The Weekender: Kwanzaa Festival at NJPAC Highlights the Weekend

Blood Drive at St. Michael's on Sunday; Police-Fire Toy Drive Continues Through Dec. 17

Check out some of the festive events around the city and nearby.  Click the EVENTS tab on the home page to see all the possibilities for the weekend.  Feel free to add your own in the comments section. 

WHEN:  Saturday and Sunday*
WHAT:   Kwanzaa, Hannukah, Christmas—the holidays are coming! Take care of all of your gift-giving needs when NJPAC’s Prudential Hall Lobby transforms into a community marketplace featuring artisans and vendors of jewelry, art, books, bath and body products, clothing, home furnishings, pottery and much more. Free and open to the public!  Vendors include:  Be Fabulous, Dented Impressions, Global Linkages, Jewelry Clay Works, Just Us Books, Kendell Maliki, Must Have Accessories, Pillows and Thangz, Simply Greta, Suzette Art Couture, Top Shelf Tribal Truths, Yara International, Zuresh Bath and Body
Friday, Dec 16 from 4:00–10:00pm
Saturday, Dec 17 from 12:00–8:00pm
Sunday, Dec 18 from 12:00–7:00pm

WHERE: New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), 36 Park Pl, Newark, NJ
WHEN:  Saturday  
WHY GO: Bring the entire family for this afternoon of free Kwanzaa activities, from 12:00pm-5:00pm, including hands-on workshops (for adults and children) in African dance and music, storytelling, Capoeira, drumming and more. These workshops give families the opportunity to learn more about the Kwanzaa holiday and the African Diaspora. There will also be a Children's Book Fair, an Arts and Crafts Village featuring face painting, hands-on activities such as spirit masks, sekere crafting, Kwanzaa wish scrolls, and more.   Click on heading for full schedule
Arts and Crafts Village         12:00 – 5:00
Children’s Storyrooms            1:30 - 5:30
World Music Demonstrations   2:00 - 5:00

Saturday  2pm  &  5pm
WHY GO:  The Spirit of Kwanzaa arrives with this performance featuring Nigerian and West Africa dance and drumming from Atlanta’s trailblazing, all-female ensemble, Giwayen Mata.  A FamilyTime event for ages 8 and up, presented as part of NJPAC’s Annual Kwanzaa Festival & Marketplace. The Spirit of Kwanzaa: Giwayen Mata, the award-winning, all-female ensemble, honors the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa) and celebrates the richness of Africa and African-American culture through compelling live drum rhythms, dazzling choreography and soul-stirring singing.
COST:  $20 - $22

WHERE:  Greater Newark Conservancy Learning Center
WHEN:  Saturday   2pm to 4pm
WHY GO: Bring the whole family to the Conservancy to make nature-friendly ornaments (popcorn garland, pine cone bird feeders and colorful, dried flower ornaments) to decorate our live Eco-Tree in the garden. Make extra ornaments to bring home and decorate your own! We will provide hot cider and cookies.
COST:  $5

St. Michaels
Sunday  9:30am
Give the gift of life.  YES it is safe to donate blood!   Generally, people in good health are eligible to donate. Blood donors must be 16 years of age or older. There are no upper age limits. You should eat meals at regular times.     You only need to supply your SS No. on your initial donation with us.   

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:   Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark
WHEN:     Friday, Saturday, Sunday    12:00pm–5:00pm
WHY GO:   This historically accurate installation offers the opportunity to step back in time to learn about nineteenth-century life and traditions. From the Christmas tree (a German tradition) to the wooden shoes by the hearth (a Dutch tradition) to the stockings on the chimney and plum pudding in the dining room (English traditions), visitors can get a sense of how Christmas evolved into a home-based secular holiday in the nineteenth century, linked to but distinct from the religious commemoration that was celebrated in church.
COST:  Museum Admission: Adult $10; Children, Seniors & Students with Valid I.D.: $6; Members free

Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark
WHEN:     Friday, Saturday, Sunday    12:00pm–5:00pm
WHY GO:   Season of Light (Limited run)   Saturdays & Sundays, 2 pm - Recommended for adults and children ages 6 and up    40 minutes
Trace the development of many of the world's endearing holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season—from Yule logs and sparkling Christmas tree lights to the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah. This show recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice—not only Christian and Jewish, but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi.
Seven Wonders    Fridays, 2 pm  Saturdays & Sundays, 2 & 4 pm - Recommended for adults and children ages 9 and up    40 minutes
Turn back the pages of time and witness the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as they have not been seen for thousands of years. 
The Little Star that Could    Saturdays & Sundays, 1 & 3 pm - Recommended for adults and children ages 5 to 8   35 minutes
A little star is born all by himself.  Lonely for some friends, he embarks on a journey through the galaxy.  Along the way he meets different stars, learns about their lives, colors and temperatures.  At the end of his voyage he is introduced to a star cluster, the Milky Way and the planets in our Solar System.
COST:   Adults $15; children under 12, seniors, and college students $9 - includes Museum & Planetarium admission.

Finally, the Newark police and fire departments are sponsoring a toy drive through Dec. 17.

Help deliver a smile this holiday season to a child in foster care.   Bring an unwrapped gift to any of the below sites.  Santa has a special date scheduled to help these children in need so please drop off any donations by December 17.
Drop Off Sites:  - Newark Bears/River Front Stadium
                       - Any Newark Police Station
                       - Spiel MD, 1921 Oak Street, 1st floor
                          Edison, NJ
Drop Off Times:  Monday - Friday    10am to 3pm
                       Police Stations - 24 hours every day.

*Correction appended Dec. 15.


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