FRIDAY, JANUARY 8
Music Time with Guitaro 5000
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—like this Friday’s show with musician Guitaro 5000.
Princeton Paper Crane Project Pop-Up
Where: 69 Palmer Square West, Princeton
The Princeton Paper Crane Project was created as a symbol of hope during a global pandemic and protests against racial inequality, and now, you can view the nearly 18,000 colorful cranes displayed in the heart of Princeton that have come from this project.
Furry & Bright Christmas Drive-Thru Experience
Where: Sesame Place, Philadelphia
Visit Sesame Place for its final night—without leaving your car. Take your kids through a park filled with millions of lights and decor with seasonal music and of course, Sesame Street characters on top of wintry floats!
Monmouth County Winter Beach Walks
Where: Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan
From 11am-12:30pm brave the chilly temps to see what the Jersey Shore has in the way of seashells in the winter (hint: it’s a great time to go looking without the crowds!). Dress warm and bring a bag for your found treasures.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9
Princess Belle and Queen Elsa Visit Imagine That!!!
Where: Imagine That!!! Museum, 4 Vreeland Rd., Florham Park
Outside, Princess Belle and Queen Elsa will sing to the kids, plus hand out gifts and dairy-free cupcakes. After, the kids can hit the open play area which features a new pet vet center, LEGO racing, train exhibit and more.
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 ecosystems from a park naturalist.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 10
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.
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.
Make and Take Winter Art
Where: Franklin Lakes Community Center
From 10:30-11:30 am, kids aged 3-6 can visit this event run by the YMCA and make a snowflake painting and collage. $15/member, $20/non member. Register in advance.
Family Photo Scavenger Hunt
Where: Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 353 East Hanover Ave., Morris Twp.
Bundle up and have 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.
Seasonal Scavenger Hunt
Where: Tenafly Nature Center
Register for this outdoor event in advance and you’ll get a set of digital clues and riddles to solve as you walk the trails at the Nature Center. You’ll need to work as a team. Space is limited, advance registration required. $2/person.
ONGOING IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES
Festival of Trees at Morven
When: Wednesday-Sunday, now-1/10, 10 am-4 pm
Where: Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St., Princeton
Check out the museum’s collection of trees and mantles displayed throughout the museum’s galleries. Timed admission tickets will ensure reduced crowd sizes.
Where: Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Twp.
The holiday season doesn’t end with the new year at Six Flags. This drive-thru, with 12 immersive areas, features millions of dazzling lights and seasonal music. Reservations required.
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.
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.
When: Now- 1/10
Where: Randall’s Island Park, New York
It’s the final weekend of this bright and colorful lantern festival on Randall’s Island, that features hundreds of eye-catching and unique displays. Advance tickets are required.
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. 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.
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.
Beyond Rubik’s Cube
Where: Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
Discover the art, history and skill behind the iconic cubed puzzle. This show has been on a worldwide tour and now returns home to LSC.
VIRTUAL FUN FOR THE WEEKEND
Wild Side of STEAM
Students in grades 3-8 can join the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute for a discussion with population ecologist Kate Rodriguez-Clark. They’ll learn about her career as an animal matchmaker and how she manages the populations of different species at the zoo. There’ll also be a Q&A at the end.
2021 Oshogatsu Virtual Family Festival
Join the Japanese American National Museum for its Friday Food program, a conversation around traditional Oshogatsu foods, like osechi-ryori and ozoni, and learn about food-related traditions. Special guests from local businesses and restaurants in Little Tokyo will talk about their own recipes and traditions.
Toddler/Preschool Storytime – Snow
This virtual, interactive program fosters early literacy skills through books, songs and activities for ages 18 months to five years. No registration required.
Shel Siverstein’s Playful Poetry
Join the Country Music Hall of Fame for a Zoom where your kids (ages 4-11) will learn to write a poem in Silverstein’s style. They’ll need paper and a drawing tool, plus a guardian is required to be present for kids under age 13.
Virtual Winter Move & Groove with Miss Jolie
Hosted by Miss Jolie on Zoom, expect a twist on classic children’s music and interactive songs, plus ages 1-6 are encouraged to dance, clap and stomp. In addition, Miss Jolie will perform with her ukulele and other instruments and props.
Sensory Time: STEAM Edition
This program is designed to be an inclusive environment for children on the autism spectrum or with other special needs. If you’d like to make the craft at home, snow in a jar, you’ll need a mason jar, water, baby oil, glitter, Alka Seltzer, white paint and blue food coloring.
Winter Animal Tracks
Open the Greenbelt Conservancy Facebook Page to watch a live virtual hike featuring animal tracks. Kids will learn what animals make tracks, in both mud and snow, and begin to understand the signs of wildlife in the winter.
Story Hour: Tales of Hibernation
Storyteller and singer Flor Bromley will read “Bear Wants More,” a story of hibernation, and perform “The Grasshopper and the Ants,” which features original songs and puppets.
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.
She Persisted, The Musical
In this virtual production of the Atlantic Theatre Company’s show for young audiences, based on Chelsea Clinton’s best-selling book, fourth-grader Naomi’s field trip to a Women’s History Museum turns into a time travel adventure where she encounters inspirational women overcoming barriers and making waves.
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.