Today is the first day of spring !!  Take advantage of the first week with this list of things to do with kids in and around town, brought to you by The Goddard School in West Orange.



FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY…

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Cupcakes for A’s – Any Day at 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.

Spanish Stories Storytime on March 20 and March 27 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Come and listen to stories in Spanish. Great for Spanish speakers and Spanish learners of all ages! Ven a escuchar cuentos en Español. Para todas edades de hispanohablantes y personas aprendiendo Español!

Chinese/English Bilingual Storytime and Craft Time on March 20 at 4 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Children ages 2-7 and their caregivers are invited to come and enjoy stories and songs in Chinese and English and then make a craft to take home. No registration necessary. While supplies last.

Creativity Café with the Creativity Caravan on March 21 from 3-5 pm at Montclair Library (Bellevue Avenue Library, 185 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair)

Adults, teens, and children are invited to create art projects in the Café.

Sugarfina Candy Party on March 23 from 10 am to 8 pm at the Short Hills Mall

You're Invited to the Sugarfina Candy Party. Swing by to taste new flavors of Sugarfina x Pressed Juicery gummy bears, citrus, roots and vanilla almond, and be sure to enter the wellness raffle for the full package of self-love.

Succeed2gether's Montclair Literary Festival 2019 on March 23 from 10 am to 5:30 pm at Montclair Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair)

Families with kids ages up to 14 will love this free event that will be chock full of children's/YA storytelling and activities, as part of Succeed2gether's Montclair Literary Festival 2019. Children's authors in attendance will include Artie Bennett, Julia Sarcone-Roach, Eva Chen, Dan Yaccarino and Christopher de Vinck. YA authors in attendance will include George O'Connor, Marc Aronson, Gayle Forman, Gae Polisner, Mark Oshiro, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Sara Farizan. There will also be a YA book signing room where fans can meet their author heroes. All children’s events are free, no registration required.

Take In a Show: Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in The Hat at the SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange)

Everyone’s favorite cat comes to mischievous life in this theatrical adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic The Cat in the Hat. From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that The Cat in the Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and the craziest of ideas, he is certainly fun to play with. And he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will Mum find when she comes home? Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat is a lively, engaging play with sound effects by Two Beans Productions. It was originally adapted by The National Theatre. Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). Fee: $18. Buy tickets here.

 

FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS…

Wee Music Time on March 21 at 9:30 am at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)

This hands-on sensory themed program invites little ones, ages 6 months – 2, to use various props like shaker eggs, scarves, and bells. Walk-ins welcome!

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on March 21 and 26 at 10 am at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Watch your kids as they embark on an exciting adventure with a Barnes and Noble storytime expert. Your little ones will be introduced some of your childhood favorites, as well as some you may have never heard before.

Little Moving Artist Class at Monica + Andy on March 21 from 10:30 – 11:30 am at the Short Hills Mall

Bring your little ones, ages 2-4, to participate in a Movement Class with The Little Moving Artist.  Children will enjoy this 45-minute whimsical, imaginative movement class that incorporates dancing, imagery, music, sensory props and costumes. Children will ice skate on paper plates, tap dance on bubble wrap, take part in an ultimate snowball fight, bug hunt, fly with super hero capes and wings, freeze dance, and more. Drop in fee: $10; Four-week fee: $32.

Terrific Toddlers Storytime on March 21 at 11:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 2 to 3 ½ and their caretakers will be entertained by puppets, stories, songs and fingerplay.

Storytime at IndigoKids on March 21 and 26 from 11 am – 12 pm at the Short Hills Mall

After a busy-time shopping, stop in with your little ones for fun storytime.

Music and Movement on March 21 at 11:30 am at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)

Children ages 2-5 are invited to this class where they will move, stretch, dance, and use various props like musical instruments, rhythm sticks, and a parachute. Music played during the program features a combination of kid favorites like Raffi and the Laurie Berkner Band, plus musicians/bands like the Beatles.

Musical Storytime on March 21 at 4:30 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Children ages 2 to 5 years, and their caregivers, are invited to join Guitar Joe for a magnificent medley of music and storytelling: songs, picture books, puppet shows, dance parties, multimedia presentations, drum circles, egg-shaker jams, and so much more! No registration required.

Special Storytime Event: Little Blue Truck's Springtime Storytime on March 23 at 11 am at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Little ones are invited to celebrate the beauty of springtime with the story, Little Blue Truck. Young fans will love finding all sorts of baby animals beneath the flaps in this delightful novelty board book. Children will also enjoy a coloring activity and a cookie, while supplies last. Plus, don’t forget to ask for a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Rockness Pop Up Family Jam at Monica + Andy on March 23 at 11:30 am at the Short Hills Mall

Monica + Andy invites guests to a Popup Family Jam with Rockness Music, where kids will be charged with energy, the stage will disappear during shows and everyone will be a part of the action. The children will participate in sing-a-longs, movement, educational activities and dramatic play.

Shapes in the Sky - Planetarium Show on March 23 at 3 pm at County of Morris College (214 Center Grove Rd., Randolph)

This classic storytelling show for kids ages 4+ has been updated with new adventures told by ancient cultures about the glittering dots they saw in the sky. They inspired wondrous tales and myths, and attendees will relive these amazing stories. Fee: $10. Buy tickets here.

Wee Time on March 25 at 9:30 am at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)  

Newborns to children age 2, with caregivers, are invited to enjoy books, rhymes and songs with Ms. Kristen. No registration is required to attend.

Little Readers on March 25 at 11:30 am at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)  

Children ages 2 ½ - 5 are invited to take part in this interactive program of stories, songs, and hands on activities.

Terrific Toddlers Storytime on March 26 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 2 to 3 ½ and their caretakers will be entertained by puppets, stories, songs and fingerplay.

Adventurous Storytime at Monica + Andy on March 26 at 12:30 pm to 1 pm at the Short Hills Mall

Shop till you drop and then stop by Monica + Andy for Adventurous Storytime, where your little ones will enjoy a few fun and interactive reads from some favorite children's books.

Boogie Woogie Babies on March 27 at 10:30 am at Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Children ages 6 months - 2 years and their care takers are invited to partake in a 45-minute dance class where they will sing songs, play and dance. Parents/caregivers and children should dress in comfortable clothes. No registration required.

 

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS…

Yakety Yak Book Club on March 19 at 4:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

2nd and 3rd grade students will enjoy lively and creative book discussions.

Bird Club on March 21 at 4 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland)

Children ages 5-10 are invited to come and explore the wooded wetland and see what birds live there. They will use binoculars, field guides, and a keen sense of observation to discover and identify all sorts of birds. Fee: $10 per child, per session. Advance registration, payment and minimum number of participants required. For information, call 973-228-8776. 

Mixed Media Magic: An Art Workshop on March 21 at 4:30 pm at the Hilton Branch of Maplewood Library (1688 Springfield Ave, Maplewood)

Children ages 6-10 are invited to drop in to make mosaics. Attendees should come prepared to get messy. Space and materials are limited.

Read with Me: Kindergarten and 1st Grade Book Club on March 21 at 4:30 pm at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)

Read with Me is a new book club for kids in kindergarten and 1st grade. Participants will read a short early reader or picture book together during the club so there is no need to read the book in advance. Registration is appreciated so that Miss Kris can be sure to have enough copies of the book for the club meeting. There will be a small snack.

Owl Pellet Dissection on March 21 at 6 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland)

Children ages 7-13 will learn about the beautiful and mysterious silent hunters of the night. They will discover what owls are eating as predators. Prey and food chain dynamics will be discussed. Kids will carefully reconstruct the bones found inside owl pellets. Fee: $10 per child. Advance registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776.

Play Group on March 22 at 9:30 am at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)

Children ages 6 months to 5, and their caregivers, are invited to partake in this informal get-together where they will play with toys, puzzles, and books! No registration.

GAME ON! on March 23 at 10 am – Noon at the Roseland Library (20 Roseland Ave, Roseland)

Kids ages 8+ will enjoy a morning of playing the latest Nintendo Switch video games and making new friends! Participants may bring their own controllers. 

Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: Peter Rabbit Easter Baking Party on March 23 from 10-11 am at the Short Hills Mall

This event is perfect for kids ages 8-13. They will learn to make delicious recipes – from main courses to desserts and snacks, with plenty of tasting along the way. Kids will bake some sweet treats together that can then be created again for friends and family at home. Call (973) 467-3641 to reserve a spot. Cost of $30 per child, includes a Peter Rabbit Cookie Set.

Build a Bird House on March 23 at 11 am at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland)

This class is for children ages 8+ to adults. Attendees will build a home that encourages breeding birds and other wildlife to take residence. Putting out a bird house now creates a good chance of having a nesting pair of songbirds in the garden by spring. Fee: $10 per child and $12 per adult. (The adult fee is waived for a second adult if one is registered for the “Attract Birds with Native Plants” lecture.) Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776.

Special Event: Escape This Book! Titanic on March 23 at 2 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Kids ages 8-12 are invited to explore the newest book in the Escape This Book Series on the Titanic. They will decide their destiny by solving puzzles and riddles to pass each challenge and get to the next adventure.

Elementary Science Storytime on March 25 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids in kindergarten to 3rd grade will learn to think like a scientist, while hearing stories sprinkled with science-themed activities.

New Jersey Woodturners Class on March 25 at 7 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland)

This class is for children ages 3+ to adults. Attendees will learn to turn and discover the wonders of creating art from found pieces of wood. Fee: $10 per adult and free for NJWA members. Call 908-310-3557 for details. 

S.T.E.A.M. Club-Robotics on March 26 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 8-12 will participate in activities and challenges to help spark interest in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Chess Club on March 26 at 4:30 pm at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)

Kids ages 7-13 are invited to join the Caldwell Public Library Chess Club to learn strategies and play chess.

OREO Challenge on March 26, at 2 pm at the Roseland Library (20 Roseland Ave, Roseland)

Even though March is National Nutrition Month, there is still some wiggle room for fun! Kids ages 8+ will put their sense of taste to the test where they will eat various flavors of Oreo cookies and see how many flavors they can guess correctly, during this tasting challenge. To register, call 973-226-8636.

 

FUN FOR TEENS…

Teen Game Night on March 20 at 7 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Teens in grades 6-12 will enjoy a fun evening of video games, board games, and more!

Blitz Chess Lessons on March 21 at 6:30 pm, 6:50 pm and 7:10 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Kids in grades 3-8 are invited to partake in one of three 20-minute, one-on-one chess lessons, with Livingston High School Chess Club mentors. Registration is for all 3 weeks. No prior chess experience required. Call 992-4600 to register.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on March 22 at 3 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Teens ages 13+ are invited to join a Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) adventure! Epic quests await teens who join the DnD club at the library! DnD features roleplaying, storytelling, on- the-spot strategic thinking, math skills, problem solving, and team work all rolled into one!

Sew It! At the Library (Tween/Teen Sewing Workshop) on March 23 at 11 am – 1 pm at the Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)

Sewing expert Ellen Lumpkin Brown will lead tweens/teens ages 10-14 in a sewing project from start to finish. Attendees will learn how to operate a sewing machine and create a reusable tote bag. Registration is required due to limited number of spots and materials requirement.

Teen Comic Book Club on March 27 at 6:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children in grades 6 – 12 are invited to come and discuss their favorite books, comics, graphic novels, movie adaptations and styles of art – and work a project.

 

FOR ADULTS…

Kid Care Speed Match on March 24 from 2-3:30 pm at Cambria Hotel in West Orange (12 Rooney Circle, West Orange)

This event is designed to connect families seeking childcare help and people offering help via speed match interviews.

Are you a care seeker? We can all use an extra, dependable person to help with whatever comes up: tutoring, after school care, school closings, delayed opening/early dismissal, summer pick up and drop offs, a mothers' helper, a driver or a date-night babysitter! Or maybe you are a care provider with a skill that you can lend to families who are looking help?

Whether you are a care seeker or provider, this event is for YOU! Candidates are encouraged to bring resumes and references. Families are expected to do their own due diligence in terms of background and references and will hold the organizer free of any liabilities. Entrance is FREE with registration.

 

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THESE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS…

March 21 is Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

Let’s face it, we all think our kids are incredible – and they are! But how often do we tell them this? Absolutely Incredible Kid Day was created to activate millions of adults across the U.S. to write/tell a young person in their life what makes them incredible. Why not take some time today to let the incredible kid(s) in your life know what makes them special.

Here is a link to 5 Ways to Make a Big Impact for Absolutely Incredible Kid Day, and here is a link to 50 Ways to Make Your Kid Feel Great.

Below is a craft for you to do to make your incredible kid(s) feel special:

Decorate your incredible kids’ door(s) with notes about things you love about them. Depending on your child’s age, these could be anything from, “I love that you share your toys,” to “I love how you laugh.” It will be fun to see your child’s reaction and how these reasons change over the coming years.

Regardless as to how you celebrate, please take some photos to commemorate the day and send them to jackie.eventscolumn@gmail.com to be published in the next column!

March 22-23 is the 5th Annual NJ Maker’s Day Celebration

New Jersey Makers Day is a statewide celebration of making and maker culture that takes place every March in the Garden State. The primary goal is to enhance community engagement and facilitate connections among New Jersey residents by exploring new and interesting opportunities for community-wide education, entrepreneurship and hands-on learning experiences. Below are a few Maker’s Day events for you to attend with your kids. Please send pictures of how you celebrated the day to jackie.eventscolumn@gmail.com to be featured in the next column.

NJ Maker’s Day at the West Orange Library on March 22 at 3:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 8 and up are invited to celebrate New Jersey Maker's Day at the library where they will be doing a variety of fun, hands-on activities.

Maker's Day at the Caldwell Library on March 23 at 10:30 am – 3:30 pm at Caldwell Library (268 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell)

Kids and adults are invited to participate in maker activities featuring a 3D Printing Demonstration by Minuteman Miniatures and more.

Makers Day at the Livingston Library on March 23 at 1 – 4 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Kids in grades 3+ are invited to celebrate making and making culture with Imagine That!!!, Livingston Robotics Club (LRC), Lancer Robotics, Morris Museum Astronomical Society and more. Activities will include squishy circuits, making catapults, buttons, astronomy and more. No registration required. While supplies last.

March 23 is National Puppy Day

On National Puppy Day, people around the world celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring into our lives. It's also a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public on the horrors of puppy mills. This is a perfect time to celebrate your furry family member, and according to https://www.nationalpuppyday.com/, below are the TOP 10 of 50 ways to celebrate National Puppy Day. Click here for the full list. Please send pictures of how you celebrated the day to jackie.eventscolumn@gmail.com to be featured in the next column.

  1. Adopt a puppy from your local shelter, rescue or pure breed rescue organization.
  2. Are you prepared for puppy parenting? Start off on the right paw! Hire a professional that can help you.
  3. Donate money, food and toys to your local shelter.
  4. Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies.
  5. Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills in your state.
  6. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their puppy.
  7. Have a puppy party and invite all your friends and their puppies!
  8. Join a fun, dog-friendly community online and post pics of your puppy for the world to ooh and ahh over!
  9. Host a community event to raise money for your local animal shelter.
  10. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a puppy or play with a puppy, clean cages or do anything else they need help with.

Waffles, Waffles Everywhere – Who Doesn’t Love Waffles? March 25 is International Waffle Day!

Whether you serve waffles for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even as a snack – most people can agree that they are delicious. So, why not celebrate this delectable food? While waffles are certainly fun to eat, they are even more fun to make together with your family. Turn on the griddle and serve up some waffles with some of the items listed below to make your waffles even more fun for all. To make the batter tastier, here’s a link to The Secret Ingredients that will Make Your Waffles Incredible. Please send in pictures of how you celebrated Waffle Day to  jackie.eventscolumn@gmail.com for publication in the next edition of this column.

Add these to your waffles and watch all the smiles they create:

  • Whipped Cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Ice Cream
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Syrup
  • Jelly
  • Butter
  • M&Ms
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cinnamon Chips
  • Cocoa
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Pineapples
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Sausages
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter

 

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 March 21, 1963, the infamous Alcatraz prison was closed.
  • On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
  • On March 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk invented a vaccine to fight polio.
  • On March 26, 1885, the Eastman Dry Plate and Chemical Company manufactured the first motion picture film.