These are challenging times for parents and caregivers around New Jersey and the country. We are being told to stay at home and keep ourselves and our kids away from others. No playdates! No going to the museum. Don’t walk by a playground, that might be too tempting for kids!
Kids want to play! Kids want to be active!
Parents and caregivers need help!
Now more than ever families will be looking for things to do with their kids at home. But who wants to keep a list of blog posts? Who wants to have to search for online activities to do with kids?
We KNOW you need help finding activities for the kids to do that are fun and engaging. Moms and dads we know you are going to need a break. It’s a lot to have parents go from having their kids in school from 8 am to 2 pm or 9 am to 3 pm and now they will be home ALL DAY!
Enter Jersey Family Fun’s Calendar of Online Events for Kids
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 we ARE happy to include online events for kids on our Calendar of Events. We will be adding more and more online events for kids, from babies to teens, multiple times a day.
These events will have ONLINE in the title so that parents can easily identify them from other events on our Calendar of Events. You will be able to find LIVE online activities happening today, a few days ahead, or even a few weeks ahead. If you subscribe to one of our event newsletters you will also get a listing once a week of these events.
We’ll also do our best to list these online events for kids below. For each one we’ll link back to our Calendar of Events so that you can find additional details. If you are planning an online event for kids you can submit it here to be included. If you know of one we’ve missed, but you’re not involved with, let us know in the comments below.
All times listed are for the Eastern Time Zone.
Virtual Story Times for Kids
- The Jersey City Free Public Library is hosting online story times at various times. Learn more on their Facebook page.
- Story and Craft Time for Children with Monmouth County Library, weekdays at 1:45 pm. Learn more.
- Nightly Virtual Reading Party for Kids with Pajama Program. Daily at 7:30 pm. Pajama Program will share some of their favorite stories across their social channels to help children connect over a story and continue a bedtime routine during these uncertain times. Learn more on their Instagram page.
- Read Along with Michelle Obama and PBS Kids Mondays at 12 pm. For four weeks starting on April 20, Obama will read from one of her favorite children’s books in an event called “Mondays with Michelle Obama.” Mondays. Learn more.
- “Snack Time Stories” virtually each Tuesday at 10 am. Cedar Run’s educators will share one of their favorite nature books with you, show you a fun (and tasty) snack to try and give you ideas for an easy craft or activity to do at home! Ages 3-6, but the whole family is welcome! Suggested donation of $2/child or $5/family. After you register, you will receive a Google Meet link to join the session. Learn more.
- ONLINE Story Time for Preschoolers with Media-Upper Providence Library, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm until May 27, 2020. Learn more.
Online Story Times
These online events and activities have already been established and made available online for kids to watch and participate in at anytime.
- At Storyline Online children can hear celebrities and others read children stories.
- Josh Gad from Frozen is reading children’s books on Twitter. Scroll through his Twitter feed to see and watch them.
- #SaveWithStories —a spot on Facebook for kids to watch celebrities read children’s books! Jennifer Garner and others are coming together as a community to support a new fund for a combined effort between Save the Children US and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry (and founding publisher, Scholastic ♥️). The online story times are posted to Jennifer Garner’s Facebook page.
- Astronauts on the Space Station are reading stories to and conducting science experiments for the children of Earth as the world rotates below. Visit Story Time from Space for more information.
- Audible Stories has announced that for as long as schools are closed, they will be open for free. Kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Start reading here.
Virtual Lessons & Online Classes for Kids
- The Englewood Public Library is hosting Mr. John’s Music for Kids, online children’s songs, ages birth to 5, every morning at 10:30 am for as long as the library is closed. Songs will be performed on Facebook Live. Learn more.
- Discover the Universe is hosting online astronomy mini-courses weekdays at 2 pm. Join Discover the Universe for Astro at Home for 30 minutes of educational fun. Various subjects will be covered and many collaborators will be presenting. Learn more.
- Join the Battleship New Jersey Friday through Tuesday mornings on Facebook for kids activities. Every day is a new STEM activity but previous projects have included making grommets, math problems to design your own battleship, science projects for structural integrity testing, and a Navajo Code word dictionary. Projects are designed to be done with materials found at home and are appropriate for school age children and their families. Learn more.
Virtual Art Classes
- Spotted Frog Art Studio LLC is hosting online art classes daily at 1 pm or 3 pm and 6:30 pm until May 8, 2020. Learn more.
- Draw Every Day with Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author & illustrator offers online drawing lessons for kids weekdays at 2 pm for at least the next few weeks, Jarrett will host free webcasts that teach kids and adults how to draw. If you can’t watch live, each art lesson will be archived. Get your kids creating, drawing, using their imagination. Watch or subscribe at www.youtube.com/studiojjk.
- The Drawing Lab is hosting virtual drawing classes Mondays at 2 pm. Learn how to delve into your creativity! Learn how to DRAW, PAINT, COLLAGE, PRINT, ETC with artist Deb Putnoi. For all ages. Learn more.
- Learn to Draw a Dinosaur with Chris DiPiazza. Get out your pencils, crayons, and paper for a series of fun and exciting free LIVE videos with paleoartist, Science Teacher, ZooKeeper, and creator of Prehistoric Beast of the Week, Christopher DiPiazza. Chris will host an hour long, LIVE video every Wednesday through April 29 from 4 pm-5 pm EST showing you how to draw a dinosaur. Learn more.
- Draw with Drew (and Rosie!) on Thursdays. New episodes will launch weekly on Thursdays until June 11, 2020 on TIME and Time for Kids’ digital and social platforms and on the Adobe Distance Learning Hub. Each episode will feature a new drawing assignment and viewers will be able to vote on the new assignment. Learn more.
Virtual Dance Classes
- SamCam is offering free online Toddler Hip Hop Dance Class on YouTube.
- American Ballet Theatre will offer daily virtual classes taught by former ABT dancers, ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School faculty and ABT teaching artists – all certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum. Learn more.
- Free Virtual Children’s Movement Class with Above the Barre Dance and Fitness Wednesdays at 3:30 pm until May 13, 2020. This movement class would be most appropriate for children aged 3-6. Learn more.
- BalletNova Center for Dance is hosting online ballet classes. From their Facebook page, “During these challenging times we are pleased to announce that BalletNova will be offering free live streamed classes taught by our esteemed faculty and hosted by our Artistic Director Matthew Powell! In addition, you’ll get a sneak peak behind the scenes of the studio, our upcoming productions, and more exclusive content.” Learn more.
More online ways to workout
- Virtual Yoga Class for Tweens/Teens with certified kids’ yoga instructor, Brandi Jordan. It‘s a great way to relax and focus on being more mindful while building strength and self-confidence. Fridays at 2 pm until May 29, 2020. Pre-registration is required by the Thursday before each class. Class links and passwords will be emailed the day before. Learn more. Brandi Jordan is a certified personal trainer, youth exercise specialist, and certified kids’ yoga instructor. She’s also a former classroom teacher and homeschooling mom who lives in the Philly suburbs.
- Soccer Specific Training is offering free soccer specific training. Learn more on their Facebook page.
- Get moving with Planet Fitness’ “Work-Ins” for teens. Daily at 7 pm. Learn more.
Virtual Events with Zoos & Nature Centers
- The Cape May County Zoo and Park is hosting virtual zoo activities weekdays at 11:30 am. Learn more.
- Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge is hosting online nature themed activities, Tails at Two, on weekdays at 2 pm. Visit with some resident animals, hike the trail or get a behind the scenes peek with the Wildlife Hospital! Learn more.
- Afternoon Nature Breaks with Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, Thursdays at 12:30 pm. They will share a short nature lesson and an exciting activity with you to get you up and moving (hopefully outside!). Ages 6-10, but the whole family is welcome! Suggested donation of $2/child or $5/family. After you register, you will receive a Google Meet link to join the session. Learn more.
- Adventure Aquarium will be posting on social media fun and educational activities for your child. From question and answers with biologists to animal feedings to coloring sheets, Adventure Aquarium plans to bring fun online activities to kids Mondays through Fridays. Learn more.
- Take LIVE look inside the Philadelphia Zoo each day at 2 pm. Learn more.
- ZooAmerica is offering virtual visits and activities different weekdays at 11 am. Learn more.
- The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is hosting online safaris daily at 3 pm until May 31, 2020. The Cincinnati Zoo will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. Learn more.
More nature-themed events online
- Wildlife Adventures will feature a different animal everyday to explore about and answer your questions. There will also be some kind of fun activity like reading a book, a science experiment or craft. Learn more. They are continuing through the quarantine period.
- Guy Harvey is offering virtual marine and ocean life education with his daughter twice a week Tuesdays and Saturdays through April. Learn more.
- Online Science Lessons with Ocean County Parks and Recreation Wednesdays and Fridays. Learn more.
- ONLINE Spring Saturday Surprises Live-Stream with Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge Saturdays at 2 pm until May 30. Spring has sprung at Cedar Run! Join Miss Cheryl for a Saturday afternoon cyber adventure! What plants are flowering now, which animals are active, who’s preparing to nest? Learn more.
Livestreaming Concerts & Dance Parties for families
- Online fun with Laurie Berkner. She is hosting online activities and songs for kids weekdays at various times. Laurie Berkner is here to help you find a routine, get up and move, learn and play together. That’s why every weekday she will be posting a song for a morning Berkner Breakfast (7 am), an afternoon Berkner Break (3 pm), and an evening Berkner Bedtime (7 pm). Plus don’t miss the LIVE Berkner Breaks at 10 am on The Laurie Berkner Band Facebook Page. Learn more.
- Weekdays at 10 am join the The Big Heart Morning Show with Splash ‘N Boots. We will sing, dance, chat, set intentions for the day: Big Heart Award every day, Parents of the day, Good News of the Day, Shout outs, Special Guests, and many more Surprises! Learn more.
- Acclaimed children’s singer and puppeteer Flor Bromley presents free “Fiesta with Flor” Spanish musical adventure programs for preschool and kindergarten age children live-streamed every Monday and Friday at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Flor’s Facebook page.
- Dinner Time Dance Party with Music Monkey Jungle – Give your music monkeys over to Lori and take some time to clear your head and have a HAPPY (HALF) HOUR! Select Wednesdays at 6 pm until June 10, 2020. Learn more.
- Radio Pitman: Broadcasting Live Music Across the Social Distance is running concerts. Learn more.
- Jazz Festing in Place – Celebrate the best of New Orleans music from your backyard, your front porch or your air-conditioned living room-anywhere in the world! WWOZ will broadcast for 8 days-8 hours each 11am-7pm, the same days and hours as the originally-scheduled Jazz Fest! April 23-26 and April 30-May 3. Learn more at wwoz.org.
- Americana Highways is hosting live online concerts nightly. We have not prelistened to these concerts so we recommend families listen together to determine if they are appropriate for their family. Tune in to Americana Highways on FACEBOOK for live streaming from artists for 30 minute sets from approximately 7 pm until 10 pm EDT. Please visit their Facebook page event tab for the complete schedule of musical artists performing each night.
- Find more livestreaming and online concerts on the schedule at Billboard.com. Dates are listed through to the end of the month.
Live Opera Performances
- Vienna State Opera is now opening its livestream archives, so that music lovers all over the world will still be able to enjoy opera and ballet. Starting on Sunday, 15 March 2020, Wiener Staatsoper will broadcast recordings of previous opera and ballet performances daily via its streaming platform www.staatsoperlive.com – worldwide and free of charge. This online program will even follow the originally planned schedule at the house, with a few exceptions only. Streams start at 7 p.m. or 5 p.m. CET respectively (12 pm and 2 pm Eastern Time Zone) (for Die Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung) and remain available for 24 hours.
- Metropolitan Opera will offer free streams of past performances daily until May 3, 2020. Nightly presentations will begin at 7:30 pm on the company’s official website and will remain available for an additional 20 hours. Each showcase will also be viewable on the Met Opera on demand apps.
Live Theater Performances
- Musicals from Andrew Lloyd Webber. Each show will be available Fridays at 11:00 AM PT/ 2:00PM ET for a limited 48-hour period online – no charge or sign up required – giving fans of musical theatre an opportunity to enjoy beloved shows, from their living rooms. Alongside full-length shows, clips of famous performances and behind-the-scenes footage will be uploaded regularly to the channel, so fans can continue to get their theatre fix at home. Learn more.
More Virtual Events for Kids
Offered on weekdays
- Chris Field will go on a one of a kind adventure with some awesome people including police officers, animal vets and yoga instructors, weekdays at 3 pm. Learn more.
- The Daily Dig at Diggerland USA offers your heavy equipment lovers an educational livestream about construction equipment every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 1:30 pm. Learn more.
- Tuesdays it’s Nick’s Blue’s Clues & You! Blue’s Clues & You! virtual playdates will let preschoolers sing, play, move and learn with Josh and Blue in all-new ways from the comfort of their own homes. The 10-minute playdates will be available Tuesdays at 9 a.m. (ET) on Nickelodeon, as well as Nick Jr.’s YouTube, Instagram and Facebook throughout the month of May. Learn more.
- Rahway Public Library is hosting Toddler Time on Facebook Live! Wednesdays and Fridays till May 8, 2020. Learn more.
- Virtual Science Trivia for Kids & Families: Friday Mornings at 11:30 am with the Liberty Science Center. Kids and families are invited to compete in Liberty Science Center’s NEW weekly trivia games for younger competitors! Join your quizmaster LIVE on LSC’s Facebook page every Friday at 11:30 AM EDT. Compete against others from across the region in a variety of science-related topics, including space, animals, health, tech, science-centric pop culture, and beyond! Older competitors are also invited to a general science trivia game for adults, taking place on Facebook every Thursday at 6:00 PM EDT. Learn more.
Offered on weekends
- Mr. Chris and LuckyDuck will entertain you with a 30 minute puppet show by Puppets by Palmieri, every Saturday at 11 am until May 2, 2020. Learn more.
- Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm Solar United Neighbor‘s Dori Wolfe will teach about different sources of energy and how we can generate electricity from the sun. Your kids will be entertained, engaged, and learning the whole time! Dori makes learning FUN, with pictures , songs, and math! Register and learn more.
- The beloved Children’s Film Festival Seattle returns May 13-17, 2020, for its 15th edition with online screenings of seven short film programs, showcasing the best and brightest in visual storytelling for children, and an award-winning feature film, “Supa Modo,” from Kenya. Learn more about this virtual event from Northwest Film Forum.
- The Brain Scoop from the Field Museum in Chicago – Go behind the scenes with The Brain Scoop, an educational YouTube channel from the Feld Museum. With host Emily Graslie as a guide, dig into the local and worldwide discoveries they’ve made. Each episode brings you along for a new journey into natural history, from interviews with scientists and tours of collections, to expeditions and deep dives into the nitty-gritty work of preparing museum specimens. www.fieldmuseum.org/blog/the-brain-scoop
- Amazon Future Engineer offers free online computer science classes for any student or teacher affected by COVID-19 in the United States.
For more resources to help you while your kids’ schools are closed due to the Coronavirus, please visit our Parent’s Guide to Coronavirus New Jersey Closings, Resources, and What’s Still Open.