With most schools ending this week and many graduations to attend – you probably need to find ways to keep your kids busy. After all – summer is upon us! If you haven’t signed your kids up for a camp session yet, don’t worry, there are a lot of great activities happening this week to choose from including some you can do with the whole family, like: Night Moves at the Turtle Back Zoo, Sports and Games Night at Ginny Duenkel Pool, Star Wars Night at NJ Jackals Stadium and the Family Summer Reading Kickoff at the West Orange Library. In addition, June 22 is Ice Cream Soda Day and below you will find some recipes and history about the day to share with your family.

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 craft or cooking 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

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Night Moves at the Turtle Back Zoo on June 20 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.

Teen Pride Party on June 20 at 7-8:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids in grads -12 are invited to celebrate Pride Month at the library with food, music, and fun! All are welcome.

Sports and Games Night at Ginny Duenkel Pool on June 21 from 5:30-9:30 pm (601/2 Cherry St, West Orange, NJ)

West Orange residents are invited for a fun-filled night of sports and games at the pool. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Admission: $10 (adults), $5 (children). Weather Hotline: 973-243-1115.

West Orange Farmers Market on June 22 from 9 am to 2 pm at 80 Main Street Parking Lot (North End)

The West Orange farmers market is returning with a new day and time. Fresh produce, local eggs and honey, artisanal cheeses, delicious baked goods, fresh juice, local flowers, vegan goods, upcycled crafts, lunch options, and much more can be found at the West Orange Farmers Market.

2019 South Mountain Reservation (SMR) Bio-Blitz – Collect with the Experts! on June 22-23 (Click here for details and location)

The public is invited to the Bio-Blitz, an intensive, 24-hour study to count as many species of plants (flora) and animals (fauna) in a specific park or nature preserve. The study measures the biodiversity of the studied area. The first goal of the Bio-Blitz is to demonstrate the importance of preserving and managing urban parks as a natural habitat for fauna and flora. It also hopes to raise awareness and educate the public as to how this Reservation and other urban parks can be used for bird watching, botany, and other naturalist activities. Groups of volunteers – scientists, students, scout troops, community groups, religious congregations, educators and anyone who has an interest in nature – are organized in teams to observe and record a wide range of plants and animals throughout the Reservation. Displays of many animals and plants collected by scientists as well as tables representing local environmental groups all will be located at Summit Field (follow signs). Activities are free and do not require registration. There will be speaker presentations by leading researchers, exhibits, nature and birding walks, night-time moth collection activity, games, music, and a maze. The complete schedule is here. To join a data collection team (ages 15 and older). Go to Bio-blitz Collect With The Experts to sign up. From 3:00 pm Saturday, June 22nd to 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 23rd, scientists and experts will be collecting data throughout the 2,110 acres of South Mountain Reservation, with an emphasis on birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish, insects, plants, and fungi. Data will be analyzed and used to inform responsible habitat management strategies and conservation decision-making in South Mountain Reservation. If you would like to participate at any of the time slots, please email Lori LaBorde opsdirector@somocon.org. Deadline for signup is June 20th. You will meet the team at the designated sites, NOT at South Summit Field Bio-Blitz HQ. (If teams are not filled, they will be accepting signups on event day at the information table in Bio-Blitz HQ.)

Star Wars Night at NJ Jackals Stadium on June 22 at 6:05-9:05 pm (gates open at 4:35 pm) (8 Yogi Berra Dr, Little Falls, NJ)

The public is invited to attend Star Wars Night and enjoy a game between Shikoku Island League vs New Jersey Jackals. There will be a Light Saber Giveaway (First 1,000 Fans), Character Appearances, Pre-Game Parade, Star Wars Inspired Jerseys, Jersey Auction, Live Music and Fireworks! Buy tickets here.

New Jersey Wood Turners on June 24 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

For adults and children ages 3 and up. Learn to turn with the NJ Woodturners Association. Discover the wonders of creating art from found pieces of wood. Topics vary by the month. Call Bob Amarant at 908.442.4729 for details. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Fee: $12 per adult, free for NJWA members.

Family Summer Reading Kickoff! A Universe of Stories at the Library on June 24 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Dance the night away at the library! The summer reading kickoff will feature music, space games, face painting, a space selfie station, and activities for all ages. Come to the library for an out-of-this-world evening. Register at www.wopl.org or by calling 973-736-1098.

4-H Gardeners Club on June 25 from 4-5 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

For children in grades K to 12. Have you ever wondered how vegetables and flowers grow? From where spaghetti sauce comes? How you can find a rainbow in a garden? The 4-H Young Gardener's Club can provide find the answers to these questions and more. Learning and fun happen all the time here. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advanced registration required; please call 973.353.1337.




Codey Arena Parent and Tot Skating on June 20 from 10-12 pm (560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ)

Bring Your Tot for a fun morning of skating at the Arena! This program is intended to provide exposure to skating for children ages 2-4 who have never been on the ice before or have had limited experience with skating. It allows young skaters to begin their "Learn to Skate" journey with their parent or trusted adult (18 or older) while learning the basics of balance and control. Instruction is not provided; if you would like private instruction, you can arrange that here 973.731.3828 ext. 0. Fees: Adults - $9.00 / Tots - $7.00 / no charge for rental skates NOTE: Parent / Tot Skate will be held during the regular Public Session Ice Skating Times on Tuesday & Thursday Mornings. Essex County Codey Arena recommends that skaters wear a helmet during skating sessions.

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on June 20 and 25 at 11 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 Moving Artist Class at Monica + Andy on June 20 from 11-11:45 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Bring your little ones, ages 2-4, to participate in a Movement Class with The Little Moving Artist. Children will enjoy this whimsical and imaginative movement class that incorporates dancing, imagery, music, sensory props and costumes. Children will ice skate on paper plates, tap dance on bubble wrap, take part in an ultimate snowball fight, bug hunt, fly with superhero capes and wings, freeze dance, and more. Drop in fee: $10.

Storytime at IndigoKids –June 20 and 25 at 11 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Your kids will be thrilled when you take a break from shopping at the Short Hills Mall and stop by IndigoKids for storytime.

Storytime at Pottery Barn on June 25 at 11 am the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Little ones and their caregivers are invited for storytime at Pottery Barn, where they will enjoy readings, activities and more. Those who become Pottery Barn Kids Club members will receive a special surprise after attending five events.

Storytime and Activities Featuring Toy Story 4: Forky in Craft Buddy Day at Barnes and Noble on June 22 at 11 pm at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Featuring stylized illustrations from a Pixar artist and a hilarious story by Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit, this picture book welcomes fans into the world of Toy Story 4 through the perspective of a brand-new breakout character. Children and their caregivers are invited to enjoy storytime and related activities. They will also receive a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Baby & Me Storytime featuring Hello, World! Dinosaurs at Barnes and Noble on June 23 at 11 am at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Caregivers and children 0-24 months old are invited to enjoy storytime with Hello, World! Dinosaurs by Jill McDonald and participate in activities for building language skills. 




Chess Club on June 20 from 4-5 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children in grades 2-8 are invited to learn to play chess with Eric Greenebaum. Novice and advanced players are welcome! Registration required.

Wildlife Edible Walk on June 21 from 6:30-8 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

For adults and children ages 8 and up. Take a walk along the trails to identify and discuss the variety of forest groceries available for harvest around the local landscape. Learn some of the folklore behind the plants and, as you walk and talk, the group will discuss proper identification, seasonal harvest, growing environment and methods of preparation. 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.

Bike Right- Learn to Ride on June 22 from 10:30-12:20 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

For children ages 5 and older. Make learning to ride a bike easier for your child with TransOptions’ Bike Right Learn to Ride class. Bike Right Learn to Ride will teach children the safe, easy and effective way to learn to ride. Using this "balance first" method, parents help get their children rolling while the child does most of the work. Participants learn the basics of balancing, starting, stopping, and steering a bike, as well as proper helmet fit and adjustment. Please bring a helmet and a bike (without training wheels) in good working order. In the event of rain, this program will be rescheduled. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advanced registration required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $10 per child.




Teen Game Night on June 19 at 7 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Teens in grades 6-12 will enjoy a fun evening of video games, board games, and more!

Regular Weekly/Monthly Events at New World Manga (93 E Mt Pleasant Ave Livingston, NJ)

New World Manga offers many classes and events. See the list below. Click here for more information, call (973) 597-0625 or send an email to NWManga@hotmail.com

  • Pokemon League on Sundays, 12-2 pm, $5 – ages 7 and up
  • Yu-Gi-Oh (Traditional/Advanced format) on Sundays, 3 pm – $6
  • Cardfight Vanguard on Sundays, 3 pm – $6
  • Heroclix on Mondays 6:30; $5
  • Tabletop Game Night on Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9 pm
  • Magic FNM Booster Draft on Fridays, 6:30 pm – start, $15
  • Magic (Commander) – Fridays, 6:30-10 pm, $5
  • Magic (Modern) on Saturdays, 6 pm, $6
  • Magic (Standard) on Saturdays, 6 pm, $6
  • Magic Sunday Night Draft on Sundays, 6 pm, $15
  • Magic (Redux) (once a month)
  • Magi-Nation Duel (once a month)




Williams Sonoma Technique Class: Summertime Grilling with Adam Perry Lang on June 22 from 12-1 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Get grilling with sauces and seasonings from award-winning barbecue expert, Adam Perry Lang. At his celebrated APL Restaurant in Hollywood, the acclaimed chef, cookbook author, and barbecue grand champion fires up his culinary talents with an original spin on the modern steakhouse. You'll be making bbq chicken and grilled vegetables using his new collection. In this hour-long technique class, culinary specialists will show you some favorite tips and techniques as you prepare and sample great dishes, with recipes to take home. Complimentary admission. Call with questions.

Williams Sonoma Technique Class: Cooking with Cast Iron on June 23 from 12-1 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Prized by restaurant chefs and home cooks for generations, cast-iron cookware is essential for any kitchen. It retains heat exceptionally well, making it ideal for braising one-pot meals, grilling meats and vegetables and so much more. Discover how to make the most of your cast-iron cookware and keep it in tip-top shape. In this hour-long technique classes, culinary specialists will show you some favorite tips and techniques as you prepare and sample great dishes, with recipes to take home. Class size is limited. Cost of $30 per person includes a Lodge Cast Iron Fry Pan. For more details and to reserve your spot, please call (973) 467-3641.




Ice Cream Soda Day is on June 20

Ice cream sodas are delicious summer treats. Imagine a day that’s hot and muggy and there’s an ice cream soda calling your name to help you cool off. If you haven’t made an ice cream soda with your kids yet – today’s a perfect day to try doing so. Be creative with your flavors. There are many "Ice Cream" days this month, so be sure to celebrate them all as the days get hotter and hotter.




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 June 19, 1964 – After an 83-day filibuster, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved.
  • On June 20, 1939 – The first rocket plane to use liquid propellants was tested.
  • On June 20, 1967 – Muhammad Ali was convicted for refusing induction into the armed services.
  • On June 21, 1834 – Cyrus McCormick patented the reaping machine.
  • On June 22, 1847 – Doughnuts are created.
  • On June 23, 1860 – US Secret Service was created.
  • On June 24, 1509 – Henry VII was crowned the King of England.
  • On June 25, 1876 – Lt. Colonel George Custer and the 7th Cavalry ware wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
  • On June 26, 1959 – The Saint Lawrence Seaway was opened.
  • On June 27, 1859 – The song "Happy Birthday to You" was sung for the first time.
  • On June 27, 1934 – The Federal Savings and Loan Association was created.
  • On June 28, 1919 – The Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending WW I.
  • On June 29, 1613 – Shakespeare' Globe Theater burned down.
  • On June 30, 1859 – French acrobat Blondin crossed over the Niagara Falls on a tightrope.