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nj kids guide hot picks family events and kids activities

Refer to the site index at left to look for places to go and things to do by category and use the convenient links to access the most up-to-date information on exhibitions, events and activities. Email entries for HOT PICKS to or submit event using the form on the top menu bar.

WE'RE WORKING ON IT! WATCH FOR OUR NEW & IMPROVED WEBSITE COMING SOON! In the meantime, check the Calendar below often and use the convenient links under each category listing to get the latest information and new events! Follow our FACEBOOK PAGE for new event postings!

what's new for fall, featured events, recent openings

In addition to the listings below, use the links on the Theater, Music & Dance and Big Shows & Concerts pages to see upcoming shows at your favorite theaters. Buy now for best seats!

Dec 7-23
A Christmas Carol
Chatham Community Players, 23 N Passaic Ave, Chatham, NJ 07928,

Dec 7-16
Madeline's Christmas
The Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Ave, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-273-2192

Dec 7-16
The Cranford Dramatic Club, 78 Winans Ave, Cranford, NJ 07016, 908-276-7611
           Fun for the whole family, The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton the Elephant, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Mayzie La Bird, Gertrude McFuzz, Yurtle The Turtle, and the Whos. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm.

Dec 8-9, 15, 22-23
Asbury Park Handcraft & Vintage Holiday Market
Asbury Park Convention Hall, 1300 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
          11am-6pm. A curated roster of the best local and regional artists, vendors, and shops sell vintage, handmade, art, jewelry, home goods, foodstuffs and more. Activities include live music, special performances, Photos with Santa Sundays, holiday photo booth pictures, a 30 foot Christmas tree, fireplace lounge, kids art classes and holiday craft workshops.
          Bring a toy or gently used coat for the AP Toy & Coat Drive or donate what you can and you will receive a 4×6 print of your Photo with Santa, along with copies of your photos emailed to you. Pets are invited to meet Santa as well.

Thru Dec 30
Christmas Light Show & Village
Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Place, Augusta, 973-940-0222
          A mile-long drive-through course and outdoor village includes walk-through light displays, photos with Santa (indoors), skating rink, 8 ft. polar bear statue, Yuengling's ice cream shop and hot chocolate bar, s'mores station, carnival games, vendors and concessions.

Dec 13-30
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
          Inspired by the original children’s book and featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas,” the Grinch, his sidekick Max and Cindy Lou Who help remind us of the true meaning of the holiday season.

Dec 30-31
SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA, 610-332-1300
          Annual two-day New Year’s Eve festival features family-friendly activities and a 4-feet, 9-inches tall, 400-pound lit PEEPS® Chick that descends at 5:15pm on Dec. 31 to commemorate the beginning of the new year. Family entertainment includes kid-friendly bands, magicians, Family Disco Lounge, kids fun run, clowns, balloonmaking and more. 10-5:30pm.

Thru Jan 1
Christmas Spectacular starring The Radio City Rockettes
Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
          A family holiday tradition for generations feature a new finale and redesigned elements.

Thru Jan 6
Morven's Festival of Trees
Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St., Princeton, NJ 08540, 609-924-8144
          Families are invited to celebrate Holidays at Morven Through the Centuries.
Dec 21
Pajama Storytime: The Night Before Christmas, with illustrator Gennady Spirin. 5pm. Families enjoy a private tour of the Festival of Trees, then stroll across the lawn to the Stockton Center for an illustrated reading of The Night Before Christmas. Includes book signing and snack. $30 per family, $25 members. Ticket includes one book per family.

Thru Jan 1
Kids Ride Free on New York Waterway
          NY Waterway makes it easy, fun and a little more affordable to get to NYC by letting "Kids Ride Free" for the holidays. Once there, get around with a free shuttle service and real time bus locator. Terms: Children under 12 can ride free on all NY Waterway routes. Two child limit with each paying adult fare. No physical ticket required for a child. Promotion is valid from November 22 to January 1, 2019.

Jan 12
The Phantom Tollbooth
SOPAC, One SOPAC Way, South Orange, 973-313-2787
          Enchantment Theatre Company brings their compelling production of The Phantom Tollbooth to life from page to stage. One day a mysterious tollbooth appears in Milo’s room and having nothing better to do, he drives his toy car through it. To his astonishment, he finds himself in a peculiar new world and on an eventful and dangerous quest. While on his magical journey, Milo discovers the delights of friendship, curiosity and knowledge and finds out that with a little bit of courage, anything is possible. Recommended ages: 6 -11. 2pm. Tickets $20.
          Use code Kid15 to save 15% on tickets to two or more Kids 'N Family performances purchased in the same order.

Thru Jan 27
Harry Potter, A History of Magic
New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, 170 Central Park West (at 77th St.), New York, NY, 212-873-3400
           Capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories, Harry Potter: A History of Magic unveils century-old treasures including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library and New-York Historical Society—with original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. From medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins to the origins of the sorcerer’s stone, explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling as well as Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay. Activities for families are scheduled on weekends. Special History of Magic Family Days Nov. 18 and Dec. 9, 1-4pm.

Escape Rooms
The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, PA, 215-448-1200
          Experience the thrill of escape and the excitement of adventure in the all-new Escape Rooms at The Franklin Institute. Using the most advanced cutting-edge technology and immersive design, Escape Rooms at The Franklin Institute transports guests to one of two fantastical worlds where a series of clues, codes, puzzles, and tasks lead teams to achieve an ultimate goal—all within 60 minutes or less. Best experienced with a group, these games challenge, amuse, and befuddle guests of all ages, encouraging collaboration and creative problem solving in a fast-paced, live-action setting. Reserve now.

SOPAC Kids 'N Family Performances

One SOPAC Way, South Orange, 973-313-2787
    Use code Kid15 to save 15% on tickets to two or more Kids 'N Family performances purchased in the same order. Performances at 2pm. Tickets range from $18-$25.
          Jan 12: The Phantom Tollbooth.
          Feb 10: Amber Brown Is Not A Crayon.
          Mar 2: Beauty & the Beast.
          Mar 23: Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat.
          Apr 7: The Jungle Book.

Girl Scout Badge Workshops

Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton St., Princeton, NJ, 609-924-8144
          From Bugs to Flowers to Trees to Gardener and Scribe, a wide variety of Girl Scout badge workshops take place at Morven. Details and registration through Girl Scout Customer Care, 856-795-1560, or for additional information, email

Grand Opening
Morristown National Historical Park
Discover History Center
Washington's Headquarters & Museum, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, 973-539-2016 x210
           The new Discover History Center at Washington Headquarters Museum is designed especially with kids in mind with hands-on, interactive exhibits.

Thru Jun 30
Whitney! Grammy Museum Experience
Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette St, Newark, NJ, 973-757-6000
          Open 11am-6pm. $10
          Curated by the GRAMMY Museum® Los Angeles and in cooperation with the Estate of Whitney Houston, Whitney! gives fans an intimate look into all aspects of Houston's life. The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center offers guests a chance to experience music, get hands-on and learn, while also exploring what it takes to become a GRAMMY winner.

new events

        New events for the Kids Guide NJ calendar are posted below. Typically, these events and activities are open to all and do not require advance tickets or registration in order to attend.
         But don't stop can find so many more fantastic children and family events in NJ, NY and PA by visiting the category pages under "Places to Go, Things to Do" on our site index to the left. Browse dates under specific destinations and use the convenient website links for complete schedules of events for everyone, from kids and teens to adults. Some of our favorite categories for events include Outdoor Education, Museums, Historic Sites, Music & Dance, Theater, Big Shows & Concerts, The Shore, Summer Arts in the Parks and Zoos in addition to New York and Pennsylvania.

Google Calendar Tips
• Select the date you would like the calendar to begin by using the drop-down date arrow.
To view only one type of event, click on the drop-down arrow on the top right side of the Google calendar and adjust the checked boxes accordingly.
        Feel free to copy events to your own Google calendar and please help spread the word by sharing events with friends and family.

don't miss the savings with kids guide nj coupons!

Pick up a free copy of the print Kids Guide NJ, select and print the online coupons and use coupon codes below to save on some fantastic family activities and services!

• The Fountain of Youth Spa: Call to receive 50% OFF your first organic facial. Berkeley Heights, NJ, 908-464-6414.

• Palermo Show Stable: Mention Kids Guide NJ ad to sign up for FREE INTRODUCTORY LESSON.Bedminster, NJ, 908-719-7500.

• Seaton Hackney Stables: Use coupon from online coupon page or on page 65 in the print 2018 Kids Guide NJ for 10% OFF ANYTHING (lessons, camps, parties, trail rides, more)! Morristown, NJ. Good thru December 31, 2018.

• South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC): Use CODE KID15 to SAVE 15% on tickets to two or more Kidz 'n Family performances purchased in the same order. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone at (973) 313-2787 or in person at the SOPAC Box Office.

2018-2019 NJ theatre and music & dance announcements

Links to new season announcements will be posted below as they come in over the summer and fall, 2018. Venues for children, family and adult music, dance and theater performances can be found under the Music & Dance, Theatre, Big Shows & Concerts and New York categories. Check links often for newly added events.

Mayo Performing Arts Center
100 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960, 973-539-8008

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
60 Park Place, Newark, NJ, 800-255-3476

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
36 Madison Ave, Madison, 973-408-5600

State Theatre of New Jersey
15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, 732-246-7469