The weekend is here! It’s time for fun with the whole family. Looking for something to do? We’ve got you covered with events in and around the area. Check ’em out!
The Bad Guys, starring Sam Rockwell, Mark Maron, Awkwafina, and Craig Robinson, opens this weekend at The Clairidge (486 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair). Nobody has ever failed so hard at trying to be good as The Bad Guys. In the new action comedy from DreamWorks Animation, based on the New York Times best-selling book series, a crackerjack criminal crew of animal outlaws are about to attempt their most challenging con yet—becoming model citizens. There are various showtimes available throughout the weekend. See THE BAD GUYS opening week at The Clairidge and win a spot in East Side Mags’ Saturday Morning Cartoon Club. Everyone who purchases a ticket during its opening week (4/22 – 4/28) will be entered to win a spot in East Side Mags Saturday Morning Cartoon Club for kids for 1 month ($150 value).
Montclair Community Farm presents Community Earth Day Event on Friday, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at 16 Miller Street. To honor Earth Day, they will have a hands-on youth gardening workshop upcycling an indoor kitchen herb garden, a pop-up plant sale, and engaging activities for all community members to learn about composting, pollinators, and beekeeping. In collaboration with a group of dedicated students from Montclair State University, the event will also include an interactive community-based PhotoVoice project, as well as plenty of fun games, arts and crafts, and a door raffle! Cost is $5 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
On Friday from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM, One River School (6 Seymour Street, Montclair) and School of Rock Montclair are partnering up for Picnic on the Plaza. Enjoy free workshops for grades 6-12 and see the Houseband perform. Bring a picnic! Register online.
On Friday, Schiff Nature Preserve (339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham) will host Family Fireside Fun from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Grab the kiddos, bundle up, and take a short walk up to the Schiff Lean To area on the Blue Trail with other nature loving families to bask in the light of the firepit listening to stories of the creatures of the winter night. The fun evening plans include playing animal trivia and roasting marshmallows amongst the stars. This activity is appropriate for guests ages four and up. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Advance registration is required.
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Twp) continues to host the Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. Held daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, bring your camera or phone for this month’s hunt. There is a new theme each month, and the theme for April is “Kind of Blue.” Spring has sprung! Come see the baby animals, learn how they grow and how they help the farm! This activity is geared toward children ages three to five with an adult. The cost is $10 per family or group of 6 or fewer. Preregistration is required.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) hosts Discovery Weekends on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Drop by the Stackhouse Education Center on Saturdays and Sundays anytime between 9am-3pm for this self-guided program for families and children 3 and older. Borrow a magnifying glass (please remember to return it once you’re done), grab an interactive activity guide, and head out to see what wonders big and small await. 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. Each week is a new discovery! The program is free, but donations are requested.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum (165 Hobart Avenue, Summit) will also host Let’s Get Growing for Kids: Garden DIY on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM for children ages five to ten. If you like building things and finding out how things grow, this interactive, hands-on garden DIY program is for you. You’ll learn how to start plants from seeds and discover the interesting things in bloom in our Roehm Greenhouse. We’ll take a hike around our historic property and return to the garden to pot up a plant or two. Each month is a different activity. Join us on Saturday mornings to get your hands in the soil and let’s create something special together! Registration is required. Cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members.
Van Vleck House & Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) will host Outdoor Adventures: Earth Day on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Enjoy the gardens as you and your family explore and learn about the outdoor world through crafts, scavenger hunts, activity sheets and educational displays. This program is entirely outdoors, and you can arrive anytime between 10:00 am and 100 pm. Registration is required and includes everything you need to participate in the program. In the event of inclement weather, Outdoor Adventures take-home activity kits will be available for pick-up in the Visitor Center. Designed for children ages 4 -11 but all are welcome. Cost is $15 per family for non-members and free for members. Registration is required.
On Saturday and Sunday, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host MakerSPACE from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Be part of a fun, interactive area where visitors of all ages play, tinker, and create as they make connections between the materials, processes, and concepts of artwork and natural science objects in the Museum’s collections and their own creativity. This program is included with Museum admission.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (73 Kahdena Road, Morristown) will host Farm-Phonics on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. This activity is for children ages four to seven. Learning to read? The animals would love to help! Come practice your reading skills by reading to the farm animals at Fosterfields. Cost is $10 per child, and preregistration is required.
On Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will host Earth Day 2022. Bring your family, friends, and neighbors to the annual outdoor Earth festival. On this special day, the Essex County Environmental Center will make extra efforts to share its wonder and appreciation of the natural world with its patrons, partners and friends. Enjoy a day filled with crafts, games, and recreational opportunities, such as canoeing and hiking. Enjoy demonstrations, information, a local eco-vendors sale, with Environmental Center staff and partner groups on hand to guide you throughout the day.This all-ages event is free.
And, on Saturdays in April, you can also see Planetarium: Secret of the Cardboard Rocket at Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Embark on an amazing adventure with two children as they explore the Solar System and learn about each of the planets along the way. This activity is recommended for families with kids ages 3-10, and it is included with Museum admission.
Also on Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Newark Museum of Art (49 Washington Street, Newark) will host Creative Play: Seed Magic. Who doesn’t like to paint and get messy? Every season has its own special beauty! In April, we begin to think about warmer weather and gardens. Join us for storytime and a paper-making project with a special twist! This is a program specifically designed for children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration is required and space is limited. This program is included with Museum admission.
Liberty Hall (1003 Morris Avenue, Union) will host Family Fun Day: Arbor(etum) Day on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Liberty Hall enjoys the benefit of lots of trees–even before William Livingston moved to the property, he was ordering trees to be planted for enjoyment and study. Although so much has changed at the property over the last 250 years, our love of trees has not! Join us for activities, games, and crafts at our arboretum and continue what the Livingston family began! Reservations are required. Cost is $10 for one child with one adult and $4 per additional child.
Schiff Nature Preserve (339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham) will also host Geocaching for Beginners on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world. Currently Schiff has over 20 caches hiding for us to find. Participants will learn all about the Geocaching world, how to navigate to the caches, etiquette for the activity as well as tips and tricks of the game. Participants will be asked to download the Geocaching.com app on their phones and bring along trinkets for trading in the cache box. More information will be provided upon registration. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.
Morris Museum (6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown) hosts Spark!Lab on Saturday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Spark!Lab offers any child (ages 5-12 years old 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 problem-solve and overcome real-world obstacles. Spark!Lab offers many unique, project-specific stations, where inventors can engage directly with engineering and design challenges. There is also a newly created space with a train and exploration table filled with unique tools to help spark creativity, thinking, and learning for children ages 1-4). The cost is included in admission, which is $12 for adults, $8 for children 3-17, and free for children under 3.
Montclair Art Museum (3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair) will host Sunday Studio on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, with sessions beginning on the hour. Join in each Sunday for a fun family art-making activity inspired by our current exhibitions. Explore materials, learn new techniques, and meet other community members while enjoying creative time with your family. Each week features a different project designed by MAM Teaching Artists to spark the imagination and encourage conversation in response to artworks on view in museum galleries. This program is aimed at families with children ages 5–12, but all are welcome. This event is free with admission and registration is required. This event is free with Museum admission, but you must register separately.
Stop by Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City) for the limited exhibition, Butterfly House. Do you sense a lively flutter in the air? It’s no surprise. About a thousand butterflies have landed at Liberty Science Center to help us celebrate spring! Visitors can feel the magic of butterflies fluttering around you, feeding on plants and nectar, and even landing on your shoulder or finger. Butterfly House will be open daily through May 8 and is included with any admission ticket.
Also at Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City) is Minecraft: The Exhibition. This is a 6,000-sq.-ft. multimedia experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, whether they play Minecraft or not. The exhibition features an immersive experience that includes blocky scenes and characters from the game. Minecraft: The Exhibition will be open through September 5, 2022. Liberty Science Center is open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. It is closed this Sunday. Cost is the price of general admission, plus an additional fee. Visit the website for details.