Welcome to our Online Newsletter and Virtual Bulletin Board!

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

“Teen Tycoons” Thursday, “Trees are Terrific” Friday, “You & Me & Family Singalong” Saturday, & “Spy Training Academy” Monday–plus lots more coming up this week. Also weigh in on whether you think N.J. schools should consider later start times.


Baby/toddler/PJ/storytime programs resume the week of May 2nd.

 image_thumb16_thumbStorytime (For Ages 3-6, siblings welcome) Tuesdays  10:00 a.m. Second session at 1:30pm.

Toddler Time (For Ages 18 months-36 months) Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00 a.m.

Baby Time (For ages birth - 18 months) Thursdays  9:30 a.m.

Pajama Time (all ages) Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. (PJs optional)

No Registration Required for any of these. Join us for stories, songs, movement and fun! 








Click HERE to register for these programs.


Around Our Community:

“Hooray for May!”, a free family art day at The Center for Contemporary Art, will take place on Saturday, May 7th from 1-4 p.m.

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“Hooray for May!” brings together families  for a fun and interactive day of making art. A variety of hands-on art activities for kids of all ages and parents alike will take place in The Center’s three art studios and in the outdoor pavilion, and include a variety of creative projects to keep or give on Mother’s Day.

Rounding out the afternoon will be family-friendly guided gallery tours of The Center’s current exhibitions, a community art project, and much more! Light refreshments will be available. A “swag bag” with a limited edition t-shirt will be given out to the first fifty children in the door!

In case the rain ever stops and you want to get outdoors for Mother’s Day -- 15 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In New Jersey Should Take

4. Hacklebarney State Park

New Jersey offers hundreds of incredible hiking opportunities. Shorter hikes are perfect for families, beginners, or anyone looking to take a brief, but rewarding stroll through New Jersey’s natural beauty.  Hacklebarney State Park  www.njhiking.com


Now in its 12th year, the Fair will again be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday May 14th at Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Manalapan, NJ, Rain or Shine.

The 2016 Fair will feature some familiar faces from the past like Clara Barton, George Washington and Walt Whitman as well as such favorite activities as 19th baseball, horse-drawn plowing demonstrations,  Phydeaux’s flying flea circus and period music.

New to the Fair will be several Civil War themed programs to coincide with the exhibit of President Lincoln’s replica casket.   A local Civil War reenactment unit, the 14th NJ Volunteers, Co. H, will provide an honor guard for the casket and the Fort Delaware Cornet Band will perform music of the era on period instruments. 

Another exciting new program will be a fictional U.S. Army radio and live show, “SPAM Time”, which is modeled on actual entertainment presented to U.S. military personnel from WWII to the Viet Nam War era.  A full day of pre-recorded and live musical entertainment will be presented.

There is something for everyone - so come on out and enjoy the Fair!  It’s a fun-filled experience for the whole family! You don’t want to miss it.



Special Events:   SMASH Series  May 14, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

SMASH stands for Spectacularly Merging Art, Science & History and explores the fascinating intersection of these topics through events in the series. The May 14 event will focus on animals - movement, adaptations, migrations, diet, habitat and more. There will be crafts, games and activities, plus we'll be celebrating National Astronomy Day in the Planetarium with help from the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton. 

Philadelphia Zoo's "Zoo on Wheels" will be on hand with performances at 1:00 and 2:00 pm; don't miss special demonstrations and exhibits from community partners Jenkinson's Aquarium, Trenton chapter of the American Chemical Society, and Princeton Graduate Women in Science & Engineering. Visit our Paleo Lab for an up close look at the fossils being prepared and more!

And stay tuned: additional SMASH events will take place August 20 and November 12. Visit our website for additional information.

Planetarium News & Events:

FREE Public Sky Observing

May 13 & 27, 8:00 pm

Join Bill Murray of the NJSM Planetarium staff and the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton (AAAP) for an evening of sky observing at the Simpson Observatory, Washington Crossing State Park, New Jersey. View craters on the moon and the planets Mars and Jupiter through AAAP's high-tech computerized telescopes.

The AAAP and Museum staff will be on hand to guide participants and answer  astronomy-related questions. Please visit the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton web site for a downloadable map with directions to the Simpson Observatory.  This event takes place weather permitting.

Sky events to watch for in May: 

Mercury Transit, May 9 - Mercury may be seen as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The transit will take place over a span of several hours. Remember: never look at the Sun without proper filters!
Mars Opposition, May 22 - When a planet is opposite the sun, it is at its brightest and closest to Earth. This will be Mars' closest approach to Earth in ten years.

Planetarium Schedule:

Weekends from April 30 - May 29

Visit the Museum and see a Planetarium show!  Planetarium shows are available to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, and during school break weeks.

May schedule:

12:00 noon   One World, One Sky - for ages 3 - 6

1:00   pm       Magic Tree House: Space Mission - for preschool and up

  2:00   pm       Asteroid: Mission Extreme - for general audiences

  3:00   pm       Laser Magic! - for general audiences

Click here to print a coupon for $1 off Planetarium admission!

Storytime: I Will Never NOT EVER Eat A Tomato  May 21 & 22,  2:00 pm

Follow siblings Charlie and Lola as they navigate dinner time. Can Charlie find a food that Lola is willing to eat? Following the story families will participate in a nutrition activity and be encouraged to visit the Generation Fit exhibit to learn and do more.

Storytime is held in the Discovery Den on the 3rd weekend of every month and is followed by a craft activity. Storytime is designed for families with children ages 4 to 8.

Exhibition News: Coming Soon! 
"Written in the Rocks: Fossil Tales of New Jersey" opens July 2, 2016. 

July welcomes a new long-term exhibition in the Natural History Hall.  "Written in the Rocks: Fossil Tales of New Jersey" will present 10 unique fossil stories that offer intriguing clues about our ever-changing planet and how life on Earth has evolved and adapted... or gone extinct. 

One of the exhibition highlights will be New Jersey's own Dryptosaurus, the world's first known carnivorous dinosaur, reconstructed and displayed for the first time ever!  Dryptosaurus was approximately 25 feet long, weighing 1.5 tons, with an 8" claw on each finger.


Seeking performers ages 12-25 for this fun summer production!

FOOTLOOSE AUDITIONS  Saturday, May 14  (by appointment); Callbacks by invitation on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15
WHERE: The Summit Playhouse | 10 New England Ave Summit, NJ 07901
CLICK HERE to sign up for an audition time! Can't attend auditions? CLICK HERE  Visit Our Website for More Information




Let Your Fingers Do More Walking:

State leaders are considering a later start time

State leaders are considering a later start time for some of New Jersey's schools.

N.J. wants to know if school should start after 8:30 a.m.  By Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — New Jersey is considering the potential benefits of pushing back school start times, and the state Department of Education wants to hear what teachers, parents and students think. 

The state is accepting online comments until May 20.   Email comments to laterstarttime@doe.state.nj.us

The comments will be incorporated into a report the Department of Education will submit to Gov. Chris Christie and the state Legislature recommending whether to establish a pilot program to test later school start times.

New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill last year ordering the state to study the benefits and drawbacks of starting middle and high school school no earlier than 8:30 a.m. 

The bill followed a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that schools for teens shouldn't start before 8:30 a.m. About 85 percent of New Jersey middle and high schools currently start earlier than that time, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

Sleep-deprived adolescents can suffer physical and mental health problems and often experience a decline in academic performance, according to the academy. However, schools face a number of logistical challenges in changing their schedules. 


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