Weekend Family Fun: Performing Arts, Science and More

Happy February! The weekend is here, and we couldn’t be more excited. There’s plenty of family-friendly fun happening in and around town. Check out some of these activities.

Gas Lamp Teens will present Chicago this weekend at Ridgewood Avenue School Auditorium (235 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge). It’s the roaring twenties in Chicago when chorus girl Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap… until he finds out he’s been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune, and acquittal. Performances will be Friday at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM, and Sunday at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $15 for students and seniors and $20-25 for adults.

The Strollers will present The Phantom Tollbooth at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts (10 Durand Road, Maplewood) this weekend. A perpetually bored schoolchild comes home to find a large tollbooth sitting in their bedroom. Driving past the gate in a kid-sized electric car, they find themselves transported to a peculiar and pun-filled fantasy world. Accompanied by a watchdog named Tock, they set out on a strange journey, meeting the Spelling Bee, the Whether Man, the Humbug, and many others, and are eventually sent on an impossible quest to bring the two banished princesses Rhyme and Reason back to the Kingdom of Wisdom and help the feuding kings of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis make peace with each other. Performances are Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM. All tickets are $10. This performance is suitable for children 5 and older.

The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) will present Maddie & Eleanor beginning this weekend. When Maddie Leonard returns home after her first day in fourth grade, she is fed up with school-yard bullies and flaky ex-best friends. As she turns to her beloved iPhone for solace, she gets an unexpected surprise with a magical visit by Eleanor Roosevelt. As Maddie and Eleanor navigate their budding relationship through old and modern technologies, they inspire each other, laugh with one another, and discover a universal truth: friendship transcends everything. Performances will be Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 4:00 PM, and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $28.

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 first weekend for the February theme, which is “Love Is In the Air.” It’s February, and love is in the air! Grab your camera or phone and search for all the reasons to love the winter garden. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.

Glen Ridge Public Library (240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge) will host Take Your Child to the Library Day from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Join the scavenger hunt fun. Can you find three images of the LIBRARY MOUSE in the children’s department? Also, on Saturday will be Play With Blocks from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Saturday. Build a tower of blocks and knock it down! Drop in for a fun time with the wonderful collection of wooden blocks.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host two sessions of Stamping, Stickers and Stenciling Saturday on Saturday at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Create cards or pictures with stenciling, stamping or stickers. We will be stenciling with paint, so please wear old clothes. The cost is $10 per person, and preregistration is required. This activity is appropriate for all ages.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Kids in the Wild: Maps and Compasses on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM for children ages 7 to 11. Join the activity to get into the woods, learn different outdoor skills, meet other like-minded kids, and build confidence. In this session, you’ll read trail maps, orient compasses, and do a compass challenge to practice your skills.

Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Science Extravaganza! on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Enjoy a day of fun activities for the whole family, including a MakerSPACE, Live Animal Shows, Science Drop-In: Adaptive Animal Artifacts, Planetarium Shows, Creative Play: Now You See It…, and Family Drop-In: Creative Circuits. Visit the website for a full schedule of activities. This activity is free with general admission tickets.


State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will present Queen Nur as part of their Milk & Cookies Series on Saturday at 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. In “Folklore, Friends, & Fun,” storyteller Queen Nur—accompanied by international jazz drummer Dwight James—doles out a basket full of folktales toted on a band of vibrant rhythms. Children will clap their hands and stomp their feet while singing along in this highly engaging performance. The interactive audience will have an immersive experience, participating in call and response all while learning valuable lessons. Milk & Cookies is a lively, interactive storytelling and music series for families. This program, which takes place in our Studio, is the perfect way to introduce children ages 3-9 to live theater. Plus, includes a cookie and a carton of milk for every child after the show. The 12:00 PM show is a Sensory-Friendly Performance specially designed to provide a safe, welcoming environment for kids on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities. Tickets are $5.

Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host ASL Storytime on Saturday from 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM. Join friends from Montclair High School’s Sign Language Club for a drop-in Sign Language storytime! Registration is recommended but not required.

The Clairidge (486 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) will present the 1978 classic, The Wiz, on Saturday at 11:00 AM as part of its Clairidge Classics Celebrates Black Voices! When Harlem schoolteacher Dorothy (Diana Ross) tries to save her dog from a storm, she’s miraculously whisked away to an urban fantasy land called Oz. After accidentally killing the Wicked Witch of the East upon her arrival, Dorothy is told about the Wiz (Richard Pryor), a wizard who can help her get back to Manhattan. As Dorothy goes in search of the Wiz, she’s joined by the Scarecrow (Michael Jackson), the Tin Man (Nipsey Russell) and the Cowardly Lion (Ted Ross). This movie is rated G.

Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Winter Journaling on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Discover the joy of phenology, the cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. Let us find a special place to write down and draw our winter discoveries and appreciate the cold and brisk change of the season. Maybe partake in some winter birding! Participants will also hike the grounds to note seasonal changes and beautiful discoveries and make journals here on site. Registration is required. The cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child and $12 per adult. This activity is suitable for all ages, but children under five require caregiver supervision.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Maple Sugaring Demos for ages 6 and up on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM. Learn how to identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and make real maple syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. Finish with a syrup taste test! This program will be held entirely outdoors, so dress for the weather. Syrup will be available for purchase, while supplies last.

American Dream Mall (1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford) will host Spectaculare Rabbit! Rabbit! on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on The Dream Stage (Court A, Level 1). Rabbits have long been a symbol of good fortune, so the Year of the Rabbit promises to be quite a lucky year. Celebrate the future at American Dream. This event is part of the Mall’s Lunar Near Year Celebration. RSVP online.

Liberty Hall (1003 Morris Avenue, Union) will host My Little man & Me: Valentine’s Day Party on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Get ready for Valentine’s Day with your little man! Moms, grandmas, and aunts: grab your sons, grandsons, and nephews and have some fun! Enjoy games, crafts, snacks, punch, and a photo booth area while making special memories. This activity is recommended for ages 4-8. Reservations are required. The cost is $25 per child and $5 per adult.

NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark) will present Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in Concert. Gather ‘round, wizards and muggles, for the epic conclusion of the Harry Potter film concert series! In the eighth and final film, Harry and his friends prepare for their biggest battle yet against the evil Lord Voldemort. With a wave of the (conductor’s) wand, the New Jersey Symphony will perform the unforgettable score LIVE as you watch the movie on the big screen. Tickets are $39-$89.

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 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. 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.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host its Turtle Back Hatchlings Program on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM. Learn how to meet and greet some of the zoo’s small, friendly animals up close in the classroom, and learn how to touch animals gently. Your child will also enjoy sensory interactions with feathers, turtle shells, puppets, and more in a lightly structured program. This class is for children aged 12-24 months with an adult who is prepared to take part in the activities. Registration is required and the cost is $25 per child.


Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will also host its Turtle Back Zoo Tots Program on Sunday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. This program is designed for toddlers and adults to discover the natural world together. We will use the alphabet to explore different animals in our zoo. Each day you will discover a different animal type such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Stories, projects, and special animal visitors in the classroom enhance your class experience. This class is for children aged 2-3 years with an adult who is prepared to take part in the activities. Registration is required and the cost is $25 per child.

Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Avenue, Newark) will host February 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: Repousse inspired by Sargent Claude Johnson’s Mask of a Girl for kids ages 5-10, where kids can learn the art of creating designs on metal. Explore the possibilities! Check the website for the schedule. This event is free with general admission.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Blvd, Chatham Township) will host Winter Wonderland Walk for Littles on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Toddlers can enjoy a wonderful walk through the winter woods. See the beauty that the cold season has to offer and learn about what animals do in the winter. This activity is for ages 2-5 with an adult. The cost is $7 per child. Preregistration is required.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sensory Sunday Studio: Upcycled Loom Weaving with Emily Kenselaar on Sunday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Visit the museum on the first Sunday of the month for a special hour of Sunday Studio designed for families with members on the autism spectrum or who have other sensory sensitivities. Drop into the Geyer studio for an art-making activity inspired by the current exhibitions. This program is a great fit for people who learn best in smaller groups in a controlled environment with extra support. Inspired by the exhibition Woolpunk: Sunflowers & Graffiti’d Sky, families will learn weaving techniques and loom construction using upcycled textiles to create a woven tapestry and explore fiber arts. This activity is free with museum admission, but registration is required.

Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio Upcycled Loom Weaving 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. Inspired by the exhibition Woolpunk: Sunflowers & Graffiti’d Sky, families will learn weaving techniques and loom construction using upcycled textiles to create a woven tapestry and explore fiber arts. This program is free with museum admission. Advance registration is required.

Turtle Back Zoo will host Family Nature Club on Sunday at 1:00 PM. Meet at South Mountain Dog Park (Bear Lane, Maplewood). Explore the great outdoors with FNC: Nature Adventurers! Fun for the whole family, join us for a guided hike through the South Mountain Reservation and other parks in Essex County, NJ. Each hike includes hands-on activities designed to discover nature in your backyard and how to be responsible environmental stewards. Recommended for ages 6+, all youth must be accompanied by an adult.

State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will present Llama Llama Live on Sunday at 1:00 PM. Bring the family to Llama Llama Live!, a new musical inspired by the bestselling Llama, Llama Red Pajama series by Anna Dewdney and the new Netflix series! Families can join in the fun when Llama bursts into his bedroom looking frantically for his favorite red pajamas. Mama, hearing the commotion, comes upstairs with Llama’s pajamas in the laundry basket to ask about his day—his very first day at school—and put him to bed. But when she goes downstairs to do the million things that busy mothers have to do at the end of the day, Llama is too wiggly to fall asleep, and besides, he’s thirsty. He howls for Mama to come back up, but she doesn’t arrive. Will she ever return? Tickets are $19-$29.

Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown) will present Pinkalicious the Musical on Sunday at !1:30 PM and 4:30 PM (sensory-friendly performance). Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink-loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament. Tickets are $12-$15.

Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Let’s Journal Together on Sunday from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM for children ages 11-14. Join Teen Volunteers every Sunday in February and March for fun journaling exercises, such as prompts and short stories. Registration is required.

On Sunday from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, American Dream Mall (1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford) will host Lantern Festival and Opera Night on the Dream Stage (Court A, Level 1). The Lunar festivities come to a close with two extraordinary events – a traditional lantern festival with magical lights dotting the sky and a performance of a captivating opera. RSVP online.

On Sunday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host Winter Drop-in Crafts for grades K-3. Stop in for a fun Winter craft all through the month of January. No registration is required.

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