This Winter Break, while you are spending time with friends and family, you can also enjoy some of these activities 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. #ThingstodowithKidsGoddardSchoolWONJ

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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VACATION DAY CAMP

 

Vacation Art Camp on Dec. 26 and 27 from 9 am – 5 pm at A Sip of Art (235 Prospect Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052 – in the Whole Foods Shopping Plaza located at the intersection of Prospect Ave and Eagle Rock Avenue. Located in the lower level next to MyGym)

No School! No Problem! Children ages 5-12 are invited to attend vacation art camp to paint, draw, craft and play the day away. Camp runs from 9 am to 5 pm with an hour for lunch from 12-1 pm. Campers need to bring a nut-free snack, water and nut-free packed lunch. Please add your child's age in the special notes section of signup.

 

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

 

West Orange Annual Kwanzaa Celebration at Washington Elementary School on Dec. 27 at 5 pm (289 Main St., West Orange)

The community is invited to join the West Orange African Heritage Organization (WOAHO)'s annual Kwanzaa Celebration.

Holiday Movie Night & Cookie Swap on Dec. 27 at The Yoga Ground at 6 pm (96 Washington Street, West Orange)

The public is invited to come and enjoy hot chocolate and a Holiday/Winter-themed movie and bring copious amounts of cookies. Come in comfy clothes and cozy up to the fireplace with your friends and family. BYO mug and some tupperware to snag some leftover cookies. Kids are welcome. Entrance fees: $5/person; $3/children under 12 (age 0-2 enter for free). Cash only please.

Family Gaming on Dec. 28 from 2-3:30 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp Rd., Livingston, NJ)

Families are invited to come and play Nintendo Switch games Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and Mario Kart on the big screens. There will also be a "Learn to Play Dungeons & Dragons" table. People of all ages are invited. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. No registration required. 

Holiday Lights at the Zoo Through Dec. 31, from 5 – 9 pm at Turtle Back Zoo (Berson Education Center, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

The lights will be available for viewing throughout December. Click here for the full schedule. Celebrate the season of giving by bringing donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats.

Behind the Scenes Giraffe Tours, on Dec. 28-29 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 LITTLE KIDS

 

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on Dec. 26 and 31 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. 

Storytime and Activities Featuring the Kindness Book Dec. 28 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

No matter what other people choose to do, you can always choose to be kind. This book is the perfect introduction to a timely and timeless topic. Activities to follow, plus, attendees will receive a coupon for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Baby & Me Storytime Featuring Pop-Up Peekaboo: Things That Go on Dec. 29 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Caregivers and children ages 0-2 will enjoy a story and participating in activities featuring sensory growth. Plus, guests will receive a coupon for a free tall, hot or iced Starbucks coffee.

Ring in 2020 at noon on Dec. 31 at 11 am – 12 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 2-5 and their caregivers are invited to enjoy stories, activities and a countdown to the 'New Year' at 12pm.

 

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS

 

Winter Wildlife Explorers Camp on Dec. 26, from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm, at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland) 

Campers in grades K-3 will enjoy stories, crafts, campfires and forest adventures exploring our wooded wetland forests in wintertime. For more information, call 973.228.8776. Pre-registration is required. Fee: $180 per child for all three days OR $70 per child per day.

Winter Wonderland Club on Dec. 28 at 11 am at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland) 

Children ages 5-12 will enjoy the winter landscape and outdoor activity every Saturday from December through February. Drop off your grade school child for a fun adventure. This is an exploratory club with open focused exploration that highlights areas of participant interest. Warm mint tea and a book reading after outdoor activities may be occasionally held indoors. Dress warmly and in layers. Good boots are a must. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776 Fee: $10 per child per session. Other dates: Saturdays—January 25; February 29 11am to 12pm.

 

FUN FOR TEENS

 

Teen Board Game Bash w/ D.I.Y Hot Chocolate Bar (Grades 9-12) on Dec. 30 from 3-5 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert Harp Rd., Livingston, NJ)

Teens in grades 9-12 are invited to come and play their favorite board games, hang out with friends, and relax with a cup of hot chocolate. No registration required. 

  

FUN FOR ADULTS

 

Four City Holiday Party on Dec. 28 from 6-10 pm (55 South Essex Avenue, Orange)

Come celebrate the holidays with Rude Boy George, The Rudie Crew and The Band Called FUSE.

 

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS SPECIAL HOLIDAY

 

Make Cut Out Snowflake Day is on Dec. 27

Make Cut Out Snowflake Day is a day to show your crafty skills by making paper snowflakes. Cutting out snowflakes is a great project for kids; however, you don't have to be a kid, to have fun doing it.

 

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 Dec. 26, 1865 – James Mason invented the coffee percolator.
  • On Dec. 27, 1932 – Radio City Music Hall in New York City opened.
  • On Dec. 28, 1869 – William F. Semple patented chewing gum.
  • On Dec. 30, 1924 – Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galactic systems.