Rent Party Throws its First Family Picnic

BY  |  Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Rent Party Family Picnic

Celebrating five years of raising money for local food banks while promoting local music for the community, first inn the South Orange – Maplewood area and recently in Bloomfield and other local towns, Chris Dickson and David Wagner of Rent Party wanted to throw a big bash. The Rent Party Family Picnic is what they came up with and it all happens on Saturday, September 6 in Maplecrest Park in Maplewood, NJ.

The day-long celebration of all things Rent Party will showcase local original music, including bands we have featured in our Dads Rock! series. And the writer of that series — Brian Glaser — just happen to play drums for Gumwall.

Here is the lineup of great music: 

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Weekend Highlights: Your Guide to Family Fun

BY  |  Friday, Aug 22, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


It’s the weekend so get out and have some family fun!

Don’t forget about the Montclair Film Festival Summer Series Ferris Bueller’s Day Off screening and the St. Sebastian Feast and Carnival— and there is 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:

Heading to the Montclair Film Festival’s screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  tonight? Go to Just Kidding Around toy store beforehand for a few rounds of Pizza Party and other awesome games provided by the Haywire Group! (Friday, August 22)

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Parents Spending More on Back to School Shopping Thanks to Electronics

BY  |  Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

back to school shoppingDriven by increased demand for electronic items combined with the yearly restocking of school supplies, parents are spending slightly more on back to school shopping than last year, according to to the National Retail Federation Back to School Survey. 

The average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on clothing, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from $634.78 last year. 

NRF this year broke down spending by grade, and according to the survey, families with high school students will spend the most. The survey found the average family shopping for high school students will spend $682.99, while spending on middle school/junior high comes in a close second at $682.13. Parents with elementary school-age children will spend an average of $580.94.

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Montclair School District Launches “Equity Innovation Plan” to Bring Tech into 21st Century

BY  |  Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 8:15am  |  COMMENTS (17)

tecnology upgrades

The Montclair School District has just announced what it calls, “the most ambitious plan in its history to ensure innovation resources reach every classroom in the District.”

The district states that an internal audit conducted this spring by newly hired District Technology Director Barry Haines, found an inequitable divide within the District, with some schools having an 11:1 student-to-computer ratio, while other schools had a 3:1 ratio. In addition, the audit found that the current, shared school internet connection barely provided students and teachers with the needed bandwidth to access the key foundations for digital learning. More specifically the audit found that the broadband connection provided the same speed that a single home using a connection such as dial up provided in the mid-1990s.

“Montclair has the most highly effective teachers and principals in the state, yet our schools are fending for themselves when it comes to technology and innovation. We need to ensure our District does not become a series of “have” and “have not” schools,” stated Superintendent of Schools Dr. Penny MacCormack.

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Montclair Film Festival’s Summer Series Ends With Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Friday Night

BY  |  Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Who wants to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Church Street this Friday night? Anyone? Anyone?

Take your teens to Montclair Film Festival’s final outdoor film of the season and welcome in the new school year with the hilarious 1986 classic. There will also be a special appearance by Big Mamou before the film.

You know, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” 

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Day Trip: Round Valley Recreation Area

BY  |  Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Round Valley Recreation Area

We’re past mid-August, and families have reached the time of summer desperation. All in the name of creating vacation memories, they either suddenly realize they haven’t taken enough trips, or because they have run out of new places to go. We are lucky in the Baristaville area in that we have countless choices for day trips to enjoy the best that summer has to offer. The Round Valley Recreation Area in Lebanon, NJ is a fantastic option for camping, grilling, swimming, and all around summer fun.

Just about an hour away, depending on traffic, the New Jersey State Park has extensive shady areas for picnicking and grilling. In a separate area, there is a sandy beach with lifeguards, changing rooms and restrooms, a snack bar, and two playgrounds. Families can also take a break from the beach by hiking one of the trails, knowing that cooling off in the lake is the reward of return. This is a carry in/carry out park, and you will receive a trash bag upon entry.

If you are lucky enough to be able to get away during the week, an almost empty beach will greet you and the family at Round Valley Recreation. Enjoy the sandy beach and not-too-cold water in quiet and relaxation. A favorite pastime for young people is wading around in the swimming area for net-fishing. Others just wait patiently for the tiny fish to nibble on toes. For families with children who have a low tolerance for an ick-factor, according to my son, the lake floor is walkable and not “gooey” at all.

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Wildwood: A Jersey Shore Family Vacation Guide

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Although I grew up in New Jersey, beach vacations (or “going down the shore” as we like to say) wasn’t part of my childhood. However, Wildwood has become a summer family staple for us as a vacation destination. A vacation in Wildwood, although less than three hours from Montclair (Garden State Parkway traffic notwithstanding), makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world.

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Free Museum Admission on Smithsonian Museum Day Live

BY  |  Monday, Aug 18, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

smithsonian museum day liveMy family loves museums. And I love free museum admission, so I always take advantage of the annual Museum Day Live. In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, which offer free admission everyday, Smithsonian Museum Day Live is an annual event in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Smithsonian Museum Day Ticket…for free.  This year’s Museum Day Live takes place on Saturday, September 27.

Each Smithsonian Museum Day Live ticket is good for two people only. To receive yours, enter your information on this page. Your Ticket will be emailed to you after you submit your information. Print it out and bring to the museum to get free admission.

Here are some local museums participating in Smithsonian Museum Day Live:

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Families Enjoyed the Montclair Jazz Festival

BY  |  Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 7:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jazz fans of all ages filled Nishuane park to enjoy the sounds of Big Band, Afro Latin, Philly Soul and much more at the Montclair Jazz Festival.

The audience brought lawn chairs or spread blankets, they brought picnic lunches or bought food from a wide variety of vendors and families brought their kids to experience an afternoon of fun.

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Show Your Support For the Montclair Mounties White-Out Game

BY  |  Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Mounties White-Out Game

It’s ON, again! The Montclair Mounties Football White-Out Game on September 20 vs. Union City at Woodman Field is hoping for the biggest crowd in decades.

Buy your “White-Out Shirt,” show your Montclair Pride, and support the Mounties  at their first home game.  $12 “Official White-Out T-Shirts” went on sale August 15 and by purchasing and wearing one you’ll get FREE admission to all REGULAR season home games.

You can purchase an Official White-Out T-shirt at these location sponsors:

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