Howell Living History Farm; Ice Harvest

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29

Music Time
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. And this Friday, they can play at Music Time with Carol Lester, who will perform a live, socially-distanced concert.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 30

Winter Evergreen Trees
Where: Liberty State Park, Jersey City
All ages are invited to this program, which will teach visitors how to identify different types of evergreens, plus the role they play in the ecosystem. Registration required.

Tap That Tree!
Where: Reeves-Reed Arboretum, 165 Hobart Ave., Summit
Celebrate the beginning of maple sugaring season by tapping the arboretum’s maple trees in preparation for this season’s sap flow. Your family will learn the history behind tapping trees, plus get some hands-on sugaring action.

Mural Community Paint Day
Where: Bernardsville Train Station, Mine Brook Rd., Bernardsville
Join a 30-minute paint session to help create a mural that will be installed on the Mount Airy Rd. bridge. No more than ten people may be in each timed session, reservations required.

Ice Harvest
Where: Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
Learn about the tools and technology that made ice harvesting so successful at the end of the 20th century, plus try using an ice saw out on the pond. You and your kids can even pull ice blocks up the ramp to the ice house, then make an ice candle to take home.

Bedtime Yoga
Where: Franklin Lakes Community Center, 1 Vichiconti Way, Franklin Lakes
Bring kiddos ages 4-9 in their pajamas to this program, hosted by the Wyckoff Family YMCA, to explore yoga through breathing, poses, games and a bedtime story. Kids will also receive milk and cookies at the end of the evening. Don’t forget to bring a yoga mat, plus stuffed animals are welcome.

H2O Quest: Groundhog Day
Where: Watershed Institute, 31 Titus Mill Rd., Pennington
Ages 5 and up can make their way through the Reserve in search of clues to find Wally the Woodchuck. Your family will meet naturalists, try chucking wood with a catapult or trebuchet and search for groundhog holes.

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.

Fire and Ice Festival
Where: Mount Holly
This annual event has pivoted to be more COVID-friendly, so instead of the usual activities, families can look for ice carvings spread throughout town, near local shops and restaurants.

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.

©istockphoto.com / emholk

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31

Tracks N’ Trails
Where: Tenafly Nature Center, Tenafly
Take your kiddos ages 5 and up to the Nature Center to learn about animal tracks from a staff educator. They’ll learn about different types of paws, feet and droppings, plus how to identify the animals that left them behind. Registration required.

Let’s Tie-Dye Together
Where: Posh Princess Palace, Lodi
Making tie-dye shirts is super trendy again, so let your kids get crazy with colors this weekend.

Searching for Seals
Where: Spermaceti Cove Parking Lot, Sandy Hook
Take a two-hour guided tour with a park ranger, hiking to the Sandy Hook bayside to search for seals during their annual migration. Your family will learn about these marine mammals and how they live during different seasons of the year. Reservations 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.

Winter Hike at Cheesequake State Park
Where: Hooks Creek Lake, Matawan
Join a Cheesequake park naturalist for a one- to two-mile walk beginning at the Hooks Creek Lake parking lot. Be sure to bundle up and don’t forget your mask.

Liberty Science Center; LSC Junior Days

ALL WEEKEND

Princesses Visit Imagine That!!!
Where: Imagine That!!!, 4 Vreeland Rd., Florham Park
On Saturday, Princess Aurora will visit the museum for a socially-distanced visit with the kids. On Sunday, Princess Ariel will make an appearance, too. Masks must be worn during the visit since this weekend’s activity will be indoors.

Garden State Comic Fest: Winter Edition
Where: Rockaway Townsquare Mall, Rockaway
Hit the mall with your lil’ comic lovers for pop culture collectibles, vintage toys, comics and artwork.

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.

Barnyard Zoo
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.

Family Photo Scavenger Hunt
Where: Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 353 East Hanover Ave., Morris Twp.
Get your camera ready for the arboretum’s scavenger hunt. This month’s theme, “Who’s Out There?,” requires participants to take a photo of every item before they receive a prize. Registration required. Ends January 31.

Antique Toy Train Show
Where: South Jersey Museum of American History, 138 Andaloro Way, Deptford
On weekends throughout January, see vintage toy trains and scenes from the beginning of the 20th century. Ends January 31.

ONGOING IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES

The Rink at Winter Wonderland
When: Now-2/21
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
When: Now-2/27
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
When: Now-3/7
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.

Winter Market
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
When: Ongoing
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.

Laurie Berkner

VIRTUAL FUN FOR THE WEEKEND

Virtual Astronomy Days
When: All weekend
Soar through the Milky Way with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences through crafts, activities, lectures, moon zooms and more.

Laurie Berkner Live for CNY Diaper Bank
When: 1/29
Children’s performer Laurie Berkner will perform a live virtual show, including some of her most requested hits. This is a donation-based concert and all proceeds will benefit the CNY Diaper Bank’s diaper distribution program.

Virtual Library After Hours
When: 1/29
Teens can get competitive at Bernards Twp. Library’s game night, where they’ll play a variety of games including Scattergories, Pictionary, Cards Against Humanity, Code Names and more.

Virtual Festival of Human Abilities
When: 1/30
The Aquarium of the Pacific is hosting a virtual festival celebrating the creative talents and abilities of people with disabilities. During its 18th celebration, the virtual event will include dancers, musicians and artists.

Brian Yanish and Stephen Shaskan Author/Illustrator Storytime!
When: 1/30
Join this author/illustrator duo for an art demo, interview and Q&A on Facebook Live. You can also grab signed copies of their books for your kids (ages 5-8), Pizza and Taco: Who’s the Best and Shark and Bot.

Virtual Paleontology-Themed Open House at the Rutgers Geology Museum
When: 1/30
This free virtual event features a day full of Paleontology-themed lectures and activities held on Zoom. There will also be an online fossil and mineral auction if you want to pick something up for your mini archeologists.

Family Art Project: Texture of the Wetlands
When: 1/30
Join Wave Hill for World Wetlands Day, where your kids will investigate the Wetlands’ healing properties and how to support those processes. Kids will use experimental mark-making, resist techniques and alternative printing processes to create multi-dimensional artwork. Registration required.

Story Hour: Bill Gordh
When: 1/31
The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling will host a Zoom featuring Bill Gordh, who will play interactive folktales from around the world on his banjo. Registration required.

Valentine’s from a Therapy Horse
When: Now-2/8
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.

Winter Activity Box
When: Now-2/28
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. 

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