19 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Weekend January 26-28

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It’s the last weekend in January, and we are closing out the first month of the year with lots of fun things to do with the fam. Dance and sing, toast with hot cider, and place gifts of cider-soaked bread in the tree branches at Wassailing the Apple Trees at Terhune Orchards, pull ice blocks up the ramp to the ice house, chip ice to make ice cream and make an ice candle to take home at Ice Harvest in Hopewell, or watch 12,000-pound monster trucks backflip and race at Monster Jam in Newark. And for more family fun this season, don’t miss our guide to filling your winter bucket list. (Featured photo: Monster Jam, Feld Entertainment)

(Note: It’s always best to check ahead for in-person events.)

Monster Jam
January 26-28 
Where else can you see 12,000-pound monster trucks backflip and race at the hands of trained world-class athletes? If thrills and awe-inspiring trucks get your kid revved up, then the family-friendly Monster Jam® will be the event you won’t want to miss. From pit parties to monster truck wheelies, this event has it all for all ages.
Cost: Ticket prices vary
Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ 07102

Hairspray
January 26-27
You can’t stop the beat when you grab tickets to Hairspray live with the fam. Join Tracy Turnblad and her friends as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show in the 1960’s.
Cost: Ticket prices vary
Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960

Movie Night at Five Star Swim School
January 26 at 4 PM
The magical world of Frozen is coming to the big screen at this fun Friday night event with the fam. Bring cozy sleeping bags or blankets so your kids can get comfortable and enjoy the movie, pizza, snacks, drinks, and swimming.
Cost: $25 per child
Five Star Swim School, 1500 Almonesson Road, Deptford Township, NJ 08096

Winter Wildlife Walk
January 26 at 1 PM
Ever wondered about winter wildlife? Bundle up and head to the Whitesbog Preservation Trust, where you will learn about some beautiful wildlife, including the Tundra Swans. Binoculars will be available to borrow during the walk.
Cost: Free
120 West Whites Bogs Road #34, Browns Mills, NJ 08015

Lunar New Year 2024
January 27 at 11 AM
Usher in the Year of the Dragon with the fam at this exciting event. There will be performances, local Asian food, crafts and activities, and unique retail vendors in a night market atmosphere. Make sure you catch the acrobats of the Lion Dancers and a show from the Face Changer.
Cost: $7 per person
Montclair Art Museum, 3 S. Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042

Fire & Ice Festival
January 27 at 10 AM
Bundle up and spend a cold day with the family, enjoying all things winter at this popular festival. There will be a chili contest, an ice carving competition, and more.
Cost: Free
1 High Street, Mount Holly, NJ 08060

Rutgers Geological Museum Annual Open House
January 27 at 9 AM
This annual event is fun for the whole family. This year’s 56th open house has a theme of Ancient Seas and features crafts, activities, guest appearances, and a mineral sale. 
Cost: Free
Rutgers Geology Museum, 85 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

15th Annual Yuletide Bonfire and Fireworks Extravaganza
January 27 at 6 PM
This annual event celebrates the winter season and has fun for all ages. The evening will include hayrides, hot chocolate, cookies, marshmallow roasting, music, bonfires, and gorgeous fireworks.
Cost: Free
Hunts Mill Park, 32 Haver Farm Road, Clinton, NJ 08809

Winterfest 2024
January 27 at 12 PM
Throw on your coats, hats, and scarves to celebrate winter. Head to the library’s parking lot and enjoy a hot chocolate bar, hot cider, DIY s’mores, fire pits, and more.
Cost: Free
Ramsey Free Public Library, 30 Wyckoff Avenue, Ramsey, NJ 07446

Groundhog Day Celebration
January 27 at 10 AM
Bring the family and explore the facts and fiction of Groundhog Day. Part treasure hunt, part nature hike, the whole family will have a ball while searching for Wally the Woodchuck. You will even have the chance to meet the naturalists, chuck wood with a catapult or trebuchet, and look for groundhog holes.
Cost: $7 per person
The Watershed Institute, 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington, NJ 08534

Brooklawn Train Show
January 27 at 9 AM
Got a train lover in the family? Celebrate a love for model trains at this show. There will be 80 vendor tables filled with new and used model trains, operating model railroads on display, and delicious food to enjoy.
Cost: Free
American Legion Pot #72, 11 Railroad Lane, Brooklawn, NJ 08030

Lacey Elks Lodge 2518 Cook-Off
January 27 at 2 PM
Think you have what it takes to win with your chili recipe? Bring your best pot of chili, sauce, meatballs, or soup, and let the guests be the judge. Or, bring your appetite and sample the delicious food.
Cost: $10 entry fee to show off your recipe, $5 to judge
900 Beach Boulevard, Forked River, NJ 08731

Ice Harvest
January 28 at 10 AM
Head to Howell Farm, once called the “ice farm,” and learn about the tools and technology that made ice harvesting a successful business. You can also help pull ice blocks up the ramp to the ice house, chip ice to make ice cream, and make an ice candle to take home.
Cost: Free
Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell, NJ 08530

Seashore Open House
January 28 at 1 PM
Who says you can’t enjoy the seashore in the winter? The family can enjoy hands-on activities to entertain and educate the little ones about the shore and the sea.
Cost: Free
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, 201 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740

Wassailing the Apple Trees
January 28 at 1 PM
Dance and sing, plus re-enact Old English traditional rituals with the fam, including chanting and music making, toasts of hot cider, and placing gifts of cider-soaked bread in the tree branches. End the evening with a bonfire and live music.
Cost: Free
Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ 08540

Parlor Games for Wintry Weather
January 28 at 12 PM
No winter blues here – enjoy time with the fam with some healthy competition. Take part in two 1890s board games, including Backgammon, Checkers, Reversi, Halma, and Basilinda.
Cost: Free
Longstreet Farm, 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733

WinterFest
January 28 at 10 AM
Enjoy all the cozy vibes at this fun event that celebrates the beauty of winter. There will be crafts, delicious treats, and fun shopping for the whole fam.
Cost: Free
The Shoppes at Lafayette, 75 State Route 15, Lafayette, NJ 07848

Dragon New Year Gala
January 28 at 2 PM
Enjoy A Lunar New Year musical event featuring Chinese traditions, performances, and more. Featured performances will be made by award-winning circus gold medal champion Dina Liu and the legendary Mother/Daughter magician duo Chuan-Opera changing faces.
Cost: Free
American Dream, The Dream Stage, Court A, Level 1, 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07072

Brigid’s Day & Candlemas
January 28 at 1 PM
Looking for something unique to do with the family? Head to the Historic New Bridge Landing and enjoy gorgeous Irish tunes on the flute, tours, candle-making, new exhibits, and a take-home activity for the little ones.
Cost: $7.50 per student and $12.50 per adult
1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ 07661

ONGOING EVENTS

Skating on the Square
Now-February 25, open Thursday-Sunday
Bundle up and bring your ice skates for a fun day of skating outside. This eco-friendly, outdoor synthetic skating rink is so much fun for the whole family.
Cost: $10 per person
19 Hulfish Street, Princeton, NJ 08542

Maple Sugaring
Now-March 17, Sundays
All ages are welcome to this fun and educational event. Learn how to identify a maple tree, discover the history of syrup making, and see how technology has changed how it’s done. You will tap trees and boil the sap to make fresh, warm maple syrup.
Cost: Prices vary
Tenafly Nature Center, 313 Hudson Avenue, Tenafly, NJ 07670

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About Author

Karen lives in Central Jersey with her two dogs, one cat, husband and daughter Olivia. Graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations, she has been writing and working in the social media field for a few years. One of her proudest moments as a writer so far has been interviewing Tim Gunn from 'Project Runway' and subsequently winning Honorable Mention in NJ for Feature Writing. When she is not busy as a mom, she enjoys reading, going to the beach and watching the Real Housewives. She is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the NJ Mom team!

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