It’s April, and spring is finally here! The days are longer, the birds are singing and the trees and flowers are starting to bloom. After spending months indoors, now is the time to emerge from your home and enjoy some of the local activities in our area. And there are a lot to choose from!
Millburn Spring/Summer Local Activities
Millburn has many local activities planned during the spring and summer months.
On April 12, 2017 Greenwood Gardens is holding a Honey Extraction Demonstration, sponsored by Overlook Hospital. Eric Hanan of Bee Haven will demonstrate how honey gets from the hive into the honey jar. He will bring a live demonstration hive, discuss the importance of bees to our food supply and offer tastings. Click here for registration information. Starting May 4, 2017, Greenwood Gardens will open for the season with guests welcome Thursday – Sunday from 10 – 5pm. Go the the Greenwood Gardens website to see the extensive list of programs offered throughout the spring and summer months. Bird walks, twilight tours, plant walks, photography workshops, and invertebrate trails are just a few of the many programs available.
The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary will be holding the New Stone House Learning Center Open House and Arbor Day/Earth Day Celebration on April 22, 2017. This new exhibit will include live animals, sculptural trees, canopies, graphics, hands-on activities and discovery spaces. Visitors will learn about forest ecology, animals and their habitats, and the need to protect nature for future generations. Go the the Hartshorn Arboretum website for more information.
The ever-popular Millburn Street Fair & Craft Show will be held on April 23, 2017 in downtown Millburn from 11am – 5pm. More than 200 artists, crafters and vendors will display their wares, and admission is free.
The Papermill Playhouse is showing Million Dollar Quartet March 29 – April 23, 2017. This smash hit musical is inspired by the night on December 4, 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins got together for a one-time-only jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. On April 13th or 20th join the Conversation Club for an informal, informative gathering one hour before curtain call to learn more about the performance and see the stage being set. After the matinee on April 22nd, meet and talk with the cast members. Go to the Papermill Playhouse website for ticket information.
The Spring Family Camp-Out is being held by the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary April 29th – April 30th, 2017. This is a great opportunity for a family camping experience right in our local arboretum. Pitching tents, roasting marshmallows, hiking at night and listening to firelight stories are just some of the fun activities that are planned. Dinner and breakfast are provided, but don’t forget to bring your own gear! Go to the Hartshorn Arboretum website for more information on the camp-out and other family programs.
The annual Millburn Fishing Derby will be held May 6, 2017 from 9am to noon in Taylor Park for kids ages 15 and under. The fishing derby is free to township residents, and kids have to bring their own poles and bait. Prizes are awarded in different categories.
The Papermill Playhouse is presenting its final show of the season, Mary Poppins, May 24 – June 25, 2017. In this classic musical, Mary Poppins takes us on a magical and memorable adventure. Visit the Papermill’s website for more information including the dates and times for Conversation Club, The Director’s Viewpoint and Q&A With The Cast.
The Millburn Township pool opens for the season May 22, 2017. Until June 23, 2017 when the seven day schedule begins, the pool will only be open on weekends. Register by May 1, 2017 to receive free guest passes. Visit the township website for more details.
On Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 9am, the Four Mile Race and Youth Races will take place. The 4 mile race starts at Gero Park, winds through Short Hills and finishes again at Gero Park on the corner of Parsonage Hill Road and White Oak Ridge Road. The youth races are categorized according to school grade level. Click here for more information on the Millburn recreation programs including the 4 Mile Race.
Millburn Township has planned a New York Mets (vs Philadelphia Phillies) Baseball Game Bus Trip for June 30, 2017. The bus leaves Gero Park at 3:30pm. The trip is open to all ages, and the cost of the trip includes the ticket, coach bus transportation and a Mets t-shirt.
The Summer Concert Series in Taylor Park is always a good time. It is a series of free evening concerts held in Taylor Park on Sunday nights from 7pm – 8:30pm. The schedule is:
- 6/25/17 Street Hassle Premier – Classic Rock & Roll
- 7/16/17 Bazooka Joe and the Bubblegum Machine – Rock & Roll Dance
- 7/23/17 Desert Highway – Tribute to the Eagles, Joe Walsh & Don Henley
- 7/30/17 Soul Groove – R&B/Motown and Pop Hits
Millburn Township is holding a Guys & Dolls and Youth Golf Tournament on July 10, 2017 at 9am at the Millburn Par-3 Golf Course in Gero Park. The tournament is open to kids ages 10 – 17, members of the Millburn Old Guard Senior Group and the Millburn Ladies Golf League. Contests will be held for the lowest score, hole in one and closest to the pin. Go to the Millburn Recreation Department page for more information.
Maplewood Spring/Summer Local Activities
Maplewood also has many local activities planned during spring and summer.
Come on out for the Earth Day Rahway River Cleanup and Community Picnic on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10am – 2pm. Check in tables are at the bridge near the Maplewood Civic House (124 Dunnell Road) and in the high school parking lot on Parker Ave. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for wading in the river.
On Sunday, April 30, 2017, Scott Bailey and his band Tycoon Dog will perform a free, family friendly concert to be held from 3pm – 5pm in the Memorial Park Amphitheater. Scott is a Maplewood resident and proud Clinton school dad who enjoys giving-back to his hometown in the form of free concerts.
The Mayapple Trail Run through the South Mountain Reservation will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9am – 12pm. It begins at the Locust Grove picnic area on Glen Avenue in Millburn and loops 10.5 miles east and 10.2 miles west through the reservation. The terrain can be challenging but will certainly be scenic. For more information and to sign up, click here.
Maplewood’s annual street fair, Mayfest, will be held May 21, 2017 from 11am – 5pm on Springfield Ave. Visitors can stop by the booths of more than 150 vendors and enjoy activities, food, live music, a DJ and performances by our local dance and exercise studios. More details will be announced in early May.
Also on May 21, 2017 from 11am – 5pm, the Maplewood Street Fair & Craft Show will be held in downtown Maplewood. Visit the booths of more than 200 artists, crafters and vendors.
The Maplewood Community Pool is open May 27, 2017 through Labor Day. The pool will be hosting its Summer Concert Series and has four concerts planned. Bands and dates to be announced later.
Girls Night Out in Maplewood will be back on Thursday, June 8, 2017 beginning at 6pm. This is a fun night of shopping, dining, music, and promotions and is co-sponsored by me, Allison Ziefert. Take part in our Shop to Win promotion by bringing your receipts from participating businesses to the event booth for chances to win valuable prizes. More details on this popular event will be available in May.
Maplewoodstock, an annual celebration of community music and art, will be held July 8 – July 9, 2017 in Memorial Park. The Headline and Featured Acts will be announced around May 1st. This kid-friendly festival will have face painting, bouncy rides, arts and crafts, and ice cream.
South Orange Spring/Summer Local Activities
South Orange has an extensive list of local activities for the community during the spring and summer months.
The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) always has plenty of interesting, fun and informative events and shows. Click on the SOPAC website for the schedule of events.
The South Orange Community Pool, located within the Cameron Field complex, opens for the season Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 – 29, 2017. It is only open on weekends until June 26 when regular season hours kick in. Click here for more information on membership, dates and times.
The Pierro Gallery is hosting the Annual Exhibition of Artists Books, BOOKED 14, by members of The Book Arts Roundtable. It will be available for viewing daily from 10am – 4pm until April 22, 2017.
The Second Annual South Orange Middle School Flea Market will take place Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 9am – 3pm. Help reduce-reuse-recycle right in the South Orange Middle School parking lot! Clean out your home or even sell your art, crafts and photography. Local vendors, crafters and food trucks will be on hand.
Talented Seton Hall University students will be performing Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma Live at SOPAC Thursday, April 20 – Sunday, April 23, 2017. Set in Oklahoma, cowhand Curley tries to win Laurey’s heart and save her from Jud. Click here for ticket information.
May 7, 2017 is River Day! This is the annual, community gathering to clean up part of the Rahway River and celebrate the environment with food, fun, music and art. The fun will take plate at the Skate House on the duck pond off of Meade Street from 11am – 4pm. Go to the Environmental Commission’s website for more information and a waiver form. Don’t forget to wear appropriate footwear!
Sister Act The Musical will be performed at the Baird Theater May 5-7, 12-14, 19-20, 2017. This musical comedy is about a disco diva, Delores Van Cartier, who witnesses a murder. While in protective custody in a convent, Dolores uses her talents to inspire the choir and breathe new life into the church, but she blows her cover. The villains give chase but find themselves up against the powerful Sisterhood. For more information and to order your tickets, click here.
Art Around Town, the 13th annual South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour will take place June 3 – 4, 2017 from 11am – 5pm. This tour will feature the homes of two collectors, Pat Bell and Raleigh Caesar, as well as more than 80 artists in studios, galleries and group exhibitions. Visit StudioTourSOMA.org for more information.
South Orange Summer Nights will take place every Wednesday evening throughout the summer at Flood’s Hill. Starting in June is Art In The Park. Enjoy arts and crafts from 6:30pm – 8pm in the scenic park-like setting. The schedule is:
- 6/1/17 Life Drawing Out of Doors
- 6/8/17 Acrylic Pour Freestyle Painting
- 6/15/17 Origami Extravaganza
- 6/22/17 Acrylic Guided Painting
Taste The Music begins July 29, 2017 and runs through August 8, 2017. Food trucks and arts and crafts activities for kids ages 5+ are available beginning at 6pm. Concerts begin at 7:30pm and end around 10pm. The concert schedule is:
- 7/6/17 Mark Murphy and Friends – Tribute to Dave Matthews Band & Fleetwood Mac
- 7/13/17 Dr. K’s Motown Revue – 60s Motown
- 7/20/17 None Deeez Night – 90s Tribute and Covers
- 7/27/17 Max Headroom – 80s Tribute and Covers
- 8/3/17 Rock The Hill – Garage Bands
In August, enjoy Moonlit Movies under the stars. Movies begin at dark, between 8pm – 8:30pm. The movie schedule is:
- 8/10/17 The Sandlot (PG)
- 8/17/17 The Peanuts Movie (G)
- 8/24/17 Jurassic World (PG-13)
- 8/31/17 Cool Runnings (PG)
All in all, the SO Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the SOPAC are providing three months of free arts programming for all to enjoy! Click here for more information.
XRootsFest will take place June 24, 2017 at Flood’s Hill from 12pm – 5pm. This festival is the Coalition on Race’s multicultural festival to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the town. Enjoy ethnic music and dance. Savor the ethnic food. And appreciate the storytellers and colorful ethnic merchandise. This is sure to be a fun afternoon for all ages. Click here for more information.
West Orange Spring/Summer Local Activities
There are also many local activities in West Orange during the spring and summer months.
Registration for the Ginny Duenkel Pool has already begun! Early bird pricing is available until May 11, 2017. The pool will be open on weekends only beginning Memorial Day weekend until the Saturday after the end of school when regular hours take effect. Click here for more pool information.
Several golf tournaments are scheduled, and more information can be found on the West Orange Township website:
- 5/1/17 Senior Golf Tournament – MGC @ Rock Spring Club
- 5/1/17 Libretti’s Charity Outing – Maplewood Country Club All proceeds dedicated to Down’s Syndrome research and education.
- 5/22/17 Senior Golf Tournament – Essex County Country Club
- 8/14/17 Danielle Lebron-Guzman Charity Outing – Essex County Country Club All proceeds dedicated to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.
- 8/21/17 Senior Golf Tournament – Montclair Golf Club
- 8/28/17 West Orange PAL Golf Outing – Brooklake Country Club All proceeds help support PAL youth programs in West Orange
June 3, 2017 at 9am is when the annual Fishing Derby is scheduled to take place at Crystal Lake. Don’t forget to bring your own gear and a fishing license for those over the age of 14. This is sure to be a fun family day!
Sports ‘n Games Night at the Ginny Duenkel Pool is scheduled for June 23, 2017. This is an exciting night of family fun from 5:30pm – 9:45pm. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the door and, in the past, have included a picnic dinner, refreshments and two free swims. There will be games throughout the night for children and adults.
A Food Truck Festival will take place July 2, 2017 at the Pleasant Valley Way entrance of West Orange High School.
The Luna Stage has many interesting shows and events to attend. Go to their website to learn more about the theater and for more information on their schedule and upcoming shows.
Check the OSPAC Outdoor Ampitheater website for their upcoming events. Movie nights are planned for August from 7:30pm – 9:30pm:
- 8/10/17 Monster truck
- 8/17/17 Ant-Man
- 8/22/17 Zootopia
The Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a great place to take the family. Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory, called Glenmont, is located in Llewellyn Park. It is here that the motion picture, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery were invented.
The Turtle Back Zoo, situated on 20 acres in the South Mountain Reservation, features species from every continent except Antarctica. It has a train ride, a carousel, a playground, a 19 hole mini golf course, and the Treetop Adventure Ropes Course. It is open to visitors daily from 10am – 4:30pm. On April 22, 2017 the Turtle Back Zoo is holding a Party For The Planet from 11am – 2pm. There will be family-friendly animal talks and entertainment to celebrate Earth Day. The Montclair Museum Art Truck will be there too. And this year, a special Children’s Music Festival will take place in the amphitheater.
If you are missing the cold weather, visit The Codey Arena. This arena is an ice hockey and skating arena that has public sessions available during weekdays and weekends. Call ahead or check the schedule for public skating times.
There is something for everyone, and a lot of fun can be had in the South Mountain Reservation. The reservation is home to the Washington Rock Lookout and has 10 picnic areas, 19 miles of hiking/walking trails, 27 miles of roads for jogging, horseback riding and cross country skiing. It also has mini golf, a fishing pond, waterfalls, paddle boats and a playground. Or you can visit the Wildflower Sculpture Park, Kip’s Castle or Riker Hill Art Park. There is so much to do here!
Eagle Rock Reservation, home to the 9/11 memorial, is another beautiful place to visit. It has an amazing view of the NYC skyline, bridle paths for horseback riding, hiking trails, and a picnic area.
Whether you and your family are avid outdoorsmen, people who love culture, the arts and the theater or folks who just enjoy a variety of different activities, there is certainly something for everyone in our local area. So get outside, enjoy the beautiful weather and take part in what our area has to offer!