WOW, this week is jam-packed with activities from the West Orange Annual Fishing Derby, Summer Sleepover at Turtle Back Zoo, Strawberry Harvest Festival and Farm to Table Strawberry Pancake Breakfast at Alstedes Farms to storytimes, cooking camps, a S’mores N’ More Campfire and more! No matter what activities you choose to participate in – you can’t go wrong.

In addition, June 7 is National Doughnut Day. Below are a few specials, recipes, and crafts to celebrate the holiday.

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.

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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.

 

 FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY…

 

West Orange Annual Fishing Derby on June 8 at 9 am at Crystal Lake (4 Boland Dr., West Orange)

The public is invited to participate in the West Orange Annual Fishing Derby. Participants should bring their own fishing gear. Bail will be available for sale. Anyone 16 years old or over, including parents, who will be fishing, MUST HAVE A FISHING LICENSE TO PARTICIPATE. In case of mildly inclement weather, the event will go on. Call Weather hotline (973) 243-1115. For further information, call 973-325-4150.

Summer Sleepover at Turtle Back Zoo on June 8 (starts at 5 pm) to June 9 (ends at 8:30 am) at the Turtle Back Zoo, (560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, Berson Education Center)

The public is invited to enjoy a wild night filled with adventure at the Turtle Back Zoo! Observe animals in the dark, interact with the Educators and Keepers, and discover how the zoo works behind the scenes. The fourth annual summer TBZ Sleepover program is fun for all families who’d like to spend a night exploring the zoo in the dark while learning about TBZ’s mission of conservation and stewardship. The family is sure to enjoy almost two hours of exclusive visits as part of the sleepover. The program includes Tour of TBZ with Staff and Keepers; Evening Snack; Craft/Project; Lesson/Activity with Animal Encounter; Free Overnight Parking; Secure Indoor Sleeping Area at the Berson Education Center; Breakfast. Participants will be responsible for supplying sleeping bags and sleeping pads (no tents). Dinner will not be provided by the Zoo during the event; please have dinner prior to your arrival or bring dinner with you. Evening snack will be provided. Age Requirements: Ages 6 and above only, groups must have 1 adult chaperone for every 4 children in the party. Program Fee: $100 per person for Non-Members, $90 per person for TBZ Zoological Society Members; all adults and children must purchase a ticket. Society Members will be required to show membership cards at check-in. Click here to reserve a spot. For more information, call 973-731-5800 x 103 or email mhunt@parks.essexcountynj.org.

Strawberry Harvest Festival on June 8-9 All Day at Alstede Farms (1 Alstede Farms Ln, Chester)

The public is invited to celebrate the delightful taste of fresh strawberries at the Alstede’s Strawberry Harvest Festival. They will enjoy a day of strawberry picking and panoramic photo opportunities along with scenic tractor-drawn wagon rides. Children may participate in pony rides, playing in the corn kingdom, moon bounce, wagon train rides along with climbing a giant hay pyramid and navigating mazes. This event is not just for kids as adults may enjoy wine tasting provided by Tomasello Winery featuring an array of fruit wines. All ages will adore visiting with the friendly farm animals, indulging in an assortment of strawberry-themed treats like strawberry shortcakes and much more (available from 11 am – 5 pm) or homemade ice cream. Can’t get enough strawberries? Come to the Farm to Table Strawberry Pancake Breakfast on June 9th. Call for information (908) 879-7189).

Farm to Table Strawberry Pancake Breakfast on June 9 at Alstede Farms (1 Alstede Farms Ln, Chester)

The public is invited to enjoy stack after stack of scrumptious pancakes in an all-you-can-eat breakfast extravaganza also featuring sausage, eggs, desserts and a signature homemade strawberry sauce made from farm fresh strawberries. Admission includes all-day access to Alstede Farms pick your own fields and orchards (pay for what you pick additional charge). Also included is admission to the Arborvitae Maze plus live entertainment and scenic tractor-drawn wagon rides. 10% off breakfast admission for all Fresh Discovery Club members, please show membership card at admission. Please Note: Discounts are only available when tickets are purchased at the farm. Fees: Strawberry Pancake Breakfast – Child (12 and under) $15.99; Strawberry Pancake Breakfast – Child (12 and under) w/Activities $24.99; Strawberry Pancake Breakfast – Adult $18.99. Buy tickets here. Call for information (908) 879-7189).

West Orange Farmers Market on June 8 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.

S’mores N’ More on June 8 from 1-2:30 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Families are invited to S’mores N’ More where participants will build a campfire and practice fundamental fire skills in a safe and controlled environment. Once the fire is burning, marshmallows will be roasted, and S’mores will be made. All ages welcome. Cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child and $12 per adult. Advanced registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776.  

Draw with Dad at Robert Graham on June 8 from 2-5:30 pm (2 sessions 2-3:30 pm; 4-5:30 pm) at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Members of the public are invited to create portraits of their favorite Looney Tunes characters with Teaching Artists from the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Space is limited to 10 guests per session; please RSVP to reserve a spot: (973) 258-0500.

4-H Young Gardeners Club on June 11, 18, 25 at 4 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Guests in grades K-12 are invited to participate in the 4-H Young Gardeners Club. 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 the answers to these questions and more. Meets in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. Call 973-353-1337 or click here.

 

FUN FOR LITTLE KIDS…

 

Little Explorers Summer Nature Program (see dates below) at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Kids ages 2-5 and their caregivers are invited to attend the Little Explorers Summer Nature Program where they will discover some interesting areas in the wooded wetland by exploring mud, looking for crayfish, sending boats afloat and more. Participants should bring an extra set of clothes and shoes in case they get muddy or wet. The pre-K class accepts 10 children and the 2- to 3-year-old class accepts 8. Classes will be held rain or shine. Cost is $12 per child/session. Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Little Explorers Summer Nature Program will be held as follows: (age 2) Tuesdays, June 4 & 18 at 10 am; (age 3) Thursdays, June 6 & 20 at 1 pm; (ages 4-5) Tuesdays, June 4 & 18 at 1 pm OR Thursdays, June 6 & 20 at 10 am.

Little Moving Artist Class at Monica + Andy on June 6 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 Barnes and Noble on June 6th and 11th 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.

Storytime at IndigoKids –June 6th and 11th 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.

Special Children's Storytime Event, on June 8 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

From high up in the sky, the Moon has spent her whole life watching Earth and hoping for someone to visit. When is it her turn? Children and their caregivers are invited for storytime, activities and to receive a coupon from the B&N Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4. The book being read is Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship, by Susanna Leonard Hill.

Baby & Me Storytime Featuring Alphaprints: Sea Life on June 9 at 11 am at Barnes and Noble at the Livingston Mall (112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston)

There's a new Baby & Me Storytime for caregivers and children 0-24 months old at the book store. Guests will enjoy hearing Alphaprints Sea Life by Roger Priddy read to them and participating in related activities featuring sensory growth for little ones. 

 

FUN FOR KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL-AGED KIDS…

 

Rainbow Storytime on June 5 from 6:30 pm to 7 at the Livingston Library (10 Robert H Harp Dr, Livingston)

Children in grades K-5 and their caretakers are invited to listen to and discuss stories on gender identity and what makes us all unique. Children who attend will receive a rainbow pinwheel they can wave during the Pride Flag Raising ceremony. This program is occurring in conjunction with the Livingston Diversity Committee's Pride Flag Ceremony, taking place at Memorial Park at 7 pm.

Chess Club on June 6 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.

Essential Oil Friendship Bracelets Class on June 8 at 11 am at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Children ages 4-9 are invited to attend an Essential Oil Friendship Bracelets class. They will create a crafting memory with nature-inspired, diffuser bracelets. Essential oils can help children stay calm and focused. Jenn Forino, founder of plusoils.com, will teach a kid-friendly, mini-workshop on how essential oils can be powerful tools for overall health and wellness. Each child will make a set of diffuser bracelets (one for themselves and one to give a parent/caregiver). Additionally, each child will receive a roller bottle of therapeutic-grade essential oil, diluted so it is safe for them to apply to their diffuser bracelet. Cost is $25 per child/adult participant. Advanced registration is required. Call 973-228-8776. 

Williams Sonoma Junior Chef Cooking Camp: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert on June 10-13 from 12-1 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

Calling all Junior Chefs! This spring and summer, Williams Sonoma is hosting a series of fun cooking camps just for kids ages 8- 13. The next one is a Junior Chef Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert Cooking Camp. In this fun, four-day cooking camp kids will learn to make yummy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and best of all - dessert! Cost of $125 per child includes an apron, spatula, and a copy of The Junior Chef Master Class Cookbook. Option #1 includes a copy of The Junior Chef Master Class Cookbook; option #2 includes a copy of The Complete Junior Chef Cookbook.

Bug Club on June 11 at 4 pm at the Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland)

Children ages 6-10 are invited to attend Bug Club. The Bug Club is devoted to children who want to explore the wonders of insects through field walks, games, stories, and crafts. Cost is $10 per child per session. Advance registration and payment required. Call 973-228-8776. 

 

FUN FOR TEENS…

 

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

Children in grades 6 – 12 are invited to come and discuss their favorite books (perhaps bring some received on Free Comic Book Day), comics, graphic novels, movie adaptations and styles of art – and work a project.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Teen Club on June 7 from 3-5 pm at the West Orange Library (46 Mt Pleasant Ave, Livingston)

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…

 

Indigo in Conversation with Humble the Poet on June 8 from 12-1 pm at the Short Hills Mall (1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills)

The public is invited to join author, influencer, rapper, and spoken word artist, Humble the Poet, as he discusses his international bestselling self-empowerment book, Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths For A Better Life, with a book signing to follow. The event is free and open to the public; individuals must have purchased one copy of a book written by Humble the Poet 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 photos from the line are allowed.

 

HAVE FUN CELEBRATING THIS NATIONAL HOLIDAY…

 

June 7 is National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago branch of the Salvation Army as a way to honor the women (known as “Donut Lassies”) who used whatever minimal resources they had to make doughnuts for soldiers to cheer them up during World War I. (At their peak, they made and delivered up to 9,000 doughnuts per day!) Since then, the holiday has been celebrated on the first Friday of June.

Below are a few specials in honor of National Donut Day (any local businesses offering specials are invited to email jackie.eventscolumn@gmail.com to be added to the list below):

Dunkin’ Donuts

Buy any drink at Dunkin’ on National Doughnut Day to get a free classic donut of your choice.

Entenmann’s

From now until June 14, Entenmann’s is running a contest to find its next new doughnut flavor, dubbed the Fan Flavor Challenge & Sweepstakes. To enter, head to the sweepstakes site and create your own doughnut with the "Flavor Maker," picking a base, flavor, glaze, and topping—then, provide a brief summary of why you like Entenmann’s donuts. (Make sure to come up with a creative name for your doughnut, too!) The winner will receive $5,000, a year’s supply of free doughnuts, and their doughnut will also be made and sold during the 2019 holiday season for a limited time.

Krispy Kreme

Ay Krispy Kreme, you can pick any doughnut off the Krispy Kreme menu and get it for free on National Doughnut Day—no other purchase necessary. The doughnut company also made a bet that if it gives away one million free doughnuts that day, customers will have the opportunity to get a second doughnut.

Celebration ideas:

 

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 June 5, 1968 – Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.
  • On June 6, 1925 – The Chrysler Corporation was founded.
  • On June 6, 1933 – The first drive-in theater opened in Camden, New Jersey.
  • On June 7, 1775 – The United Colonies make a name change to become The United States.
  • On June 8, 1948 – The Milton Berle Show premiered on NBC TV.
  • On June 9, 1934 – Disney's Donald Duck made his debut.
  • On June 10, 1610 – Dutch colonists settled on Manhattan Island.
  • On June 10, 1751 – Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a lightning storm and discovered electricity.
  • On June 10, 1943 – In Argentina, Laslo and Georg Biro filed a patent for the ballpoint pen.
  • On June 11, 1982 – The movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was released.