Public Info

Enjoy Magic, a Movie and More at Trailside Nature and Science Center, February 15 and 17

Residents looking for family-friendly fun over President’s Day weekend are invited to visit Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside for a special “February Festivities” series of programs for adults and families with children age five and up during Presidents Day weekend. Programs will run on Saturday, February 15 and Monday, February 17. 

Highlights of the two-day event include a special magic-and-movie program on February 17, beginning with The Science of Magic, an exciting, participatory magic show that reveals the  secrets of magic using magnetism, light, air and optical illusion. A free screening of the animated movie Abominable follows the magic show.

“February Festivities at Trailside offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor programs to explore science and nature topics in ways that are fun and entertaining for all ages,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Pre-registration is required for all February Festivities nature activities and workshops. Walk-ins are welcome as space permits. To register, visit Workshop fees are $5.00 per person for Union County residents and $6.00 per person for non-county residents.

The full list of February Festivities activities include:

  • Saturday, February 15 from noon until 1:00 p.m. — The Journey of Sap to Syrup. Visitors will see how real maple syrup is made from the sap of a real sugar maple tree.
  • Saturday, February 15, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Mythical Creatures of Fields & Forests.  Bring your imagination as we investigate the world of elves, fairies, gnomes and their forest friends.  Take a walk in search of homes and hideouts of these magical creatures.
  • Saturday, February 15, from 3:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Animal Clue Winter Walk. Search for signs that animal neighbors have visited and enjoy a campfire with hot chocolate and s’mores.
  • Monday, February 17 — Mythical Creatures returns from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Monday, February 17 — The Journey of Sap to Syrup returns from noon until 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, February 17 — “Magic and A Movie,” featuring a magic show with audience participation and comedy for children ages five and up with parent from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Please note, no pre-registration is needed for the magic show but tickets are required. They will be available starting at 1:00 p.m. on the day of the show at the Visitor Service Desk for a fee of $5.00 general admission, $4.00 senior citizens. Space is limited and strollers are not permitted).
  • Monday, February 17 — Free screening of the animated movie Abominable, 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. (no pre-registration needed for the movie).
  • Monday, February 17 — Animal Clue Winter Walk returns from 3:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.


For additional information about the special programs offered during February Festivities, winter workshops and special events, please visit or call 908-789-3670.

Trailside Nature and Science Center is also open on Sunday, February 16 from noon to 5:00 p.m. Trailside is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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