FRIDAY, MARCH 19
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. This Friday, kids can meet and snap a photo with Daniel Tiger.
Where: Schiff Nature Center, Mendham
Stay active with this one-mile walk starting at McVicker’s preserver into the wetland habitat preferred by woodcocks. Listen closely to find the males as they begin their springtime mating dances. Registration required.
Start of Spring Storytelling
Where: Watershed Institute, Pennington
This weekend, celebrate the first day of spring (aka the vernal equinox) with a hike to the Watershed’s fire ring for stories about springtime. Ages 5 and up can roast a marshmallow, too. Registration required.
SATURDAY, MARCH 20
Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure Opening Day
Where: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson
Hop in your car and travel through 11 natural habitats with more than 1,200 animals found in six continents. From the safety of your car, see bears, tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes and other animals. This spring, your family might also catch sight of some babies, too! Tickets required.
Spring Equinox Campfire and Night Hike
Where: Tenafly Nature Center, Tenafly
Take a short walk through the nature center’s trails with an environmental educator — and no flashlight! As your eyes get used to the dark, you’ll play games and listen for animals before stopping at the campfire to learn how long days and warmer temperatures affect the flora and fauna. Registration required.
Guided Family Day Hike
Where: Ramapo Valley County Reservation, Mahwah
Hit the trails with Nature Place trip leader Roger Dubin and see gorgeous water features like a waterfall and lakes, plus take in a view of New York City. Registration required.
Back to Nature
Where: Trailside Nature Center, Mountainside
Ages 4 and up can spend time in Union County’s largest park, the Watchung Reservation, for a “Early Spring Hike” program where your family will take a walk through the reservation in search of signs of spring.
Petting Zoo and Unicorn Rides
Where: Imagine That!!! Museum, Florham Park
Located in the museum’s parking lot, your kids can go ham at the museum’s petting zoo which features an alpaca, goat, sheep, cows, lambs, rabbits and miniature donkey. Kids can also hop on a unicorn for a special ride. Registration required.
Sawmilling and Tree Planting
Where: Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
The farm needs more barn beams, siding and floorboards for its horse stalls, so visitors will help roll logs to the mill with special logging tools, plus cut firewood for the kitchen stove, make pegs for barn framing and plant replacement trees in the farm’s woodlot. Before you leave, you’ll get a free tubling to take home and plant.
Making a Natural Planter
Where: New Weis Center for Education, Ringwood
Explore the woods to find natural materials that’ll be used to decorate your planters, plus sip on hot chocolate surrounded by heaters in the outdoor pavilion while you work. Registration required.
Where: Stokes Farm, Old Tappan
Head to the farm’s greenhouse with your mini makers and creative kids to make an embossed tin wall hanging. Registration required.
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.
Let’s Get Growing for Kids: Garden DIY
Where: Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit
This interactive gardening program will teach kiddos how to build their own garden box, plus how to make their own pollinator garden and garden art. Before leaving, they’ll also learn how to grow a pumpkin. Registration required.
SUNDAY, MARCH 21
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. Ends March 28.
Nature in All Seasons
Where: Thielke Arboretum, Glen Rock
Look for signs of spring in the arboretum, like spicebush, cinnamon fern and skunk cabbage, plus learn the arboretum’s history. Registration required.
Bald Eagle Walk
Where: Maurice River Bluffs, Millville
Take your kids for a stroll along the Maurice River, where they’ll learn about the animals and plants that live there, including the many bald eagles that call the river home! 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.
Six Flags Rockin’ Drive-In Laser Light Spectacular
Where: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson
This nighttime extravaganza can be seen from the theme park’s parking lot for 30 minutes. Think multi-colored laser lights and special effects set to a soundtrack with today’s greatest musical hits. Tickets required.
Easter Bunny Celebration
Where: Bridgewater Commons Mall, Bridgewater
Book a time slot online to visit the Easter Bunny, who will take socially-distanced photos with guests from the safety of her springtime flower field. Your family can pose on a decorative bench placed six feet in front of the bunny. Available through April 3.
Where: DiDonato Family Fun Center, Hammonton
Celebrate springtime with family-friendly outdoor activities like an Easter-themed train ride, a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny, an egg hunt, racing slide and spring hedge maze. Weekends through April 3.
Westfield Glowing Seesaws
Where: North Avenue Westfield Train Station, Westfield
Hop on one of Westfield’s giant, sound-producing seesaws meant for both kids and adults. Each seesaw can fit up to four people and there’s 15 in total. Your family can hop on them from 9 am-9 pm through March 21.
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, the park will be decked out for its Big Bird’s Pajama Party. Reservations required.
Where: Willowwood Arboretum, Chester Twp.
This late-night adventure with nature designed for ages 12 and up is inspired by the Japanese walking meditation meant to remind us we are a part of nature, not separate from it. This event is a mix of mindfulness, meditation and wellness. Registration required.
ONGOING IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES
Egg Hunt Hayrides
Where: Johnson’s Corner Farm, Medford
Hop on a wagon ride around the farm’s fields and orchards before stopping for a story about Peter Rabbit, and how all his eggs were left in the field. Lil’ egg hunters can collect eggs, then turn them in for a goodie bag. After the hunt, kids can decorate two cookies, a rabbit and an egg. Registration required.
Where: Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus
Through April 3, your family can snap photos with the Easter Bunny by booking an online reservation. Social distancing will be required.
Family Photo Scavenger Hunt
Where: Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Twp.
Keep your family active with this scavenger hunt through the arboretum. Use your phone to snap photos of hidden clues to win a prize. This month’s hunt is “Popping Up All Over” themed. Registration required.
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.
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.
Kids Art Classes
Where: Hoboken Historical Museum, Hoboken
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays kids ages 2-5 can hit the museum’s walkway for free arts and crafts. Materials will be provided, program is first-come, first-served.
VIRTUAL FUN FOR THE WEEKEND
Ukrainian Egg Design
Kids in grades 3 and up can learn about pysanky, a Ukrainian custom, by creating a design inspired by the tradition. Registration required.
Women’s Virtual Lifestyle Expo 21
This virtual expo will feature exhibitors and small NJ shop owners offering health and beauty, fashion, travel, culinary and other services, plus wares that you would typically find offered at an in-person town-wide festival or market.
Virtual NJ Makers Day: Inventor’s Workshop
When: 3/19 or 3/20
Join the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts for a day of innovation by designing your own invention. Supply kits can be picked up at METC in Madison before attending the virtual event. Kids will design and make a prototype of their own invention, then present their reaction during a second live virtual session or submit photos to the museum.
Virtual Family Fun & Wellness Day
Watch performers and listen to speakers to benefit local children with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Kids can listen to music, watch magic tricks, play games, win prizes, do yoga and other fitness activities and more. Registration required.
Wild Animal Experts Online: Slithering Snakes
All ages are invited to learn about New Jersey’s snakes through facts and real live snakes. Registration required.
Matzah Making Workshop
The PJ Library Hudson County is hosting an at-home matzah making workshop, plus they’ll send you the ingredients and recipe in advance if you register by Friday, March 19.
Picture This! Watercolor Wonders for Passover
Turn on Zoom to join the Jewish Museum for a tour of paintings by Chagall, beautiful seder plates and other works from the museum’s collection. Families are encouraged to use crayon and watercolor resist techniques to make their own Passover scene. Registration required.
Family Drop In: Burble, Fizz, Kaboom!
The Newark Museum of Art will host a playful performance of science experiments for ages 7-12 that combines chemical reactions, solutions, molecules and phase changes into a comedic presentation. Kids can even learn how to shatter a marshmallow! Registration required.
Milk & Cookies
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 minimum donation of $10. Join Aaron Nigel Smith to listen to reggae songs with the founder of 1 World Chorus, a non-profit dedicated to promoting peace through music. You can also check out indie rock star and children’s entertainer Ralph Covert will perform silly music off albums like Green Gorilla Monster & Me and The Rhyming Circus.
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.