The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Community Renewal are pleased to announce an exciting line-up of programs for families and adults at Trailside Nature & Science Center in Mountainside during the Presidents’ Day Holiday weekend, from Friday, February 17, 2012 through Monday, February 20, 2012.
“February Festivities” will include numerous types of family programs recommended for families with children ages 5 and older. Pre-registration is required for all programs, unless otherwise noted. Walk-ins will be accommodated as space permits.
“The weekend February Festivities will entertain and educate while offering families a chance to experience the beauty and wonder of the Watchung Reservation during the winter,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Whether you want to learn how real maple syrup is made, enjoy an action-packed matinee, use your creativity during the EcoArt Extravaganza, or walk in the woods to see wildlife, there is something for everyone.” A special Monday magic matinee – “Hocus Pocus: It’s Joe Fischer!” – on February 20th is recommended for children ages 4 and older.
Kicking off “February Festivities” on Friday, February 17th from 7-8 pm is “The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln,” a dramatization/lecture for adults, ages 18 and older. Christian Johnson, a dramatist with the American Theatre Organization, portrays President Lincoln and gives insight into his strength of character. This program is sponsored in part by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and is free to attend. Donations are appreciated.
On Saturday, February 18th, from 10 am – 12 pm, families with children ages 5 and older can use their creativity during Trailside’s “EcoArt Extravaganza.” Drop in anytime between 10 am and 12 pm to use your artistic abilities to make crafts from recycled objects. Participants will be amazed to see paper rolls become snakes, cereal boxes and magazine pictures become colorful bookmarks and egg cartons are transformed into beautiful flower arrangements. The fee for the EcoArt Extravaganza is $5 per person for in-county residents and $6 per person for out-of-county residents. Pre-registration is not required for this program.
Later on Saturday, February 18th, join a Trailside staff member at 3 pm for Story Time and listen to entertaining stories of the season. Families should meet on the lower level of the Visitor Center by the bird viewing area. There is no fee for Story Time but donations are appreciated.
Also on Saturday, February 18th, from 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm, families can see how 100 percent real maple syrup is made from the sap of a sugar maple tree in “The Journey of Sap to Syrup.” Find out what equipment is needed to collect sap and take part in a taste test to see if you can identify the real thing. This program will be repeated on Monday, February 20th, from 10 am – 11:15 am. The fee for this fun and educational program is $5 per person for Union County residents and $6 per person for out-of-county residents. Pre-registration is required.
Another highlight of this weekend is the matinee, “Hocus Pocus: It’s Joe Fischer!” on Monday, February 20th, from 1:30 pm -2:15 pm. This fast-paced show is a perfect blend of magic, audience participation, comedy and excitement. Joe Fischer, Magician Extraordinaire, puts on a show that is sure to astound, baffle and thrill the audience. He has a great rapport with children and his ability to engage audiences of all ages is “pure magic.” This matinee is recommended for children ages 4 and up and the fee is $4 per person. Tickets go on sale at 1:00 pm on Monday, February 20th at the Visitor Center Service Desk. Strollers are not permitted in the auditorium.
The February Festivities are designed to encourage families to enjoy the outdoors and gain a heightened awareness of the natural world during the winter months. On Monday, February 20th, from 3 pm - 4 pm. families can join a Trailside guide for a walk outside in search of buck rubs, animal tracks and nibbled twigs during “Animal Clue Scavenger Hunt.” We will look for signs that tell us that our animal neighbors are in the area. The Scavenger Hunt will conclude with hot chocolate and marshmallows around a campfire. The fee is $5 per person for Union County residents and $6 per person for out-of-county residents. Pre-registration is required.
For more information on the programs offered during February Festivities or any other upcoming events, call 908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at www.ucnj.org/trailside. Trailside Nature & Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. All are welcome.