Weekend Family Fun: Downtown Jamboree, Aircraft, Encanto, Block Party and More

The weekend is here! Now that the kiddos are back to school, there’s even more reason to spend lots of quality time with the family once the weekend rolls around. We’ve rounded up some family-friendly activities for you to enjoy. Check ’em out!

Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair) will host Storytime on the Green on Friday at 4:30 PM. This week’s story is The Coquies Still Sing by Karina Gonazlez. The Coquies Still Sing is a powerful story about home, community, and hope, inspired by the rebuilding of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017, written by debut author Karina González and illustrated by Krystal Quiles. A Spanish edition, translated by Amparo Ortiz, is also available! Bring a blanket and enjoy a story and activity on the Watchung Plaza Green. Register online.

The biggest event this weekend is the Montclair Jazz Festival’s Downtown Jamboree – a jam-packed day with inspiring music and activities. Bring the kids and enjoy live music on three stages, spotlighting internationally-acclaimed headliners, regional favorites and emerging talent on three stages. The festivities span nearly half-mile of Bloomfield Avenue from Lackawanna Plaza to South Park, the main artery of Montclair, into an all-pedestrian jazz playground featuring more than 150 artisan food and craft vendors and expanded an all-day Family Jazz Discovery Zone. Map here.

Circus Vazquez will be at the Garden State Plaza (1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus) beginning on Friday and running through September 26. Performances are Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM, and Sunday at 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM. Circo Hermanos Vazquez was founded in 1969 in Mexico City. A dream that became a reality with hard work, dedication, and love for the circus. After touring Mexico and Central America for decades, Circus Hermanos Vazquez masks a new beginning by presenting their show now in the USA. Visit the website for ticket information.

Field Station Dinosaurs is open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Overpeck Park (3 Overpeck Park Driveway, Leonia). Now in their 10th season, the world-class family attraction combines cutting-edge science with the creative minds of great artists to create a one-of-a-kind experience that’s thrilling, educational, and fun. The Field Station is a wild scientific expedition where over 30 life-sized, moving, realistic dinosaurs come to life. Walk along wooded trails, check out life-sized dinosaurs and enjoy a full schedule of shows, games, and activities, all of which is included in your Day Pass admission. Tickets start at $17.75. Children under 2 are free.

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 September is “Seedy Business.” Sure, everyone thinks that spring is the time for planting seeds, but plants have it all figured out. Many plants drop seeds in the fall— this gives seeds the chance to get used to the cold of winter and gives both birds and mammals opportunity to cache seeds for winter.  It’s also the perfect time for people to look for seeds, too. Grab a camera or phone and get the family outdoors! Take a photo of every item to win a prize! The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham Township) will host Kids in the Wild: Amazing Plants on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. In this program, kids ages 7-11 get into the woods, learning different outdoor skills, meeting other like-minded kids and building confidence. In this session, they learn the basics of identifying common plants and which ones to avoid. Cost is $10 per child. Pre-registration is required.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Discovery Weekends on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM for families with children 3 and up. Explore the Arboretum’s gardens and grounds as autumn brings amazing changes. Borrow a magnifying glass, grab an interactive activity guide, and head out to see what wonders await big and small. There may be a surprise, a clue to follow, a mystery to solve, a chance to create, and always an engaging nature activity. This is a drop-in, self-guided activity. The Arboretum also gives free guided tours on Saturdays 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.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Antique Tractor and Engine Day on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Visit Fosterfields to see antique engines, tractors, and other machinery at work on the farm. Watch demonstrations, learn how they run, and see how farming would have been done in the past. Cost is $10 per person. Pre-registration is required.

New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame (400 Fred Wehran Drive, Teterboro) will host Open Cockpit Day on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM. This is an outdoor event, and no registration is required. Visitors will have the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a very rare Lockheed Bushmaster plane and a U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter, as well as a M*A*S*H Bell 47 helicopter made famous during the Korean War. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and children under 12. Children 2 and under are free.

Bloomfield Center Alliance (Glenwood Avenue and Washington Street) will host the Bloomfield Center Festival and Block Party on Saturday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Activities include live music, DJ and dancing, face painting, balloon animals, hatchet throwing, and much more.

On Saturday, Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center (240 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield) will host an outdoor Movie at the Mansion. Bloomfield residents are encouraged to come with lawn chairs and blankets. There will be free water and popcorn along with other traditional movie snacks for purchase. Come celebrate the end of summer and the start of the new school year with your friends and neighbors. The move, Encanto, will begin at 7:45.

On Sunday, the Wayne Museum (533 Berdan Avenue, Wayne) will host Family Ag Day from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Enjoy music, yoga and meditation, tours of the Van Ripper-Hopper House, historic games, and more. RSVP online.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio with sessions at 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. Visit the museum each Sunday for a fun family art-making activity inspired by the 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. This program is aimed at families with children ages 5-12, but all are welcome. This week’s session is Wildcat Collage Cards with Nanci Iovino. Inspired by the exhibition Lori Field: Tiger Tarot, families this week will use collage materials and clip art of their favorite felines to create their own wildcat collage cards.  This program is free with museum admission. Advance registration is required.

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