Lion Guard Liberty Science Center
Courtesy of Liberty Science Center Facebook page, The Lion Guard Exhibit

Spring is finally here and there’s lots of kid-friendly fun to be had in NJ. Look for local events in your county below, and make sure to check out the best places to take your preschoolers and free things to do this month, too.

Atlantic County

Saturday, March 30

Saturday Afternoon Movie
Where: Galloway Township Library, Galloway
Price: Free
Deets: Pack up the kids and spend a chill afternoon at the library for a movie and light refreshments. Be sure to hit the shelves for before-bed reads!

Bergen County

Saturday-Sunday, March 30-31

30th Annual Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show
Where: Midland Park High School, Midland Park
Price: $5, free/ages 12 and under
Deets: The North Jersey Mineralogical Society is bringing their motto of collecting, studying and preserving back to their annual show. There’ll be gemstones, minerals, fossils, lapidary art, jewelry and more for your mini geologists to gawk at. Plus, kids walk away with a free mineral specimen.

Special Needs Community Resource Fair
Where: 140 Park St., Haworth
Price: Free
Deets: This fair will have exhibitors and vendors from agencies, organizations and other groups offering services and programs for kids and families affected by special needs challenges.

Burlington County

Saturday, March 30

National Take a Walk in the Park Day
Where: Burlington County Parks, Burlington
Price: Free
Deets: As warmer weather hovers on the horizon, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to celebrate National Take A Walk in the Park Day, either on your own or on LL Bean’s three-mile walk through Smith’s Woods.

Camden County

Saturday, March 30

Fire Pup Meet and Greet
Where: Haddonfield Donut Company, Haddonfield
Price: Free admission
Deets: Is there anything better than donuts? How about a meet and greet with the Fire Pup? He’ll pose for pictures and hang out with the kids while they dig into donuts.

LEGO Day
Where: Diggerland, West Berlin
Price: $29.95-34.95
Deets: Meet iconic LEGO characters, a Master Model builder, grab photos in the photo op area and enter giveaways (like winning tickets to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia).

Cape May County

Ongoing

Crafts with Critters
Where: Cape May County Park Zoo, Cape May Court House
Price: $5/craft
Deets: Ages 3-12 can race to the Discovery Outpost, where they can meet a different ambassador animal every week and create a craft. Every Sunday.

Cumberland County

Saturday, March 30

Bilingual Story Time
Where: Bridgeton Public Library, Bridgeton
Price: Free
Deets: Ages 2-6 can sing along, work on a craft and hang at a bilingual (Spanish) story time. Registration not required.

Essex County

Saturday, March 30

Pancho Barraza
Where: NJPAC, Newark
Price: $49-129
Deets: Spend an evening with Pancho Barraza, a Mexican singer, guitarist and songwriter, who’ll bring romantic ballads, Colombian cumbia, canción ranchera, salsa and more to the stage.

Sunday, March 31

Gardens I Have Loved with Graeme Hardie
Where: Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills
Price: $10/members, $15/non-members
Deets: Garden designer Graeme Hardie has spent the past 30 years exploring gardens around the world and creating his own lush masterpieces. Spend an afternoon learning what he’s picked up, then visit the Silas Mountsier Garden.

Ongoing

GRAMMY Museum Experience
Where: Prudential Center, Newark
Price: $10
Deets: In collaboration with the Estate of Whitney Houston, the GRAMMY Museum is bringing the legendary singer’s life to its storied halls. Check out hands-on exhibits, outfits and treasures from the singer’s (and many other artists’) career and life. Ends June 30.

Gloucester County

Sunday, March 31

The Little Star That Could
Where: Edelman Planetarium, Glassboro
Price: $2
Deets: Ages 5-10 can take a journey through space with the little star that could, exploring planets and making friends along the way.

Hudson County

Friday-Saturday, March 29-30

Unveiling Liberty
Where: The Apple Tree House, Jersey City
Price: Free
Deets: This play deals with women’s rights back in 1886, after 10-year-old Isabelle hopes to catch the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty. But when she finds out she can’t attend because she’s a girl, she and others (like Jackie, a young black woman) struggle to understand their rights.

Friday-Sunday, March 29-31

Beneath the Sea
Where: Meadowlands Expo Center, Secaucus
Price: $5+
Deets: From seminars and workshops to films and programs like Ocean Pals, there’s aquatic entertainment and education for every member of the fam. Kids can learn about marine life and environmentalism through poster art (this year’s theme is magical manatees).

Sunday, March 31

Storytime
Where: Fire Department Museum, Hoboken
Price: Free
Deets: Staff and guest readers will read stories and sing songs about living in the city. After, take a tour of the museum. Reservations not required.

Ongoing

The Lion Guard Exhibit
Where: Liberty Science Center, Jersey City
Price: Included with admission
Deets: Mini scientists ages 2-8 can hit ecology-themed exhibitions that explore the African Savanna, teach kids about animals in the Pride Lands and encourage interactive play through missions and trainings in the Lion Guard’s secret space. Ends September 8.

Hunterdon County

Saturday, March 30

Crafts and Drafts
Where: Lone Eagle Brewing, Flemington
Price: Free admission
Deets: Grab a pint or flight and check out the 16 artisans selling crafts and handmade wares. Bring the kids and your furry friends, too.

Sunday, March 31

Kids Pop
Where: Beaver Brook Country Club, Clinton Twp.
Price: $3-7
Deets: The entire fam can come out for family-friendly events that educate and entertain from a multitude of exhibitors.

Mercer County

Friday-Sunday, March 29-31

The Sound of Music
Where: Kelsey Theatre, West Windsor
Price: $16/kids, $20/adults
Deets: The hills are alive! Travel back to Austria and relive the story of the von Trapp family during WWII.

Ongoing

Sunday Music Series
Where: Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Price: Free admission
Deets: Fill your glass with Terhune vino, munch on light fare and kick back in the new wine barn for live music from local artists, ranging from classic rock to jazz to blues. Every Sunday through May 26.

Objects Count: A Decade of Collecting
Where: New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Price: Free
Deets: Take a look at objects that collectors have preserved and displayed over the years. See a caribou antler from Ice Age-era New Jersey, a 1930s flight suit from a South Jersey female pilot, Native American projectiles and more. Every Tuesday-Sunday through April 28.

Middlesex County

Friday-Sunday, March 29-31

Sports and Memorabilia Show
Where: NJ Expo and Convention Center, Edison
Price: Varies
Deets: Grab autographs from football legends like Drew Brees, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman, Kirk Cousins, Archie Manning, Terry Bradshaw, Kurt Warner, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Namath and more.

Sunday, March 31

The Chocolate Expo
Where: Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway
Price: $10-30
Deets: Dig into chocolate, cheese, craft soda, wine, cider, specialty food and more (like the Chocolate Challenge) while the kids get wowed at a magic show, get their faces painted, score balloon animals, make wire art and do chocolate craft activities.

Ongoing

Read and Play
Where: New Brunswick Free Public Library, New Brunswick
Price: Free
Deets: Every Wednesday, ages 4 and under can gather for storytime and free play. Ends April 24.

Monmouth County

Saturday, March 30

Kidabaloo
Where: Convention Hall, Asbury Park
Price: $15+, free/ages 2 and under
Deets: Think crafts, games, activities and special guest Brenna D’Amico (Jane) from Disney favorite The Descendants. Buy tickets in advance for a free parent pass.

Sunday, March 31

Sunday Children’s Programs
Where: Monmouth Museum, Lincroft
Price: $8/admission
Deets: Kids of all ages are invited to immerse themselves in art. Preschoolers can enjoy storytime, and ages 7 and up can check out the StarLab Planetarium Show, where they’ll become Amateur Astronomers and learn about constellations and mythology.

Morris County

Saturday, March 30

Alstede Fresh Seminar Series: Pruning
Where: Alstede Farms, Chester
Price: $25
Deets: Time to break out your green thumb! Learn how to care for and prune new trees (and ones that need a little extra love and attention). You can pick the pros’ minds, pick up refreshments and get advice on how to spruce up your own yard.

Sunday, March 31

Storytime
Where: Montville Twp. Public Library, Montville
Price: Free
Deets: Entertain the kids with a story and craft, then venture into the stacks to find some good reads for the week.

Ongoing

Narrative Threads: New Jersey Quilts and Textiles
Where: Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison
Price: Included with admission
Deets: An important part of history, textiles once fueled this country’s industry. This exhibit features pieces from New Jersey textile artists inspired by the past and future. Ends June 9.

Ocean County

Sunday, March 31

Short Stacks for a Cat Cause
Where: Applebee’s, Brick Twp.
Price: $15, free/ages 3 and under
Deets: Dig into pancakes, eggs, sausage and other breakfast delights with the Easter Bunny. Don’t forget to bring a can of cat food to help feed sanctuary cats.

Passaic County

Saturday-Sunday, March 30-31

8th Annual Spring Model Railroad Show
Where: 575 High Mountain Rd., North Haledon
Price: $6/adults, free/ages 12 and under with an adult
Deets: Intermodal, freight, coal, passenger, steam and diesel trains, oh my! The whole fam can find something they like, from Thomas and Friends and special trains for the kiddos.

Salem County

Ongoing

Hancock House
Where: 485 Locust Island Rd., Hancocks Bridge
Price: Free admission
Deets: From private residence to tavern to museum, this building has a lot of history in its storied walls. Walk through the Hancock House, an important landmark first built in 1675 by a shoemaker.

Somerset County

Saturday, March 30

Rockin’ Rocket Ride
Where: Planetarium at RVCC, Branchburg
Price: $10
Deets: Astronauts ages 3-8 can gather in the planetarium for a trip around the Milky Way. They’ll visit the moon, sun and planets along to music. Reservations recommended.

5K Race to Wellness
Where: Duke Island Park, Bridgewater
Price: $20-40 to participate
Deets: This annual 5K and one-mile fun walk will not only get you and the fam up and moving (rain or shine!), but benefit local nonprofits including Somerset 4-H and EmPoWER Somerset.

Sussex County

Saturday, March 30

Spring Craft and Vendor Show
Where: Newton High School, Newton
Price: Free admission
Deets: Support the Class of 2022 (and get something nifty for yourself!) at this craft show, which features local crafters and artists, plus refreshments. Maybe you’ll find something special to add to this year’s Easter baskets.

Union County

Friday-Sunday, March 29-31

Disney’s Newsies
Where: UCPAC, Rahway
Price: Varies
Deets: Follow in the infamous NYC newsboy strike of 1899, where a ragtag group of young boys stand up to the uber-powerful publishing industry and fight for their rights.

Sunday, March 31

Maple Sugar Sunday
Where: Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield
Price: $4/ages 13 and up, $3, ages 3-12, free/ages 2 and under
Deets: Back in the day, farm chores included making sugar from maple. Learn how delicious maple syrup is made from tree to table. After, take a tour of the museum and check out an open hearth cooking demo. Note: This event doesn’t include an actual maple tapping.

Ongoing

Super Saturday Storytimes
Where: Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains
Price: Free
Deets: Every Saturday at 11 am, gather round for a fun and interactive storytime with a weekly theme. No registration required. Ends in August.

Warren County

Friday, March 29

Storytime Rocks
Where: Hackettstown Public Library, Hackettstown
Price: Free
Deets: Kiddos ages 5 and under can join Ms. Michelle for a musical storytime along with their caregiver. Registration not required.

New York City

Ongoing

The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter
Where: American Museum of Natural History, NYC
Price: $28/adults, $16.50/ages 2-12
Deets: Fly away with more than 500 live tropical butterflies from North and South America, Africa and Asia. Beauties like swallowtails, large owl and blue morpho butterflies will be fluttering about. Learn about their evolution and life cycles, plus mimicry, diversity and conservation. Ends May 27.

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