Weekend Family Fun: Winter Wonderland, Trains, Rocks, Apples and More

The holiday season is off to a great start! If you’re looking for some family-friendly things to do this weekend in between feasting on leftovers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up plenty of things to do in and around town.

We’ve posted some of our favorite holiday shows and holiday light displays already, so they won’t appear here. In case you missed those articles, you can read our round up of holiday shows for kids here and our round up of holiday light displays here.

The Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Fall Drop-in Crafts for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade on Friday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Stop in for some fun autumn crafts while supplies last. No registration is required.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) will host Rock and Mineral Weekend On Friday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Enjoy a weekend of all things rock, mineral and fossil! Explore rare fossils and world-class minerals, see a magic show, and catch a lecture! Peruse the offerings of top mineral, gem, fossil, and jewelry dealers. Morris Museum Mineralogical Society members will be on hand to identify your rocks and minerals. This event is included with museum admission. Visit the website for a schedule.

Garden State Model Railway Club (575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon) will host the 64th annual model railroad show beginning this weekend. The Garden State Model Railway Club, Incorporated is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving, expanding, and educating both model railroading and railroading. The show is fun for the whole family, and kids will especially enjoy seeing Thomas the Tank Engine. There is also a Kiddie Layout. Refreshments are available. The show will be open Friday, Saturday, and Saturday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the New Jersey Expo Center (97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison). The show features over 140 exhibitors from across the country, huge operating model train displays, free workshops and demonstrations, and more. Tickets are $12 for adults on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday only tickets are available for $11. Kids 11 and under are free.

Newark Winter Village returns this weekend and will be open Wednesday through Sundays through January 31. The much-loved holiday tradition at Mulberry Commons Park, located just outside the Prudential Center (25 Lafayette Street, Newark), has ice skating, Go-Karts, various games and activities, shopping, and cozy heated private igloos to enjoy hot cocoa and treats. There will also be many “Instagram-worthy” photo-ops available throughout the winter village. In addition to fun winter activities, visitors can shop in the stylish open-air holiday marketplace with wares from local vendors. There will be food and sweet treats to purchase, as well as hot cocoa to warm you up after a few trips around the ice rink.

Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host November Family Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a fun day of activities for the whole family, including MakerSPACE, where kids of all ages can play, tinker, and create, Family Drop-In: Monster Slime, and a variety of Planetarium Shows. Visit the website for a full schedule of events.

Montclair Center BID is partnering with The Wellmont Theater and Pharmacie Bar+Kitchen to celebrate shopping small all season longstarting on November 26th at 12PM for Shop Small Saturday. The Winter Wonderland will kick off with live music and special guests at the Wellmont Arts Plaza (5 Seymour Street, Montclair). Vanguard Theater, Jazz House Kids and Arthur Murray Dance Studio will also be contributing to the festival with live music + performances. The tree lighting will take place on the Wellmont Arts Plaza at 6PM, November 26. Following the Shop Small Saturday event, every Saturday through December 17th, there will be special guests including Santa and Mrs. Claus, The Grinch, Elsa, a unicorn princess, and a hula hooping elf. Family-friendly activities include kids crafts, gnome making station, holiday carolers, raffles and fun activity booths sponsored by local non-profit organizations. Enjoy free gift-wrapping November 26 and December 17 from 1-5PM courtesy of Pharmacie Bar + Kitchen. Special music artists include PD Brody, Kassaye Selassie and Michael Murphy. These are family/pet friendly events. Visit the website for a full schedule.

On Saturday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Bloomfield Center Alliance will host a Holiday Hunt at Six Points Plaza (48 Washington Street, Bloomfield). An afternoon of holiday cheer, festive entertainment, giveaways, and, of course, great local shopping awaits. This free family-friendly event will be filled with music, hot cocoa, ice sculpture, a visit from Santa, and more. Attendees will receive a Bloomfield Center Holiday Hunt Map highlighting the various Holiday Hunt Destinations. Visit the website for additional details and to register.

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 “Mad Science.”

Montclair Brewery (101 Walnut Street, Montclair) Small Business Saturday: Children’s Storytime on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Celebrate Small Business Saturday by helping Montclair Brewery celebrate local authors. From 1PM to 3PM, children’s book authors will be reading their work for an all-ages storytime. If you hear something you like, feel free to pick up a copy!

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) will host Apple Cidering for Littles on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM for children ages 2-5 with an adult. Enjoy an apple cidering story, fun activities, and help press apple cider. Cost is $7 per child, and preregistration is required.

Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Avenue, Newark) will also host November 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: Woven Art for kids ages 5-10, where they can construct a beautiful hanging art piece by weaving colorful yarn. Check the website for scheduling.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio: Identity Boxes with Emily Kenselaar 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 Layered Landscapes with Grace Brown. Inspired by the exhibition From My Home to Yours: Caroline Monnet and Laura Ortman, families this week will create a mixed-media Identity Box sculptural assemblage, showcasing a different facet of identity on each of the cube’s six surfaces. This program is free with museum admission. Advance registration is required.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham) will host Apple Cidering Demos on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Find out why you’ve been looking at apples upside down your whole life and help make apple cider by hand with an old-fashioned cider press. Cost is $5 per person, and preregistration is required. This activity is for children ages 6 and up with an adult.

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.

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 for the November theme, which is “Orange You Glad Trees are showing their true colors and will be in their glory this month. Get your eyes ready to look for all sorts of autumn tree clues with this month’s Photo Scavenger Hunt. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.

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