Weekend Family Fun: Architecture, Matilda, Fishing, and More

Hooray for the weekend? Ready for some fun? We’ve rounded up some family-friendly activities for you to enjoy. Check ’em out!

Newark Museum of Art will present Family Movie Night: Sing 2 on Friday at 8:30 PM at Newark Riverfront Park (730 Raymond Boulevard, Newark). Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show. This event is free and no registration is required.

Pleasant Valley Productions will present Matilda the Musical at Oskar Schindler Center for the Performing Arts (4 Boland Drive, West Orange) on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, this is the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Tickets are $20 for premium and $10 for general admission.

Pixie Dust Players will present 13 Jr. this weekend at Millburn High School (462 Millburn Avenue, Millburn). Evan Goldman is plucked from his fast-paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parents’ divorce. Surrounded by an array of simpleminded middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link of the food chain… or will he dangle at the end with the outcasts?!? Performances will be Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $25.

Continuing this weekend, kids can enjoy the Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt in Watchung Plaza throughout July beginning at 10:00 AM on Friday. They can spend the morning or a couple hours a week during July searching for Waldo in over 20 businesses around the Plaza. Stop in to Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Montclair) for a Passport and to find Waldo there, then check out the neighboring businesses. A Where’s Waldo Wrap Up Party will be announced at a later time.

On Saturday, the Montclair Police Athletic League (MPAL), Montclair Police Foundation, Montclair Anglers, Eureka Lodge #52, and the Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 53 will be hosting a FREE fishing derby for Montclair youth ages pre-K through 12 at Edgemont Park in Montclair. The pond will be stocked with over 300 types of fish! Bring your fishing pole.

 A limited number of loaner poles will be available for youth wanting to cast off for the first time. 

Bait will be provided but feel free to bring your own.

Snacks will also be provided.

 Check-in is from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. 

Fishing derby begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 4:00pm.

 Registration and adult supervision will be mandatory for all participants. All participants must register here: https://montclairpal.leagueapps.com/events/3259167-2022-fishing-derby

On Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Montclair History Center (110 Orange Road, Montclair) will host Family Fun: Architecture Walking Tour. Column or pilaster? Herringbone or Flemish bond brick? On this Family Walking Tour, look for architectural details in the beautiful homes located on the streets near the Crane House & Historic YWCA. Teach your kids the language of architecture. Maybe you’re raising the next Mead, McKim, or White! All ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $20 per family. Register online.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will offer Free Saturday Tours this Saturday at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Tours begin at the Visitors Center. No reservations are required, and tours are 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. The theme for July is “Shady Business.” Bring your phone or camera for this month’s hunt, “That’s Cool.” Search for shady places and cool plants. Take a photo of every item and get a prize. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Hook, Line, N Sinker! on Saturday at 11:00 AM and 2:00 AM. Fish on! Anglers wanted at Fosterfields. Fish the pond using bamboo poles…then throw your catch of the day back in. All supplies included. Cost is $7 and includes admission to the farm. Preregistration is required.

Essex County Environmental Center (621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Butterfly Tent Safari on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. This event features live butterflies and butterfly-themed programming for all ages. You must book a time slot by calling the Center at 973.228.8776. Walk-ins will not be accommodated. Cost is $8 per person and includes a take-away item per paid participant.

Essex County Environmental Center (621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will also host Buzz into Action with Insect Education on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM for children ages 5 and up. Love insects? Join in for a family-fun and hands-on presentation all about bugs n’ butterflies. Meet at Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. Cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child and $12 per adult.

The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present its final weekend of Georgia Mae James Unplugs America on Saturday at 4:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Sometimes in order to feel connected, you have to unplug. When Georgia Mae is left home alone with her two older siblings while her parents take the train into the city, she comes up with big plans for the night. However, Georgia Mae finds herself disappointed when Imogene and Henry are too invested in the electronic devices to play with her. So, Georgia Mae decides to shut down the power grid so they won’t have any distractions. However, when they realize their parents are now stranded in the city and can’t get home, the three set off on an adventure to restore power. Along the way they meet a variety of people who help them on their journey, and ultimately, they learn about the simple pleasures of being together — and unplugged. This show is appropriate for the entire family. Tickets are $28.

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!

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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