Weekend Family Fun: Waldo, Science, Dinos, and More

How did we already get to the end of July? As we close out the month, there’s one more weekend of fun yours for the taking! We’ve rounded up some family-friendly things to do. Check ’em out!

This is the final weekend of the Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt in Watchung Plaza. Kids 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 held on Sunday from 10:0 AM to 3:00 PM.

Jurassic Quest, the largest and most realistic traveling dinosaur show in North America, will be at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center (97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison) this weekend. Hours are Friday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The event includes unique and exciting experiences for the whole family. Observe the herd of life-size animatronic dinosaurs, including Apatosaurus, Spinosaurus, T-Rex, and an incredible 50-ft long Megalodon. Tickets start at $22.

Also this weekend, Stony Hill Farms (15 North Road, Chester) will host their annual Sunflower Festival. Each festival ticket includes a wagon ride to the sunflower fields, time to take photos and enjoy the blooms, live music, and access to vendors. There are also options to cut your own flowers. Children can also enjoy trike rides, a barnyard board game, a Noah’s ark playground, and more. The hours for the festival are 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Friday through Sunday. Tickets are $20.99 – $45.99.

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 “That’s Cool.” 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.

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
Butterfly Gardening Workshop on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM for children ages 8 and up. Learn about butterfly gardening in this hands-on workshop. We’ll learn about native host and nectar plants and how they support our New Jersey 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.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wild Science on Saturday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Wild Science is an evening of family fun, for kids of all ages! During the event, guests will have the opportunity to stroll the Zoo, participate in conservation activities, experience keeper talks, explore animal bio facts and enjoy up close animal encounters. Special presentations by Mad Science. Tickets are $40 for non-member adults (21+) and $25 for non-member children (5-20). Children 4 and under are free.

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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