There are many activities happening this week into next, but the ones on most people’s minds are related to Halloween and are listed below including the Halloween Harvest and Barktober (Pet Parade) at the West Orange Farmer’s Market on Oct. 26, Spooky Storytime at Turtle Back Zoo on Oct. 26, the Barktoberfest Pet Adoption Event and Marketplace at Turtle Back Zoo, the West Orange Halloween Party on Oct. 26 and more! Adults will enjoy meeting author, Farah Merhi on Oct. 24, attending the Dorson Community 1st Annual Fundraising Costume Party on Oct. 25 or the Spooktacular Halloween Dance Party on Oct. 26 at The Manor. There are also some fun crafts and recipes below to do with your kids.

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. #ThingstodowithKids

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 In addition, please send any events you’d like added to this column to the same address.

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World Wednesdays on Oct 23 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

People of all ages are invited to attend this program featuring folktales, stories, and activities from around the globe, highlighting a different country, region and/or culture.

Chess Club on Oct. 24 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Players of all ages and abilities welcome.

Behind the Scenes TBZ Animal Hospital on Oct. 27 from 2-2:30 pm Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

These hospital tours are geared for kids ages 6 years old and over and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Register here. The $50 event ticket includes a 30-minute Behind the Scenes Tour, a meet and greet with one of TBZ's Vet Techs, and admission to the Zoo for the day (for non-Zoological Society members). The tour starts promptly at 2 pm and attendees must meet the Tour Staff 15 minutes prior to the start of the tour at the Reptile House (inside if weather is inclement, outside the entrance if the weather is nice). All members of the party must have a ticket. Photos will not be permitted in the hospital. Group sizes are limited to 15 people. Tours will commence regardless of weather unless canceled by the Zoo due to unsafe conditions. If canceled, ticket holders will be notified as soon as possible, and the tour will be rescheduled. Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions and for walking the Zoo.

Celebrate the Big Draw with Free Art Sessions at the Apple Store from Oct. 1-31 at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

From October 1–31, join free at Apple art sessions at Apple Short Hills and take part in the world’s biggest drawing festival – The Big Draw. Get hands-on with iPad and Apple Pencil to draw, paint, and more. Check times for upcoming sessions here: Call (973) 467-4890 for details.




Dorson Community 1st Annual Fundraising Costume Party on Oct. 25, at 8 pm, at the Wilshire Grand Hotel (350 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange) (FOR ADULTS)

Be whoever you want to be for one night only – and enjoy a night of fun, all while supporting a worthy cause. The Dorson Costume Party will be infused with entertainment, food, raffles, prizes for best costumes, money-hat and cash bar. Click here to RSVP.

Halloween Harvest, Barktober (Pet Parade) and Pet Item Collection at the West Orange Farmer’s Market on Oct. 26, from 9 am – 2 pm, (80 Main St, West Orange, 07052)

At the Halloween Harvest, there will only be treats –- no tricks including festive activities, organizations, vendors, and of course… CANDY! Halloween costumes encouraged! Bring your own buckets to collect your candy!

There will also be a Pet Parade (to sign up, please send an email to or go to

A Pet Item Collection will benefit the West Orange Animal Welfare League. Items needed include: Dog Leashes & Collars, Expandable or Break-Away Cat Collars, Non-Clumping, Clay Cat Litter, Canned & Dry Dog Food (Pedigree canned & dry), Canned and Dry Cat Food (Friskies canned & Iams dry), Jars of Baby Food (for kittens - meat only, not chunky please), Dog & Cat Toys, Old Towels and Blankets. (No electric blankets, please.), Heating Pads, Laundry and Dish Detergents, Liquid Dishwasher Detergent, Fabric Softener Sheets, Bleach, Paper Towels, Liquid Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap, Cardboard Flats (readily available up and down the isles at ShopRite), Computer/Photocopy Paper

Donate $25, $50, $100, or $250+ to the West Orange Animal Welfare League and you'll get your name up on the event sponsorship list! Sponsors receive endless recognition and build rapport with the community while knowing that their funds truly make a difference for the animals at the West Orange Animal Welfare League.

Spooky Storytime at Turtle Back Zoo on Oct. 26, from 10 am to 5 pm (with 10 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 3 pm sessions) at Berson Education Center, Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 12 and younger are invited to wear their favorite Halloween costume and enjoy a spooky story read by a not-too-scary Halloween character and meet a favorite animal friend. Register here. Light refreshments will be included with the ticket. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All attendees must have a ticket (free kids under 2 tickets are available). This event does not include zoo admission. Event is rain or shine. Dogs visiting for Barktoberfest cannot attend Spooky Stortytime because zoo animals will be present in the program space.

Halloween at Indigo on Oct. 26 from 11 am – 12 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Kids are invited to come and dress up in their best costumes and participate in a Halloween parade. They will also make their own color-changing slime and hunt for treasure in Foam Alive.

Barktoberfest Pet Adoption Event and Marketplace at Turtle Back Zoo on Oct. 26 (rain date is Oct. 27), from 11 am to 3 pm at the Berson Education Center, Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Ave, West Orange)

In addition to adorable adoptable pets, this event will feature a Pet Photo Booth and Costume Contest, animal enrichment and education, vendor booths, food trucks and more.

Monica + Andy Halloween Party on Oct. 26 from 3-4 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Come celebrate Halloween at Monica + Andy with special treats and music by Jumpin; Jamie. Little ones are encouraged to wear their costumes for a costume contest where four winners will be picked. This is a drop-in event. No RSVP is required.

Spooktacular Halloween Dance Party on Oct. 26, Doors open at 5:30 pm, at The Manor (111 Prospect Ave., West Orange) (FOR ADULTS)

The Manor is scaring up its second annual Spooktacular Halloween Dance Party...because you’re never too old...or too have a ghoulishly good time! Come dance in The Dome dungeon ... er... rooftop lounge for an old-school Halloween bash. Scare up some friends and come do the monster mash with the devilishly good DJ playing a menacing mix of Halloween-themed songs along with dance hits through the dead-cades to make it a thriller night! Costumes encouraged. There will be prizes for killer costumes. Free Admission. No reservations needed. Guests must be age 21 or over. There will be the spinning of spooktacular songs by the DJ from 8-11 pm, followed by an eclectic DJ dance mix until 1 am). Enjoy cocktail table seating and bar seating, a full cash bar, beverage service, lounge food menu available and creepy cocktails. For questions or additional information, call 973-731-2360 or click here.

West Orange Halloween Party on Oct. 26, from 6-9 pm at Liberty Middle School (1 Kelly Drive
West Orange)

Schedule: 6:00 pm: Costume Contest in Auditorium; 7-9 pm: Activities (Pumpkin Toss, Games, Crafts, and more!). This is a Rain or Shine Event. Admission: $5/car.

Safe Howl-O-Ween Trick-or-Treating on Oct. 31 from 4-8 pm at Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Ave, West Orange)

Come trick-or-treating at the Zoo. With candy stations throughout the grounds, everyone is sure to have a “sweet” time.

Spooky Movie Evening on Oct. 31, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids are invited to wear costumes and come and watch Coraline for a spooky movie evening at the library. Snacks will be provided.




Little Moving Artist Class at Monica + Andy on Oct. 24 from 10:30-11:15 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; Family: $15.

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on Oct. 24 and 29 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. 

Little Explorers Fall Nature Program on Oct. 24, 29, 31 (see other dates below) from 10-11 am at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland) 

This child-caregiver class uses stories, walks, and crafts to develop an awareness and appreciation for science and nature for the child as well as the caregiver. Each week, a different nature or science topic is covered. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $12 per child/session.


  • Toddlers (age 2) – Tuesdays— October 29; November 5, 12, 19 10 am to 11 am
  • Tots (age 3) – Thursdays— October 24, 31; November 7, 14, 21 1 pm to 2 pm
  • Pre-K (ages 4-5) – Tuesdays — October 29; November 5, 12, 19 1 pm to 2 pm OR Thursdays— October 24, 31; November 7, 14, 21 10 am to 11 am


Books n' Babies Storytime on Oct. 24 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children up to 24 months and their caregivers will enjoy a morning class that includes stories, songs, and rhymes to introduce babies to language skills. 

Saturday Storytimes on Oct. 26 from 10-10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 0 – 5 and caregivers will listen to stories and work on a craft.

Storytime and Activities Featuring No More Monsters Under Your Bed! On Oct. 26 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

This goofy, adorable book, No Monsters Under Your Bed,” by Jordan Chouteau, about conquering your fears, will soon become a household favorite! Guests will enjoy storytime and activities and receive a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.




Star Wars: Death Star Event on Oct. 25 at 7 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Calling all Rebels! Hop on the nearest starship and come build your very own BB-8 from IncrediBuilds to take home. Limited quantities. Sign-up required. Plus, guests will receive a coupon for a $1 Rice Krispy Bar.

The Last Kids on Earth Training Camp Event on Oct. 26 at 2 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

See if you have what it takes to fight the Monster Apocalypse! Kids in grades 3-6 will participate in activities, a survival quiz, trivia, giveaways, and more to celebrate this favorite series! Guests will also receive a coupon for a $1 Rice Krispy Bar.




Teen Game Night on Oct. 23, from 7-8:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Teens are invited for a fun evening of board games, video games, and more.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on Oct. 25 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! 




Take the Pink Lips Challenge from Oct. 1-31 at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills) and online

Here is a fun way to remind your loved ones to get their mammograms! Take the Pink Lips Challenge at home or stop by the Selfie booths in Grand Court or in the lobby of the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center. Take a picture with your pink lips in the lipstick of your choice. Blow a kiss to someone you love by sharing your post on social media, tagging them, and remind them it’s #TimeToMammo. And most importantly, schedule your mammogram here.

Meet Author, Farah Merhi on Oct. 24 at 6 pm at Indigo at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Come meet author and the most influential interior design expert on Instagram with 5.6 million followers, Farah Merhi, as she discusses her new book, Inspire Your Home: Easy Affordable Ideas to Make Every Room Glamorous. An audience Q&A and book signing will follow. Individuals must have a wristband to be in the event space and book signing line. A limited number of tickets (wristbands) are available, with each ticket admitting one person and including one copy of the book. Tickets are not available for purchase in-store. A maximum of one ticket per person is available, with one book maximum per person per ticket. Guests will receive a wristband and book when they arrive at the store on the day of the event and must exchange their Ticketscene ticket for a wristband at that time. Wristbands are non-transferrable and cannot be sold. Access to the event area will only be granted to those guests who receive a wristband. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis for those with a wristband. Candid photography and posed photography from the line-up are allowed. The ticket price is $35 + tax and service fees include the admission of one person to the event and one personalized copy of the book.

Monica + Andy Nine-Month Network Event – Baby's First Foods Class on Oct. 26, from 11 am – 12 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Parents are invited to Monica + Andy's Nine-Month Network event – Baby's First Foods, which will be navigated by Caitlin Kiarie, RDN, a childhood nutrition expert and founder of Mom-N-Tot Nutrition. Parents will learn about navigating the world of solids, first bites, allergies and more.

Halloween Cookie Technique Class on Oct. 27 from 11 am – 12 pm at Williams Sonoma at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Halloween is right around the corner! Gearing up with this exciting class that will teach you everything you need to know to whip up freshly baked cookies for your Halloween gatherings. The cost of $30 per person includes a Silpat Half-Sheet Liner. Class size is limited. Call (973) 467-3641 to reserve your spot.




Halloween is Celebrated on October 31

From school parades, trunk or treats, trick or treating, candy, costumes and more -– most kids love dressing up for Halloween. So, it’s no excuse the holiday is embraced every year. When we think of the holiday, we think of bats, the bizarre, Dracula, ghosts, witches, graveyards, ghouls, haunted houses, Halloween movies, paranormal, Halloween parties, pumpkins, skeletons, scarecrows, vampires –- many of which decorate our neighbors’ yards. The ways to celebrate the holiday are really quite endless. In fact, there is a list of ways to celebrate above.




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 Oct. 23, 1915 – 25,000 women marched in New York City demanding the right to vote.
  • On Oct. 24, 1945 – The United Nations came into existence.
  • On Oct. 24, 1901 – Anna Edison Taylor was the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
  • On Oct. 25, 1983 – U.S. forces invaded Grenada.
  • On Oct. 26, 1825 – The Erie Canal opened, connecting Lake Erie to the Hudson River.
  • On Oct. 26, 1881 – The "Gunfight at the OK Corral" occurred where Wyatt Earp, his two brothers, and "Doc" Holliday, had a shootout with the Ike Clanton gang.
  • On Oct. 26, 1825 – The Erie Canal opened.
  • On Oct. 27, 1858 – President Theodore Roosevelt celebrated his birthday and had the "Teddy bear" named after him.
  • On Oct. 28, 1886 – France presented the U.S. with the Statue of Liberty.
  • On Oct. 28, 1965 – The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was completed.
  • On Oct. 29, 1929 – The New York Stock Exchange crashed on what came to be known as "Black Tuesday," starting the Great Depression.