Spring is in the air and there’s a lot to do. Your kids will enjoy a special Storytime with a Police Officer, a Harry Potter cooking class, a nature class and more this week into next. Teens may enjoy playing D&D, a Comic Book Club and more. There is also a fun activity for adults listed below. In addition, there are a few cute ideas for spending Plant a Flower Day with your kids on March 12.

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

Behind the Scenes Giraffe Tours, on March 7 and 8 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.

FUN FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Sensory Storytime on March 12 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, “How to Catch a Dinosaur” and “How to Catch a Unicorn” Storytime on March 7 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Kids will enjoy storytime and activities featuring, “How to Catch a Dinosaur” and “How to Catch a Unicorn.”

The Paper Bag Princess at IndigoKids on March 7 at 11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

IndigoKids is celebrating International Women’s Day and celebrate the 40th anniversary of, “The Paper Bag Princess,” with a special storytime and themed activities.

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on March 10 and 12 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. 

Toddler Time on March 10 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Toddlers ages 2 – 3 1/2 and their caregivers will be entertained by puppets, stories, songs, and fingerplay.

Raising Readers on March 10 at 11:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 3 1/2 – 5 and their caregivers will enjoy stories, songs and games.

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 March 10 (10 to 11 am)

Tots (age 3) on March 12 (1 to 2 pm)

Pre-K (ages 4-5) on Tues., March 10 at 1 pm; March 12 at 10 am

Books n' Babies Storytime on March 12 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Infants up to 24 months and caregivers will enjoy stories, songs and rhymes introducing babies to language skills.

Storytime with a Police Officer on March 12 at 4 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Kids ages 2-5 will enjoy stories, songs, and American Sign Language at this storytime with a Police Officer event.

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS

Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: Harry Potter Cookie Party on March 7 at 10 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Kids ages 8-13 are invited to celebrate the magic of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the Harry Potter Cookie Party at Williams Sonoma. They will bake sugar cookies shaped like Hedwig, Hogwarts Express, a Broomstick, a Sorting Hat, and more. Then, they will have fun decorating them (and eating them!). The cost of $30 per child includes a Harry Potter Cookie Set. Call (973) 467-3641 to reserve a spot.

Scavenger Hunt and More Based on Wings of Fire: Legends Series on March 7 at 2 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

The dragons are ready to meet their destiny! Kids ages 8-12 are invited to partake in a scavenger hunt, activities, giveaways, and more at this special celebration for the newest book in the beloved Wings of Fire: Legends series.

Frog Pond Science Club on March 10 at 4 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland) 

Children ages 5 to 9 will uncover and discover ecosystem interactions at the Frog Pond. They will explore with nets, magnifiers and microscopes to investigate what lives at the pond and learn from a naturalist what can be done to protect and conserve the pond inhabitants. Call 973.228.8776 to register. The fee is $10 per child, per session.

Forest Friends Club on March 12 at 4 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland) 

Children ages 5 years and up will explore the forest using nets, binoculars, magnifiers, and microscopes to investigate nature in our wooded wetland habitat. Together we will hope to foster an ethic of stewardship and offer an opportunity to take part in hands-on conservation projects. Call 973.228.8776 to register. The fee is $10 per child per session.

FUN FOR TEENS

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on March 6, 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! 

Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: Harry Potter Cookie Party on March 7 at 10 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Kids ages 8-13 are invited to celebrate the magic of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the Harry Potter Cookie Party at Williams Sonoma. They will bake sugar cookies shaped like Hedwig, Hogwarts Express, a Broomstick, a Sorting Hat, and more. Then, they will have fun decorating them (and eating them!). The cost of $30 per child includes a Harry Potter Cookie Set. Call (973) 467-3641 to reserve a spot.

Comic Book Club on March 9, 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

Learn to Make Authentic Ireland St. Patrick's Day Favorites at Williams Sonoma on March 8 at 11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Learn to prepare Authentic Irish fare at home, just in time for St. Patrick's Day! You'll learn how to make Ballymaloe Beef and Parsnip Stew and a decadent Cocoa-Stout Cake with Malted Buttercream. Call (973) 467-3641 to reserve a spot.

Williams Sonoma Cookbook Club: Half Baked Harvest Super Simple on March 11 from 6:30 – 8 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

In her new book, “Half Baked Harvest Super Simple,” Tieghan Gerard of Half-Baked Harvest shares over 125 recipes that are straightforward yet delicious and designed to make your life just a bit easier. Join Williams Sonoma as they share a few favorite recipes from this “New York Times” best-selling cookbook. On the menu: The Meanest, Greenest Pizza and Coconut Carrot Cake. The cost of $35 per person Includes a copy of. “Half Baked Harvest Super Simple.” Call (973) 467-3641 to reserve a spot.

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS NATIONAL HOLIDAY!

Plant a Flower Day is on March 12

The new gardening season begins in mid-March, so it’s no wonder that Plant a Flower Day falls on March 12. Spring is the time of new beginnings and planning a flower is a great way to celebrate. You can participate by planting or transplanting any kind of flower or plant. It can be done indoors, or weather permitting, it can be done outdoors. You can also enjoy the day by telling your kids about gardening and nature, or by planting a seed together and noticing the new growth every day until it becomes a flower.

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 6, 1950 – Silly putty was invented.
  • On March 6, 1981 – Walter Cronkite signed off as anchorman on the CBS Evening News.
  • On March 7, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell patented the Telephone.
  • On March 7, 1933 – The Monopoly board game was invented.
  • On March 8, 1999 – Joe DiMaggio died.
  • On March 10, 1862 – The U.S. government issued paper money for the first time.
  • On March 10, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell placed the world's first telephone call – to his assistant in the next room.
  • On March 12, 1912 – The Girl Scouts were founded.