New Jersey

Weekend Events for NJ Kids March 13-14: Snakes, Einstein, Shows and Crafts--Most FREE!

Einstein definitely was NOT Irish, but this weekend is a cause to celebrate both Einstein’s birthday, the number pi, and St. Patrick’s Day!  And with weatherpeople forecasting wind and rain, you may just decide to opt for indoor entertainment like the circus, plenty of fun theatrical performances, a crafts festival, or a reptile and turtle demonstration.  And Easter is just around the corner with the Easter Bunny making early visits to some local malls…

Crafty Kid Places in NJ: Beading, Pottery, Glass-Blowing and More!

As Easter and Mother’s Day quickly draw near, you’re facing the age-old “what to give to Grandma/Grandpa/Aunts/Uncles and various other relatives” quandary. But really, how many “#1 Grandma” mugs can a cupboard hold?  You know they truly treasure the handmade gifts from the heart (and little hands) than a trinket from the mall.  But before you pull out the playdough, paints and glitter, consider a trip to one of these Create-Your-Own Studios where kids can make blown glass ornaments, a fused glass dish, a hand painted bowl, silver or beaded jewelry, and more.  Not only will you wow the crowds, but mom doesn’t have to worry about cleaning paint off the furniture or getting glitter out of the rug!

NJ Weekend Events March 6-7: Seuss and a Circus, Dancing and Dangerous Animals--lots FREE

Forget “There’s no place like home.”  The mom mantra now reads, “It’s two weeks ‘til Spring!  It’s two weeks ‘til Spring!” Spend the last of the nasty weather this weekend getting a jump start on the coming seasons by imagining you are at a summer folk festival, or step dancing in Ireland, or hunting wild animals at the circus. The “tamer crowd” can celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, enjoy a carnival atmosphere at JCC Metrowest, or learn something new at our fabulous museums. Close your eyes, click your heels, and before you know it, those gloves, mittens, hats and snowpants’ll be packed away!

Weekend Events for NJ Feb. 27-28: Free Fun with Widget, World Stories, Purim, Planting, Clowns and Kaleidoscopes!

Feeling a little stir-crazy after all this snow?  Then put on your parka, pack up the crew and head out to a host of cool kids activities!  This weekend, kids can dress up, clown around, and celebrate everything from the Widget the Beaver’s birthday to the Winter weather and maple trees.  At the Newark Museum kids can try tightrope walking and see clowns. At the Morven Museum spend a dinosaur inspired “night at the museum.”    Make a recycled kaleidoscope at the Hoboken Historical Museum and see a LEGO sculpture of the Taj Mahal at the Cotsen Children’s Library.  Celebrate Purim with carnivals at Congregation Shomrei Emunah and the Garden State Discovery Museum.  Finally enjoy maple sugaring and other outdoor winter events at Reeves Reed Arboretum and Van Vleck House and Gardens. So grab that shovel and start digging your way out! (But remember to call first--with this crazy weather, cancellations can happen at a moment's notice!)
 

Cool New Museum Exhibit for Kids: A T. rex Named Sue

A boy named Sue?  Maybe.  But then again, maybe not. No one knows for sure the gender of any of the 22 T-Rex fossils found to date.  There simply aren’t enough of them for scientists to study this trait.  This is just one of the many interesting tidbits we uncovered at the Liberty Science Center's special return engagement of the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.

The exhibit, A T rex Named Sue, is particularly good at presenting aspects of these pre-historic animals in a child friendly, easy to understand, way by using interactive, hands-on displays. In fact, the displays are so cool and there are quite a lot of them, that the kids might actually overlook the massive, 42 foot long dinosaur skeleton in the room.

NJ Weekend Feb. 20-21: Shake, Sculpt, Juggle, Watch, Swap or Tap--Mostly FREE!

Choices, choices, choices:  This weekend, you can shake it, sculpt it, juggle it, watch it, swap it or tap it! Experience a dizzying array of dance styles at the Bickford Theatre, dig the African drumbeat at Discovery Museum, or sculpt a personal masterpiece at Grounds for Sculpture (c’mon, you KNOW you love that scene in “Ghost!”)  Seeking something more sedate? Catch a master juggler, a puppet show or an all-time favorite book-turned-musical. For a more educational time, give your kids a head start on heart health or recycle some fun at a toy swap.  Take a family vote and head out–with all of this going on, if you don’t choose, you lose!

Calling All Campers! The Tops in NJ-Area Day Camps

With snow swirling and ice storms blowing, summer seems eons away, but before you know it, the end of the school year appears and the panic sets in: “What the heck am I going to do with the kids for the summer??” We’ve got you covered with the best of New Jersey-area summer camps!  These camps take fun seriously—so much so that they plan the whole year round for the 8 weeks of summer when their sites are transformed into oases of fun and team spirit. Many camps listed have had entire generations of families pass through, and although some camps we mention are large, they offer great counselor to camper ratios, with additional support from adults supervising younger staff. So, although you may still be bundled up, soon it’ll be time to break out the sunscreen. Plan now, then you and your family can enjoy a welcome break from the grueling school year—you deserve it!

NJ Weekend Events Feb. 13-15: Free Fun for Valentines' Day, President's Day, Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras: Phew!

Wow! President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year’s celebrations: a big ol’ batch of holidays rolled into one long weekend!  Enjoy everything from sweet chocolate festivals, colonial candy making and a “Voices and Hearts for Haiti” concert for V-Day, and on President’s day engage in presidential events and crafts at the Newark and Morris Museums. Say ‘Gung Hay Fat Choy” at a teahouse celebreation, then make Mardi Gras crafts to prep for “Fat Tuesday.” Feeling anti-holiday?  Burn the paper hearts and head out maple sugaring or birdwatching; deal in some live animal demonstrations and a dinosaur weekend; or think thespian at the State Theater of NJ where kids can enjoy 29 different performances, workshops, and events.

 

NJ Weekend Feb. 6-7: A Frenzy of Winter Events--Indoors, Outdoors and many FREE!

SIX? MORE? WEEKS OF WINTER????  If you’re like most moms, you’re feeling a little stir crazy by now. Maybe even planning groundhog stew. Hey, even the best of ‘em can only stomach so many tissue roll projects and Disney videos.  Thankfully, a big batch of family fun gets you and the kids out of the house and into a whirlwind of activity this weekend.  The folks in Hoboken are betting on cabin fever to turn out big crowds to their festival on Saturday. In Sparta, they’re counting on snow for sledding contests and snowshoe races at their big Winter Carnival.  For those who want to get out, but stay in, children’s shows abound.  And for the quieter types, there’s maple tree tapping or a fashion-focused tea party. C’mon...ditch the DVD player and the craft glue, load the kids in the car, and kick up your heels!

No Shadows Allowed! Free and Fun NJ Groundhog Day Events

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Let’s hope Mr. Groundhog’s coat grew especially thick this year!  Shake up your routine on Groundhog Day and keep your fingers crossed there’s no shadow to be seen.  Maybe you can’t make it all the way to Pennsylvania to see Punxsutawney Phil make his annual prediction, but New Jersey teams with terrific activities in celebration of this common New Jersey garden pest (sorry Phil!).

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