With winter still solidly in our midst, there are fortunately scores of activities to keep little ones busy (and parents sane). This weekend delivers two plans with toddler superstar-themes (Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street) plus a free movie, a Black History month celebration, star gazing, maple sugaring al fresco, and spirited Irish music and dance to top it all off. These are just a few of Patch’s standout picks for family fun—add your own finds in the comments section!
—Maple Sugaring Display
Where/When: , 21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair. Daily, 9 a.m. to dusk.
Why Go: The Maple Sugaring Display is a self-guided tour (great for meandering kids) in the corner of Mother's Garden (northwest corner of the property at Upper Mountain and Van Vleck Street). When the nights are cold, but the days are warm, you'll be able to see sap flowing into the collection bucket.
—Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss Planetarium at the Newark Museum
Where/When: 49 Washington Street, Newark. Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. until March 27, 2011.
Why Go: It’s time you revisited a planetarium for something other than laser Pink Floyd shows. The Planetarium at the Newark Museum has two child-oriented shows currently playing: One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure: Children can watch their favorite Sesame Street characters, led by Big Bird, as they explore the night sky, watch a sunset, locate the Big Dipper, the North Star and the Moon. The show begins at 1 p.m. and is recommended for children ages 4 to 6. The second show is Secret of the Cardboard Rocket. In this show, a brother and sister set out on a rocket ship made from a cardboard box. Using an astronomy book from the library they take a spectacular whirlwind tour of the Solar System—from sizzling hot Mercury to icy Pluto. The show begins at 3 p.m. and is recommended for children ages 6 to 9.
Pricing: Nonmembers: Adults $5; children under 12, seniors, and college students $3 Members: Adults $3; children under 12 $2. This is in addition to the Museum’s suggested admission of Adults: $10; c hildren, seniors & students with valid ID: $6; members: FREE.
—Yo Gabba Gabba Roller Skating
Where/When: United Skates of America, Branch Brook Park, 7th Avenue and Clifton Avenue, Newark. Saturday, Feb. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Why Go: Even if you don’t have a toddler (or a TV) I dare you to resist the urge to dance, or rather, skate to DJ Lance Rock’s beats and the rest of the trippy cool Yo Gabba Gabba gang.
Pricing: $5 per child and skating adult; $2 for non-skating adults
—Free Movie: The Parent Trap (1998) plus a drop-in craft
Where/When: Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad Street, Bloomfield. Saturday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.
Why Go: Stop by the library to do a free craft or check out The 1998 remake of The Parent Trap starring Lindsay Lohan. Here’s the film’s synopsis: Identical twins Hallie and Annie were separated at birth when their parents divorced. After the two meet at summer camp, they begin plotting to reunite their estranged parents. The film is rated PG.
—Black History Month Celebration
Where/When: Montclair Public Library, 50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair. Saturday, Feb. 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Why Go: February is Black History month and the library is celebrating with African American heritage performers and special guest speakers. There will also be a performance of the Hand Bells Choir presented by St. Paul Baptist Church. All ages are welcome. The event will take place in the Library’s auditorium.
Pricing: Free; Registration required
—Imagination Station at the
Where/When: Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair. Saturday, Feb. 26, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Why Go: MAM events always deliver, and Imagination Station is no exception. This very popular program focuses on a different artwork or theme each week –this week’s theme is In the Moonlight. Families will be engaged in active looking, lively discussion, interactive activities, and scavengers hunts, and have a unique opportunity to sketch in the galleries. Space is limited.
Pricing: Member adults free, nonmember adults $12, children $6.
—Ireland on Parade
Where/When: , 467 Franklin Street, Bloomfield. (The Westminster Arts Center). Sunday, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m.
Why Go: Get a jump on Saint Patrick’s Day festivities with Irish dancing and live music. Performers include dancers from Marie Moore Irish Dance School, Pipes & Drums—Shillelagh Club, Irish tenor Tim Smith, The New Jersey Youth Chorus, Pianist Lois Buesser, and Patricia Brady, aka The Irish Nightingale.
Pricing: $10 General Admission, $5 students and seniors.