Although there’s still some snow on the ground, that shouldn’t stop you from getting out and participating in some of the fun activities happening in and around West Orange this week. From the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade, National Oreo Day and National Cereal Day, to a bunch of great storytimes, a nature walk, magic and some stargazing, there’s a lot to choose from to do this week for you and your family.

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…

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Kiss Me, I’m Irish! – March 10 from 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Don your favorite greens and head on down to the West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which begins at the corners of Mt. Pleasant Avenue and Main Street, makes its way north on Main Street and ends at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Click here for parade day details including morning Mass, parking, closed streets and shuttles.

Create with the Whole Family – March 10 at 10 a.m.

Board and Brush in Livingston is hosting its 1st Anniversary Party and you’re invited to come to the “Make and Take” celebration, where there will be prizes, giveaways and snacks. Guests of all ages are welcome. Register here. Fee: $20. Location: 25 W Northfield Rd, Livingston, NJ

Explore the Great Outdoors Together – March 10 at 1 p.m.

Come play and learn together in nature as a family with Turtle Back Zoo’s new nature club, Nature Adventurers: Family Nature Club. This is a great way to get the kids (ages 4+ recommended) off their electronics and outside spending time together moving, while exploring and learning about local nature and conservation. Register here. Each ticket includes a Family Nature Club water bottle. Attendees should arrive 10 minutes early and meet at the Berson Education Center lobby. Anyone with accessibility concerns can call 973-731-5800 ext.236 or send an email to tbzsburroughs@gmail.com.

Family Fun Day at the JCC featuring the Art of Magic with Artie Miller – March 10 at 10 a.m. (magic starts at 10:10 a.m.)

Be dazzled, be entertained and be together for the magical fun of Artie Miller, a professional magician, who brings fun, magic, and imagination to children. Fee: $18/Family for JCC Member • $25/Family for Guest. Advance registration is encouraged, walk-ins permitted.

The Moon, Stars and Planets, Oh My March 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Take the family stargazing at the Oval at the Livingston Library, where volunteers from the Morris Museum Astronomical Society will be on hand helping guests view the moon, stars, and planets through the lens of a telescope. Registration is required and open to all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Location: 10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston, NJ.

It’s Family Fort Night! – March 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Families are invited to build reading forts at the Caldwell Library and snuggle up reading and munching on cookies. Supplies will be available, and guests can also bring their own blankets and pillows. Location: 268 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ.

Take in a Show – March 13 at 7 p.m.

Bring the whole family to watch a magical production of Peter Pan where young actors in 1st-8th grade will bring the story of childhood, imagination, and the importance of having faith to life. Join Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, Pirates, Braves, and more on this fantastical journey at the Roseland United Methodist Church. Tickets are $10 online, $15 at the door. Get tickets here. Location: 144 Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland, NJ.

For children…

Spanish/English Storytime – March 6 at 4:15 p.m.

Children ages 4+ and their caregivers are invited to enjoy Spanish and English Storytime/ Cuentitos at the Montclair Library, where children’s books in Spanish and English will be read. Guests will also be serenaded by Spanish music played on an acoustic guitar. Spanish speakers and non-Spanish speakers are welcome! Location: 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ.

Storytime at Barnes and Noble – March 7 at 10 a.m.

Take a rest from shopping and drop by Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall with your littles for storytime where they will enjoy some of your childhood favorites and new stories too.

Storytime at IndigoKids – March 7 at 11 a.m.

Your kids will be thrilled when you take a break from shopping at the Short Hills Mall and stop by IndigoKids for storytime.

Join a Play Group – March 8 at 9:30 a.m.

Children ages 6 months to age 5 and their caregivers are invited to come play with toys, puzzles, books and more, and make new friends at the Caldwell Library. Location: 268 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ.

Mommy and Me Kids Play Yoga – March 8 at 10:30 a.m.

Children age 1-5 with their caregiver (daddies, grandparents and other caregivers are welcome) are invited to participate in a 4-week yoga series presented by Indigo Yoga. Attendees should bring a mat and wear comfortable clothes. Click Here to Register. Location: 268 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ.

Toddler Time at Pine Brook Skyzone – March 9 at 9 a.m.

Children ages 5 and below are invited to discover the joys of bouncing, while under the supervision of their caregivers, without interference from the big kids. Fee: $10. Location: 60 Chapin Rd, Pine Brook, NJ.

Calling All Star Wars Fans! – March 9 at 10 a.m.

A Jr. Chef Star Wars Cookie Party is being held at Williams Sonoma at the Shorth Hills Mall, where children ages 8-13 will bake cookies shaped like the Star Wars characters that they will decorate and eat. Fee: $30 (incudes Star Wars Cookie Set). Call (973) 467-3641 to reserve a spot.

“You are My Happy” Storytime – March 9 at 11 a.m.

Bring the littles to storytime at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall for a special reading of Today Show anchor Hoda Kotb’s new book, “You are My Happy,” where a mama bear and her cub cuddle together for a good night's sleep and reflect on the everyday wonders of life that make them happy. Don’t forget to ask for a $4 coupon to enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice at the Café.

Happy 50th Birthday to “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Storytime – March 9

Bring the littles to celebrate the 50th birthday of beloved story, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” at Pottery Barn at the Short Hills Mall, where they will enjoy a reading of the book, fun games, activities and a raffle. Select stores will host guest appearances. (Call for time and to RSVP.)

I Left My Heart in San Francisco – March 9 at 6 p.m.

Children are invited to join fellow builders in constructing the newest in the LEGO Architecture series, San Francisco, at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall.

Fresh Perspectives at Morris Museum – March 9 to June 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, and videos by New Jersey's most talented young artists are on display at the Morris Museum. Stop by for some creative inspiration, while appreciating the arts. Location: 6 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown, NJ.

Winter Adventure – March 10 at 3:30 p.m.

The Little Moving Artist will be hosting a high-energy exploration of all things winter event at the Monica and Andy Store at The Short Hills Mall, for children ages 2-5, that will combine imagery, movement games, colorful props and silly songs to take your child on a winter adventure. Children will play in snow, ice skate, magically turn into ice, cross a frozen river, brave a snow storm and so much more. Seating is limited, so arrive early. Registration is recommended.

Fun at the Library – March 11 at 10:30 pm

Toddlers ages 9 months to 3 and their caregivers are invited to come to the Millburn Library for songs, finger plays, movement and stories with Miss Megan. Location: 200 Glen Ave, Millburn, NJ.

Creative Coloring for Kids – March 11 at 11 a.m.

Children ages 2-5 years and their caregivers are invited to drop in to make a creative coloring craft at the Millburn Library. Location: 200 Glen Ave, Millburn, NJ.

Toddler Holiday Crafts: Holi & Purim

Stop by the Livingston Library to make fun crafts for the spring holidays of Holi and Purim that are developmentally appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers. Guests should dress for a mess as there will be finger painting. Location: 10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston, NJ.

In the schools…

West Orange High School AP Art Exhibition – March 9 at 1 p.m.

Come see the amazing talents of the West Orange High School AP Art students at their annual exhibition at the West Orange Arts Council located at 551 Valley Road in West Orange.

West Orange Elementary School Art Reception – March 11 at 5:30 am

Stop by the West Orange Library to admire the artwork created by local students at the Elementary School Art Reception. Location: 46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange, NJ.

For teens...

Teen Pancake Party – March 8 at 3 p.m.

Teens are invited to come make pancakes, eat pancakes, hang out with friends and watch Gravity Falls at the Livingston Library. Location: 10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston, NJ.

Teen Open Studio Space at the Montclair Art Museum – March 7 at 6 p.m.

The Montclair Art Museum is offering a new free open studio program for teens where they will work on projects among peers in a professional studio space. Guests can bring a project from school, a MAM studio class, or an independent project from home. Don’t forget your supplies! Location: 3 S Mountain Ave, Montclair, NJ.

Parents Night Out at Chocolate Works in Livingston – March 7 at 7 pm

Surround yourself in sweetness! Dip strawberries, pretzels and marshmallows. Glaze cookies, mold and decorate your own chocolate creation. Relax with friends, taste as you go and laugh a lot! Registration is required by Wednesday, March 6. Sponsored by the JCC, all net proceeds will go toward the acquisition of iPads to provide research and communication tools for teachers and children. Location: 1170 Town Center Way, Livingston, NJ. Fee: $36 per person.

Fun for you…

Celebrate Mardi Gras with Friends – March 8 at 8 p.m.

Bring your friends to celebrate Mardi Gras and party the night away and enjoy a masquerade mask contest. There will be plenty of beads, DJ Cal, food and drinks. Location: Crowne Plaza in Fairfield at 690 U.S. 46, Fairfield, NJ. No cover charge. Get tickets here

On this day …

Caution – sharing these facts with your family may just spark some interesting conversations!

  • Silly putty was invented on March 6, 1950.
  • Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone on March 7, 1876.
  • The Monopoly board game was invented on March 7, 1933.
  • The U.S. government issued paper money for the first time on March 10, 1862.
  • Alexander Graham Bell placed the world's first telephone call (to his assistant in the next room) on March 10, 1876.
  • The Girl Scouts were founded on March 12, 1912.

Special Holidays…

How Well Do You Know your Oreo?

Since its introduction, the Oreo cookie has become the best-selling cookie in the United States. The National Biscuit Company (today known as Nabisco) first developed and produced the “Oreo Biscuit” in 1912 at its Chelsea factory in New York City. Today, the block on which the factory was located is known as “Oreo Way.”

  • The name “Oreo” was first trademarked on March 14, 1912.
  • The first Oreo cookies in the United States sold for 25 cents a pound in clear glass topped novelty cans.
  • In 1912, the Oreo Biscuit was renamed the “Oreo Sandwich.”
  • In 1948, the Oreo Sandwich was renamed again, this time to “Oreo Creme Sandwich.”
  • William A. Turnier developed the modern-day Oreo design in 1952 to include the Nabisco logo.
  • Nabisco’s principal food scientist, Sam Procello, developed the modern Oreo cookie filling.

Snack Time Suggestion…

In honor of National Oreo Day, stop by the food store and pick up some milk or your beverage of choice and some different types of Oreos. Do a family taste test to discover which ones you like best. New Oreos on the shelves these days include Dark Chocolate Oreos, Carrot Cake Oreos, Love Oreos, Easter Egg Oreos and the Most Stuf Oreos. Take a photo of your family enjoying Oreos and use this hashtag to post the photo on social media: #NationalOreoCookieDay.

Craft Time…

In celebration of National Cereal Day, here’s a craft from the Daily Holiday Blog that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Instead of tossing those empty cereal boxes, here’s a great way to recycle them by turning them into colorful beads that can be used to create pretty pieces of jewelry.

Supplies:

  • Cereal Boxes
  • Tacky Glue or white glue
  • 14-gauge wire
  • Clear glossy Mod Podge (clear glossy sealant)
  • Elastic string (can be found in a jewelry store)
  • Styrofoam

Instructions:

  • Open each cereal box along all of the seams, so the box lays flat.
  • Cut off the top and bottom tabs of the box so you have a rectangular piece of cardboard.
  • On the back side of the box, use a ruler to draw a pencil line lengthwise along the box, starting at 3/4″ wide on one end and ending with 1/8″ wide on the other.
  • Cut along the line and cut to out as many cardboard strips as you want.
  • Use a piece of 14-gauge wire to start the bead out.
  • Begin by wrapping the wide end of your strip around the wire, and then start to coil up the cardboard around it.
  • About halfway through, you can remove the wire and keep on wrapping.
  • Once you reach the end of the narrow part of the strip, add several dots of tacky glue or white glue and hold tight for a few moments, until it adheres.
  • Note: Each bead will look different from the last.
  • For the final touch, after the beads had dried, line them up on a piece of wire that is stuck into a piece of Styrofoam. (This will make it easy to add a coating or two of clear glossy sealant on all sides of the beads.)
  • Once the beads are dry, separate them.
  • Now the real fun begins as you create key chains, bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces and more.
  • To make a bracelet, string the beads onto the elastic string.