Celebrate July 4th All Day Near Millburn-Short Hills and Maplewood Homes

Celebrate independence near Maplewood homes.Everyone from Millburn-Short Hills and Maplewood homes know how to celebrate July 4th right. Start out in Maplewood at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K race beginning and ending on Dunnell Road, and opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. Throughout the day there will be athletic challenges, art projects, baking contests and even an ice cream eating contest.

Help your kids be creative and decorate their bike, wagon or tricycle with red, white and blue decor to take part in the Kids Fourth of July Parade. Children of all ages living in Maplewood homes will be delightfully entertained by the Zerbini Family Circus.

This unforgettable celebration of Uncle Sam will conclude at 9 p.m. with breathtaking fireworks. Go to maple4th.com for a full list of the day’s festivities.

Residents of Millburn-Short Hills real estate can start the day off at 9 a.m. in Taylor Park for the Opening Ceremony. Beginning with a flag raising and salute to Old Glory, there is a red, white and blue bike parade for the kiddos and a softball game to follow.

Later on in the day, head over to Millburn High School for the afternoon events, starting at 3 p.m. Bring blankets and chairs to sit on. Pack a picnic or enjoy delicious selections provided by local vendors. Live bands will be playing, and there is plenty of entertainment for kids. Radio controlled planes will be on display. There is a rock wall to climb and raffles to be won.

The evening ends with a bang as vibrant Fourth of July fireworks mingle with the stars on Millburn High School field. For more information please go to mshjuly4th.com.

Monday Farmers Market for Foodies Who Live in Maplewood

Live in Maplewood and go to Monday market.Families, foodies and farmers who live in Maplewood come together Mondays at Maplewood Farmers Market, held at the Indiana Street Municipal parking lot adjacent to Springfield Ave. from 2pm to 7pm. The Maplewood Township is celebrating its 21st season sponsoring the community market. The market opened June 8 and the last day will be October 26, if the weather is poor, or November 9, if the weather is fine.

Local producers and food vendors bring many seasonal fruits, vegetables and prepared foods every week for you to take home and try. If you live in Maplewood, you’ll want to visit at least a few times this season to pick up delicious treats like cheeses, pastries, preserves, breads and olives. Not yet a Maplewood resident but shopping for Maplewood real estate and in need of a quick meal while checking out local properties? Market vendors prepare all sorts of on-the-go food like veggie burgers, gluten-free meals, steaks, burgers and crab cakes.

This year’s vendors include Alstede Farms; Hoboken Farms, Jersey City Veggie Burgers; Paolo’s Kitchen – Gluten free Specialist; Pickles. Olives, etc. and Stony Hills Gardens. For more information about the market, contact the market manager at (957) 762-8120 X2003 or visit the Maplewood calendar of events.

The Diversity of Millburn-Short Hills Architecture

Short Hills home-Robin BenjaminIt’s impossible to answer the question: what is Millburn-Short Hills architecture like? Because there’s really no way to pin it down. This area is far too diverse culturally and artistically to be pigeon-holed, so here’s a quick run-down of a few different styles you can find in Millburn-Short Hills architecture.

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern brought about things like the A-frame and rambler, and is characterized by open floor plans, walls made of glass, low-pitched roofs, minimalist design, and close to the ground horizontal lines. Think: Frank Lloyd Wright. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in the Guggenheim?

The Victorian

Let’s face it: we all know and love Victorian homes, and Millburn-Short Hills architecture reflects that. Is it the steeply pitched, irregularly shaped roof, the textured shingles, or that porch? Is it the Normal Rockwell, 1950’s America? Answer: yes, yes, yes.

Tudor Cottage

The Tudor is that charming house that reminds you of an old-world European castle. It has that steeply pitched, cross-gabled roof, bricks, and rounded door. The chimneys are huge and add to that warm, country feeling.

The Cape Cod

The Cape Cod is cozy, but it’s even cozier when it’s in the Millburn-Short Hills area and close to New York City. It’s symmetrical with a steep roof and wood frame, and has that amazing chimney for those winter months.

Whether or not you are a Cape Cod type, or a mid-century modern, Robin Benjamin is your source for all Millburn-Short Hills architecture and homes.

An Actor’s Dream: Life in the Millburn Paper Mill Playhouse

Papermill Playhouse living in Millburn-Short Hills NJ is fun!In the Millburn/Short Hills arts scene you can go to the theater, or you can be the theater. Now, of course you already know that we’re talking about the famous Millburn Paper Mill Playhouse , which, since 1934, has attracted world-class performers for world-class shows, including Carol Channing, Patrick Swayze, Liza Minelli, and Anne Hathaway (who is also from  Millburn New Jersey, by the way . . .). But, did you know that in the Millburn/Short Hills arts scene you could also be the theatre.

Because this summer, you can take classes at one of Paper Mill Playhouse’s many acting classes. There’s musical theatre and summer theater camps for children ranging in ages from 3-18, including: Acting & Improv, Creative Drama studies, Broadway Dance Styles, and even Stage Combat. But, there’s also great classes for adults. Now, let’s say you’re happy with your career but that dream to be on the stage never left you. Well, what we have to say to that is: why should it?!? Get out there and live the dream!—there’s voice lessons and private workshops. You can go to Breakfast at Paper Mill, where you eat with a staff member or visiting artist and talk about art, theater, and life (how great it is to live in Millburn/Short Hills . . .). It’s very easy to be a part of the Millburn-Short Hills arts community if you want to be.

Brooklynites: professional artists, including Broadway’s finest, have made Maplewood NJ their home for years. Just ask Christine Ebersole (and ask her what it was like to be in Tootsie while you’re at it), Charlie Pollock of Broadway’s 9 to 5, or Zack Braff and Lauryn Hill, who are both from Maplewood. The Millburn-Short Hills arts scene thrives, and for decades artists have been escaping the city to get some thinking done, so they could dedicate themselves to their craft, all the while keeping NYC under an hour away.

The Millburn-Short Hills arts scene is dynamic, challenging, supportive, and open to anyone, yet it also situates itself amongst the world’s best. It’s great for arts professsoinals or art enthusiasts. All of these advantages—intellectual and cultural—come from living in Millburn/Short Hills.

A Natural Sanctuary Near Your Millburn Home: Cora Hartshorn Arboretum

Visit the flowers near your Millburn home.A Millburn home gives its residents the chance to be close to the city and the ability to visit natural spaces, like the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary. This beautiful place located in Short Hills is a non-profit organization that includes a visitors center, about 16.5 acres of woodlands, several miles of trails, and an abundance of plants that reflect native species to New Jersey. Visit just for a day to relax, bring visitors from out of town, or come to for a special event or program. Memberships are also available for nature lovers who live in Millburn to help support this gem.

There are many educational opportunities available at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary. Choose from toddler and preschool classes, one-day programs for children, after school programs, summer camps, family programs, field trips, and more. This is a great facility to think of during the summer months when children need activities when school is not in session. Visitors will enjoy seeing beautiful wildflowers, tall trees, unique geological features, and an abundance of birds. The spring is a great time to come to view migrating birds passing through this area. Enjoy some time with friends and family away from your Millburn home. The fresh air and natural beauty is sure to leave visitors feeling rejuvenated. Click here to visit Arboretum’s website and plan a visit.

Delicious, Healthy Treats for Short Hills NJ Home Owners

Eat great pastries near your Short Hills NJ home.If you live in Short Hills NJ and have a sweet tooth, Squirrel and the Bee Bakery is the place to go. Without sacrificing anything in the way of flavor or scrumptiousness, head pastry chef Michelle Retik manages to turn out breads, pastries, and other treats that are also good for you. Squirrel and the Bee is dedicated to grainless (gluten-free), refined sugar-free, and no or low dairy cooking and baking. Short Hills NJ home owners shouldn’t be put off by all that’s missing, because Chef Michelle has found other great ingredients that pack in heavenly flavors. She uses a combination of nut flours from cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and macadamias, as well as local honey and butter from grass-fed cows. Her winning formula will have you coming back to Squirrel and the Bee every chance you get!

Come for breakfast, lunch, or just a snack. Try the grain-free granola, the lactose-free yogurt, or one of the pastries. A serving of lactose-free frozen yogurt is a great way to cool off this summer. Sandwiches are made to order, and soup is made fresh every day, with ingredients sourced from local farmers. If you’re hosting a gathering at your Short Hills NJ home, have Squirrel and the Bee cater. Visit the Bake Shop at 515 Millburn Avenue in Short Hills. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Go to squirrelandthebee.com to see a full menu, order online, and learn more about their baked goods.

Tour Artists’ Maplewood Homes and Studios

Artists open Maplewood homes.Every year, artists open their Maplewood homes and studios on the first Sunday in June for the public to see their workspaces. This year, the South Orange Artists Studio Tour will be on Sunday, June 7th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tour gives participants a whole new way to look at Maplewood real estate. Nearly 80 artists will be participating in the Studio Tour. They are painters, sculptors, photographers, and collagists. Their styles range from realist to impressionist to abstract. Click here to see all the exhibiting artists’ biographies and sample of their work. When you know which artists interest you most, click here to get an interactive map to plan your tour. Keep in mind that the pieces exhibited are also for sale. This is a great chance to shop local and find artwork made in and around Maplewood homes.

Even if you can’t make time for the Studio Tour, never fear! The Pierro Gallery at the Baird Center in South Orange has a show up. It runs until Saturday, July 27th. Visit the ongoing Mural Project at The Gateways in South Orange. Be sure to check out studiotoursoma.org, where you can find a series of 19 artists talks, as well as more information about the tour.

NJ’s Best: Millburn-Short Hills Public Schools

ImageMillburn-Short Hills public schools—talk about a one-two punch. Ok, it’s great that Millburn public schools are the BEST in New Jersey, and don’t get us wrong, we are so proud, but it’s just straight-up unfair that Short Hills public schools are number two. And don’t even get us started on how Summit is number twelve, and Chatham is number thirteen, because then you’ll definitely think we’re just showing off (ok, we are, but the thing is, we back it up with results). By the way, that’s number one, two, twelve, and thirteen out of six hundred. And they don’t just measure the high schools, but all of the schools in the district.

So now you’re wondering, “How do they quantify education in public schools anyway? How can education be measured?” Pretty easily actually.

Criteria #1: Grades.

Result: Students at Millburn-Short Hills public schools have the highest average grades in the state.

Criteria #2: Number of students the district serves.

Result: With about 1,500 students at Millburn High School, which serves both Millburn and Short Hills, the district is neither the largest nor the smallest, but the students here certainly are the most disciplined, the most pro-active and engaged, and the most college-ready.

And now you’re thinking, “Wait, but I bet you Millburn-Short Hills public schools have the easiest curriculum. That’s why they have the highest grades . . .”

Uhmmmmmmm, think again.

Try . . . AP Calculus BC, Advanced Robotics, Discrete Mathematics, Astrophysics, Genetics, Modern Dramatic Literature, and AP Chinese.

So no, the classes aren’t easier.

What is easier though? The access to great teachers (the student-teacher ratio is 12:1), the ability to get help with your work, to develop a critical learning community, and to feel engaged because of the strong intellectual culture here.

Look, we don’t want to brag, but the proof is in the results. And Millburn-Short Hills public schools continue to deliver them. If you want your children to have a world-class public school education, buy a Millburn-Short Hills home today.

The Ultimate Guide to Millburn-Short Hills Summer Events

FullSizeRenderThis Millburn-Short Hills summer, don’t suffer through the bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way down the parkway just to get to a crowded beach. Do yourself a favor, and check out what’s happening right in your backyard.

Speaking of backyards, living in Millburn-Short Hills, you very likely could have a pool (and if not, Robin Benjamin will show you where to get a house with one). Because really, is there anything better than having a barbeque in your backyard with your friends and family poolside, having beers and cocktails while you enjoy some hot dogs and burgers (or veggie burgers if that’s your thing. It’s summer and we’re keeping those bodies in check!). So, instead of traveling all the way down the Jersey Shore to get to a party, which may have some questionable people—let’s face it—why not bring the party to you? And, while you’re at it, make those friends and family help you clean up afterwards . . .

Or, if you’re looking to get out of the house for some Millburn-Short Hills summer fun, you won’t have to look far. Here’s a quick list of some great outdoor activities:

  • Zogsports: Get outside and play some competitive sports like basketball, volleyball, or soccer.
  • Free Lego Movie Screening. Need we say more? How about the time and place? August 18th at 7:30PM, Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center—4 Boland Drive, West Orange, NJ 07052. (PS, The Lego Movie is equally amazing for kids and adults. Go out on a date to this one and you will win bonus points).
  • Get involved with other families in the community with the Millburn Summer Day Camp program at Taylor Park and Gero Park.
  • Nobody does July 4th like Millburn. And that means there are two options for you: the party at Taylor Park starts at 9AM and there’s amusement rides, pony rides, face painting and more.
  • Or, the fireworks at Millburn High School with music by Krazy Kat DJ.
  • Maplewoodstock. Have you heard of Woodstock? Well, Maplewoodstock is way better, and right in your neighborhood. Saturday, July 11 from 9AM-10PM.

Oh, and did we mention pools? Pools, pools, and more pools. There’s…

  • Old Short Hills Park
  • Millburn Pool
  • Gero Park
  • Maplewood Community Pool
  • Chatham Board of Recreation
  • Berkeley Heights Community Pool
  • And plenty more!!!

These coming months are going to be hot and humid, so instead of spending all that time in your car to go to yet another Tiki Bar, treat yourself right with a Millburn-Short Hills summer. You’ll be glad you did.

Swimming Pool Near Millburn-Short Hills NJ Homes Opens Memorial Day

Swim near Millburn-Short Hills NJ homes.Residents of Millburn-Short Hills NJ homes have a variety of options for swimming programs and lessons this summer. The Millburn Pool opens Memorial Day Weekend, and locals are getting ready to enjoy all the summertime fun the pool provides. The first cycle of group swimming lessons for 2015 begins on June 20th and ends July 16th. The second cycle begins on July 29th and ends on the 6th of August. Pool membership is not required, but children must come from families who live in Millburn-Short Hills NJ.

All those learning to swim must be at least 4 years old by the beginning of the first class, except for the Mommy and Me class which takes children from 6 months to 3 years old with a parent. Since children come with different levels of experience, parents are requested to use specific descriptions when enrolling their children for proper class placement. Aside from the Mommy and Me classes, the Beginner class is for children who are 4 years old or older and do not have any water skills whatsoever. The Advanced Beginner is for children in this age group who do not have any real water skills, but are comfortable being in the water. The Intermediate class is for children who can swim 20 yards unassisted already, and the Swimmer class is for those who are already able to swim the crawl stroke for 25 yards. Swimmers from 6 to 18 years of age who live in Millburn-Short Hills, NJ homes, are encouraged to consider joining the local swim team. To find out more about any fees and pool hours, download the registration forms by clicking here, and call the pool at 973-564-7762. For private lessons call 973-376-3822.