With many summer camps ending this week, it's hard to believe summer is almost over. Some of us will start going away to enjoy the last bits of summer, while others will stay in town. If you are staying around -- there is a lot to do this week including attending a Carnival, a Comic Book Convention, seeing Hair – The Musical, attending storytimes and so much more. You can also celebrate National Honey Bee Awareness Day on August 17 and create some of the recipes 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.

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…

 

Family Night at the Turtle Back Zoo on August 14 and 15 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.

West Orange High School (WOHS) Carnival from August 14-17 from 6-10 pm, and August 18 from 4-9 pm (51 Conforti Dr., Suriano Track and Field Complex)

The WOHS Cheer Booster and Mountaineer End Zone Club is holding its first annual Carnival. Attendees will enjoy rides, games, food, and fun. Discount pre-sale wrist bands available at campys.com

Library Comic Book Convention on August 14 from 7-8:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Do you like superhero books or movies? Come to the library's first-ever comic book convention for games, activities, and to work on your own awesome comic!

Hair – The Musical on August 14, 15, 16 & at 8 pm at OSPAC (4 Boland Dr., West Orange, NJ)

The public is invited to come and enjoy a production of Hair, at the OSPAC. There will be food, beer, and wine a garden. Bring chairs or blankets for lawn seating. The show is recommended for ages 13 and up. Fee: $10 per person admission at the door

ZOO-VIES at Turtle Back Zoo on August 14 from 8-10 pm (Rooftop of Turtle Back Zoo Parking Deck (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange)

The public is invited to enjoy a free blockbuster movie, Beethovenunder the stars on the rooftop of the Turtle Back Zoo Parking Deck. Guests should bring their own chairs. Films begin at dusk. If it rains, the event will be canceled. ZOO-VIES will take place every Wed. night through Aug. 28. No Zoo admission is necessary.

Be a Modern-day Thomas Edison! on August 15 from 3:30 – 4:45 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Edison Labs Presents -- Idea to Product for children in grades 4-8. They will work with rangers from Edison National Park to come up with their own brand-new inventions, from idea to product to marketing.

Craft Club on August 15 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.

Behind the Scenes with Penguins, on August 15 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.

The Township of West Orange Then and Now on August 15 from 7-8:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Join West Orange Town Historian Joseph Fagan for a free multimedia program exploring West Orange through a series of then and now photos. The photos will feature all sections of town as seen through the lens of a camera a century ago with current-day photos showing today's location.

West Orange Farmers Market on August 17 from 9 am to 2 pm at 80 Main Street Parking Lot (North End)

It’s Kids Day at the West Orange farmers market. 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. There will also be kids activities. (See National Honey Bee Awareness Day below)

Raise the Grade: Life Skills for Tweens and Teens on August 17 from 11 am – 12 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children in grades 5 - 8 are invited to attend this workshop, Raise the Grade: Life Skills for Tweens and Teens, which is a part of a series of FREE interactive workshops presented by the Michael Aymar Foundation. Takeaways to include practical knowledge and tasty baked treats. Parents and parental guardians are encouraged to attend with their child.

 

FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS

 

Spanish Stories Storytime on August 14 at 4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Come and listen to stories read in Spanish. This program is great for Spanish speakers and Spanish learners of all ages! Ven a escuchar cuentos en Español. Para todas edades de hispanohablantes y personas aprendiendo Español!

Storytime at Barnes and Noble on August 15 & 20 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.

Babies and Books Storytime on Aug 15 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Infants up to 24 months and their caregivers are invited to partake in a fun storytime session where they will enjoy books, songs, and rhymes while being introduced to language skills.

Pool Story Time at Ginny Duenkel Pool on August 15 at 2:30 pm (601/2 Cherry St, West Orange, NJ) 

Children will enjoy storytime at the pool.

Saturday Storytimes at the West Orange Library on August 17 from 10-10:30 am (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children and ages 0 – 5 and their caretakers are invited to come and listen to stories and work on a craft.

Special Children's Storytime Focusing on Handling Emotions on August 17 at 11 am at the Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children ages 8-12 (grades PreK-3) will love hearing the story, The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions, by Anna llenas. In the story, Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused with his emotions all over the place. He feels so many things all at once! When he meets a little girl, who shows him what feelings mean through color, he is able to define his emotions and gain peace and self-awareness in the process. Guests will receive a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Baby & Me Storytime Featuring ABCs of Space on August 18 at 11 am at the Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children from 0-24 months and caregivers are invited to attend Baby & Me Storytime. A store reading specialist will read a book and guests will participate in activities featuring sensory growth for little ones. Plus, attendees will receive a free Starbucks tall, hot or iced coffee.

Turtle Dance Music, Bubbles, and Comedy Show on August 19 from 6:30-7:30 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Your little ones will really enjoy this fun Turtle Dance Music, Bubbles, and Comedy Show.

Terrific Toddlers Storytime on August 20 at 10:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children ages 2 to 3 ½ and their caretakers will be entertained by puppets, stories, songs, and fingerplay.

Preschool Story Time on August 20 at 11:30 am at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Preschoolers are invited to hear stories and songs and play games providing interactive fun. Parents must remain in the library during this program.

 

 FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS…

 

Bike Right- Learn to Ride on August 16 from 10 am – 12 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

This program for children ages 5 and older will 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 will 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. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $10 per child

Special Children's Storytime Focusing on Handling Emotions on August 17 at 11 am at the Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Children ages 8-12 (grades PreK-3) will love hearing the story, The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions, by Anna llenas.  In the story, Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused with his emotions all over the place. He feels so many things all at once! When he meets a little girl, who shows him what feelings mean through color, he is able to define his emotions and gain peace and self-awareness in the process. Guests will receive a coupon from the Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4.

Calling all History Bee’s – Special Event on August 17 at 2 pm at the Barnes and Noble at Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

Kids ages 8-12 (grades 3-7) are invited to come and explore the popular Who Was? series with games and activities for young readers who love history. This week, they will discover the books, Who Is Malala Yousafzai? by Dinah Brown, Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?, by Bonnie Bader and Who Was Amelia Earhart?, by Kate Boehm Jerome They will discover the imaginative leaders who have made an impact on our world today – presidents, scientists, writers, and more!

Reading Buddies on August 19 from 3-4 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, West Orange)

Children building their reading skills will practice with teen mentors to gain confidence.

 

FUN FOR TEENS…

 

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on August 16 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 roleplaying, storytelling, on-the-spot strategic thinking, math skills, problem-solving, and teamwork all rolled into one!

 

 FUN FOR ADULTS…

 

West Orange Women’s Club Organization Meeting on August 14 from 7-9 pm at Rock Spring Gold Club (90 Rock Spring Rd., West Orange, NJ)

West Orange residents are invited to attend the inaugural meeting to organize and reinstate the West Orange Women’s Club. To learn more about the club, click here.

Indigo ‎in Conversation: Joanne Ramoson August 15 from 7-8 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Join best-selling author Joanne Ramos as she discusses her new book The Farm; book signing to follow. Event Guidelines: The event is free and open to the public; individuals must have purchased one copy of the book to be in the book signing lineup; proof of purchase required from Indigo; seating and signing line-up will be available on a first-come, first-served basis; candid & posed photos are allowed.

 

 HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS NATIONAL HOLIDAY…

 

August 17th is National Honey Bee Awareness Day

National Honey Bee Awareness Day lets us celebrate and show appreciation for the hard-working Honey Bee. This day was first established in 2009 for beekeepers, to promote honey and encourage educational programs. Honey Bees are very important to our survival. Scientists say they are going extinct because of the use of too many pesticides, certain blood-sucking parasites that only reproduce in bee colonies and poor weather due to global warming. While many people find bees annoying, and their stings really do hurt and cause a reaction to those sensitive to their stings, we really do need them around. Bees pollinate plants. They are the primary initiators of reproduction among plants, as they transfer pollen from the male stamens to the female pistils. They also create honey, which is used in much of the food we eat. In fact, they are responsible for more than 1/3 of the food we eat. The extinction of bees would affect plants, animals, availability of fuels, topography, clothing and human life.

This national holiday is the perfect opportunity to teach children about bees and to honor them for all they do for us. You can celebrate by:

 

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 14, 1945 – Japan surrendered, ending World War II.
  • On August 14, 1953 – The Whiffle Ball was patented.
  • On August 15, 1914 – The Panama Canal opened.
  • On August 16, 1896 – Gold was discovered in the Klondike.
  • On August 17, 1961 – Construction began on the Berlin Wall.
  • On August 18, 1938 – The 1,000 Islands bridge, connecting the US and Canada, was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • On August 19, 1909 – The Indianapolis Speedway held its first auto race.
  • On August 20, 1866 – The Civil War was formally declared over by President Andrew Johnson.
  • On August 20, 1897 – British doctor Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between mosquitos and the transmission of malaria.