New Jersey

What's Happening! The Week in Review

There's so much going on we thought it might be helpful to provide a quick weekly round-up of all the things we've posted and what's hot to make it easier to follow along. If this is helpful, let us know.

This week's photo: A sign on a dirt road in Vermont that our GPS had led us down. I guess somebody was sick of lost tourists driving up to their house.

NJ Easter Weekend Events April 3-4: Bunnies, Big Bird, Beatrix Potter and Barking Beauties–much FREE!

With the arrival of Easter weekend comes the expected, but always child-entertaining, mix of Easter egg hunts, bunny breakfasts and Easter Bunny crafts–take your pick of preferred location: Imagine That! Children’s Museum (once you’re in, you’re in–activity planning for the day DONE); Liberty Village Premium Outlets (they hunt for eggs, you hunt for bargains); Weis Ecology Center (bonus: learn to dye your eggs naturally); Terhune Orchards (romp through the blooming pastures); the Brownstone Puppet Theater (puppets and a teddy bear parade, too) or the New Jersey Children’s Museum (breakfast included!) Up to your long ears in bunny business? Switch to Big Bird at Liberty Science Center’s One World, One Sky event, or go to the dogs at the Ocean City Humane Society’s pet fashion show. By the end of the day, your own little beasties will be ready for bed!

NJ Weekend Events March 27-28: Lots of FREE Fun: Farm Animals, Fishing, Treasure Island and Telescopes!

Rain? Snow? Sun? Who cares?  Whatever the weather this weekend,  New Jersey’s got somethin’ goin on!  Head outdoors to see newly-born farm animals; break out the fishing poles to kick off fishing season at the Trout Hatchery; or collect glow-in-the-dark rocks from a world-famous mineral deposit.  If the weather goes South, head indoors: kids can learn all about Treasure Island and pirates at the Cotsen Children's Library; enjoy African art and crafts at Montclair Arts Museum's free family day; or hunker down in the Liberty Science Center to learn about oceans, chemistry, and the HUBBLE telescope.  Mother Nature, bring it ON!

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!


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