13 Kid-Friendly Things to Do This Week

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Spring flowers are blooming, and there’s plenty of family-friendly activities to take advantage of seeing them and celebrating Earth Day this week. Learn about Japanese culture and celebrate the beautiful pink blossoms at the virtual Cherry Blossom Festival with Newark Museum of Art, walkthrough life-size flower displays at The Floral Escape at Westfield Garden Plaza in Paramus or head to the beach for an Earth Day and Marine Debris Clean-up in Cape May. 

featured image via Garden State Plaza

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Things to do this weekend

Cherry Blossom Festival
Saturday, April 17, 10 AM – 5 PM
Did you know that Newark’s own Branch Brook Park has the largest collection of cherry blossoms in the country, and you can see them in their full blooms this weekend? Join the Newark Museum of Art for a virtual celebration to explore the wonders of cherry blossoms. Activities are as follows: 10 AM – Video Drop with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players, 11 AM – Books and Blooms, 12 PM – Video Drop: Cherry Blossoms 10 Fun Facts, 1 PM – Sugar Showdown Dessert Decorating Contest, 2:20 PM – From Paper to Petal, and 4 PM The Art of Japanese Tea. Registration is required for many of the activities—don’t miss this spring worthy event.
Cost: Free
The Newark Museum of Art, Virtual on Zoom, and social media
(973) 596-6550

Spring In Living Color
April 15 – June 6 Monday – Thursday 11 AM – 8 PM, Friday – Saturday 10 AM – 9 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 7 PM
Immerse yourself in a floral experience and experience five picturesque scenes coming to life at Westfield Garden Plaza with creations by The Floral Escape. Take in the essence of the spring season by strolling down a colorful, blooming walkway, and make sure to snap some photos for the ‘gram.
Cost: $15 for adults and $10 for children
Westfield Garden State, Level 2 in the Macy’s Court Plaza
1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 843-2121

Make Every Day Earth Day
Tuesday, April 13 from 1 PM – 4 PM
LIttles will love to learn about our planet and how to appreciate its beauty during this special day. There will be self-guided activities and garden tours and lots of takeaway info to implement at home to make every day Earth Day.
Cost: $15 per family for non-members, free for members
Van Vleck House & Gardens
21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 744-4752

Nature Lecture Series: American Oystercatchers of the Jersey Shore
Thursday, April 15 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Get outside before the sun sets at the Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center to discover why the American Oystercatcher bird is declining. Learn about its nesting activities, diet, and where it travels to in the winter.
719 Port Monmouth Road, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758
(732) 787-3033

Earth Day and Marine Debris Clean-Up
Saturday, April 17 from 9 AM – 12: 00 PM

Pitch in and learn about wildlife gardening and other maintenance chores while assisting the Nature Center staff and volunteers in fixing the gardens. You’ll have to BYT (bring your own tools), but they will have refreshments on hand. Call ahead if coming with a large group.
Cost: Free
1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 400-3839

Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweeps
Saturday, April 17 from 9 AM – 12:30 PM

Help support one of the longest-running cleanups of its kind in the world at a location close to you. The whole family can help remove beaches of unsightly and harmful debris. Due to COVID, the Spring Beach Sweeps will have staggered arrival times and require you to pre-register.
Cost: Free
60 Locations Throughout New Jersey
(732) 872-0111

John Clyde Annual Stream Clean Up of Naaman William Park
Saturday, April 17 from 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
The Franklin Township Environmental Commission is inviting residents to socially distance and clean up Naaman Williams Park’s stream. Face masks and registration is required. Bring is a reusable water bottle and appropriate shoes and clothing for rough terrain.
Cost: Free
Fuller Street Parking Lot, Somerset, NJ 08873
Contact Stan Jaracz for more information

Plowing, Harrowing, and Wash Day
Saturday, April 17 from 10 AM – 4 PM
Littles will love pretending to be a farmer for a day as they try out the plow to prepare the ground for planting corn. It’s good practice for the farm’s fall plowing match, where anyone can win ribbons and prizes.
Cost: Free
Howell Living History Farm
70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell, NJ 08530
(609) 737-6524

Humane Education
Saturday, April 17 from 11 AM – 12 PM
If you’re thinking of adopting a furry friend or want to learn more about animals, come to this free workshop. Families will learn why it’s important to speak up for animals and about therapy or service animals while getting the opportunity to interact with therapy animals. 
Cost: Free
Freneau Woods Park
360 Monastary Lane, Aberdeen, NJ 07747
(732) 842-4000

Accordion Melodies of the 1890s at Historic Longstreet Farm
Saturday, April 17 from 1:00 PM- 3:00 PM

Spend the day among blooming trees and flowers when you visit Historic Longstreet Farm and listen to melodies of the 1890s played on the accordion.
44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733
(732) 946-3758

Autism Awareness Day at Imagine That!!!
Sunday, April 18 from 9 AM – 5:30 PM
Imagine That is recognizing Autism Awareness month by making their activities more accessible for people with autism or sensory disabilities. Cindy Gelormini, the author of the children’s book Robbie’s World and his Spectrum of Adventures, will also be reading her work in the puppet theater to teach kids and adults more about autism. 
Cost: $19 per child, $7 per adult
Imagine That!!! Museum
4 Vreeland Road, Florham Park, NJ 07932
(973) 966-8000

Family Meditation
Sunday, April 18 from 1 PM – 2 PM
This wellness workshop will focus on gaining relaxation and self-empowerment through meditation. Kids can even incorporate these techniques, including bodily movement and vocal toning exercises, at home with a family member’s help.
Cost: $25 per non-member adult, $10 per member adult, $15 per non-member child, $5 per member child
Grounds for Sculpture
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619
(609) 586-0616

Driving Tour of the Battle Area east of Freehold
Sunday, April 18 at 1:30 PM
Want to learn about Revolutionary War History in NJ? Meet at the Visitor’s Center Auditorium to take a Monmouth Battlefield tour with the Friends of the Monmouth County Battlefield. This tour will include the seldom-seen East Morass and Briar Hill battle locations.
16 Highway 33-BR, Manalapan, NJ 07726
(609) 448-6355

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About Author

Jillian is a born and raised Jersey Girl from Lincroft—where she currently resides. As someone who has taught preschoolers and middle schoolers, and also mentored elementary schoolers, Jillian understands the complexity of child development and is excited to introduce families to New Jersey activities that can accommodate anyone. You can typically find Jillian doing creative writing, having game nights with her family, and hanging out with her two teenage cousins. Jillian's favorite activities in New Jersey include hanging out with friends at Sandy Hook, going for a scenic walk or run through Thompson Park, and enjoying some mouthwatering donuts from Delicious Orchards.

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