Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein

Manhattan is perhaps THE cultural mecca of this country. There is certainly no shortage of museums, theatre, music and art to discover in this great city. And yet, just over the bridges and through the tunnels lies another cultural, yet affordable, hot spot for all families to enjoy. It’s called New Jersey and it’s only a few EZ pass tolls away.

New Jersey Ballet’s Cinderella

Back by popular demand for the second season in a row is New Jersey Ballet’s most popular productions for Young Families, and on May 18th, the classic tale, Cinderella will be performed at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown. Enjoy this two-act romp (at an affordable price) through the well-known fairy tale in which the hours of the clock come to life and dance, a Fairy Godmother and beautiful Fairies of the Four seasons inhabit the enchanted garden, and the pumpkin turns into a coach before your very eyes! With splendid sets and costumes and glorious dancing, New Jersey Ballet’s hallmark “storyteller” narration makes sure even the littlest theater-goers can keep up with ease. The New Jersey Ballet performs a variety of classical, contemporary and jazz works throughout the year at 10 venues throughout the state, and has toured nationally and around the world. Visit http://www.njballet.org for more information.

Morris Museum

The Morris Museum will inspire and fascinate your little ones with a variety of hands-on exhibits and activities. Find out what New Jersey looked like 65 million years ago and learn about the lives of dinosaurs. Here, visitors can touch a real dinosaur egg, follow dinosaur tracks, make a dinosaur track rubbing, and hear the simulated sound of a honking Hadrosaur. Train enthusiasts of all ages can experience the romance of the rails in the impressive Morris Museum’s Model Railroad Gallery. And in the Musical Machines & Living Dolls Permanent Exhibit, families can program a cylinder to play a song, sit in a musical chair to play a tune, pull out an activity box (with puzzles, gears and more) or explore efforts to make tunes longer-lasting, better-sounding and portable. If you have dancing feet, break in the dance floor with a Mechanical Music Jukebox that plays polka, clog or boogie to Hilarity Rag! Or visit the museum throughout the Spring and Summer for a Super Science Saturday where children 5 and up can experiment with Lava Lamp Liquids, Glitter Gloop and Crazy Putty. Visit http://www.morrismuseum.org for more information.

Mayo Center for the Performing Arts

The Hungry Caterpillar, Sid the Science Kid-Live, Scooby Doo the Musical. These are just a few of the many family-friendly productions being performed at the Mayo Performing Arts Center throughout the school year. And while this summer’s entertainment is geared towards adults with concerts by the Barenaked Ladies and The Bacon Brothers and shows like Menopause the Musical, there are a variety of educational opportunities for budding theatre artists at Mayo’s Summer Performing Arts School. Be sure to keep the Kids Club link on your list of web favorites and fill your calendar with live theatre perfect for the whole family.

Originally published May 2014
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