Family fun weekend: spring activities, jazz, art and more

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Happy April and have a nice weekend! If you’re looking forward to spending time with the family, you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up a few that are sure to put a smile on your face. Check them out!

The Garden State Model Railway Club (575 High Mountain Road, North Haledon) continues its 63rd Annual miniature railway show for the second weekend. This event is fun for the whole family. Children will enjoy seeing Thomas the Tank Engine and the Kiddie Layout. The lounge will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and children under 10 free with an adult.

Pinkalicious the Musical continues at The Growing Stage (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong) with performances on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Based on the popular book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, it’s the story of Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite her parents’ warnings. Her pink indulgence brings her to the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, a condition that makes her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink enthusiast. Alas, Pinkalicious needs a way out of her predicament, and joined by her family, they find unity and appreciation in the quirks that define us all. Tickets are $28 per person.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Township) continues to host the Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Held daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt. There is a new theme every month, and April’s theme is “Kind of Blue”. Spring has arrived! Come see the baby animals, learn how they grow and how they help the farm! This activity is for children aged 3 to 5 accompanied by an adult. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 people or less. Pre-registration is required.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) hosts Discovery Weekends on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Drop by the Stackhouse Education Center on Saturdays and Sundays anytime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for this self-guided program for families and kids three and up. Borrow a magnifying glass (don’t forget to return it when you’re done), grab an interactive activity guide, and set out to explore the wonders, big and small, that await you. There may be a surprise or two, a clue to follow, a mystery to solve, a chance to create and always an engaging nature activity. Every week is a new discovery! The program is free, but donations are requested.

Saturday and Sunday, the Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host MakerSPACE from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be part of a fun and interactive space where visitors of all ages play, craft and create by making connections between the materials, processes and concepts of works of art and natural science objects in the collections of the Museum and their own creativity. This program is included in admission to the Museum.

The Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host a Spring Forest Egg Hunt on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for families with children ages one to six. Celebrate the start of spring with a self-guided ‘Little White Rabbit’ read and egg hunt in the forest lands of the Environmental Center. Children, bring your favorite basket to collect eggs and win surprises! In a “green” spirit, participants will exchange eggs for small prizes. Eggs are sanitized and reused for future events and programs. A spring craft gift is included. Advance registration is required and the fee is $15 per child.

The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will also host two Magic Shows with Silly Billy on Saturday with performances at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Join Silly Billy for family-friendly interactive comedy magic! This magic show includes comedy sketches, magic and storytelling! They are guaranteed to amaze your family and laugh all the time. It is recommended for ages five and up and is included with museum admission.

And, on Saturdays in April, you can also see Planetarium: Secret of the Cardboard Rocket at the Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Embark on an amazing adventure with two kids as they explore the solar system and learn about each of the planets along the way. This activity is recommended for families with children between the ages of three and ten and is included with museum admission.

The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township) will host Frog Jamboree Just for Littles on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for children aged two to five accompanied by an adult. Bring your little ones to listen to the music of springtime frogs screeching from the forest pools. Spy on them as they try to find mates and learn all about frog life from a naturalist. Come rain or shine! The cost is $5 per person and pre-registration is required.

Also on Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Creative Play: Seed Magic. Who doesn’t like to paint and get dirty? Each season has its own special beauty! In April, we start thinking about warmer weather and gardens. Join us for a story hour and paper crafting project with a twist! This is a program specifically designed for children aged three to five and their caregivers. Registration is compulsory and the number of places is limited. This program is included in admission to the Museum.

Van Vleck House & Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) will host Sensory Celebration on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, this event invites you to explore the Van Vleck Gardens using your senses as your guide. Activity stations will be laid out throughout the property focusing on different textures, smells, shapes and colors found in the natural world. Meet and greet the animals of nature’s eyes, an exotic animal rescue, and discover how these amazing creatures use their senses. This outdoor family program is an inclusive event, open to people of all ages and abilities and will take place entirely outdoors. In case of bad weather, a rain date will be announced. The cost is $10 per family for non-members.

The Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) will host All About Pets Storytime on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This event is for kids ages three to six and will include a fun story hour and craft featuring everyone’s favorite pet friends! Please register each child separately.

Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host Wonders of the Wild! March edition on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This program provides students with the opportunity to participate in additional science and nature programs and projects that facilitate lifelong science literacy and environmental stewardship. Available for students ages 6-12, the program includes a visit to the South Mountain Zoo or Preserve, weather permitting. This week’s session is called “NJ Native Animals”. The cost is $30 and you must purchase in advance.

The Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Spark!Lab offers any child (aged 5 to 12 and accompanied by an adult), a new informal approach to hands-on learning. Instead of following step-by-step instructions, young inventors will be empowered to solve problems and overcome real-world obstacles. Spark!Lab offers many unique, project-specific stations where inventors can tackle engineering and design challenges head-on. There is also a newly created space with a train and an exploration table filled with unique tools to help stimulate creativity, thinking and learning for children ages 1-4). Cost is included in admission, $12 for adults, $8 for children 3-17, and free for children under 3.

The Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will also host Family Drop-In: A Time to Grow on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Welcome spring to the NMOA! Plant a few seeds and watch them bloom for weeks to come. Discover a fun way to make paper. Family Drop-ins are sessions of movement, artistic creation, science experiments and storytelling for children aged 5 to 10. Please note that seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Register online. This program is included in admission to the Museum.

The State Theater New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick) will present Peppa Pig’s Adventure on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Come join Peppa on an exciting camping trip in the woods with George and his school friends, including Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. With the lunch boxes filled and Papa Pig driving the bus, Peppa and her friends are delighted with their outdoor adventure, full of singing, dancing, games and surprises. Little piggies all over the world will love this live music experience! Tickets cost between $25.50 and $75.50.

The Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Family Day with WBGO Kids Jazz from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Join us for a fun day of art and music inspired by the exhibition Tenacity and Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, featuring a special performance by WBGO Kids Jazz. In addition to performances at 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., attendees can enjoy various art-making activities. This event is free for children, family-level MAM members and above, and WBGO members. It’s $5 for all other adults.

Stop by the Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City) for the newly opened Minecraft: The Exhibition. It is a 6,000 square foot. multimedia experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, whether they play Minecraft or not. The exhibit offers an immersive experience that includes blocky scenes and characters from the game. Minecraft: The Exhibit will be open until September 5, 2022. The Liberty Science Center is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cost is general admission price plus additional fees. Visit the website for more details.

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