.  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, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Elmwood Park Recreation Department will host the Elmwood Park Street Fair (300 Market Street, Elmwood Park). Enjoy vendors, including an arts and crafts section, live entertainment, kiddie rides and games, festival foods, food trucks, and more.

Also at Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit), enjoy Free Tour Saturday. Free guided tours of the Arboretum take place at 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. No reservations are required, but space is limited, and tours are given on a first come, first served basis.

On Saturday, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Family Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family at The Newark Museum of Art. Enjoy MakerSPACE, a Planetarium Show, Creative Play, and Family Drop-In: Mini Keepsake. You can find the entire schedule online. This program is included with Museum admission.

Schiff Nature Preserve (339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham) will host Woodpecker Wonders on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Intended for children ages 7-12, join science teacher, naturalist, and author, Marissa Mizeski, of the newly acclaimed book called Amelia and the Mysterious Woodpecker for a unique opportunity for an author talk, nature writing activity, plus bird walk and games! Amelia and the Mysterious Woodpecker is a fast-paced adventure that inspires wonder of the natural world! It is the first in a middle grade series. Guests will receive an autographed copy of the book! More information will be provided upon registration. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Advance registration by 4/29 is required.

Geyer Family YMCA (159 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair) will host Healthy Kids Day on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Join the Y’s annual Healthy Kids Day to celebrate healthy kids and their families. The days programming is geared to children PreK through 12 years old. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Enjoy activities such as arts & crafts, yoga, Zumba, aerobics, games, snacks, and more. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

On Saturday at 2:00 PM, Shea Center for Performing Arts at William Paterson University (300 Pompton Road, Wayne) will present a sensory-friendly performance of The Wizard of Oz. A one-hour adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, the classic tale that has been entertaining audiences for ages, featuring a cast of 6 actors, the Munchkins as puppets, one flying monkey and a funny witch. Perfect for audiences 2-7 years old. Rediscover the joy of following the yellow brick road with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion as they travel through a reimagined world of Oz. Originally adapted, designed and directed for Vital Theatre Company by Michael Schloegl. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children under 18.

On Saturday at 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM, catch B—The Underwater Bubble Show at Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown). Explore the wondrous underwater world of Bubblelandia as you go on an imaginary journey through the deep blue sea and explore a world inhabited by incredible creatures. This lavish production features dancers, acrobats, original music and fantastic bubble effects to create a dreamlike underwater atmosphere. Tickets are $19-$49.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 2:30 PM to 4:30 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.

On Sunday at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM, Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) will shot Shadow Puppet Workshop with Sam Jay Gold in the Theater Lobby. Together with puppeteer Sam Jay Gold, learn about the characters, stories, and techniques found in the living tradition of Indonesian Wayang Kulit. Then make your own shadow puppet! All the materials are provided in this opportunity to learn, experiment, and create your own puppet inspired by a centuries-old form of shadow puppetry and storytelling. Each workshop lasts one hour. This activity is free with Museum Admission.

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. Inspired by the artwork of Saya Woolfalk and her use of symmetry and mixed media, as featured in the exhibition Transformed: Objects Reimagined by American Artists, families will learn how to use radial symmetry to draw mandalas and enhance the surface using mixed media. 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.

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