First comes Halloween, then comes Election Day and next the holidays will be upon us! In the meantime, there are many events and activities happening that you can enjoy with your children. You and your families can attend the Fright Night/Trunk or Treat event, on Oct 31, in Livingston; Heaven Hill Farm - Great Pumpkin Festival, which is open until Nov. 3; go to the Stony Hill Farms – Corn Maze and Fun Park, which is open until Nov. 10; check out the Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science Behind a Global Phenomenon at Liberty State Park; Meet MMA Champion Dustin Poirier At Robert Graham on Nov. 2; take Behind the Scenes Giraffe Tours, on Nov. 2 and 3; and so much more!

Your children can enjoy learning at the Afterschool at the Turtle Back Zoo: Zoo Club, on Nov. 1; participate in the American Eagle Children’s Workshop, on Nov. 2; and so much more! Teens may enjoy the Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: Thanksgiving Helper - Pumpkin Pie class, on Nov. 2. And, adults may want to participate in the Baby Sign Language class at Monica + Andy on Oct 31; the Monica + Andy Lactation Group Drop-In Clinic on Nov. 4; learn about The Magic of Paper Marbling on Oct. 30 at the Livingston Library and more. In addition, those who want to teach their kids about the election process, should check out the activities and book links below.

If you are looking to participate in fun activities and more this week, please enjoy this list of “Things to Do with Kids” in and around town, brought to you by British Swim School. #ThingstodowithKidsLivingston

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Note: If you attend any of these events, partake in any of the ideas shared below, or just have a great picture of your kid(s) that you’d like featured, please send photos to jackie.eventscolumn@gmail.com. In addition, please send any events you’d like added to this column to the same email address.

 

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

 

Heaven Hill Farm - Great Pumpkin Festival, open until Nov. 3, (51 State Route 94, Vernon, NJ)

If you haven’t taken your little ones to Heaven Hill Farm - Great Pumpkin Festival, you still have a few more days to do so. It is the largest Fall Festival in Northern New Jersey. The theme is "Down on the Farm." Admission includes over 30 activities including a 10-acre Maize Quest Corn Maze, carnival rides, pig races, pony rides and so much more! You can also pick you own pumpkin.

 

Stony Hill Farms – Corn Maze and Fun Park, open until Nov. 10, (15 North Rd, Chester, NJ)

Children will love this 10-acre corn maze as well as the barnyard board games, rope maze, tile maze, gemstone mining, and Noah’s Ark playground. U-pick apples and pumpkins are available on weekends.

 

Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science Behind a Global Phenomenon at Liberty State Park
(222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ)

Come explore LSC’s newest premium exhibition, Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science Behind a Global Phenomenon. Based on the popular games, the exhibition takes guests of all ages into the world of Angry Birds for interactive adventures, both physically challenging and mentally stimulating. Explore different concepts in science, tech, engineering, arts, and math in an extreme hands-on environment! Buy tickets here.

 

Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged)! – Presented by West Orange High School, from October 31 - November 2, at 7 pm

Discovered in a treasure-filled parking lot in Leicester, England (next to a pile of bones that didn’t look that important), an ancient manuscript proves to be the long-lost first play written by none other than 17-year-old William Shakespeare from Stratford. We are totally, not completely, making this up. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S LONG LOST FIRST PLAY (abridged) is the literary holy grail: an actual manuscript in Shakespeare’s own hand showing all his most famous characters and familiar speeches in a brand-new story. But because it’s 100 hours long and contains multiple unwieldy storylines, it was decided, as a public service, to abridge it down to a brief and palatable 90-minute performance for this lost masterpiece. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at-the-door. Advance tickets can be purchased at: WOBOE.ORG/WOHSDRAMATIX.

 

Meet MMA Champion Dustin Poirier At Robert Graham on Nov. 2, from 1-3 pm, at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Meet MMA Champion Dustin Poirier at Robert Graham, enjoy refreshments, shop the latest collections and enter for the chance to win a pair of gloves autographed by Dustin. 

 

Behind the Scenes Giraffe Tours, on Nov. 2 and 3, at 2 pm, at The Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue West Orange NJ (Tours will take place on Saturdays and Sundays in November 2019)

The Behind the Scenes ticket provides guests with a 30 - 45 minute Behind the Scenes Tour in the Giraffe Barn; a meet and greet the Giraffe Keeper; and admission to the Zoo for the day (for non-Zoological Society members). The tours are for people ages 6 and above. Register here. The fee is $50 a person.

 

Indigokids Presents: Welcome to Jazz! On Nov. 2, at 2 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Join author and musician Carolyn Sloan as she reads from her new children’s book, Welcome To Jazz: A Swing Along Celebration of America’s Music Featuring “When the Saints Go Marching In,” on. A live jazz band will accompany the reading to create an authentic New Orleans musical experience and a book signing will follow. 

 

Celebrate the Big Draw with Free Art Sessions at the Apple Store from Oct. 1-31 at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

From October 1–31, join free at Apple art sessions at Apple Short Hills and take part in the world’s biggest drawing festival – The Big Draw. Get hands-on with iPad and Apple Pencil to draw, paint, and more. Check times for upcoming sessions here: apple.com. Call (973) 467-4890 for details.

 

HALLOWEEN ACTIVITY

 

Fright Night/Trunk or Treat, on Oct 31, from 4 - 7 pm, at Livingston Senior/Community Center (LSCC), 204 Hillside Ave., Livingston, NJ)

Come and participate in Livingston’s 9th Annual Halloween event. Activities from 4 - 7 pm will include a family photo booth, face painting, coloring contest, candy guess and more.
Treats and refreshments will be available while supplies last. There will be Trunk or Treating from 4—6 pm, allowing a safe way for kids to “Trick or Treat.” Kids will be able to walk from vehicle to vehicle in the parking lot of LSCC collecting treats in their costumes. Registration for Trunk or Treating is not required! There will be a Halloween Costume Contest Parade beginning at 4:30 pm sharp! Participants will have the opportunity to parade around the Senior/Community Center in their Halloween costumes. There will be 2 winners for each category.

 

FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS

 

Baby Open Play, on Oct. 31, at 10:15 am, at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp. Dr., Livingston, NJ)

Newborns to babies aged 23 months and caregivers will enjoy this open play session.

 

Baby & Me Storytime Featuring Elmo (Sesame Street Friends) on Nov. 3, at 11 am at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Caregivers and children 0-24 months old are enjoy hearing a book and participating in activities featuring sensory growth.

 

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 at 10 am at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children will embark on an exciting adventure as they are introduced to some of your childhood favorites, as well as some you may not have heard before. 

 

Little Explorers Fall Nature Program on Oct. 31, Nov. 5 (see other dates below) from 10-11 am at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland) 

This child-caregiver class uses stories, walks, and crafts to develop an awareness and appreciation for science and nature for the child as well as the caregiver. Each week, a different nature or science topic is covered. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $12 per child/session.

Schedule:

  • Toddlers (age 2) – Tuesdays— November 12, 19, at 10 - 11 am
  • Tots (age 3) – Thursdays— November 7, 14, 21, at 1 - 2 pm
  • Pre-K (ages 4-5) – Tuesdays — November 12, 19, at 1 - 2 pm OR Thursdays—November 7, 14, 21 10 - 11 am

 

Little Listeners Storytime, on Nov. 4, at 4 pm, at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp. Dr., Livingston, NJ)

Children ages 2-5 and caregivers will enjoy this drop-in class of stories, songs, and American Sign Language.

 

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS

 

Little Bookworms, on Oct. 30, at 4 pm, at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp. Dr., Livingston, NJ)

Children in grades K-1 will participate in Halloween-based stories and a STEM activity involving the making of slime.

 

Afterschool at the Turtle Back Zoo: Zoo Club, on Nov. 1, at 3 pm (Berson Education Center, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

Turtle Back Zoo is an amazing classroom! This Out of School at the Zoo: Zoo Club for kids in grades 1-5 offers students an opportunity to participate in animal and conservation themed programs and projects that facilitate scientific literacy and life-long environmental stewardship. The program includes a visit into the Zoo or South Mountain Reservation as weather permits and a live animal presentation. Session 2 is called Animal Adaptations. Adaptations are the physical, mental, and genetic attributes that help organisms survive within their environments. In this session students will look at some interesting adaptations that give our zoo animals a survival advantage. Drop-off is at the Berson Education Center as early as 3 pm, but no later than 3:45 pm (the class will be leaving the building after that). Pick-up time is between 6 and 6:30 pm; late pick-ups after 6:30 pm will incur a fee of $10 for every 15 minutes late. Children can come straight from school as there is a classroom where they can safely leave school gear while out in the Zoo or Reservation. A snack of fresh fruit and veggies will be provided, but kids can bring other snacks as needed, but they cannot include common allergenic foods such as tree nuts, etc. Children should have a refillable water bottle and be comfortably dressed to spend time outside. They will go outside, rain or shine or snow, unless there is thunder or lightening. Call 973-731-5800 ext 103 to register or register here.

 

American Eagle Children’s Workshop, on Nov. 2, from 9 am – 12 pm, at Home Depot (902 Murray Rd, East Hanover, NJ)

Kids will be proud to complete this project using everything in the American Eagle kit. They will learn to use a hammer, fine sandpaper, wood glue and a Phillips screwdriver to assemble the bird’s basic shape and its wings, and then add fun stickers. They will also paint the piece to bring it to life, and then build the base to help their bird stand tall. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last.

 

Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: Thanksgiving Helper - Pumpkin Pie, on Nov. 2, at 10 am, at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Kids ages 8-13 are invited to come bake awesome pumpkin pies! These sweet creations will be the talk of the family Thanksgiving feast. The cost of $30 per child includes Fall Pie Punches. Please call (973) 467-3641 to reserve your spot.

 

Indigokids Presents: Dork Diaries 14, on Nov. 3, at 12 pm, at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Join #1 NYT bestselling author Rachel Renee Russell along with illustrator Nikki Russell, as they speak about their newest book, Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever. An audience Q&A and book signing will follow along with fun surprises.

 

Yakety Yak Book Club for Gr. 2-3, on Nov. 5. At 4 pm, at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp. Dr., Livingston, NJ)

Children in grades 2-3 will read the book Zoey and Sassafras: Merhorses and Bubbles, by Asia Citro, and then come to the meeting to enjoy a discussion and activities related to the book. This group is for Livingston residents only.

 

FUN FOR TEENS

 

Teen Advisory Board, on Nov. 1, at 3 pm, at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp. Dr., Livingston, NJ)

Teen Volunteers will plan events, share ideas and earn volunteer credits.

 

Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: Thanksgiving Helper - Pumpkin Pie, on Nov. 2, at 10 am, at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Kids ages 8-13 are invited to come bake awesome pumpkin pies! These sweet creations will be the talk of the family Thanksgiving feast. The cost of $30 per child includes Fall Pie Punches. Please call (973) 467-3641 to reserve your spot.

 

FUN FOR ADULTS

 

Take the Pink Lips Challenge from Oct. 1-31 at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills) and online

Here is a fun way to remind your loved ones to get their mammograms! Take the Pink Lips Challenge at home or stop by the Selfie booths in Grand Court or in the lobby of the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center. Take a picture with your pink lips in the lipstick of your choice. Blow a kiss to someone you love by sharing your post on social media, tagging them, and remind them it’s #TimeToMammo. And most importantly, schedule your mammogram here.

 

The Magic of Paper Marbling on Oct. 30, at 11 am – 12:30 pm, at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp. Dr., Livingston, NJ)

In this beginners’ workshop, presenters from the Creativity Caravan will share tips and tricks of the ancient art of floating paint on water. Participants will come away with amazing original pieces of art to use for scrapbooking, book making, card making and a variety of other crafts. This class is open to Livingston Library card holders ages 18 and up, by registration only. All materials will be supplied.

 

Baby Sign Language at Monica + Andy on Oct 31, at 12 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Join Monica + Andy for an intro class on baby sign language with Meghan Warshauer, on Thursdays from 12 - 1 p.m. Jump start communication with basic American Sign Language through a fun combination of music, books, and engaging activities for baby. Caregivers will learn to help babies express their needs before they are able to convey them verbally. This program will teach signs for both daily routine and fun things that motivate baby to communicate. Sign language accelerates verbal development, strengthens cognitive skills, reduces frustration and tantrums, increases self-esteem, and enhances child-caregiver bonding. Get ready to learn, have fun, and make new friends.

 

Monica + Andy Lactation Group Drop-In Clinic on Nov. 4, at 10:30 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Join Monica + Andy for a group drop-in breastfeeding clinic with Aliza Sternberg to provide you with assistance for your baby's latch, a scale available for weight checks, a forum to ask questions, or just a chance to connect with other breast-feeding moms. Cost is $20 per person and no appointment is required.

 

Gratitude Workshop: Harnessing the Power of Gratitude to Heal and Grow, on Nov. 4, at 7 pm, at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp. Dr., Livingston, NJ)

Join Dr. Peggy DeLong, a clinical and forensic psychologist and author of the recently released book, I Can See Clearly Now: a memoir of love, grief and gratitude, as she talks all about gratitude and how to use it to elevate mood and joy in your life. She will show how to develop gratitude in creative and meaningful ways; how it can help with depression and anxiety; how to incorporate it into everyday living; and how to find it regardless of what is going on in your life or the world. Copies of the book will be available for sale.

 

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THESE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

 

Halloween is Celebrated on October 31

From school parades, trunk or treats, trick or treating, candy, costumes and more -– most kids love dressing up for Halloween. So, it’s no excuse the holiday is embraced every year. When we think of the holiday, we think of bats, the bizarre, Dracula, ghosts, witches, graveyards, ghouls, haunted houses, Halloween movies, paranormal, Halloween parties, pumpkins, skeletons, scarecrows, vampires –- many of which decorate our neighbors’ yards. The ways to celebrate the holiday are really quite endless. In fact, there is a list of ways to celebrate above.

 

Election Day is on Nov. 5

Election Day is always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Once every four years, Americans elect a new president. Every six years, we elect our U.S. senators. U.S. congressman are elected every two years. This process allows us to keep good elected officials in office, and overturn those whose performance is poor, or whose beliefs do not match those of the majority. It is every American's right and privilege to vote.

While voting is obviously the best way to celebrate this day for adults, Election Day also offers an opportunity to teach your children about voting too.

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

 

The next time you sit down for a family dinner, toss out some of these facts to spark a lively and informative family conversation. After dinner, look up some of these dates and facts and explore the historical moments as a family.

  • On Oct. 31, 1926 – Magician Harry Houdini died from complications of a ruptured appendix.
  • On Oct. 31, 1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi was assassinated.
  • On Nov. 1, 1914 – The Bra was patented.
  • On Nov.2, 1721 – Peter the Great became Emperor of Russia.
  • On Nov. 3, 1839 – The first Opium War between China and Britain began.
  • On Nov. 3, 1952 – Clarence Birdseye marketed frozen peas.
  • On Nov. 4, 1842 – Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd.