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Free Things to Do in NJ in January

Want to get the kids out of the house without digging through your wallet? We've got you covered.


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Looking for some fun but don't want to spend your hard-earned cash? No problem. We found some free things to do in NJ this month. If you’re looking for more fun, take your preschoolers to these events in January.

Wednesday, January 3

Silly Stories Fun

Enjoy silly stories, funny songs and a crazy craft with your little readers at the Watchung Library at 10:30 am. Registration required.

Thursday, January 4

Favorite Characters Storytime

Celebrate the launch of 1000 books before kindergarten with songs, a craft and stories from some of your kids’ favorite characters at the Hillsborough Library at 10 am.

Friday, January 5

Pete the Cat Party

Kids ages 2-6 can enjoy a Pete the Cat puppet show, along with stories, crafts and snacks at the Peapack Gladstone Library from 10:30-11:30 am.

Sunday, January 7

Art Together

Children, parents and grandparents can work side-by-side on arts and crafts at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick at 11:30 am. There’ll be interactive workshops that help families spend quality creative time together.

Tuesday, January 9

Teddy Bear Time

She can bring her favorite teddy bear to the Somerville Library at 10:30 am, where they can both hear stories, sing songs and enjoy a snack.

Wednesday, January 10

Teen Improv and Acting Games

Students grades 6-12 can show off their acting and improvisational skills in a variety of games at the Warren Library at 7 pm.

Friday, January 12

Lunch with a Librarian

Bring your own lunch for an indoor picnic, stories and songs with a librarian at the North Plainfield Memorial Library at noon. Best part: Your little bookworms will score a free read.

Friday-Sunday, January 12-14

North Jersey Orchid Show & Sale

Check out nearly a thousand blooming orchids from all over the world in different shapes, sizes and colors at the Douglass Student Center at Rutgers University from 9 am-5 pm. Visit the free educational workshops and step up your gardening skills.

Saturday, January 13

Big Jeff Music

Spend the morning singing along to tunes with children’s musician Big Jeff at the Cranford Community Center at 10:30 am. The kids may even learn a classic or two.

A Craft Circle at the Hope Family Store

Use store-provided materials at the HOPE Family Store in Kearny to handmade items like hats, scarves and gloves to support Priests and Sisters at St. Cecilia’s parish. This event is meant to inspire creativity and compassion.

Monday, January 15

The Mathematics and Design of Origami

Introduce your family to the fun of origami at the Morris Museum in Morristown at 11 am. Build unique structures and learn how the same mathematics are used in space, medical devices, airbags and more.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. by making a peace wreath and learning about the life and mission at the Morris Museum in Morristown at noon. (Head to this event after learning about origami!)

Fossils: Life in the Really Olden Days

Mini-archaeologists grades 1-5 can learn about some of the oldest life forms on earth—when they lived, what their world was like and how their fossils were preserved. Your kids can even make their own simulated fossil. Stop by the Warren Library at 7 pm to join.

Thursday, January 18

National Winnie the Pooh Day

Celebrate your kids’ favorite cartoon bear with stories, game and fun activities. Celebrate at all the Somerset County libraries: Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Manville, Mary Jacobs, North Plainfield, Warren and Watchung. Times vary.

Object Launchers

If your kids like launching objects and seeing how far ordinary supplies can fly, you’ll want to take them to the Bridgewater Library at 7 pm. Registration required.

Friday, January 26

Stories, Puppets and Songs

You entire brood can enjoy Miss Katie’s puppet storytime for kids, and parents can grab a few early literacy tips, too. Head to the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill at 10:30 am with the little ones.

Saturday, January 27

Meadowlands Home-Style Chili & Salsa Cook-Off

Try the free samples that'll be given out for the people’s choice vote. Registration required for competition, which will cost you. Enter the home-style chili and salsa cook-off and go for the grand prize at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford at 7 pm. Not a cook?

Monday, January 29

PJ Storytime

He can bring his favorite stuffed animal friend to hear stories and sing songs at the Manville Library at 6:30 pm. Come in your pajamas and meet PJ’s other tiny fans.

Ongoing

Flourishing Futures at Rubin Museum

On Sundays throughout January, tuck your worries into an envelope and seal it with a blossoming folded lotus made by your own hands. Head to the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC to create small, but impactful pieces of art. Program runs on Sundays from January 7-28.

Project Feeder Watch at Plainsboro Preserve

Whether you’re a group of newbies or seasoned birdwatchers, the family can check out different birds and help scientists collect data on different avian populations at the Plainsboro Preserve in Cranbury on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am-4 pm. Program runs on Saturdays and Sundays through April 30.

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