Welcome to our Online Newsletter and Virtual Bulletin Board!

Question or Suggestion? Contact cslevin59 (at) gmail.org.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Last Chance to Donate a Book (or Several) to Books for Kids this Weekend–A Great Chance to Make a Difference in a Child’s Life! Check out The Children's Museum’s Annual Holidays around the World Festival this Sunday plus LOTS of other activities in our area!

Looking for some good book gift ideas? Bridgewater Librarians are happy to consult with you to find some perfect selections. Give us a call at 908 526-4016 x126 and we’ll have some suggestions ready.

Speaking of gift books -- The Bridgewater Library will be collecting new and new-looking books through Sunday December 9th. Please be generous. Books are especially needed this year to give as gifts for children in flood-ravaged areas:




@ the Library: Programs for Children:

Monday Morning Moms Group (For parents or caregivers and children ages birth to 3 years) Monday, December 10th 10:00am Registration required.
This week's theme: Healthier Holiday Snacks
Join our new group where you can meet other parents, get ideas, and learn from experts! Each week will have a different theme and discussion led by a speaker. There will be some toys available for the children.

This is the LAST week of our Nov.-Dec. Series.  Storytimes resume the week of January 7th.  Family Storytimes (ages 2-6) Tuesdays at 10 and 1:30, Toddler Times (ages 18-36 months) Wednesdays at 10 & 11 and Thursdays at 10:30 & 11:30, Baby Times (Birth-18 months) Thursdays at 9:30. No registration is required but we ask that you only attend one session each week. Full details are posted our January Calendar or you can call us at 908 526-4016 x126. We also offer a satellite storytime/craft on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. at the Neshanic Station Library. Tail Waggin' Tutors: Children Reading to Dogs (For Children of All Ages) on Thursday, December 13th. 4-5pm. Telephone or In-Person Registration Only Call the library at 908 526-4016 x126 for more information. Did you know that dogs like listening to stories as much as kids do?Come to the Bridgewater Library for Tail Waggin’ Tutors, our new program where children will have the opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading a story to Xena the Therapy Dog, a friendly, six-year-old chocolate labradoodle. Each child will have 10 minutes to read a favorite story to his or her new, canine friend. Therapy Dogs International (TDI®) is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. For more information, please visit www.tdi-dog.org.

PreSchool of Rock (Ages 2+) Saturday, December 8th from 10:30 am - 11:15 am. Registration required. Got the winter blues? Then come by the library and rock out with 'Preschool of Rock!' Your morning will be filled with great music where children will discover, improvise, perform, and have fun!

Kids' Club: 'Who Was Steve Jobs?' (Grades 3-4) Monday, December 10 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Registration required.   'Who Was Steve Jobs?' By Pam Pollack Examines the life and accomplishments of computer industry pioneer Steve Jobs, a founder of Apple Computer, Inc. Join us for a chapter book club for 3rd and 4th graders.
Reserve your copy early, and check at the Youth Services desk with any questions.

Family Night Storytime (All Ages) No Registration Required  Tuesday December 11, 2012 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Story Well Wear your pj's to our new all-ages storytime with Miss Gretchen!

decorative imageCarol's Creative Chocolatez Saturday December 15, 2012 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM Registration Required Back by Popular Demand! Learn the history of cacao and the steps needed to transform it into delicious chocolate. Carol will explain tempering, the melting and cooling process, and the tasty results. Enjoy lots of scrumptious samples. Take a look at some of Carol's award winning edible chocolate paintings! Bring the family and friends for a fabulous time. You Must Register To Attend This Event.

After-School Adventure: Gifts and Giving (Ages 5-11) Monday, December 17th from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Registration Required. Join us to hear some stories of great gifts given and received; then we'll make wrapping paper you can use for the special presents you plan to give this holiday season.

Sing-along: For the Holidays (All Ages) Tuesday, December 18th
at 10:00 am 
No registration required  Come tap your toes and jingle our bells to holiday tunes!


Retro Game Night (All Ages) (For all ages—families welcome!)  Wednesday, December 26th  from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm    No registration required   It's a blast from the past! Come to our Retro Game Night and play video games from the past 30 years!   We will raffle off gift cards to Game Stop!  And yes, there will be snacks!

New Years at Noon (Ages 3+) Friday, December 28th
from 11:15 am - 12:00 pm 
Registration begins December 14

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!

And don’t forget The Library has books nominated for the 2013 Garden State Book Awards on display on the bookshelf behind the Youth Services Reference Desk. Stop on by and take a look! For a full list of nominees with descriptions, click HERE.

There are ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS at other system libraries for children & teens…find their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page.  Planning ahead for January? -- Check out our library calendar.

There are ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS at other system libraries for children & teens…find their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page.

If you register for a program and realize that you won’t be able to come, please call (908 526-4016x126) or email us (bwljuv@sclibnj.org) as early as possible so we can make someone on the waitlist very happy. Next time that waitlisted participant might be your child!

@ Bridgewater Library for Teens:

clip_image031_thumb_thumb_thumb1_thu[2]Open Mic Cafe Night (Ages 13+) Thursday, December 13th From 7:00pm – 8:30pm Registration Required to perform. Think you’ve got what it takes to get up on stage in front of your peers with nothing but your voice and guitar? Want to share your poetry, comedy, or original music? Then this is your night! Join us for this one of a kind experience, and help local musicians and writers get their voices heard. Depending on registration, artists will receive 10-15 minute slots to play music or recite poetry. Sign ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please check back for more registration information. **You only need to register if you are interested in performing.**

Practice SAT (For students in grades 7 - 12) Saturday, December 15th from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm Registration required. Taking the SAT in the Spring? A free practice test is one of the best ways to get ready for the real thing! By taking this practice test, you will learn exactly what to expect on test day and receive a complete individual analysis of your results (which will be mailed to you 7-10 business days following the test).Don't forget a #2 pencil and calculator!

TAB Meeting (Grades 6-8) Tuesday, Tuesday, December 18th 5:30-6:30pm TAB Meeting (Grades 9-12) Tuesday Tuesday, December 18th 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM 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. meetings! Community service hours will be awarded for attendance and snacks will be served!

Retro Game Night (All Ages) (For all ages—families welcome!) Wednesday, December 26th from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm No registration required It's a blast from the past! Come to our Retro Game Night and play video games from the past 30 years! We will raffle off gift cards to Game Stop! And yes, there will be snacks!

5th & 6th Grade Volunteers Monday January 7th from 7-8pm Registration required. ATTENTION STUDENTS IN GRADES 5 AND 6: Here is your chance to make a difference by volunteering at the library! You can help the library with special projects including creating bookmarks for young children, organizing and tidying up the Children’s Room, and much more!

Want more info about upcoming programs? Check out our December teen calendar here.

Around the Community:

The Great Russian Nutcracker  Moscow Ballet at RVCC
Saturday, December 8 at 3 & 7PM   Tickets: $37 & $47

Moscow Ballet’s spectacular scenic design, gorgeous costumes, and the exquisite artistry of 40 top Russian dancers have made the Great Russian Nutcracker an American holiday tradition not to be missed. Critically acclaimed for its unique setting of Act II the "Land of Peace and Harmony”, the Great Russian Nutcracker entertains with new characters and larger than life puppets set against a stunning backdrop. An ethereal Dove, a messenger of peace, leads Masha and the Nutcracker to the peaceful kingdom. Beloved Russian fairytale characters, Father Christmas and his granddaughter the Snow Maiden, add to the whimsical and imaginative storytelling that sets this Nutcracker apart.


Scrap/Arts/Music  NJPAC in Newark, NJ  12:30 pm workshop, 12 pm show  Trash becomes treasure when these innovative drummers bring their pulse-pounding percussion to NJPAC, using more than 145 sculptures created from scrap metal! Before the show, attend a family workshop on creatively reusing recycled materials. Tickets required.

SATURDAY 12•08•12 Music & Ice Sculpture in Downtown Somerville.From 10am-11am Match 4 will perform Holiday Music on Main Street. Match 4 will be followed by the Kyle Thompson Quartet.  Be sure to stop back in town at 5pm for the always amazing ice sculpture demo!

BadgeCOLONIAL CHRISTMAS in Bedminster Dec. 7, 8 & 9  10:00am-4:00pm  No Registration Required.  $10 Admission, Free to Children 12 & Under, School Groups Free

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House Present the 10th Annual Colonial Christmas at the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum on River Road in Bedminster. Holiday Shopping, Museum Tours, Festive Trimmings, Colonial Re-enactors, Caroling, Colonial Musicians, Santa Visits. Special Exhibition by Noted Landscape Artist John Phillip Osborne.   Please use River Road Park Entrance. For a complete schedule of events and information visit www.jvanderveerhouse.com

Chanukah Olive Press Demonstration  Sunday, December 9
Imagine That!!! in Florham Park, NJ; 1-4:30 pm
Celebrate the Chanukah season, meet Judah the Maccabee, and enjoy a craft and olive press demonstration! Join Rabbi Rosenblum as he demonstrates how to extract oil from the olives. Children will also decorate a donut and complete a craft project. Registration suggested.

FROST FEST at the Environmental Education Center  thru December 16 Celebrate winter!  Visit the Environmental Education Center and discover a world of fun indoors and out.  Programs may include reindeer games, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, candle making, owl prowl, and much more!  Visit our indoor winter wonderland of educational habitat exhibits, tree display, and stop in to enjoy cookies and hot cocoa in the Snowflake Café!  Don’t forget the Hibernation Masquerade - wear your pajamas, make masks, dance, and say goodnight to the animals.  Suggested donation of $4 per person for all special weekend features. Visit www.somersetcountyparks.org for more information

Special weekend features include:
Winter Survival Demonstration by Practical Primitive                  Sunday, December 9                                2:30pm-4:00pm

Hibernation Masquerade
Sunday, December 16                              Noon-4pm

Live kid-friendly rock n’ roll music by The Fuzzy Lemons                    Sunday, December 16                              2:30pm-4:00pm



22nd Annual Holiday Model Train Exhibit

WHEN:  On View Dec. 1-28
Mon – Fri 11 AM-4 PM;  Sat & Sun 2-4 PM; CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY ~ DEC. 25

WHERE: Barron Arts Center, 582 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge
free to the public but donations are always greatly appreciated.  Exhibit is available to schools & groups. Call 732.634.0413 to make a reservation.

For the 22nd year, the Barron Arts Center presents its Holiday Train Show. This exquisitely detailed model train display is a treat for all ages, and many recognizable landmarks are represented, from Hershey Park to our beloved Jersey Shore.  The display of over 300 feet of track will feature a moving operating playground and three towns including Main Street U.S.A., a small town in the snowy mountains, The Boardwalk with a Ferris Wheel and Tilt-A-Whirl surrounded by an operating monorail. Eleven different trains will be used in the display with four trains operating at all times.

In the spirit of giving, The Barron Arts Center will be collecting non-perishable food items for The Mayor’s Food Bank & supplies for The Woodbridge Animal Shelter.



Dramatized by Joseph Robinette
Book by C.S. Lewis
Directed by Jonathan Wierzbicki

WHEN: November 30-December 16; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 PM
WHERE: Somerset Valley Players,
689 Amwell Road, Hillsborough
Just a few miles west of Route 206. Wheelchair Accessible and Air Conditioned
"Yes, we are the little red schoolhouse!"
TICKETS: $15 Adults and $13 Seniors and Students.
For tickets please visit www.svptheatre.org or call 908.369.7469

The wondrous tale of mystery and magic brings daring adventure, as four innocent children enter an enchanted portal to a fantastic kingdom of mystical beasts. The courageous youngsters demonstrate heartfelt bravery battling an eternal winter and dueling with an evil White Witch. The children help the true ruler of the kingdom, a majestic lion, regain his rightful glory as leader of the realm, thus allowing Father Christmas to return to the kingdom once again.

Free - Gift of the Magi Event - Open to All
Come Hear the Story of The Gift of the Magi.
See Highlights in a Short Skit of The Gift of the Magi.  Come Appreciate the Real Meaning of Gift Giving.
Then - Each Attendee will Be Able to Select & Take 5 Brand New Gifts to Spread the Spirit of Gift Giving this Holiday Season. (Wide Variety of Gifts to Choose From.)

DATE: Saturday - December 8, 2012
WHERE: Somerset County/Bridgewater Library – Community Room
TIMES: Two Session: 1:00 pm till 2:00 pm or 3:oo pm till 4:00 pm

Suggested Age – Pre-K thru Grade 6, But Open to All. Registration Recommended to Confirm a Spot, But Walk-In Welcome.
TWO WAYS TO REGISTER: CALL: (908) 429-9744
EMAIL: ShelbyGoldAward@aol.com  When You Call or Email - 1) Leave Number Attending & Names. 2) Contact Phone Number. 3) Session Attending.  Any Additional Questions: Contact Ambassador Girl Scout Shelby Sharkey at (908) 429-9744 or email ShelbyGoldAward@aol.com   Web Page: www.Free-Gift-of-the-Magi-Event.webs.com


1WizardPublicity-smallTHE WIZARD OF OZ
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY’S (RSC) adaptation by Frank Gabrielson and John Kane
Music and Lyrics from the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Directed by Michael Blevens

WHEN: November 23 and will run until December 9; Thursdays at 7:30 PM; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. There are also 2 PM matinees on Wednesday, November 28 and 10 AM school matinees on Tuesday, December 4 and Wednesday, December 5.
Sitnik Theatre in the David and Carol Lackland Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown (on the campus of Centenary College)
TICKETS: $20-$29.50 with discounts for students and seniors. Every Thursday night is “Family Night,” which offers a 2-for-1 rush ticket price when purchased at the door.
To purchase tickets or to find more information on other performances in the 2012-2013 season, visit www.centenarystageco.org or call 908.979.0900. Patrons are encouraged to check the age recommendations for individual shows.

Featuring a cast of 50 actors on the stage, The Wizard of Oz is a musical tradition following the story of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion and Toto, too. The RSC said this adaptation came about when the Artistic Director of the company asked for a show that could be performed annually over the Christmas season, so this show is especially made for families to celebrate the holiday season.

This production includes lively dance routines and familiar songs such as Academy Award-winning song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as well as an added show-stopping dance number, “The Jitterbug,” which was edited out from the original movie. Artistic Director Carl Wallnau said, “You only have to say it to people, and a smile comes on their face.” Directed and choreographed by Broadway, film, and television veteran Michael Blevins, The Wizard of Oz features a cast of talented actors, dancers and musicians from all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Flying by Foy, one of the most prolific and widely-respected theatrical flying services in the world, headquartered in Las Vegas, has come to execute the flying of the Witches, the Wizard, the monkeys, and more, creating a spectacle not to be missed and a first for Centenary Stage Company.

The dining hall at the Lackland Center will also host a special Yule Fest dinner ($12.50) before the show dates on Saturday, November 1st and 8thand a brunch ($10.00) on Sunday, December 2nd and 9th. There will be different vendors from the community also set up selling special holiday gifts so that audiences can get an opportunity to catch up on their holiday shopping.


Looking for more things to do?

New Jersey efamily news

For more events, check out their web calendar.

21st Annual Santa Claus Special Dec. 8, 9, 15, and 16. Registration required.Whippany Railway Museum in Whippany, NJ departures at 1, 2, 3, and 4 pm

Celebrate the Christmas season with a ride on the Whippany Railway Museum's 21st Annual Santa Claus Special. During the 10-mile, 45-minute round-trip excursion from Whippany to Roseland, Santa makes his way through the train and visits with all the children on board. His train crew follows along, giving kids a special gift from Santa.

Cinderella ConfidentialCinderella Confidential Saturday, December 8 - Sunday, December 9  at 1:30 and 3:30 pm Studio Players in Upper Montclair, NJ

The prince has the shoe. He's ready to wed. But who's the woman behind the foot? Two investigative reporters compete for the scoop of the century by interviewing storybook celebrities. Tickets required. $8

21st Annual Gingerbread Wonderland Through December 9 Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ  10 am-5 pm (open until 8 pm on Fridays)

A kingdom made of candy canes, chocolate, and gumdrops really does exist! Marvel at the skill and creativity displayed in more than 100 edible creations, including candy castles, Santa's workshop, scenes from Harry Potter, and even a grand piano!

Check out their links for Holiday Theater -- 14 sensational holiday performances in NJ. Here’s a sampling:

the nutcracker balletThe Nutcracker

Experience the magic of the Nutcracker ballet on the following dates:  Dec. 8 Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, Trenton609-984-8400; Dec. 8–9 Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank 732-842-9000;Dec. 15–16 Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan 732-528-9211; Dec. 15-16 Centenary Stage Sitnik Theater, Hackettstown908-979-0900; Dec. 14–16, 20–24 MPAC, Morristown 973-539-8008; Dec. 22–23 State Theatre, New Brunswick (shown) 732-246-7469

a christmas carolA Christmas Carol

This classic story reminds us that the holidays are a time of kindness, forgiving, and charity.


a little princess christmas
A Little Princess Christmas

Dec. 22, 10 am
Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn  973-376-4343

Spirited Sara Crewe goes from riches to rags when her doting father disappears, leaving her in the clutches of the evil Miss Minchin. Now it’s up to Sara and her friend Becky to save themselves while keeping up hope that Captain Crewe will return to save their Christmas. Ages 7 and up.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Nov. 23–Dec. 23
Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays and Sundays at 4 pm  The Growing Stage, Netcong

This presentation, recommended for the entire family, is a musical stage adaptation of the 1964 TV special. Set in a magical, holiday world in and around the North Pole—populated by talking snowmen and flying reindeer—this production features well-known Christmas songs and evokes the enduring spirit of Christmas.

RVCC Planetarium has a variety of Saturday and Holiday shows for Children. Click HERE for a complete schedule. All shows run approximately 40 minutes. Admission: $7 for one show, $12 for two shows on the same day. Call 908-231-8805 for reservations!

Saturdays & Sundays, first three weeks of December

flying saucerThe Alien Who Stole Christmas
Saturdays & Sundays,
December 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16
2:00 p.m.
Discover the stars visible in the winter sky. The follow Santa on a trip through the Solar System when a friendly alien kidnaps him. The kids on the other planets need presents too, you know! Recommended for ages 6-10.

Laser bellsWinter Wonder Lights
Saturdays & Sundays,
December 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16
3:00 p.m.
An annual tradition, come listen to songs like "Wizards in Winter," "Run Run Rudolph," and "Little Saint Nick" while lasers draw pictures on the dome overhead. Recommended for ages 6 - adult.

For more events, check out their web calendar. You can subscribe to event alerts there as well.


The Sound of Music will be performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn through December 30. For information and tickets, call 973.376.4343 or visit www.papermill.org.

Sound of Music PPH  018.The Sound of Music.Music by Richard Rodgers.Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.Papermill Playhouse 11/20/12.James Brennan (Director/Choreographer).Scenic Designer James Fouchard.Costume Coordinator Amanda Seymour.Lighting Designer F. Mitchell Dana..© T Charles Erickson.http://tcharleserickson.photoshelter.com.tcepix@comcast.net."The hills are alive with the sound of music." Okay, it's not the Austrian Alps, but more like the Short Hills that "rise" above Millburn where, just in time for the holidays, the Paper Mill Playhouse has mounted an enchanting production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical fable about the von Trapp Family Singers, The Sound of Music. With beautiful melodies, sprightly dancing, a suspenseful plot and polished performances, it's the perfect gift for the entire family.

Director James Brennan has assembled a top-notch production team to provide a "canvas" for this enchantment. Read More of this Review.

The Children's Museum (of Somerset County NJ)

The Children's Museum’s Annual Holidays around the World Festival is from Noon to 5 PM on Sunday December 9th.

The Children’s Museum’s annual Holidays around the World celebration will be held this Sunday December 9th, from Noon to 5PM at The PeopleCare Center, 120 Finderne Ave, Bridgewater. There will be performers from several cultures, as well as craft activities. Religious and cultural holidays to be celebrated include Diwali, Chanukah, Christmas, and the Chinese New Year. Piñatas with holiday treats will be broken at 1:30PM and 4PM. The  museum is in the cafeteria of the PeopleCare Center, 120 Finderne Avenue, Bridgewater (just south of Rt 28); entrance is in the back of the building.  Admission to the program is $3 per child; there is no charge for those in need.  For additional information, please call the museum at 908-595-0001.

Children’s and Adult classes available.  Check out their offerings in their brochure.  More information about exhibitions and classes also available on their website. http://ccabedminster.org/

Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University celebrates the Yuletide season with a series of special events throughout the month of December. Designed for young children and their families, visitors to the museum will enjoy holiday activities in the historic mansion of New Jersey’s first elected governor, William Livingston. During the holiday season, the first floor of Liberty Hall will be transformed into a Victorian Christmas. You will hear about Victorian Christmas traditions as the servants put the final touches on the decorations for the Kean family's holiday festivities. Reservations are required for all events for those wishing to eat, drink and be merry while discovering the living past!

WHERE: Liberty Hall Museum, 1003 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey


WHEN: December 8th and 15th; two sessions each day from 10:00-11:30 AM or from 12:00-1:30 PM
$20 for one child and one adult; any additional adults are $5.00 each.

Recommended for children ages 7 to 12. Children are provided with the materials and instruction to design their own edible gingerbread houses with candy canes, gum drops and more.


WHEN: December 9th from 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
$20 for one child and one adult; any additional adults are $5.00 each

Your family will have a joyful time creating old-fashioned ornaments and holiday “crackers” as everyone gets in the holiday spirit. 

Inspired by the beloved Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas,

WHEN: December 16th from 11:30 AM -1:30 PM
FEE: $20 for children and $25 for adults

Guests will dine on Grinchy grub that includes “roastbeast” on a bun, Seuss spuds and Cindy Lou Who cider.


WHEN: December 23rd from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
FEE: $20 per child and $25 per adult

Santa Claus will be on hand for photo opportunities when he takes his sleigh to Liberty Hall. Naughty or nice, all are welcome to enjoy a visit with St. Nick and a delicious hot breakfast buffet filled with cheer and tasty treats.


WHEN: every Wednesday of the month from 2:00-4:00 PM (Dec 5, 12, 19, 26).

The Christmas-themed socials are perfect for sipping tea and lunching on finger sandwiches and desserts while relaxing in the glass-enclosed porch overlooking Liberty Hall’s formal English gardens.


WHEN: now until December 17th

Also in the spirit of the season, Liberty Hall Museum and the Kean University Center for Leadership and Service will be collecting items for this holiday season. Kean urges the community to help the needy young people in Union County by bringing an unwrapped gift for children ages 0-15 to Liberty Hall’s Blue House or to drop locations throughout the campus.

The Role of Servants in a Country House

If you love the hit PBS show Downton Abbey, step into the real thing at Liberty Hall! Tours of the museum will show a typical day in the life of the servants.  In the 1900s, the Kean family lived in a world where their every whim was met by the simple ringing of the servant’s bell.  The museum has been reinterpreted to highlight the places where the servants worked, slept and spent their leisure time.

Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University chronicles more than 240 years of American history. The museum also houses extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, and toys owned by seven generations of the Livingston and Kean families. The Firehouse Museum, built in 2004, houses three antique fire engines, including a rare 1911 American LaFrance Metropolitan Steam Engine.

General admission to the museum for regular visits is $10 for adults, $8 for Kean Alumni, $6 for students and seniors, and free for children under three, Liberty Hall Museum members and Kean University students, faculty and staff. It is open to the public Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For reservations and further information, call 908.527.0400, e-maillibertyhall@kean.edu or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall.  Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/libertyhallmuseum.


TICKETS:  $40 all seats. Children under 12 are admitted free, and get to sit on a mat close to the stage. There is a limit of one child admission per adult ticket.
Purchase online at www.CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org or call 732.545.8100.

It’s Christmas 1971 and the audience at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theatre is excitedly awaiting the start of a roof-raising holiday concert by some of Motown’s greatest artists. However, a few challenges with the talent create the setting for a little holiday magic.  The ensuing story is the basis for Holiday Jubilee 2012, Crossroads Theatre Company’s annual family-friendly musical event conceived by Sibusiso Mamba and Rick Sordelet, who is also the director of the show.

This year, Crossroads Theatre will be transformed into the legendary Apollo, filled with classic Motown sounds as it hosts this merry musical revue. Fans will hear such classics as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Dancing in the Streets” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” as well as traditional holiday favorites interpreted by a talented cast of performers.  The Holiday Jubilee has become a tradition at Crossroads.

Folk Project Special Concerts banner

Trout Fishing in AmericaTrout Fishing in America  Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood  ~ Music for people who take their fun seriously ~
Friday, December 28, 8:00 pm
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship  21 Normandy Heights Road Morristown, NJ  Tickets: $17.00 in advance $20.00 at the door (if available)               

TFIA makes "Music for People Who Take Their Fun Seriously." The band is Ezra Idlet on guitar teamed with Keith Grimwood on bass. Their music is an infectious mix of folk/pop and family music, tempered by the diverse influences of reggae, Latin, blues, jazz, and classical music. The concert on December 28 will be folk/pop. Children and family groups are welcome.   Advanced tickets can be purchased through our web site or using the PayPal button above.. There are no discounted tickets for children. If you have any questions please call 732-841-1348.  For more information about TFIA, please visit their web site.

There are lots more things to do around our community. Look at the “Useful Websites for Families” (on the right side of this blog – click the headline if you are reading this as an email) for many more options!

Let Your Fingers Do More Walking: Great articles for parents!


Looking for gift book ideas for your family members?  The librarians are happy to do a one-on-one consult to find the perfect match!   Come to the reference desk or call 908 526-4016x126 to make an appointment for some uninterrupted time with one of us!    We also have a display of librarian “picks” atop the magazines in the children’s room.

From Parenting.com:Best Children's Books of 2012 to Give as Gifts


© Adam Foster December 6, 2012 By Melissa Taylor

Give one (or ten) books to your kids this holiday season. Buy them the coolest, most awesome books; books like these that I’ve found for kids ages infant to teen.

Infant – Toddler

One Spotted Giraffe A Counting Pop-Up Book by Petr Horacek

Spot the Animals: A Lift-the Flap Book of Colors by American Museum of Natural History illustrated by Steve Jenkins


Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett

Early Elementary

Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

Zeke Meeks vs the Gruesome Girls by D.L. Green


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Hobbit Official Movie Guide by Brian Sibley

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz


Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Other 2012’s Best Books Lists

American Library Association

Imagination Soup

New York Times

Reading Rockets

Reading Today Online

Wall Street Journal

Melissa Taylor is a freelance writer, an award-winning educational blogger at ImaginationSoup, an award-winning teacher with a M.A. in Education, and a mom of two children, ages 6 and 9. Follow Taylor on Twitter or find her on Facebook.

Speaking of great books for children – check out Wonderopolis’ take on Alice!

Wonder of the Day #793: Where Is Wonderland?


Where in the world could today’s Wonder of the Day be? It’s right here!

Won’t you join us for a trip down the rabbit hole?

Have you ever wondered…

  • Where is Wonderland?
  • Who was Lewis Carroll?
  • Have you ever read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

Did you know?
A lot of our Wonder Friends WONDER exactly where Wonderopolis is located. Is it here? Or is it over there? Can you get there from here? Are we there yet? These are the questions curious Wonder Friends have.

Is Wonderopolis located on a deserted tropical island? Or does it sit atop a glacier near the North Pole? Perhaps it’s hidden deep within an Amazon rainforest! Or maybe it’s just on the other side of Mount Everest!

One thing’s for sure, though. It has to be one of the best places on Earth, right? Maybe not! Maybe it’s located in a parallel universe right around the corner from Wonderland.

Do you know about Wonderland? It’s another magical place that you’ve probably read about. You may have even seen a movie about Wonderland and Alice’s trip there. What are we talking about? Lewis Carroll’s timeless treasure Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, of course!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — also commonly called Alice in Wonderland — is a novel written in 1865 by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Dodgson didn’t publish the book under his real name, however. Instead, he used the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.

If you’re familiar with the book, you know it tells the story of a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a magical world called Wonderland. Alice’s adventures with the intriguing, human-like animals and other creatures that inhabit Wonderland have thrilled kids and adults alike for almost 150 years now.

It wasn’t immediately considered a great work when first published, though. Early reviewers liked the illustrations in the book more than the actual story. After Carroll published his follow-up, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland gained in popularity.

By the early 1900s, it was considered a classic, and it still is today. It has never been out of print. Since its first publication, it has been translated into almost 100 different languages. It has also been adapted into countless other types of media, including plays, television shows and movies.

Lewis Carroll’s works are part of a genre known as literary nonsense. He was known for his keen ability to play with words and logic. The world he created — Wonderland — lives on in the minds of its readers long after they turn the last page of the book.

That is, perhaps, the key to classic books. They create a world that you can’t get out of your mind even after the books have been read. If you’ve read some of the more modern classics, perhaps you have your own version of Wonderland, such as Narnia or Hogwarts!

Try it out!

Ready to jump headfirst down the rabbit hole? If you’ve never read it before, you can jump on your computer and read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland online.

But before you start reading, we’d like to know where you think Wonderland is. And, for that matter, where is Wonderopolis? Are they one and the same? Or are they separate places? Are they both part of Earth? Or do they exist in another dimension of time and space?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to know where you think Wonderland — and Wonderopolis — are!

Wonder words to know and use:

  • Wonderland
  • curious
  • tropical
  • deserted
  • glacier
  • rainforest
  • parallel
  • universe
  • timeless
  • pseudonym
  • magical
  • intriguing
  • inhabit
  • popularity
  • translated
  • adapted
  • genre
  • nonsense
  • keen

Still wondering?

EDSITEment!’s A Trip to Wonderland: The Nursery ‘Alice’ lesson explores elements of wonder, distortion, fantasy and whimsy in Lewis Carroll’s beloved classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

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