There are just about two weeks left until school is out and summer camps and programs start. While we all make plans for graduations, moving up ceremonies, and the start of camp – there’s still time to do some other fun activities like celebrating Father’s Day on June 16, Flip Flop Day on June 14, where visitors to Tropical Smoothie will receive free limited-edition Sunshine Smoothies, Spring Fine Art and Crafts at Brookdale Park on June 15 and 16, a World Sea Turtle Celebration to Save NJ’s Sea Turtles on June 15, a canoe trip, storytimes, bird watching, a dinosaur visit, music events and so much more!

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 The Goddard School in West Orange.

Note: If you attend any of these events, partake in any of the craft or cooking ideas shared below, or just have a great picture of your kid(s) that you’d like featured, please send photos to

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Free Smoothies for Flip Flop Day on June 14 from 2-7 pm at Tropical Smoothie (280 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is celebrating their customers and highlighting their fundraising effort for Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine via National Flip Flop Day, a holiday they created. Customers are invited to stop by to receive a free limited-edition Sunshine Smoothie when they wear flip flops. No coupon or purchase is needed to get the free special smoothie, which is a combination of orange, banana, pineapple, and mango. Tropical Smoothie will also be collecting donations to support Camp Sunshine, a camp committed to addressing the effects of a life-threatening illness on not only the child who is ill but the entire family. In addition to the free Sunshine Smoothie, the Cafe will also offer live music, samples, and raffles (including the popular “free smoothies for a year” card).  The donations are optional.

Free Friday Flicks Series on June 14 at Kip's Castle Park (22 Crestmont Avenue, Verona)

Essex County is hosting a Free Friday Flicks series. The next screening is of "Mary Poppins Returns," rated PG (rain date is Saturday, June 15). Gates open at 7 p.m. and movies will be shown at dusk on the lawn. Before the movie, Wings of Magic Wizard Show will perform at 7:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to bring chairs or blankets on which to sit. Admission is free; refreshments will be for sale. For more information, call 973-433-7469.

World Sea Turtle Celebration to Save NJ’s Sea Turtles on June 15 from 6-8 pm at Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Ave., West Orange)

Sea Turtle Recovery will be hosting a celebration inside the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo.  For Just $10, guests will enjoy free educational sea turtle games, zoo attractions, free train rides, face painting, sea turtle booths and games, a live band (Uptown Getdowns), learn to cause a mob dance and more. They will also be able to participate in or watch a choreographed dance by All 4 Dance Performing Arts Studio. All proceeds will go to help save threatened and endangered sea turtles rehabilitated and released after injury or illness. Tickets are $15 at the door. Order online for special savings. For further information, click here

Passaic River Canoe Trip on June 17 at 1 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Adults and children ages 12 and up are invited to participate in a “Passaic River Canoe Trip” where they will paddle up the Passaic River from the Environmental Center to Okner Park in Livingston. They should pack their own snack to enjoy at the park and then float back down to Garibaldi Hall. The session includes basic paddling safety and techniques and all equipment. This is appropriate for intermediate and advanced paddlers. Children ages 12 and up may paddle with a parent guardian. Cost is $15 per person. Advanced registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776.

4-H Young Gardeners Club on June 18, 25 at 4 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Guests in grades K-12 are invited to participate in the 4-H Young Gardeners Club. Have you ever wondered how vegetables and flowers grow? From where spaghetti sauce comes? How you can find a rainbow in a garden? The 4-H Young Gardener's Club can provide the answers to these questions and more. Meets in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. Call 973-353-1337 or click here.




Storytime at Barnes and Noble on June 13 and 18 at 11 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.

Storytime at IndigoKids –June 13 and 18 at 11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

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

Little Moving Artist Class at Monica + Andy on June 13 from 11-11:45 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Bring your little ones, ages 2-4, to participate in a Movement Class with The Little Moving Artist. Children will enjoy this whimsical and 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 superhero capes and wings, freeze dance, and more. Drop in fee: $10.

Storytime and Activities Featuring Hop on Pop on June 15 at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children and their caregivers are invited to celebrate dad with storytime and activities featuring beloved Dr. Seuss classic, Hop on Pop. They will also receive a coupon from the cafe for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Baby & Me Storytime featuring Alphaprints: Animal Opposites on June 16 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Barnes and Noble is introducing a new Baby & Me Storytime for caregivers and children 0-24 months old. Participants will enjoy hearing a book read to them and participate in activities featuring sensory growth for little ones. 




Land Before Time Dinosaur Visit on June 12 from -7 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

The Field Station Dinosaur will be visiting with the Dinosaur Troubadour and the mighty T-Rex. Kids in Pre-K to grade 5, and their caretakers will meet a life-like roaring, breathing, 15-foot juvenile T-Rex during an interactive, Paleozoic adventure.

Bird Club on June 13 at 4 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Children ages 5 through 10 are invited to attend “Bird Club” where they will 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. Cost is $10 per child per session. Advance registration and payment required. For information, call 973-228-8776. 

Chess Club on June 13 from 4-5 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children in grades 2-8 are invited to learn to play chess with Eric Greenebaum. Novice and advanced players are welcome! Registration required.

Guitar Joe's Concert for Kids on June 13 from 4-4:45 pm at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children ages 4-8 and their caregivers are invited to join Guitar Joe for a lively concert of catchy, family-friendly songs: festive folk music, cheerful children's favorites, plus classic rock and pop by bands like The Beatles, They Might Be Giants, and The White Stripes. Come ready to dance, bounce, and shake your sillies out!

YA Book Club featuring Again, but Better on June 13 at 7 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Barnes and Noble is launching a new YA Book Club, to celebrate debut authors this summer. It is happening on the second Thursday of every month. This week, the book being discussed is Again, but Better by Christine Riccio, which is a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again. Attendees will receive a coupon for $2 Teavana teas. Click here for details and to register.

Treasure Hunters: All-American Adventure Event on June 15 at 2 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Participants will discover the bestselling series, Treasure Hunters: All-American Adventure, from James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, through hands-on games, activities, and giveaways. 




Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on June 14 from 3-5 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, Livingston)

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 teamwork all rolled into one!




Spring Fine Art and Crafts at Brookdale Park on June 15 and 16 (Rain or Shine) from 10 am to 5 pm at Brookdale Park (473 Watchung Ave., Montclair/Bloomfield)

Talented fine artists, fine crafters, and specialty food vendors will be at the 31st annual Spring Fine Art and Crafts at Essex County’s Brookdale Park, Montclair/ Bloomfield, from. Attendees are invited to stay for lunch, enjoy some music and experience beautiful hand-crafted work and art. They will be able to meet the exhibitors, talk with them and learn more about their passions. The free-to-the-public show will feature fine artists, photographers, and artisans in glass, clay, clothing, fiber, leather, wood, jewelry, mixed media and much more. A variety of food and specialty foods will be offered so plan on lunch. Park free in the park. Enter the park on Watchung Avenue, Bellevue Avenue, and Grove Street. Use 473 Watchung Avenue, Bloomfield for your GPS. Park free in the park. For further information, click here.




June 16 is Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a day to enjoy time with Dad and let him know just how much you appreciate all he does for you. We live in a busy society, so it’s nice to have a day like Father’s Day to share with dad or anyone who represents this role in your family including stepdads or others who have offered kindness and guidance as a father figure. It’s a great time to spend some quality time together talking about memories and/or making new ones.

Looking below for some fun ways to celebrate the day:




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 June 12, 1880 – John Lee Richmond pitched baseball's first "Perfect Game."
  • On June 13. 1983 – Pioneer 10 became the first satellite to leave the solar system.
  • On June 14, 1775 – The U. S. Army was formed.
  • On June 14, 1834 – Isaac Fischer Jr. patented sandpaper.
  • On June 14, 1938 – Benjamin Grushkin patented Chlorophyll.
  • On June 14, 1942 – Walt Disney's Bambi was released.
  • On June 15, 1775 – George Washington was appointed the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army.
  • On June 16, 1989 – Ghostbusters II premiered.
  • On June 17, 1885 – The Statute of Liberty arrived in New York City.
  • 17 King John signs the Magna Carta. (1215)
  • On June 18. 1873 – Women's rights advocate Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting in Rochester, N.Y.
  • On June 18, 1983 – Sally Ride became the first woman in space.