The Weekend: Dance Inside a Hot-Air Balloon, Picnic at the Gardens, and More

Local Events to Enjoy This Weekend

Grab a bottle of water, slather on the sunscreen, and prepare for a lovely weekend out of doors!  So many events scheduled for the next few days include sunshine:  the annual jazz picnic at Greenwood Gardens, a hike at South Mountain Reservation, the Pride Festival in Maplewood, to name a few.  Read on for the details of these events and others happening in our area, and be sure to check the Patch calendar for even more local things-to-do!

What could be more pleasant than a June evening at Greenwood Gardens, reclining on a blanket with a picnic basket, enjoying the smooth sounds of jazz?  Choose to buy a prepared picnic basket at the Gardens, or bring your own – soft drinks and cupcakes will be supplied.  Reservations are required!  Free to members, non-members $12 for adults, $8 for children; Saturday at 5 p.m.; Short Hills


Ever danced inside a hot-air balloon before?  This teen dance party to be held inside a  balloon on the field beside will raise funds for the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges.  Wear flat rubber soled shoes or sneakers, and bring a non-perishable, unopened, unexpired food to donate.  Parents are welcome to come along and mingle and eat while the teens dance. $15; Friday 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.; Short Hills

The South Mountain Conservancy invites those looking for a vigorous morning in the great outdoors to join a guided hike up the steepest trail in the Reservation, to Washington Rock.  There is no need to register; simply meet at Locust Grove, up a short driveway opposite the Millburn RR station and First Aid Squad on Glen Ave.  Free; Saturday at 9:30 a.m.; South Mountain Reservation

Join your neighbors in celebrating diversity and show your support for full equality at the SOMA Pride Festival in Maplewood’s Memorial Park.  The festival will include food vendors, live music, local business, activist organizations and kids’ activities.  Free; Saturday noon to 5 p.m.; Maplewood

Admission to the will be free on Saturday as Essex County holds its 10th Annual Open House.  Enjoy family-friendly performances by Starfish at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., as well as games and activities while learning about Essex County services and programs.  Tour the zoo, and  try the Treetop Adventure Course ($20 to ride), the miniGOLF Safari ($5 children/$7 adults), or ride the carousel or ponies ($2 per ride).  Free; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; West Orange

Lydia Johnson Dance, the resident dance company at SOPAC, will present a free performance to kick off Celebrate South Orange 2012.  Featuring Lydia Johnson Dance and guest dancers Attila Joey Csiki and Reed Luplau of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Max van der Sterre, formerly of New York City Ballet, the show will include a Q & A, and audience members will be invited onto the stage to learn a dance phrase with LJD Company members.  Free; Friday at 7:30 p.m.; South Orange

Renovations, remodeling and repairs can not only improve your property, they can also increase energy efficiency, thereby saving you money, and helping save the environment.  The Energy Eco-Fair will feature environmentally focused designers and contractors, as well as vendors and contractors who provide energy-saving products and services.  Learn new approaches and techniques at this event to be held at the Livingston Recreation Department on Hillside Avenue, sponsored by the Livingston League of Women Voters, the Livingston Green Team, and the West Orange Energy Commission.  Free; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Livingston

If you have ever wanted to check out a Ferrari at close range, here is your chance!  George Press Jewelers will host a fundraiser for 2012 Parkinson's Unity Walk, with four luxury Ferrari vehicles including the Ferrari Enzo, Ferrari 599 GTO and Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M and the Ferrari Spider from the collection of local Ferrari enthusiast, Richard Stein.  For a $20 donation, guests are entered into a drawing for a 2 hour drive and ride – the winner will be chosen on Father’s Day.  Free; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Livingston


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