Weekend Family Fun: MLK Activities, Lunar New Year, Performances and More

Happy weekend! Schools throughout the area are closed on Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so there’s an extra day for acts of service and family-friendly. We’ve rounded up some things to do all weekend long. Check ’em out!

The Prudential Center (25 Lafayette Street, Newark) will host Disney On Ice presents Into the Magic this weekend. Discover why no dream is too big at Disney On Ice presents Into the Magic! Seek adventure in the great wide somewhere with Belle as she explores the Beasts’ enchanted castle, experience Moana’s courage to embark on a voyage with demigod Maui to save her island, and sing-along with Miguel from Coco as he follows the music in his heart. Be inspired by Anna’s devotion to her sister Elsa on her journey to the North Mountain to stop the eternal winter, and watch Rapunzel and Flynn go to great lengths to make her dream come true. Celebrate the magic of courage, love and adventure at Disney On Ice. Performances will be Friday at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM, Sunday at 12:00 PM and 4:00 Pm, and Monday at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $20-$100.

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. The theme for the January theme is “Black and White.” Winter is grey and white and black — or is it? Grab your phone and search for the beauty of winter and all the colors that are in the garden. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.

Van Vleck House and Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) will host Outdoor Adventures Family Program: Winter Wonderland on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Explore and learn about the outdoor world through crafts, scavenger hunts, activity sheets, and displays. Each program will focus on a specific theme, and the Van Vleck education team will guide participants through this interactive learning experience. Registration is required and includes everything you need to participate in the program. This activity is designed for children ages 4-11, but all are welcome.

Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host January 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, Creative Play: Storytelling, and Family Drop-In: Cityscape and Landscape Collages. Visit the website for a full schedule of activities. This activity is free with general admission tickets.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Stamping, Stickers, and Stenciling Saturday on Saturday with 1-hour sessions beginning at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 1:00 PM. Create cards or pictures with stenciling, stamping or stickers. Participants will be using paint, so please wear old clothes. This activity is suitable for all ages. Preregistration is required, and the cost is $10 per person.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Family Nature Stroll on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Bring the whole family out on this guided hike to learn about the wildlife along the trails of the GSOEC. There’s always something new to discover, no matter the season! This event is free and suitable for all ages. Preregistration is required.

Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Era Uma Vez, na Biblioteca (Once Upon a Time at the Library): Portuguese Storytime on Saturday at 11:00 AM. “Era Uma Vez, na Biblioteca” (Once Upon a Time, at the Library) welcomes all families to be part of this experience of storytelling in Portuguese. The stories will be interwoven with little songs and rhymes, all in Portuguese. The storyteller, Ana Cristina Coura, is an educator with a background in psychology who has taught children in Brazil and worked as an art educator. This activity is recommended for ages birth to nine years. Registration is recommended.

Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Winter Tracking & Adaptations on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Do you know how frogs and tadpoles survive the winter? How about birds that don’t migrate? Take a walk with an ECEC naturalist and learn all about forest life in wintertime and how animals’ furs and feathers help them survive the cold. Make and take a bird feeder from sticks and seed. Dress for the weather. The cost is $30 per family up to two adults and two children, or $10 per child and $12 per adult.

American Dream Mall (1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford) will host a K-Pop Dance Contest on Saturday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM on The Dream Stage (Court A, Level 1). Cheer for your favorites in this battle of electrifying K-Pop dancing, hosted by Korean fast fashion store Aland and the K-Pop dance pros from I Love Dance, NY. This event is part of the Mall’s Lunar Near Year Celebration. RSVP online.

The Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Winter Drop-in Crafts for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade on Saturday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Stop in for a fun winter craft all through the month of January. No registration is required.

Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Avenue, Newark) will host January 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 on their own. There’s a Family Drop-In: Treasure Boxes for kids ages 5-10, where kids can start the year with their very own keepsake box. Check the website for the schedule. This event is free with general admission.

The Bergen County Audubon Society will host the New Jersey Meadowlands Eagle Festival on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at River Barge Park (260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt). Celebrate all things eagle with eagle walks, information on eagles, and more. The “Return of the Bald Eagle” program will be at 12:00 PM. Learn about the incredible comeback of these remarkable birds. This is a free event.

State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will host Dragons and Mythical Beasts on Sunday at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Calling all brave heroes! Enter into a magical world of myths and legends in this fantastical new show for the whole family! This Olivier Award-nominated show comes to the U.S. direct from the West End, from the creators of the international smash hit Dinosaur World Live, who bring spectacular puppets to life. Throughout the live stage production, unveil a myriad of dark secrets and come face to face with some of the most magnificent and terrifying beings to ever walk the earth. Discover the colossal Stone Troll, the mysterious Indrik, and Japanese Baku, the adorable Unicorn, the majestic Griffin, and more! Take your place among legendary heroes, just don’t wake the Dragon! Tickets are $19-$54.

New Jersey Botanical Garden (Morris Road, Ringwood) will host a Family Woodland Hike on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Join NJBG hike leaders on an easy, child-friendly hike in the Garden’s woodlands, where you’ll learn a bit about the plants and animals around you in a hike designed to fit the group. Smaller children may need to be carried. Wear sturdy shoes and meet at the Carriage House Visitor Center. This activity is free.

On Sunday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, American Dream Mall (1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford) will host a Traditional Chinese Dragon-Lion Dance on The Dream Stage (Court A, Level 1). The Dragon and Lion Dance is one of the world’s most iconic and beloved parade traditions. Don’t miss this fantastical display of dance, puppetry, color, and joy. RSVP online.

NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark) will present Sleeping Beauty on Sunday at 6:00 PM. Sleeping Beauty is one of the worlds most beloved ballets and one of Tchaikovsky’s most captivating masterpieces. The tale of a princess cursed to sleep for 100 years comes to life with The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine, who perform dazzling choreography adapted from the legendary Marius Petipa. Tchaikovsky himself declared Sleeping Beauty his best work, and audiences of all ages will enjoy the colorful costumes, festive music and charming fairytale love story. Tickets are $39-$89.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will host Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM for school-age children and parents. Families can stop by the Arboretum at the Stackhouse Education Center to pick up supplies to create Valentine cards that will be delivered to the Essential Workers in our community. On this important day of service to remember Martin Luther King, Jr., it is a perfect time to reach out and warm the hearts of all those people who have helped us during this difficult time. Supplies will include paper, ribbon, yarn, and other decorative supplies for you to create a thoughtful Valentine card. Complete your card at home and return it to the Arboretum any time before February 8 to the container outside the Stackhouse Education Center. A schedule of all MLK activities in Summit will be posted on the website as soon as it is available.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Day Off With Nature: Winter Birds for children ages 6-10 on Monday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Spend the day off from school discovering the amazing birds that stay in NJ during the coldest time of year. How do they survive? How do they stay warm? Learn how to identify the winter birds, play games, take a hike, and even make your own feeder to take home! Please bring a nut-free lunch and snack. Registration is required, and the cost is $40 per child.

The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (23 Main Street, Madison) will host a Drop In Craft on Monday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Celebrate MLK Day with this drop in snow globe craft workshop. Participants will engage in a hands-on activity by learning to design and create their own snow globes. There will also be MLK-themed paper crafts and books.

The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Day: Acts of Kindness on Monday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This event is a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, his teachings of social justice, and service to the community. Featuring dynamic performances, hands-on activities, and opportunities to help others, there’s something for the whole family! Visitors are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to support a local food bank, women’s shelter, or church. This event is free, though registration is required. Visit the website for a schedule of activities.

On Monday, The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation (150 Snake Den Road, Ringwood) will host Winter Ecology Hike for children in grades 6-9 on Monday from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Schools are closed, so join in for a guided hike and focus on the beauty of nature that stands out during the winter months. Take notice of life in the winter woods, talk about how plants and animals adapt, and search for some amazing examples of animals that have mastered survival in the winter. Dress appropriately as the program will be held outdoors. The cost is $10 per person.

This is the final weekend for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer at Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City). Visit Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer at Liberty Science Center before it closes Jan. 16, 2023! This action-packed exhibition lets you jump into challenges with your favorite hard-shelled crime fighters: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. Visit the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ underground lair and leap into action to solve puzzles, navigate mazes, and conquer obstacles. Shoot pizza into apartment windows, navigate a rope maze without triggering alarms, and peer through the Street View Periscope to see the Turtles battling it out above you. Then crawl through sewer pipes to discover hidden artworks, practice skateboarding skills on balance board skateboards, test your knowledge of the Ninja Turtles’ history in an interactive game, and more!

Westfield Garden State Plaza is hosting Paw Patrol Experience at Camp (One Garden State Plaza, Paramus) through January 31. Do you have what it takes to become a member of the PAW Patrol? Suit up and join the bravest pups around in an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience in Adventure Bay. Created by CAMP, the experts in all things family fun, kids of all ages will be able to live out their rescue team dreams through themed environments, games, and activities celebrating their favorite group of adventurous canines. The experience is open daily from 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

Newark Winter Village continues this weekend and will be open Wednesday through Sunday 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. Admission is free, but reservations and tickets are required for Go Karts, ice skating, and private igloos.

Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Spark!Lab offers any child (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. Specially designed for our youngest inventors (Ages 1-4), Spark!Lab’s new Young Inventor Space features a train and an exploration table filled with unique tools to spark creativity and learning.

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