FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5
LSC Junior Days
Where: Liberty Science Center, Jersey City
Every Thursday and Friday is LSC Junior Day at Liberty Science Center, which means ages 6 and under can hit the Science Dance Party twice per day, visit the Wild About Animal exhibition and even explore more shows in the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
Where: Watershed Institute, Pennington
Bundle up with your 5-and-uppers to explore the history, folklore and science of maple sugaring. During this hour-long program, you’ll visit the maple trees, discover how to use drills and spiles to tap trees and sample the maple sugar. Registration required.
Ice Cream for Breakfast
Where: Tranquillity Farms, Andover
Celebrate National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day at the farm, where they’re serving up sundaes, twisters and shakes to-go. If weather permits, there will be outdoor seating and fire pits.
My Little Man and Me: Valentine’s Day Party!
Where: Liberty Hall Museum, Union
Moms, grandmas and aunts are invited to grab their songs, grandsons and nephews (ages 4-8) for games, crafts, snacks, punch and a photo booth at the museum. Tickets are required; only one adult per child.
Characters at Imagine That!!!
Where: Imagine That!!! Museum, 4 Vreeland Rd., Florham Park
This outdoor, drive-up event features three beloved children’s characters: Pikachu, Minnie Mouse and Skye from Paw Patrol. Families are able to get out of the car so characters can lead the children in a few dances. Each child will receive a treat and a chance to take photos.
Maple Sugaring Demo
Where: Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, 247 Southern Blvd., Chatham Twp.
Your family can learn how to identify and tap maple trees, plus collect sap and make syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. This year’s program will be completely outdoors. Registration required. Every Saturday through March 13.
Cattus Island Nature Walks
Where: Cooper Environmental Center, Cattus Island County Park, Toms River
Take your kids on a walk at Cattus Island to learn about the island’s animal habitats from a park naturalist. No registration required. Ends March 28.
Tap the Sugar Maples
Where: Howell Living History Farm, Howell Twp.
Hit the banks of Moore’s Creek and nearby woods where hundreds of sugar maple trees will be tapped for maple syrup production. Visitors can see the sugar bush, then join expert tree-tappers for a lesson on how to tap a backyard maple tree and make syrup at home. Outside activities also include firewood cutting, rail splitting and ice harvesting operations.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7
Where: Tenafly Nature Center, Tenafly
Check out the nature center’s tapped trees and see how the sap is boiled down to make fresh maple syrup, plus learn how to identify a maple tree, the history behind syrup making and how technology has changed the way sap is gathered. Registration required.
Live Animal Talks
Where: Nature Center, Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood
Families can get a close look at the animals of Jakes Branch County Park, plus learn about each species. Talks are about 20 minutes and only the first eight people to sign up upon arrival will be served. Sessions are at 12:30 and 1:30 pm.
Turtle Back Zoo Reopens
Where: Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
This Essex County zoo has opened its doors for the first time in 2021, so be sure to grab tickets to visit the sea turtles and sea lions, visit the touch tank and aviary and see other animals and exhibits.
Walk of Heroes
Where: Maplewood Village, Maplewood
This self-walking tour through Maplewood’s Village and Springfield Avenue storefronts features educational posters of 25 notable African American historical figures from the past and present.
Big Snow Walk
Where: Thielke Arboretum, Glen Rock
Follow the story of an excited and frustrated boy who watches hopefully as wintry weather slowly develops into a big snow. The story begins at the playground entrance at the pool parking lot. This StoryWalk will be up throughout the winter.
Where: Abma’s Farm, Wyckoff
On Fridays and Saturdays, head to Abma’s with your little ones for a visit with goats, sheep, alpacas, donkeys, ponies, bunnies, pigs and more. Masks are required.
Elmo’s Furry Fun Fest
Where: The Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
On weekends through March 21, the Sesame Place will offer new, limited capacity special events that include the park’s rides and characters, plus a scavenger hunt and dance party. This weekend, celebrate Elmo’s Rockin’ Birthday Bash. Reservations required.
ONGOING IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES
The Rink at Winter Wonderland
Where: Van Saun Park, Paramus
The Wonderland portion of the event is on hold, but the rink is open, with a regulation-sized rink, but many time slots are already sold out. You can still take a spin on the carousel or visit the Bergen County Zoo Train for an additional fee. $5 skate (includes rental). Advanced tickets and masks are required.
Skating on the Square
Where: Palmer Square, Hulfish St., Princeton
Palmer Square’s outdoor, eco-friendly synthetic skating rink is back for another holiday season. Bring your own skates or rent a pair.
Blue Cross RiverRink at Winterfest
Where: 101 South Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA
General admission Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is free; ice skating, games and rides are pay-as-you-go.
When: Sundays, now-3/28, 10 am-1 pm
Where: Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
Hit the market for fresh foods like cheese, pie, quiche, seafood, pickles, cobbler, soup and more. A number of full-time vendors will be there every week with other part-time vendors rotating their goods into the market, too.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Where: Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
Hit LSC for the grand opening of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit based on the PBS television series. Kids can explore Daniel’s neighborhood through immersive experiences that’ll have them solving problems using their imagination, while learning life lessons. Kids can play instruments at the Music shop and sort, deliver and receive packages at the Post Office and more. LSC is also hosting Beyond Rubik’s Cube, an exhibit where kids can discover the art, history and skill behind the iconic cubed puzzle.
VIRTUAL FUN FOR THE WEEKEND
Exploring Tangrams: Lunar New Year, The Year of the Ox
Littles ones in grades K-5 can log onto this program with the Somerset County Library System, where they’ll learn about the Year of the Ox with an ancient Chinese puzzle, the tangram, and a story. Registration required.
Valentine’s Day Soap Making Virtual Workshop
All ages are invited to this class, which will provide a DIY kit for making soap (with no lye or chemicals involved). Using the melt and pour technique, you and your kids can make your own scented soaps for Valentine’s Day. Registration required.
Pub Quiz on Zoom
Challenge your family with a fast-paced, environment-themed thinking game from the Great Swamp Watershed Association. Answer multiple choice questions on any device you have and compete for a spot in the top three to receive fun prizes.
Virtual Chocolate Challenge
When: 2/5 and 2/12
Join the Eclectic Chic Boutique to learn about one of the most popular treats in the world: chocolate. Your family can learn about different types of chocolate, its origins and how it can be used as a functional supplement. There’ll also be a trivia quiz, live tasting and Q&A with a chef. You’ll receive your own tasting box, filled with 24 pieces and eight varieties. Registration required.
Animation First 2021
This festival, celebrating the artistry of French animation, will showcase feature-length and short films (all with English subtitles, plus all talks are in English), plus special guest filmmaker Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom). The festival will begin with the US premiere of Calamity Jane, a feminist western about the early life of the legendary Wild West figure (ages 6 and up).
Virtual Concert: Still Rocking At Home with Cassandra Kubinski
Children with autism and their families can watch this interactive concert from home. Hosted by singer and songwriter Cassandra Kubinski, her concert will encourage listeners to believe in themselves and their dreams. Registration required.
Family Day: Virtual Lunar New Year 2021
Celebrate the Year of the Ox with Asia Society with performances and traditional craft activities inspired by traditions across Asia. Activities include a Chinese Zodiac puppet show, a musical performance and a dragon dance and kung fu demonstration.
Special Story Time with Michelle Garcia Andersen
Vroman’s Bookstore will host a virtual reading of The Owl Who Asks Why with author Michelle Garcia Anderson. Little Owl and Little Wolf have lots of questions for their parents, but when they feel teased and misunderstood, they decide to run away. Registration required.
Virtual Stars In My Backyard
Ages 6-11 can listen to Captain Cara for a special Valentine’s Day Sky Talk for Kids, where they’ll explore the animal family constellation stories that can be seen during the winter, plus learn about the moon and planets. After, kids can make a heart-shaped animal valentine.
Valentine’s Day Greeting Card Making Virtual Workshop
Pint-sized valentines ages 6 and up can use a DIY kit filled with papers, stamps, stickers, embellishments and other art supplies to make their own collection of Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day cards.
Hot Chocolate Tasting Virtual Party
Learn the basics of making the perfect homemade hot chocolate using a variety of sweets. After registration, you’ll receive a tasting kit that includes a variety of marshmallows, chocolates, chocolate-covered treats and reusable mini mugs and double boiler pot. You’ll need to provide your own milk and liquor, for adults who choose to spice up their recipes.
Lunar New Year Celebration
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for performances by the Chinese Book Garden Children’s Choir, a puppet theater, performance of the Lion Dance and more, like riddles and crafts and music.
Chocolate Dipped Fruit Virtual Workshop
This class comes with a double boiler pourable pot, a variety of chocolate and more, so your family can create your own chocolate-dipped fruits from the comfort of your kitchen. After you’ve melted the chocolate and dunked everything in sight, decorate your treats with a piping bag and sprinkles. Registration required.
Virtual Storytime Art: My Mama is a Llama
Ages 5-11 can paint a ceramic llama while Mrs. B reads Is Your Mama a Llama over Zoom. All craft supplies must be picked up from the Plainsboro Recreation Center. Registration required.
Valentine’s from a Therapy Horse
One of Team Velvet’s three therapy horses, Velvet, Precious and Little Annie, will create a customized Valentine’s Day message for your kids. These can include words of kindness or encouragement, plus messages from a talking horse can be sent to anyone.
Valentine’s Virtual Bazaar
Asbury Park’s annual Valentine’s Bazaar will be online this year, featuring the same handcrafted goods and services (like jewelry, art, candles, home goods, treats and more) the event offers at the Conventional Hall each year.
Winter Activity Box
Grab an activity box with kiddos ages 4-8 from the Hunterdon County Arboretum, that has a variety of games and activities based on weather, hibernation, trees in winter, animal evidence and owls.
Milk & Cookies
When: All weekend
The State Theatre is offering a Milk & Cookie (ages 3-10) virtual event, which can be accessed at any point (even beyond the weekend) with a donation of at least $10. Joanie Leeds, a kindie rock singer, will perform her “Mother Earth” sing along, and kids will also learn how to make a fun cupcake snack. Ends February 14.
Check our calendar for more events.
If you have upcoming events you’d like included in our digital calendar or considered for future things to do stories, please submit it here.