Public Info

Enjoy a Festive President’s Day Weekend in Union County with Magic, Maple Syrup, and More

The Union County Board of County Commissioners invites families to attend the annual “February Festivities” series of indoor and outdoor nature activities taking place over President’s Day weekend at Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside, on Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19.

february festivities flyer

The programs are recommended for families with children ages four and older.

“We are very proud to offer our resident the enriching experiences of our natural heritage in our County parks and at our Trailside Nature and Science Center,” said Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “Along with special programs like February Festivities, the doors of Trailside are open all year ‘round for visitors to walk through and explore the exhibits. We also encourage everyone to experience the Sensory Friendly Trial on the grounds of Trailside.”

Pre-registration and a modest fee are required for February Festivities programs. To register, visit and follow the link to Union County’s secure online registration page. The fee per person per program is $7.00 for Union County residents and $8.00 for non-county residents.

This year, the February Festivities programs are:

The Journey of Sap to Syrup meets from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on both Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19. Visitors will see how real maple syrup is made from the sap of a sugar maple tree. Find out what equipment is needed to collect sap and take part in a taste test to see if you can identify the real thing.

A Winter Walk Scavenger Hunt is offered from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19. Investigate the winter woods for buck rubs, bird nests and bright red berries. Warm up around a campfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows as we review our wintery findings. 

On Saturday, February 18, visitors can learn about some of the most interesting animals from all over the world during the featured matinee, Unique Creatures. Audience members will have the opportunity to be up close to several unique, live animals; including snakes, lizards, insects, birds and mammals. This program will be offered from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Adults and children can enjoy an afternoon filled with science, laughter and magic during the featured matinee, The Science of Magic on Sunday, February 19 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.    Using mirrors, magnets and optical illusions, performers will educate and captivate the audience while demonstrating principles of light, reflection, magnetism and more.

For more details about February Festivities and other upcoming programs at Trailside, visit or call 908-789-3670.

Aside from special programming, Trailside welcomes visitors free of charge every day except Mondays and major holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Please note that Trailside is closed on Monday, February 20, for President’s Day.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, visit the Green Connection,

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing and other support services, visit General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at

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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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