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Make a Plan for A Great Family-Friendly Weekend

NJ Mom's Guide collects the best weekend programs for families, kids — and parents.

Make a Plan for A Great Family-Friendly Weekend

Spring is in the air and you're just as anxious as the kids are to get out of the house and find something exciting to do! Patch is pleased to have  NJ Mom's Guide provided you with some great ideas for having fun this weekend. As always, check out www.njmomsguide.com for more info on other family-related programs.




You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

Where: Roosevelt Intermediate School, 301 Clark St, Westfield

What: Roosevelt Intermediate School will present the classic family musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Join Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they recreate some of the most lovable — and laughable — moments from their comic-strip adventures in the high-energy musical.

Why: How many people make it a tradition to watch Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang created by the late Charles Schulz never goes out of style.

When: 7:30 pm, Saturday

How much: $8 in advance; $10 ($8 for students) at door

Phone:  Contact Judy Augustino @  judyandalan1@verizon.net.


World's Fair Open House at Sundance School 

Where: Sundance School 401 Greenbrook Road North Plainfield

What: Travel around the globe with a multi-sensory, multi-cultural tour of the world in our 4,000 square-foot interactive exhibition. Visit more than a dozen countries, including Greece, Egypt, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, India and China! Experience one of the many ways The Sundance School brings learning to life for 2-year-olds to 10-year-olds.

Why: An interactive exhibition where you and your child will learn about the cultures, customs and wonders of more than a dozen countries.

When: 9:30 am – 2 pm, Saturday 

Website: www.thesundanceschool.com

Call: 908-561-5055



China Anhui Traditional Orchestra

Where: Kean University Enlow Recital Hall, 1000 Morris Ave, Union

What: Kean University is hosting an evening with the China Anhui Traditional Orchestra. Since its inception in 1956, this 50-piece ensemble is one of the leading performers of traditional Chines music. 

When: 7:30 pm, Saturday

How Much: $40

Website: http://www.keanstage.com

Call: 908-527-7469



Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society

Where: Union County Performing Arts Center 1601 Irving St, Rahway

What: Best New Artist Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding performs in her only New Jersey appearance. Spalding will take the stage with her ensemble “Chamber Music Society” for an evening of eclectic and dynamic contemporary jazz.

Why: See this jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding has the talent to pull off the biggest upset in the history of the Grammy awards!

Where: Saturday, March 5, 2011 @ 8pm

How much: $32-$58

Website: http://www.ucpac.org/

Phone: 732-499-8226

St. Patrick's Day Dance with Irish Music and Dancers

Where: Roselle Catholic High School, 1 Raritan Rd, Roselle

What: Featuring: Wilie Lynch Band. Also appearing: Deidre Shea Step Dancers, Irish Pipe Band. Dinner includes corned-beef sandwiches, Homemade Irish Soda Bread, Beer, Soda, Tea, Coffee and "set-ups."

When: 8 pm–midnight, Saturday

Why: Come celebrate your Irish roots — or grow some!

How Much: $30/person (To reserve your table or purchase tickets, contact Erin Sweeney at Roselle Catholic via esweeney@rosellecatholic.org).

Phone: 908-245-2350



Kids Carnival

Where: Temple Emanu-El 756 East Broad Street Westfield

What:  Temple Emanu-El’s Early Childhood Education Program will host a Kids Carnival that will include games, prizes, food, face painting, crafts and other fun activities for young children and their families. Open to the public, it is ideal for children ages 2 -12 and their families.

When: 11 am – 3 pm, Sunday

Why: Kind of like a birthday party, only better! 

How Much: Admission wristbands for children are being sold in advance at Temple Emanu-El for $13, or at the event for $15.  Admission is free for adults who are accompanying children and $10 for walking children under age 2.  

Website:   www.tewnj.org

Phone: 908-232-6770


Train Show

Where: Mother Seton High School, 1 Valley Rd, Clark

What:  The train show will feature movies, door prizes, a circus train exhibit; Lionel Train set that kids can operate; Model Trains and much more!

When: 9 am - 4 pm, Sunday

Why: Kids and trains, helllooooo!

How Much: Adults $5; Kids under 12 FREE

Phone: 908-208-2522



Labyrinth Walk

Where: First Presbyterian Church, 11 Springfield Ave., Cranford

What: Walking the Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice of prayer and meditation that is experiencing a reawakening in our time. The 11 ringed pattern painted on canvas is modeled after the 13th century Labyrinth at Chartre Cathedral in France. In Medieval times walking the Labyrinth symbolized the Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem for those who could not personally make the journey.

When: 1 pm – 4 pm, Sunday

Why: The rediscovery of this self alignment tool to put our lives in perspective is one of the most important spiritual movements of our day. Labyrinths have been in use for more than 4,000 years and walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight.

How Much: Free. Yay!

Website: http://www.firstprescranford.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Home

Phone: 908-276-8440



Second Annual Taste of Cranford

Where: Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Ave, Cranford

Day & Time: March 6, 2011 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Cost: $35 in advance; $40 at the door.  To order tickets, please visit website. (tickets can also be purchased at the Cranford Public Library, Cranford Family Care, Periwinkle's, Milk Money and Rockn' Joe).

Description: The event is being held to promote Cranford businesses and will benefit Cranford Family Care.

Why: A great way to taste some of the delicious fare from some of Cranford’s best desserts, wines and eateries.

Website: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/146987

Phone: 908-353-7171 ext. 138


Are Your Kids Safe?

Where: The Presbyterian Church in Westfield, 140 Mountain Ave, Westfield

What: The Presbyterian Church is sponsoring a workshop on cyberbullying. 

When: 5 pm–9 pm, Sunday

Why: To combat cyberbullying, everyone must understand the devastating impact it can have on children, families and communities.

How Much: Free

Website: http://www.westfieldpc.org/

Phone: 908-233-0301




Teen Nights!

Where: Caldwell Community Center, 1 Provost Square, Caldwell

What: Kids 11 to 15 are  invited to hang out at the Caldwell Community Center’s Teen Night, which is held the first Saturday of every month! Swim, work out at the gym, and just have fun!

When: 7 pm, Saturday

Why: "There's nothing to do." "I am so bored." These are just a few common responses one hears from youths when asked about what there is to do. Well, those days are over…

How much: Free (all welcomed, no registration required)

Website: http://www.caldwell-nj.com/

Phone: 973-228-7665

St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Nutley

Where: Parade starts at Holy Family Church on Harrison Street, Nutley

What: Nutley’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Join the party after the parade on Chestnut Street

When: 1 pm, Saturday

How Much: Parade is free; Party  costs $25 for adults; kids 12-18 are $10; kids under 11 are free

Why: Erin go braugh!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Where: Kings Studio, 778 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills

What: Learn some Irish recipes that you can put on the stove for St. Patrick’s Day! On the menu - shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, shamrock cake balls, and shamrock shakes. 

When: 10 am – noon, Saturday

How Much: $50 per pair. Kids 7-9 are welcome with an adult.

Why: Think Irish cooking is all cabbage and potatoes? Think again.

Website: http://www.kingswebsite.com/cookingstudio/index.cfm

Phone: 973-258-4009 



Women's History Month Film Festival

Where: Rutgers University-Newark, Paul Robeson Student Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Newark

What: Working in conjunction with Rutgers-Newark's program of Women and Gender Studies symposium on religion, the international array of films all focus on the spirit of the divine that allows women to thrive and achieve, often in spite of harrowing conditions.  Feature films include Jennifer Jessum's "Finding God In the City of Angels," an examination of religion in Los Angeles; Laslo Faria's "A Cidade das Mulheres," which, influenced by the work of anthropologist Ruth Landes, looks at Candomble in Bahia, Brazil; and Lisa F. Jackson's award winning "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo".  Panel discussions will follow "A Cidade das Mulheres" and "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo," and interviews with the film makers will accompany the short films.

When: noon – 5:30pm, Saturday

How Much: Free

Why: Celebrate being a woman!

Website: http://www.wim-n.com/

Phone: 973-996-8342




6th Annual Kids Extravaganza

Venue: JCC MetroWest, The Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, Ross Family Campus, 760 Northfield Avenue, West Orange

What: Kids 7 & younger can pose for photos with their favorite superheroes and cartoon characters. JCC MetroWest will provide disposable cameras for the event. All proceeds go to JCC MetroWest Early Childhood Programs.

When: 11 am - 2 pm, Sunday (Snow date: March 13)

Why: Play hooky from everything else you need to do and take the kids to this fun-filled day!

How Much: $18/child in advance; $25/child at the door. Children under 2 are free. Adults are $8.

Website: http://jccmetrowest.org/

Phone: 973-530-3520

Free Golf Lessons for Kids

Where: JCC MetroWest, Ross Family Campus, 760 Northfield Avenue, West Orange.

What: Free golf lessons teaching all the fundamentals for children ages 7-17.

When: 9:30 am – 10:45 am, Sundays in March.

Why: Because this very difficult game, which people can play for their whole lives, gets just a little bit easier when you learn at a young age.

Cost: Free.

Website: http://jccmetrowest.org/

Phone: 973-530-3425

Come Build Montclair in LEGO

Where: Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair.

What: Architect Stephen W. Schwarts of Building Blocks Workshops will be on deck to help families create specific Montclair buildings out of Legos! The models will then be placed in a 30×20 foot map of downtown Montclair.

When: 5 pm, Sunday

Why: The ultimate LEGO challenge for your kids.

How Much: $30 per family – four persons to a group, including at least one adult. Open to kids 5-14.

Website: http://www.montclairartmuseum.org/

Phone: 973-259-5153


Book Maker’s Dozen

Where: Sparkhouse, 15 Scotland Road, South Orange

What: Meet a group of children’s book authors and illustrators, some of whom have been on the New York Times 2010 Bestsellers list. They will host workshops, demonstrations and readings of their work.  Some of their artwork will also be for sale.

Why: Met any good authors lately?

When: 4 pm, Sunday

How Much: Free

Website: http://sparkhouse.net/

Phone: 973-821-5227


Three Classics by Mercer Meyer

Where: SOPAC, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange

When: 2 pm, Sunday

What: The Omaha Theatre Company will be presenting an original musical production about three fears children have and how they learn that there’s nothing to be frightened of.

Why: A vivid and imaginative musical where the Alligator under your bed, the Nightmare in your closet and the Thing in your attic become your best friend.

How Much: $20

Website: http://www.sopacnow.org/full.html

Phone: 973-313-ARTS



The Grapes of Wrath

Where: AMC Theater in Essex Green 495 Prospect Ave. West Orange

What: Screening of the 1940 film followed by discussion; part of the West Orange Classic Film Festival.

When: 2 pm, Sunday

Why: Literary Club, Scrapbooking Club, now Classic Movie Club—a social gathering with you and your girlfriends.

How Much:  $10/ $8 for members of the W.O. Arts Council

Website: www.amcentertainment.com/EssexGreen/



Once On This Island

Where: Jim Wise Theatre 154 Summit St. Newark

What: Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" set in the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea

When: 2:30 pm, Sunday

Why: Based on the novel by Rosa Guy, “My Love, My Love”-- A beautifully written story that channels Anderson's "The Little Mermaid".

How Much: Students/Senior Citizens:  $10/ General Admission:  $12

Website: http://theatre.njit.edu/index.php

Phone: 973-596-3457


The Last Cruise of the S.S. Minnow"

Where: Pianos Bar and Grill, 36 Broad St., Bloomfield

Description: Interactive murder mystery, with dinner buffet.

When: 4 pm, Sunday

Why: If you were a fan of "Gilligan's Island," "The Love Boat," "The Poseidon Adventure" or "Titanic," then this hilarious mashup is the show for you.

How Much: $35

Website: http://www.pianosbarandgrill.com/

Phone: 973-743-7209





Bring Your Own Art Show

Where: Community Children’s Museum, 77 East Blackwell Street, Dover

What: Any child Kindergarten through 6th grade may enter one of their favorite works of art. The maximum size for an entry is 20” x 24”; any medium allowed, but must be able to be stapled to the wall without falling or protruding more than 3 inches and 3d free-standing works will be accepted. All works must be mounted so that there is at least a 1” border all around so that we do not staple the artwork, just the border. Each work must be labeled and titled on a 3”x 3” card to be affixed to the front of the artwork and include the artists name, age and residential town as well as what medium(s) they used to create the art. On the back of the art please include the name, phone number and email address of the parent.  Drop-Off: Please drop off your work of art from 10 am to 5 pm, through Saturday.

When: 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday 

Why: Hey, you can take your kids' artwork down from the fridge and and show it off to a new audience!

How Much: Free

Website: http://www.communitychildrensmuseum.org/

Phone: 973-366-9060


 "Guys & Dolls"

Where: Chatham High School, 255 Lafayette Ave, Chatham

What: Chatham High School students will take on the Broadway classic "Guys & Dolls," a winner of six Tony Awards.

When: 7:30 pm, Saturday

Why: Watch this youthful dynamism to this rather dated show, which is set in the thirties and first hit Broadway in 1950.

How much: $10 for students; $12 for adults

Phone: email kspadaro@chatham-nj.org



BeauSoleil’s 35th Anniversary Tour

Where: Community Theatre, 100 South St, Morristown

What: Come out and party with these Grammy-winners whose inventive spin on Cajun music not only preserves its traditions but keeps it vital, modern and downright fun! Featuring special musical guests including Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.

When: 8 pm, Saturday

Why: Listen to the unique southern Louisiana culture and music revived!

How Much: Prices vary, please visit website

Website: http://www.mayoarts.org/indiv/indiv_Beausoleil.html

Phone: 973-539-8008




Where: Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre 33 Green Village Road, Madison

What: What: In this play, a mother and father find that their 9-year-old son may have ADHD. As his parents navigate the complicated world of possible treatments, they realize that Jesse isn't the only one who's distracted.

When: 8 p.m., March 5, 2011 @ 8:00pm

Why: When does a child have a learning disability and when is he just being a rambunctious kid? That’s the question posed by Lisa Loomer’s “Distracted.

How Much: $30;  $25 for seniors and students

Website:  www.dreamcatcherrep.org

Phone: 800-838-3006

Wines of the Americas supporting the New Philharmonic of NJ

Where: Marketplace 1 Giralda Farms, Madison

What: Taste wine from North and South America and enjoy the food of the Hibiscus Restaurant while listening to jazz pianist, Jerry Vezza.

When: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Saturday

Why: Uncork all the wine possibilities of North & South America!

How Much: $50 in advance, $55 at the door

Phone: 973-267 0206




Pippi Longstocking

Where: Mayo Center for the Performing Arts • 100 South Street, Morristown

When: 1:30 pm, Sunday

What: This original musical based on Astrid Lindren’s popular children’s story follows the outrageous exploits of the spunky pig-tailed redhead with a knack for adventure and mischief. Perfect for kids 5 & older

How Much: $12

Why: This freckled face red head is not only a hero to children around the world, but strongly appeals to the child inside us all.

Website: http://www.mayoarts.org

Phone: 973-539-8008


From the Ground Up (Cabin Fever Movie Series)

Where: Frelinghuysen Arboretum 353 E Hanover Ave, Morristown

What : DIRT! The Movie: Introduces viewers to dirt’s fascinating history in this 80-minute documentary released in the fall of 2010. Four billion years of evolution have created the soil that recycles water, gives us food, provides us shelter, and can be used as a source of medicine, beauty, and culture.

The Farmers of Gaho: What happens when you have no dirt and no rain? Over the generations, the farmers of the village of Gaho in southern Ethiopia have developed unique farming techniques that enable them to successfully grow crops in their arid environment. This 21-minute documentary was filmed in 1998, when climate changes had just begun to capture international attention and acknowledgement. 

When: 2 pm – 4 pm, Sunday

How Much: $5; pre-registration required

Why: Got Cabin Fever?  Here’s a thought-provoking event for your older kids.

Website: http://www.morrisparks.net/

Phone: 973-326-7601 


Spa Day 

Where: The Urban Muse 82 Broadway Denville

When: Sunday

What: A spa and store rolled into one.

Why: Relax on your own or schedule a spa party with your girlfriends.

How Much: Check site for details

Website: http://www.theurbanmuse.com/index.html

Phone: 973-627-3455



The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Where: Dover Little Theatre 69 Elliott St. Dover

Description: This comedy-drama is less one story than many short stories — the fight between a husband and wife; the fear of an overly shy young girl on going to a dance; the problems of an introverted little boy who feels that the whole world, including his family is against him; the outwardly peaceful and inwardly corroding marriage of Cora's rowdy sister; the tragedy of a military school cadet whose mother has never provided him with a real home.

When: 2 pm, Sunday

Why: A semi-autobiographical tale of a family in crisis.

How Much: $15

Website: http://www.doverlittletheatre.org/index.html

Phone: 973- 328-9202





Music by Hell Yes

Where: The Warehouse Café, 140 Bay Street, Jersey City, NJ

What: A Steinway piano and guitar are permanently fixed at the cafe for our Jazz & Classical musicians.

When: 2 pm – 4 pm, Saturday 

Why: Live music and tasty treats from where the café shares traces of their travels tasty treats from Leyte, Istanbul, Catalan, Manila, Cebu, Mexico, France and Tarragona.

Website: http://www.thewarehousejc.com/

Phone: 201-420-8882




Meet up for Tea

Where: Babo Tea House  10 River Drive South, Jersey City

What: Babo Tea House offers up tea with an Asian flair. A traditional tea menu is available as well as dumplings, sandwiches and snacks, bubble teas (pearl tapioca), milk shakes, smoothies, and a huge selection of gelatos with exotic flavors.  Babo's motto: making food fun to eat, but adding to the fun factor is an entire wall of toy vending machines...filled with miniature toys and collectibles.

When: Sunday

Cost: Varies

Why: Looking for something out of the ordinary? Here it is!

Phone: 201-626-6006 



4th Street's 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off

When: Parlay Studios 161 2nd St. 6th Floor Jersey City

What: Fill your belly with chili goodness from the best resident chefs and local restaurants Jersey City has to offer, plus music and fun.

Where: 2 pm, Sunday 

Why: Take ground beef, habanero and chipotle chilies, Tabasco, onion and garlic and what do you have? One prize-winning chili.

How Much: $5

Phone: 201-459-9044

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