From taking Giraffe tours, enjoying storytimes and more –- there’s something happening for everyone this week into next. There are also some fun activities for adults listed below, as well as crafts and more to help you celebrate Tell a Fairy Tale Day on February 26.

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 British Swim School. #ThingstodowithKidsLivingston

Note: If you attend any of these events, partake in any of the ideas shared below, or just have a great picture of your kid(s) that you’d like featured, please send photos to jackie.eventscolumn@gmail.com. In addition, please send any events you’d like added to this column to the same email address.

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FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Indigo Presents: Heart Chakra Meditation on Feb. 22 at 9 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Join Indigo for a meditation experience that will focus on clearing and healing the Heart Chakra by a meditation expert, Lee VanZyl. This experience will take participants through a guided meditation focusing on gaining insight into blockages linked to the Heart Chakra. Included in this class, you will receive a LOVE mini stone pack featuring quartz crystals that have been curated to enhance the intention of love. The ticket price is $40 plus tax and service fees; children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult; parking will be available on the ground level of the Teal parking deck near the Indigo entrance.

Behind the Scenes Giraffe Tours, on Feb. 22 and 23 at 2 pm, at The Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue West Orange NJ (Tours will take place on Saturdays and Sundays in November 2019)

The Behind the Scenes ticket provides guests with a 30 - 45 minute Behind the Scenes Tour in the Giraffe Barn; a meet and greet the Giraffe Keeper; and admission to the Zoo for the day (for non-Zoological Society members). The tours are for people ages 6 and above. Register here. The fee is $50 a person.

Stories with Marley Dias on Feb. 24 from 5:30 – 6 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Celebrate Black History Month at the library with stories read by local teen activist Marley Dias! Marley will share some of her favorite books, discuss her #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, and lead a creative project. All ages welcome.

FUN FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Sensory Storytime on Feb. 27 at 1:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 2-10, with autism, developmental challenges or sensory sensitivities and a caregiver are invited for some interactive storytime at the library.

FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS

Storytime and Activities Featuring Saturday on Feb. 22 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children and their caretakers are invited to come hear a story called, Saturday, by Oge Mora, about a mother and daughter who learn what's best about Saturdays: precious time together! Activities will follow.

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on Feb. 25 and 27 at 10 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. 

Little Explorers Winter Nature Program for Kids ages 2 to 5 (See schedule below) at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland) 

Children love to explore nature and observe all the natural wonders around them. Participants will take magnifiers and their imaginations into the wooded wetland to investigate what winter means to the forest plants and animals around the Environmental Center. Participants should come dressed for the weather since they will be spending time outside. Advance registration is required. Please call 973.228.8776. The fee is $12 per child/session.

See schedule below:

Toddlers (age 2): on Tues., Feb. 25 (10 to 11 am)

Tots (age 3) on Thurs., Feb. 27 (1 to 2 pm)

Pre-K (ages 4-5) on Tues., Feb. 25 (1 to 2 pm) OR Thurs., Feb. 20, 27 (10 to 11 am)

Tiny Toddlers Ages 12-23 Months on Feb.26 at 10:15 am at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Toddlers ages 12-23 months will enjoy stories, songs.

Jumpin' Jamie at Monica + Andy on Feb. 27 at 1 pm, at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

This class for babies and waddlers, ages 2-6, will include live music, puppets, bubbles, movement scarves, toy instruments, limbo, and parachutes. Interactivity is encouraged between the child and their guardian to do things like "jumping," "riding the choo-choo train," and "taking the elevator." The fee is $15.

Musical Storytime on Feb. 27 at 4 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp Dr., Livingston, NJ)

Kids ages 2-5 and their caregivers will enjoy a Guitar Joe medley of music and storytelling including songs, picture books, puppet shows, dance parties, multimedia presentations, drum circles, egg-shaker jams, and so much more!

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS

Comic Book Club on Feb. 24, 6:30-7:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Do you like comic books? Graphic novels? Superhero movies? Kids in grades 4-12 are invited to come talk about their favorite books, movie adaptations, or styles of art and work on a project of their own.

STEAM Club: Technology/Challenges with Lego on Feb. 25 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids will enjoy STEAM and Lego activities.

FUN FOR TEENS

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on Feb. 21, from 3:15-5:15 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 role-playing, storytelling, on-the-spot strategic thinking, math skills, problem-solving, and teamwork all rolled into one! 

Comic Book Club on Feb. 24, 6:30-7:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Do you like comic books? Graphic novels? Superhero movies? Kids in grades 4-12 are invited to come talk about their favorite books, movie adaptations, or styles of art and work on a project of their own.

FUN FOR ADULTS

Valentine’s Day Date (a little late) Night at Turtle Back Zoo on Feb. 22 from 6-10 pm (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

Looking for something different to do for a fun night out? Have you ever wondered about the dating habits of some of the wilder residents of Turtle Back Zoo? Join Zoo staff for an academic, but cheeky discussion of the “birds and the bees” at the fourth annual Valentine’s Day Date Night. The Zoo says: We apologize; this year’s Valentine’s Day Date Night is a little later in February than usual.  One of the locations that we use for the event will be undergoing a little cosmetic renovation and we wanted to be sure that the space would be ready for us.  The 2020 Valentine’s Day Date Night is an evening education event for adults, ages 21 and over.  The theme is “The Birds and the Bees and SSPs” and will address the Zoo’s mission of Education, Conservation, and Stewardship in the context of AZA institutions and the Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding programs. The event is meant to be informative, yet tongue-in-cheek fun. Here is what is included: Buffet-style dinner with one complimentary alcoholic beverage (beer or wine) included, cash bar available; Education program featuring a Birds and Bees introduction and SSP discussions of two TBZ animals; Behind the Scenes Tours; and dessert. The fee is $70. Register here.

Williams Sonoma and Breville Home Espresso Masterclass Series at Williams Sonoma on Feb 23 – April 5 from 12:30 - 3:45 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Together with Breville, Williams Sonoma is excited to announce a new Masterclass Series for Espresso enthusiasts everywhere. You'll work together with other students in a fun, hands-on environment led by professional baristas from the specialty coffee industry. Classes will be held on February 23, March 22 and April 5. Home Espresso Masterclass: 12:30-2:15 pm: Learn how to make café quality espresso at home from professional baristas in an engaging and hands-on demonstration covering: grinding, extraction, milk texturing and latte art. Intro to Latte Art Class: 2:30-3:45 pm: Learn how to make latte art at home from professional baristas in an engaging and hands-on demonstration.

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS NATIONAL HOLIDAY!

Tell a Fairy Tale Day is on February 26

Tell a Fairy Tale Day is a great opportunity to read to your kids. You can cozy up and read together at bedtime, during the day, at home, at a bookstore or library – really anywhere. No matter how you celebrate, your kids will love hearing the stories told by you, especially if you use different voices for the characters. You can also do crafts and cook using fairy tale themes.

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.

  • A prize was inserted into a Crackerjacks box for the first time on Feb 19, 1913.
  • John Glenn became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth on Feb. 20, 1962.
  • Richard Nixon became the first U.S. President to visit China on Feb. 21, 1972.
  • Frank Woolworth opened the first "Five Cent Store” in Utica, N.Y. on Feb. 22, 1879.
  • Walter Wingfield of Pimlico, England, patented the game of lawn tennis on Feb. 23, 1874.
  • The Tootsie Roll rolled into American stores on Feb. 23, 1896.
  • U.S. Marines raised the America flag in Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945.