​​EDUCATION, ARTS & RECREATION

Programs for individuals and groups of all ages


​Education

  • Public programs: guided nature walks and hikes, led byWeis staff, historical and culture programs, first aid classes and special events.
  • After-school nature programs for grades 1-8
  • Primitive survival skills classes taught by Joe Blevis, founder of Winding Waters Earth Skills. Topics include firebuilding, primitive cooking, shelter making, bird languages, basketry, local plants, awareness & movement.
  • Group programs: including field trips for schools,homeschoolers, rec departments and area camps.
  • Nature focused day camps and during thesummerand winter and spring schoolbreaks.


Arts

Performing Arts
Iron Mountain Stage Company, ​a local non-profit theatre company that has been performing continuously since 1993, makes Weis their permanent home for rehearsals and performances. They present a spring and fall production, as well as fun public acting improv workshops.


Music

"Music at Midvale" Acoustic Open Mic! Join us near the old farmhouse for an afternoon of acoustic, outdoors music (originals and covers). Please bring your own refreshments and a folding chair. Smoking and alcohol are not permitted on the property.
> $5 per person, additional donations welcome! Signup to perform from 2:30-3:00pm; music starts at 3:00. NO registration required. 
Details and performance guidelines


"Music at Midvale" Concert Series! Our 2021 Series included performances by Rave Tesar, E'lissa Jones and Loretta Hagen. Artists profiles


Photography

  • Exhibit of landscape and nature photographs, taken locally by Joann Lightbody, a lifelong Ringwood, NJ resident. Joann has captured the beauty of the area in her photos, which are on display in the main building.
  • Enjoy an exhibit of inspiring nature photography by talented local artists Vera Lazar, Tom Tarbutton, and Karin Ahmed! Main building.


Recreation

Guided Nature Hikes - Led by our Educators & Naturalists. Public guided hikes are offered throughout the year, and can also be scheduled for private groups, party or special events. Hikes are led by a first aid certified staff member, and may focus on local history, flora, and fauna found along the trail.Learn more about hiking at Weis and in the adjacent Norvin Green State Forest. 


Forest Bathing Walks - Led by Weis Educator Lauren Lynch


Seasonal programs, including ​Pumpkin Chunkin' (Fall), Natural Wreath Making (Winter) and Maple Sugaring (Feb/Mar)


Swimming is available at our partners the Highlands Natural Pool, which is adjacent to our property. Experience a mountain-stream fed pool in a beautiful, forested setting. Snack bar on premises.


Scouting

We are happy to welcome ALL Scout groups to The New Weis Center. We offer many programs for Scouts, including badge classes, service projects, camping and firecircles, and hosting special events. Please check our Scouting page for all the details and upcoming events!


Support The New Weis Center by making a tax-deductible DONATION, which includes many member benefits. Learn more

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​UPCOMING EVENTS

Pre-registration and/or advance payment may be required. Parking for program attendees is available near the main brick building. Masks are OPTIONAL


​​​​Special Fall Program (October only) - Pumpkin Chunkin!  
​▶ Bring your Scout troop or other group or club to participate in a fun outdoor fall tradition: pumpkin chunkin! Carve or decorate your pumpkin, and then launch them across the field using our trebuchet, to see how far they can get their pumpkins to fly. 

  • Pumpkin chunkin can be scheduled as a private program for scout troops or any other group or club.
  • Minimum 15 participants, maximum of 50.
  • Depending on the age of your scouts, you can choose to carve or decorate your pumpkins with markers before launching (we provide carving equipment and markers). We leave the option up to you! 
  • 1 1/2 - 2 hours, depending on group size.
  • $14 per participant (we supply the pumpkins).

> To schedule a program, contact us at: staff@highlandsnaturefriends.org or 973-835-2160.

​▶ Sat, Oct 8, 1:00-4:00pm: Scouts BSA Merit Badge - Geocaching

  • Prerequisites: #7 and #9
  • Scouts should wear their uniform and bring a signed blue card
  • $22 per scout

REGISTER NOW!


▶ Sun, Oct 9, 10:00-11:15am: Forest Bathing - for Adults (2nd Sunday of every month)
From the Japanese 'shinrin-yoku', the practice of forest bathing means to immerse oneself in the forest and soak in the atmosphere through the senses. Today's walk at an easy pace will focus on connecting to nature through mindfulness, as we explore our senses and the present moment through short, guided, meditations in the forest. Forest bathing has been shown to help decrease stress levels and anxiety, and to improve the immune system and symptoms of depression, to name a few benefits. Come explore a new way of walking through the forest! Led by Weis Educator Lauren Lynch.

  • Ages 18 and up
  • $8 per person

REGISTER NOW!


​​​​▶ Sun, Oct 9, 1:00-2:15pm: Forest Bathing - for Families (2nd Sunday of every month)
Join us for a family friendly version of our forest bathing program, with more hands-on activity and a short craft for kids! Forest Bathing means to immerse oneself in the forest and soak in the atmosphere through the senses. Today's walk at an easy pace will focus on connecting to nature through mindfulness, as we explore our senses and the present moment through short, guided, meditations and breathing exercises in the forest. At the end of our walk, we'll sample a tea made from pine and spruce needles foraged on the Weis property, with some seasonal variations throughout the year. This tea is meant to show our gratitude and appreciation and is a way of tasting and taking in the land to further connect to it. Forest bathing has been shown to help decrease stress levels and anxiety, and to improve the immune system and symptoms of depression, to name a few benefits. Come explore a new way of walking in the forest! Led by Weis Educator Lauren Lynch.

  • Ages 5 - adult; under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
  • $8 per person

REGISTER NOW!


​​▶ Sat, Oct 15, 9:00am-12:00pm: Volunteer Day at Weis! (3rd Saturday of every month, Apr-Oct)
We welcome volunteers (individuals, families, groups, clubs, scouts) to stop by and help with some much needed cleanup in our gardens and grounds. May include weeding and invasive species removal, raking, planting, pruning, spreading woodchips/mulch, litter abatement, and special projects. Bring a rake and gloves if you have them.

  • Suggested age: 8-adult; under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Participation counts towards community service or scout conservation service hours

​> No registration required, but please let us know if you are bringing a group (5 or more)


▶ Sun, Oct 16, 8:00-9:30am: Fall Migration Bird Walk

Join our Educators for a forest and field nature walk as we witness birds on their incredible migration south! We will practice some bird ID, observe fall behaviors, and learn how these small songbirds can survive and navigate such a difficult annual journey.

  • Ages 8 - adult: under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Drive in through the outer gate and park near the main brick building
  • Restrooms in the main building will be open
  • Non-refundable. In case of inclement weather, program will be rescheduled

REGISTER NOW!


▶ Sat, Nov 5, 9:00am-1:00pm: Scouts BSA Merit Badge - Communications

  • Prerequisites to be completed prior to class: #1a, 3 (write your speech in advance, we will present during the class), 5, 6, 8
  • Scouts should wear their uniform and bring a signed blue card
  • $24 per scout

​​REGISTER NOW!


▶ Sun, Nov 6, 4:00-6:00pm: Sunset Hike & Campfire

  • Ages 10 - adult

> Registration opens soon


▶ Wed, Dec 7, 4:00-6:00pm: Sunset Hike & Campfire for Teens & Tweens

  • ​Just for 6th-9th graders

Registration opens soon


▶ Sat, Dec 17, 1:00-2:30pm: Welcome Winter Hike

  • Ages 6 - adult

> Registration opens soon


▶ Sun, Dec 18, 2:00-4:00pm: Winter Solstice Celebration

  • ​All ages are welcome! Bring your family and friends.

> Registration opens soon