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Best NJ Places to Take Preschoolers in May

We've found the top things to do with your 5-and-unders this month.


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Courtesy of State Theatre

 

It’s time to wake up and smell the roses! This month, hop in the car and hit the Butterflies and Birds Family Festival, let the kids run free at the 9th Annual Fairy Pirate Festival and see if the shoe fits at Cinderella on stage.

Don’t forget to check out local fairs and festivals, free things to do and STEM events going on this month, either.

Wednesday-Saturday, May 2-5

Our Lady of Peace Country Fair

Where: Our Lady of Peace Church, New Providence
Price: Free admission
Deets: Kick off the month of May with rides for the little ones, plus raffles and a beer garden for the grown-ups. Treat yourself and your minis to delish fest foods: burgers, sausage and peps, calzones, shish kabobs and more.

Friday-Saturday, May 4-5

Wizard of Oz

Where: State Theatre, New Brunswick
Price: $35-98
Deets: There may be no place like home. Venture to the Theatre for a chance to see Dorothy make her way back to the Emerald City. Sit back, relax and don’t worry about dodging tornadoes, flying monkeys or the Wicked Witch of the West.

Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6

Wild West City Ranger Weekend

Where: Wild West City, Stanhope
Price: $13.50-18
Deets: Spend your weekend with 22 live-actions shows, train and pony rides, exhibits and more at this late 1800’s western themed park. Rangers will swing by to add some flair to the day’s shows.

Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet

Where: The College of New Jersey, Ewing
Price: $20-54
Deets: Roxey Ballet is bringing all the “bare necessities” to this family-friendly ballet of The Jungle Book, to meet Mowgli, who was raised by a pack of wolves in India. Introduce your preschooler to your fave jungle characters: Baloo, Bagherra and Kaa.

Friday, May 11

Jupiter at Opposition and Meteors

Where: Hoffman Park, Hampton
Price: $3
Deets: This month, Jupiter, which will be fully illuminated by the Sun, will be at its closest distance from the Earth. Check out Jupiter’s cloud bands and its four largest moons. Bonus: the Eta Aquarids, a meteor shower, will be visible, too.

Saturday, May 12

My Edible Garden!

Where: Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit
Price: $10-25
Deets: Go ahead, kids, play with your food! This rare exception to the rule is for a great reason: kids will learn about different veggies and flowers, including how to grow them, and create a masterpiece they’ll later get to eat. Registration required.

Children's Festival

Where: Historic Smithville, Galloway
Price: Free admission
Deets: What kid doesn’t love a festival? Don’t miss the Cape May Zoo Show, face painting, balloon animals, games and, of course, tons of popcorn. Not all activities are free.

Saturday-Sunday, May 12-13

Butterflies and Birds Family Festival

Where: Camden Children’s Garden, Camden
Price: Included with admission
Deets: Take a trip inside the Butterfly House (where the kids can ride the train and carousel), plus watch them create their own butterfly life cycle and bird’s nest models while they learn about adaptation

Friday, May 18

New Jersey Miners First Home Game

Where: Skylands Stadium, Augusta
Price: Varies
Deets: Batter up! Grab your peanuts and cracker jacks for the Miners first home game versus the Rockland Boulders. Stick around for some amazing fireworks.

Saturday, May 19

The Gruffalo

Where: SOPAC, South Orange
Price: $25/adults, $20/kids
Deets: Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the mad Snake while searching for hazelnuts. The haunting story of the Gruffalo could save Mouse from becoming dinner, but the Gruffalo is just a myth, right?

9th Annual Fairy Pirate Festival

Where: Turkey Brook Park, Mt. Olive Twp.
Price: Free
Deets: Little ones can expel energy in bounce castles, giant slides, get their faces painted, make crafts, play games, hop on a pony ride and more. Come in costume but feel free to dress yourself with the eye patches, swords, wings, flowers and sparkles provided.

Touch-A-Truck

Where: Parking Lot B, Dover
Price: Free
Deets: Surprise them with a day they’ll never forget—the chance to climb inside real trucks! Rain date May 26.

May Small Explorers Program

Where: New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Price: Free
Deets: Kiddos under age 5 are invited to a galactic storytime, then a visit to the Planetarium and STEAM center for hands-on activities like creating astronaut helmets and decorating rocket ships.

Sunday, May 20

New Jersey Ballet's Cinderella

Where: MPAC, Morristown
Price: $15-25
Deets: This classic fairy tale will be told with original “storyteller” narration so your little ones can follow along, plus beautiful sets and costumes to bring their imagination to life.

Thursday-Friday, May 24-25

Tot Walks

Where: Echo Hill, Flemington
Price: Free/adults, $3/kids
Deets: Leave the stroller behind and venture outside to see the local flora and fauna. There’ll be a story and a craft, plus a walk focused on salamanders with Senior Park Naturalist Laura Bush.

Friday, May 25

New Jersey Jackals First Home Game

Where: Yogi Berra Stadium, Little Falls
Price: Varies
Deets: Hey, batta batta! Swing on over for the Jackals first home game versus the Quebec Capitals. Take your lil’ short stop to a game she won’t forget.

Monday, May 28

Woodland Park Street Fair and Parade

Where: Woodland Park, Woodland Park
Price: Free admission
Deets: What better way to spend Memorial Day weekend than at a giant town block party? The kids’ section will be filled with kiddie rides, face painting, sand art, temporary tattoos, pony rides and a petting zoo. Don’t forget to dig into classic fair food, like hot dogs, zeppoles, shish kabobs, cheesesteaks and Italian ices.

Ongoing

Park Bench

Where: Montclair Art Museum, Montclair
Price: $18/family
Deets: On the second Wednesday of every month, take your pre-K kiddos on a guided tour, create a themed art project and sit criss-cross-applesauce in the gallery for some quality storytelling.

Discovery Saturdays

Where: Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit
Price: Free/members, $5/non-member kid
Deets: Each Saturday this month, discover a new plant, animal or environmental topic through experiments, stories, games and crafts. May topics include The Reason for a Flower, Mother’s Day Craft, Sensational Scents and Forget-me-nots.

New Jersey Renaissance Faire

Where: Liberty Lake, Bordentown
Price: $20/adults, $12/ages 5-12
Deets: Every Saturday and Sunday from May 19-June 3, sword fighting, fire breathing, aerialists, comedy, music (plus beer an wine) await behind the castle gates. It’ll leave a lasting impression on your tiny tots.

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