Public Info

February Festivities at Trailside: Magnificent Raptors, Magic & Maple Sugaring

people observing something in the sky

Union County, NJ – Families looking for fun outdoor activities during the Presidents’ Day weekend are invited to visit Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside for a series of special outdoor programs. The programs are recommended for families with children ages four and older, and COVID-19 prevention guidelines apply.

“The February Festivities series at Trailside offers creative and educational programs for all ages, in the natural setting of Union County’s Watchung Reservation,” said County Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

All programs will be offered each day on Saturday, February 13, Sunday, February 14 and Monday, February 15, weather permitting.

The complete list of outdoor activities includes:

  • The Journey of Sap to Syrup from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Visitors will learn how real maple syrup is made from the sap of a sugar maple tree.
  • Remarkable Raptors from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.  Meet a live hawk and owl from the Tenafly Nature Center.  Discover the interesting life of a raptor.
  • Joe Fischer’s Hocus Pocus Magic Show from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon filled with the perfect blend of magic, audience participation, comedy and excitement.
  • Winter Walk Scavenger Hunt from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Search for buck rubs, animal tracks, nibbled twigs and other signs that tell us our animal neighbors have visited.

A second magic show will be offered on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 15 only, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Participants are also welcome to warm up around a campfire and enjoy some hot chocolate.

Pre-registration is required for all February Festivities programs. No walk-ins will be permitted. To register, visit

february festivities flyerThe fee per person per class is $5.00 for Union County residents and $6.00 for non-county residents.

Masks are required and must be worn by all participants. Programs will be held in small groups in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Participants are advised to dress for the outdoors.

For additional information about the special programs offered during February Festivities and upcoming programs and activities for seniors, families and children at Trailside, please visit or call 908-789-3670.

In-person activities in Union County parks are limited during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with statewide public health guidelines, and Trailside is closed to the public until further notice.

Trailside is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of County Commissioners.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, visit General information about COVID-19 and updates on state vaccine planning are available through the New Jersey Department of Health at


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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