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Pony Up Family Festival, Gladstone, NJ, June 18, 2016

Saharaa Sam's Indoor & Outdoor Waterpark, West Berlin, New Jersey

HudsonWay Immersion School (formerly Bilingual Buds), Mandarin and Spanish school and camp, Summit, NJ

Diggerland, construction theme park, West Berlin, New Jersey  Branchburg Sports Complex, sports, laser tag, birthday parties, Branchburg, New Jersey

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nj kids guide hot picks family events and kids activities

New events and listings received after publication for New Jersey's print Kids Guide Calendar are listed below. Refer to the site index at left to look for upcoming activities 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 kids@kidsguidenj.com or submit event using the form on the top menu bar.

long-running events, recent openings

18 June
Breyer® Pony Up! Festival
U.S. Equestrian Team Headquarters, 1040 Pottersville Rd. just off Rt. 206), Gladstone, 800-413-3348. 10am-4pm.
     Discover the world of horses at the first ever Pony Up! Festival, a fun, hands-on, family-oriented day featuring the real local horses that inspired the Breyer models. Get up close with the horses, meet their owners, take pony rides, visit a petting zoo, watch equine demonstrations, and participate in fun craft activities in the hobby booth. Local barns will be on site with information about riding lessons and children's programs.
      $10 admission includes all activities and every child ticket holder age 17 and under receives a free Breyer Classics® model horse ($20 value). Advance tickets strongly encouraged. Free parking.

Open
Little Blue Penguins
Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Dr. (NJ Turnpike Exit 4), Camden, NJ 08103, 856-365-3300. Adventure Aquarium introduces Australia's little blue penguins, the world's cutest penguins as they dart through the water, waddle around and play together beachside in the new Little Blue Beach exhibit. Little blues are the smallest species of penguin in the world, growing an average of 13 inches in height and weighing in at just 3 pounds. They've even earned the nickname "fairy penguins" thanks to their small stature. Daily live feeds, free with admission.

Middlesex County College Award-Winning Theater Camp 2016

Thru May 29
The Butterfly Conservatory
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., NYC, 212-769-5100. Walk through a tropical vivarium housing up to 500 live, free-flying butterflies.

Ongoing
Star Wars & The Power of Costume Exhibition
Discovery Times Square Exposition, 226 W. 44th St., NYC, 866-987-9692. Features 70 hand-crafted costumes from the first six Star Wars films, revealing the artists' creative process in shaping the identities of Darth Vader, C-3PO, Queen Amidala, Princess Leia and other characters. Opening Feb.-Sept.: The Vikings Exhibition, featuring more than 500 Viking artifacts from 750-1100 A.D., interactive elements and games.

School Year 2015-2016
Fourth Graders Free Every Kid in a Park Pass
Leading up to the 100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016, fourth graders nationwide can visit the new Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass providing free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The pass is valid for the 2015-2016 school year and grants free entry for fourth graders and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 federally-managed sites.  

more recent openings...

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 here...you 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 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.

featured activities & events open for advance tickets
or registration

still time to register for summer camp and school next fall! Find them here under "nj camp guide" and "nj school guide" on kidsguidenj.com!

Sundays thru May 29
Beauty & The Beast
Jersey City Theater Center, Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Ave., Jersey City, 201-736-1884. Sunday afternoons at 1pm. Advance tickets: Adults $10, children $9. At door: Adults $12, children $11. Using theatrical storytelling techniques and genuine marionette puppets, Puppetworks production features a classical music score by French composer Jules Massenet, hand-carved, wooden marionettes, a spectacular thunderstorm, enchanted forest, and miraculous transformation of The Beast back into the kind and handsome prince.

Into the Swim, Inc.
866-307-SWIM. Springfield, Somerset, Fairfield, Clinton, Denville and more. Into the Swim features no more than 3 students per class. All ages and special needs are invited to learn a vital life-saving skill under the tutelage of professional and experienced instructors who have all been trained to our standards. Classes are given late afternoons, evenings and weekends. There is no registration fee. Into the Swim selects only indoor pools that meet its standards for water quality, temperature, and provide a comfortable environment for maximum learning. For more details, call 866-307-SWIM.

Ongoing
Sesame Workshop at Gateway National Recreation Area
See the new videos released by Sesame Workshop featuring Gateway (and Ranger Shalini Gopie) as well as Grand Canyon National Park. Visit website to watch.

Saturdays and Sundays
Weekend Photo Scavenger Hunt
Haggerty Education Center in the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 353 E. Hanover Ave., Morris Twp., 973-326-7603. Weekends anytime between 9am-3:30pm. $10/family. Grab a camera or phone and stop by the Haggerty Education Center for a nature photo scavenger hunt with a new theme each month. Visitors can pick up a list, head outside and shoot away. Take a picture of every item on the list, return to the Education Center and pick up a prize.

Monthly
Garden Sprouts
Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 353 E. Hanover Ave., Morristown. 11am-noon. $10. Nature-based program for preschoolers with a grownup includes a walk through the arboretum's gardens, story and activity. For more information and to sign up, visit website.

vacation accommodations for the family

TimeshareRentalMarket.com
Find a large selection of low priced timeshare rentals available year round in destinations worldwide. These resort properties have spacious layouts with separate bedrooms/living rooms, perfect for families, and offer many more amenities than a standard hotel room.

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

Pick up a free copy of the print Kids Guide NJ or select and print the online coupons and save on some fantastic children's activities and services!

• Imagine That! Children's Discovery Museum: Use coupon from online coupon page
  or on page 201 in the print Kids Guide NJ t o enjoy FREE FOOD with admission,
  Florham Park, NJ

• Into the Swim: Call for FREE TRIAL SWIM CLASS, all ages & abilities. Springfield,
  Somerset, Fairfield, Clinton, Denville, NJ and more (no coupon necessary, mention
  Kids Guide NJ ad)

• In-Tune Summer Academy University for Young Scholars: Call about special
  discounts for early summer camp registration. Mention Kids Guide NJ camp ad.

• Kierson Farm: Mention Kids Guide NJ ad for FREE INTRODUCTORY HORSEBACK
  RIDING
LESSON (newcustomers, ages 3+); 10% OFF camp registration (valid through
  4/1/16); and $25 OFF any lesson, camp or birthday package (new customers only).
  Flemington, NJ.

• Playwrights Theatre of NJ: Mention CODE KGSF15 and save $25 off the regular
  price of a class, Madison, NJ

• Seaton Hackney Stables: Use coupon from online coupon page or on page 59 in
  the print Kids Guide NJ for 10% OFF anything (lessons, camps, parties, trail rides, more)!
  Morristown, NJ. Good thru April 30, 2016.

• Starfish Aquatic Club: Mention Kids Guide NJ ad and get 50% OFF a second 4 week
  session of lessons.

• Success Ladder Academy: Use coupon from online coupon page or on page 201
  in the print Kids Guide NJ for FREE SUMMER CAMP AFTERCARE, Hillsborough, NJ .

• Union County Golf: Mention Kids Guide NJ ad and BUY 3 INDIVIDUAL LESSONS,
  GET ONE
FREE at the Learning Center at Galloping Hill, Kenilworth, NJ, and
  Ash Brook Golf Course
, Scotch Plains, NJ. Valid through June 30, 2016.

• Wompy's World of Musical Play: Call for a free trial class, Warren, Summit, Westfield,
  Morristown, Bedminster and Montclair, NJ (no coupon necessary, mention Kids Guide ad).

2016-17 NJ theatre and music & dance announcements

Links to new season announcements will be posted below as they come in over the summer and fall. 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.

Carnegie Hall, 57th St. & Seventh Ave, New York, NY, 212-247-7800.
Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ, 732-842-9000. Spring and summer schedule.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, 60 Park Place, Newark, NJ, 800-255-3476.
Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Dr, Millburn, NJ, 973-376-4343.
Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, 36 Madison Ave., Madison, 973-408-5600.