Listen, it might not feel like it but the days are getting longer and eventually they’ll get warmer. But in the meantime, the only way to get to the end of these cold winter days is to march right through them. So, we might as well make the best of it with these super things to do in and around Bergen County to make this Winter totally AWESOME!
Embrace the chill.
You already have your winter coat, boots, gloves and hat out and in the rotation. So use them. We’ve got you covered with the Best Sledding Hills in Bergen County, Indoor and Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks, the Best Places for Skiing and Snowboarding and, of course, tubing.
And if that’s not enough ice for you, head to Skylands Stadium in Augusta, NJ January 27th – February 25th for the ice sculpture extravaganza, Frozen in Ice: Wild West. You’ll find a whole lot of the cold stuff at this event including a giant ice slide, an ice maze, ice games, ice carving and a skating rink. Or take a weekend getting wow-ed at Ice Castles New Hampshire where ice-masters have created a larger-than-life interactive ice fortress that's an actual winter wonderland.
See a show.
School of Rock? Seen it. Aladdin? Check. The Lion King. Yup, that too. But have you heard about these new, family-friendly shows on and off Broadway? If not, grab your tix for a matinee and with this winter thing to do, that’s one afternoon you won’t spend refereeing squabbles or negotiating the number of marshmallows for each half-drunk mug of hot cocoa.
The New York Times called it “imaginative and perversely brilliant” which might just be enough to get you searching for seats, but if you need more encouraging, how about songs by John Legend, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! at the Disco and more?
“For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs… who just happened to be there too. A tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world.” We’re sold, aren’t you?
A retelling of the story of how a peasant girl proved the power of love could bring together the people of different social classes. The show includes elements of the Romeo and Juliet story and elements of The Little Mermaid and concerns a peasant girl on a tropical island who proves that the power of love is stronger than the power of death.
Never been? You need to go. These innovative musicians, dancers and performers can turn anything into an instrument. Talk about fascinating rhythms!
A social media Whiz Kid and a group of endangered animals must quickly learn to communicate and get along with each other in order to survive Superstorm Beyonce. Fun, relevant and entertaining. “Who knew saving the world could be this much fun?”
You know the story. You know the songs. Oh, boy do you ever know the songs. Now see how Disney works their magic on the live show. Go ahead, get the tickets now. Because your kids are never going to just let it go. Oh yeah, we went there.
Meet Luciana Vega, Future Astronaut
American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year is Luciana Vega, an 11-year old aspiring astronaut who wants to be the first person to go to Mars. American Girl tapped a panel of experts to ensure that they got the details right and along with the doll, her outfits and the requisite accessories, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, NASA and Space Camp for a STEM-based educational program, available on January 31st, and a Mission to Mars Sweepstakes where families can go on a series of weekly missions for a chance to win several prizes, including a grand prize trip to Space Camp. Visit the American Girl website to learn about special in-store space-themed events. Download the app for even more adventures. Or, visit the new flagship store to meet Luciana in person they stay for lunch at the café and a new hairstyle for your special American Girl and her doll.
Pick a Winner
Or, in the case of Doodle 4 Google, be a winner. Kids in grades K-12 are encouraged to create a doodle of the Google logo using the medium of their choice. The winner’s artwork will be featured on the Google homepage and lest you think this is just about the exposure, winners and runners up receive prizes in the form of scholarships and technology. The 2018 contest opens on Sunday, January 8th so stick that pen in your kid’s hand and for once, tell them to start doodling!
Got an afternoon free? Visit your local library and check out a few Caldecott and Newbery award winning books from past years. Then tune in on Monday, February 12th at 8:00 am mountain time for a live webcast announcing this year’s winners and giving you your reading list for the rest of the year.
The Winter Olympics start on February 8th and New Jersey will be well represented among the athletes. Head to the Ice House on January 27th for their Olympic Send Off and 20th Anniversary celebration.
If you think this winter is going to the dogs, the weekend of February 10 – 13, you would be right because the Westminster Dog Show will be back in town at Madison Square Garden. Visit on Saturday, February 10th and have a chance to meet and play with over 100 different breeds (cats too!) at the Meet the Breeds event. Spring for the Go Anywhere ticket and in addition to admission to the judged competitions, you’ll also have access to the dogs’ “benching areas” where they’re groomed and held between competitions.
Party Like it’s 4716.
The Chinese Lunar year starts February 16, 2018. Out with the Year of the Rooster, in with the Year of the Dog. Celebrate with these winter things to do at the Lunar New Year Parade and Festival or the Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony.
Play and learn
We keep saying this but you really shouldn’t miss the National Geographic Encounter Ocean Odyssey, Gulliver’s Gate, or the Starfleet Academy Experience at Liberty Science Center.
The “Largest Virtual Reality Center on this side of the planet”, VR World has opened in New York City. Spread over 3 levels, with over 50 diverse experiences, this place is a dream for the technology set. Buy a ticket for two hours or a full day, get your synched wristband, and pick your adventure. Oh, but wear comfortable clothes – you’ll be moving around a lot. And realize that no one can really rock the VR headsets better than you!
Visit the Intrepid during Kids Week (February 18 – 24) and explore the theme of the science and art of games. Kids can play cutting-edge digital games, design their own games, explore interactive displays, view live demonstrations and meet special guests at this week-long festival. All Kids Week programming is free with Museum admission.
Are you constantly cleaning up messes that your aspiring chef has concocted in your kitchen? Take the day off and join into a parent-child cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America. Young Chefs ages 8-12 will learn kitchen basics and knife skills in these hands-on classes. Teen chefs will can choose from a variety of baking classes or take a class on gourmet meals.
It’s cold and you don’t want to go outside but your beloved offspring are quite literally bouncing off the walls, and the sofa, and their beds…Get thee to a playspace. Let them get their wiggles out while you read a book. Or make your grocery list. Or just stare blankly into space. We won’t judge.
Join the Culture Club.
Featuring more than 1,500 world-class showcases, concerts, and public performances, JanArtsNYC is the world’s most comprehensive platform for celebrating and experiencing the newest work by artists in theater, dance, opera, music, and performance.
Need some hot jazz on one of these cold nights? Nothing is better than Jazz at Lincoln Center where the mission is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz. Upcoming performances include: Dianne Reeves, Nursery Song Swing with Wynton Marsalis, and The Swing Collective.
BergenPAC has an all-star lineup this winter with one act better than the next. Who’s coming? Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Jay Leno, Postmodern Jukebox and more. And for the kids, a Frozen Sing-Along, a bubble show, and illusionists.
Raise a glass to the Great Beer Expo, a place where, on Saturday, February 3rd, you can join with the rest of the over 21 set to sample over 150 beers from, at current count, 29 different breweries. Admission includes a souvenir 5 oz. tasting cup with a 2 oz. pour line and you can sample any beer the brewers have. Admission DOES NOT include a designated driver (but there IS a designated driver ticket available for $10) or an Uber so please plan accordingly.
You know the old saw…the two best days in a guy’s life are the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it. But even if you’re not in the market, do yourself a favor and head to the Boat Show at the Javits Center (January 24 – 28) to ogle the big boats and dream of a time when the wind in your hair doesn’t also create icicles on your eyelashes.
Got a green thumb? Wish you had a green thumb? Just love flowers and need to feel like spring will come sometime? Head to the Philadelphia Flower Show (March 3-11), this year celebrating the Wonders of Water. Top horticulturists and garden designers will create tropical jungles, forests, woodlands and arid deserts showcasing the flowers that thrive in each environment. Presentations, classes, butterflies, a tea or an early morning guided tour will add to your enjoyment.
Seems these days there’s a –con for everything so it was just a matter of time until Broadway jumped on the bandwagon with Broadwaycon. For three days, from January 26 – 28, immerse yourself in all things Broadway, from autograph signings, to beginner dance workshops, to a 10th anniversary performance of In the Heights with the original cast. Okay, we’re geeking out a little. Are you?