The Weekender: HO HO HOliday Fun

Old Fashion Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday

Below are just a few of the festive events in West Orange.  Click on “EVENTS” tab to see all the possibilities waiting for you!  Feel free to add your own in the comments section. 

WHERE: Essex County Environmental Center, Roseland
WHEN:  Friday   starting at 4:30pm
WHY GO:   Holiday Fun!
   4:30-6:30pm   Holiday Petting Zoo
   5:00pm   Season’s Greetings – Mayor Robert D. Parisi
   5:00pm   Kwanzaa Booth Opens
   5:10pm   Musical Presentation"  
   5:20pm   Dance Presentation
   5:40pm   Lighting of Christmas Tree
   5:45pm   Arrival of Santa
   6:00pm   Visit Santa in his Workshop

:   760 Northfield Ave, West Orange
WHEN:     Friday   9am – 3pm
WHY GO:   Great gifts for all ages - A wide variety of vendors selling jewelry, clothing, toys, books and much more. 

Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
WHEN:     Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Experience Turtle Back Zoo in the winter as 100,000 bulbs and 40 lit displays illuminate the zoo this holiday season!
COST:   Free.   Turtle Back Zoo will be collecting non-perishable food, winter coats and unwrapped new toys for the needy each evening of holiday lights.

WHERE:  Luna Stage Theater  
WHEN:    Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm,  Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm
WHY GO: Rediscover the true meaning of the holidays: tradition, family, and joy!    Join The Casa Band and Storytellers in a bilingual celebration for all ages.  Folksongs and Fables, Seasonal Poems, and Classic Holiday Tunes
COST:  $20 for adults; $10 for children    

WHERE:  Our Lady of Lourdes, 1 Eagle Rock Ave
WHEN:    Saturday   9am – 10:30am
WHY GO:  Breakfast with Santa returns in Connor Hall, Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Sponsored by: Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy.   For more information or tickets, please contact Nicole Ray-Clark at  973-731-5012 or nicolerayclark@gmail.com
COST:   In Advance: $8 - 12 and under, $10 - Adults; At Door: $10 children; $12 adults

WHERE:   West Orange Public Library
WHEN:      Saturday    11am
WHY GO:   Children will enjoy a “Reading in a Winter Wonderland” at the Library!

WHEN:      Saturday
WHY GO:   Enjoy the “Old Fashioned Dickens Carolers” singing all of your holiday favorites between 10 and 11am in front of Our Lady of Lourdes Church  and  at 3pm at the corner of Valley Road and Kingsley St.

WHERE:   Luna Stage Theater
WHEN:      Saturday   11am
WHY GO:   Join puppeteer and magician “Mister Kipley” and his loveable fuzzy sidekick, Moo-Moo, for this multi-cultural celebration of winter holidays from around the world!
COST:   $10

WHERE:   Trolley Stop Location: Community House @242 Main Street
WHEN:      Saturday    Noon
WHY GO:   Tours leave every half hour starting at 12 Noon.  Join us for a tour of Llewellyn Park & Historic Main Street. 

WHERE:  Valley Community Police Station
WHEN:     Saturday  12:30am
WHY GO:  Kids Complete a Fun Holiday Theme Project   Call 973-325-4109 for more information

WHERE:   West Orange Public Library
WHEN:      Saturday   2pm
WHY GO:   Bring the children to have their picture taken with Santa

WHERE:  Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange
WHEN:   Friday, Saturday, Sunday   10am – 4pm
WHAT:   Glenmont will be decorated much as it was while the Edison family lived there. Favorite musical pieces will be playing and greenery and red poinsettias will deck the mantles above the fireplaces. Staircases will be ringed with boughs and red ribbon bows and wreaths will hang in every window. In the Den, the majestic 10 foot tree will be lit and the presents underneath.
COST:   Admission is $7.00, and includes the Glenmont Estate and the Laboratory Complex. Children under age 16 are free.

The Helping Hands Service Club of Liberty Middle School in West Orange is going to do its part again to ensure that children who would not otherwise get a gift receive a few precious presents this holiday season.  For the past several years we have answered the wish lists of approximately 160 special needs students between the ages of 3 and 9 who attend the Camden Street School in Newark, which is the school for some of the poorest families in the state of New Jersey.  We partner with Roosevelt Middle School to make sure that every one of these “challenged” students receives at least one special present requested when they wrote a wish list for Santa in addition to coloring books and crayons, and some hats and scarves. 

Last year, through the generosity of the Jackson Malia Fund, a non-profit charity set up in memory of Jackson Malia that joined our gift-giving project, and people like you, we were able to gift a present to every “general education” student at the Camden Street School in Newark as well.  Over 560 children opened a present that they were not expecting. The gifts for the general population students are all wrapped and handed out “grab bag” style while the 160 special needs children receive specific gifts wrapped and labeled with their names on them. In addition we sing holiday songs, serve cake and juice, and even provide a personal visit from Mr. and Mrs. Clause.   This “Toys for the Camden Street Students” gift-giving activity cannot take place without the generosity of many caring people.  If you would like to contribute, please give a donation or purchase a toy for these beautiful children.  Whatever you donate will go directly to a very deserving child.
WISH LIST:  Although any gift or monetary contribution would be greatly appreciated, most of the “special needs” students have similar requests:  I have also attached the list for 31 students at the Camden Street School for which Liberty is directly responsible for gifting.  The boys often request a real “ball” on their lists.  They love receiving a Jr. Size football, soccer ball or basketball.  Many ask for “Lego” sets as well.  (These need to be those sets with large pieces as many of these children have small motor skill difficulties and cannot work with small pieces).  Any kind of truck, large car, or “Match Box” car set is also requested very often.  They also love any toy that relates to “Toy Story”.  Many of the girls ask for a “baby doll.  (Because most of the students who attend the Camden Street School are of ethnic backgrounds, we try to provide them with a black doll or Hispanic doll that best represents their identity). They also love stuffed animals, a “Disney Princess” doll or a “pretend” serving set for tea.   The looks on the faces of these young children as they open their gifts truly support the age-old adage, “It is better to give than to receive”.    Please contact  Jane Horwitz, sponsor for the Camden Street Toy Drive at: jhorwitz@woboe.org if you have any questions or would like to contribute.

Charles Coxe December 03, 2011 at 05:07 PM
The West Orange Christmas Tree lighting was in WEST ORANGE, at Town Hall, not in Roseland at the Enviro Center, so you sent kids looking for Santa and holiday fun to the entirely wrong town. Thanks for that great reporting, Patch.


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