If you are looking for interesting and educational activities to enjoy with your family this summer, you need look no further than Trailside Nature & Science Center. Friday Family Programs were created for families to learn about wildlife and nature through hands-on activities in the beautiful Watchung Reservation.

"The Friday Family Programs are another opportunity for families with children to share time together while learning interesting facts about wildlife and nature," said Freeholder Vice-Chairman Deborah Scanlon. "Union County offers a variety of programs at our facilities, such as Trailside, to provide families with fun, interactive and affordable experiences."

Several Friday Family activities still have openings. These programs are for children of all ages with an adult, but infants must be in a backpack. Pre-registration is required and fees apply.

On July 2 and July 23, a program called "Bear Necessities" will introduce families to facts about New Jersey's only bear, the black bear. In this one-hour program participants will discover how bears live, what they eat and if they visit the Watchung Reservation. This informative program offers the opportunity to see a bear skull, feel a pelt and get an up-close look at a bear track cast.

On Aug. 6, families can learn the geologic history of the Reservation. Outdoor enthusiasts will go on a "Geotyke Hike" rock collecting expedition. During this 90-minute program participants will collect lava rocks, glacier rocks and rocks made from sand and clay to take home.

On Aug. 13, the program "Mini-Beasts" will challenge families to visit the forest to look for slugs, beetles, millipedes and other small animals that live under rocks, leaves and logs. In this fascinating one-hour program, participants will learn how these little animals move, what they eat and how they help the environment.

For information about these Friday Family Programs, including specific times and fees, call 908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at www.ucnj.org/trailside. Trailside Nature & Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.