...They'll both need community support over the next few days!

Why should a cold weather report stop you from spending time doing something fun outside the house with your kids? Despite the low temperatures, indoor and outdoor activities are plentiful in our West Orange neighborhood and beyond over the next week.

This week’s list of “Things to do with Kids” is brought to you by The Goddard School, an early childhood education franchise coming soon to West Orange.

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Girl Power! Something to do with your Daughter...

National Girls and Women in Sports Day - Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.

West Orange Public Schools will honor and recognize female student athletes and coaches as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. More than 300 people are expected to pack the Tarnoff Gymnasium at West Orange High School for this celebration on Friday. The event will include halftime games for kids, dedications, concessions, and more. The West Orange Girls Basketball Team will host Great Bridge Christian Academy during the event. Tickets are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for kids and can be purchased at the door.

Learn about Animals...

Groundhog Day at the Turtle Back Zoo - Saturday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. has invited the public to visit the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo on Saturday morning to see whether Essex Ed, Turtle Back’s resident groundhog, sees his shadow. In addition to making his annual weather forecast of either six more weeks of winter or an early spring, Essex Ed will also make his prognostication for the winner of this year’s Super Bowl. The Groundhog Day event is included in regular zoo admission.

History and Culture Lessons this week...

African American History Month Celebration - Saturday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. 

Learn about our “Great African American Civilians” at the West Orange Public Library’s African American History Month Celebration being held in the meeting room on Saturday. This event is meant to inform the West Orange community about the ancient civilizations that existed without the influence of Western civilizations.

Chinese New Year Celebration - Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m.

The West Orange High School Chinese Club is sponsoring an event to celebrate Chinese New Year at the West Orange Public Library. To register, click HERE

Activity with Man's best friend...

Practice Reading with a Therapy Dog - Monday, Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m.

The West Orange Public Library is hosting an event in conjunction with Creature Comfort Pet Therapy, where children are invited to come practice their reading skills by reading to friendly dogs that are trained to “warm hearts with cold noses.” Register HERE to participate.

Fresh Winter Air Activity...

Little Explorers Winter Nature Program - Tuesday, Feb. 5 and Thursday, Feb. 7

Visit the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland for this child-caregiver class, which 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.

Programs are being held for 2 year olds (toddlers) on Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.; for 3 year olds (tots) on Feb. 7 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; and for 4-5 year olds (Pre-K) on Feb. 5 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Advance registration and payment of $12 per child per session are required by calling 973-228-8776.

Sensory, Creativity and Problem Solving...

Lego Club at the West Orange Library - Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m.

Children in grades K through 5 are encouraged to come build with legos and make new friends at the Lego Club meetings frequently held at the West Orange Library.

Learning to Ask Good Questions...

Visit Mayor Parisi’s Office Hours - Thursday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Expose your family to how local government works by visiting Mayor Robert Parisi during his open office hours. Children have some of the most creative minds in our community, and yours might have some great ideas for how to better our community. There is no appointment necessary to stop by the mayor’s office to chat about ideas and concerns.

Exercise for a Good Cause...

Community Options Enterprises 5K Race - Saturday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m.

In conjunction with the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Community Options, Inc., the new West Orange business invites runners, walkers, and rollers (baby strollers and wheelchairs) to help raise funds to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities by participating in the annual Cupid’s Chase 5K to be held at the Turtle Back Zoo. For more information, contact cupidschase@comop.org, or register for the race at imatter.comop.org

Things to do at home…

Still looking to stay in?  Discover the Book of the Day at the West Orange Public Library to see if it’s the right fit for you to read along with your kids. 

Arts & Crafts are also a fun, simple way to have fun at home. Need some ideas?

Thank a Mailman Day is coming up on Monday, Feb. 4. Participate in the celebration by having your child create a thank you card for your mailman.

Monday is also World Cancer Day. Let’s beat cancer together by using this opportunity to inform our children about the disease, and encourage them to write a letter or put together a care package to be dropped off at The Cancer Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center for a child suffering from pediatric cancer.

Need a night to yourself? 

Attend the next Ladies of West Orange Social being held at Total Wine & More on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Click HERE to learn more or to register.