The end of August is chock full of fun things to do including attending a concert at the OSPAC, taking in a few fun family events at the Zoo, designing a terrarium as a family, and participating in many storytimes and a few cooking events. You can also try some of the ideas below for celebrating National Dog Day on August 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 The Goddard School in West Orange.

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 address. 

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FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY…

 

West Orange Community Band Concert on August 21 at 7:30 pm at Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) (4 Boland Drive, West Orange)

The community is invited to come and enjoy the FREE West Orange debut concert for the newly formed West Orange Community Band.

Craft Club on August 22 from 4-5 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children of all ages are invited to come and work on crafts.

Family Night at the Turtle Back Zoo on August 22 and 28 from 4:30 – 8 pm (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

The public is invited to enjoy extended hours at the zoo when temperatures are cooler, and the workday is over.

Behind the Scenes with Penguins, on August 22 for a 6 and 7 pm tour at the Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

Travel all the way to the Shores of Africa for a Behind the Scenes look at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo’s state-of-the-art African penguin exhibit. Meet with a TBZ Educator and Keeper to discover why African penguins are so endangered and how TBZ is aiding their survival as a species. Guests will enjoy learning all about the zoo’s “waddle” of penguins, their daily care, and the new exhibit. This Behind the Scenes Tour takes place during the zoo’s weekly summer Late Nights on Thursdays. Attendees must be 6 years old or over; all children under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. It is about a 10-minute walk from the Reptile House to the Penguin entrance. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear; some locations may have a wet floor, or you may be inadvertently splashed. Your Behind-the-Scenes ticket gives you Zoo admission for any time on the day of the tour (for Zoo non-members), but tour attendees must meet Tour Staff 15 minutes prior (5:45 pm) to the start of the tour at the entrance to the Reptile House. Tours start promptly at the agreed-upon time; late arrivals may lose part of the tour by being late or lose the entire tour without refund. Tours will commence regardless of weather unless canceled by the Zoo due to unsafe conditions for our Animals, Staff, or Tour Attendees. If a tour is canceled due to weather, the zoo will notify you as soon as possible and will try to reschedule a date and time. Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions and for walking the Zoo. Some behind the scenes areas are snug or smell of fish; if you have questions or concerns about accessibility please contact the zoo so that it may better address your needs at 973-731-5800 ext.103.

West Orange Farmers Market on August 24 from 9 am to 2 pm at 80 Main Street Parking Lot (North End)

Guests will enjoy fresh produce, local eggs and honey, artisanal cheeses, delicious baked goods, fresh juice, local flowers, vegan goods, upcycled crafts, lunch options, and much more.

Raise the Grade: Life Skills for Tweens and Teens on August 24 from 11 am – 12 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children in grades 5 - 8 are invited to attend this workshop, Raise the Grade: Life Skills for Tweens and Teens, which is a part of a series of FREE interactive workshops presented by the Michael Aymar Foundation. Takeaways to include practical knowledge and tasty baked treats. Parents and parental guardians are encouraged to attend with their child.

Design A Terrarium on August 24 from 11 am – 12:30 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621 B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

This program is for families. You will build your own living terrarium and learn to provide nurturing care for it. Each participant gets to make and take their own to brighten up their home. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child; $12 per adult.

Night Moves at the Turtle Back Zoo on August 24 from 8-10 pm (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ)

The public is invited to come to for a unique look at the zoo and its nocturnal animal collection. Night Moves offers a guided evening tour of zoo exhibits where guests will learn about different animal senses and adaptations. Please arrive at the Zoo's Main Gate at least 10 minutes before your scheduled tour time. Tours leave every 10 minutes starting at 8 pm; the last tour leaves at approximately 8:40 pm. Gates close at 8:30 pm. The departure of ticketed tour times may vary slightly. Tours last approximately 1 hour. To help with your safety, guests are encouraged to bring a flashlight and wear appropriate footwear. There is no flash photography. NOTE: As a benefit of being an Essex County Turtle Back Zoo Member, discount codes for Night Moves tours are available upon request. Discount codes only cover the people listed on the membership. Guests will be asked to show membership IDs. Reciprocal Zoo Memberships are not eligible for this program. Call #973-731-5800 x241 to request the current discount code. In the case of extreme weather, tour cancellations will be called by 12 pm noon the day of the scheduled tour. Full refunds will be given to those unable to transfer to another date. More dates for the summer season to come! Register here.

ZOO-VIES at Turtle Back Zoo on August 28 from 8-10 pm (Rooftop of Turtle Back Zoo Parking Deck (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

The public is invited to enjoy a free blockbuster movie, Welcome to the Jungleunder the stars on the rooftop of the Turtle Back Zoo Parking Deck. Guests should bring their own chairs. Films begin at dusk. If it rains, the event will be canceled. ZOO-VIES will take place every Wed. night through Aug. 28. No Zoo admission is necessary.

 

 FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS

 

Spanish Stories Storytime on August 21 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Come and listen to stories read in Spanish. This program is great for Spanish speakers and Spanish learners of all ages! Ven a escuchar cuentos en Español. Para todas edades de hispanohablantes y personas aprendiendo Español!

Zumbini With Alli At Monica + Andy on August 21 from 4-4:30 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Children ages 0-4 and their caregivers are invited to join Monica + Andy for a complimentary fun afternoon of Zumbini with Alli. It will be a great bonding experience. Zumbini combines music and movement to create the ultimate bonding experience! Sing, dance and play together while developing your little one’s social, cognitive, emotional and motor skills.

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on August 22 & 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.

Babies and Books Storytime on Aug 22 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Infants up to 24 months and their caregivers are invited to partake in a fun storytime session where they will enjoy books, songs, and rhymes while being introduced to language skills.

Pool Story Time at Ginny Duenkel Pool on August 22 at 2:30 pm (601/2 Cherry St, West Orange, NJ) 

Children will enjoy storytime at the pool.

Saturday Storytimes at the West Orange Library on August 24 from 10-10:30 am (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children and ages 0 – 5 and their caretakers are invited to come and listen to stories and work on a craft.

Storytime and Activities Featuring Dog Breath and Where's Waldo? at Barnes and Noble on August 24 at 11 am at the Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children in grades K-4 will enjoy this storytime celebrating the 30th anniversary of Where's Waldo? 30th Anniversary Edition by Martin Handford (for children ages 5 – 9; Kindergarten - 4); and Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis by Dav Pilkey (for ages 4 - 8 years; Kindergarten – 3), with activities to follow. Attendees will receive a coupon from the café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Baby & Me Storytime Featuring ABCs of Biology on August 25 at 11 am at the Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children from 0-24 months and caregivers are invited to attend Baby & Me Storytime. A store reading specialist will read ABCs of Biology by Chris Ferrie and guests will participate in activities featuring sensory growth for little ones. Plus, attendees will receive a free Starbucks tall, hot or iced coffee.

 

 FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS…

 

Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: National Waffle Day Party on August 24 from 10-11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Calling all kids ages 8-13 who loves waffles! Come celebrate National Waffle Day by whipping up some fresh, homemade waffles. Proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry in their fight to end childhood hunger in America. Cost of $20 per child includes a waffle mix to take home. Please call (973) 467-3641 to reserve your spot.

Storytime and Activities Featuring Dog Breath and Where's Waldo? at Barnes and Noble on August 24 at 11 am at the Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children in grades K-4 will enjoy this storytime celebrating the 30th anniversary of Where's Waldo? 30th Anniversary Edition by Martin Handford (for children ages 5 – 9; Kindergarten - 4); and Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis by Dav Pilkey (for ages 4 - 8 years; Kindergarten – 3), with activities to follow. Attendees will receive a coupon from the café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

 

FUN FOR TEENS…

 

Game Night on August 21 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

6th - 12th graders will love this August Super Smash Tournament.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on August 23 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: National Waffle Day Party on August 24 from 10-11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Calling all kids ages 8-13 who loves waffles! Come celebrate National Waffle Day by whipping up some fresh, homemade waffles. Proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry in their fight to end childhood hunger in America. Cost of $20 per child includes a waffle mix to take home. Please call (973) 467-3641 to reserve your spot.

 

 FUN FOR ADULTS…

 

Escaping Gilead: The Handmaid's Tale Fan Discussion on August 22 at 7 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

The public is invited to attend the final event of the B&N monthly series, meet other fans and discuss the acclaimed book and TV series The Handmaid's Tale. Attendees will also receive a coupon for a $2 Grande Teavana tea at the cae.

Indigo in Conversation: Karin Slaughter on August 23 from 7-8 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Join New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter as she discusses her latest novel, The Last Widow, with a book signing to follow. The event is free and open to the public. Individuals must have purchased one copy of the book to be in the book signing lineup; proof of purchase required from Indigo. Seating and signing line-up will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Candid photos are allowed.

Monica + Andy 9 Month Network: Newborn Feeding Meet Up on August 24 from 11 am – 12:30 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Are you a new or expecting mama, dad or couple? You are invited to come and join Monica + Andy's new monthly meet up, where you will meet experts to help answer your new parent questions. Pregnant friendly bites and mocktails will be available from Little Spoon. This is your chance to connect with other parents-to-be and join the M+A mom community, get a first look at M+A’s nursery, ask local birthing experts your most pressing new parent questions and pick out the essentials that will dress, bundle and cuddle your baby for the first few months. This meet up will feature “Feeding Your Newborn,” where Aliza Sternberg, Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), will be on-hand to answer all of your breastfeeding and newborn feeding questions, whether you’re expecting or already nursing your newborn. Please RSVP to this complimentary event.

Learn How to Make Madeleines from Scratch at Williams Sonoma on August 25 from 11 am – 12 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Those who like to cook are invited to come and learn how to make Madeleines from Scratch in this Destination France class. Madeleines are French cake-like cookies that are baked in a special pan with shell-shaped molds. Madeleine pans were among the first baking pans that Chuck Williams brought to America in the late 1950s, and they were one of the most popular items he sold. Participants will learn how to make Madeleines from start to finish using his original recipe. Cost of $30 per person includes a Madeleine pan. Call to reserve your spot (973) 467-3641.

 

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS NATIONAL HOLIDAY…

 

National Dog Day is on August 26

National Dog Day is the perfect time to celebrate man’s best friend. It was created by the National Dog Day Foundation, which has the motto, "Saving 10,000 Dogs - One Day at a Time.” The day was created to honor and rescue dogs from homelessness and abuse. It provides us with an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the value and importance of dogs in our lives. Dogs do a lot for us. In addition to giving us love and companionship, they are watchdogs, they lead the blind, they aid in search and rescue, and they seek out bombs and drugs. In addition, on occasion, dogs need us to save them from homelessness and abuse. While this day is certainly a great opportunity to help a dog in need – any day is a good day to support man’s best friend.

 

Here are some ways to celebrate the day, courtesy of healthypets.com:

 

  • Adopt a dog from your local shelter or rescue organization. Alternatives: Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk or play with a dog, clean cages, or do anything else they need help with. Donate blankets, food, and toys to animal welfare organizations.
  • Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies. Alternative: Write your congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of puppy mills and gas chambers in your state.
  • Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs! Alternative: Attend a dog-related event like a Paw Parade or find one at a local pet store or library.
  • Spend the day taking photos of your dog. Alternative: Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photoshoot. Or have a portrait painted of your dog.
  • Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog. Alternative: Contact your friends and neighbors to see if they need a dog walker, and go with your kids to do it. It is a great way to teach them responsibility, and if they get paid, it’s a good way to teach them about money management.
  • Buy your dog a fun new dog toy… or two… or five. Alternative: Buy your dog a fashionable collar and leash.
  • Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a doggy play resort. Alternative: Take your dog to the beach.
  • Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur. Alternative: Give your dog a massage or a holistic spa treatment.
  • Teach your dog a new trick. Alternative: Invite your neighbors to participate in a pet trick show. Everyone can bring their dogs and take turns showing off their tricks. The winner gets a special dog treat.

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Watch a dog-based movie with your children, such as 101 Dalmations. Alternative: Make a dog-based movie of your dog. This could be a fun way to make a family memory keepsake.
  • Read a dog-based book with your children, such as any of these – 21 Woof-tastic Children’s Books About Dogs.” Alternative: Let your kids practice heir treading by reading to your dog, a rescue dog at a shelter or find a program like this offered at your library (The West Orange Library offers this program.)
  • Bake some safe and healthy dog treats with your children for your dog. Alternative: Take your kids and dog to a store selling special dog treats and let your little ones choose their favorites to give to their doggie. You can also bring treats to a shelter

 

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 August 21, 1841 – Venetian blinds were patented.
  • On August 21, 1959 – Hawaii became the 50th state.
  • On August 23, 1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first picture of Earth from the moon.
  • On August 24, 79 AD – Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the city of Pompeii.
  • On August 24, 1869 – Cornelius Swarthwout of Troy, New York, patented the Waffle Iron.
  • On August 25, 1530 – The first Tsar of Russia, Ivan the Terrible, was born.
  • On August 25, 1904 – David Strickler invented the Banana Split at a soda fountain in Latrobe, Pa.
  • On August 25, 1932 – Amelia Earhart completed her transcontinental flight.
  • On August 26, 55 BC – Julius Caesar's Roman army invaded Britain.
  • On August 26, 1920 – The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, U.S.
  • was passed by Congress.
  • On August 27, 1886 – The island volcano of Krakatoa in Indonesia erupted. It was heard over 3,000 miles away and was one of the biggest natural disasters ever recorded.