This summer flew by. It’s hard to believe school starts in a week. Many families are away this week for one final summer family vacation. While many local activities are slowing down, there are still some fun things to do with kids.

If you haven’t taken in an event at the Zoo yet, this week is a good time to enjoy Family Night or to go behind the scenes with penguins. You and your children can also take in a free storytime event at Barnes and Noble, attend NJ Jackals Fan Appreciation Night, or partake in a Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: American Girl Cookie Party. In addition, National Eat Outside Day is on August 31. Some ideas for celebrating this holiday, which include visiting the West Orange Farmer’s Market, are listed below.

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.

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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.

 

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY…

 

Family Night at the Turtle Back Zoo on August 29 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 29 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.

NJ Jackals Fan Appreciation Night on August from 6:05 – 9:05 pm (Gates open: 5:05 pm) at Yogi Berra Stadium (8 Yogi Berra Drive, Little Falls)

The public is incited to take in a baseball game between the Sussex County Miners vs New Jersey Jackals. Special activities will include Isaac Pavlik Uniform Number Retirement Ceremony, Team Photo Giveaway; Toms River Brewing Tap Takeover; Thirsty Thursday and fireworks. Reserve tickets here.

West Orange Farmers Market on August 31 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. This week’s theme is Eat Outside – where guests will take a tour of West Orange’s local food at the Farmers Market!

 

 FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS

 

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on August 29 & September 3 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.

Jumpin' Jamie at Monica + Andy on August 29th from 3-3:45 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Children ages 2-8 are invited to participate in a free introductory class with Jumpin’ Jamie featuring live kindie rock music, puppets, and lots of participation Jumpin’ Jamie and his cast of puppet friends will have the kids singing, dancing, laughing, and learning. Songs about dinosaurs, astronauts, and animals will accompany interactive activities like limbo, parachute, instrument playing, and more!

Craft Club on August 29 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.

Storytime and Activities Featuring A Tale of Two Tribes: A Wetmore Forest Story on August 31 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

This fun Storytime introduces the world of Wetmore Forest from Funko. Kids will discover an enchanting forest where exploration and discovery are key. Guests will receive a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Lego Club on September 3 from 4-5 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids of all ages are invited to build with Legos and make new friends.

 

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS…

 

Craft Club on August 29 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.

Williams Sonoma Jr. Chef: American Girl Cookie Party on August 31 from 10-11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Kids ages 8-13 are invited to participate in the Ultimate American Girl Cookie Party where they will whip up freshly-baked cookies in fun shapes. Then, they will take home everything they need to make perfect cookies at home. Cost of $30 per child includes an American Girl Cookie Baking Set and Madeleine Set. Call to reserve your complimentary spot (973) 467-3641.

Lego Club on September 3 from 4-5 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids of all ages are invited to build with Legos and make new friends.

 

FUN FOR TEENS…

 

Teen DIY and Craft Night on August 28 from 6:30 pm -7:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Teens are invited to participate in a special DIY and Craft Night: Back to School Vision Boards.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on August 30 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: American Girl Cookie Party on August 31 from 10-11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Kids ages 8-13 are invited to participate in the Ultimate American Girl Cookie Party where they will whip up freshly-baked cookies in fun shapes. Then, they will take home everything they need to make perfect cookies at home. Cost of $30 per child includes an American Girl Cookie Baking Set and Madeleine Set. Call to reserve your complimentary spot (973) 467-3641.

 

FUN FOR ADULTS…

 

Disco Dance Party in The Dome Rooftop Lounge at the Manor (111 Prospect Ave, West Orange) at 8 pm

Shimmery, flared, flowy, or just plain funky – the public is invited to put on dancing pants and come to a Disco Dance Party. Guests will bring back the beat with the best dancing songs of the 70s, performed by the DJ in The Dome Rooftop Lounge at The Manor.

 

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS NATIONAL HOLIDAY…

 

National Eat Outside Day is on August 31

The last day of summer is the perfect time to celebrate this holiday. Families can get in one last summer picnic before school starts and enjoy some family time together.

Here are some ideas for celebrating this holiday:

  • Visit the West Orange Farmer’s Market on Saturday to celebrate and enjoy some good food from local restaurants.
  • Plan a picnic.
  • Find a restaurant where you can eat outside.
  • Sit on a park bench and take in the day, while eating a sandwich.

 

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 28, 1957 – Senator Thurmond began a 24-hour filibuster against the Civil Rights Bill.
  • On August 28, 1963 – Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • On August 29, 1964 – Walt Disney's Mary Poppins was released.
  • On August 30, 1993 – The Late Show with David Letterman premiered on CBS.
  • On August 31, 1964 – Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano died in a plane crash near Newton, Iowa.
  • On September 1, 1839 – "Mary Had a Little Lamb" was published.
  • On September 1, 1878 – Emma M. Nutt became the first woman telephone operator.
  • On September 1, 1939 – Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II.
  • On September 2, 1666 – The Great Fire of London ignited.
  • On September 2, 1945 – This was V-J Day.
  • On September 3, 1813 – The image of "Uncle Sam," a symbol of America, was first used.
  • On September 3, 1951 – TV soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” premiered on CBS.