Weekend Family Fun: Carnivals, Memorial Day and More

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! The unofficial start to summer is finally here, and that calls for some family fun. We’ve rounded up some things to do in and around the area. Check ‘em out!

Westfield Garden State Plaza (One Garden State Plaza, Paramus) will host the LEAD Fest Carnival now through June 12. Enjoy rides, food, shows, and much more. The carnival will be open Friday from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Admission is $5. Passes and ride ticket prices can be found on the website.

Schiff Nature Preserve (339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham) will host Family Fireside Fun on Friday evening from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Grab the kiddos, bundle up, and take a short walk up to the Schiff Lean To area on the Blue Trail with other nature loving families to bask in the light of the firepit listening to stories of the creatures of the winter night. Our fun evening plans include playing animal trivia and roasting marshmallows amongst the stars. Appropriate for guests ages 4 and up. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

On Saturday 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.

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 May’s theme is “The Nose Knows.” 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.

Bellevue Library

Montclair Public Library’s Bellevue Branch (185 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair) will host Saturday Storytime from 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM, weather permitting. Enjoy an in-person story time for children ages birth to 5 years old on the lawn near the parking lot. Bring something to sit on. No registration is required, but it is recommended for updates and reminders.

On Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host May Family Saturdays. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family. Stop in for MakerSPACE, planetarium shows, craft activities, and more. Visit the website for the schedule of activities. This event is free with general admission.

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (9 Main Street, Madison) will host a Memorial Day Drop In Craft on Saturday and Sunday. Kids will create paper lanterns with the colors of the flag. The crafts will run all day while the museum is open from 10am-4pm on Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sunday. Drop in crafts are included with regular museum admission. Regular METC admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students & children 6 and older, and free for members and children under 6. Family maximum admission $15.00. No pre-registration is required.

On Sunday, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Family Sunday 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 and Family Drop-In: Mini Keepsake. You can find the entire schedule online. This program is included with Museum admission.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio: Book of Dreams with Peg Kenselaar 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 exhibition Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, families this week will create a personalized book with dreams for the future. 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.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday 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.

Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City) continues to present 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 and Sunday. Cost is the price of general admission, plus an additional fee. Visit the website for details.

On Monday, the Woodland Park Memorial Day Street Fair (1250 McBride Avenue, Woodland Park) will be held from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Hosted by the Woodland Park Recreation Department and the Borough of Woodland Park, NJ, this event will be held from Lackawanna Avenue to Memorial Drive. Admission is free. Enjoy food, shopping, live music, local merchants and businesses, and a special kids section.

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