Celebrating Pride and Family at North Jersey Pride Week

BY  |  Saturday, May 31, 2014 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


Prince’s daughter

North Jersey Pride Week runs from Sunday, June 2 through June 8, with events for all ages in Maplewood, South Orange and Montclair. Organizer C.J. Prince, a Maplewood mom, spoke with Mary Mann about North Jersey Pride. Barista Kids shares the interview here:

Q: What came first, North Jersey Pride or the Pride Festival?

A: The Pride Festival came first—although it wasn’t really a festival at the time. There are a lot of us who, when we had our kids and moved to the ‘burbs, felt like we had to give up Pride. It’s hard to navigate down Fifth Avenue with a double stroller. And the nudity involved became a problem for some mothers and fathers who were conflicted about their kids seeing it.

So our suburban Pride began that way in 2011, organically, as just a small, informal BYO picnic in Maplewood Memorial Park. We had a modest stage and John Strauss, a local musician who gives drum lessons, kindly organized musicians to play for free. We thought we’d have maybe 20 people and more than 100 turned out, which was pretty exciting. The following year, South Orange residents really wanted to be included, so we renamed ourselves SOMA Pride, featured some local food vendors and a handful of community sponsors and exhibitors and about 400 people showed up, some from as far as Bergen County.

That kind of growth told me there was a need for what we were providing. So the next year, 2013, I incorporated as “North Jersey Pride” and applied for 501(c)3 status so that corporate sponsors would feel comfortable getting on board. PNC came on as presenting sponsor and we had about 30 other sponsors at varying levels. We had a real stage and brought in some big talent and included a clause in our entertainment contract that requires our performers to make their performances family-friendly so that parents can relax knowing their kids aren’t going to hear any profanity. We expanded our Rainbow Kids Zone so children would have plenty to do, since that’s what we, as parents, are always looking for.

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No-Sew T-Shirt Tote Bag

BY  |  Saturday, May 31, 2014 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

No-Sew T-Shirt Tote Bag

Turning an old T-shirt into a reusable tote bag is a simple and fun craft. It’s eco-friendly too, since you can reuse the T-shirts that you have out grown, but can’t bear to part with — like summer camp and school tees.

No-Sew T-Shirt Tote Bag

  • Iron
  • T shirt

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Weekend Highlights: Your Guide to Family Fun

BY  |  Friday, May 30, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Berry Season: Where to Pick Your Own

What to do, what to do? It’s another super busy weekend full of family events.

Don’t forget about the St. Catherine of Siena Carnival, the 32nd Annual Montclair 10K and 2 Mile Fun Run, the Montclair Film Festival Summer Series Hairspray sing-a-long — and there’s even more!

To make sure you’re always in the know when it comes to family events, parenting resources and discussion, sign up for our newsletter, which offers a great recap of our best stories, event information, guides and exclusive giveaways. And make sure to “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check out our  Pinterest page. We post a lot of important information over there, so you don’t want to miss out.

You can check our Calendar for all events this weekend, but here are this weekend’s highlights:

Go berry picking at a New Jersey pick your own farm!

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Children’s Playground Coming to Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex

BY  |  Friday, May 30, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Picnic Pavilion and Paddle Boating

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. yesterday announced that work is underway to develop a children’s playground at the Orange Reservoir in the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex. The addition of the playground will provide visitors with another opportunity to enjoy the picturesque landscape and promote wellness. It is the latest project that Essex County is conducting in partnership with the City of Orange to maximize the use of the Orange Reservoir property.

The playground will be located adjacent to the paddle boating area and picnic pavilion that opened last year and will be designed with the same nautical theme. It will have 24 separate pieces of play equipment and a rubberized safety surface. An open area within the playground will have a synthetic grass surface so there is less wear and tear on the turf. The new facility will be circled by a chain link fence to prevent children from wandering away. In addition, stamped concrete pathways will be installed to link the playground to the picnic area, paddle boating and pathway around the reservoir. Work to prepare the site began earlier in May and the playground is scheduled to open by the end of the summer.

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Learn How to Play With Your Food with a Fairway Market Workshop and New Book

BY  |  Friday, May 30, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Funny FoodHow many times have you told your kids to stop playing with their food… in the last week? Well, you may never need to utter those words again thanks to Bill Wurtzel and his funny food art. Fairway Market will be hosting a “Learn How to Play With Food” Workshop with Bill Wurtzel  on June 14.

Wurtzel, a jazz musician and former advertising agency creative director, is crafting lettuce hair or raisin eyes, his edible creations are outrageously creative and funny and best of all – healthy. And he wants to share them with your kids. His new book Funny Food gives you “365 fun, healthy, silly, creative breakfasts.”

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Montclair Teens Awarded Best Teammate Award for the Super Essex Conference

BY  |  Thursday, May 29, 2014 2:40pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Best Teammate Award for the Super Essex Conference

Kwasi Nimako of Immaculate Conception, Paige Pacifico of Montclair Kimberley  and Kenny Davis of Montclair High were recently awarded with the Best Teammate Award for the Super Essex Conference at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center.  The trio were among the 37 student-athletes from SEC high schools honored for their selflessness and promoting team unity at an awards banquet sponsored by Investors Bank, a major supporter of the Museum’s character education programs.

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Father’s Day Craft: Upcycled Jean Remote Control Pocket Pillow

BY  |  Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Upcycled Jean Remote Control Pocket Pillow

We’re not sure how those remote controls constantly get lost, but they do. Here’s a practical solution — an upcycled jean remote control pocket pillow! It’s a fun, convenient way to keep those remotes right on the couch, but out of sight. It’s an easy beginner project and a great gift for Fathers Day, coming up in two weeks on Sunday, June 15.

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On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Essex Running Club Junior Track Series Returns

BY  |  Thursday, May 29, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Essex Running Club Junior Track Series

If you have kids who likes to run, like my girls, then you’re in luck. On Sunday, June 29, the 3rd annual Essex Running Club Junior Track Series opens at Hurrell Field in Glen Ridge. As the first in a three part series, the meet will feature track and field events for children ages 4 – 13.  Races included the 50 meter dash for 4 – 6 year olds, as well as distances of 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1 mile.  Field events included the long jump and javelin throw.

New this year, Fleet Feet will be hosting a Junior Track Series Feeder Program beginning on June 14. The free program is a great way to get junior runners ready for the ERC Junior Track Series! Participants will benefit from working with experienced Fleet Feet coaches, along with Coach Ira Ford of Glen Ridge High School and athlete mentors from the Glen Ridge Track & Field Team.  Click Here for More Information.

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Day Trip: Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse

BY  |  Thursday, May 29, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse

When I got the invitation from my friend Alma Schneider to visit Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse over Memorial Day Weekend, I was not initially sold on the idea. I’m not a particularly ‘outdoorsy’ kind of gal, especially when the temperature pushes past a balmy seventy-nine degrees. As my husband reminded me, “You like the ‘farm to table experience.’ You just prefer the ‘table’ part, especially if it’s in cool and comfortable atmospheric setting… and if it ends with chocolate.”

Alma (who, by the way, is one fabulous Montclair lady and if you don’t know her – you should), sent the invite to all the members of our weekly group for parents of children who have special needs. There, nestled in Alma’s comfortable, temperature-controlled kitchen, we partake of her delicious eats, share resources, commiserate in each other’s stories and bask in the company of other parents in similar special needs situations. Though I don’t get to go as often as I’d like, I always breathe easier after I leave.

The invite, though, promised a tour of a working farm (she almost lost me right there) where all of our kids could meet and we could taste the farm’s fresh cheeses and homemade breads. A chance to gorge myself on (I mean sample) farm-fresh foods and introduce my older daughter to new friends? Sounds good. And I knew my youngest, who is still awed by her own ability to walk, would love seeing the animals that we read about at home. Despite the threat of spending a day in the hot sun, I replied with an enthusiastic, “We’re in!”

And I’m glad I did. Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse is located in the very beautiful and scenic setting of Milford, NJ. And the farm, I learned, has an interesting back-story.

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Master the Music Summer Sunset Concerts at Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair

BY  |  Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Master the Music: ASM summer sunset concert series

Adult School of Montclair is proud to present a series of Master the Music Summer Sunset Concerts at Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair.  Each concert will feature local performers playing and discussing a different kind of music in a family-friendly outdoor setting, making the evening ideal for inquisitive minds of all ages. Some acts will bring instruments that the kids can try beforehand!

The music will begin under the wisteria at 7 pm, but families are encouraged to come early to explore the gardens, which should be at their peak of early summer splendor. A variety of gourmet food trucks will be on the property, or bring your own picnic:

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