Presidents Day Weekend for New Jersey Kids: Penguins, Legos, Nature

What to do with kids in New Jersey the weekend of February 17-19, 2018

This weekend kicks off the mid-winter break for New Jersey schoolchildren, and there's plenty to keep the kiddos entertained. Enjoy a drama-filled weekend with a variety of theatrical performances, including Charlotte's Web Live, Beauty and the Beast, Gobsmacked!, and Mr. Popper's Penguins. Partake in a whole afternoon of kid-friendly games, crafts, and other activities on Saturday at Kidabaloo in Asbury Park. Or celebrate George Washington's birthday with Washington himself!

If you're looking for day-off entertainment on Presidents Day, head over to Morris Museum for Presidents Day activities, State Theatre New Jersey for Family Day, or Trailside Nature & Science Center for a Mad Science demonstration.

To find more fun for this weekend and beyond, check out our list of 30 things to do during the February break. And look to our February GoList  and  Winter Activity Guide for even more ideas. 

All Weekend 

Frozen in Ice at Skylands Stadium – Augusta
Head to Skylands Stadium to enjoy unbelievable ice sculpture displays inspired by the Wild West. Attractions include more than 100 sculptures, a 50-foot ice slide, ice candy store, carnival games, a snowman building competition, and ice carving demonstrations.

Lego Live NYC – Manhattan
This event is a must for Lego fans! Enjoy designing, creating, and playing with millions of bricks. Get busy in interactive, themed play zones, meet Lego Master Builders, explore the latest sets, and much more.

A wood-fired evaporator turns maple sap into maple syrup. Photo courtesy of Morris County

Maple Sugaring Demonstrations – Chatham Township
At the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, families can learn about the process of maple sugaring from start to finish—you'll identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and make syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. Afterward, taste-test different syrups, including syrup made at the OEC. Registration is recommended.

Celebrate St. Valentine – Wayne
High SocieTea House serves a special, four-course holiday meal infusing chocolate into the menu. Reservations required.

Charlotte's Web Live – Metuchen
E.B. White's beloved classic takes the stage at The Forum Theatre. Join Charlotte, Wilbur the pig, and all the barnyard animals on the Zuckerman Farm in this warm and funny musical.

Beauty and the Beast – Montclair
Studio Playhouse presents an enchanting, romantic, and warmly amusing dramatization of the beloved, classic fairy tale that reminds us that things are often not what they seem. This non-musical, special Magic Trunk show is fully produced by Studio Playhouse's junior members.

Saturday, February 17

Kidabaloo – Asbury Park
This fun-filled family event features games, crafts, activities, entertainment, and other excitement. Kids will be surrounded by fun and interactive activities while parents engage with businesses and community organizations. Activities include a bounce house, balloon artists, slime-making, live entertainment with Mr. Ray, live animals, a visit with Henry Danger's Sean Ryan Fox, magic, and much more.

Get creative with your crew at MAM's Family Art Adventure. Photo courtesy of the museum

Third Saturday Family Art Adventure – Montclair
Family art adventures await at Montclair Art Museum. Explore and discuss artworks in the galleries, and engage in a fun hands-on project in the studio. For kids 6–12 and their adult companions. Reservations not required.

Read and Explore: Fur, Feathers, and Fluff – Princeton
Visit Terhune Orchards to learn how animals keep themselves warm in winter. This program features stories about animals and an exploration of the sense of touch with wool, feathers, etc. Each child will make a paper bag animal to take home.

See more Saturday events.

Mr. Popper's Penguins takes the stage at State Theatre New Jersey. Photo courtesy of the production

Sunday, February 18

Mr. Popper's Penguins – Englewood
Bergen PAC presents Mr. Popper's Penguins, the story of painter and decorator Mr. Popper and his adventures with a penguin that arrives at his doorstep. With original songs and performing penguin puppets, this is a delightful, action-packed adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater's popular book.

George Washington’s Birthday Celebration – Washington Crossing, PA
Bring the whole family to celebrate the birthday of our nation’s first President at Washington Crossing Historic Park. Attendees can meet George Washington, present him with homemade cards, and sing happy birthday. Cake will be served!

February Guided Hike at Cora Hartshorn Arboretum – Short Hills
Join Cora's Conservation Corps teen volunteers as they guide you through the woods and show you that winter is the best time to look for signs of wildlife. On this hike, you'll learn all about tracks and scat. Become a Citizen Scientist and help record important data this season! 

Gobsmacked! – Morristown
Seven incredible singers and beat-boxers create pure musical magic. Featuring world champion beat-boxer Ball-Zee and a cast of world-class vocalists, Gobsmacked! weaves stories through all forms of a cappella, from traditional street corner harmonies to cutting-edge, multi-track live looping.

See more Sunday events.

Monday, February 19

Enjoy face painting, food, games, performances, and other fun at Family Day. Photo courtesy of State Theatre NJ 

Family Day at State Theatre New Jersey – New Brunswick
Spend the day off from school at this day-long festival. Spread across four venues—the State Theatre, 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.

Presidents Day at the Morris Museum – Morristown
Patriotic activities include President-themed crafts, presidential bingo, and activity sheets. Plus, check out the museum's great exhibits, including Mega Model Trains and A Season of Wonder.

Trailside Welcomes Mad Science of NJ – Mountainside
Teachers from the Mad Science team come to the Trailside Nature & Science Center to show how much fun science can be. This drop-off program for ages 8–12 features hands-on demonstrations, unique equipment, and animated instructors.

Kids Craft & Storytime at Alstede Farms – Chester
Kids can enjoy a fun winter outing on their day off from school at the farm with Miss Jenn, Alstede's culinary and education specialist. Through storytime and a craft, kids will learn about the life cycle of plants and the promise of spring.

See more Monday events.

Top photo: Bundle up and trek through the woods to search for signs of wildlife. Photo courtesy of Cora Hartshorn Arboretum