As fall sets in, and temperatures cool, there are some wonderful activities happening for you and your children. You can play Clue at The Zoo, celebrate Batman Day, have an Evening Paddle on the Passaic, enjoy Night Moves at the Turtle Back Zoo, participate in the West Orange Mayor's Race Against Ovarian Cancer, Eric Freedman's Holy Shofar Blast and so much more.

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…

 

Evening Paddle on the Passaic on Sept. 19 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Adults and children ages 10 and older are invited to take a leisurely paddle on the Passaic River.
Paddlers will enjoy scenery and peacefulness as they paddle up the river and float downstream. Meet in the Garibaldi Hall parking lot. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $15 per person.

Night Moves at the Turtle Back Zoo on Sept. 20 from 7:30 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 7:30 pm; the last tour leaves at approximately 8:10 pm. Gates close at 8:15 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.

West Orange Farmers Market on September 21 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!

Storytime and Activities Featuring Batman 5-Minute Stories on Sept 21 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Celebrate Batman Day with this special storytime. Kids of all ages will love this collection of tales featuring Batman and the other DC superheroes in action. Activities to follow, plus, they will get a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Flamenco Guitarist Hernan Romero on Sept. 21 from 1-3 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Grammy award winner and brilliant virtuoso guitarist Hernan Romero will perform on the library grounds. Hernan has been playing music professionally since the mid-'80s. His remarkable flair, elegant grace and his ability to tap into a number of music styles to forge a sound all his own has made him an international star.

Batman Day on Sept. 21 at 2 pm at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

It's Batman Day! Kids are invited to celebrate 80 years of Gotham City's greatest defender with a photo standee, memory game, and activities. Plus, they will get a coupon from the Café for a $4 flatbread with any Café purchase.

Clue at The Zoo on Sept. 21 from 6-8 pm (Rain Date is Sat., Sept. 28) at the Turtle Back Zoo on Sept. 20 from 7:30 pm (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ)

The public is invited to come play a living boardgame within the Zoo! Families will be transported through time and space, into the magical land of Ukadora, a mythical place with wondrous animals and wildlife as well as kooky characters and unique people to meet. Will you find the clues and solve all the challenges in time to solve the mystery, and find your way home? This year’s Clue at the Zoo is in partnership with the interactive event design company The Game Theatre. Guests will have the opportunity to meet esteemed animal ambassadors in up-close encounters. For more information click here.

West Orange Mayor's Race Against Ovarian Cancer on Sept. 22 at 9:00 am (Across from West Orange Town Hall - 66 Main Street, West Orange, NJ)

The public is invited to come and run a fun free race for a great cause! Non-runners are invited to come cheer on their favorite runners. Click here for details.

Indigo Presents: Family Friendly Music Class on Sept. 22 at 10 am at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

This family-friendly experience is much more than a music class - your child will learn valuable lessons through music, dancing, drumming and singing. Your child will have the time of their life singing and dancing to original tunes alongside other kids (new friends!) and upbeat instructors (also new friends!). By registering for this exclusive class, you will gain access to Indigo before store opening where you can be the first to shop the store and enjoy Café Indigo with a complimentary cup of coffee. Ticket Price: $25 per child and tax and service fees; includes a 1-hour family-friendly music class led by Rockness Music and one small cup of coffee per adult; children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Eric Freedman's Holy Shofar Blast on Sept. 22 from 1-2:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Just in time for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! This year you will be able to blow that shofar that till now has been just an ornament on the mantle. You won't want to miss this chance to learn how to blow the shofar and to look forward to passing on such a noble a tradition to members of your family and community.

Steve Wien Presents B’nai Jazz on Sept. 22 from 3-4:45 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Come enjoy B’nai Jazz, which began as a dream of merging a love for Jazz and devotion to Jewish roots.

Wild Edible Plant Identification Walk on Sept. 23 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland).

Adults and children ages 10 and up are invited to take a walk along trails with a naturalist to
identify and discuss the wide variety of forest groceries available for harvest around the local
landscape. As they walk and talk, they will discuss proper identification, seasonal harvest, growing
environment and methods of preparation. Advance 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.

 

FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS

 

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on September 19 and 24 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.

Musical Storytime on Sept. 19 at 4:00 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Children ages 2 to 5 years, and their caregivers are invited to join Guitar Joe for a magnificent medley of music and storytelling: songs, picture books, puppet shows, dance parties, multimedia presentations, drum circles, egg-shaker jams, and so much more! No registration required.

Baby and Me Storytime Featuring Silly Lullaby on Sept. 22 at 11 am at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children 0-24 months old and their caregivers are invited to Baby and Me Storytime where they will read books and participate in activities featuring sensory growth. Guests will also receive a free Starbucks tall, hot or iced coffee.

Terrific Toddlers Storytime on Sept. 24 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids ages 2-3 ½ and their caregivers are invited to come and enjoy puppets, stories, songs, and fingerplays.

Preschool Storytime on Sept. 24 at 11:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children and their caregivers are invited to come and enjoy interactive stories, songs, and games.

 

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS…

 

Calm Kids on Sept. 20 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland). 

Attendees will find coping mechanisms that can be fun and healthy for young people in our lives. This class for people ages 5-12 includes making and taking a Squishie, calming activity for busy hands. Breathing exercises will be practiced to promote centering and meditation, and a thoughtful hike will be taken to promote feeling healthy, empowered and strong. Depending on time, coloring and reading may take place to add to the experience. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. This is a drop-off class. Fee: $10 per child.

Fine Arts and Crafts Show at Anderson Park on Sept. 21 and 22 from 10 am – 5 pm at Essex County’s Anderson Park (located on the corner of North Mountain Avenue and Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair)

Enter the creative world of fine art and fine craft by spending time at the 36th Annual Fine Art and Crafts Show at Essex County’s Anderson Park, rain or shine. Ask questions and learn what inspires the creative process of over 150 exhibitors. The free-to-the-public show will feature fine artists, photographers, and artisans in glass, clay, clothing, leather, wood, jewelry, mixed media and much more. A variety of food and specialty foods will be offered. 

Make it an Indigo Weekend: Harry Potter on Sept. 21 from 11 am – 12 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Calling all Wizards! Dress up as your favorite Harry Potter character and make your own LEGO Knight Bus, and see what you can build with DK inspiration cards.

Super Science Stories! On Sept. 23 from 4-4:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids in grades K-3 are invited for elementary science storytime where they will think like scientists and enjoy stories sprinkled with science-themed activities.

Yakety Yak Book Club on Sept. 24 at 4:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Kids in grades 2-3 are invited for a fun book discussion.

 

FUN FOR TEENS…

 

Comic Book Club on Sept. 19 at 6:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Teens are invited to come discuss favorite comics with peers.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on September 20 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!

Make it an Indigo Weekend: Harry Potter on Sept. 21 from 11 am – 12 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Calling all Wizards! Dress up as your favorite Harry Potter character and make your own LEGO Knight Bus, and see what you can build with DK inspiration cards.

 

FUN FOR ADULTS…

 

Meet the Author: Elyssa Friedland on Sept. 18 at 7 pm at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Meet the author Elyssa Friedland! She will be at the library to discuss her new book, The Floating Feldmans. The book explores just how the open seas can bring submerged feelings to the surface as a disconnected family is forced to confront each other—and the secrets they’re keeping—while onboard The Ocean Queen. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. Friedland has established herself as a master of writing insightful novels about modern life, relationships, and the secrets we keep to protect ourselves and the ones we love. Her last novel, The Intermission (2018), was praised for its “snappy dialogue” by the Wall Street Journal that called it “intelligent commercial fiction.” It was also called “expertly paced and eerily realistic” (Booklist) and made numerous “Best Book” lists including those by HelloGiggles, PopSugar, Goodreads, MindBodyGreen, and PureWow. Elyssa is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School and lives in New York City with her family.

 

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS NATIONAL HOLIDAY…

 

National Pepperoni Pizza Day on Sept. 20

National Pepperoni Pizza Day is a day to celebrate one of America's favorite types of pizza. After all, almost everybody loves pizza. It can be eaten any time of the day and is a popular food for parties and events. While you can also put all sorts of toppings on your pizza, today is reserved for pepperoni pizza.

It’s easy to celebrate National Pizza Day, you can go to a restaurant, order in, or even make your own homemade pepperoni pizza.

 

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 Sept. 20, 1973 – Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in a battle of the sex’s tennis match.
  • On Sept. 21, 1945 – Henry Ford retired from the Ford Motor Company.
  • On Sept. 22, 1999 – The record for drinking Ketchup belongs to Dustin Phillips (USA). On this day, he drank a 14 oz. bottle of Ketchup through a 1/4" straw in 33 seconds.
  • On Sept. 23, 1846 – The planet Neptune was first discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.