Weekend Family Fun: Eco Fairs, Campfires, Drums and More

Happy weekend, everybody! We hope you had a great week. Now it’s time for fun with the family. We’ve rounded up a bunch of family friendly events. Check ‘em out!

On Friday evening, Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Campfire Friends on Friday from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, for families with children ages 5 and up. Enjoy a night of fun around the campfire with stories, songs, games, and interesting nighttime facts. If the sky is clear, there will also be some stargazing and learning about the night sky. Preregistration is required. Cost is $5 for members and $15 for non-members.

weekend events
AAPI Montclair Lantern Festival 2021 – Credit Fred Mastromarino – 4

Also on Friday, AAPI Montclair hosts its second annual Lantern Festival at Edgemont Park in Montclair from 7-9 p.m. (rain date Saturday). The evening of healing, remembrance, and solidarity with fellow community members, will include live music, family friendly activities and more.

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.

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 at 10:00 AM, Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint (575 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove) will host Guitar Bob’s May Concert. “Guitar Bob” Messano will perform this spectacular, family-friendly, kids performance!

weekend event

Northeast Earth Coalition will host Montclair Eco-Fair on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, at St. James Episcopal Church (581 Valley Road, Montclair). Join local environmentalists and community activists in an outdoor event with environmental displays and music! Come and learn about gardening for pollinators and butterflies, native plants, edible landscapes, community gardens, solar power, beekeeping, climate change, and volunteer opportunities. Enjoy live music by local performers. This event is free. Register online.

Also on Saturday, Van Vleck House & Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) will host Outdoor Adventures: Flower Fun from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Join us Enjoy the gardens as you and your family explore and learn about the outdoor world through crafts, scavenger hunts, activity sheets and displays. This program is entirely outdoors, and you can arrive anytime between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Registration is required and includes everything you need to participate in the program. In the event of inclement weather, Outdoor Adventures take-home activity kits will be available for pick-up in the Visitor Center.  Designed for children ages 4 -11 but all are welcome. This activity is free for members and $15 for non-members.

The 44th Glen Ridge Arts & Eco Fair will be held on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Ridgewood Avenue in Glen Ridge. Celebrate the RETURN of arts and entertainment at the biggest festival of the year in Glen Ridge! The day showcases the artistry of students and crafters, local businesses, and features live performances and eco-demonstrations, green products, food and so much more!

On Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Presby Memorial Iris Gardens (474 Upper Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Family Garden Party. Walk through a garden blooming with more than 100,000 iris flowers. The Essex County Family Garden Party is a free community event. Entertainment, crafts, face painting, Master Gardeners’ information, booths from the Essex County Environmental Center, Turtle Back Zoo, and various food trucks will be there. A local student art exhibit will also be featured.

Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Biwanko: Japanese Taiko Drum Performance and Workshop on Saturday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Experience a performance of Japanese Taiko drumming as performed by young students. This powerful and soulful art will inspire people of all ages and will include a brief learning workshop. Biwanko was formed by Japanese families in Bergen County, New Jersey, with the purpose of passing Japanese culture and traditions down to their children. Biwanko’s mission is to educate people about their formal Osuwa Daiko style of Taiko drumming, while demonstrating the beauty of this sacred Japanese music. Learn more about them at www.biwanko.org.

On Saturday, from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Community Day: Hip Hop Hooray. Join in for a celebration of Hip Hop, a movement pioneered by Black artists who created a new wave of music, style, and culture. Rooted in the four major pillars that defined a generation—MCing, DJing, pop locking, and graffiti art—the program will underscore the significant role that Newark holds in the legacy and future of the culture, through musical performances, artmaking activities, dance presentations, and more. Featuring Dupré ‘DoItAll’ Kelly, Oskii, Freakquencee and more. Grab something tasty at one of the food trucks. This event is for all ages. In case of rain, the event will move indoors. Enjoy free general admission to the Museum all day during Community Day! Preregistration is required. Visit the website for the full schedule.

The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present Go, Dog, Go! GO, DOG, GO! brings P.D. Eastman’s classic children’s book to life on stage in a rollicking free-for-all of chicanine-ery. A big and little musical world of doggy fun. Like a pop-up book that comes to life and never stops. Performances will be held on Saturday at 4:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Tickets start at $18.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (1 Center Street, Newark) will present Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company: Celebrating the Legacy of Nai-Ni Chen and the Year of the Water Tiger at 2:00 PM on Saturday Celebrate the incredible legacy of dancer, choreographer, and educator Nai-Ni Chen with this special performance. Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has been a beloved presence at NJPAC since they first opened their doors in 1997. And they’re honored to pay tribute to the life and work of their friend Nai-Ni Chen on the NJPAC stage. In addition to vibrant dance commemorating the Year of the Water Tiger, they’ll also be joined by the innovative Ahn Trio (featuring Lucia Ahn on piano, Angella Ahn on violin, and Maria Ahn on cello).Tickets are $35-$110.

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.

Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown) will present New Jersey Ballet: Cinderella on Sunday at 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM. Tickets are $15-$25. One of New Jersey Ballet’s most popular productions for children, Cinderella is a two-act ballet of the well-known fairy tale in which a girl loses a dancing slipper and finds happily ever after with a prince. See the hours of the clock come to life and dance, a Fairy Godmother and beautiful Fairies of the Four seasons in the enchanted garden, and the pumpkin which turns into a coach before your very eyes! Splendid sets and costumes, glorious dancing, New Jersey Ballet’s hallmark “Storyteller” narration makes sure even the littlest theater-goers can keep up with ease.

SOPAC (1 SOPAC Way, South Orange) will host The Little Mermaid on Sunday at 1:00 PM. This award-winning adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved tale follows the dreams of a young girl who believes there is a better life waiting for her above the surface of the ocean. With stunning scenery and costumes, original songs and chart-topping hits, this show is an adventurous and delightful musical theatre experience. Tickets are $20. The show is recommended for ages 4-9.

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.

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.


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