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Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from the Bridgewater Library

[image_thumb3_thumb_thumb_thumb1_thum%255B2%255D.png]Programs at the Bridgewater Library, other libraries in the Somerset County Library System and around the community…

Happy Holidays!
Reminder: The library will be closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Monday 12/26 (Boxing Day) – we hope you enjoy a special time with your families and friends.  When we reopen on Tuesday Dec. 27th, drop in and play some of our dozens of games!  We will also be closed Sunday January 1st.

Looking for a last-minute perfect gift for a child on your list – think books! – here are some “Best” lists to help you find a good match. (Or check these books out at the library during the school break – you can place reserves 24/7 and pick up the books when we reopen Tuesday 12/27.    The library also is getting many titles in eBook – and those can be downloaded 24/7 – click here for more information on library eBooks.)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Guide to Gift Books  (This is the most comprehensive – more than 300 suggestions for preschool through teen!)Bookbeat's Best Children's Book Gift Guide 2011
Imagination Soup Educational Gift Guide for Kids' Books
Reading Rockets Buying Guide 2011
NYTimes Notable Children's Books of 2011


@ Bridgewater Library: Programsdecorative image
Drop-In Game Week! (All Ages) Tues. Dec. 27th -Friday, Dec. 30th, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM in the Children’s Dept.
Sure, you have the week off from school, but do you really want to be sitting in your room twiddling your thumbs?
Of course not! That's why you should join us for 'Board Game Week!' We'll have all of your favorite board games available so that you and your friends can have fun all day long. There'll be Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, Connect Four, and plenty more! Registration is not required, just come on in!

decorative image
Retro Game Night 3 (All Ages) Wednesday December 28, 2011 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM Meeting Room **All Ages Welcome**
It's a blast from the past! Come to our third Retro Game Night and play video games from the last 30 years! Light refreshments will be served and gift cards to Game Stop will be raffled off at the end of the night! No registration required!


New Year's at Noon (Ages 3-8) Thursday December 29, 2011 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM Meeting Room **For ages 3 - 8** We're ringing in the new year a few days early! Join us for stories, games, crafts, and our very own countdown to noon, complete with a New Year's ball! Registration required. For this program, please indicate BOTH the adult and child's name, AND indicate either 'adult' or child's age.
Looking ahead to the “real” New Year…
decorative image Sing-a-Long: Sing, Swing, and Sway Along (For Families with children of all ages)  Wednesday, January 4th  10:00-10:30 am
Warm up with Winter tunes!  Sing away a Winter's day with these fun and funny songs!  No registration required.
Caldecott Committee: 'You Be the Judge!'  (Grades K-6)  Monday, January 9th  4:30-5:30  Registration required.
Become an honorary member of the 2012 Caldecott Committee.  Join us as we look at a selection of last year's best illustrated books and decide which we think should win the Caldecott Award for the most notable illustrations.  When the official Caldecott Award selections are released on January 23rd, we can see if ours won!

Our Jan-Feb. sessions begin the week of Jan. 10th.
 
 
 
Family Story Time (ages 2-6) Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Join us each week for stories, songs, finger plays, and a short film. Toddler Time (18 mo.-3) Wednesdays at 10 & 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. Clapping and singing, rhymes and books….introduce your toddler to the beginnings of story time! Infant Lap Sit (birth to 18 months) Thursdays at 9:30 Clap your hands and stamp your feet and let you baby feel the beat of stories, songs and rhymes. No registration required.
Looking for an evening storytime? Bound Brook has a Pajama Storytime every other Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Check their schedule for details.
 
Dog Behavior & Training Basics Wednesday January 11, 2012  4:30 PM to 5:30 PM  For all ages. Registration Required.
Join Iris Fryzel and her retired service dog, Mindy, and learn how dogs think and why they behave the way they do!  Other topics covered include how and why dogs are trained and how problem behaviors are addressed.  She will demonstrate some commands with Mindy as well as have a Q&A session.
Puppet TreeMariah's Puppets: 'The Giving Tree & The Selfish Litterbug Giant' (Grades PreK-5) Saturday, January 14th 11:00am-Noon No registration required
Through the escapades of the Selfish Litterbug Giant, students learn about the problems caused by litter.  With their help during the puppet show, he is finally encouraged to stop littering and reduce, reuse and recycle.  'The Giving Tree' teaches a powerful message about the gift of nature and how we can give back and make a difference.
There are LOTS OF PROGRAMS at other system libraries for your children & teens…check out their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page for more information.


@ the Library – for Teens:
 Cupcake Boss (Grades 6-12) Tuesday, January 10 7:00 - 8:15 pm
Registration and release form required – registration begins 12/27

Come learn how to decorate cakes and cupcakes like the pros! Professional cake decorator Samantha DeOliveira will teach us traditional piping skills (including how to make borders, writing words, and lots of shapes!), and everyone will decorate and their own jumbo cupcake to take home and eat!
Talk It Up  (Grades 5-8)  Wednesday, January 11th  7:00-8:00pm Registration begins December 28.
If you love to read and talk about books, you are cordially invited to an hour of book talk and friendly company.  Today, we will select what books and/or films we will be discussing in 2012.
Make a Difference @ the Library! (Grades 5-6) Thursday, January 12th  7:00-8:00pm  Registration required.  STUDENTS IN GRADES 5 AND 6: Here is your chance to make a difference by volunteering at the library!


Teen Advisory Board  (For Students in Grades 6-8) Tuesday, January 17th 5:30-6:30pm
Teen Advisory Board (For Students in Grades 9-12) Tuesday, January 17th6:30-7:30pm
Registration required
Do you want to make a difference at your library?  Do you have suggestions for programs, new books, movies, or video games?  Then come to one of our upcoming T.A.B. meeting!  Community service hours will be awarded for attendance and snacks will be served!
@ the Library: Displays:

Cook Something Up for the Holidays – we have a display of cookbooks with lots of ideas for multi-generational tasty indulgences at the back of the Youth Services Reference Desk.
Teach a Skill: There is a lot that you can learn from YouTube, but there is no substitution for real, hands-on instruction. Use this extra time to teach your kid how to make it themselves. Craft a special holiday decoration, teach them to knit or sew or (if you’re feeling ambitious) build a new toboggan to cruise around on that fresh winter snow.

Get Cookin’: Whether it’s a kid-friendly cookie recipe for a party or a family recipe handed down for generations, getting kids in the kitchen not only helps them hone new skills but is a great way to spend time together. Read more »

Around the Community:
Here are just a few events from listings in various calendars & online newsletters including njartsmaven.com, Hillsborough, Branchburg, Somerville Macaroni Kid, and Warren Macaroni Kid. If your family is looking for things to do, take a look at these sites, as well as many other area event listings in the “useful websites” section on the right side of this blog (if you are getting this via email, just click on the headline to see them listed.)

Science & Museums:
The Environmental Education Center 190 Lord Sterling Rd. Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
has lots of activities for kids including an indoor winter wonderland of educational habitat exhibits and holiday music. Events require registration. For more info: Go to www.somersetcountyparks.org.
Winter Marshmullers  (Ages 4-6) $40 per person Tuesday, December 27– Thursday, December 29 9:30am-11:30am
Winter holds mysteries that are ready to be explored. Dress your little ones warmly, as we will be taking expeditions to the forest, field or pond in order to discover how winter is alive. Each day will have craft projects, games, stories, and snacks to keep us busy. We hope this program will inspire a respect for the natural world.
Follow the Winter Whifflepoof  (Ages 7-9) $10 per person Thursday, December 29 9:30am-11:30am
Learn how Native Americans tracked things in the middle of winter! You will play a trail game that teaches tracking and observation skills, learn a bit about the Native Americans in this area, and hear some neat stories. A small snack will be offered.
Looking ahead…check out their January programs.
At the Morris Museum 6 Normandy Heights Road | Morristown, NJ 07960
Lego Lovers, Check out The Art of the Brick® On View through February 20, 2012
Nathan Sawaya is an award-winning artist who creates large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks: LEGO® bricks. See this touring exhibition, which focuses exclusively on LEGO as an art medium. Read more here.
Image: Yellow, Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com




Special Holiday Events:

Holiday Lights Spectacular at the Turtle Back Zoo
Friday-Sunday nights through Dec. 17th, then every night through January 1st (closed Christmas Eve & Christmas).
Time: 5-9PM
Experience Turtle Back Zoo in the winter as 100,000 bulbs and 40 lit displays illuminate the zoo this holiday season! Admission is free for 2011!
Help keep the gift of giving alive! Turtle Back Zoo will be collecting non-perishable food, winter coats and unwrapped new toys for the needy each evening of holiday lights. Help the lights shine a little brighter this year with your donation.

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol December 1 - January 1 This inventive adaption is ingenious in its approach to this timeless holiday tale. With a cast of nine actors playing more than 50 roles, this production conjures up this delightful, funny, haunted and haunting morality tale. For more information, or to purchase tickets: (973) 408-5600 Visit the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's website.


SEND-UP OF HOLIDAY CLASSIC PREMIERES @ GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE
THE NUTCRACKER AND I through December 31 at the George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. Soon-to-Be-Holiday Classic Recommended for Audiences Aged 10 and Up.
Enjoy this nutty send up of The Nutcracker story featuring Tchaikovsky’s glorious music with a hysterical new story and lyrics by the award-winning masters of musical parody Emmy Award winner Peter Brash and Gerard Alessandrini, author of the long-running hit Forbidden Broadway. A wacky, wonderful holiday comedy -- complete with magic nuts and mistletoe! Click here to purchase tickets or call the box office at 732-246-7717


Illusionists @ BROOK ARTS CENTER

NELSON ILLUSIONS WHEN: Thursday, December 29 at 2 PM and on Friday, December 30 at 7 PM Thursday - $10/kids & seniors; $15 for adults; Friday - $12/kids & seniors; $20 for adults
The Brook welcomes the award-winning magic of Nelson Illusions as they entertain patrons with their Smoke & Mystery Tour. Nelson Illusions has been seen in 32 countries, and throughout the United States and Canada. Nelson Illusions is a family trio of skilled magicians and illusionists who perform a dazzling blend of theater, mystery, comedy and romance and a wide selection of stunning magical impossibilities. www.nelsonillusions.com
Tickets for all shows can be purchased Available at Mama Rosina’s, Lou’s Sub Shop and Pranzatelli’s Audio Outlet, and on-line at www.ticketweb.com



Crafts:

The Children’s Museum’s next program is  Rainforest Canopy –  interactive activities most typically suitable for children ages 3 to 9
Sunday January 8, 2012
10AM-2:30PM
Families can arrive and leave at any time. Parents and/or caregivers are expected to stay with children during the museum visit. Please use discretion in bringing very young children, as the museum is NOT baby-proof (some craft items are small and could present a choking hazard).
Main Location: The PeopleCare Center, 120 Finderne Avenue, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 (parking and entrance are in the rear of the building).
Cost: A $3/ per child donation is suggested for those who can afford it. For more information: somersetcminfo@gmail.com or call  908-595-0001.
TEENS, LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER HOURS?? – Check here for volunteer opportunities at The Children’s Museum this winter.

CALLING ALL BUDDING PLAYWRIGHTS: A COMPETITION FOR YOU!
The Theater Project’s 10th Annual Young Playwrights Competition
Now Seeking Submissions from NJ High School Student Playwrights


The winning scripts will be performed in March 2012 by The Theater Project during the state-wide Family Week at the Theater celebration of theater and New Jersey’s youth. How to Enter: By January 23, 2012, please submit a 10-30 page script by to The Theater Project PO Box 101 Union, NJ 07083-0101 or by e-mail to TheaterProject@aol.com. All entries must include a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope), a biography of the author including contact information, and the $5 entrance fee (check or money order, payable to THE THEATER PROJECT) which can be sent via snail mail for e-mailed scripts. Only one entry per author. Please remember that you must be a resident of New Jersey and a secondary school student in the 2011- 2012 academic year to be eligible.
All questions can be directed to The Theater Project at 908.809-8865 or by e-mail at THEATERPROJECT@aol.com.

We have a lot of diversity in our community. People of different nationalities and religious traditions all make their homes in our area. Recently Rev. Marcia Marino of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills (located in Somerville) gave a talk on the winter holidays and how each of us can draw lessons from this diversity. It is food for thought for adults and children. With her permission, I summarize some of her talk here.

Many in our community celebrate Christmas – commemorating the birth of Jesus. Question: Where in your life this year did you experience a sense of new birth?



Others celebrate Hanukkah -- commemorating the miracle of the lamp that only had enough oil to last one day. It lasted eight days. Question: In the past year when did you feel like your oil was about ready to run out? What has made your oil last?


Some in our community celebrate Bodhi Day. Bodhi Day is the day that celebrates the day that the Buddha achieved enlightenment while fasting under a Bodhi Tree in the year 596 BCE. Question: In the past year, when was a moment that you gained a sense of new wisdom in your life?

Next week brings the Winter Solstice –the shortest day and longest night of the year. Question: Solstice is a transition from darkness to more light. In what part of your life do you feel a transition to more light?



Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that unites African traditions with some American customs. Begun in 1966, it is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. Kwanzaa means “harvest”, and its seven core principles are Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Question: What did you feel that you harvested in your life this year? How do you remember and honor your ancestors?

Happy Bodhi Day. Happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Happy Winter Solstice. Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year from all of us at Bridgewater Library to your families!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December Holiday Happenings

[image_thumb3_thumb_thumb_thumb1_thum%255B2%255D.png]Programs at the Bridgewater Library, other libraries in the Somerset County Library System and around the community…

Happy Holidays!
  Reminder: The library will be closed Saturday and Sunday Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
We have a lot of diversity in our community. People of different nationalities and religious traditions all make their homes in our area. Recently  Rev. Marcia Marino of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills (located in Somerville) gave a talk on the winter holidays and how each of us can draw lessons from this diversity. It is food for thought for adults and children. With her permission, I summarize some of her talk here.

Many in our community celebrate Christmas – commemorating the birth of Jesus. Question: Where in your life this year did you experience a sense of new birth?


 
Others celebrate Hanukkah -- commemorating the miracle of the  lamp that only had enough oil to last one day. It lasted eight days.  Question: In the past year when did you feel like your oil was about ready to run out? What has made your oil last?


Some in our community celebrate Bodhi Day. Bodhi Day is the day that celebrates the day that the Buddha achieved enlightenment while fasting under a Bodhi Tree in the year 596 BCE. Question: In the past year, when was a moment that you gained a sense of new wisdom in your life?

Next week brings the Winter Solstice –the shortest day and longest night of the year. Question: Solstice is a transition from darkness to more light. In what part of your life do you feel a transition to more light?
 


Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that unites African traditions with some American customs. Begun in 1966, it is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. Kwanzaa means “harvest”, and its seven core principles are Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Question: What did you feel that you harvested in your life this year? How do you remember and honor your ancestors?

Happy Bodhi Day. Happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Happy Winter Solstice. Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year from all of us at Bridgewater Library to your families!

Looking for books to help your children better appreciate this Season of Giving? Check out our holiday book displays and  Somerset County’s Booklist “Something Special for the Holidays.” Print copies are available in the libraries and it is also on our SCLS Kids Page . (See a list of ideas for non-material ways to celebrate your holidays at the end of this newsletter.)



December is a busy time – but kids can hear a story anytime – even when mom & dad are busy…
Stuck inside on a cold wet day? In a mood for a story?…famous actors read books aloud at: www.storylineonline.net. You can find this link (and many others) by following the links on the right side of this online newsletter. (If you are getting this as a weekly update, click on the headline to see them.)



@ Bridgewater Library: Programs


Holiday Sing-along (All Ages) Saturday December 17th 10 a.m. No Registration Required.

Special Family Storytime: 'Gifts and Giving' (Ages 2 and up) Tuesday December 20, 2011 10:00-10:45 AM, repeated at 1:30-2:15 PM
Bring along your aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents to this storytime emphasizing the joy in giving. No registration required.
decorative image
Drop-In Game Week! (All Ages) Tuesday Dec. 27th -Friday, Dec. 30th, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM  Story Well.
Sure, you have the week off from school, but do you really want to be sitting in your room twiddling your thumbs?
Of course not!  That's why you should join us for 'Board Game Week!'  We'll have all of your favorite board games available so that you and your friends can have fun all day long.  There'll be Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, Connect Four, and plenty more!  Registration is not required, just come on in!


decorative image
Retro Game Night 3 (All Ages) Wednesday December 28, 2011  5:00 PM to 8:00 PM   Meeting Room  **All Ages Welcome**
It's a blast from the past!  Come to our third Retro Game Night and play video games from the last 30 years!  Light refreshments will be served and gift cards to Game Stop will be raffled off at the end of the night!   No registration required!


New Year's at Noon (Ages 3-8)  Thursday December 29, 2011  11:15 AM to 12:00 PM   Meeting Room   **For ages 3 - 8**   We're ringing in the new year a few days early! Join us for stories, games, crafts, and our very own countdown to noon, complete with a New Year's ball!  Registration required.   For this program, please indicate BOTH the adult and child's name, AND indicate either 'adult' or child's age.


Our Nov-Dec. weekly sessions will end Dec. 20th.  Our Jan-Feb. sessions begin the week of Jan. 10th.
Family Story Time (ages 2-6) Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Join us each week for stories, songs, finger plays, and a short film. Toddler Time (18 mo.-3) Wednesdays at 10 & 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. Clapping and singing, rhymes and books….introduce your toddler to the beginnings of story time! Infant Lap Sit (birth to 18 months) Thursdays at 9:30 Clap your hands and stamp your feet and let you baby feel the beat of stories, songs and rhymes. No registration required.
Looking for an evening storytime? Bound Brook has a Pajama Storytime every other Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Check their schedule for details.
There are LOTS OF PROGRAMS at other system libraries for your children & teens…check out their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page for more information.



@ the Library – for Teens:
decorative image Multi-Generation Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Friday, December 16th from 7:00-9:30pm Registration begins November 25th.
Join us as we celebrate the final chapter of the Harry Potter movies! Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord's three remaining Horcruxes. But, as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, the biggest battle of the series begins and life as they know it will never be the same. Harry Potter costumes are encouraged! Light refreshments will be served and a copy of the DVD will be raffled off! **Parents: Please note this film is rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images**




Teen Advisory Board: Tuesday December 20th, 2011. 6:30 to 7:30 PM For students in Grade 6 – 12 **Registration required
Do you want to make a difference at your library? Do you have suggestions for programs, new books, movies, or video games? Then come to one of our upcoming T.A.B. meeting! Community service hours will be awarded for attendance and snacks will be served!

@ the Library: Displays:

Why not MAKE SOMETHING SPECIAL for a friend or family member this holiday season? Get some ideas from our display of craft and cooking books under the “Thanks & Giving” sign at the back of the Youth Services Reference Desk.
Or Cook Something Up for the Holidays – we have a display of cookbooks with lots of ideas for multi-generational tasty indulgences!


When the weather outside is grey, it is a great time to indulge in a bit of fantasy reading…check out our Once Upon a Time display above the magazine section for some great folk and fairy tale selections.




Around the Community:

Here are just a few events from listings in various calendars & online newsletters including njartsmaven.com, Hillsborough, Branchburg, Somerville Macaroni Kid, and Warren Macaroni Kid. If your family is looking for things to do, take a look at these sites, as well as many other area event listings in the “useful websites” section on the right side of this blog (if you are getting this via email, just click on the headline to see them listed.)
CALLING ALL BUDDING PLAYWRIGHTS: A COMPETITION FOR YOU!
The Theater Project’s 10th Annual Young Playwrights Competition
Now Seeking Submissions from NJ High School Student Playwrights


The winning scripts will be performed in March 2012 by The Theater Project during the state-wide Family Week at the Theater celebration of theater and New Jersey’s youth. How to Enter: By January 23, 2012, please submit a 10-30 page script by to The Theater Project PO Box 101 Union, NJ 07083-0101 or by e-mail to TheaterProject@aol.com. All entries must include a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope), a biography of the author including contact information, and the $5 entrance fee (check or money order, payable to THE THEATER PROJECT) which can be sent via snail mail for e-mailed scripts. Only one entry per author. Please remember that you must be a resident of New Jersey and a secondary school student in the 2011- 2012 academic year to be eligible.
All questions can be directed to The Theater Project at 908.809-8865 or by e-mail at THEATERPROJECT@aol.com.
Science & Museums:

FROST FEST at the Environmental Education Center 190 Lord Sterling Rd. Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Almost daily activities include a dogsled demo, ice sculpting, snowshoeing, candle making, and much more! Visit our indoor winter wonderland of educational habitat exhibits and holiday music! Don't forget the Hibernation Masquerade on Sunday, December 18, Noon-4:00pm. Wear your pajamas, make masks, dance, and say good night to the animals! Here’s the full Frost Fest calendar. Events require registration.
Sunday, December 18 - Hibernation Masquerade
Come to the Hibernation Masquerade!  Guests are invited to wear their pajamas, make masks, listen to stories by the fire, play and dance will saying goodnight to animals that will sleep through the winter.   Scheduled activities include: 12:15pm to 1:00pm - live critters with a Naturalist; 1:00pm to 1:45pm - story hour; 1:45pm to 2:30pm - games outside, 2:30pm to 4:00pm - live music by the Fuzzy Lemons, a kid-friendly rock and roll band.  The Exhibit Hall at the EEC has been transformed into a beautiful winter environment with outdoor scenes that replicate the various ecosystems during the winter months.  Where: The Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge. When: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM Who: All ages. How: No registration required. Cost: Free. For more info: Go to www.somersetcountyparks.org

At the Morris Museum 6 Normandy Heights Road | Morristown, NJ 07960
Lego Lovers, Check out The Art of the Brick® On View through February 20, 2012
Nathan Sawaya is an award-winning artist who creates large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks: LEGO® bricks. See this touring exhibition, which focuses exclusively on LEGO as an art medium. Read more here.
Image: Yellow, Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com




Special Holiday Events:

Holiday Lights Spectacular at the Turtle Back Zoo
Friday-Sunday nights through Dec. 17th, then every night through January 1st (closed Christmas Eve & Christmas).
Time: 5-9PM
Experience Turtle Back Zoo in the winter as 100,000 bulbs and 40 lit displays illuminate the zoo this holiday season! Admission is free for 2011!
Help keep the gift of giving alive! Turtle Back Zoo will be collecting non-perishable food, winter coats and unwrapped new toys for the needy each evening of holiday lights. Help the lights shine a little brighter this year with your donation.



At the RVCC Planetarium:
The Alien Who Stole Christmas Saturdays & Sundays, December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18 2:00 p.m. (Recommended for ages 6 - 10 accompanied by an adult) Discover the stars visible in the winter sky. Then follow Santa on a trip through the solar system when a friendly alien kidnaps. The kids on the other planets need presents too, you know!

Winter Wonder Lights Saturdays & Sundays, December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18 3:00 p.m. (Recommended for ages 6 - adult) Listen to songs such as "Wizards in Winter," "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree," and "Jingle Bell Rock" while lasers dance on the dome overhead.







Luna Stage Company, West Orange
Mi Casa, Tu Casa December 2 - 18 Mi Casa, Tu Casa is a bilingual holiday celebration for the entire family. This production features a five-member band and a pair of host storytellers who guide their guests through an engaging line-up of Latino folksongs and fables, seasonal poems, holiday musical favorites, and personal anecdotes of family traditions. Even audience members become part of the fiesta in this unique interactive experience. TICKETS: $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger For more information, or to purchase tickets: (973) 395-5551 Visit Luna Stage Company's website





The Growing Stage, Netcong Babes in Toyland November 25 - December 18
Something is amiss in the Land of Make Believe. Barnaby is threatening Mother Goose with eviction unless her daughter, Bo Peep, marries him. Who could possibly save the day? This original Growing Stage adaptation is loosely based on the Victor Herbert operetta and the classic Laurel & Hardy film. For more information, or to purchase tickets: (973) 347-4946, http://www.growingstage.com/









McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton
A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens; adaptation by David Thompson December 4 - 24
Join Ebenezer Scrooge on his magical journey through Christmas past, present, and future, and experience the show that embodies the peace and goodwill of the season.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (609) 258-2787 Visit McCarter Theatre Center's website








Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol December 1 - January 1 This inventive adaption is ingenious in its approach to this timeless holiday tale. With a cast of nine actors playing more than 50 roles, this production conjures up this delightful, funny, haunted and haunting morality tale. For more information, or to purchase tickets: (973) 408-5600 Visit the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's website.


RVCC, Branchburg The Night Before Christmas Carol David zum Brunnen
Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 12noon & 7PM
Tickets: $10 Noon; $25 7PM
This one man performance of The Night Before Christmas Carol will take you to the night in 1843 when Charles Dickens dreamed up his idea for the famous ghostly tale. Historically accurate and highly humorous, David zum Brunnen cleverly performs the role of Dickens and over seventeen Dickensian characters.



SEND-UP OF HOLIDAY CLASSIC PREMIERES @ GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE
THE NUTCRACKER AND I through December 31 at the George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. Soon-to-Be-Holiday Classic Recommended for Audiences Aged 10 and Up.
Enjoy this nutty send up of The Nutcracker story featuring Tchaikovsky’s glorious music with a hysterical new story and lyrics by the award-winning masters of musical parody Emmy Award winner Peter Brash and Gerard Alessandrini, author of the long-running hit Forbidden Broadway. A wacky, wonderful holiday comedy -- complete with magic nuts and mistletoe! Click here to purchase tickets or call the box office at 732-246-7717


Pushcart Players,  - Performing in Hamilton
Phebe Taylor, Robert Rivera, Robyn Corujo, Oscar Castillo in Peter and the Wolf. photo by David Kelly Crow
A Season of Miracles  Book by Ruth Fost; Music by Larry Hochman
Saturday, December 17 at 2:30pm only!

A sparkling collection of holiday tales from different cultures, featuring The Gift of the Magi, The Nutcracker, The Kwanzaa Kite, and A Chanukah Miracle – A Chelm Story. Filled with beauty, magic, laughter and love, this special performance is the perfect way to celebrate your holidays and share them with others!
Grounds for Sculpture  18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, NJ 08619  For more information: 609-583-0616 or www.groundsforsculpture.org This performance is free with Park Admission.



Actors Shakespeare Company, Jersey City Visit the Actors Shakespeare Company website Christmas with Dickens & Dylan
December 8 – 18  Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol adapted by Greg Oliver Bodine, and Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales are presented as a one-man show where the authors show up and play all the parts. Ghosts woo and rattle their chains as these writers embody the characters they have created, warming the hearts of audiences.


A TRIO OF DECEMBER PROGRAMS @ BROOK ARTS CENTER
www.reverbnation.com/thewintersongband
WRSU – RUTGERS RADIO The first partnership between the Brook Theater and WRSU Radio December 17 from 7 – 11 PM TICKETS: Admission to the event is $10 for all ages.
This Annual 2011 Rock & Roll Christmas Show will showcase 4 to 5 of New Jersey’s best local bands and will help raise money to support Rutgers’s non-commercial radio station WRSU 88.7 FM. http://wrsu.rutgers.edu

NELSON ILLUSIONS WHEN: Thursday, December 29 at 2 PM and on Friday, December 30 at 7 PM Thursday - $10/kids & seniors; $15 for adults; Friday - $12/kids & seniors; $20 for adults
The Brook welcomes the award-winning magic of Nelson Illusions as they entertain patrons with their Smoke & Mystery Tour. Nelson Illusions has been seen in 32 countries, and throughout the United States and Canada. Nelson Illusions is a family trio of skilled magicians and illusionists who perform a dazzling blend of theater, mystery, comedy and romance and a wide selection of stunning magical impossibilities. www.nelsonillusions.com
Tickets for all shows can be purchased Available at Mama Rosina’s, Lou’s Sub Shop and Pranzatelli’s Audio Outlet, and on-line at www.ticketweb.com



Crafts:


TEENS, LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER HOURS?? – Check here for volunteer opportunities at The Children’s Museum this winter.



Saturday, December 17 - Michaels Free Make-it Take-it Event: Ducktape Luggage Tag
Come to Michaels to make a FREE Duck Tape Luggage Tag.  While supplies last. Where: Michaels 135 Promenade Blvd
BRIDGEWATER, NJ 08807-3455  When: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Who: Ages 3 and up.How: Just drop in during the craft time listed.Cost: Free. For more info: Call Michaels at (732) 302-4566
Saturday, December 17 - Michaels Free Make-it Take-it Event: Poinsetta Holiday Card
Come to Michaels to make a FREE Poinsetta Holiday Card. While supplies last. Where: Michaels When: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Who: Ages 3 and up.How: Just drop in during the craft time listed. Cost: Free. For more info: Call Michaels at (732) 302-4566
Saturday, December 17 - Build & Grow at Lowe's
A free children's clinic with instruction will be held at Lowes 10 a.m. Each participant will receive a free apron, googles, a themed patch, and a certificate of merit upon completion of their project. It's the final piece of the 2011 Lowe's holiday train! This Train Engine includes stickers and a pullback motor!
Where: Lowe's 315 US Highway 206 Hillsborough, 08844  When: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM  Who: Children up to age 12 Cost: FREE!!!   How: Due to high demand, please register online at:  http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/Home.aspx
Saturday, December 17 - ShopRite Kids Day: Healthy Desserts
Dessert doesn't have to be a disaster. Kids can join Rachel Simpers, ShopRite's in-store dietician, at a free event on how to make healthy sweet treats. Where: ShopRite of Hillsborough US Highway 206 & Amwell Rd, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 When: 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM  Who: Everyone How: 908-359-0313 Cost: Free  For more info: rachel.­simpers@­wakefern.­com 908-359-0313
KIDS GO FREE TO HOLIDAY JUBILEE @ CROSSROADS
Kids go FREE!!!
Holiday Jubilee 2011 Poster


Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

From Reclaiming the Holidays (from PBS.Parents) http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2011/11/reclaiming-the-holidays.html

by Allison Cook and Renée Shade
Allison Cook and Renée Shade
Allison Cook and Renée Shade of The Story of Stuff Project (a very clever video – take a look here) help people think about the about the way we make, use and throw away Stuff have come up with some suggestions to help make your family reclaim the holidays and celebrate traditions, new and old, which remind us and our families what’s so special about this time of year.

Sing Out!: Every year my family goes Christmas caroling, and it’s my absolute favorite part of the holiday. None of us are very good, but it’s silly and joyful and festive, and makes me feel connected to my family history. Don’t like those holiday standards? Start a new tradition! Our family favorite is “Lean on Me” which last I checked is not a caroling classic!

Give the Gift of Time: Time is one of the most precious gifts we can give to the people we hold dear. Giving time together (a promise of an outing, a ticket together to a show, a certificate to babysit) reduces the amount of stress-inducing, useless stuff in everyone’s life, builds community and creates a fabulous catalog of memories to look back on.

Teach a Skill: There is a lot that you can learn from YouTube, but there is no substitution for real, hands-on instruction. Use this extra time to teach your kid how to make it themselves. Craft a special holiday decoration, teach them to knit or sew or (if you’re feeling ambitious) build a new toboggan to cruise around on that fresh winter snow.

Get Cookin’: Whether it’s a kid-friendly cookie recipe for a party or a family recipe handed down for generations, getting kids in the kitchen not only helps them hone new skills but is a great way to spend time together. Read more »