Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


NEW JERSEY

News
Allentown
Asbury Park
Atlantic City

Augusta
Basking Ridge
Belmar
Bridgewater
Brigantine
Camden
Cape May
Cherry Hill
Clinton
Closter
Colts Neck
Egg Harbor City
Englewood Cliffs
Essex County
Flemington
Florham Park
Galloway
Gladstone
Hackensack
Hammonton
Island Beach State Park
Jackson
Howell Township
Jersey City
Lake Hopatcong
Lambertville
Livingston
Long Valley
Matawan

Metuchen
Millville
Montclair
Morristown
Mt. Laurel
New Brunswick
Oceanville
Park Ridge
Parsippany
Perth Amboy
Red Bank
Seaside Heights
Skylands
South Orange
Smithville
Spring Lake
South Orange
Toms River
Trenton
Tuckerton
Waretown
Warren
Washington
West Orange
Wildwoods

NEWS (Cities & Towns Follow the News)

Contemporary, classical and organ music highlight second week of 28th annual Cape May Music Festival

Hit Her with the Skates -- A New Musical by Christine Rea & Rick Briskin at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway Before Heading to New York City

More tours and events during the second weekend of Cape May's annual Spring Celebration

Jams on the Sand, a free summer concert series every Thursday from June 22nd through August 31st 2017 on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.

Fish, Boat, Observe Critters, Picnic & Much More at Wells Mills County Park in Waretown

Dinner is served: Residence Inn by Marriott West Orange expands Harry’s Bar offerings to include food service

Tuckerton Seaport Awaits Visitors With Exciting Classes & Exhibits

Check Out the Grounds Keeper's New Hours, Events & Sales & More

Important note from the Grounds Keeper on How to Keep Your Trees and Shrubs Safe from Deer

Latest Events at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton

Want An Exciting Adventure - Try Zoom Ziplines

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Has Lots on Tap

Join a Trail Crew: Trail work is planned and new volunteers are welcome this weekend in the following regions: Metro (NYC), Westchester (Yorktown), AT in Dutchess-Putnam, West Jersey (Jenny Jump State Park), Highlands Trail in New Jersey.

The New Campmor-Sponsored Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails Map Set Is In. Trail Conference members get 25% discount when you order your maps and books from the Trail Conference.  

Events

Updated map to trails in Sterling Forest State Park is now available.

Job Opening: Work to support outdoor trail recreation and volunteerism as the New Jersey Program Coordinator.

Protect the Palisades: The coalition has released new visual simulations of Palisades Park before and after LG Electronics' proposed building.

New Thursday 'Work after Work' Trail Opportunity at Sterling Forest.  Get outside after a day in the office and enjoy some service-oriented exercise with a great trail crew.

Major Welch Trail Changes Documented on Free 'Mini' Map

For more information on any of the above news, contact the NY/NJ Trail Conference at 156 Ramapo Valley Road | Mahwah, NJ 07430

Membership Benefits Expand with New Retail Partners. BV Sport is the latest company to offer members a 10% discount.

Nature Conservancy (TNC) Events (New Jersey Chapter)

NOTE: Registration is required for all trips and volunteer events. 
Please contact 609-861-4120 or e-mail alyssa_jones@tnc.org for more information or to register!

Volunteer Opportunities:

All volunteer work parties are FREE and most run from 10:00am – 2:00pm.  Please be sure to bring lunch, water, gloves, and dress appropriately. Please call (609)861-0600 for directions, more information or to register. -
    
Citizen Science Volunteer Program
* * Please call 609-861-4135 for scheduling.

The Nature Conservancy is looking for individuals and families interested in collecting scientific data on various Cape May County preserves.  Come out and perform real science for TNC! The data our citizen scientists collect will be used to inform conservation decisions with regard to ecological management and species protection. 

Nature Conservancy Volunteer Events

Pre-registration is required for all volunteer events. * Please call (609) 861-4120 for more information or to register. Upon registration, a confirmation will be sent with event details and directions. 

New Jersey Audubon Events

Latest Events

NJ Audubon Summer Camp Registration is Open

Location of New Jersey Audubon: 9 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ

MORNING WALKS AT SCHERMAN HOFFMAN

Every Friday and Saturday morning - 8am-9am

Enjoy a quiet morning here at the Sanctuary walking the trails with an NJ Audubon staff and/or associate naturalist. These walks are informal and informative: birds, trees, tracks, wildflowers, reptiles, and amphibians are a few of nature’s wonders waiting for us to discover.

Location: 11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ

Union County Performing Arts Center

Latest Events

THERE'S A LOT going on at Union County Performing Arts Center. Check out the following events & dates through 2017
For tickets and more information please visit www.hhwts.com

Note: UCPAC Ticket Buying is Easier Than Ever -- and FREE!

BOX OFFICE INFORMATION 
Purchase tickets online www.ucpac.org
or call 732-499-8226

PARKING & DIRECTIONS
Parking is available to guests at Rahway's multi-level parking deck,
located on the corner of Main Street and Lewis Street. A free shuttle is often available to and from the theatre.

Union County Performing Arts Center
Website: www.ucpac.org
Box Office:  (732) 499-8226 - Admin Office: (732) 499-0441
Union County Performing Arts Center
1601 Irving Street
Rahway, New Jersey 07065
732-499-8226
  

DISCOUNTS!
Members of AAA, students, seniors, Friends of Union County Arts Center, Discover Jersey Arts members, veterans and active members of the U.S. Military – and 10% off Group Sales to groups! www.vendini.com or www.ucpac.org
YOU CAN order online, call (732) 499-8226 or stop in to visit the friendly box office staff at 1601 Irving Street in downtown Rahway Arts District. There are NO FEES no matter how you choose to buy your tickets!

Union County Performing Arts Center uses Vendini for ticketing, marketing, and box office management. Vendini, Inc. - 660 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94104, 1 (800) 901-7173

Sensory Friendly Theatre

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders presents Sensory Friendly Theatre a series of live performances specially designed and adapted for children with autism and related disabilities.

Tickets are on sale now for each of the following performances. 
Tickets are $8 each (per ticket per event).

What to expect at a Sensory Friendly Theatre event:

• Each performance will run 60 minutes with an intermission.
• Seating is general admission and a limited number of tickets will be sold to maintain a comfortable size audience at each performance.
• Lights will remain up inside the theatre auditorium.
• Sound volume will be lowered and remain constant to prevent abrupt jarring sounds.
• Children will be free to talk and vocalize as they wish.
• Children may leave their seats under parental supervision.
• A private lounge area will be available where children and their families can relax.  Fidget and stress sensory toys will be available for children to borrow as needed.
• Professional Autism specialists will be available throughout the performance to provide assistance as requested or needed.
• Resource Materials: "This Is My Theatre" Social Story Picture Packet, may be downloaded here soon. Families may use this Social Story tool to help acquaint their children with the experience of going to a live performance. 
• Families who have not been to the Union County Performing Arts Center are invited to stop by and visit the theatre space and explore the seating areas two hours before the performance or by appointment prior to the performance date.

For more information visit ucpac.org or call the box office at 732-499-8226.

National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. National Wildlife Federation, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190 United States

ALLENTOWN

Bent Creek Upland Hunting Preserve

Bent Creek has just under 500 acres of private land managed strictly for bird hunting consisting of sorghum, sudan, wild grasses and small wood lots. Each party has its own exclusive hunting area, and you may hunt over your own dog or hire one of the guides with his own dog. There is a lovely, comfortable clubhouse, a banquet room for larger parties, a restroom and changing areas for your post-hunting relaxation. Bring your own lunch or plan on the takeout menu offered here.

Private Custom Tower Shoots are great fun here. For 100 Pheasants and hunting after the shoot it is $1,900. (minimum 10 shooters). . . .up to 24. Reserevations can be made by calling 609-259-9501.

Specials and European Shoots are offered. The minimum age for guided hunts is 12, with a limit of one non-hunting guest per group. No gauge larger than 12 can be used; all guns must only be able to hold 3 shells maxium, and no shot size larger than a #6 may be used. A minimum of 200 sq. in. of hunter orange is required.

Check web site www.bentcreekpreserve.net for details.

Location: Bent Creek Game Farm Upland Hunting Presereve, 786 Route 524, Allentown, NJ 08501. Phone for office is 609-259-9501. Office Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

ASBURY PARK

Jams on the Sand, a free summer concert series every Thursday from June 22nd through August 31st 2017 on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.

This will be held on the Beach Stage of Anchor’s Bend from 6–10pm. This is a free concert series and is for 21+ in all drinking areas. The series will showcase a different national recording artist each week showcasing different genres each week. Because of the 2016 success, this year we continue what we began, expanding it from 8 weeks to 11, and bring our Summer Series to the next level.

The following artists have been confirmed for the series.

June 29th – Ripe (Boston, MA)
July 6th – The Devon Allman Band (St. Louis, MO)
July 13th – Tom Hamilton’s American Babies ft. Holly Bowling – Holly Bowling will start with her solo classical interpretations and then sit in with the American Babies (Philadelphia, PA / San Francisco, CA)
July 20th – RAQ (Burlington, VT)
July 27th – Bonerama (New Orleans, LA)
Aug 3rd – Midnight North ft. Grahame Lesh (San Francisco, CA)
Aug 10th – Hayley Jane & The Primates (Burlington, VT)
Aug 17th – Roots of Creation (Boston, MA)
Aug 24th – Scott Sharrard | Adam Ezra Group (New York, NY | Boston, MA)
Aug 31st – Start Making Sense - Tribute to the Talking Heads (Philadelphia, PA)

Each evening will begin at 6pm with Chris Soltis and Brendan Brophy of the band Enjoy! playing acoustic and will have a different special local guest each week. The national acts will follow with two sets ending no later than 10pm.

The series contains some of the best up and coming artists from across the country plus some of rock’s family royalty. We will touch on the genres of funk, roots rock and roll, jam rock and reggae. There will be something for everyone and like last year, will continue to keep the crowd coming back week after week. The events are rain or shine. The Anchor’s Bend promenade area will be used if there is inclement weather.

More information and series facts can be found at website JamsOnTheSand.com

The Anchor’s Bend is a restaurant and bar located in the Arcade of Convention Hall at 1300 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712. The beach stage is located to the north of Convention Hall.

For more information please contact Asbury Park Boardwalk/www.apboardwalk.co/ 1100 Ocean Avenue Asbury Park, NJ | 07712

ATLANTIC CITY 

What to See & Do

Bass Pro Shops Outpost is open in Atlantic City

About Bass Pro Shops®
Bass Pro Shops®, which specializes in outdoor fun, operates 91 stores and Tracker Marine Centers across America and Canada that are visited by more than 120 million people every year. Bass Pro Shops stores, many of which feature restaurants, offer hunting,fishing, camping and other outdoor gear while their catalogs and website serve shoppers throughout the world. The company’s Tracker Marine Group®, a leading brand of fishing boats for more than 36 years, manufactures and sells a variety of boats for fishing and cruising. Family fun is on tap at Bass Pro Shops resort Big Cedar Lodge®, voted number six by Travel + Leisure Magazine as World's Best Hotels for Families. For more information, visit www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO. Follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bassproshops.

The Bass Pro Shops Outpost store is located at 30 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, and is part of the Cordish Company’s Phase IV development of The Walk in Atlantic City.

The Pier Shops at Caesars

About The Pier Shops

The Pier Shops at Caesars located on Atlantic City’s historic boardwalk is a world-class shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Built on a 900-foot pier over the Atlantic Ocean, The Pier Shops is a driving force in the historic coastal town’s ongoing transformation. With approximately 80 high-end retail stores and restaurants, The Pier Shops boasts such luxury names as Burberry, Gucci , and HUGO BOSS, as well as some of the East Coast’s most renowned restaurants, including Stephen Starr’s modern Asian Buddakan and casual Continental, Patrick Lyons’ bistro Sonsie, Trinity Irish Pub, and spectacular sports bar Game On!, and Baltimore’s famed Phillips Seafood, and Atlantic City’s best Sushi Bar Souzai. The Pier Shops also features The Water Show, an interactive water, light and sound spectacular. For more information, visit www.thepiershopsatcaesars.com.

Seven restaurants are now open at The Pier Shops: Buddakan and Continental from Philadelphia’s famed Stephen Starr, Sonsie, Game On and Trinity Pub from Boston nightlife guru Patrick Lyons, Phillips Seafood from Maryland’s beloved Steve Phillips and Souzai Sushi & Sake. They each offer a diverse menu and breathtaking sunset views over the Atlantic Ocean. Guests are invited to stop by the 60+ retail stores at The Pier Shops, before or after heading to the Promenade to taste signature drinks and dishes from the newest additions to AC’s dynamic dining scene.

For details on Sample Sale Tuesdays or Sunset Happy Hour Wednesdays, check web site www.thepiershops.com.

Shopping

Dress up for the season and, in fact, any time. Turn your shopping chores into a full-fledged weekend getaway. Spend the night at Caesars and you’ll receive a $100 gift card. You can shop for everyone on your list, then enjoy the time away to check out one of The Pier’s newest hot spots. Relax at the spa. Hit the tables. Or take in a show. Whatever you do, forgo the stressful trip to the mall and discover the treasures awaiting you at The Pier. Shop. Dine. Now you can shop, dine, and play like an A-lister!

With a variety of mid-to high-end stores, The Pier Shops’ first floor Boardwalk Level has something cool for everyone on your list.  Make your own candy bars at IT’SUGAR. Check out the latest gadgets at Apple. Head upstairs to the couture floor on the Bridge Level to peruse the latest fashions from brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton.  Pick up some chocolate pearls at IRIDESSE.  Laura Mercier’s Beauty Book is available at Cos Bar and The Art of Shaving has lots of fun gifts for the guys on your list.

Head up to Level Three of The Pier Shops to experience seven new restaurants, like Stephen Starr's celebrated hotspots. Sip a sake cocktail and enjoy the view at Souzai or go to Game On for a frosty pint and a few minutes of football. If you love seafood, plan on dining at Phillips; I did and it's fantastic with great service.

Check web site www.thepiershops.com for more information or call 609-345-3100.

For more information, check web site www.thepiershops.com.

Atlantic City Convention Center, Boardwalk Hall "Always Turned On" to FREEFI NETWORKS' Free Wi-Fi Service

FreeFi Networks (www.freefinet.com), a Los Angeles-based company offering content and advertiser-supported Public Internet Wi-Fi access, in partnershipwith the Atlantic City Convention Center and Historic Boardwalk Hall, has announced what could be the East Coast’s largest free WiFi ‘hotspot.’ With the installation of the advertising supported network, consumers and visitors at both locations will be able to enjoy a high speed, modern and fully functioning WiFi connection.

The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) awarded FreeFi a multi-year contract with the facilities. The free public access WiFi network covers nearly the entire footprint of the Convention Center, including all five exhibit halls and pre-function areas, as well as the adjacent rail station, and Historic Boardwalk Hall, the city’s special events venue located on the world’s famous Boardwalk.  

For more information about FreeFi Networks, log on to www.freefinet.com            

James' Salt Water Taffy

Mention Atlantic City and confection in the same sentence and there is no other than James’ Salt Water Taffy. Dating back to the 1800s, James Candy Company offers everything from salt water taffy to chocolate to macaroons. Easy to find locations in Atlantic City - including The Pier Shops at Caesars - Wildwood and Stone Harbor, not to mention a mail order catalog, make taffy an ideal present. You can also visit their online store at www.jamescandy.com for easy shopping.  Online store specials include a one pound box of taffy free with the purchase of $40 or more. A special addition this year is complimentary nostalgic wrapping paper, which is a recreation of the company’s original wrapping paper from the early 1900’s.  

Boardwalk Peanut Shoppe

For those who get a little nutty during the holidays, there is the Boardwalk Peanut Shoppe. Home to the world-famous Mr. Peanut, the Boardwalk Peanut Shoppe specializes in premium nuts and hand dipped chocolates. There are plenty of gift baskets to choose from including the Seashore Treasure Bucket for $17.99, which includes peanuts, salt water taffy, and caramel corn. There is also an Executive Basket, which includes assorted Von Jaeger chocolates, pistachios and assorted nuts, dark cocoa dusted truffles, chocolate covered pretzels and select European cookies, all for $119.00. Order online at www.boardwalkpeanuts.com or call 1-888-55PNUTS.

Steels Fudge

can be found on both the Atlantic City and Ocean City Boardwalks. Specializing in delicious fudge, taffy, cookies and candy, Steels Fudge is a “don’t miss” when coming to the shore. There is a combo box containing one-pound of fudge and one-pound of taffy for as low as $16.50 and a one-pound tin of Steel’s Brittle Cashew for $12.00, just to name a few selections. You can order online at www.steelsfudge.com or call 1-888-783-3571.           

Absecon Lighthouse

Visit the gift shop in the Absecon Lighthouse and choose from a variety of lighthouse merchandise including lighthouse replicas. There are plenty of gifts to choose from no matter your budget, including clothing, jewelry, toys, books, artwork, photography, spoons, pillows and more. The Lighthouse can also ship a special request for a $5 shipping and handling fee. The Absecon Lighthouse is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, visit www.abseconlighthouse.org or call 609-449-1360.

Events at the Lighthouse: 

Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey’s tallest and the country’s third tallest, is introducing fun, educational birthday parties for kids.  The parties are being offered on Sunday afternoons and include a presentation of lighthouse history, a 12 minute movie, tour of the facility, climb to the top, access to exhibits, Keeper’s Cottage, a two-acre manicured lawn, tables and chairs, and free on-site parking.  Families will bring their own food, cake and beverages. To set up a birthday party, call the Director of Education Programs, Stephanie Carr, at 609-449-1360.  For more information about Absecon Lighthouse, visit our website at www.abseconlighthouse.org.

Absecon Lighthouse Now Has 8 Live Camera Views from the Top, including a "Selfie Cam"

Climbing Absecon Lighthouse just got a lot more fun - and interactive. Thanks to AtTheShore.com, there is now a 360 degree live view from the top of Absecon Lighthouse which can be accessed any time, day or night, by logging on to AtTheShore.com, including a view of the spectacular First-Order Fresnel Lens. But the real fun happens when climbers stand in front of the new "Selfie Cam" at the top and tell their friends to log onto Imadeittothetop.com, so they can wave, pose, and throw kisses to family & friends. These new camera views are also available on a wide screen TV in the museum, making the climbing experience available to people who are unable to climb to the top.

Location: 31 S. Rhode Island Ave.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
609-449-1360
609-449-1919 fax
www.abseconlighthouse.org
228 Steps - One Amazing Journey!

Absecon Lighthouse is a state-owned historic property administered by the non-profit Inlet Public/Private Association. It is open to visitors Thursdays through Mondays, 11 am to 4 pm, and every day in July and August.  Absecon Lighthouse received a general operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State, and a cooperative marketing grant from the Office of Travel & Tourism.

Atlantic City Art Center

located on Garden Pier at New Jersey Avenue and the Boardwalk, offers an array of gift ideas including jewelry, artist prints and note cards, hand-blown glass, and includes a selection of Atlantic City historical books. Prices range from $10 to around $50. For more information, visit www.acartcenter.org or call 609-347-5837.

Atlantic City Historical Museum’s gift shop

also on the Garden Pier, offers Atlantic City memorabilia including historical calendars, the book Atlantic City: 125 Years of Ocean Madness by Vicki Gold Levi and Lee Eisenberg and the historical film Boardwalk Ballyhoo. For more information, call 609-347-5839 or visit them online at www.acmuseum.org.

Atlantic City Aquarium

Located at Historic Gardner's Basin Waterfront Park, is well worth spending a full morning or afternoon admiring the exhibits as well as learning about the ocean's inhabitants.

Seventeen aquarium tanks and nearly 50,000 gallons of water showcase the marine environment in and around Gardner's Basin. See fish of the New Jersey coast, as well as sharks and "Groman," a 100-pound Loggerhead Turtle, in a 25,000 gallon tank. This threatened marine reptile can grow as large as 400 pounds! If that's not enough reason to be here, check out the new "Dive and Dine" show where divers dive and the fish dine daily at 11 am (Saturday only September through June). Kids - and adults - can even ask questions while the diver is underwater feeding the aquarium's resident rays, sharks and sea turtle.

Try to find the Moray Eels; they prefer hiding among rock crevices to ambush their prey, grabbing them with their three rows of teeth. These monster looking specimens can grow to be 10 feet long and they certainly are scary looking. Or, head over to the new Shark & Ray Touch Tank featuring two species of rays. Feeding times are at noon and 3 pm and, if you wish, you can purchase special food and feed them.

The live Piranha Exhibit boasts a 350 gallon tropical environment that replicates a cross section of the Amazon River including numerous live piranha fish. There are also tanks filled with Clownfish and Anemone. Sea anemones form a symbiotic relationship with clownfish - with the anemones housing clownfish within their stinging tentacles and clownfish defending their anemone against potential predators.

Other exhibits include Bearded Dragons, Seahorses, nature photography, ocean rubbins, an Indo Pacific Tank, a coral reef, ocean oddities, and a touch tank. History buffs will love the display of antique diving helmets from around the world, plus much more.

You may lose at the tables in Atlantic City, but you'll come out a winner after touring this marvelkous aquarium.

Latest Events

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center

located just around the corner from Atlantic City in Brigantine, has a gift shop featuring “Cupid the Seal” t-shirts, pins, jackets, stuffed animals, window decals and gold and silver jewelry.  For those who don’t have time to visit, there is the Adopt-a-seal program. Your adoption donation will help provide food, medicine and care of a sick or injured seal with a gift of just $25. Each Adopt-a-seal package includes a certificate with your name and a photo of your adopted seal, along with its individual history. Fall and winter visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 609-266-0538 or visit www.marinemammalstrandingcenter.org.

Visitor Welcome Centers

located on the Atlantic City Expressway at mile marker 3.5 and on the Boardwalk at the Mississippi Avenue side of Boardwalk Hall. You’ll find an abundance of Atlantic City logo merchandise including golf caps, teddy bears, sweat shirts, t-shirts, AC decals, flip flops, striped carry-alls, and candles. You can even get E-ZPass on the go for $29.  

Both centers are open seven days a week. The Expressway Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and the Boardwalk Visitor Center is open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  

Cruisin 1 - Atlantic City Cruises

Hop aboard Cruisin 1 of Atlantic City Cruises and enjoy a tour through Atlantic City’s back bays and Atlantic Ocean for an exciting view of the ever-changing skyline. This summer, try a Marine Mammal Adventure cruise for dolphin watching and enjoy commentary from an onboard marine naturalist. There are many cruises to choose from, all originating from Atlantic City’s Historic Gardner’s Basin.  For more information, call 609-347-7600 or visit www.atlanticcitycruises.com.

Ride N’ Glide Segway Demos and Tours --

Perfect for the adventure seeker, this activity takes place out of Historic Gardner’s Basin and nearby Ventnor. Ten minutes for $10 gets you instruction on how to use and ride the Segway at Atlantic City’s Gardner’s Basin on weekend evenings. For a full-on tour, the seaside Ventnor location will take you from the bay to the Boardwalk, mornings and evenings, for up to eight people. Start or end your day by visiting local landmarks in this very unique way!

For more information, visit www.ridenglide.com.

If you want to see the sites and sounds of Atlantic City on your own, then visit the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority Web site, www.atlanticcitynj.com, and click on the Boardwalk Walking Tours banner. You can print out an exciting and informative walking tour to take along with you as you stroll the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Beginning with New Jersey Avenue and Garden Pier with the Atlantic City Art Center and Historic Museum, along with Showboat – The Mardi Gras Casino, you can read along as you walk all the way to Boston Avenue and the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort. Spread the tour out over a few days or do it all at once, the choice is yours.
For more information about The Pier Shops at Caesars,check web site www.thepiershops.com

The Noyes Museum of Art:

733 Lilly Lake Road, Oceanville, NJ. 609-652-8848, www.noyesmuseum.org. Admission to the Noyes Museum is $4 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.  Children under age 6 are admitted free of charge. Hours for the museum are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

RNS Boutique at Show House:

open daily, features a wide variety of fashion-forward jewelry and accessories, children’s gifts, handcrafts, and watercolors and graphics by New Jersey artists. Designer furnishings and accessories from the exhibition are also available for purchase.

Seashore Conversations:

every Tuesday and Wednesday morning beginning at 11 a.m., is a lecture series featuring nationally renowned authorities in the fields of interior design, the visual arts, home furnishing and accessories, and garden landscape design. A Show House ticket may be used for admission to the entire series of lectures.

Meet the Designer Night:

every Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Design participants will be on hand to discuss their work in the Show House and to answer design questions from visitors.

Where to Stay -- Including With Pets

Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City

31 S. Rhode Island Ave, Atlantic City, NJ. The Absecon Lighthouse is New Jersey's tallest lighthouse. Climb the 228 steps to the top for breathtaking views of Atlantic City, and see the original first-order Fresnel Lens, first lit in 1857. The lighthouse's recent restoration also includes a replica of the Lightkeeper's dwelling, an educational museum, gift shop, Fresnel Lens exhibit in the original Oil House, and expansive grounds. Hours: September through June, Thursday – Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; July and August, open every day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.abseconlighthouse.org.

Brigantine Beach

Located minutes from Atlantic City, Brigantine Beach is a family-friendly destination with many attractions including the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and Brigantine Beach Historical Museum. www.brigantinebeachnj.com

Historic Cold Spring Village

720 Route 9, Cape May, NJ. Historic Cold Spring Village is a 22-acre outdoor site comprised of 26 resorted historic buildings. A 19th century, open-air, living history museum located near Cape May, NJ, the village features working craftspeople in period costumes, an ice-cream parlor, restaurant and general store.  It is home to several farm animals, all kept in enclosures, including sheep, chickens and a horse. Admission for adults is $7, children ages 3 through 12 are $5, and senior citizens are $6.  Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend through late June, then Tuesday through Sunday until Labor Day weekend. www.hcsv.org

Pet friendly Atlantic City promises a barking good time

According to a 2008 survey conducted by TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel community, among people that own pets, 61 percent have traveled with a pet. And, 85 percent of pet owners said that when traveling with a pet, they typically travel by car.

Based on that information, it sounds like a road trip to Atlantic City is in order. If for you, traveling with Fido is the only way to go, why not consider Atlantic City? Located within a days drive to a third of the population of the United States, Atlantic City is easy escape from the everyday. Better yet, you don’t have to leave man’s best friend at home when you do so. A number of Atlantic City area hotels accept pets, and many of Atlantic City’s unique attractions welcome you and your pet. The following are pet only hotels, pet friendly hotels, and pet friendly attractions that both you and your pet will enjoy during your next Atlantic City vacation.

For more Atlantic City information, call the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority at 1-888-AC-VISIT (228-4748) or visit www.atlanticcitynj.com

Atlantic City Pet Hotel & Grooming

547 N. Trenton Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ. Atlantic City Pet Hotel is located within blocks of Atlantic City’s attractions and casinos. It is a licensed kennel and Atlantic City’s only 24-hour pet hotel. Once your dog is a guest, visit anytime from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and take him or her with you to visit many of Atlantic City’s attractions. www.atlanticcitypethotelandgrooming.com.

Knights Inn

531 Absecon Boulevard, Absecon, NJ. Located just 10 minutes from Atlantic City, Knights Inn features 27-inch televisions with HBO, hairdryers, microwaves, refrigerators, complimentary wireless internet, continental breakfast and business services. www.luxuriousinns.com 

Ocean City Mansion – A Bed & Breakfast

416 Central Ave., Ocean City, NJ. Located just 20 minutes from Atlantic City, Ocean City Mansion is a bed and breakfast featuring smoke-free rooms with private baths, balconies, fireplaces, and Jacuzzis. The property is open year round and features massage services, high speed wireless internet in all rooms, and of course, hot breakfast served daily. www.ocmansion.com

Pomona RV Park & Campground

536 South Pomona Road, Pomona, NJ. Located just 10 minutes from Atlantic City, Pomona RV Park and Campground features shaded campsites that can accommodate the biggest of “big rigs,” with picnic tables, fire rings, water, electric, full sewer hookups, and free cable and wireless internet. The park also features a swimming pool, hot tub with Jacuzzi, and a wide range of planned activities for both children and adults. www.pomonarvpark.com

Ramada Atlantic City

8037 Black Horse Pike, West Atlantic City, NJ. Conveniently located on beautiful Lakes Bay overlooking the Atlantic City skyline, Ramada Atlantic City is only 1.5 miles from Atlantic City's famous beaches, Boardwalk and casinos. The gold key award-winning property features well-appointed rooms with individual climate control, remote control television and AM/FM clock radios. Amenities offered include complimentary continental breakfast, shuttle service to Boardwalk and casinos with a charge, and complimentary parking. www.ramadaatlanticcity.com

Residence Inn by Marriott Egg Harbor Township/Airport

3022 Fire Road, Egg Harbor Township, NJ. The Residence Inn by Marriott is an all suite hotel located near the Atlantic City International Airport. Suites feature fully equipped kitchens and comfortable living rooms with free high-speed Internet access. Property also includes daily complimentary hot breakfast, indoor swimming pool and fitness center, guest laundry, and business center. www.marriott.com/aiyeh.

Residence Inn by Marriott

900 Mays Landing Road, Somers Point, NJ. The Residence Inn by Marriott is an all suite hotel located between exciting Atlantic City and Ocean City. Suites feature fully equipped kitchens and comfortable living rooms with free high-speed Internet access. Property also includes daily complimentary breakfast buffet, complimentary Evening Managers Reception (Tuesday-Thursday), and complimentary parking. www.marriott.com/aiyac.

Royal Lodge

553 E. Absecon Boulevard, Absecon, NJ. Located just 10 minutes from Atlantic City, Royal Lodge is a fully renovated motel with 24 spacious guest rooms featuring 27-inch televisions with 90 digital quality channels including HBO, microwaves, refrigerators, hair dryers and free wireless high-speed internet.

·      For more information or to make reservations call 732-397-4299.

Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel

2 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ. The property features 502 comfortable guest rooms with Sheraton Sweet Sleeper (SM) Beds, high speed Internet access in all rooms, and The Club Lounge, accessible to Sheraton Club guests, which offers complimentary breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres and a variety of beverages. The property also features a concierge services, fitness center, indoor pool, Boulevards Cafe and Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery. www.sheraton.com

Sheraton Atlantic City’s Love That Dog Program

Historic Towne of Smithville and Village Greene

Route 9 and Moss Mill Road, Smithville, NJ, A stroll through Smithville in Galloway Township provides a quaint setting for shopping and dining, plus train rides and a carousel for the kids.  It includes seven eateries, more than 60 shops, and boating on Lake Meone.  Spring hours, from April 3-June 21, are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.smithvillenj.com.  

Jake's Dog House

The Quarter at Tropicana Casino & Resort, Atlantic City, NJ. Jake’s Dog House features specialty items for your pet such as fresh-baked doggie treats at the in-store doggie bakery, an amazing selection of toys, gourmet treats and accessories. The giant red fire hydrant located in the center of the store cannot be missed. www.tropicana.net.  

Ocean City Beach

One of the finest year-round resort cities within New Jersey, family-friendly Ocean City features eight miles of beautiful beaches and bay, 2.5 miles of boardwalk, fine dining establishments and a downtown shopping district with many unique specialty shops.

www.oceancitychamber.com.

PawDazzle of Smithville

615 E Moss Mill Road, Suite A3 in the Historic Towne of Smithville and Village Greene, Galloway, NJ. A pet boutique that features the latest in pet fashions, wholesome treats and food, toys, and pet accessories such as water and food bowls, collars and leashes, beds, and more. Pets are welcome inside and treats are provided. Visit their website for a coupon to receive 10 percent off any item in the store except food. If you can’t visit, an online store is available. www.pawdazzle.net

·      For more information, call 609-748-7110 or e-mail pawdazzle@verizon.net.

AUGUSTA

more soon

BASKING RIDGE

Where to Stay

Relax, Replenish & Rekindle in the New Jersey Countryside --- Introducing the “Basking in Romance” Couples Escape Packages

North Maple Inn, the Four Diamond hotel located in the beautiful countryside of Basking Ridge, has announced a luminous weekend escape package designed to rekindle the romance in every couple’s relationship.

Entitled “Basking in Romance,” the couples weekend escape includes luxurious guestroom accommodations at the award-winning North Maple Inn, an exquisite five course Epicurean Experience food & wine tasting menu Saturday evening, chilled champagne delivered to the couple’s guestroom, chocolate covered strawberries upon arrival and the full use of plush his & her bathrobes throughout the weekend. Also provided is a delicious breakfast in bed and late check out the next day! The Basking in Romance package is from $229 per couple per night.

If a couple is feeling particularly romantic, they many wish to consider the Inn’s over-the-top weekend escape, called “Basking in Bubbles.” The Basking in Bubbles romance package provides the couple with a deluxe whirlpool suite and accompanying bubble baths and bath oils. Included in the package is the Chef’s five-course Epicurean Experience food & wine tasting menu Saturday evening and the renowned Jazz & Champagne Sunday Brunch served in the elegant lobby living room. Luxurious his & her bathrobes are theirs to enjoy throughout their stay and then to take home. The Basking in Bubbles package is from $349 per couple per night.

North Maple Inn is renowned for its gracious hospitality and superb cuisine prepared by its highly skilled hospitality and culinary team. The popular five course Epicurean Experience food & wine tasting menu pairs wines from around the world with five sumptuous courses designed to tantalize even the most sophisticated palate

Those couples who choose the Basking in Bubbles package will also savor North Maple Inn’s Jazz & Champagne Sunday Brunch.  The elegant brunch features live jazz and a vast array of superb culinary delicacies as well as the Inn’s signature Bellini Aperitif. Champagne Brunch is a perfect conclusion to a weekend of romance.

North Maple Inn is located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, near exit 30 of I-287, equidistant between I-78 and I-80 and comfortably accessible from all points in the state. The Inn is 50 minutes from Manhattan. A Four Diamond property, North Maple Inn offers 171 well-appointed guestrooms with 16 spacious suites and 20,000 square feet of event space. The hotel also offers Coasters, a casual lounge; Cuisine, a restaurant serving eclectic American fare in an open-hearth kitchen; and an elegant ballroom. North Maple Inn provides complete fitness and recreation facilities for hotel guests. The property is one of the finest hotels in New Jersey.

For more information on North Maple Inn’s Basking in Romance and Basking in Bubbles romance packages or to make reservations, call 908-953-3000 or check web site www.northmapleinn.com.

What to See & Do

Lord Stirling Environmental Education Center

Register for a Program:

New Jersey Bats
As the weather grows warmer and the days grow longer, a welcome resident awakens in the Great Swamp. EEEK! Bats, you say? Yes, bats, those wonderful creatures, the only mammals capable of true flight. There are over 900 species of bats throughout the world, and they are responsible for pollinating much of the world’s fruit supply and controlling insect populations.

Bats can be observed zooming through the air in the early evening and throughout the night, especially near water. Bats in New Jersey eat only insects, and the reason they zoom close to your head occasionally is because they are trying to feast on the insects that are trying to feast on you! A bat can consume 600+ mosquitoes in an hour, so have no fear, forget the bug spray and see if you can welcome bats into your yard or local habitat.

For more information on creating a habitat appealing to bats, check out Bat Conservation International’s website at www.batcon.org

Birding at the EEC!

Come to the EEC for some phenomenal birding! These beauties were recently spotted along our trails:

Blue-winged Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Brown Thrasher
Fish Crow
Chipping Sparrow
Pileated Woodpecker
Tree Sparrow
Rufous-sided Towhee
Wild Turkeys
Eastern Bluebirds
Blue-grey Gnat-catcher
American Woodcock
Osprey
Great Blue Heron
Ovenbird
Wood Thrush

The Environmental Education Center is dedicated to stimulating awareness and understanding of the natural world in order to foster a sense of responsibility for its care.

Location: Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park · 190 Lord Stirling Road · Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

BELMAR

More soon

BRIDGEWATER

more soon

BRIGANTINE

Where to Eat

Pirate's Den

"Good Food and Friendly Service" since 1876 is advertised and we agree -- It was a pleasure easting in this homey restaurant complete with good food, friendly service and across the street from Brigantine's ocean walkway. My partner and I ordered the early bird special for $10.99 - Fish & Chips - and we weren't diappointed. The fish, served with cole slaw and warm rolls, was fresh and the batter just right. The menu feaures a variety of food, including beef, pork, chicken, soup and salad, sandwiches & side selections, children's selections, soups, appetizers and much more. After, to walk off some calories, we took advantage of the concrete walkway while admiring the rolling waves and seagulls.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant is located at 1219 East Brigantine Avenue; 609-266-1927.

Macedonian Grill

Mediterranean and American cuisine, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. You're welcome to bring your own bottle.

Located at 3015 Brigantine Bouldevard; 609-264-8801.

CAMDEN

ADVENTURE AQUARIUM

If you're looking for a fun day for all ages, head to the Adventure Aquarium. Here, regularly scheduled daily shows will keep you amused and educated. At Scuba Snacks in Ocean Realm, see scuba divers hand-feed Cownose Stingrays. Or, if you love watching penguins, plan on attending the Penguin Feeding and Talk, or take a picture with the playful seals in the Underwater Viewing Area of Seal Shores. If you Venture to Africa, you'll learn about the hippos, porcupine and exotic birds, while Divers of the Deep will fill you in on exploring an incredible underwater world. Ever wonder what makes sharks so scary? Learn about them during the Secrets of the Shark Realm talk.

The Feeding Frenzy Cafe serves Philly cheesesteaks to soup and salad combos, plus favorites for the kids. The food is quite pricey, but when you're tired and want to get feeding time overwith and not venture out hunting for a restaurant, it's fine. The 4D Theater, featuring Spongefish 4D Ride, is designed to put you in the middle of the action with a series of spectacular effects. Timed tickets are required for entry to this theater, and patrons must be at least 36" tall and occupy their own seat.

Adventure Aquarium is fully accessible for guests in wheelchairs and to those for whom steps are a challenge. Stop by the Information Desk in the Lobby before beginning your tour for a map to make the visit much easier.

For more information contact Adventure Aquarium at 1 Aquarium Drive, Camden, NJ 08103; 856-365-3300, or go to web site www.adventureaquarium.com.

Upcoming Adventure Aquarium Events

Conveniently located on the Camden Waterfront, Adventure Aquarium offers a unique setting for your next event. Take in scenic views of the Philadelphia skyline while wandering through exotic and fascinating exhibits. Book a wedding, bar and bat mitzvah, birthday and anniversary, client and employee appreciation outings, awards presentations, off-site planning meetings, product or conference kick-off receptions, holiday celebrations and more! Whatever the occasion, your guests will have a one-of-a-kind experience at Adventure Aquarium. 

Experience this winter's must-see attraction!

Millions of years ago on a planet covered primarily by water, enormous and deadly prehistoric marine reptiles ruled the seas while their dinosaur counterparts walked the earth. Many people know about T-Rex, Brachiosaurus and Velociraptor but do you know about Ichthyosaurus, Tylosaurus and the mighty Liopleurodon? Discover them during Dinosaurs of the Deep

Meet the Stars

Prepare yourself to come face-to-face with more than 20 life-sized replicas of some of the most ferocious and fascinating reptiles to ever live. These monsters of the deep include a 42-foot Elasmosaurus, 20-foot Kronosaurus and 34-foot Liopleurodon.

Touch a living dinosaur, and more!

Dinosaurs of the Deep is an immersive, larger-than-life experience featuring 5,000 square feet of life-sized species, ancient fossils, a coral reef teeming with prehistoric animals, interactive activities, and more, all included with General Admission.

Sea Monsters 4D

Sea Monsters 4D is the perfect companion to your Dinosaurs of the Deep experience! In this action-packed animal film from National Geographic, you'll journey underwater back 82 million years where you'll follow along with a family of Dolichorhynchops as they migrate through ancient seas populated with saber-toothed fish, prehistoric sharks, giant squid and the monstrous Tylosaurus.

New animal species now on exhibit

From the creepy and crawly to the intricate and fascinating, we're excited to welcome half a dozen species to our Dinosaurs of the Deep exhibit. Learn more about these new additions, including the beautiful chambered nautilus, the giant isopod and intricate pinecone fish.

ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS: there is exclusive pricing just for you. Visit the Passholder Events page for more details.

BUY AN ANNUAL PASS
Purchase an Annual Pass to Adventure Aquarium for a year of fun for you and your entire family.

HIPPO HAVEN
Get 'nose-to-nose' with massive hippos Button and Genny in our all-new Hippo Haven experience!

MEET THE YOUNGEST PENGUINS
Visitors can now get up close to our four juvenile penguins Pumpkin, Patch, Cornelius and Saba - daily at Penguin Island!
Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Save 46% on admission to Philadelphia’s best attractions.

RANKED AMONG BEST AQUARIUMS
Adventure Aquarium was recently ranked as one of the Best Aquariums in the United States, by the Travel Channel.

Adventure Aquarium | 1 Aquarium Drive | Camden | NJ | 08103

  GENERAL ADMISSION
$20 for Adults
$10 for Children (ages 2-12)
 ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS...SAVE 50%  
NOTE: Valid Annual Pass ID & Personal ID/Drivers License required for entry. 
$10 for Adults 
$5 for Children (ages 2-12)
 
Adventure Aquarium has joined forces with the USO to collect items for our men and women in uniform. Drop off any TWO items from the list below to the Adventure Aquarium Information Desk, and receive a FREE parking voucher for the night!

List of Items: 
• New DVD Movie (unopened)
• New Deck of Regular Playing Cards (wrapped)
• Package of Beef Jerky
• Gum Packages
• Bags of Wrapped Hard Candy 
  
Prices do not include NJ Sales Tax. Advance reservations are required. General daytime admission to Adventure Aquarium is not valid for this evening event. Separate tickets must be purchased. Limited seating available for fireworks viewing and cannot be reserved.

FREE OFFER TO JOIN PHILLY PARENT CIRCLE ONLINE

A special offer, just for Adventure Blast readers! Here's your chance to join Philly Parent Circle, Philadelphia's most comprehensive resource guide and community for parents and parents-to-be for FREE ($30 value). Search the 1000+ listings of preschools, camps, activities, classes, birthday party venues and more and join the active community on the discussion boards. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to have the best events delivered to your inbox every Thursday and participate each month in the giveaways to the area's best family friendly events and venues just like PPC favorite Adventure Aquarium!  Join now for free with code: PPCADVENTURE. See you at Adventure Aquarium and on-line at Philly Parent Circle .

NOW PLAYING

Come experience National Geographic's SEA MONSTERS in 4D. Now for the low price of just $3.00 a ticket! Buy your Adventure Combo (General Admission + 4D ticketonline now.  4D Theater Presented by PSE&G.

The All New Stingray Beach Club Is Open!

Adventure Aquarium's all new Stingray Beach Club is a tropical beach paradise...right here in New Jersey! Located directly off the Rotunda in Zone A, the all new Stingray Beach Club exhibit will allow you to feel the beauty of the islands coming to life right before your very eyes! Even though you're inside, it will feel bright and airy, as if you've been transported to a tropical island oasis, where the water is always warm, the sun is always shinning and the sound of children's laughter is never far off. Bright open spaces, thatched roof structures, palm trees, a sand castle - its all part of the experience at Stingray Beach Club! Want to learn more

More events:

Underwater Journey
Mingle in front of the 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit full of colorful fish, shark rays, and stingrays while taking in a spectacular view of the Philadelphia skyline. 

Underwater Safari
Venture into the Shark Realm with incredible views of almost 30 sharks, as well as a 40-foot walk-through Shark Tunnel for an immersive escapade. You'll explore the unknown as you travel into the beautiful, bizarre and wondrous world of the deep sea. 

Open Ocean Voyage
Broaden your adventure with this total aquarium option! Enjoy a wonderful cocktail reception while viewing all the exhibits, and then sit down for dinner in front of the 760,000 gallon Ocean Realm viewing window with views of magnificent fish from around the world.

The CURRENTS Experience
Submerse yourself in our 9,000-square foot ballroom with a contemporary design of flowing ceiling panels and etched wave walls. With three movie screen-size windows showing the 560,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit, as well as a stunning waterfront view of the Philadelphia skyline, CURRENTS is the perfect place to hold your next event. 

For more information on facility rentals, as well as additional options during evening events including dive shows, contact our Facility Sales office at 856-365-3300 ext. 7375 or email eveningadventures@AdventureAquarium.com.
*Special pricing incentives available for groups of 75 and above!

Eco-Adventures - the Trip of a Lifetime

Experience animals in their natural habitats, learn from experienced animal specialists, visit some of the most beautiful places on earth, and have all travel arrangements made for you! For more information on Adventure Aquarium's Eco-Adventures, link to www.holbrooktravel.com/AdventureAquarium/), contact Ms. Pelin Karaca at Holbrook Travel at 800-451-7111, ext 338, or email Pelin@holbrooktravel.com.

CAMDEN CITY GARDEN CLUB

The Camden City Garden Club is a non-profit (501) (c) (3) environmental organization that was established in 1985, and was formed to assist Camden City residents with community gardening. The Club has grown steadily with the addition of new programs.In 1989 Grow Lab was started and, in 1994, the Summer Youth Job Training program was initiated. The Garden Club began exhibiting in the Philadelphia Flower Show in 1997 and in 1999, after 5 years of planning and fundraising, the Camden Children's Garden was opened.

The mission of the Camden City Garden Club is to provide horticulture based recreational and educational opportunities for residents of all ages of the City of Camden and the Delaware Valley. The program is an important part of urban re-greening Camden and members assist with clean-up, fencing, composting, mulching, seeds, seedlings, and advice. The program helps residents garden on city-owned trash-strewn vacant lots which then are transformed into beautiful and productive vegetable and flower gardens. For a modest membership fee, Garden Club members are provided with all material needed to create a productive garden in their home, at their community organization's site, or on an adopted vacant city lot.

Grow Lab

The Grow Lab is one of the Club's community outreach programs, serving over 500 Camden students and daycare children each year. It teaches Camden elementary school children science, math, nutrition and environmental concepts thorugh horticulture. Grow Lab is a mini-indoor greenhouse developed by the National Gardening Association with a curriculum that reflects the New Jersey Care Curriculum Standards for science in grades K-5th grade, and teaches children science and math skills through horticulture. The staff visit each class once every two weeks to teach lessons and monitor progress. The program serves approximately 500 children each year within Camden.

The Camden City Garden Club also creates full-time and part-time employment for students from the City of Camden ages 14-21 throughout the year in their youth Employment and Job Training Program. This program, developed in 1994, incorporates classroom-style training, job experience, field trips and educational co-op opportunities for students. The youth learn basic landscaping, sales, office and maintenance duties, and hosting interactive activities during special events for Garden visitors. Several of the youth have been co-op students earning credit and salaries while completing high school. In 2007 youth developed an Environmental Advocates Program in the Camden Children's Garden (see below under Camden Children's Garden), and had the garden certified as a National Wildlife Habitat and installed a rainwater harvesting cistern.

CAMDEN CHILDREN'S GARDEN

Camden City Garden Club, Inc.
3 Riverside Drive
Camden, New Jersey 08103

My Visit to the Camden Children's Garden

During June, I took my grandchildren, ages 6 and 12, to the Camden Children's Garden. I wasn't disappointed - and neither were they. We discovered that this garden is for all ages and is both entertaining and educational. Plan on an entire morning or afternoon here; you'll need it to explore and read the interesting information posted at each garden area. Kids won't be able to resist the Spring Butterfly Ride. It goes above the tree tops of the Garden and provides a unique opportunity for families to ride above the Garden for a butterfly's eye view of the garden's features. The ride is 30 feet high and consists of a brightly colored column with two sets of five seats attached. The ride lifts riders to the top of that column and 'spring' down again - kind of like the Parachute ride that used to be in operation at Coney Island - but a whole lot lower.

Even I couldn't resist taking the Arrow River Train Ride -- and it was so good, that I treated myself and the children to three rides on it. This is a 3-scale train ride that surrounds miniature landscapes and the Camden Caboose, which was built in 1942 for the New Haven Railroad. After that we all went on the Commerce Carousel, themed especially for the Camden Children's Garden complete with a rose horse, rooster, pig, cat, and hummingbird.

The mission of the Camden Children's Garden is to provide stimulating garden environments to engage families in creative and imaginative play. Within the thematic and demonstration gardens, visitors discover how plants are important to our everyday lives, while hands-on activities allow children and adults to realize that gardening is fun, easy, and can be enjoyed by everyone.

The outdoor exhibits include:

Violet Fountain Plaza -- Themed around the New Jersey State floweer, the Common Violet, this is a great place to cool off - for the fountains keep squirting on and off through bubbling mushrooms.

Dinosaur Garden - Young paleontologists can follow a walkway into a prehistoric environment where walls surround lush plantings. A large dinosaur -- created from recycled automobile parts and designed by New Jersey sculptor Jim Garry -- appears to be munching on the leaves of a Ginkgo tree. A sand area provides plenty of opportunity to dig and explore for fossil casts, while a baby Hadrosaurus, the famous Haddonfield New Jersey dinosaur, sits in its nest with several eggs that offer fun for climbing.

Storybook Gardens - Children's stories are brought to life in this magical garden. Visitors enter a land where pigs live in houses and tend their gardens in The 3 Little Pigs Garden. Follow Jack as he climbs the beanstalk and enters the Giant's Garden. The Frog Prince sculpture sits at the edge of the pond in the Frog Prince Grotto. Or search as Mary Lennox did for the Secret Garden. Climb into the teacups in the topsy-turvy tea party scene in the Alice in Wonderland Garden and sit in the Queen's chair.

Cityscape Garden -- This exhibit features urban gardening and illustrates creative ways to pursue the love of that hobby on a small scale. Demonstrations for the Community Gardening program are conducted in the Cityscope Garden to teach amateur gardeners how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in their own backyards and city lots. It is also a certified wildlife habitat and demonstrates how to garden to support the needs of wildlife. It also features a rain water harvesting cistern, donated by Organic Gardening and several compost bins.

Butterfly Garden --This garden was fantasic, for when we visited, the butterflys were very active. Learn all about the relationship between plants and nature's winged jewels in this section, and about the types of plants that can be placed in a garden to attract butterflies and other pollinators to your home garden.

There's also a Picnic Garden with colorful sculptures of giant ants made of recycled automobile parts. Feel free to bring your lunch or snacks and have it in this location where a large picnic basket serves as a walk-through arbor. The Red Oak Run and Treehouse is the perfect place for gazing down upon the maze garden. The Red Oak Run maze represents underground life, with plants overhead and life size burrows. Kids are welcome to explore the winding paths and crawl through tunnels as if they were burrowing animals or insects. If you're fortunate enough to be at the Garden during an entertaining and educational presentation, head over to the Piney Woods Amphitheatre. Don't worry about getting a seat; it serves 160 visitors.

Don't leave before entering the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House and Education Centre. It is amazing! Installed in 2001, this indoor 1,200 square foot facility is home to many species of beautiful butterflies gracefully fluttering through a lush tropical environment. There's usually someone inside who can answer your questions, and you can borrow one of the photo/information boards to identify and learn more about one or more butterflies that you admire.

There is much, much more to see and do here. Parking is next door and very safe.

For more information, contact The Children's Garden, 3 Riverside Drive, Camden, New Jersey 08103; 1-856-365-8733 or go to web site www.camdenchildrensgarden.org.

CAPE MAY

Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC).

MAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Cape May’s heritage. MAC also fosters the performing arts. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s web site at www.capemaymac.org. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508.

What to See & Do

Cape May's Latest Events

Contemporary, classical and organ music highlight second week of 28th annual Cape May Music Festival

Come to Cape May and experience sweet sounds by the seaside during the 28th annual Cape May Music Festival, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), through Thursday, June 15.

Highlights of the festival's second week of concerts include the following:

On Wednesday, June 7 at 12:30 p.m., come to the Carriage House Café & Tearoom located on the beautiful grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. for a Bach's Lunch, a mini-concert by members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, where you can enjoy an elegant Tea Luncheon and intimate afternoon concert under the tent. Admission is $30 per person.
On Thursday, June 8 at 8 p.m., the Bay Atlantic Symphony led by Conductor Jed Gaylin presents The Royal Wave, with soloist Felix Hell, organ. The organ is often known as the royal instrument. This splendid program of Baroque and retro-Baroque features Felix Hell, one of the most internationally sought-after organists today. Come catch the Royal Wavein performances of Handel's Overture to Theodora, HWV 68; Handel's Organ Concerto HWV 306 in B flat major ; Handel's Organ Concerto HWV 295 in F major ("Cuckoo & the Nightingale") 12'; andRespighi's Suite for Strings, P. 41. At the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., General admission is $25, seniors $20, and students $10.

The Cape May Music Festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) with funding by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For further information or to purchase tickets, call 609-884-5404 or order online at www.capemaymac.org.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC's year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC's Web site www.capemaymac.org. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508. For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at www.capemaylodging.com.

ONGOING TOURS AND EVENTS

Cape May Bike Tour
Cape May Family Treasure Hunt
Cape May Lighthouse, Oil House and Museum Shop
Carriage House Café & Tearoom
Carriage House Museum Shop
Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tours
Emlen Physick Estate Tour - New Tour Theme in 2017! "Let's Go Shopping! Victorian Consumer Culture" tour theme begins April 28
Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour
Historic District Trolley Tours
Historic Haunts Combo Tours
Historic Haunts House Tours
Lighthouse Museum Shop
Physick Estate Scavenger Hunt
World War II Tower Lookout Museum and Memorial

CHERRY HILL

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant Opens in Cherry Hill

What do you get when you combine the charm and value of a traditional, old-fashioned fish house with the top-notch food and service of an upscale restaurant? McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, of course. A new McCormick & Schmick’s opened on March 15, 2008, at 941 Haddonfield Road, in Cherry Hill’s Town Place at Garden State Park.

In keeping with McCormick & Schmick’s tradition of offering only the freshest seafood, the restaurant’s menu will change twice daily. A generous variety of aged steaks, poultry, entrée salads and pasta, all created with the finest ingredients, will also be available to please the palates of even the most discriminating diners. Executive Chef Karen Mitchell will work with area farmers to ensure the menu reflects local flavor and seasonality.

McCormick & Schmick’s commitment to freshness continues in its full-service bar where all juices are fresh squeezed and cocktails are hand shaken in the tradition of classic mixology. The restaurant’s bar will also feature the famous McCormick & Schmick's widely recognized and award winning $1.95 bar food menu, available during afternoon and late-night happy hour.  

Tom Brewer, formerly of Starr Restaurant’s Barclay Prime, will serve as general manager of the Cherry Hill McCormick & Schmick’s. In addition to the restaurant’s approximately 300 seats, a private function space is available. And there’s an outdoor patio for al fresco dining. The restaurant is open daily for lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night. For reservations, call 856-317-1711.

About McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants focus on serving a broad selection of fresh seafood with a menu printed twice daily, featuring the signature “Fresh List” of more than 30 varieties of fresh seafood, in addition to aged steaks, poultry, entrée salads and pasta. Each restaurant’s chef contributes to the menu’s unique and imaginative appeal by creating dishes tailored to regional tastes and their own talents. McCormick & Schmick's offers an inviting atmosphere and a high quality, diverse menu for everyone from casual dinners, families and tourists to business travelers and special occasion diners. Learn more at www.McCormickandSchmicks.com.

CLINTON

Clinton Book Store --

This is the place to be for books, cards, music,  gifts and more. Stop in and check out the World of Good with fair trade gift items, eco-friendly calendars, wide assortment of cards, magazines and of course, lots of  books. Don't forget that the gift cards never expire here and come in the denomination of your choice. Ask about the FIRST EDITIONS book club, another great gift item for the BOOKIE in your life

Remember that you can register for any of the events posted in advance by calling the shop. Remember that all books presented for signing at Clinton Book Shop events must be purchased through the Clinton Book Shop. Proof of purchase may be required.

Location: Clinton Book Store, 12 E. Main Street, Clinton, NJ 08809
908-735-8811
clintonbookshop.com

Where to Eat

Clean Plate Kitchen

I ate here for the first time after a friend highly recommended this restaurant. I certainly wasn't disappointed. In fact, I plan on going back for another lunch and maybe for dinner.

My first surprise was the restaurant's location - right on the river. If it hadn't been so windy, my friend and I would have eaten outside on the patio overlooking the river and surrounded by lovely trees, bushes and colorful potted plants. There was also interesting art work and weather vanes along the fence.

The restaurant's decor inside was lovely as well, with wooden furniture, small lanterns, and an immediate welcome from the hostess. We were seated in the back room overlooking the scenic river and plantings, and received a plate of freshly-made popcorn almost the minute we sat down. The menu lived up to the restaurant's write-up - clean eating, locally sourced, allergy friendly and naturally inspired. I ordered a roast chicken wrap made with raisins, lettuce and more delicious stuffing, plus the sweet potato fries - the most delicious fries I've ever tasted. It was a bit on the pricey side - $16 - but well worth it. . . especially since my friend and I spent over 2 hours there and no one came over to hint that we should leave! Service was quick and friendly, and on the way out through a narrow corridor, we browsed in the many small shops.

Parking is available on the street or nearby parking lots. For more information contact Clean Plate Kitchen, 46 Main Steet, Clinton, NJ; 908-200-7610 or check web site www.CleanPlateClinton.com.

CLOSTER

L’ifestyle Lounge, Closter, NJ --Presented by Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition, NYC -- Yoga, Mindfulness, and Positive Nutrition Studio

When it comes to this year’s top health-related resolutions, “doing more yoga,” “practicing mindfulness,” and “eating healthier” are high on the list. Now, New Jersey fitness fanatics and even yo-yo dieters can work on all their wellness resolutions at one central location, with the grand opening of Laura Cipullo’s L’ifestyle Lounge at 308 Harrington Ave. in Closter, NJ.

Laura Cipullo, acclaimed four-time published nutrition author, Registered Yoga Teacher, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, and past president of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, New York is excited to share her second location in the tristate area devoted to living a wholistic, yet evidenced based lifestyle of positive nutrition, mindfulness, and movement through yoga. This grand opening also coincides with the release of Laura’s latest book Everyday Diabetes, Meals for 1 or 2 (Robert Rose, March 2017).

The L’ifestyle Lounge will serve as a safe space to learn and practice the art of self-care. Offering a unique range of drop-in and semester-long yoga instruction (for all ages and all bodies), mindfulness services (a separate studio devoted to guided mindful meditation), and educational nutrition appointments with Registered Dietitians, this state-of-the-art 3-in-1 studio where clients can “breathe, bend, and nourish” their way to a building a healthier, stronger foundation for self-awareness, compassion, inner strength, and acceptance.

While many fitness facilities may claim to be a safe space and void of judgment, Laura’s lounge will truly serve as one of the ONLY centers of its kind. By designing classes intended to prevent eating disorders, prevent body shame, and fad dieting, the L’ifestyle staff is firm in its philosophy of positive nutrition and welcoming of all body types and ages. There are no mirrors! The moment students set foot in the door, they enter a weight neutral environment that seeks to uplift and empower, not tear down, lounge members.

Through a powerful combination of yoga, mindfulness meditation and positive nutrition components, L’ifestyle’s mission is to provide members with tools to self-awareness, self-love, and a healthier relationship with food and with their bodies.

Yoga

Whether you are new to yoga and wish to try a drop-in class, or want to go all-in with a commitment to semester-long (8 or 14 week) yoga, the L’ifestyle lounge offers the perfect option for every age and experience level.

Some of the current offerings include:

EmpowHER- For tween and teen girls ages 11-14; a moving meditation on and off the yoga mat, including instruction on mindful eating, body acceptance, and nutrition
Little Gods and Goddesses- Themed classes for little yogis who want to learn to love and move their bodies and breathe with their bellies!
Prenatal Bliss- Join a Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor as you learn to flow through your pregnancy.
Rock, Sweat and Glow- Build internal heat in this fast paced Vinyasa class, set to a mix of pop, rock, hip-hop and rap. Experienced beginners to advanced levels.

Mindfulness

Offered in conjunction with semester-long yoga classes, the L’ifestyle Lounge’s mindfulness meditations are perfectly paired with the yoga and nutrition components to offer students a sacred space that allows them to turn off the outside world and tune in to their breath. Lasting from 30 to 45 minutes, these sessions were created to decrease counter regulatory hormones and letting go of anxiety.

Some classes include:

Letting Go- Practicing the ever-challenging art of true stress relief; facilitators will guide students in freeing themselves from constant worry, and allowing room for inner peace.
5 Senses- A be-in-the-moment mediation designed to heighten awareness of the five senses (sight, smell, sound, taste, touch) and using breath to rid the mind of chatter.
Empower- Be prepared to leave the meditation room ready to take on the day- this class is all about total rejuvenation. Combining an array of breathing exercises, guided imagery, and even silence, students are given tools for clarity and compassion.

Positive Nutrition

The third and perhaps the most crucial component of the L’ifestyle Lounge, positive nutrition, will encourage students to embrace a fad diet-free approach and forego the mindset of deprivation. By incorporating the Five Pillars of Positive Nutrition, found in Cipullo’s best-selling book, the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet(Rodale, 2015), the L’ifestyle Lounge staff will provide nutritional consultations helping clients free themselves from food worry and to adopt an “all foods fit” philosophy, while honoring their emotional and biological needs.

An expert in nutrition and healthy eating, Laura has almost 20 years of clinical experience as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian. For three years, Laura volunteered as President, New York chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (<www.iaedpNY.com), and under her leadership, grew the chapter from 20 members to almost 200 members.

About Laura Cipullo

Laura Cipullo is the founder of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services in NYC. Cipullo weaves evidence-based science into treating clients, authoring books and speaking engagements. Laura combines her knowledge from expertise in nutrition, behavior change, the endocrine system, and psychology. While she believes in organic, sustainable foods the majority of the time, Laura and her team teach clients how to eat ALL FOODS guilt-free while living mindfully. Her clients love her for compassionate, mindful, “wholistic” approach to Positive Nutrition. Laura’s motto is “Eat Kale and Cupcakes!” In addition to individual sessions, her team of RD’s provides weekly “mindful meal” support groups for women who are working to change their relationship food and their body.

A four-time author including best selling  “Women’s Health Body Clock Diet,” (Rodale) and the “Diabetes Comfort Food Diet” (Robert Rose 2015), Laura is excited to share her most recent book, “Everyday Diabetes, Meals for 1 or 2” (Robert Rose 2017) set for release March 22, 2017. Laura is a frequent contributor to publications such as USA Today, Real Simple, Fitness, OK! Magazine, The Huffington Post, Women’s Health and has appeared regularly as a guest on Headline News, FOX Business and FOX & Friends. Watch Laura on Fox & Friends:www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZLJQrCR1y4

COLTS NECK

About Operation Provide Comfort:

The leader of Operation Provide Comfort is local Colts Neck resident Lt. Col. Jim Sfayer, USMC Ret. Colts Neck churches and community organizations, under the OPC umbrella, have taken a prominent role in helping Union Beach in their recovery effort.

The purpose of the effort is to develop a long term relationship between Union Beach and Colts Neck that will endure long after the storm. Our approach is to leverage the resources of our town to help the residents of Union Beach who suffered the most devastation and to help collect and coordinate donations of money, physical goods and services to aid in the rebuilding effort. One hundred percent of all donations given to Operation Provide Comfort go directly to the residents of Union Beach.

For more information on Operation Provide Comfort, please visit www.opcunionbeach.org or www.facebook.com/OperationProvideComfortUnionBeach.

EGG HARBOR CITY

What to See & Do

Renault Winery Resort & Golf

Located only 20 minutes from Atlantic City, 45 minutes from Philadelphia and 10 minutes from the Garden State Parkway exit, Historic Renault Winery is for everyone all lyear long. For example, attend one of the many festivals including the Winter Festival, Copuntry Bart-B-Que, Grape Stomping Harvest Festival, Italian Street Festival and the October Festival. Sample the delicious food, wine and fresh brewed beer, along with numerous crafts, music, and grape stomping. Parking is abundant and admission is Free.

During Holidays, this is a great place to celebrate -- from Valentines Day to Easter, Mother's and Father Day, to Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

Wine tours, tasting & the Antique Glass Museum is available on the walking tour of the Winery, see the vineyards and watch, first hand, how wine is made. All of the award-winning wines can be shipped and savored in the wine tasting room. Also, don't miss seeing Ranault's priceless wine and champagne glass museum which incorporates an extensive collection of stemware dating back to medieval times.

Or, Dine with the Chefs who will unveil their culinary secrets before your eyes and enhjoy an unforgettable evening of gourmet dining with themes inspired by Caribbean, Indian and Mediterrean cuisines. And if you want to bring someone a gift, choose one or more at the Gift Shoppe. For a real treat, stay overnight at the Tuscany House Hotel and Restaurant. The Renault Resort Hotel boasts 50 rooms, Joseph's restaurant, banquet and meeting rooms, outdoor verandas, a pool, driving range and a golf course.

Events

For details contact Renault Winery at 609.965.2111 | 72 North Bremen
Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215

Where to Eat

Renault Winery Gourmet Restaurant

Open Friday * Saturday * Sunday

MAKE A RESERVATION

NOW SERVING a full liquor bar of beer, wine and spirits!  Live entertainment Friday & Saturday evenings

Joseph's Restaurant

Enjoy Italian favorites; fresh seafood and hand cut steaks and chops.
Joseph's also offers a full service bar that features a great selection of specialty martinis and wines.
Hours: 1 pm - 6 pm.

Renault Grand Ballroom
Sunday Brunch Buffet
Cruise ship style buffet with carving station, omelet station
ADULTS: $29.95 CHILDREN: $14.95(4yrs. to 10yrs.)
10 am - 3:30 pm

Drink in this New Jersey Wine Fact

The oldest member of the state's wine industry, dating back to 1864, is Renault Winery, which is also one of the nation's oldest continuously operating wineries. During Prohibition, Renault produced sacramental wines and medicinal "tonics." Renault Wine Tonic was sold in almost every pharmacy in the country and was fortified by a whopping 22% alcohol content (today the standard is from 9% to 14%)

For more information contact the Renault Winery Resort & Golf | 72 North Bremen Ave. | Egg Harbor City | NJ | 08215

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS

More soon

ESSEX COUNTY

Essex County Environmental Center

A variety of programs are being offered at the Essex County Environmental Center that will teach children and adults about nature and help them gain a greater appreciation and understanding of our environment. Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. invites children and adults to visit the Environmental Center where they can enjoy an enriching recreation experience through nature and conservation education.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 17 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two off-leash dog facilities and a castle.

Registration is required for all programs at the Essex County Environmental Center, unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, please call 973-228-8776.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 18 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, three off-leash dog facilities and a castle.

FLEMINGTON

What to See & Do

Black River & Western Railroad

This railroad is a common carrier railroad situated in rural Hunterdon County between Lambertville, Ringoes, Flemington, and Three Bridges, N.J. It was constructed by the Flemington Railroad & Transportation Company in 1854 before being acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad. It serves several freight customers and offers seasonal passenger excursions between Flemington and Ringoes using historic passenger equipment. Trains are powered by a diesel electric locomotive or #60, a coal-fired consolidation type steam locomotive built in 1937.

The passenger excursions are managed by the Black River Railroad Historical Trust, a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to preserve railroad history and educate the public about railroad safety. All BR&W passenger trains are operated by the staff of volunteer railroaders.

If you're interested in joining the group, talk to your Conductor or e-mail at info@brrht.org. No previous railroad experience is required to join as a train crew volunter. The comprehensive training program enables new volunteers to work their way from Car Host up to locomotive engineer!

Don't miss this scenic train excursions that's great for young and old alike. Special events are held during the year, including the Model Train Show in March, the Easter Bunny Express in April, Photo Freights in May, Caboose Hops at various times and dates, and The Great Train Robbery in July - when riders help the Sheriff protect the train against the dreaded Covered Bridge Gang! For more events, visit web site www.brrht.org, e-mail info@brrht.org or call 908-782-6622.

Ticket prices vary depending on events, but th price is quite reasonable, with infants/toddlers under age 3 free with a paying adult, discounts for children age 3-122. Seating on all trains is first come, first serve. If you require a reservation, check web site www.brrht.org. Private parties and charters are available and is a great way for a unique experience. The club car, "John L. Bishop" offers a bar and booth seating; the combine offers a spacious baggage compartment for entertaining, and the caboose offers a more nostalgic ride for smaller groups.

Flemington Station is at 80 Stangl Road, Flemington, NJ, at the corner of Stangl Road and State Route 12 in Flemington behind the Liberty Village Premium Outlets. Ample free parking is across the street from the station. Station hours are 11:25 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. whenever trains operate.

Ringoes Station is at 1105 John Ringo Road, Ringoes, NJ; 908-782-6622 and is located on Hunterdon County Route 579 just North of Ringoes. Limited free parking is available in designated areas. Station hours are 10:30 a.m to 3:15 pm. whenever trains operate.

FLORHAM PARK

Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center

Take advantage of the weekend Bed & Breakfast getaway package for two adults with rates starting at $119 at The Hamilton Hotel and Conference Center
Beautifully manicured lawns and gardens surround the Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center. This premiere New Jersey conference center is also well known as a prestigious site for weddings, weekend getaways or the business traveler. The recently completed $10 million renovation further enhances the Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center’s ambience and cosmopolitan sophistication. Only an hour from New York City and 20 minutes from Newark International Airport, the property is conveniently located for the business or leisure traveler.

Location: Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center | 175 Park Avenue | Florham Park, NJ 07932 | 1-800-321-6000

GALLOWAY

More soon!

GLADSTONE

Willowwood Arboretum

We never tire of walking through this arboretum, where something is always in bloom and every season brings new delights. Consisting of 130 acres, it has a collection of over 2100 types of native and exotic plants. The property, in the 1600s, was part of the Wetherall Tract, a large French Huguenot farm. One hundred years later, the remaining great woods were cleared; in 1839, the cultivated fields and pastureland were purchased by the Kenneday family who named it "Paradise Farm." Then, in 1908, brothers Henry and Robert Tubbs found their dream location and purchased the land.

When they saw giant Weeping Willows growing along the approach to the house, they decided, upon buying the land, to name it Willowwood. In time, their mother and father and sister came to visit, stayed on for the rest of their lives, making Willowwood the new Tubbs family residence. Over the decades, the farm was transformed to a designed landscape for the brothers' evolving plant collection - their design philosophy was simple - "Nature is the guiding hand."

Fruit and nut trees were planted, and in 1911, a friend sent them plants that filled an entire freight car. Today you'll find hydrangeas, honeysuckle, spireass, forsythias, lilacs, roses, peonies, various Conifers and more plus masses of flowering shrubs. Over the years, garden rooms, viewsheds, meadows and collections were developed - and, indeed, a visit here is fantastic for all the senses.

Hours: Open daily year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset.

Tours: Group tours may be arranged. Call 973-326-7628. Weddings are often held here - Call 973-326-7631.

Restrooms are located at the northeast corner of the Shingle Barn.

For directions to the Arboretum, call 908-234-1815 or go to web site www.willowwoodfoundation.org.

HACKENSACK

Hackensack Riverkeeper Events

More coming soon!

Where to Eat

Morton's The Steakhouse

Recently, Morton's has undergone a total renovation - including everything from New menu items, the entry, bar, seating area, boardroom and wine room.

Location: One Riverside Square, Hackensack, NJ. For more information check web site MTNJ@dpwpr.com.

HAMMONTON

More soon

HEWITT

Wawayanda State Park

This park is for all ages. Enjoy hiking, fishing, boating, picnicking and swimming; it's all first-rate. Geology buffs will love the rock outcrops, while the views are extraordinary.

Wawayanda's history is quite interesting, too. According to the park brochure, the remains of the iron-smelting town of Double Pond lie along the northern shore of the 255-acre Wawayanda Lake which operated during the last half of the 19th century. Today, the charcoal blast-furnace is the only remnant of a once-thriving village and offers mute testimony to a forgotten era. Look for the raceways and foundations that were once part of the industrial town. In the 1940s, this area was heavily logged by the New Jersey Zinc Co., and throughout the park you'll find old logging roads. The remnants of an occasional log deck can still be seen although the sounds of saws and axes are long gone and now replaced with the chatter of wildlife - even bears! The logging roads have become trails where you can experience the varied environment this woodland park has to offer. Gorgeous year-round, autumn brings a variety of color around the lake that's simply breathtaking. Thanks to Green Acres funds, Wawayanda State Park was purchased with the 1961 bond act and opened to the public in 1963. The swimming beach opened in the late 1970s.

The focal point of the park is the pristine 255-acre Wawayanda Lake and the many water-related recreational activities. About one-third of the park has been preserved as designated natural areas. Included in the preserved areas - designated to the Natural Areas System in 1978 - are Bearfort Mountain Natural Area, Wawayanda Swamp Natural Area and Wawayanda Hemlock Ravine Natural Area. Within the park is the natural Ferber Wildlife Sanctuary - established by legislation in 1982 - to preserve and protect animals inhabiting the park. This was the estate of Fred Ferber, a wealthy industrialist and wildlife conservator.

In the southern portion of the park lies the Bearfort Mountain Natural Area, a 1,325-acre natural area and home to several state-threatened birds, including the red shouldered hawk and barred owl, as well as the state-endangered timber rattlesnake and bog turtle. Interspersed in the mixed oak hardwood forest are swamp hardwoods, scrub oak and rock outcrops. Terrace Pond is a 2.5-acre lake perched on Bearfort Ridge and is a great hike. Along the rocky outcrops on the marked trail are 360-degree views of the surrounding Northern Highlands.

The Wawayanda Swamp Natural Area covers 2, 167 acres and is the largest of the three natural areas. It features the globally rare inland Atlantic white cedar swamp, mixed oak hardwood forest and a glacially formed spring-fed lake. It's also home to several state endangered plant and wildlife species. Wawayanda Creek, on the western edge of the area, is home to beaver - often spotted from the bridge on the Double Pond Trail. You might want to try one of the other trails in this area, including one short, scenic trail around a glacier lake called Laurel Pond.

Though small in size at 501-acres, the Wawayanda Hemlock Ravine Natural Area has a steep hemlock ravine surrounded by mixed oak and mixed hardwood forests. Here, are also state-endangered plant species, including dewey's sedge, white-grained mountain rice grass and witch hobble. This is a great area on a hot, sunny day because the ravine is usually cool and shady.

Notes: Swimming is allowed from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend while lifeguards are on duty. The water is clean and cool; the white sand beach lovely, and a parking area is nearby as well as restrooms, changing facilities and a food concession.

Picnicking: Picnic areas are located along the north shore of Wawayanda Lake and boat house facility. Charcoal fires must be confined to the metal grills, but visitors can bring their own grills. Wood fires aren't permitted.

Trails: A 19.6-mile section of the Appalachian Trail follows the varied terrain within the park. White blazes mark the narrow and, in spots, very rocky trail. Views along Wawayanda Mountain are outstanding.

Hunting: Permitted in dersignated areas of the park . Deer, grouse, squirrel, turkey, rabbit, racoon and woodchuck may be hunted with bow and arrow, shotgun and black powderr firearms during the correct season. A New Jersey Hunting License is required.

Winter Activities: There's usually lots of snow at Wawayanda State Park during the winter months since it's 1,140 feet above sea level. Some winter activities are allowed on designated trails and various areas within the park, such as cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Contact the park office for details.

Group Camping: From April 1 to October 31 group campsites are available with a minimum requirement of seven people per site. Reservations can be made through the mail, in person at the park office or by phone.

Fishing: Anglers can find various species of game fish at Wawayanda Lake and the smaller lakes within the park. A New Jersey fishing license is required. Landlocked salmon were introduced here in 2006.

Boating: A boat rental facility and launching ramp are located near the beach and picnic areas. Canoes, rowboats (with or without electric motors) and paddle boats may be rented at Wawayanda Lake. Call 973-764-1030 for rates and rental information. Privately owned boats may be launched including sailboards and sailboats. Gasoline motors aren't permitted.

Location: Wawayanda State Park, 885 Warwick Turnpike, Hewitt, NJ 07421. For more information call 973-853-4462 or go to web site www.njparksandforests.org.

HILLSBOROUGH

What to See & Do

Duke Farms (Previously Duke Gardens)

If you love walking, biking or hiking, head over to Duke Farms where there is more than 1,000 acres to explore, including 20 miles of trails, hundreds of species of plants and animals and interactive displays. A cafe is also on the grounds. Free admission, too.

For details, contact Duke Farms, 1112 Duke Parkway West, Hillsborough, N.J. or check web site dukefarms.org

HOWELL TOWNSHIP

Manasquan Reservoir

A visit to the Manasquan Reservoir is a must, for being there - whether you wish to hike, fish, boat, bicycle, or just relax - is an absolute joy. As a source of water for surrounding municipalities and utilities, the reservoir offers visitors numerous recreational opportunities, and is part of 1,200 acres that include woods and wetlands, a 5-mile perimeter trail, fishing and boating areas, a Visitor Center, and a nearby Environmental Center featuring interactive exhibits, multi-media presentations, wildlife observation areas, and learning and discovery related to wetlands ecology and wildlife. Just the view alone from the Visitor Center's second level observation deck is worth the visit. The building offers a lounge area with fireplace and rest rooms, and is accessible to persons with disabilities. There are also numerous patio areas, lots of parking, and a boat rental and bait shop. Boating is allowed from the boat launch area for a nominal daily fee from March 1-November 30. Boats with electric motors, sailboats, kayaks and canoes at least 8' long are permitted, while sailboats cannot exceed 20' in length. One of the joys is taking the seasonal guided boat tour, especially when osprey and eagles can be spotted over the 40-foot deep reservoir.

Manasquan Reservoir is located in Howell Township east of Route 9. The entrance for the Visitor Center and boat ramp is on Windeler Road. The entrance for the Environmental Center is on Georgia Tavern Road. For more information, contact the Monmouth County Park System at 732-842-4000, Ext. 4256 or 4237, or check web site www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

Where to Eat

Atlantic Diner (I ate at this restaurant)

I was driving along Route 35 and hungry -- so took a chance and stopped in at The Atlantis Diner. I wasn't sorry - because the server was friendly, confirmed that what my husband and I ordered was very good, and it was. The value was also good - around $8 for lunch which included soup, a turkey & roast beef combo sandwich on a roll with fries, and a choice of dessert. I chose chocolate pudding. If I'm ever in this area again, I'd certainly stop here.

There's lots on the menu to choose from any time of day - including 3-egg omelettes, country style skillets (Portobello Bacon Skillet; Country Sillet and Three Cheese Skillet); a full griddle menu, quesadillas, a choice of soups, wild wraps (including Cajun chicken wrap); at least a dozen different salads, specialty sandwiches, paninis, triple decker clubs and much more. There are several sauteed classics to choose from, as well as roasts, steaks and chops, lots of seafood and an inexpensive variety of food on the children's menu.

Atlantis Diner is quite attractive inside and is located at 2601 Route 35 in Manasquan. For more information call 732-292-9510 or FAX 732-292-9890

ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK

Restoration of Fisherman's Walkway at Island Beach State Park Completed -- Sandy-Ravaged Boardwalk Allows for Beach Wheelchair and Fishing Access

Fisherman’s Walkway, a popular and functional surf fishing access point at Island Beach State Park that was completely destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, has been fully restored and is now reopened, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin has announced on January 28, 2015..

Approximately 1,000 feet of wooden walkway, measuring about eight feet in width, has been constructed starting from Parking Area 7, providing fishing access for persons with disabilities and other anglers on foot who prefer more mobility in transporting their fishing equipment from the parking area to the ocean.
“The restoration of Fisherman’s Walkway will help make non-motor vehicle fishing access much easier for all of our visitors,” Commissioner Martin said. “We have seen incredible progress at Island Beach State Park since Superstorm Sandy and the completion of this boardwalk is an important milestone in the park’s recovery.”
Work on the walkway began in late September and was completed in late December by GCS Contractors Corp. The walkway officially reopened this month after inspection. The $203,000 project was funded by Corporate Business Tax dollars. The DEP is seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fisherman’s Walkway has been a popular destination for people with disabilities, anglers and other pedestrians since it was first constructed in 1995 with funds through the Americans With Disabilities Act. Its location within the park is south of lifeguarded swimming areas and north of mobile sport fishing access roads.
“Fishermen’s Walkway is one of the most popular assets within the park,” said Island Beach State Park manager Ray Bukowski.  “Obviously, it is utilized heavily by fishermen and it affords a tremendous access point for all park visitors. It is also enjoyed, especially this time of year, by birders and other visitors.” 

Since Superstorm Sandy hit in October, 2012, Island Beach State Park has seen the repair or restoration of the boardwalks and the lifeguard station at Ocean Bathing Area 1, the gatehouse and maintenance buildings within the park.
A major repair of the Sandy-damaged north jetty at Barnegat Inlet, at the southern tip of the park, was completed in October. A state-funded dune replenishment project to bolster a vulnerable section of the northern most section of the beach was completed in 2013.
Shaped by storms and tides, Island Beach State Park is a narrow barrier island stretching for 10 miles between the ocean and Barnegat Bay. It is one of New Jersey's last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem and is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast.
For more on the park, including information on 2015 Mobile Sportfishing Vehicle permits, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/island.html.

JACKSON

New Jersey Wild Outdoor Expo

During this FREE Expo, explore, experience and enjoy just about everything you can think of -- including -- hiking, fishing, geocaching, learn camping skills, kayaking, archery, sporting dog demos, birding, trap shooting, rock climbing, environmental exhibits, hunting/trapping instruction, an outdoor supply flea market, and outdoor recreation seminars. Check the date for this event, below.

This event usually is held in September. I'll note the exact date by early September.

It's held at Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, Jackson Township, NJ. For more information check web site wildoutdoorexpo.com.

JERSEY CITY

The Westin Jersey City Newport is Open

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced the opening of The Westin Jersey City Newport in February 2009 and the hotel is accepting groups and reservations. The newly constructed hotel, which was developed by the LeFrak Organization and is owned by a joint venture of LeFrak Organization and Melvin Simon & Associates, will facilitate relaxation and renewal in the heart of the waterfront financial district of Jersey City, just minutes from New York City. The Westin Jersey City Newport will provide 429 beautifully appointed guest rooms, expansive meeting facilities, upscale dining and all of the Westin brand’s refreshing signature amenities and services.

Offering panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, the Hudson River and the Newport Marina, The Westin Jersey City Newport is convenient to Newark Liberty International Airport and just one block from the Pavonia - Newport PATH station, Newark Light Rail and NJTransit Buses. The hotel is adjacent to the Newport Centre Mall, home to a variety of upscale shops as well as cinemas, and close to the nearby riverside park and marina, local restaurants and bars. “The Westin Jersey City Newport offers an incomparable location just 15 minutes from Manhattan, with easy access to attractions such as Ellis Island, Liberty State Park, the Liberty Science Museum and the facilities and amenities of Newport itself, with its promenade, marina, shops, ice skating rink and restaurants,” said Michael McLaughlin, General Manager of the hotel. “Perfect for business trips, conferences, sight-seeing or New Jersey tax-free shopping at the Newport Centre Mall, the Westin Jersey City Newport will inspire renewal in one of New Jersey’s most exciting new destinations.”

All rooms feature the signature Westin Heavenly Bed®, a luxurious ensemble with pillow-top mattress, crisp triple sheets, down blanket, luxurious duvet and five pillows. Guests will also luxuriate in the Westin Heavenly Bath®, equipped with a custom-designed dual showerhead, signature bath amenities and a curved shower rod for additional comfort and space.

An ideal choice for meetings, galas, wedding and special events, The Westin Jersey City Newport will feature 20,500 square feet of meeting space, including 30 meeting rooms. To celebrate the water culture of Jersey City Newport, event rooms are named to commemorate America’s Cup competing vessels. The Newport Grand Ballroom offers more than 10,000 square feet of space and 20-foot ceilings and can easily accommodate 1,450 guests for a reception or 790 for a seated dinner. The hotel will also provide an experienced team of culinary specialists, meeting planners and a seasoned wedding planner.

Guests are invited to rejuvenate at The Westin WORKOUT® fitness center or pamper themselves with a selection of indulgent spa amenities as part of the industry-leading Westin in-room spa program. Dining facilities at the Westin Jersey City Newport include Wildfire Restaurant and Half Moon Lounge. High Speed Internet access is available throughout the hotel.

For further information, call 201-626-2900 or visit the Starwood web site at www.starwood.com

About Westin Hotels & Resorts

Westin Hotels & Resorts, with more than 150 hotels and resorts in more than 31 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched AloftSM, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com

About Newport

Newport is a “live, work, shop and dine” waterfront community – just minutes from Manhattan. The mixed-use development consists of residential, office, retail, leisure, shopping, and entertainment facilities. More than 10,000 residents live in the ten high-rise luxury towers on the property. Located on Jersey City’s Hudson River waterfront, Newport is situated opposite lower Manhattan and offers breathtaking views of New York’s skyline and panoramic harbor. Connected to the rest of New Jersey and New York by PATH train, light rail, and NJ Transit, Newport has world-class restaurants, businesses and luxury apartments. To learn more about Newport, visit www.newportnj.com

LAKE HOPATCONG

Where to Eat

Alice's American Restaurant Opens on Lake Hopatcong

Alice’s American restaurant and lounge opened in Spring 2009 on Lake Hopatcong. Also the owner of Main Lake Market, Alice Szigethy is the founder and namesake. Alice’s menu reflects traditional American comfort fare, featuring starters such as fresh Sweet Corn Chowder, Country-Style Beef Chili and Ripe Jersey Tomato Salad. Satisfying main courses include Skillet Roasted Trout, homemade Chicken Pot Pie, and perfectly grilled Prime Steak. These and other delicious dishes, including vegetarian offerings and an extensive kids menu are lovingly created from scratch using local ingredients.

Alice’s atmosphere speaks to the history of Lake Hopatcong’s golden ages. Upstairs, the antique wood paneling, exposed rafters, crackle tile and zinc mahogany bar open onto an awning-covered deck. Diners are left to rediscover the long-lost treasure of Alice’s timeless setting. Alice’s lower level houses a bar and lounge that serve drinks and hors d'oeuvres late into the evening. The bar room brings one back to the last vestige of the workingman’s domain, with striking walnut paneled walls, deep blue penny-tile floors, and large club chairs. With its tufted leather seating and antiqued mirrors, the lounge sets the perfect mood for gatherings of two or twenty.

Alice’s is an ideal setting for a bridal shower, company party or any private function. Whether dropping by the deck for a quick bite and a cold beer, entertaining a group of friends in the lounge, or having an excellent dinner that the whole family can enjoy, Alice’s makes every guest feel instantly relaxed and welcome. This casual restaurant prides itself on warm and welcoming service.

DESCRIPTION: A beautiful casual American restaurant overlooking Lake Hopatcong. Alice’s feels like a recovered treasure of a halcyon yesteryear.

CUISINE: Classic American comfort foods with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients.

WINE & BEERS: Fine selection of American Tap Beers & over thirty Wines available, fifteen by the glass

DÉCOR: This stylish restaurant features dramatic design with exposed-rafter cathedral ceiling, reclaimed wood walls, zinc & emperador marble bars, antique Hickory Floor,
hand-crafted lighting, and large steel and glass doors that open onto a stunning awning covered deck.

DINING HOURS:
Monday - Thursday: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The bar stays open later each night.

DRESS CODE: None.

WEBSITE: www.alicesrestaurantnj.com. Menus, photos, reviews and directions are available online.

SEATING: Dining Room - 80 seats. Bar Area - 16. Outdoor – 12.

LOCATION: 24 Nolan’s Point Park Road
Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, 07849
(Located across the street from The Windlass Restaurant)

CREDIT CARDS: MasterCard, Visa and Diners Club

CATERING: Alice’s is available for private parties and corporate functions, including cocktail receptions, lunches & dinners.

PARKING: Ample parking is available.

RESERVATIONS: (973) 663-9600

LAMBERTVILLE

Where to Stay

Great Getaways on the Delaware with New Packages from The Lambertville Station Inn

Great new package rates for winter and beyond are now available at the luxurious Lambertville Station Inn. Set on the banks of the Delaware in the historic town of Lambertville, New Jersey, the inn is fresh from a $4 million expansion program that includes new conference and event space and the addition of a spectacular new Riverview Suite. 

Guests can shop in Lambertville's fine boutiques, antique stores and art galleries and at the famous Golden Nugget Flea Market. Dine at an array of restaurants, including the landmark Lambertville Station, noted for its fine contemporary American Cuisine and exceptional wine cellar. The historic Delaware Valley is rich in attractions, recreational opportunities and natural beauty. Lambertville’s ideal location, just two hours from New York City and one hour from Philadelphia International Airport, make this charming town easy to reach.

Great Getaway Packages  

All rooms & rates include Continental Breakfast delivered to the guestroom. Rates are  subject to availability. Taxes are additional.

Reservations can be made online at www.lambertvillestation.com or call 609-397-4400.

The Lambertville Station Inn offers 46 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites. The fresh, contemporary interiors include an array of luxury amenities: Ethan Allen furnishings, fine linens, Sealy Posturepedic Encore Beds, wide screen cable TV and complimentary WiFi.  Suites include fireplaces, and most rooms have spectacular river views. Room service is available and each morning, a complimentary Continental Breakfast and newspaper are delivered to each guest's door. Parking is free.

A landmark on the Delaware River and fresh from a $4 million expansion program, The Lambertville Station Inn offers winter packages that will beat the Big Chill.
The stunning Riverview Suite is perfect as a bridal suite or a romantic getaway. This  luxuriously appointed suite features customized furniture, a bar and sitting room and a two-sided fireplace.

Dining Options

Just across from the inn and under the same management, is the Zagat-rated Lambertville Station Restaurant. The restaurant is set in the original historic stone building that once housed the Lambertville Train Station. Open for lunch and dinner, Lambertville Station offers a number of dining options and several distinctive dining rooms, including a new Wine Cellar and the Delaware Room which hosts private events.

Location

The Lambertville Station Inn is located on the banks of the Delaware River in the charming riverside of town of Lambertville, New Jersey. This central location is easily reached from points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, via air, car and bus. The graceful Lambertville/New Hope Bridge links the two towns and the Delaware Valley. The inn is ideal for corporate and leisure travelers, conferences and special events. Just two hours from New York City and one hour from Philadelphia International Airport, Lambertville is an affordable and attractive weekend getaway or meetings venue.

Bike or Hike

Take a hike or a bike. Kayak on the Delaware or soar in a hot air balloon. Raise a glass at a nearby winery. Make a fabulous find at the Golden Nugget Flea Market, one of the area’s largest. Dine Around at restaurants that span cuisine from Continental and American to dishes from Mexico and Myanmar. Take in a show at New Hope’s Bucks County Playhouse. Dance the night away in the area’s clubs. Feel a part of American history – George Washington crossed the Delaware just a few miles away from Lambertville and America’s past is present in its gracious Colonial and Victorian houses, beautiful gardens and antiques and art galleries.

Contact information for the Lambertville Station Inn:
Reservations can be made online at www.lambertvillestation.com or call 609-397-4400.

For information on meetings at The Lambertville Station Inn contact Conference Director Sharon DeFelices at 609-397-8461 or sharon.defelices@lambertvillestation.com.

For banquets and social events, contact Banquet Director Marielle Wolf at 609-397-9077or marielle@lambertvillestation.com.

For group room bookings contact Inn General Manager Jim Large at 609-397-4400, Ext. 550. jimlarge@lambertvillestation.com.

“Romance on the Delaware River” -- Fresh from a $4 Million Expansion Program, Lambertville Station Inn & the Dazzling Delaware Set the Scene for Singular Weddings Year 'Round

Long a landmark on the Delaware River, the Lambertville Station Inn now brings new sophistication and singular style to New Jersey weddings. Fresh from a $4 million expansion program, the Inn offers a romantic riverside setting, an exquisite wedding venue, fine cuisine, luxury rooms and the stunning new Riverview Suite - all easily reached from New York, Philadelphia and throughout New Jersey.

Set on the banks of the Delaware River in the charming town of Lambertville, the Inn is a venue for all seasons, reflecting the river's beauty year ‘round. Event spaces overlook the fabled waters that provide a perfect backdrop for a unique and unforgettable celebration.

The Riverside Ballroom, with its striking vaulted ceilings and river views, sets the scene for receptions and dinners of up to 200 participants. Floor-to-ceiling windows, custom-designed chandeliers and original works by local artists, give the Riverside Ballroom drama and individuality that works beautifully with a variety of wedding themes.

On the floor below, is The Riversedge, a spacious, open-air event space set at the water's edge. The room is furnished with a full bar and comfortable couches. Walls of blue and white and original art work reflect the sky and the river beyond. A charming patio is available to take party guests outdoors to enjoy river breezes and magnificent views. The Riversedge can host intimate wedding receptions as well as luncheons, cocktail hours, showers and rehearsal dinners.

The Ceremony Room, also open-air, overlooking picturesque Swan Creek, is a lovely venue. Its natural light, crystal chandeliers, beautiful floral paintings and creek views lend intimacy and elegance to any wedding.

The new Riverview Suite is a luxurious two-room suite with fabulous river views including a large bar and entertaining area, double sided fireplace, a king bed and an extravagant marble bath with rain shower and soaking tub. This room is truly a unique bridal suite where memories are made.

A professional staff of experienced wedding planners is available to help plan every detail of a wedding from small, intimate ceremonies to the most lavish gala. Banquet Director Marielle Wolf serves as wedding planner, assisting couples in creating an event that reflects the individuality and vision of each couple. On the wedding day, a professional Bridal Attendant and Maître d' are on hand to ensure that all runs smoothly with every detail checked and every request fulfilled.

The Inn offers 46 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites. The fresh, contemporary interiors include an array of luxury amenities: Ethan Allen furnishings, fine linens, Sealy Posturepedic Encore Beds, wide screen cable TV and complimentary WIFI. Suites include fireplaces, and most rooms have spectacular river views. Room service is available and each morning, a complimentary Continental Breakfast and newspaper are delivered to each guest's door. Parking is free.

Destination Weddings

The historic town of Lambertville provides the perfect setting for a Destination Wedding. This central location is easily reached from points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, via air, car and bus. The Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn is just two hours from New York City and one hour from Philadelphia International Airport.

Lambertville offers an array of historic, shopping and recreational attractions, from boating on the Delaware to shops, galleries and the famous Golden Nugget Flea Market. The graceful Lambertville/New Hope Bridge links the two towns and the Delaware Valley.

Dining Options

Just across from the Inn and under the same management, is the Zagat-rated Lambertville Station Restaurant. The restaurant is set in the original historic stone building that housed the Lambertville Train Station. Open for lunch and dinner, Lambertville Station offers a number of dining options and several distinctive dining rooms, including a new Wine Cellar and the Delaware Room which hosts private events. The restaurant can host showers, rehearsal dinners, and casual gatherings. On Sundays, the Riverside Ballroom features a lavish brunch and in the late afternoon and evening, an elegant dinner buffet.

The Lambertville Station Restaurant provides banqueting services for the Inn and can cater to every food preference and need. "We recognize that today's guests are very diverse and have a varied range of dining requirements," says Banquet Director Marielle Wolf. The kitchen can provide vegan and vegetarian options as well as gluten-free menus.

Named one of "America's Prettiest Towns" by Forbes, historic Lambertville offers a perfect blend of architectural gems, shops, art galleries, antique markets and restaurants.

Lambertville Things to Do & See

Take a hike or a bike. Kayak on the Delaware or soar in a hot air balloon. Raise a glass at a nearby winery. Make a fabulous find at the Golden Nugget Flea Market, one of the area’s largest.  Dine around at restaurants that span cuisine from Continental and American to dishes from Mexico and Myanmar. Take in a show at New Hope's Bucks County Playhouse. Dance the night away in the area's clubs. Feel a part of American history - George Washington crossed the Delaware just a few miles away from Lambertville and America's past is present in its gracious Colonial and Victorian houses, beautiful gardens and antiques and art galleries.

Forbes named Lambertville one of "America's Prettiest Towns" and Travel & Leisure dubbed it one of the "quirkiest" for its unique charms and individualistic residents. Historic Lambertville offers excellent shopping, fine restaurants, and architectural gems that include Federal, Victorian and French Second Empire styles. Known as New Jersey's Antiques Center, Lambertville is home to shops and art galleries that feature antiques from Colonial to Mid-Century Modern.

Noted artists and skilled craftspeople reside here and Lambertville is known for custom-made furniture, fine jewelry and artworks that reflect the grace and beauty of life along the river. The past is present in the many historical sites in the area, including the Washington’s Crossing Historic Park that hosts the annual reenactment of George Washington's heroic crossing of the Delaware.

Lambertville is a year 'round celebration. Welcome spring at the legendary Shad Festival. In October, the Lambertville Food Fare draws chefs from the area's finest restaurants. January's Winter Fest keeps spirits high.

Lambertville is also one of DatingAdvice.com's "12 Unexpectedly Perfect Cities to Get Married In."

Contact information for the Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn:
Inn Reservations can be made online at www.lambertvillestation.com or call 609-397-4400.

Dining Reservations can be made online at www.lambertvillestation.com or call 609-397-8300.

For information on meetings at The Lambertville Station Inn, contact Conference Director Sharon DeFelices at 609-397-8461 or sharon.defelices@lambertvillestation.com.

For banquets and social events, contact Banquet Director Marielle Wolf at 609-397-9077 or marielle@lambertvillestation.com.

For group room bookings, contact Inn General Manager Jim Large at 609-397-4400, Ext. 550, or jimlarge@lambertvillestation.com.

Wedding Tips and Trends

Marielle Wolf, Banquet Director at The Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn, offers advice on wedding planning and what's trending now.

Planning Makes Perfect

Careful planning is key. You can't imagine how many details are involved in planning a wedding until you start the process. Find an experienced wedding planner, most venues already have one on staff, who can help you make wise, cost-effective and creative decisions. Good planning also helps mitigate problems like bad weather, accidents and other examples of Murphy's Law.

Read the fine print
. Go over every contract carefully. You don't want to learn at the last minute that the photographer is bringing two assistants that need to be subsidized or that the band demands a full dinner.

Thrifty is still the new chic. Find out what is negotiable. Don't take the first price you are given and put your money into amenities that will have the most impact. For example, many venues offer special rates and packages during January or February, traditionally less popular months. Lambertville Station Inn is already booking 2016 winter weddings with special packages that start at $125.00 per person.

What's Trending Now

Nostalgia and romance are themes we are seeing now - Madmen, the Roaring 20s and the glamour of The Great Gatsby. There is so much you can do with cocktails, menus and decor around these themes. We love getting involved in this creative process, coming up with ideas to help brides and grooms to realize their dream wedding.

Colors are soft and neutral but vivid jewel tones are popular in shades of purple and green. Gold continues to be a solid trend in fashion and decor. These make a real impact as accents in table settings and centerpieces against a white or ivory backdrop.

The DIY trend is now influencing weddings with couples designing their own invitations, websites, favors and centerpieces. These often reflect the couple's individual interests with sports, hobbies and travel among the themes selected.

Friday and Saturday evening receptions are the most popular but Sundays are trending as well. More people are planning weddings around long holiday weekends so you might see a Thursday or Monday wedding.

LIVINGSTON

What's Cooking Right Now at Livingston's Strip House and Westminster Hotel

Strip House and Westminster Hotel are a fabulous one-stop resource for staycationers, business and social visitors at the end of summer ... and every season. Here's 4 reasons why!

1. Lobster Roll Lunch
Have a shore experience right on Route 10 with Strip House's luscious take on the summer classic pictured: Maine lobster salad on toasted buttered bun, topped with avocado slices and served with house-made fingerling potato chips.

For the at-home lobster cook, the restaurant's culinary team has pro tips on how to pick the perfect live one:

1. Feel the shell -- if it's soft, it's recently shed and will tend to be sweeter.
2. Choose the lobster with the most pep -- the more active, the more tender.

2. Refreshing Seasonal Cocktails
Check out Beverage Director Jono Moratis' latest creation -- the Fifty-Fifty -- a cool, boozy take on the classic Arnold Palmer, just in time for the dog days of summer:

1 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka

2 oz Sweetened Lemonade
3 oz Fresh-brewed Iced Tea
2 lemon wedges

Preparation:

Fill a mixing glass to the rim with ice.
Add vodka, lemonade and iced tea.
Squeeze one lemon wedge into mixing glass and then discard.
Shake and pour into tall Collins glass.
Garnish: Fresh lemon wedge

3. Onsite Wellness Services from Luxurious Dieci Lifestyle Spa
Receive a rejuvenating massage or facial at Westminster Hotel's newly renovated spa facility, provided by the local distinguished therapists at Dieci Lifestyle Spa, Livingston's premier salon and wellness center.

Choose from Swedish, Deep Tissue or Warm Stone massage; or a Glowing, Express or Aromatherapy facial. 

4. New Director of Catering: Meet Larry Goldfarb
Larry Goldfarb has joined Westminster Hotel as Director of Catering. Renowned in the industry as one of the finest operators of high-end catering products and services, he brings extensive experience and a unique approach to all facets of the luxury hotel and catering market. Most recently, he was an independent consultant and Director of Catering with Maiden Lane Hospitality (Capitale, Espace/NYC). Says Larry, "I'm excited to be back in my hometown of Livingston, working with the Westminster Hotel and Strip House teams to further enhance their impressive offerings in this highly competitive special and corporate events space."

About Strip House
Strip House Westminster Hotel is New Jersey's premier steak house experience. Its menu includes prime cuts of meat, pristine seafood, signature sides (truffle-creamed spinach, goose fat potatoes and the famed 12-layer chocolate cake) and an extensive wine list. Among other praise, the restaurant received a 3.5-star review from New Jersey Monthly. Owners Peter, Penny and Mathew Glazier are also responsible for corporate and social catering activity at Westminster Hotel in addition to room service. The family also owns Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C. in Grand Central Terminal.

About Westminster Hotel
The award-winning Westminster Hotel (AAA Four Diamond Award Winner 13 years running), features 185 luxury guest rooms and suites; 16,000 square feet of banquet and conference space; the critically acclaimed Strip House restaurant and a full range of first-class amenities that cater to the unique needs of today's business travelers as well as social guests. Strip House is responsible for all food + beverage including Corporate Meetings and Social Catering.

Westminster Hotel is managed by Boast Hotel Management Company LLC, a hospitality management company headquartered in New York City. Boast specializes in optimizing the financial performance of its properties through strategic sales & marketing and revenue & distribution management, precise control of operating expenses, and ROI-driven investment in capital improvements.

Strip House 
Westminster Hotel
550 W. Mt Pleasant Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 533-0600 (hotel)
(973) 548-0050 (restaurant)

For Further Informatioin contact byrne@diazschloss.com/ 973.509.1912

LONG VALLEY

What to See & Do

more soon

MATAWAN

Grounds Keeper, Inc.

Spring has sprung and Summer is coming! Contact Grounds Keeper for a consultation and let's talk about your new patio, pool or outdoor kitchen.

The Showroom is located at:

798 Highway 34
Matawan, NJ 07747
(732) 566-1600

Great Sales

For A Healthy Pond check out our new full line of products to help you care for your pond and keep it in its best shape this season - water clarifiers, beneficial bacteria, anti-fungral treatments for fish and more. 

New In LED Lighting

With rising energy costs, now is the perfect time to switch to LED landscape and pond lighting. Create beautiful effects with these color changing or warm white spotlights.

Thinking about adding or switching up your lighting?

Get in touch for a consultation.

For Creeping-Crawling Things

Tired of swatting at those pesky mosquitoes? Don't want to share your carrots with garden grubs? Grounds Keeper has a full line of insecticides and mosquito repellant so you can avoid having your garden - or you! - be the next meal.

Felco Pruners

These are top rated pruners for vines, shrubs and trees.

More Pond Products

Great natural pond dyes, clarifiers and more.

Hurry and get a jump start on the season!

Now is the time to start planning your dream space. Contact Grounds Keeper for a consultation.

For details please check Web-Site www.GroundsKeeperInc1973.com
Stop by to see what's new in ponds, landscaping and décor.

CONGRATULATIONS TO GROUNDS KEEPER FOR RECEIVING THE "BEST IN SHOW" AWARD for the 11th CONSECUTIVE YEAR (2015) AT THE NEW JERSEY FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW!

Yard Décor & Pond Shop 

There's a wide selection of fun yard and pond décor from small birds and frogs, to mid-sized planters and bubblers, to larger fountains, so whether you need a conversation starter or a special finishing touch, you're bound to find something to please the dads in your life.

Yes, You CAN Afford The Outdoor Space Of Your Dreams

The Power Of A Master Plan
Did you know that with a Master Plan we can create a strategy, rollout schedule and budget so you can afford all your outdoor dreams, whether they include a pond, waterfall, pool, patio, outdoor kitchen and more?

You can learn more about a Master Plan on our blog.

Thinking Of An Outdoor Kitchen, Pond, Pool Or Some Beautiful Evening Lighting?
All that can be part of your Master Plan. Ask for a consultation so that Grounds Keeper can listen to your dreams and show you how all of this can be part of your lifestyle.

Not Ready For A Revamp? Try Rejuvenation.

Not every landscape needs a do-over, especially if you've already invested time and money into making it look great. But even well designed landscapes need a sprucing up now and then. Whether you're not ready to commit to a full overhaul or you just want to add color, texture or attract more wildlife, Grounds Keeper can help!

Ready To Get Your Outdoor Space Into Its Best Shape Ever?

Large or small, Grounds Keeper can transform your outdoor space into your dream space.

“ Naturalistic Outdoor Living Spaces from Conception to Completion” AQUASCAPE Retailer offering Water Gardening Education, Plants, Fish, Accessories, Kits and Installation

Stop in and see the pond and yard accessories, fish food and care products, pond equipment, fountains, fire pits and more.

Visit Us At The Red Bank Farmers Market

The Galleria Red Bank Farmers Market offers fresh, locally grown produce and showcases unique crafts and wonderful eateries. GROUNDS KEEPER has a table where you can view our extensive portfolio of landscapes, ponds, pools and more. Stop by to ask questions or set up a personalized consultation.

Bamboo culms are the perfect companion to your fall pond routine!

Not only do they add a natural beauty but they deter predators and are ideal for use in conjunction with fall pond netting.

Attach bamboo culms around the edge of the pond to secure the netting - it's functional and looks great, too. 

If you have issues with plants and floaters getting sucked into your skimmer, bamboo culms make an excellent barrier to prevent that from happening.

They're available now in 6ft, 12ft, 20ft, 16ft, 20ft and 32ft lengths.

Call (732) 566-1600 to reserve your bamboo or visit the store and pick up whatever you need.

Looking for help adding bamboo as a natural element to your pond? We'll consult with you and plan the best and most beautiful way to use it. Call us at (732) 566-1600 for a consultation.

Emergency Service: Call 732.566.1600 and leave a message.
or call Jay's Cell Phone at 908.930.5160

Showroom (732) 566-1600    ----- Web-Site www.GroundsKeeperInc1973.com

Exciting New Pond Products

Automatic Dosing System

Eliminate the guesswork and labor of adding water treatments to your pond or water feature. The Aquascape Automatic Dosing System accurately and consistently applies your choice of water treatment and helps you maintain optimal water quality. Call (732) 566-1600 to get more info or to buy.

Pond Water Treatments

Formulated specifically for systems that contain fish and plants, Aquascape Pond Water Treatments are the ideal way of maintaining optimum water quality, clarity and an overall healthy pond. Call (732) 566-1600 to get more info or to buy.

Fountain Treatments

Ideal for use in all self-contained water features and formulated for water features that don’t contain fish, Aquascape Fountain Water Treatments help to maintain the original beauty of self-contained waterfalls and fountains. Aquascape Fountain Water Treatments prevent scale before it happens without the use of acids that may damage the surface of the fountain. Call (732) 566-1600 to get more info or to buy.

Underwater Koi Camera

Have you ever wondered what goes on in your pond during the day while you’re working, or wanted to keep an eye on predators? The underwater Koi cam can be easily hooked up to a digital capture device to check on your pond and diagnose problems day or night. It’s also ideal for winter use to check on fish under the ice. Call (732) 566-1600 to get more info or to buy.

Spring Pond Cleanout

Rejuvenate your pond and start fresh this season. Mother Nature does this each year to our natural ponds & lakes with the runoff from melting snow and again with the Spring rain. Draining your pond and doing a thorough cleanout will accomplish the same thing. Decaying plants, leaves and even fish waste that might have been left from last season can cause spring algae blooms. When you clean out your pond you will be replacing the old water with clean fresh water. The best time to do your cleanout is in early Spring when the water temperature reaches 55 degrees.
For many pond owners this is a big, time consuming, and messy job.

Let the professional crew from GROUNDS KEEPER get your pond looking its best! Spots fill up quickly so call (732) 566-1600 today.

Aquascape's Automatic Dosing System
This will be a popular item in 2015 so order yours today before they become backordered. Orders are taken on a first come, first serve basis.

Preorder yours today
Call for details!

Pond Stars Now Available On DVD
Season 1

Order Yours Now!
(National Geographic Online Store)

Stop By Our Pond Shop And See The Underwater Koi Camera Working
Now In Stock

The underwater video Koi Cam allows pond owners to easily and quickly view the underwater world found in their pond or water garden from the comfort of a living room chair.

Have you ever wondered what goes on in your pond during the day when at work or traveling? Are predators a problem? The underwater Koi cam can be easily hooked up to a VCR or digital capture device to check on your pond or diagnose problems day or night, also ideal for winter use to check on fish under the ice. • Easy to set up • Small, compact design  makes it easy to hide • Contains Sony super HED optics for a clean, clear, color picture • Dimmable LED lighting system for nighttime use • Made from quality stainless steel 

PRICE $279.99 (plus tax)

ThermaKoi 1.5 KW
Electric Heater
(Larger Units Also Available)

Simple to use, 110 Volt normal plug in, you simply pump water in one end and it flows out the other back to the pond. So you can either put this in line on your filtration system or you can dedicate a pump of its own. This unit runs on electricity and pulls about 12 Amps while operating. It comes equipped with a flow switch to turn it off if water stops moving, which will spare the element. It's all stainless construction and it's reasonably priced. ThermaKoi 1.5KW Heater will heat apond up to 1,500 gallons. It is recommended to bypass all waterfall returns for maximum efficiency. Don't Be Left In The Cold, Order Your Heater Today!

Emergency air source during AC power failure! 

Use when transporting or holding fish in a small bucket. Operation with two alkaline "D" cell batteeries. Contains air stone and 30" long air tube.

The Coolest Pond Thermometer yet!

Monitor your pond water temperature from inside your home! Versatile wireless thermometer monitors multiple parameters of your pond’s environment.

* wireless sensor * 6' waterproof probe *  central digital display *  wall hanging or free standing * water temperature (ºF/ºC) * wireless outside temperature (°F/°C)  * wireless  inside temperature (°F/°C) * Inside humidity (%rh) * 12/24 hour time * 330’ wireless  transmission range.

Allows trimming of plants underwater from dry land. 5' long. Pointed hook and jaws retrieves severed leaves easily. Stainless steel and aluminum construction prevents corrosion.

A handy tool used to remove unwanted objects from the pond. Features a 49” handle.
Now Available For Rental!
Muck Buster Pond Vacuum & Professional Cleanout Pump

(Half Day or Full Day Available)

The Matala® “Muck Buster” Pond Vacuum II Plus -

Is a very efficient way to eliminate unwanted sludge and “muck” from the bottom of your pond. Simply vacuum it up and discharge the dirty water into a garden bed for fantastic fertilization or use the mesh bag to capture coarse debris before returning the water back into the  pond.

The professional pond cleanout pump - Provides 4,000 GPH for quick pump outs. Comes with extra long discharge hose.
CALL FOR RATES

Please RSVP for all events and details by calling the showroom 732.566.1600
If you are calling after hours, please leave a message on the answering machine.

Follow GroundsKeeper on Facebook for specials and useful tips.
www.facebook.com/GroundsKeeperInc1973

New Pond Items Have Arrived

ThermaKoi 1.5 KW Electric Heater (Larger Units Also Available)

Simple to use, 110Volt normal plug in, you simply pump water in one end and it flows out the other back to the pond. So you can either put this in line on your filtration system or you can dedicate a pump of its own. This unit runs on electricity and pulls about 12 Amps while operating. It comes equipped with a flow switch to turn it off if water stops moving, which will spare the element. It's all stainless construction and it's reasonably priced. ThermaKoi 1.5KW Heater will heat a pond up to 1,500 gallons. It is recommended to bypass all waterfall returns for maximum efficiency.  

KoiZyme is a biological formula of naturally occurring bacteria, enzymes and micro nutrients. When used as directed, KoiZyme will reduce the threat caused by Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and other pathogenic bacteria. KoiZyme should be used when pond water temps reach 52 degrees and above KoiZyme will NOT harm the biofilter and can be used with any percentage of salt. 

Tricide-Neo is a patented dip to aid in the treatment of topical baterial infections such as ulcer disease, fin rot, tail rot and mouth rot. Tricide-Neo breaks the bacteria's resistant outer layer to allow the antibiotic to stop the bacteria. Fish can be dipped every other day for one week. The fish are dipped into the bath for 3 to 7 minutes -- that's fast !!

Debride is a medicated ointment that promotes prompt and complete healing of ulcers, mouth rot, fin rot, and tail rot, all symptoms of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas. Debride is safe to apply to the fish's mouth and will not harm the gills. 

Povidone-Iodine Ointment
10% is a maximum strength First Aid Antiseptic Ointment. Works to promote healing of wounds in pond fish and can be used in conjunction with Debride Medicated Oinment.

Koi Medic is especially designed to measure and monitor the delicate salt concentration for your Koi pond. The meter is very accurate and easy to use, simply turn it on and dip into the pond. Within two seconds, the LCD will display the salt concentration measured in "percentage". Koi Medic meter measures salt content which helps control algae growth, detoxifies Nitrite, and aids in eliminating parasites.

MiinnFinn Mini
will revolutionize the way you quarantine your new fish. This product is fast, effective, non-toxic and environmentally safe. Each package contains enough product to treat 110 gallons in quarantine tanks. The treatment time is one hour and then you add the included neutralizer. Very simple and very effective for treating all common external freshwater fish diseases!

Bio-Bandage
is a revolutionary new treatment developed to help your fish recover from injuries or disease conditions. Utilizing a proprietary vitamin-based polymer Bio-Bandage creates a waterproof bandage that protects the damaged area and promotes healing due to its Neonmycin-Based ingredients. Works excellent on scaled and scale-less fish. Bio-Bandage was developed for use on ulcers, fin rot, tail rot, lesions and cysts.
Bio-Bandage works well as a protective bandage when applied to a wound after using Debride Medicated Ointment. 

De-chlorinator
to remove chlorine and neutralize Chloramines in your pond after addition of municipal water. Chlor-No-More (sodium thiosulfate) is a compound which is used to remove and detoxify harmful chlorine or other heavy metals from pond water, which may be used by water companies to make water safe for consumption by humans. Treats 75,000+ gallons.

The Coolest Pond Thermometer yet! 
Monitor your pond water temperature from inside your home! Versatile wireless thermometer monitors multiple parameters of your pond’s environment.
* wireless sensor * 6' waterproof probe *  central digital display *  wall hanging or free standing
* water temperature (ºF/ºC) * wireless outside temperature (°F/°C)  * wireless inside temperature (°F/°C)

* Inside humidity (%rh) * 12/24 hour time * 330’ wireless transmission range

Two Sizes Available!
Fish Mate P21 will dispense food daily over a period of several hours for approximately 21 days. Over 1 year's continuous use from 1XAA battery (not included). Keeps fish active and reduces danger of overfeeding. Adjustable feed quantity and timing for all fish foods.
Fish Mate P7000 Is for use with pellet or stick food. Variable feed sizes are dispensed at programmed times or on demand at the touch of a button. 6.5lbs./30 cup capacity dry food hopper. Easy to use LCD control with approximately 6 to 9 months battery life in continuous use. The unique feed mechanism ensures accurate and consistent feed sizes from 3 teaspoons. Suitable for most popular food sticks and pellets. Weather-resistant.
 
Holistic Choice 
provides your Koi with a healthy staple diet of 38% protein, fish meal based kibble along with the healthy benefits of 8 freeze dried fruits and vegetables with every feeding. A diet so unique you can see the difference! For your koi to thrive they need more than just a quality kibble, they need the vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. A well rounded diet is important for the overall holistic health of your koi (and yourself).

Allows trimming of plants underwater from dry land. 5' long. Pointed hook and jaws retrieves severed leaves easily. Stainless steel and aluminum construction prevents corrosion.

A handy tool used to remove unwanted objects from the pond. Features a 49” handle.

“Naturalistic Outdoor Living Spaces from Conception to Completion”
AQUASCAPE Retailer offering Water Gardening Education, Plants, Fish, Accessories, Kits and Installation
Check website for our updated SEMINAR and EVENT Schedule or RSVP to 732.566.1600

AQUASCAPE Retailer offering Water Gardening Education, Plants, Fish, Accessories, Kits and Installation

MILLVILLE

What to See & Do

Wheaton Arts (formerly WheatonVillage)

More soon.

Visit web site www.wheatonarts.org.

METUCHEN

more soon

MONTCLAIR

What to See & Do

more soon

MORRISTOWN

More soon

MT. LAUREL

Coco Key Water Resort Opened at the Mt. Laurel Marriott

Coco Key Water Resort is the first indoor water resort in the area. Opened in late 2008, the resort features 55,000 sq. ft. of indoor water adventures, comfortable year-round at a temperature 85 degrees. Activities include the Parrot's Perch Play Structure: An interactive adventure with water cannons, and a huge bucket that dumps 300 gallons of water every few minutes, Coconut Grove Adventure River: A tube ride. Gator Gush, Barracuda Blast & Pelican Plunge: Three 40-foot looping body- and raft-waterslides that'll drive you wild! A Dip-In Theater: Enjoy a movie while floating in your own tube in our zero depth-entry pool! And much, much more.

The resort is located at 915 Route 73. Overnight packages and day passes will be available. The resort is situated one-quarter of a mile from the New Jersey Turnpike, 11 miles from Philadelphia, and 2 miles from Cherry Hill, NJ.  

NEW BRUNSWICK

Where to Stay

The Heldrich Announces “Living Large on Livingston” Cultural Getaway Package

The Heldrich (www.theheldrich.com), New Brunswick’s sophisticated new luxury hotel located in the city’s cultural center, across Livingston Avenue from the renowned State Theatre, announces the “Living Large on Livingston” getaway package. The new package includes a pair of tickets to one of the State Theatre’s world-class shows and concerts, luxury hotel accommodations, and a $100 dinner certificate in the highly rated Christopher’s Restaurant. 

The Heldrich boasts an extensive fine art collection, including artworks specifically commissioned for the luxurious new hotel and works arranged through a special partnership with the Brodsky Center of Rutgers University and New Jersey’s highly acclaimed Zimmerli Art Museum. It is located just four blocks from the New Brunswick Train Station, offering 45-minute rail excursions to Penn Station in Manhattan..

The Heldrich’s design is a fascinating juxtaposition, and in itself a work of art. The interiors are visually stimulating, yet offer a feeling of serenity in their vast spaciousness; they project a soothing color palette, however, pockets of space, once discovered, explode with color and vitality. The design is 21st Century, yet the public spaces overlook and pay homage to the city’s 150-year-old Victorian Monument to its fallen Civil War heroes.   Several elements have been utilized to appeal to the senses: granite, slate, glass, steal, marble in the form of terrazzo, richly polished woods and stunning original glass and bronze artworks that adorn The Heldrich lobby. Attending is a young, vital team of hospitality professionals standing ready to anticipate the need of every guest.

The “Living Large on Livingston” cultural getaway package is from $300 per couple, per night. To learn more and to make reservations, call 732.729.4670 or 866.609.4700-toll free or visit www.theheldrich.com.

About The Heldrich

The Heldrich is located in the cultural heart of New Jersey in New Brunswick. The property is situated at 10 Livingston Avenue, just west of the important US Route 1 and four blocks from the News Brunswick Train Station (serving the Northeast Corridor: Boston-New York-Philadelphia-Washington, DC) and close to Exit 9 of the NJ Turnpike. It is 30 minutes outside New York City and has rail service to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).   The Heldrich features a 248-guestroom luxury hotel, Christopher’s Restaurant, serving freshly prepared specialties created in an exhibition kitchen to delight even the discriminating palate, Christopher’s Bar, and an elegant ballroom, ideal for social and corporate gatherings. For more information on The Heldrich, call 732-729-4670 or visit www.theheldrich.com.  

What to See & Do

The State Theatre

The State Theatre -www.statetheatrenj.org - is a magnificently renovated 1921, 1800-seat vaudeville theater presenting a diversity of world-class events including international orchestras, Broadway musicals, jazz productions, dance ensembles, touring operas, country music, educational programs, children's events, world music, a film series, and more. The concert hall attracts over 300,000 patrons each year from all 21 counties in New Jersey as well as from Pennsylvania and New York.   The State Theatre is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Rutgers Gardens

I come to this lovely garden several times a year - to admire the flowers, watch butterflys, walk the trails, or just sit and relax. Located at Rutgers Universi8ty on the Cook Campus, the gardens consist of nearly 180 acres of maintained and natural beauty. Begun in the 1920s, its original purpose was to establish a teaching collection of plants for students at the university. Over the years, it has expanded and features not only gardens, but a number of programs and facilities for the community, faculty and students to enjoy and explore.

Annual events include the Spring Flower Fair each May, Open House & Wine Festival - the last Saturday of July, Gardens Gala - a fund-raising awards dinner, Fall Festival - a fun-filled family event including festive games, pumpkin painting and family activities, Farm Market - with Jersey Fresh products available for sale on Fridays beginning in May through November.

The American Hollies section is the 2nd largest American Holly collection in the United States. The Annual/Vegetable Gardens have a burst of color and edible plants from around the globe, while the Bamboo Grove features one acre of trails with a stream. This was planted in the 1940s and is unique in New Jersey. As you walk on the trails, you'll be beneath bamboo towering more than 30 feet above your head.

The historic Log Cabin and Pavilion, built in the 1930s, overlooks the scenic Weston Mills Pond and is available for rental April through October.

Nearby, Helyar Woods is a climax forest covering over 70 acres, with nature trails, springs, streams, and a unique pine forest. You'll also love the Ornamental Rain Garden - an example of an environmentally sensitive garden that allows deep water recharge, while retaining a flowing stream and waterfall. At Otkens Gardens, sit on the famous Big Green Chairs - a favorite with all ages.

Location: 112 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. For more details, contact website www.rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu

Zimmerli Art Museum

Supported by Rutgers University and other funds, the Zimmerli is a gem and worth spending several hours checking out the exhibitions and art work.

Art After Hours

This eclectic evening series is held the first Wednesday of the month at the Zimmerli. Each month spotlights a special exhibition or permanent collection highlights with a guided tour, as well as related enterainment and activities. Free to Rutgers students, faculty and staff, and museum membeers. Others are free with museum admission.

Hours - Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am-4:30 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 pm. On First Wednesdays of the month, 10 am-9 pm. Closed Mondays and the month of August, and closed major holidays including July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday, December 24 and 25 and January 1.

Admission: Adults 18 and older $6. Persons over 65 $5. Free admission to Zimmerli Art Museum members, Rutgers University students, faculty and staff with valid ID and children under 18.

Directions and Parking: The Museum is easily reached by train or car. Check web site www.zimmelimuseum.rutgers.edu for details.

Location: 71 Hamilton Streeet, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; 848-932-7237.

OCEANVILLE

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

We've been here numerous times and always love the experience - for there's always something new to spot. Over 40,000 acres are protected here for coastal habitats and wetlands. About 322 species of birds find their way here to the refuge, and thousands of acres are designated as the Brigantine Wilderness Area. We begin on the Wildlife Drive near the town of Smithville, and go 8 miles one way on an level unpaved road through wetlands and woodlands. We also walked the 8 miles one time which was quite an experience. We always stop at the two observation towers (there's one ADA accessible observation deck equipped with spotting scopes to view the birds). Upon entering we pick up bird checklists, brochres of the refuge, the guided activity schedules, and a self-guided auto tour guide. Use the bathroom near the entrance because you won't find another one along the trail. Bring binoculars, a hat, sun screen and walking shoes - besides a light jacket during summer and spring because there's always a cross breeze. Winter is wonderful here, too. You may be lucky and see thousands of snow geese feeding in the area - or perhaps an owl. We're always surprised since we never know what we'll see.

For more information contact the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 72, Great Creek Road, Oceanville, NJ. E-mail: forsythe@fws.gov or check web site www.frs.gov/northeast/forsythe.

PARK RIDGE

The Park Ridge Marriott's "Spa Fusion" Package Provides Guests With Pampering and Relaxation

For those who seek a pampering spa getaway but don't feel like dealing with the hassles of getting on a plane or driving far, the newly renovated Park Ridge Marriott, a premier northern New Jersey hotel situated in scenic Bergen County, is now offering guests a relaxing "Spa Fusion" package. This is the perfect opportunity to check out the hotel which recently underwent a $6 million renovation.

"SPA FUSION" PACKAGE DETAILS
The "Spa Fusion" Weekend package includes:

· Two fluffy bathrobes to enjoy during your stay
· A bottle of bubbly champagne in room upon arrival
· A fresh fruit and cheese platter
· Two 30-minute in-room massages provided by a local spa

As part of a weekend of luxurious pampering, guests can relax in the hotel's new Revive bed, complete with 300 thread-count linens, fluffier pillows designed for more comfortable resting, down comforters snuggled inside custom-sheeted duvet covers, and thicker mattresses with plush toppers.

Additionally, the Park Ridge Marriott invites guests to visit the fitness center, indoor/outdoor pool, and restaurants and lounges during their stay. High-speed Internet and individual climate control are available in all of the newly renovated guest rooms.

ABOUT THE PARK RIDGE MARRIOTT
The newly renovated 289-room Park Ridge Marriott Hotel is centrally located in Bergen County NJ, in a beautiful wooded setting and is dedicated to exceeding the expectations of guests by providing well appointed hotel rooms and impeccable Marriott service. The hotel's complete facilities include a fitness center, indoor/outdoor pool, and Allie's American Grille and Sean O'Casey's Irish Pub for dining and relaxation.

The Park Ridge Marriott is located at 300 Brae Boulevard in Park Ridge, NJ. For reservations or additional information, call 1-800-882-

PATERSON

What to See & Do

The Great Falls

We may not have a waterfall as high as Niagara Falls, but Paterson's Great Falls comes close. Recently, the Great Falls - which helped power the industrial revolution, became the 391st outdoor area to be added to the National Park System. Both the Great Falls and its surrounding historic district are an area of national significance, and was declared a National Historical Park as part of the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009.

The Falls have been a National Historic Landmark since 1976, and the new National Historical Park designation is that a variety of new resources will be made available to protect both the Falls and the surrounding community. The area, dates back more than 200 years. Alexander Hamilton, America's first Treasury Secretary. He realized, once he saw the 78-foot high Great Falls of the Passaic River, that it was a way to secure economic independence from British manufacturers, and in 1791, he helped found the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures to utilize the Great Falls as a source of power. Paterson soon became the new nation's first planned manufacturing city and the hub of America's industrial revolution.

The Park includes about 35 acres of the Great Falls Historic District.

PARSIPPANY

What to See & Do

Craftsman Farms

Take a step back in time at this national treasure - the famed turn-of-the-century designer Gustav Stickley, the foremost spokesman for the Arts & Crafts Movement. He is known for his straightforward "Mission" style furniture.

In 1908, envisioning a school for boys who would learn to farm, and be taught a trade, Stickley bouyght this land and later 650 acres in what is now the western edge of Parsippany-Troy Hills. He designed the main house as a club house with large gathering rooms, a huge kitchen and a porch that opened onto an expansive view of the farm and gardens. The log walls were made of chestnut cut on the property and the massive chimneys were built of local field stone.

Today the house, on 26 acres of the original property, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Craftsman Farms is nationally recognized as one of the most significant sites of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. It is owned by the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills and operated by Craftsman Farms Foundation Inc., a non-profit corporation. His clean-lined approach to furniture design was a revolutionary change from the crowded, highly embellished style of the Victorian Age which preceded him.

During Stickley's time here, Craftman Farms had fresh vegetable gardens, fruit orchards, cows and chickens. He commuted by train to Manhattan and the Craftsman Building, the site of his furniture showrooms and a restaurant, where the Farms' produce was used. Combining the roles of furniture designer and manufacturer with those of architect, social critic and publisher of 'The Craftsman" magazine, he lived here from 1910 until 1917, two years after he filed for bankruptcy, due in large part to changing American tastes. In 1917, Major George and Sylvia Wurlitzer Farny purchased the land and maintained it in the Stickley tradition and deeding it to their children until 1989.

When the property was threatened with development of townhouses, the Township, with encouragement from community groups and Stickley supporters, obtained the site through eminent domain. His career may have ended in financial ruin, but his portrayal of beautiful, open charm and the rustic peace of a secluded nook in the woods, revolutionized the American decorative arts.

The main house is open from April through October on Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1-4 p.m. The last tour starts at 3:15 p.m. A donation is requested. It is located on Route 10 West and Manor Lane in Parsippany, N.J. Enter at Powder Mill Estates, about 3 miles west of Rt. 287. A sign is out front.

PERTH AMBOY

The City of Perth Amboy Receives U.S. Soccer Foundation Grant

The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of soccer in the United States, has awarded an $81,795 grant to the City of Perth Amboy to support soccer programs for underserved youth in Middlesex County. This comes as part of an announcement of over 31 grants totaling nearly $1.3 million nationwide.

The Foundation strives to assist and grow the game of soccer, as well as improve the well-being of children in under-resourced communities, by awarding grants to non-profit organizations that provide children with the opportunity to play soccer and live a healthy lifestyle. Grants are awarded to support youth programs and field-building initiatives.

Of the 31 grant awards distributed by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, 14 were given as part of the Safe Places to Play program. Supported by partners such as Musco Sports Lighting, the Safe Places to Play program develops or enhances field spaces in underserved areas to provide safe places for children to play. To date, the Foundation has helped create or improve over 1,100 safe places for children nationwide.

"The U.S. Soccer Foundation is proud to support organizations that harness the power of soccer, through impactful community-based programs, to improve the well-being of children,‰ said Ed Foster-Simeon, President and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. „We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn and grow from the game of soccer."

Support for the U.S. Soccer Foundation‚s grant process is provided by the Foundation‚s corporate partners, including Hunter Industries, Musco Sports Lighting, Soccer.com, and Sport Court. Since its inception in 1994, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has now awarded more than $100 million in grant awards to non-profit organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has provided more than $100 million in funding to create and sustain innovative programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Proven to deliver positive health and social outcomes, the Foundation‚s affordable initiatives offer safe environments in which both boys and girls thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org to learn more.

POINT PLEASANT BEACH

What to See & Do

Jenkinson's Aquarium

This is 'the' place for all ages. I took my grandchild there thinking it for kids, but that was a big mistake -- because I loved everything. The Rainforest Attraction had the world's smallest monkeys -- pygmy marmosets - along with brightly colored cockatoos and macaws. We also loved the chameleon and frogs in this attractive exhibit. Then there was the Underwater Discovery where we were within inches of amazing sharks, fish and stingrays - all in a 58,000 gallon tank. See local underwater shipwrecks, a lush California kelp foresst, a misty South Amercan rainforest, and a South African coast. Spread out on the first floor you'll find live coral, gators, turtles and freshwater fish, a seal underwater viewing area, and African penguins. On the second floor, just as exciting, are marine fish, a rocky reef, frogs, a touch tank kids can dip their fingers into, and many exhibits.

Jenkinson's Aquarium is located at 300 Ocean Avenue, Pt. Pleasant Beach. For more information, hours and feeding times, call 732-899-1212 or check web site www.jenkinsons.com - Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Open all year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

REDBANK

What to See & Do

more soon

SEASIDE HEIGHTS

more soon

SKYLANDS

What to See & Do

RINGWOOD OUTDOORS

Be a part of RINGWOOD OUTDOORS! It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Get outside in Ringwood and complete our challenge.

Here’s how:

1. Sign Up! E-mail ringwoodoutdoor@optonline.net to sign up FREE for RINGWOOD OUTDOORS.
2. Choose Your Challenge! Pick one of the levels below, then finish all 3 hikes in that category — on your own schedule and at your own pace.
3. Become a R.O.C.! Once you finish 3 challenges in any category, e-mail us your thoughts on each and you’ll receive a “R.O.C.” bag tag stating that you’re a “Ringwood Outdoors Champion.”

FEATURED HIKES

LEVEL A: WALK/BIKE (EASY)
1. Ringwood Manor
2. Botanical Gardens
3. Ramapo Lake
1. Castle Point Trail
www.nynjtc.org/hike/castle-
point-trail-loop-2
2. Otter Hole
www.nynjtc.org/hike/hewittbutler-
wyanokie-crest-trail-loop-otter-hole
3. Pinwheel Vista
www.localhikes.com/Hikes/Pin- wheel_5602.asp
LEVEL C: HIKE (ADVANCED)
1. Carris Hill & High Point
www.nynjtc.org/hike/carris-hill-and-wyanokie-
high-point-loop-weis-ecology-center
2. Cannonball Trail
www.nynjtc.org/hike/lookouthoefer-
lincannonball-trails-loop
3. Horse Pond Mountain
www.nynjtc.org/hike/horse-pond- mountain-loop

For detailed route info, see NY-NJ Trail Conference’s North Jersey Trails Map 115 & 116 or links above. E-mail questions to ringwoodoutdoor@optonline.net. Always tell someone where you’re hiking, & enter the woods with a map, water, stable hiking shoes & knowledge of local wildlife.

To receive more info about RINGWOOD OUTDOORS, e-mail ringwoodoutdoor@optonline.net

Hunterdon Bridges Down the Delaware.

Most of the original bridge sites on our Delaware River still exist and still hold bridges. The original structures-- wooden, covered bridges-- have been replaced by steel, open-decked spans. But most of these "modern" steel river crossers have been in existence a hundred years or more, and are no longer really modern. Most are still supported by the original stone piers and abutments.

The historic and scenic river towns of Easton, Portland, Columbia, Belvidere and Phillipsburg all merit in-depth exploration of their own, but this forty-eight-mile loop tour emphasizes the old roads connecting them.

The Delaware River

where it forms the boundary between Sussex County, New Jersey, and Pike County, Pennsylvania is a Wild and Scenic River. That part of New Jersey that borders the river here is just as wild and scenic, where that a tributary of the Delaware called Flat Brook and its tributary, Little Flat Brook, form a narrow but lush vale called Walpack Valley.

Lakota Wolf Preserve

Midnight was the favorite of thousands of visitors and friends at Lakota Wolf Preserve. Kids especially loved him; it was easy to remember the "big, black one" who greeted them at the corner next to the entrance at the Preserve. And Midnight earned his keep. From the beginning, he was the most popular choice for wolf sponsorship, a principal way of funding the Preserve. For photographers, Midnight was a brilliant subject.

Sky Farm

On Labor Day of 1929, Kurt Barthel led a small group of individuals to a picnic in the buff in the Hudson Mountains near Peekskill, New York. Two years later the first "naturist" organization had over 200 members. In July of 1932, Mr. Barthel founded America's first official nudist club, at Sky Farm right here in Basking Ridge. Sky Farm operates as a private cooperative on about 35 acres nestled in the Somerset Hills. The close-knit community of mostly couples and families enjoy unlimited access to miniten and volleyball courts, recreational hall, spa, year-round sauna, a nature trail and petanque courts, and a large, heated pool, which is open from mid May until October. For more information about Sky Farm or to find out how to become a member, call 908-419-5443.

Farmers Markets

Day and weekend trips in the summer Skylands can also be delicious, with the rich harvests of our local farms available to the savvy shopper at farmer's markets throughout our region.

Seasonal Camping

Campgrounds in the Skylands account for a huge amount of fun. And while over 500,000 campers relax and enjoy the rural character of Northwest New Jersey each year, most of these visits come in summer; short overnight or weekend camping trips. But many families make a Skylands campground their own vacation home, renting seasonal sites or bringing their own RV to rest at a lovely- and well-serviced- spot somewhere up in the New Jersey countryside. These facilities are a long way from generic trailer hookups and tent sites. Take a drive and check one out this weekend!

Mine Train Journey

Take a Mine Train Journey to the Ol' Susquehanna Mine and try your hand at Gemstone panning! Each ticket holder gets a bag of mine tillings, guaranteed to have 4-5oz of real gemstones.

Corn Maze Ride

behind New Jersey's only operating Steam Locomotive to a 13 acre corn maze with over 15 miles of trails. Come get lost! See if you can find all the check points to complete the game.

Hour-long excursions aboard a historic steam train. Rides board Saturday & Sunday at 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm; Lehigh Junction, 1 Elizabeth St., Phillipsburg. More details call 877-TRAINRIDE or check web site www.njskylands.com

Leaf Peeping

The peak fall foliage bloom is steadily moving south of the Delaware Water Gap. With breezy and wet weather forecast for late this weekend, it would be a good idea to take a ride on Saturday.

High Point and the Monument

It’s the natural destination for an autumn trip - High Point State Park and the famous monument. Read about the history of this proud symbol at New Jersey’s highest point before you take the drive up that way. You’ll be tempted to climb the 291 steps to the top, but even if you don’t, the best panoramas remain from the base of the structure.

Air Ballon Rides

Catch the fall foliage bloom from a hot air balloon. The crisp air lets you fly higher and longer, the color is at peak, and in some places the thinner foliage will allow you to view herds of deer and wildlife normally hidden in the forest.

Hunterdon Bridges Down the Delaware

Most of the original bridge sites on our Delaware River still exist and still hold bridges. The original structures-- wooden, covered bridges-- have been replaced by steel, open-decked spans. But most of these "modern" steel river crossers have been in existence a hundred years or more, and are no longer really modern. Most are still supported by the original stone piers and abutments.

Follow the South Branch!

The fledgling river flows south from Budd Lake, picking up some steam as it heads towards Long Valley and beyond towards Clinton, Flemington and Bridgewater. Take the river as your route and you'll see things you never noticed before.

Field Trips

While you’re out you can start looking for pumpkins, Indian corn, squash and all that good stuff. And if you're looking for excitement beyond the pumpkin there are plenty of haunts and hayrides:

Greenway Flowers Fields of Fun

Convenient, affordable Fields of Fun this fall at Greenway's corn maze, pumpkin patch, and hayrides. Special rates for groups over 10. The farm is an easy drive from anywhere in the NY/NJ area, minutes from Interstate Route 80. 441 Schooley‚s Mountain Rd, Hackettstown 07840, 908/850-0700.

October Pumpkin Train

The historic steam train travels to a beautiful pumpkin patch located in front of the historic Carpentersville Lime Kilns on the Delaware River. Every child can pick their own pumpkin for FREE. Rides board at Lehigh Junction, 1 Elizabeth St., Phillipsburg. More details call 877-TRAINRIDE

On top of old Bald Pate

Just a few miles south of Lambertville lies an area ripe for weekend adventure and exploration. Components of local, national, and natural history are well represented, as well as brilliant prospects for craft seekers, hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and picnickers.

Stokes State Forest --- On The Trail

Take a hike through New Jersey's big woods, Stokes State Forest. No wonder Stokes comes first to most people's minds when somebody says "New Jersey State Park." It's really an amazing place, and a visit in the next few weeks will afford you coolness beneath the tall trees.

The famous notch that characterizes Warren County's western skyline is where the Kittatinny Mountains have given way to eons of gentle persuasion by the Delaware River, creating one of the most majestic of New Jersey's natural features between Mount Tammany and Mount Minsi in Pennsylvania. The Delaware Water Gap hiking trails are among the most beautiful in the state.

Or begin to explore the Highlands Trail network along a broad band of foothill and watershed systems linking the Hudson River from north of Bear Mountain, southwest across Sussex and Morris Counties to the Delaware River in Warren and Hunterdon Counties.

For those of us who have neither the time nor the inclination for a six-month ridge run from Georgia to Maine, the 42-mile New Jersey stretch on the Applachian Trail offers some very exciting possibilities. The entire stretch in Jersey is intersected by country lanes or Park roads every 5 to 10 miles. This means that, with a little planning and a map or two, the Jersey section can be conquered one day at a time in seven modest day-hikes.

Delaware River Cool Floats

The main stem of the Delaware, 331 miles from Hancock, NY, to its mouth at Cape May Point, NJ, is the longest free-flowing river in Eastern United States. Floating on this river is lots of fun!!! Knowing the river- its beauty, history, and its hazards- can provide you and your family with many days of enjoyment this summer. If possible, plan your trip for a weekday, and you'll feel like your have the river all to yourself.

For details, check www.adventuresport.com--Adventure Sports
Specialty in canoe, kayak & raft trips through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. 2 mi. off I-80, exit 309. 1-800-487-2628

www.rivercountry.net-Bucks County River Country
Tubing, calm water rafting, canoeing & kayaking trips on the Delaware River in historic Bucks County (near New Hope, PA). 40 years of family fun for all ages. 215/297-5000

www.chamberlaincanoes.com-Chamberlain Canoes, Rafts, Tubes
One or multi-day trips for groups of all sizes, overnight river camping. Located one mile off Rt. 80 in PA Poconos. 1-800-422-6631

www.delawarerivertubing.com-Delaware River Tubing
Affordable relaxation for you and your family or group on a leisurely drift down the river. Your trip includes a free floating barbecue lunch! Easy access 1 mi. south of Frenchtown. 908/996-5386

www.indianheadcanoes.com-Indian Head Canoes
Canoe, raft, kayak, camping on the upper Delaware River. New log cabins, easy 2 hour drive from NYC, family specials, group rates. 1-800-874-2628

www.kittatinny.com-Kittatinny Canoes and Rafts
Canoe, whitewater raft, kayak, tube and camp on the Delaware River. Bimonthly learn to canoe and kayak days. Scouts/church youth groups camp free.
Dingmans Ferry , 1-800-FLOATKC

www.kayakeast.com-Kayak East
ACA certified instructors. Kayak classes and guided tours for adults and children. Various locations n northern and central New Jersey. 1-866-529-2532

www.silvercanoe.com-Silver Canoe and Raft Rentals
Canoe, rafts and kayak rentals on the Delaware River. Low rates, group rates, prompt and friendly service. 1 1/2 hr from NYC. 1-800-724-8342

Campgrounds in the Skylands account for a huge amount of fun. And while over 500,000 campers relax and enjoy the rural character of Northwest New Jersey each year. Most of these visits come in summer; short overnight or weekend camping trips. But many families make a Skylands campground their own vacation home, renting seasonal sites or bringing their own RV to rest at a lovely- and well-serviced- spot somewhere up in the New Jersey countryside. These facilities are a long way from generic trailer hookups and tent sites.

SHORT HILLS

Wentworth Galleries

As the leading fine art retailer in the United States, Wentworth Gallery features a wide selection of original artwork, limited editions and sculptures from the world’s most acclaimed artists. Wentworth defines selection by bringing some of the most collected and heralded artists worldwide and by traveling to the far reaches of the globe in order to introduce gallery patrons to new artists whose works are sold exclusively through Wentworth Gallery locations nationwide. Their website, www.wentworthgallery.com provides information on featured artists, upcoming exhibits, online orders and di

Directions to the nearest Wentworth Gallery; or call 800-732-6140.

SMITHVILLE

Smithville Village, The Village Greene

A visit to Smithville Village is always interesting and fun - and a step back in time. Walk along the cobblestone and brick paths, look for ducks on tranquil Lake Meone, ride the carousel, and enjoy checking out the quaint shops. There are dozens of boutiques and specialty shops housed in historic buildings with gifts galore.

Smithville is located only a short distance away from where farmers once fought for their lands when the British invaded during the American Revolution. The towne is bounded on one side by the Pine Barrens, and the waters of the picturesque Mullica River (originally the Little Egg Harbor) are nearby.

Smithville Towne consists of a principal inn, rebuilt around the original structure; two other inns, the Lantern Light and Quail Hill, and thirty-two other buildings, all authentic, typical of the early days of South Jersey. The buildings of restored Smithville Towne are not facsimiles, but actual structures, brought to the grounds from many points in Southern Jersey, and restored to their original appearances.

Monthly Events Held Here in 2016:

August
• 12 & 26 | Car Cruises
• 13-14 | Living History & Encampment
• 21 | Smithville Fife & Drum Corp
September
• 9 & 23 | Car Cruises
• 10 | Art Walk (rain 11)
• Sponsored by Underground (609) 652-5200
• 11 | Antique Auto Day
• 17 | Drum Circle (rain 18)
• Sponsored by Herban Legend (609) 204-6620
• 18 | Smithville Fife & Drum Corp
• 24 | Italian Festival  (rain 27)
October
• 1-2 | Oktoberfest
• 100 Crafters
• 8-9 | Irish Festival
• 16 | Corvette Show (rain 23)
• 22 | Costume Pet Parade
• 22 & 29 | Fire On The Lake
• 29 | Zombie Walk (rain 30)
• 30 | Witches Day
• Halloween Train Ride (fee $2)
November
• 5 | Rockabilly
• 5 & 12 | Fire On The Lake
• 27 | Thanksgiving
• Shoppes open 10 – 5 pm
• Restaurants have extended hours
• 27 | Holiday Light Show (till Jan 6)
• 5:30 – 8 pm
December
• 1 | Girls Night Out
• 3 | Hospitality Night
• 10 & 17 | Breakfast with Santa (fee)
• Contact Fred and Ethyls Lantern Light 609-652-0544
Every Weekend in December
• Magical Talking Tree
• 12 – 5 pm
• Christmas Train Ride (fee)
• Village hours
• Story Time with Mrs. Claus
• 1 – 4 pm

HOURS
Winter
January 4 – April 11
Sunday – Friday 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Spring April 12 – June 21
Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Summer June 22 – Sept. 1
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Fall September 1 – November 26
Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Holiday Hours November 27 – December 24
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
December 26 – 30
Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
December 24 and 31 10 am – 3 pm
January 1 noon – 5 pm
January 2 10 am – 6 pm
January 3 11 am – 6 pm
Special Days
Easter – close at 5 pm
Memorial Day – at 5 pm
July 4 close 5 pm
Labor Day – close at 5 pm
Oct. 31 – close 5 pm
Thanksgiving – close 5 pm
Christmas Eve – close at 3 pm
Closed Christmas
New Years Eve – close at 3
New Years Day – noon – 5

Where to Eat

The Historic Smithville Inn, Fred and Ethel's Lanern Light Tavern, Costello's Italian Ristorane Pizzeria, Colonial Coffee Cafe and others.

Location: 15 minutes north of Atlantic City on Route 9 near Moss Mill Road (Alt. 561). For more information call 09-652-7777 or 609-748-6160 or go to web site www.smithvillenj.com.

SOUTH ORANGE

What to See & Do

South Orange Fire Department

Take the kids to the South Orange Fire Department where, on February 2, 1891, some 45 villagers got together to form the Department. At that time, it consisted of two hand-drawn hose carts and one hand-drawn ladder truck, both of which were housed in Phillip Dietrich’s Living Stable on Vose Avenue. After construction of the Village Hall in 1895, the Fire Department relocated its fire equipment to the South Orange Avenue side of Village Hall. In 1898, Patrick McCahrey was appointed the first paid firefighter in South Orange, as a driver of the horse drawn hose carriage. By 1913, the village trustees saw the need for round the clock fire protection and a paid fire department was organized along with the purchase of the first motorized fire department ladder truck.  With a growing village, fire department, and motorized equipment, the village hired architects, Arthur Dillon and Henry L. Beadel to design a new fire station.

In 1926, the fire department took possession of the fire station located on Sloan Street, where it remains in operation today. It consists of a 32-man department, with two engine companies, one ladder company and a rescue utility truck. The South Orange Fire Department has provided 245 hour fire protection 365 days a year to the residents of the Village of South Orange for over 108 years. (South Orange F.M.B.A. Local 40.

For more information, contact the South Orange Fire Department at 378-7715 Ext. 7751, or check web site www.southorange.org.

SPRING LAKE

Historic Inns of Spring Lake

New Jersey’s oceanfront community of Spring Lake is rich in history, charm and beauty. The Historic Inns of Spring Lake are a distinguished collection of Victorian bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels in this radiantly refined Atlantic seashore town. Whether enjoying gourmet breakfast in a grand dining room, relaxing on a breezy open air porch or painting in a wildflower garden, this is a seaside paradise where graceful architecture and manicured lawns whisper peacefulness. Stroll the 2-mile boardwalk, bicycle to the center of town, read a book by the fireplace or photograph a swan under the Spring Lake Bridge.

For Reservations and Inn Rates: (732)859-1465 or check web site  www.HistoricInnsofSpringLake.com

TOMS RIVER

Rinn Duin Brewing Opens One of the Largest Craft Breweries in New Jersey

In 2010, father/daughter Chip and Jacqui Town were traipsing through corporate America and while brewing a batch of their summer ale, continued constant talk of a dream: opening a microbrewery. With 22 years of combined homebrewing experience and backgrounds in business, the dream grew into an extremely feasible goal. Fast forward to 2013. Chip and Jacqui are the proud founders of Rinn Duin Brewing, only weeks from opening its doors.

Rinn Duin has opened as one of New Jersey’s largest craft breweries by production capacity, equipped with a 25 barrel (775 gallon) brewhouse. You will find their bottles and kegs in bars, restaurants and liquor stores this fall, throughout Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

Rinn Duin Brewing is inspired by the Town family’s indubious heritage, originating from County Roscommon, Ireland. Castle Rinn Duin was built by The English Royal Army in the early 1200’s. It survived countless battles by the hands of the Irish, including a fire, before the British relinquished the castle in 1576. Chip’s grandparents were the last family to live on the grounds of the castle, before donating the land to the Irish Heritage Council in the 1940’s. Their family history, past and present, is found in the midst of the designs and names of their beer, each with their own unique and personal story.

Located on Route 37 West in Toms River (3.5 miles west of Parkway Exit 82A), Rinn Duin is crafting characteristically traditional, yet distinctive ales of the UK and Ireland. Nestled in the heart of Ocean County, they invite you to stop by for a tour and a pint, with the Town family.

For more information please call 732-569-3261 or visit www.RinnDuinBrewing.com.

TRENTON

What to See & Do

New Jersey State Museum

 Calendar of Events -- Discover, Explore, and Learn at Your State Museum & Planetarium!

Drawn to Dinosaurs: Hadrosaurus foulkii

Natural History Hall, 2nd Floor

As the world's first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton, its discovery in Haddonfield, NJ caught the world by storm - it revolutionized the science and helped propel southern New Jersey to the "center" of the paleontological world.

The exhibit features a 25 foot long cast of Hadrosaurus foulkii plus a life-size, hand-drawn life-like illustration on a chalk board. The role of paleoartists and the study of nature in the development of modern theories of dinosaur anatomy, behavior, and more is also examined in this exhibit.

Be sure to visit the Friends Gift Shop...

Visit the Friends of the Museum Gift Shop on the 2nd floor for a large array of attractive, useful and fun gifts for family, friends and children! The gift shop is one of the only ones that carries stuffed Hadrosaurus toys and books, plus other dinosaur items. Proceeds support programs of the New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium.

Friends Gift Shop open Tues. - Sat., 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sun. 12 noon - 4:00 pm.

Location: New Jersey State Museum | 205 West State Street | PO Box 530 | Trenton | NJ | 08625

Children's Books

These fun and educational board books include titles including Good Night Galaxy and Good Night Beach . Good Night New Jersey also makes a perfect for a child that has moved away!

Outdoor Fun

Science and art meet in this creative, outdoor project. The Sunprint Solar Paper
lets you makes beautiful pictures by placing objects on the paper and exposing
it to the sun. The paper undergoes a chemical change when exposed to sunlight. Save
the print by soaking in water then drying. The Sunprint paper can be used for a
creative, solar art project.

Perk up your morning coffee!
These will add a little fun to your morning routine or next meeting! Watch as the
dinosaurs disappear and the constellations appear when you add hot liquid!

205 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
Ph: (609) 826-3936
Hours -- Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Sunday Noon to 4:00 pm

Web site: newjerseystate.museum@sos.state.nj.us.

Saturday & Sunday at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, & 4pm

1 pm Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure

Eighty million years ago, the American Midwest lay under a great inland sea where
colossal creatures ruled the waves, from giraffe-necked Styxosaurus and sea birds
with teeth to the "T. rex of the Ocean", the 40-foot super-predator Tylosaurus.
This National Geographic program immerses audiences in this unexplored world of
the "other dinosaurs." Meet up with a family of Dolichorhynchops as they swim through waters with prehistoric sharks and squids brought to life in our Planetarium's full-dome immersive theater. Then see the real Plesiosaurs and Mosasaurs in our newest exhibition, Natural History Highlights, located in the Museum's main gallery. Sea Monsters is recommended for ages 6 and up.

Visit the Museum's website for your $1 off coupon for any sky or laser show at the Planetarium.

General Admission: $7 per person; $5 child (12 and under)
Group Rates Available
Friends of the NJSM receive $1 off per ticket up to a maximum of four.
Programs are approximately 40 minutes. Please call (609) 292-6333 for more information.

New Jersey State Museum Unveils 9/11 Memorial Display in State House Rotunda

For information on visiting the State House Rotunda, please call (609) 633-2709.

New Exhibiton

New Jersey's Original People: Interpreting the Archaeological Collection

NJSM Lower Level

This exhibit traces New Jersey's Native American population throughout prehistory
using objects from the State Museum's collection. They tell the story of how prehistoric groups adapted to an ever changing environment through their use and manipulation of the natural resources around them.

A Much Moved People:

Preserving Traditions of the Delaware Indians
NJSM Lower Level

Using objects from the State Museum's collection, this exhibition tells the story of New Jersey's Indians who moved from New Jersey after it had been overrun in the 17th century by European settlers, mainly the Dutch, the Swedes and the English. It also tells the story of those Indians who stayed and survived by adapting to a market economy. The descendents of the Indians who left New Jersey, as well as those who stayed, continue to follow and adapt their cultural and religious traditions, thus preserving them for future generations and sharing them with all other cultures.

FINE ART

New Jersey Artist Series:

Mayumi Sarai

On view in the Second Floor Riverside Galleries through August 5

American Perspectives:

The Fine Art Collection

On extended view in the 2nd Floor Fine Art Galleries

Remember the Revolution in New Jersey

On extended view in the 2nd Floor Foyer Gallery

CULTURAL HISTORY

Pretty Big Things:
Stories of New Jersey History
On extended view in the 3rd Floor Gallery

Trenton: Crucial Crossroads

On extended view in the Auditorium Galleries

Science History Art: Explore Your State Museum
On extended view in the Museum Auditorium

Closed Monday and State Holidays 609-826-3936; friends.shop@sos.state.nj.us

Latest Events

Visit the Imagination Studio where children of all ages can participate in a pottery "reconstruction" activity, a scavenger hunt, and a sandbox archaeology program. And get hands-on while you talk with experts at a prehistoric artifact identification table. For a complete schedule, visit the museum's website.

Join the museum on the 3rd weekend of every month for a story and a craft activity. Storytime is designed for families with children ages 4 to 8.

New Jersey State Museum | 205 West State Street | PO Box 530 | Trenton | NJ | 08625

TUCKERTON

What to See & Do

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum

Tuckerton Seaport endures as a sustainable community museum, a place for locals and newcomers to gather, socialize and learn about the surrounding landscape, seasonal cycles, artistic expression and way of life that was and is Barnegat Bay

Visit as the Museum's mission to preserve, present and interpret the rich maritime heritage, artistry, and environment of the Jersey Shore and the unique contributions of its baymen is celebrated.

What's going on at T H E  S E A P O R T ?

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum

Join us as we celebrate our mission to preserve, present and interpret the rich maritime heritage, artistry and environment of the Jersey Shore and the unique contributions of its baymen

Thurs. July 22nd
FREE ADMISSION 2 - 6 p.m. 

Summer at the Seaport is here! Join us tomorrow afternoon (June 22nd) for FREE ADMISSION from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm while 6 ABC Action News is on site doing a live news feed!

25th Annual Baymen's Seafood Festival
June 24 and 25
11 am - 5 pm

Enjoy delicious Jersey fresh clams, crabs, scallops and shrimp from the finest local seafood purveyors. Drink from the brew court featuring local craft beers. Shop for gifts and souvenirs from unique vendors. Listen and dance to the music from local favorites: September's Brew on Saturday and Mott's Creek Pickers on Sunday.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12. Seaport members and children under 5 are free.

Union Market & Gallery at the Tuckerton Seaport!

It's Official! The Union Market & Gallery at the Tuckerton Seaport will be opening this summer! They will be presenting a plethora of handmade goods, delicious coffee & healthy eats to our community.  Check out the Union Market & Gallery website for more info.

Community Garden

The Tuckerton Seaport Community Garden brings the community together to grow and harvest food which is donated to the Tuckerton Food Pantry. Please join us every Saturday at 10AM to help maintain the garden and harvest what we've grown. Volunteers are always welcome Summer Concerts

Summer concerts will be returning to the Seaport starting July 7. All concerts start at 6:30 pm. Please bring your own chair.

For the safety and comfort of all guests, alcohol, smoking and pets are not permitted. For a full listing of our classes, please visit our website at:

www.tuckertonseaport.org/jersey-shore-folklife-center/classes/

Museum Hours

Monday - Thursday: 10am-4pm
Last museum admission at 2:30pm
Friday - Sunday: 10am-5pm
Last museum admission at 3:30pm

In the event of inclement weather, please call us before you visit-the site is closed when the weather is unsafe.

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymens's Museum | 120 W. Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ 08087 /phone: 609-296-8868 | e-mail aclynw@tuckertonseaport.org. Web site:  www.tuckertonseaport.org  

For more information and a full listing of our classes, visit our website at www.tuckertonseaport.org/jersey-shore-folklife-center/classes/


Monday-Thursday: Visit the Visitor Center, Gift Shop, Hunting Shanty, and Lighthouse
Friday-Sunday: All buildings will be open (weather permitting)

"Thirty years ago a gaggle of guys would assemble regularly on a Thursday night not far from the classic church in Port Republic, NJ in Russ Allen's garage. This was not your everyday garage containing the family car but rather a Victorian affair removed from the main house. It was the workaday hiding place of one of the most creative folk artists in the country..."

When you come to Tuckerton Seaport, folk art is all around you- you can hear the wood sing as the carver cuts off pieces with his drawknife, smell the cedar in the Boatworks as you see the boatbuilder sanding the sneakboxes, and feel the wool or fabric as you see the fiber artists needle felting and quilting. This spring we will add a new art form to appeal to your senses- blacksmithing!

The Seaport Stitchers Quilt Guild --

meets in the Hunting Shanty and volunteers at many of our events. This year if you've visited them you may have noticed them working on quilts for the Wounded Warrior project.

Visit Parker's Decoy Shop on Wednesdays and Thursdays to learn about decoys with carver Fred Reitmeyer

Become a docent at the Seaport!
The staff is looking for part-time tour guides for the spring. All training will be provided over the winter. If interested in learning more, email or call Jackie at jaclynw@tuckertonseaport.org or call 609-296-8868

Code Black VIP Passes now available for purchase online at Tuckerton Seaport's Online Gift Shop! VIP Pass grants access to VIP parking, express entry, refreshments and more!

The Tuckerton Seaport Internship experience is designed to allow students to combine theory with practice while interacting with professional staff, volunteers and visitors. Internships are available in the following areas:
Collections
Development
Education
Folklife
Marketing
Public Relations
Special Events
Volunteer Services

VERNON

Want An Exciting Adventure - Try Zoom Ziplines

Zoom Ziplines announces the opening of their gravity-fueled tours for the summer season! Whether you’re a lone adventure seeker in the tri-state area or you want to bring your family and friends along for an exciting outdoor activity, Zoom Ziplines offers the closest available zipline adventure in a picturesque setting, just 47 miles from New York City.

The two-hour Zoom Ziplines’ guided tour features a series of four dual ziplines for a total length of 3,760 feet, with speeds of between 40-50 miles per hour, depending on weight and weather conditions. The tour includes a trainer line at the base of the mountain (line 1), which is approximately 200 feet long, followed by a 10-minute ride in a gondola up the mountain to the summit at 1,040 feet with incredible views of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York!

Guests then zip across three additional scenic mountain-top dual-ziplines (line 2 is 1,310 feet long; line 3 is 750 feet long, and line 4 is 1,500 feet long), cross a suspension bridge, and then take a Unimog all-terrain vehicle ride back to the gondola for the trip back down the mountain. The zipline tour enables participants to ride side-by-side with a fellow flyer to experience the
picturesque views as you race down the lines together. Flyers can even capture the whole experience on a GroPro which can be rented for $29.99 for the day.

Family-Friendly Savings!
Ziplining is the ultimate bonding experience for families who are looking to embrace some adventure this summer and with that in mind, Zoom has launched a discounted Weekend Family Pass (two-adults, two children): $229.99 and Weekday Family Pass: $199.99. The Combo package (cannot be combined with the Family Passes) also offers great savings and includes passes to Mountain Creek Water Park which can be used throughout the summer season.

About Zoom Ziplines:
Zoom Ziplines operates in most weather conditions (rain or shine), and requests that guests dress appropriately for the day's weather conditions. Closed toe shoes must be worn, no sandals or flip-flips are allowed. Guests must weigh between 60lbs (27kg) & 270lbs (122kg) and be at least 48" (122cm) in height.  This policy is strictly enforced for guests’ safety. Anyone under 18 years of age must have an adult co-sign their Release of Liability form. Zoom Zipline provides all of the safety equipment required on tour. Only equipment provided by Zoom Ziplines can be worn while out on tour, for example guests are unable to wear their own helmets.

What Else to Do in The Mountain Creek Area?

Zoom Ziplines is just one of a number of exciting outdoor activities available in the Mountain Creek area which make it the perfect destination for either a summer getaway weekend or simply a one-day outing. In addition to the ziplining, visitors can also enjoy the Mountain Creek Water Park, Mountain Creek Bike Park, Mountain Creek Ski Resort, the Alpine Mountain Coaster and the Crystal Springs Resort. Crystal Springs is comprised of four luxury hotels Grand Cascades Lodge, Minerals Resort & Spa, Black Creek Sanctuary (includes seven renowned golf courses), and The Appalachian at Mountain Creek which was named in homage to the fact that the Appalachian Trail actually cuts through Vernon, NJ where Mountain Creek is located.

For additional information about Zoom Ziplines, visit www.zoomziplines.com or call 973-864-8880.

Address: 200 Route 94 (McAfee/Vernon Rd) in Vernon, New Jersey. At the Cobblestone Village at Mountain Creek - across the street from the new Red Tail Lodge and the Appalachian Hotel.

WARREN

more soon.

WARETOWN

What to See & Do

Albert Music Hall

If you love Country, Bluegrass and Folk Music, this is THE place to be for live music concerts year 'round every Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Over four decades ago, deep in the woods of Waretown, the Pinelands Cultural Society (PCS) found its roots. Here, every Saturday night, in Joe and George Albert's small, secluded deer cabin in the heart of the Pinelands, a handful of musicians would gather to pick and sing until the wee hours of Sunday morning. New songs, old songs, and many of their own creations would ring out to a few friends who would venture down the long sandy lane. The cabin was known as the "Home Place" by the few lucky people who went there. During summer months, the cabin windows were opened and wild deer wandered around the yard. During winter, there would be a roaring fire in the old cast iron cookstove and lots of ot coffee and homemade cake. Gas lamps served for the lighting, with water provided by an old hand pump in the kitchen.

Soon, the place started to fill up thanks to word-of-mouth advertising. Often, there were long lines of people waiting to get inside. For a while, due to the crowds, the music stopped, but the musicians and everyone else missed it. Finally, a few of the pickin' pineys decided to rent a big bare room at the Waretown Auction, brought back some of the musicians, charged a small fee to the public, and the music played again. Shortly after, the PCS was formed. Its goals include preservation and stimulation of interest in the pinelands musical heritage. They soon built a new music hall - a place for aspiring musicians, young and old, to learn and perform. The building was called Albert Music Hall, after the two Albert brothers who opened their hearts and home to a handful of musicians decades ago.

Since November 1974, music can be heard and the new Music Hall was opened in May 18, 1996 after the other building was destroyed by fire in 1992. Today, the building has electricity, is air conditioned, and lots of fun to be in with great fiddle , guitar, banjos, upright basses, mandolins, dulcimers, autoharps, spoons, and wash tub bass instruments. Every 30 minutes the performing group changes, and it's a great place to bring the entire family for an evening of live country, bluegrass and folk music.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the show starts at 7:30 every Saturday year 'round. Feel free to bring your own instrument and enjoy wrapping songs with others. There's lots of room inside, on the proch, in the "Pickin Shed," and around the grounds.

Food, at amazingly low prices, is available. Admission is very low for adults (at this writing only $5); children pay only $1. Albert Music Hall is located at 134 Wells Mills Road (Roue 532), 1/4 mile west of Route 9 in Waretown. For more information call 609-971-1593 or go to web site www.alberthall.org.

Wells Mills County Park

This park is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness through conservation and education, while providing a peaceful Pine Barrens setting where you can enjoy Ocean County's natural heritage. Protected within the boundaries of the 900-plus-acre park are picturesque wetlands and uplands. There are 16 miles of marked hiking trails, and is a passive-recreation facility. Visitors must park their cars in the parking lot, are asked to sign in and out at the trailhead when hiking the trails, and are encouraged to visit the Nature Center to view the fine exhibits, obtain a calendar of events, or obtain additional information aboout the park.

Here you'll find a variety of unique habitats including a freshwataer lake, streams, bogs, Atlantic White Cedar and Maple-Gum swamps, and Pine-Oak uplands. As you roam the area, you'll find majestic cedars towering over curly grass ferns, pitcher plants, sundews, cranberries, sphagnum moss and Turkey Beard. It is also habitat to various animals, there is a picnic area, playground, canoe rentals and boating and fishing access.

It is open from 8 a.m. to sunseet every day, while the Wells Mills Nature Center is open from 10-4 every day. The park is located at 905 Wells Mills Road, Waretown, NJ 08758. For more information call 609-971-3085.

WASHINGTON

What to See & Do

Merrill Creek Reservoir

If you love hiking, boating, fishing, nature -- or the outdoors -0- head over to Merrill Creek Reservoir. Here, the 650-acre reservoir is surrounded by a 290-acre Environmental Preserve and 2000 additional acres of woods and fields. Its basic purpose is to provide stored water that can be released to the Delaware River to make up for the evaporative water usage at certain electric generating units in times of low flow in the river. In addition, it provides a tranquil setting of water and land that allows people to interact with the natural environment.

Fishing is allowed from boats and shoreline, except from the shoreline of the Environmental Preseve and other restricted areas. Fishing boats, sail boats, row boats and canoes must be at least 11 feet-6 inches in length, and kayaks must be at leasst 9 feet in length. Inflatables are allosed, but must be a minimum of 10 feet in length and have at least 3 air chambers. Boats must be launched from the boat ramp; electric motors only; and a full list of boating and fishing rules is available at the office.

Outdoor hours are open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, year round, except where use restrictions are stated in the rules or posted at the location. The boat ramp is also open from dawn to dusk, daylight permitting, but its use is gate-controlled on a schedule of specific hours for opening and closing.

The Visitors Center is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and weekends from 10 am to 4 pm, year round, except for New Year's Day, President's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hands-on exhibits, dioramas, and other displays may be seen in the Center. The Visitors Center phone # for information is 908-454-1213.

Bring a camera, there's so much to photograph, and dogs and other pets are allowed but outdoors only and on a leash. Watch for eagles and osprey and enjoy! Note: Indoor restroom facilities are in the Visitors Center; outdoor facilities are available at the boat ramp and Inlet/Outlet Tower parking areas. Boats are available for rental.

For more information, contact Merrill Creek Reservoir, 34 Merrill Creek Road, Washington, NJ 07882; 908-454-1213, or go to web site www.merrillcreek.com

WEST ORANGE

Where to Stay

Dinner is served: Residence Inn by Marriott West Orange expands Harry’s Bar offerings to include food service

Guests of the all-suite Residence Inn by Marriott in West Orange can now raise a glass (and a fork) to the hotel’s newest offering: food service at Harry’s Bar. The lobby-level bar and billiards room – a popular spot to gather and unwind after a day of travel, work or play –  has expanded its drinks menu to include appetizers, salads, casual entrees, and a selection of children’s favorites. And thanks to the hotel’s Harry’s Bar Package, guests can now try the new menu with a $25 food credit each day of their stay. The package is valid July 1 through Sept. 29, 2017.

A sampling of the new menu includes bar favorites like bone-in chicken wings, sliders, and loaded “baked potato” fries with cheese, hardwood smoked bourbon bacon, scallions, butter and sour cream; crisp, classic salads from Caesar to Cobb; and a choice of several burgers, panini, and chicken wraps. On the children’s menu are chicken tenderloin fritters with fries or chips, hot dogs with fries or chips, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and penne pasta – all with a side of fruit. Harry’s drinks menu features a selection of classic cocktails as well as imported and domestic wines.

Harry’s Bar is named for Harry Knowles, a former WWII fighter pilot who, with his wife, Doris, has owned what is now the Residence Inn and its neighboring Manor Restaurant since 1956. Guests of the Residence Inn can dine at the Manor using discount cards provided by the hotel.

Harry’s Bar is open six days a week, from 5 – 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 3 – 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Residence Inn West Orange’s all-suite accommodations are ideal for family and extended business stays, with fully equipped kitchens and a complimentary grocery shopping service that makes it convenient to dine in or entertain. Among the perks are daily complimentary breakfast; complimentary Wi-Fi; Harry’s Bar for drinks, dining and billiards; and dining next door at The Manor. In addition, “The Mix” is an evening social held every Monday through Wednesday in the hotel lobby, serving complimentary beer and wine.

For more information, visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrog-residence-inn-west-orange. Reservations can be made by calling 973-669-4700.

About Residence Inn West Orange
Residence Inn by Marriott West Orange is a boutique-style, all-suite hotel centrally located in West Orange, N.J. near the vibrant city of Montclair, providing immediate access to local attractions as well as Interstate 280. Just nine miles from Newark Liberty Airport, this pet-friendly hotel appeals to business and leisure travelers alike. It features 128 suites on three floors; a total of 2,394 square feet of flexible meeting space; complimentary on-site parking and daily breakfast; grocery shopping, dry cleaning and laundry services onsite; and a fully equipped fitness center with indoor pool and whirlpool.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered across the property, and suites include separate working and sleeping spaces, luxurious bedding, fully equipped kitchens and flat-screen televisions. The hotel can be found at 107 Prospect Avenue, West Orange, N.J., 07052. For reservations and additional information, please call 973-669-4700, or visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrog-residence-inn-west-orange/.

The hotel is located at 107 Prospect Avenue, West Orange, N.J., 07052. For reservations and additional information, please call 973-669-4700, or visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrog-residence-inn-west-orange/.

WILDWOODS

       For information about events at Morey's Piers visit www.moreyspiers.com or call (609) 522-3900.        

 About Morey's Piers
 
       Morey's Piers, located on the boardwalk in the Wildwoods, New Jersey is a classic seaside amusement park, family owned and operated since 1969. Voted the third best seaside amusement park in the world by Amusement Today, Morey's Piers has over 100 rides and attractions spanning over eighteen acres along six beach blocks and includes three amusement piers and two beachfront waterparks. Convenient to the major population centers of the Northeast, yet a world apart, Morey's Piers along with Morey Resorts combines the pure joy of an amusement park, the sights and sounds of a classic boardwalk, outstanding accommodations, together with the rhythm of beach life. Visit them at Surfside Pier, featuring the Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club at 25th Avenue, Mariner's Landing Pier, featuring Raging Waters Waterpark at Schellenger Avenue, and Adventure Pier at Spencer Avenue. For more information, visit www.moreyspiers.com www.moreyspiers.com> or phone (609) 522-3900. Discounted Tickets Available for Presale Now

For more information please visit www.moreyspiers.com or call 609-522-3900.

Joe’s Fish Co. and Jumbo’s serve locally grown produce in their dishes. All produce are sourced from local New Jersey farms. It doesn’t get any fresher than that!

For more information on what’s new for 2012 please visit www.moreyspiers.com or call (609) 522-3900.

Morey’s Piers Makes a Splash in With Two New Waterpark Attractions: River Adventure and Wipeout!

Cool off with hot new attractions at both of Morey’s Piers’ beachfront waterparks: River Adventure at Raging Waters and Wipeout! at Ocean Oasis.

 The Lazy River at Raging Waters underwent a major overhaul to become one of two new Morey’s Waterpark attractions - River Adventure. River Adventure takes guests through an endless expedition of family fun with geysers, waterfalls, a grotto to explore, rock faces and more!

At Ocean Oasis, guests can race head to head with friends and family on Wipeout!, a six-lane racer slide that sends guests head first down the slopes to a wet and wild finish. Wipeout! shares more than just its name with a piece of Morey’s history, the giant land slide that was also known as Wipe Out, one of Morey’s Piers first amusements.

Together, these attractions represent a reinvestment of over $2 million into the parks that will provide hours of family fun for years to come.

For more information please visit www.moreyspiers.com or call (609) 522-3900.

Where to Eat -- (I've tried these restaurants)

SHORT HILLS

Legal's Seafood Restaurant, Short Hills Mall

We're lucky to have a Legal's Seafood Restaurant in New Jersey. Why? Simply because the food is so well prepared with super-sized portions. One of my dearest friends took me there for lunch to celebrate my birthday, and I wasn't disappointed. Sure, the tab for dinner in this lovely restaurant is a bit high (about $25 and up for the main course), but the food is definitely worth the price.

Reservations are a must any time of day, but once seated you'll notice there is plenty of space between tables -- and we certainly weren't rushed because we sat there for 2 1/2 hours! We both asked for regular sink water instead of the expensive bottled water and didn't get the look that is so familiar in other restaurants where they make a ton of dough pushing the designer water.

We both ordered unusual, delicious salads -- shrimp nestled in lovely bibb lettuce, with crunchy noodles and a not-too-spicey orangey sauce. Then we split a large portion of cheese cake smothered with strawberry sauce. Yummy. What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday - or any other occasion - with a dear friend who had a great idea in taking me out for lunch.

New Jersey is Definitely For the Birds

New Jersey is doing a lot to Keep golden-winged warblers in the Garden State. According to Sharon Petzinger, Senior Zoologist with the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and nongame Species Program, "The State is monitoring the breeding population every ear; provides guidelines to utility companies for managing rights-of-way; actively manages sites for golden-winged warblers, and is planning to manage other sites. There is also active habitat management on Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area, with 15 acres total ranging between 2 and 7.5-acre patches that were harvested adjacent to utility right-of-way, and 20% canopy cover remains after harvest.

Other management currently underway or in planning stages includes TNC gravel mine restoration; Weldom Brook WMA; Wanaque Watershed; Pequannock Watershed; and private lands initiative. In addition, she notes, "Working Lands for Wildlife was initiated March 8, 2012 by NRCS and USFWS, with assistance provided and money to manage habitat for golden-winged warblers and bog turtles.

The golden-winged warbler is a Neotropical migrant that breeds in northern United States and Canada and winters in Central America and northern South America. It breeds in shrubby habitat such as utility rights-of-way, forested and shrubby wetlands, and shrubby fields in northwestern New Jersey. These birds are considered high continental concern and have been petitioned to be federally listed. They are disappearing the the Northeast and Appalachian Mountain region, with New Jerssey experiencing a 7% decline per year for the last 10 years -- only 1/4 of the population estimated in 2000 remains in 2011 (25 breeding pairs). The Golden-wings are decling because of loss of breeding habitat, hybridization and competition with blue-winged warblers, loss of wintering habitat and climate change.

For more information visit GWWWG at www.gwwa.org; WLFW at www.nj.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip/WLFW.html,

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