There were animals everywhere! There were bears in pajamas, dogs, a Backyardigan or two, an Angry Bird and even a dinosaur. And there were plenty of entertained kids.
Kids, some in PJs, brought their fuzzy (or not so fuzzy) friends to the Somerset County Library for the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. They sang songs and listened to stories before leaving their friends for some overnight fun at the library. We've gone the past few years and my kids love it.
I particularly enjoy seeing the photos of what these animals will be caught doing while the library is closed. My kids love it, too.
But it's also a great way to encourage a love for reading and the local library. Right now, both my kids are reading books. My 4-year-old is scanning a book while cuddling his stuffed lion, Lolly (his all-time favorite animal so he didn't go to the Sleepover but Roly-Poly did - the round dog in the photos). When I tell them we're headed to the library, they're always excited about getting books or what event they'll be going to.
And what's more these events are free!!
So be sure to visit your local library this summer (here is a list of NJ libraries) and join a summer reading program. And if your local library doesn't have a Stuffed Animal Sleepover, tell them how much fun it can be and maybe they'll host one.
Summer fairs and festivals are a great opportunity for some family fun in New Jersey. From agricultural fairs to balloon festivals, families can really enjoy the Garden State in the summer months.
You can find information on different types of fairs - from crafts to music - at Fairs and Fun. You can find the various New Jersey agricultural fairs on the NJ Ag Fair website. We've highlighted some below:
The Miller-Cory House in Westfield, NJ is another historic site that offers a variety of family events this season.
I am looking forward to stopping by for Hocus Pocus on Oct. 25, where kids will be able to decorate their own Halloween cupcake among other crafst and there will be storytelling. This event, runs from 1:30 to 4 pm and guests are encouraged to come in costume. The cost is $4 for children while accompanying adults are free.
The Miller-Cory House will host other events nearly every Sunday, including:
And there will be more to do in December, including Gingerbread Sunday on Dec. 6. From 1:30 to 4 pm, children will make a simple gingerbread house to take home and hear stories. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED and space is limited. There is a cost for this program, which is recommended for ages 5-10.
People can call the museum at 908-232-1776 to register for programs or for more information.
We were at the Lord Stirling 1770s Festival in Basking Ridge today (an annual event I recommend, for families) & we received information on the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, NJ. I have to admit the name didn't make me think of anything I'd be interested in but then the woman handing me a brochure mentioned that they have hands-on activities for kids, usually for ages 6-11.
My daughter is 3 1/2 but I decided to check out their site to see what else they might have and they have lots of neat-sounding events and programs. They have an after-school Kids' Club for ages 6-11, with a variety of themed activities throughout the year. They also have several events for all ages including a family-friendly concert series.
For kids they have Tricks N Treats on October 31. Kids in costume can come for a number of activities including games & crafts. In November, children can attend a Teddy Bear Picnic in honor of National Teddy Bear Day. Kids can bring their stuffed buddy and enjoy teddy bear stories. This event is appropriate for ages 2-6.
On December 6, older children ages 9-12 can get hands-on experience in jewelry making in their Jewelry Making Workshop.
Next year's programming for kids looks really creative, too, with a Dragon Tales Pajama Party, a Stuffed-Animal Sleepover and more.
There's plenty for adults as well. In October, there is a Chocolate event and in November, there's Wine & Song, an annual fundraising event. In December, there is a Jewelry Making Workshop for Adults.
And there's plenty more. I'm looking forward to checking this place out and let me know if you do, too.
Be aware that many of these programs recommend advance registration so call the Museum at 973-377-2982 x 14.
The kid in me is always looking for some spooky fun so I was happy to stumble upon the Grimlock Manor, which has creepy hallways & secret passages to explore. There are lots of fright fests out there so I love when they have a story behind the ghouls. According to their website, the Manor is where:
"billionaire Griswald Grimlock had hired a paranormal research team to try and create a device that would bring his beautiful wife Lucilla back from the dead.
Recent unexplained events coming from behind the manors monstrous walls suggest that Mr. Grimlock may have succeeded! Be the first to join a new team of paranormal recruits to enter the manor and uncover the truth behind the strange happenings."
I have never been to this attraction but I'm going to try and find the time to check out this place, which has a creative back story and a creepy cast of characters.
Getting a Halloween thrill is inexpensive ($8 13 and up; $5 for kids ages 12 and under) and even better, 25% of all proceeds will go directly to the Metuchen EMS, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to providing emergency medical services to the Metuchen community.
For more Halloween and other holiday events, check out ParenthoodNJ's event calendar.
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