It’s Halloween weekend! Whether you’re into the spooky stuff or just want to have some family-friendly fun, we’ve got you covered! Check out these activities happening in and around town.
Van Vleck House & Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) is hosting its annual Scarecrows in the Garden Exhibit through October 31. Enjoy a free exhibit of handcrafted scarecrows created by scout troops, nonprofits, local businesses, families, classes, and individuals on display in the gardens. Voting is closed for the year, but you can still view the display. The gardens are open until 8pm daily. This exhibit is free.
Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host Pumpkin Bowling in the Stacks on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Join in for this unique bowling adventure. Ghost pins and pumpkins to row down the aisles. Can you get a strike?
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) will host Teeny Tiny Trail Tales on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM for children ages 2-5 with an adult. Families with small children will enjoy a guided walk full of silly and nature-themed tales told by costumed storytellers along the decorated trails of the Great Swamp. Wear your own costume too! Cost is $5 per person. Advance registration and time slot selection is required.
Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host October Family Saturdays on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family including a MakerSPACE, Planetarium shows, Family Drop-In, and more. Check the website for the full schedule. This event is free with general admission tickets.
Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair) will host the Watchung Plaza Halloween Parade on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM on the Watchung Plaza Green. Children ages 6 and younger are invited to come dressed in their best/wildest/scariest/most original Halloween costume and parade around the Plaza with friends and ghouls.
On Saturday at 1:00 PM, Montclair Police Department will present the 5th annual Trunk or Treat at the Montclair Police Department HQ (647 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield). Join the fun in the rear lot. This event is free.
Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wonders of the Wild on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM for children 6-12 years old. The Wonders of the Wild program offers students an opportunity to participate in supplementary science and nature-themed programs and projects that facilitate scientific literacy and life-long environmental stewardship. Available to students ages 6-12. The programs include a visit to the South Mountain Reservation, Reservoir, or Zoo as weather permits. This is an in-person, drop-off program. Cost is $30/person. This week’s theme is “Weird, Creepy, and Unique.”
East Side Mags (491 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 102, Montclair) will host Zombie Walk Montclair 2022 on Saturday from 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM. There will be makeup artists on hand to help people “zombify” themselves, or people can arrive in costume. At 3:00 PM, the giant Zombie horde will walk around Montclair and spread the spooky spirit. After the walk, return to the shop for Serendipity Café Kids, who will rock out with a rendition of Monster Mash, followed by a Zombie/Costume contest.
Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Pilgrims to Patriots Concert presented by Montclair Early Music on Saturday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Early Americans enjoyed music in a variety of settings. They played consorts and tunes in their homes, danced minuets and English Country dances, sang hymns in church, and sang ballads at work or at the local pub. Join Montclair Early Music as they present choral and instrumental music from the colonial era through early America. Register online.
Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Spooky Storytime 2022 on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM each day. Don your favorite seasonal outfit and join in for a Halloween-themed story read by one of the TBZ’s educators and meet an animal friend. Recommended for children ages 8 and younger. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets are $10. All attendees must have a ticket, and children under 2 are free.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host the final weekend of Fall Farm Fun on Saturday and Sunday. Activities will run from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Cost is $15 per person. Children ages two and under are free. Fall festivities have begun at Fosterfields…Experience the Autumn season the old-fashioned way! Watch apples being pressed into cider, take a wagon ride, and pick your own pumpkins! Enjoy the farm on Saturdays and Sundays in October to experience the season the old-fashioned way. Preregistration is required.
The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present the final two performances of Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium this weekend. Shows will be Saturday at 4:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Mysterious events befall the theater, and no one can be sure if it’s just coincidence or the work of … The Phantom! Brooke and Zeke are excited to star in their school’s next hit musical, The Phantom, until they hear a rumor that the show is cursed. Prepare to get “Goosebumps” as the mystery unfolds! This silly and (only a little) spooky musical is based on the popular series from R.L. Stine. Tickets are $28, and this performance is suitable for the entire family.
On Sunday, stop by the Sunday Farmers Market at Westfield Garden State Plaza (One Garden State Plaza, Paramus) between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. In addition to fresh farm produce, there are over 20 food vendors, food trucks, a car meetup, kids activities, and more. This week, hear the story of and see an appearance by the Headless Horseman. This event is free.
Montclair Community Farms (108 Orange Road, Montclair) will host Family Storytime on Sunday at 10:00 AM. Families with young children will enjoy a fun-filled program including a story, sensory exploration of our garden, and a small craft to take home. Storybooks will change topically with the season. Recommended for children ages 18 months and up. Cost is $15 per child. Register online.
Cora Hartshorn Arboretum & Bird Sanctuary (324 Forest Drive South, Short Hills) will host Not-So-Spooky Hikes on Sunday at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Spiders, snakes, and owls, oh my! Some people may call these animals scary, but you can come meet them and decide for yourself. Learn about animals that are not as spooky as you may think. Afterwards, join in on a hike through the woods and enjoy some snacks. Pre-registration is required. Tickets are $10 per person for members and $12 per person for non-members. Children two years old and younger are free.
Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Avenue, Newark) will also host October Family Sundays on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Activities include a MakerSPACE for kids of all ages, which is a fun interactive area where kids play, tinker, and create. There’s a Family Drop-In: Kaleidoscope for kids ages 5-10, where they can build a magical kaleidoscope. Check the website for scheduling.
Sisters on the Runway will host a Rubber Ducky Race Fundraiser at Edgemont Park (Valley Road, Montclair) on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM. Enjoy relay races, a bake sale, hot cocoa, and apple cider. Magician Ben Aronson will perform. Attendees are encouraged to wear a costume.
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 Mixed Media Animal Masks with Grace Brown. Inspired by the exhibition Lori Field: Tiger Tarot, and her interest in totem animals, families this week will create mixed media masks featuring their own favorite animals and personal symbolism. This program is free with museum admission. Advance registration is required.
Turtle Back Zoo will also host Family Nature Club on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The program will be held at Turtle Back Rock Picnic Area in West Orange. Family Nature Club (FNC) is all about discovering the world, and playing WITH nature, not just IN nature. Experience the sounds, smells, and sights of the outdoors with FNC as we explore our natural heritage within Essex County’s parks. We offer two different kinds of FNC Programs to our community: one focused on exploration, the other on service. This week’s session is entitled, “Spooky Snacks and Tricky Trees.” Don your Halloween costumes for this hike and go trick-or-treating for wildlife! Join in and make animal-friendly snacks and enjoy the beautiful Fall foliage as on a hike. Meets at Turtle Back Zoo’s Berson Education Center snake statue. This activity is for children ages 6+. Cost is $15.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) will host Skulls & Bones on Sunday from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM for children ages 6-10. Become a forensic scientist for wildlife as you examine real skulls and bones to determine what animals they came from. Discover the four types of mammal teeth as you crunch on carrots and apple slices and then guess what animals eat by looking at the teeth in their skulls. Cost is $6 pr child, and registration is required.
Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Sweet & Spooky on Sunday from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Families with children are invited to enjoy a haunted house and spooky crafts and activities. Costumes are encouraged. Registration is not required, but it is recommended. This event is free.
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. Additionally, Friday and Saturday nights in October will feature Dinosaurs After Dark from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. A spooky, funny and thrilling adventure for the whole family featuring a lantern lit tour of the park! But watch out! The trails are dark and there’s a hungry T-Rex lurking in the shadows. A fearless Dinosaur Wrangler will lead a Tyrannosaurus Hunt along the Field Station’s darkened trails with a stop at every dinosaur and a few surprises along the way. At the end of the night, everyone will gather around the campfire for a dinosaur sing-a-long, roasted marshmallows, and hot chocolate!
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) continues to host the Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Held daily from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt. This is the final weekend of the them for October, which is “Scarecrows in the Garden.” The scarecrows are back and this fun, family photo scavenger hunt challenges you to look for the clues to find all the scarecrows… find them all to win a prize! The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Discovery Weekends on Saturday and Sunday 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.
Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Kids experience the spark of invention in this dynamic space, where learning and play come together. Spark!Lab offers any child ages 5-12 (and accompanied by an adult), a new informal approach to hands-on learning. Created by the Smithsonian, Spark!Lab ignites kids’ ingenuity with fun, hands-on challenges. Instead of following instructions, kids tap into their natural creativity to tackle engineering and design challenges in Spark!Lab’s projects stations. For children ages 1-4, there is the Spark!Lab’s new Young Inventor Space that features and train and an exploration table filled with unique tools to spark creativity and learning.