What To Do During Winter Break


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MOMI's collection includes one of the original Yoda puppets from Star Wars

If you’re spending winter break in Verona, never fear: We’ve got plenty of ideas for activities, drawn from more than two years of reporting on day trips around our area.

The Museum of the Moving Image in New York City is still running the exhibit on Jim Henson and the Muppets that we wrote about last year. You’ll need a GPS or a strong sense of traffic humor to get to the museum, which is located over the 59th Street bridge in Queens. But once you get there, the kids will have a blast learning about how TV shows and movies are made. Since New York schools are also on winter break, MOMI is open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to dinner time or later. If you go to MOMI first thing in the morning, you can tack on a visit to the New York Hall of Science nearby and still make it out of the city before rush hour.

Also still playing: The interactive exhibit on the TV show “CSI” at Discovery Times Square that we went to last year. Probably not a good idea for your youngest kids, though there is one crime scenario that is less scary than the others. DTS is also running an exhibit on the Dead Sea scrolls, which we haven’t seen.

An inside activity closer to home: Liberty Science Center, which has a full week of science learning planned. There is a new exhibit of modern and contemporary art at the Montclair Art Museum, and its native American collection never fails to please the cowboys-and-indians set. The Thomas Edison Museum in West Orange is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to show the kids the desk where Edison left notes on the hundreds of ideas he wanted to try.

If you have little kids that want to try skiing, but you don’t want the expense or hassle of a trip north, think about a quick trip up Route 23 to Hidden Valley. There likely won’t be enough snow this week to enjoy the blue and black trails, but Hidden Valley has made snow on its Chicken Delight bunny slope and the learning center. You can get a two-day pass to a morning or afternoon session at its Ski Wee program for $99, a savings of $51, and there are discounts on rental equipment too.


One of Turtle Back Zoo's feathered friends

Storm King Art Center is closed until April, but the weather looks to be mild enough this week for a hike on the Storm King mountain that gave the sculpture park its name. It’s a more advanced trail that may not be appropriate for young hikers. We also like Pyramid Mountain in Boonton, South Mountain Reservation, Eagle Rock, the Hilltop and the West Essex trail that starts by Verona High School. But avoid the last three on Tuesday and Thursday this week because the Essex County deer hunt is still on. You can also take the kids and their bikes for a ride out of traffic at South Mountain, on the D&R Canal near New Brunswick or around Manhattan.

And finally, don’t forget the winter scene at Turtle Back Zoo.


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