memorial day
Skylands Stadium Facebook page

Typically, Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to summer and it’s filled with parades and barbecues. While you can still hit the beach (and we’ve got tips on how to do that safely) local businesses are getting creative with ways to celebrate the long weekend from your home during the pandemic.

OUTDOOR FUN

If you’re missing your annual Memorial Day race, the North Brunswick Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Service will host a virtual 5K run/walk on Monday, May 25. Participants can register through Monday at 1 pm for only $5, then choose their own 5K path. Finish times must also be submitted by 1 pm. Great idea to get the whole family on the move.

Want to prep for your weekend walk when the kids ask you what kind of flower or bird you’re seeing? The Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge’s Miss Cheryl is hosting Saturday Surprises on May 23 at 2 pm. Kids will learn what plants are flowering right now, which animals are active this time of year and which are preparing to nest.

To get out of the house, families can head to the Skylands Stadium in Augusta for a drive-thru animal farm open every day through May 31 from 11 am-5 pm. Families can drive past horses, alpacas, lambs and other animals. Don’t forget to bring baby or sliced carrots to feed the animals! The drive-thru is $20/car and families are asked to bring exact change to limit money handling.

CONCERTS, MUSIC AND THEATER

MPAC is hosting another concert as part of its Friday Facebook Live series on May 22 at 12:30 pm featuring jazz singer Danielle Illario.

For students missing traditional field trips, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will host a virtual lesson for grades 7-12 on Friday, May 22 from 1-1:45pm. This lesson uses images and oral histories to spark a discussion about battles and tactics involving the Intrepid, like the Battle of the Philippines and Battle of Leyte Gulf. While the registration form is intended for teachers, individual students are also allowed to sign up. The museum will also host its annual Memorial Day commemoration through a virtual ceremony on Monday, May 25 at 2 pm. The commemoration will include performances by Tony Award-winning actress Stephanie J. Block and the United States Navy Band and will be streamed on the museum website.

On Sunday, May 24, the American Ballet Theatre’s hair and makeup team will take viewers behind the scenes and transform a dancer into the Bronze Idol from Act III. This event will be accessible on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

From Friday-Sunday, May 23-25, various local artists will go live on Facebook to ring in Memorial Day Weekend with home-grown entertainment. Performers include the classic rock group the Carly Gentry Band, the E Street Shuffle and Tommy Cadawas: Point Pleasant Beach Elvis.

EDUCATIONAL FUN

Rutgers’ New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station this Friday will teach families to make ice pops (perfect for summer!) at 11 am on the Somerset County Family & Community Health Sciences Facebook Page.

Families can test their knowledge with Liberty Science Center’s virtual trivia at 11:30 am every Friday through May 29 and compete against others in the region. Trivia includes various science-related topics including space, animals, health, technology and more. Registration is not required and interested competitors can join on Facebook.

On Friday, May 22, the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion will host “Creature Feature.” At 2 pm, the director of Living Exhibits will go live on the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion Facebook page to introduce a new insect with a behind-the-scenes educational lesson.

For middle school coders, STEM Kids NYC is hosting a class on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:30-5:30 pm. In this live class, a computer science teacher uses Zoom and Google Classroom to teach students how to code their own Dungeons and Dragons or Fairytale app. Students will use Twine to learn core topics in computer science, computer language syntax and gain proficiency in storytelling. Prices begin at $35/day for drop-in classes and sibling discounts are available. Registration required.

YOGA AND MEDITATION

To help parents and kids find peace during this stressful time, Sahaja Yoga in Edison is hosting a family-friendly guided meditation on Sunday, May 24 at 1:30 pm. The Zoom session walks you through the steps of breathing and relaxation.

For families looking to unwind, Abilities Therapy Network is hosting free virtual yoga every day at 4 pm. Co-owner Andrea Delmonico will instruct families through Zoom. The class is also streamed through Facebook and Instagram.

ARTS AND CRAFTS

The Arts Council of Princeton is hosting a family origami arts workshop on Friday, May 22 at 4 pm. Local artist and instructor Yuka Koiwa will teach families how to create their own stories through the art of paper folding. Participants can use any kind of paper they have to create origami hearts and whales. All you’ll need is an 8” x 10” piece of paper, scissors and glue or tape. Make it unique with pencils, markers, ballpoint pens, color pencils and crayons. Registration required.

Knitters of all ages can join experienced instructor Naja for this beginner-level knitting class on Saturday, May 23 at 10 am. Whether you’re looking for help with an ongoing project or want to learn the basics, Najah provides group and one-on-one instruction. The only thing you’ll need is your own set of knitting needles and yarn. Access the Zoom link through BSB Gallery’s Facebook page.

For families looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, Candyland Crafts will host a decorating tutorial designed to make cupcakes look like ice cream sundaes. Tune into their Facebook this Saturday, May 23 at 2 pm for the lesson. Decorating kits can be ordered here and picked up at Candyland Crafts in Raritan (or shipped to your address, time providing).

STORY TIME FOR YOUR PRESCHOOLERS

Ages 2-6 can watch Miss Tammy use a felt board to tell familiar tales and Mother Goose rhymes on Friday, May 22 at 10:30 am. Kids can participate in “Heart Felt Stories” through interactive songs, finger plays and movements on the Bernardsville Library website. If you can’t watch live, the show will be available on the calendar, too.

On Saturday, May 23 at 10 am, bergenPAC is hosting a storytime fit for your little royals. Kids can tune in to the Westfield Garden State Plaza’s Facebook Live Stream to listen to stories with Sleeping Princess.

If you have an event in or around NJ that you’d like us to share, please email calendar@njfamily.com.

See What Our Readers Are Saying