Public Info

Children of All Ages Can Enjoy Daytime Programs at Trailside This Fall

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce an exciting array of children’s programs being offered this fall at Trailside Nature & Science Center in Mountainside.

“This exciting fall program schedule, with its nature-related activities, outdoor experiences and new adventures in the world of science, is sure to have something to delight every child,” said Freeholder Vice Chairman Deborah Scanlon, liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

For children, ages 3 or 4, with an adult, Trailside offers “Two of Us,” an interactive program that encourages nature discovery through hikes and other indoor/outdoor activities. This program is offered on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. or Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. beginning Oct. 5. Topics explored this autumn will include bubbles, monarchs, seeds, creating holiday crafts and more.

“Small Fry Days,” a drop-off program for children ages 4-6, is designed to foster awareness and appreciation of the natural world through nature hikes, explorations and related activities. This program is offered on Tuesdays, from 9:45-11:00 a.m. beginning Oct. 5.  Children will have fun learning about squirrels, investigating the Deserted Village on a Halloween Hike, collecting leaves of all colors and sizes, and much more.

Trailside also offers after-school workshops for grade school children. Children entering the 1stand 2nd grades can take part in “After School Explorations.” This drop-off program is designed to acquaint children with nature explorations, hikes and outdoor activities.  Offered on Thursdays beginning Oct. 7 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., children participating in this workshop series have the opportunity to make animal masks, learn about animal tracks and meet live snakes and turtles.

“Trailside Explorers,” a drop-off workshop for children in 3rd to 5th grade, will take an in-depth look into the animal kingdom. Participants will have fun investigating the variety of animal life found at Seeley’s Pond.  Additionally, mammals, reptiles, birds of prey and insects will be topics of exploration this fall. Trailside Explorers is scheduled on alternate Wednesdays beginning Oct. 6 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.


A new addition this year is an after-school science program, “Crazy Chemworks,” for students in the 1st to 5th grade. This exciting science series, developed by Mad Science of West New Jersey, is an educational and fun program that will get students interested in science. Conducted on Wednesdays from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., this series begins on Oct. 13.  Children will enjoy manipulating laboratory equipment at their own personal work bench; create slime and participate in the Slime Olympics; practice fast-paced chemistry experiments, and much more.

Fees do apply and pre-registration is required for all programs. Please call Trailside for fee information and space availability. For additional information about any of these children’s programs or about other upcoming programs and special events, please call 908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at

Trailside Nature & Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road (at Coles Avenue) in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.