There's so much to celebrate in February! There's Valentine's Day, of course, as well as the Chinese New Year, President's Day (this month marks George Washington's 286th!), and Black History Month.
Got a sweet tooth? Check out Morris Museum's Chocolate Family Day, or go maple sugaring at one of several spots around the state. You can revel in winter fun at the Garden State Discovery Museum's Frosty Ball, then head to the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum for the third annual Lunar New Year and Welcome Spring Celebration.
There are tons of kid-friendly performances this month, including staged versions of Good Night Moon, The Gruffalo, and Go, Dog. Go!, as well as Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella and a prehistoric musical revue starring giant dinosaur puppets. And of course, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, including Family Date Night at Jenkinson's and a My Little Man and Me party at Liberty Hall Museum.
For a full list of happenings, don't forget to check out our Event Calendar. Happy February, NJ!
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Good Night Moon and The Runaway Bunny come to life at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. Photo courtesy of the show
Good Night Moon and The Runaway Bunny – Toms River
See your favorite bedtime stories onstage in Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia's stunning production featuring puppets, cool scenic effects, and music.
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along – Red Bank
Head to the Count Basie Theatre to belt out your favorite tunes with the full-length sing-along edition of 2017's Beauty and the Beast. Belle, the Beast, and other characters will make an appearance at the event.
Curious George – Millburn
The curious little monkey comes to Paper Mill Playhouse in a new musical adventure. Paper Mill's children series continues later in the month with Skippy Jon Jones, Snow What? on February 10 and Clementine on February 17.
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat – Morristown
Seuss purists, take note: This new production at Mayo Performing Arts Center remains 100-percent faithful to the book!
Click, Clack, Moo – Manasquan
The typing cows and Farmer Brown come to Algonquin Arts Theatre in a musical based on the beloved book.
The Frosty Ball – Cherry Hill
There's nothing like a ball to add some sparkle to the dreary middle of winter. Dress in your best Frozen attire and come for an evening of music, dancing, crafts, treats, and more. Pre-registration required.
Family Date Night at Jenkinson's – Point Pleasant
Make Valentine's Day a family affair and head to Jenkinson's for an evening of fun that includes admission to Jenkinson's Aquarium, a $10 play card for the Pavilion Arcade, pizza, and treats at the Sweet Shop.
Cinderella waltzes into the State Theatre New Jersey for three magical peformances. Photo courtesy of the show
Cinderella – New Brunswick
The Tony Award–winning production of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella comes to the State Theatre New Jersey for three performances. A Royal Reception held prior to the February 10 matinee will include a make-your-own crown or tiara activity along with storytime and photos with Princess Suzie.
Chocolate Family Day – Morristown
Head to the Morris Museum for a sweet day filled with treats and activities. Attend a Touch the Music workshop, make a special Valentine's card, see a performance of The Fairy Tale Monster Mystery, sample chocolates, and more.
The traditional lion will lead children through the woods for the Lunar New Year and Welcome Spring celebration at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum. Photo courtesy of the arboretum
Third Annual Lunar New Year and Welcome Spring Celebration – Short Hills
Shake off the winter blues at Cora Hartshorn Aboretum. Celebrate the lunar new year by following a lion through the woods, then welcome spring with games, trivia, crafts, and stories. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales – South Orange
Kids ages 4-10 will go bananas for this silly show in which classic fairy tale characters keep dropping into each other's stories.
Year of the Dog: Nai Ni Chen Dance Company – Newark
Nai Ni Chen presents a spectacular celebration of the Chinese New Year at NJPAC, featuring colorful costumes, twirling ribbons, dancing dragons, and a blend of traditional and modern Chinese dance.
Mammoth Follies – Morristown
Giant dinosaur puppets come to Mayo Performing Arts Center in a musical revue about evolution and the dinosaur age.
Black History Month at the Newark Museum – Newark
The Newark Museum hosts an afternoon of activities that explore personal and artistic freedom in black history across the museum's collection and through various forms of creative self-expression done free(dom) style. Activities include freestyle rap, dancing, DJ-ing, art making and more.
Valentine's Day Fun – various locations
There's a ton of Valentine's Day fun happening around NJ. Celebrate with the little man in your life at Liberty Hall Museum on February 3, make your own sweet treats at Reeves-Reed Arboretum on February 14, and more.
LEGO Live NYC – New York
Spend Presidents Day weekend in NYC exploring 65,000 square feet of LEGO splendor. The three-day festival will include demonstrations, building challenges, and much more, including opportunities to meet LEGO master builders and take photos with LEGO models based on characters from Ninjago, Star Wars, and more. Read more about LEGO Live here.
George Washington cuts the first piece of his birthday cake. Photo by Petra Chesner Schlatter
George Washington's Birthday Celebration – Washington Crossing, PA
Head across the Delaware river to celebrate our first president's 286th birthday at a party featuring children's activities and cake cut with General Washington's own sword. Buildings in the historic village will be open during the day, and kids are encouraged to bring homemade cards to present to George himself, who will be on hand for the festivities. Admission is just $1.
Family Day at State Theater New Jersey – New Brunswick
School is closed today, but there's plenty for the kids to do at this day-long festival. Spread across four venues—the State Theatre, the Heldrich Hotel, United Methodist Church, and Mason Gross School of the Arts—Family Day includes dozens of performances, workshops, and hands-on activities, many of them free. There's also face painting, balloon animals, games, food, and more.
The Gruffalo – Branchburg
Mouse makes his way through the deep, dark wood in this musical adaptation of the classic picture book. There will be two afternoon shows, including a sensory-friendly performance at 3:30pm.
The Shoppies get ready for a fashion show in Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! Photo courtesy of the show
Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! – New Brunswick
Jessicake, Bubbleisha, Peppa-Mint, and the rest of the Shoppies gang come to State Theatre New Jersey in a sweet new live show. Read our review of Shopkins Live! here.
Go, Dog. Go! – Morristown
A big dog party is coming to Mayo Performing Arts Center. P.D. Eastman's book comes to life as a hilarious musical featuring audience participation, singing (and barking), and plenty of surprises.
Kids can learn how to tap maple sap at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum. Photo courtesy of the arboretum
Maple Sugaring – various locations
Liquid sugar pouring out of trees? Sounds like something Willy Wonka made up, but it happens every winter right here in New Jersey. There are several spots that offer demonstrations, tastings, and more, including Tenafly Nature Center, Reeves-Reed Arboretum, and Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center. Sweeeet!