Creepy Crawlies, Crafts and Critters

With the weather getting warm and the first signs of grass since last year, many kid-friendly activities turn to the outdoors.

Last week, we told you it was finally getting a little warmer, so it seemed like a good time to venture outside of the house with the family and find something fun to do. With temperatures hitting the 60s this week (hey, remember winter?) that seems doubly true.

So once again, we bring you the Grab & Go Kids Planner. It's our weekly list of kid-friendly activities and places to try out. You're time-pressed enough, so we're happy to do the research and find the five (or more) best things to do and places to go, both locally and within reasonable striking distance.

As always, help us build the planner with your own suggestions and tips—if we missed anything, just leave us a comment letting us know!

"The Velveteen Rabbit" 
Where/When:  Feb. 18 to March 4 at . Friday performances begin at 8 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
Why Go: Watch kids' eyes widen as toys spring to life in this beloved story of a devoted young boy and his treasured toy rabbit.
Pricing:  All tickets are $12.

Where/When: At the  on Thursday, Feb. 17 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Why Go: Because children of all ages can make snow globe scenes with the help of museum educators. The workshop is very flexible—families can drop-in any time during the event to participate.
Pricing: $4 per child for museum members, $5 per child for non-members

Where/When: in Madison from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19.
Why Go: Because Giffen started writing comic books in the 1980s, but still writes them today, so parents and children who share a passion for comic books can appreciate this event. Giffen has worked for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. He has worked on the Silver Surfer and Legion of Super-Heroes, among many other comics.
Pricing: Free

9th Annual New Jersey Flower & Garden Show
Where/When:  Feb. 17 to 20 at The New Jersey Convention Center in Edison.  Friday and Saturday visit from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Sunday show hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Why Go:  Special events for all young sprouts. Kids can create garden sculptures and learn to paint with natural pigments from common flowers and insects. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m/, children will be taught how to make seed balls to make their own backyards bloom.  Oh, and there is plenty to see and do for grownups too.
Pricing:  Adult admission is $15. Children are admitted for $6, and seniors are admitted for $10. Children ages 11 and under get in free.

When/Where:  Feb. 18, 19, and 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at   Trails will remain open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to continue the tally and fun.
Why Go:  Each kid can be a "citizen scientist" and help researchers gather information about our feathered friends.
Pricing:  Free

Where/When: Feb. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Why Go:  Rosie the red rump tarantula and others will teach children ages 3 to 5 what helps cool critters survive in nature.
Pricing:  Advanced payment is required. $10 per pair or $5 per additional child

Where/When:  Saturday, Feb. 19 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Why Go: Share the love of reading with a very special "Man's Best Friend."  Ages 6 and up can read 10 minutes of their favorite story to a therapy dog from St. Hubert's. 
Pricing:  Free

Drop in Craft for All Ages 3-plus+
Where/When:  Friday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at .
Why Go:  Just drop in for a "Craft Smorgasbord."  Children ages 3 and older can enjoy friends and make a great craft to take home.
Pricing: Free

Where/When:   Saturday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Why Go:  Children ages 3 to 6 will enjoy Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie book stories, activities and crafts.
Pricing:  Free

Where/When:  Saturday, Feb. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Why Go:  Nature lovers, ages 6 through 10, will leave the winter doldrums behind with a brisk hike, sing-a-longs, crafts and the great outdoors.
Pricing: $15 per individual session. Registration is required.

Where/When:  Sunday, Feb. 20 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at  in Bernards Township.
Why Go:  Learn how animals that look creepy, icky or scary can really be quite friendly.
Pricing:  Advanced payment of $6 per person required.

Sesame Street Live...Elmo's Green Thumb
Where/When: Sunday, Feb. 20 with showtimes of 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
Why Go: Follow nature's course with Elmo as he tries to hurry Sunny the sunflower into growing.  It's worth the trip as Abby Cadabby's spell backfires with laughter and Elmo and his friends shrink!
Pricing:  $15 to $125 per ticket

So, did we forget anything? Tell us in the comments, or post to our ongoing all-purpose events calendar.


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