Weekend Family Fun: Blippi, Summer Reading, Disney and More

It’s the first weekend of summer! Are you ready for some family-friendly fun? If you’re looking for things to do in and around the area, we’ve rounded some activities up for you. Check ‘em out!

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. This is the final weekend for the June theme, which is “Midsummer Dream.” The magic of summer is here and it’s time to look for winged friends in the garden. Grab your camera and explore the gardens for plants, herbs and flowers that attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Who knows? You might even spy a Midsummer Fairy! The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.

Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Summer Reading Extravaganza from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday. Dive into “Oceans of Possibilities” as the library kicks off the Summer Reading Challenge. There will be a 24-foot slide, a bouncy house, gravity-defying giant bubbles, interactive games, dance, and more. Visit the website for the schedule.

West Orange Public Library (46 Mount Pleasant Avenue, West Orange) will host Drag Queen Story Hour featuring Harmonica Sunbeam on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Listen to stories and make crowns to take home. Registration is required.

On Saturday, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host June Family Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family, including MakerSPACE, Zula Patrol 2: Down to Earth and SkyQuest Planetarium Shows, Creative Play: Here Comes the Light, and Family Drop-In: Summertime Fun. Visit the website for a full schedule. These activities are free with general admission tickets.

Also on Saturday at 10:00 AM at the Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will be NMOA Summer Series | Broadway in the Bricks Jr: Disney Day. Local performers will sing, dance, and celebrate songs from the wonderful world of Disney. The show will feature scenes and songs inspired by musicals like Frozen, The Litte Mermaid, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and More. Sing along and meet your favorite Disney characters. Come dressed up in costume for a chance to win a special prize. Cost is $15 General Admission and $12 NMOA Members, NJS Patrons, and Children.

Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center (200 Pottersville Road, Chester Township) will host Snakes! This free activity will be held on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM for children ages 10 and up. Where do snakes live? What do snakes eat? Why do they shed their skin? Find out the answers at this family-friendly event. With various live snakes on display, our snake expert will help us understand the vital role that snakes play in nature. Our snake handler may even allow careful touching of the snakes!

On Saturday from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, The Township of Bloomfield will host the grand re-opening and open house tour of Oakeside Mansion (240 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield). The community is invited to bring a picnic lunch or enjoy free refreshments including hot dogs, pizza, and Italian ices. Activities for the afternoon will include music provided by Bloomfield High School’s Pulse String Company, a demo class by Shooting Star Dance Studio, self-guided tours of the house, yoga class demos, henna tattoos, sand art, and more. Please visit https://www.bloomfieldtwpnj.com/1568/Cultural-Preservation for more details regarding schedule and access. For any questions or additional information about this event, please contact the Department of Cultural Preservation at oakeside@bloomfieldtwpnj.com.

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. All summer through August 28, young inventors will be issued a free Spark!Lab passport during their summer visits to the lab. With each visit they will acquire a stamp and with six stamps they will complete the challenge and earn an exclusive prize. The first ten inventors who complete this challenge will receive the You Topia moving diorama makers kit (pictured above)! Other prizes include a Spark!Lab journal and more!

Family AG Day will be held on Sunday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at The Wayne Museum (533 Berdan Avenue, Wayne). Enjoy museum tours, family activities, music, and more. RSVP online.

On Sunday, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host June Family Sundays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family at The Newark Museum of Art, including MakerSPACE and Family Drop-In: Summertime Fun. You can find the entire schedule online. This program is included with Museum admission. Reserve your tickets online.

At 3:00 PM on Sunday, Montclair Early Music and Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Jubilee, A Celebration of African American Music at the Museum. African Dance and Drum ensemble from Montclair State University will begin the program. The program will include singing, dancing, poetry with audience participation. Additional performers will include Montclair Early Music’s ensemble, JazzHouse Kids, and School of Rock. Tickets to the event include admission to the Museum prior to the program, including the current exhibition featuring Jerry Pinkney, one of America’s most renowned illustrators of children’s books that honor Black heritage. Tickets are $25 for members and $25 for non-members. Children under 12 are free.

Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown) will present Blippi the Musical on Sunday at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Blippi The Musical brings the energetic and loveable character Blippi off the screen and onto the stage with world-class production, audience engagement and amazing music. Children from the ages of 2 to 7 years old across the world have quickly taken a liking to Blippi’s charismatic personality and innovative teaching lessons! In the Live show, they will continue to learn about the world around them while singing and dancing along with this one of a kind show. Tickets are $39-$59.

Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City) has several special exhibits. The Pigeon Comes to Jersey City celebrates the art and characters of beloved children’s book author and illustrator, Mo Willems. This young learner exhibition features best-friend duo Elephant and Piggie, faithful companion Knuffle Bunny, and The Pigeon, the wily city bird best known for his antics in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! It will also continue 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. Both exhibits will be open will be open through September 5, 2022. Liberty Science Center is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 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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