The town-wide festival honoring Westfield’s Charles Addams is reimagined for a year like no other

If isolation and social distancing were an art, The Addams Family would be the masters. This year, their dynamic is on-brand as the popular AddamsFest returns for a third year – this time, in a pandemic-friendly manner, and, once again, transforming Westfield with a unique celebration honoring its own Charles Addams and his penchant for the macabre.

Dubbed “Alt AddamsFest” for the 2020 pandemic, the festivities will be shaped by creative approaches to gatherings that provide a safe environment while maintaining the initial spirit of the celebration. more

A charming, romantic Hudson River estate

America’s “Founding Father of Literature” created a picturesque estate nestled along the Hudson riverbank. The enchanted landscape of Washington Irving’s much-loved Sunnyside has been charming guests for generations. Visitors today hear about Irving’s storied past and how he came to be America’s first internationally famous author. His characters, from the Headless Horseman to Rip Van Winkle, are global icons, and Irving’s legacy lives on at his whimsical estate.  more

Play the game where getting lost is half the fun!

The Great Corn Maze Train departs Phillipsburg, N.J. from now through October 27 at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. (3:30 p.m. trips will be added in the month of October on Saturdays). At the cost of $5 add on to any train ticket, the Corn Maze Train is a 1 hour and 30 minute trip that winds through Hunterdon County including stops at the Ol’ Susquehanna Mine, picnic groves, century-old Snyder Farm, two corn mazes to explore, and miles of trails. more

Photo Credit: Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture is happy to welcome back guests and visitors to their outdoor gardens and exhibits via timed entry tickets, which must be purchased in advance. All buildings and indoor exhibitions will remain closed. The outdoor grounds will be open Thursdays-Mondays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. more

Fall on the farm is always a thrill, and Happy Day Farm at 106 Iron Ore Road in Manalapan has announced that the theme for its 2020 corn maze is superhero! Get lost in the twists and turns of this maze and try to find your way out by searching for squares in the Maize-O-Poly board game. The Fall Festival also includes Hay Mountain, Pumpkinville, tractor rides, pig races, life-sized board games, tilt a’ whirl, pumpkin painting, fall food, and more. more

New York City museums have eagerly been awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s permission to reopen their doors to the general public. The announcement finally came last Friday when Cuomo told reporters that New York City museums, aquariums, and other “low risk” cultural institutions could reopen on August 24. In response, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced a target reopening date of August 29. The Whitney Museum of American Art will follow suit on September 3, and the Morgan Library and Museum on September 5.  more

Listed for $5.9 million, the residence is the most expensive home sold in Asbury Park history

Asbury Ocean Club (AsburyOceanClub.com), the 17-story residential property that introduced luxury living to the Jersey Shore last summer, recently closed on its largest residence. Listed at $5.9 million, the sale marks a record in Asbury Park’s history and is a testament to the luxury design and lifestyle of the oceanfront oasis, which includes a full suite of amenities and luxury services. Asbury Ocean Club is just 70 minutes from Manhattan and less than an hour from many prominent New Jersey communities. Residents soak in coastal surroundings from every corner of the property, all while being at the center of Asbury Park’s vibrant city by the sea, offering miles of boardwalk and beaches, an active arts culture, and an established and growing restaurant scene. more

All are welcome to participate in the ninth annual Sourland Spectacular to enjoy the great outdoors and to “Save the Sourlands.” Typically, the event takes the form of a cycling rally, but this year’s event invites registrants to choose their own route (and fee) to cycle, run, or hike anytime during the nine-day event.  more

August is peach month at Peddler’s Village, and every day the Bucks County location will offer special peach-themed food and drinks at restaurants and eateries. There will also be live entertainment on select weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can enjoy made-to-order sandwiches and burgers at the Water Wheel Food Tent. more

The 29th annual Arts Festival in Doylestown, Pa., is going virtual for the safety of its participants, attendees, and community. Normally it is the biggest weekend in Doylestown, this year, patrons will be celebrating from home on September 12 and 13. Browse all of the 2020 participating artists at dtownartsfestival.com. Expect virtual demos, studio tours, performances, and more on social media leading up to and throughout the festival weekend. more

Terhune Orchards farm store is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. The Princeton-based farm grows over 40 varieties of crops and many varieties of each crop. The harvest also changes each week. The staff at Terhune pick every day to ensure that patrons are getting the freshest and most nutritional produce available. more

Asbury Park property welcomes guests back with new sanitation protocols, socially distanced spaces, and dining offerings

The Asbury is reopening on June 25 after a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Launched in 2016, The Asbury is an architectural nod to the shore town’s Victorian-era history and rock n’ roll present. more

The borough of Brielle is in southern Monmouth County along the Manasquan River. It is bordered by Manasquan, Wall Township, and Point Pleasant Beach. The town is known as a “boaters town,” with approximately 4 miles of waterfront along the Manasquan River, Glimmerglass, and Debbie’s Creek, all of which are salt water or tidal. Brielle is close to the Manasquan beaches. The downtown also offers shops, dining, and small businesses. more

Image Source: The Nature Conservancy

Situated at the southwest tip of the Cape May peninsula, the South Cape May Meadows Preserve includes more than 200 acres of critical habitat for nesting and migratory birds. The peninsula in Cape May acts as a funnel for birds traveling along the Atlantic Flyway. While the land protected here provides foraging and resting habitat for the birds, the preserve also supports a wide variety of wildlife year-round. more

With the health and safety of the greater community in mind, MarketFair Mall is currently offering no/low-touch dining and shopping options. more

Summer revelers rejoice!

Spring Lake Beach will re-open on Saturday, May 23, just in time for Memorial Day weekend and the official start of summer beach season. more

Beautiful spring flowers in the Ballroom, Easter eggs laid out on the Grand Lawn — hop on over to Congress Hall in Cape May on Easter Sunday for a day filled with exciting holiday festivities. Grab an Easter basket and start the morning with a traditional egg hunt, as well as fun lawn games and rides on the Congress Hall Express. After you’ve worked up an appetite, head inside for a delicious buffet in the Ballroom. Be sure to bring a camera — the Easter Bunny will make rounds with Blue the Pig for perfect family photo-ops! more

Just in time for spring, Osteria Morini reopened on March 6 following a décor and menu reinvention.

Somerset County diners and Italian food lovers are in for a treat, with a number of changes to the menu such as large-format selections for sharing, charcuterie boards (prepared at a new Chef’s Counter), grilled entrees, and more. But rest assured that guest favorites like Chitarra with shrimp and lobster is still on the menu. more

On Saturday, February 15 from 9 a.m. to noon, Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS) will celebrate LOVE Your Park Day at the Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve at Mountain Lakes House in Princeton.

During this volunteer session, attendees will join FOPOS members in identifying and removing target invasive species from the woodlands as well as free native trees and shrubs from encroaching vines. Come spring, the cleared area will be better able to host native wildflowers, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife that depend on the habitat with which they co-evolved.  more

Rembrandt – De Poolse ruiter, c.1655 (Frick Collection)

Enjoy free museum admission and gallery talks, music performances, and sketching, or simply find yourself walking among the Old Masters and art enthusiasts from around the world at the next First Friday at The Frick Collection in New York City on February 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. First Fridays occur on the First Friday of each month, except January and September, from 6 to 9 p.m. more

By Taylor Smith

Located in the rolling hills of Warren County, two miles east of the Delaware River in Milford, N.J., Alba Vineyard is the perfect February getaway. The winery is hosting Wine and Chocolate Weekends on February 8, 9 and 15, 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tasting experiences are priced at $20 per person (21 and older) and include a flight of Alba’s estate wines paired with cheeses, flatbread, and a sampling of gourmet truffles, chocolate caramels, and a selection of French macarons. The price also includes an etched wine glass. more

Photo by Robert Benson Photography 

By Taylor Smith

Experience the season at New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) Holiday Train Show, now through Sunday, January 6, 2020. Natural materials such as fruit, seeds, pine cones, twigs, bark, stems, fungus, acorns, lotus pods, and cinnamon recreate a sweeping metropolis designed by Paul Busse of Applied Imagination. more

High Mountain Park

By Taylor Smith

The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey is encouraging Garden State residents to stay active this winter season with the introduction of the High Mountain Challenge, inspired by New Jersey native Jessica Bagley’s running achievements. The Nature Conservancy is also hoping to raise awareness of High Mountain Park Preserve, a protected 1,260-acre tract of forested land in New Jersey’s Piedmont region (near North Haledon and Wayne). more

By Taylor Smith | Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Located approximately 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a compact island popular with generations of vacationers. The island was first sighted by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold of Falmouth, England, on his way to Virginia in 1602. In October 1641, William, Earl of Sterling, deeded the island to Thomas Mayhew of Watertown, Massachusetts Bay. Shares of the island were eventually sold to nine other purchasers. These 10 original owners were eager to attract tradesmen to the island, and the total number of stakeholders gradually expanded to 27 shares among 31 owners. Names like Coffin, Folger, Gardner, Macy, Starbuck, Hussey, and Swain still have a large presence on the island today.

When the Englishmen arrived, the island was already home to an estimated 1,600 Wampanoag Indians. The influence of European disease, alcohol, debt, and servitude took a toll on the native population, and it is chronicled that the last Wampanoag (Abram Quary) on the island died in 1885.

The settlers innately understood the value of the cold waters at their doorstep, and sought the guidance of established New England whaling captains to learn how to hunt whales from a boat. At the time, whale oil was used to light lamps.  more

By Taylor Smith

Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, Hunterdon County, is a passion project of Michael Beneduce Sr. and his son, Mike Beneduce Jr. As a family rooted in farming for multiple generations, the Beneduces have a distinct love and understanding of the Garden State’s soil. more

By Taylor Smith

This year’s Oktoberfest Celebration at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten  (asburybiergarten.com) will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13. Beginning each day at noon, the tented biergarten celebration offers plenty of food, beer, live polka bands, and Oktoberfest fun. more

Image Source: VisitPhilly.com

Coming November 23 & 24 

By Taylor Smith 

Ranking the nation’s top 10 in terms of large marathons, the Philadelphia Marathon typically attracts more than 30,000 runners, 60,000 spectators, and 3,000 volunteers. The fast and scenic course takes runners past historic landmarks, through urban neighborhoods, and along Philadelphia’s picturesque waterfront. Participants should keep in mind that the November race is a chilly one, with average starting line temperatures around 37 degrees F. The half marathon and 8K races will take place on Saturday, November 23.  The full marathon will begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday, November 24.  more

Image Source: www.njskylands.com

By Taylor Smith 

New Jersey offers excellent opportunities for leaf peeping throughout the autumn months. Both farmland and forest come alive during the months of October and November with vibrant, fiery hues. Scenic beauty in picnic spots abounds, so grab your hiking shoes and flannel for a fun-filled weekend.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Did you know that the Garden State is the fourth largest peach producer in the nation?

While peaches are always available at your local supermarket, nothing compares to a sun-ripened peach from a nearby farmstead. Peaches should ideally be picked after they become slightly softened on the branch. Once picked, a peach will not actually ripen further, it will just become less “fresh” as it continues to soften. Color is not always an expert indicator of when the fruit is best picked, as some varieties of peach have more red variations than others. In general, the deepness of the red coloring is a sign of ripeness. By contrast, any evidence of green skin means that the peach should be left on the branch.  more

A Culinary Destination Reimagined

By Hope Casey

Since first opening in 2010, The Restaurant at Maritime Parc has been known for its sophisticated space, award-winning food, and enviable views of the Hudson. Now, in its 10th year, chef/owner Chris Siversen steps up this Jersey City gem’s game with a new interior and menu to die for.

Known for its picture-perfect views, positive guest reviews, and its smartly curated menu, many would wonder why executive chef and partner Chris Siversen would close The Restaurant at Maritime Parc’s doors for a complete overhaul of its space in advance of its 10-year anniversary. However, in February 2019, that is exactly what he did.

 more