As we approach the first day of spring on March 20th, getting out of the house and participating in local activities is a welcome sight! From St. Patrick’s Day activities to celebrating National Potato Chip Day, National Pi Day and participating in storytimes, crafts and more – there’s lots of things to do with kids in and around West Orange this week.
Planning to stay home one day? No problem – check out the trivia, snack and craft ideas below, brought to you by The Goddard School in West Orange.
Fun for the Whole Family…
Cupcakes for A’s – Any Day (Supreme Bakery, 40 Main Street, West Orange, NJ)
All kids with at least one “A” grade in a core class (math, English, science, social studies/history) are invited to bring their report cards to the bakery and receive 4 classic cupcakes to share with friends and loved ones. Open to kids in all towns. No purchase necessary.
Take in a Show with the Family…
The Glass Menagerie – March 15-16 at 8 pm (The Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Ave.
Summit Playhouse has a production of “The Glass Menagerie” playing this month, on weekends, through March 16. Written by Tennessee Williams, it is an autobiographical “memory play” about the Wingfield family. The play is about frustrated writer Tom, his nagging mother, Amanda, who is often lost in memories of her Southern-belle past, and his painfully shy sister, Laura—and the effect a visit from a “gentleman caller” for Laura has on all their lives. Fees: $20 - $27. Get tickets here.
Children’s Production Company: A Year with Frog and Toad Kids – March 14 at 7 pm; March 16 at 8:30 pm; March 17 at 1 pm and 3 pm, (JCC MetroWest West Orange, 760 Northfield Ave., West Orange)
Part vaudeville, part make-believe, you kids will love this show about friendship that endures through the seasons. Fees: Advance – Members: $13 Regular: $16, Door – Members: $14 Regular: $17. Buy tickets here.
Once Upon a Mattress – March 14 – 16 (Livingston High School, 30 Robert Harp Dr., Livingston)
Bring the whole family to see the LHS production of this much beloved play based on the famous fairy tale, “The Princess and the Pea,” where because of her noble birth, the princess is unable to sleep on a bed of many mattresses, when a tiny pea is placed underneath the bottom mattress. Fee: $12. Buy tickets at the door or here.
Discovery Saturdays at Reeves Reed Arboretum – March 16 from 9 am to 1 pm (165 Hobart Ave., Summit
Guests are invited to make a discovery at the Arboretum on Saturdays and enjoy a unique family experience by dropping by the Stackhouse Education Center for an interactive exploration of nature. Each week, guests will discover a new plant, animal, or environmental topic through experiments, stories, games, and crafts. Participants can borrow an Arboretum backpack loaded with binoculars, field guides, a magnifying glass, and everything else needed for outdoor Arboretum adventure. No pre-registration is necessary. Adults must be accompanied by a child. The March 16th theme is "Shamrocks.” Fee: Free for RRA members. $5.00 per child for non-members.
Happenings for Kids…
Spin the Rainbow Wheel for Prizes at Sugarfina from March 13-17 from 10 am until 9 pm (Short Hills Mall)
Guests are invited to “spin it to win it” for prizes to celebrate the launch of Sugarfina’s Rainbow Collection. Prizes include mystery sweets and other surprises.
Sky Wars at Skyzone in Pinebrook, NJ – March 13, 14, 18 and 20 from 4 pm-8 pm
Children ages 8 and up are invited to participate squad up and lock and load for SkyWars, the newest game at Sky Zone. Guests will engage in an epic team strategy battle game using blasters and foam balls or darts in a variety of games including team elimination, capture the flag, duck hunt, and more. Call to confirm time and for details, as this is not available as part of an Open Jump admission. Fee: $22-$32.
Storytime – March 14 and March 19 at 10 am (Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall)
Your children will be thrilled as they embark on an exciting adventure with Banes and Nobles’ storytime expert. Little ones will be introduced to some of your childhood favorites, as well as some you may have never heard before.
Wee Music Time – March 14 at 9:30 am (Caldwell Public Library, 268 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ)
This hands-on sensory-themed program invites little ones to use various props like shaker eggs, scarves, and bells. Walk-ins welcome! Best for children ages 6 months - 2 years old.
Storytime at Indigo Kids – March 14 and 19 at 11 am (Short Hills Mall)
Take a break from shopping and bring the kids to Indigo for some much-need storytime fun.
PRIDE in Public Education Expo from March 15 – 22 (Livingston Mall) – Opening Ceremony 6:30 pm on 3/15
Artwork will be in display and there will also be daily performances by Essex County students each day in Center Court (in front of Lord & Taylor).
Take Your Best Shot at Skyzone in Pinebrook, NJ – March 15 and 16 (call for pricing and details)
Guests are invited to come to Skyzone to enter a basketball shot contest for a chance to win a 30-Day Jump Pass. The goal is to get as many shots as possible in 60 seconds. Winners will be selected at the end of each night (four winners total). All ages are welcome to participate as there will be two divisions: 13+ and older and 12 and younger. Contestants can participate in the contest both nights. Contest is first come first serve, and the park will set the contest times.
Special Event Storytime at Indigo Kids – March 16 at 1 pm (Short Hills Mall)
Stop by with the littles to join award-winning picture book creator Stephen Savage for a dramatic reading, interactive drawing demonstration, and more related to his new book, The Babysitter from Another Planet.
How to Catch a Leprechaun Storytime – March 16 at 11 am (Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall)
Bring your little ones for a special storytime, where they will hear “How to Catch a Leprechaun,” by Adam Wallace, a fun-filled story about sharing that no matter how perfect a leprechaun trap you build, leprechauns are quick and sneakier than you may think. Guest will receive a coupon from the B&N Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.
Leprechauns and Limericks Event – March 16 at 2 pm (Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall)
The leprechaun shenanigans continue at this enjoyable event where guests will get an official leprechaun name, become a master limerick writer, learn how to leprechaun-proof their home, and receive fun giveaways, while celebrating the release of Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles, by Thomas Lennon.
St. Patrick’s Day: Storytime and Craft at Museum of Early Trades and Crafts – March 16 from 11 am to 3 pm (Craft: 11:00 am-3:00 pm; Storytime: 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm) (9 Main St., Madison)
Guests of all ages are invited to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day enjoying stories and a variety of crafts, from handprint shamrocks to rainbow streamers. Fun for all ages! Register here (registration recommended to ensure that materials are available). Price: Included with Admission.
Storytime Sprinkled with Science – March 18 at 4 pm (West Orange Public Library, 46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange, NJ)
Children in K-3rd grade will think like a scientist as they enjoy stories sprinkled with science-themed activities.
Little Readers – March 18 at 11:30 am (Caldwell Public Library, 268 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ)
Children ages 2 ½ - 5 are invited to participate in interactive program of stories, songs, and hands on activities.
Terrific Toddlers Storytime – March 19 at 10:30 am (West Orange Public Library, 46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange, NJ)
Caregivers are invited to bring children ages 2- 3 ½ to the library for entertaining puppets, stories, songs and fingerplays.
Preschool Page Turners Storytime – March 19 at 11:30 am (West Orange Public Library, 46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange, NJ)
Bring preschool-aged children for an interactive fun time of stories, songs and games.
Stories in Spanish/Cuentos en Espanol – March 20 at 4 pm (West Orange Public Library, 46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange, NJ)
People of all ages are invited to enjoy listening to stories read in Spanish. This activity is great for Spanish speakers and Spanish learners of all ages. Ven a escuchar cuentos en espanol. Para todos edades de hispanohablantes y personas aprendiendo español.
Celebrate National Macaron Day – March 20 all day starting at 10 am (Whoops at the Short Hills Mall, 1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, NJ)
The first 200 people to stop by Whoops to celebrate National Macaron Day will receive a complimentary macaron, and all can enjoy more samplings throughout the day. Five percent of the day's sales will benefit a local food bank.
Chinese/English Bilingual Storytime and Craft – March 20 at 4 pm (Livingston Library, 10 Robert H Harp Dr., Livingston, NJ)
Children ages 2-7 and their caregivers are invited to come enjoy stories and songs in Chinese and English and then make a craft to take home. No registration necessary. While supplies last. Fee: Free.
St. Patrick’s Day Crafting for Teens – March 14 at 3:30 pm (Millburn Public Library, 200 Glen Ave., Millburn NJ
Teens are invited to create festive Shamrock Shake Bath Bombs at this free event.
Seafood Thursday @Rio Lounge – Everybody is Free Before 9 pm – March 14 at 7 pm (618 Market Street, Newark)
Grab some friends and head on over to the Rio Lounge for seafood, $1 Sangria (until 8 pm), $4 Rum Punch (All Night), Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae New and Old with music by DJ New Era and DJ K Rock!
Have FUN Celebrating These National Holidays …
Enjoy These Specials on National Pi Day – March 14
National Pi Day is the official day of the Greek letter symbolizing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, pi, also known as 3.14159265359. In celebration of Pi Day, the following businesses are offering specials, which provide fun ways to celebrate the day with little ones:
- Blaze Pizza: Build your own pie for $3.14 all-day Wednesday at the company’s 245 traditional locations. Limit one per customer and in-restaurant only.
- Whole Foods Market: Take $3.14 off large bakery pies Wednesday, while supplies last.
- 7-Eleven: With the 7Rewards app, get one slice of pizza for 50 cents. Or buy a whole pie in-store and get 314 7Rewards bonus points. With 7NOW, the convenience store chain's delivery service, get up to two whole pizzas for $3.14 each.
- Boston Market: With a Pi Day coupon on Thursday, get a free Rotisserie Chicken Pot Pie with the purchase of another pot pie and drink at any one of the more than 450 U.S. locations. The coupon is available at www.bostonmarket.com.
- California Pizza Kitchen: Get a slice of Key Lime Pie for $3.14 on Thursday.
Celebrate National Potato Chip Day in Style – March 14
On National Potato Chip Day, millions of people across the country will enjoy their chips, so why not participate in some potato chip snacking fun? Below are two fun ways to celebrate the day:
- Hold a Taste Off – Stop by the grocery store and buy a few bags of different types of potato chips and have a taste off with your family. From classic, sea salt and pepper, lightly salted, salt and vinegar and sour cream and onion to bbq, Cajun spice, chile con queso, Chesapeake Bay crap spice, deep dish pizza, fried pickles with ranch, New England lobster roll, pimento cheese, Tai sweet chilli, Ketchup, dill pickle – there are so many flavors to choose from!
- Make Potato Chips – Cook up some potato chips with your family and enjoy them together! It’s simple to do! Slice a potato, bake it or fry it, season it to taste – and then enjoy every single bite!
St. Patrick’s Day Specials – March 17
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the following specials lend themselves to fun activities for do with kids:
- Baskin-Robbins: Get a free sample of the Mint Chip 'n Oreo Cookies Milkshake from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday. The chain also has a St. Patrick's Day cake complete with green icing, a rainbow and pot of gold.
- Carvel: It’s “Mintertime” at the ice cream chain with mint ice cream, shakes and Oreo Mint Dashers available for a limited time. Plus, download a printable coupon, which expires Sunday, for $2 off the St. Patrick's Day Cookie O'Puss cake along with a Cookie O'Puss mask.
- Dunkin' Donuts: For a limited time, get the green-frosted Mint Brownie Donut. Plus, through 4:59 p.m. ET on Saturday, enter the Lucky Dozen contest for a chance to win a year's worth of free doughnuts or the grand-prize trip to company headquarters in Boston. According to a news release and the contest rules, enter by sharing how you’re "celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Dunkin’ Donuts" using #DDLuckyDozen and #Sweepstakes on Twitter and Instagram.
- McDonald's: The popular, minty Shamrock Shake is back for a limited time.
Happy First Day of Spring – March 20
In honor of the first day of spring, head into a participating Dairy Queen where they will be celebrating the first day of spring by hosting their annual FREE Cone Day. Ask for a free small vanilla cone – limit one per person, no purchase necessary. The annual Free Cone Day is a fundraiser for the so consider donating, while you’re there!
Flower Petal Stained Glass Door – A Spring Flower Craft
Here’s a simple and beautiful craft to do with kids, provided by Artful Parent, that will help usher in springtime.
- Transparent contact paper
- Flowers and leaves
Take your children outside to collect some pretty flowers and leaves. Once inside, arrange the flower petals and leaves on the contact paper. That’s it -- it’s that simple. In a week or two, when the flowers fade, collect more flowers and leaves together and then sit down to create some new flower petal/leaf stained glass crafts together. See samples here. If you have a front door with glass windows, these creations will look beautiful there. If not, they will brighten up any window!
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.
- March 13, 1868 – The senate begins the impeachment trial of 17th President Andrew Johnson.
- March 13, 1639 – Harvard University is named after clergyman John Harvard.
- March 14, 1784 – Eli Whitney patents the Cotton Gin.
- March 15, 44 B.C. – "The Ides of March" Julius Caesar is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus. See Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar.
- March 16, 1926 – Professor Robert Goddard launches the first liquid fuel rocket.
- March 17 – On this day everyone is a little bit Irish – it's Saint Patrick's Day!
- March 17, 1845 – The rubber band was invented.
- March 18, 1965 – Soviet Union cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes the first person to take a spacewalk.
- March 19, 1918 – Congress approves Daylight Savings Time.
- March 20, 1852 – Harriet Beacher Stowe publishes the book Uncle Tom's Cabin.