Roxy’s Best Of…Morris County, New Jersey

The Best of Morris County, New Jersey, from kid stuff (including summer camp) to restaurants to art galleries and shopping

Jun
15

London and Maddie are Rockin’ the Steven Tyler Feather Hair Extensions Thanks to Madeline at the Arrangement in Ledgewood, NJ

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Every week since Steven Tyler started sporting feathers in his hair on Season 10 of American Idol, one more of London and Maddie’s friends shows up at school with feather hair extensions. And no, if London and Maddie’s friends show up with tattoos or nipple piercings, my girls won’t be following that trend…but the feathers seemed fun and a great look for the end of the school year into summer.  So last night, Madeline, who has been doing my hair for more than 25 years, trimmed both girls’ hair and gave each one a blue feather in their hair…not as dramatic as Steven Tyler’s look, but as wild as he gets on stage, as far as I know, he doesn’t play softball or have a ballet recital coming up.  Maddie and London woke up ready to jump on the school bus and show their friends their awesome new ‘do.  If you’re in the Morris County area and are craving the feathers, you can call and make an appointment with Madeline at The Arrangement Salon and Day Spa in Ledgewood, New Jersey. Phone (973) 584-5101. Go ahead, it’s not just for the kids… be a rock star and set yourself up with an appointment with Madeline…

Sep
08

Best Hairdresser in Morris County, New Jersey: Madeline at The Arrangement in Ledgewood, New Jersey

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Have I mentioned how spoiled and pampered a Roxiticus Desperate Housewife I am? Ever since we moved out here to the Roxiticus Valley from New York City in October 2003, my hairdresser, Madeline (who has been doing my haircuts and highlights for over 25 years), has been making house calls. Every six weeks, she comes out and keeps these goldilocks looking their best, cuts Rex’s hair, and gives London and Maddie a trim, too. We’ll drink a little wine, enjoy some girl talk, and my hair looks terrific at the end of the night. Yay me!

While you can’t get this amazing service in your own home, if you live in Morris County, you can call and make an appointment with Madeline at The Arrangement Salon and Day Spa in Ledgewood, New Jersey. Phone (973) 584-5101. Go ahead, it’s a new back to school year… Set yourself up with an appointment with Madeline…ask for Roxy’s special cut and two-color blondest blonde and strawberry blonde highlights treatment….there, my secret’s out!

Jun
13

Our Cockapoo Puppy Peanut Butter’s Progress with the Family Dog of Morris County, NJ

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Hard to believe it’s been three weeks since we drove up to Mulberry Farm in Duchess County, New York to bring home our beloved cockapoo puppy, Peanut Butter. You can see from the photos that little Peanut Butter has settled right in with our family. As I write this post, Rex is out in the garden, London is on the couch recovering from a sleepover party, and Peanut Butter and Maddie are cuddled up for a nap. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. In fact, despite all of my previous research, I’m still wishing for a book called “What to Expect When You’re Expecting… A Puppy!!” Lucky for us, we’ve had our own personal PuppyNanny911, Justine Schuurmans of The Family Dog, to help us every step of the way. Scroll down for more details on each of our “Private Lessons.”

Serving Roxy and family right here in Mendham, NJ as well as those of you in Morristown and Morris County, NJ, The Family Dog is a local Morris and Somerset County service just like Super Nanny or Nanny 911, only for dogs! What I’ve learned from my Dog Whisperer books and videos so far is that while it’s great to take your new puppy to obedience school, it’s the people who really need the training, and most families need help where it counts - at home. That’s where The Family Dog comes in…. two fun-loving, long-time professional dog trainers who are juggling a full schedule, with four dogs and four children under six between them. They both teach classes at St. Huberts, but realize that families need a different kind of help.

The Family Dog is the only dog training company in the area that is specifically designed for FAMILIES! When I first spoke with Justine, I realized that their approach is really designed to fit in with my busy schedule…and, as I remind both my loyal readers and my mother, I’m not really a housewife, nor do I play one on TV… I’m a full-time investment banker and mother of two. Clearly I need to make time for our new puppy, but it is great to know that Justine understands and can help me to develop a schedule that enables the whole family to share the responsibility for Peanut Butter. No matter how long you’ve had your dog, The Family Dog has a program that will ensure the best possible future for him or her. Justine and/or her partner, Leah Hatley (who is based out of Morristown, NJ), can help prepare you and your family for a new dog, give your puppy the best start in life, create good habits for your adolescent dog, and help your children learn the best ways to respect and nurture your four-legged friend. Each of your training sessions will be conveniently held in your own home.
That means NO traveling, NO scheduling conflicts and you will be practicing in the place you need it most!

So far, we’ve had three “lessons.”

  1. Justine met with our whole family before Peanut Butter’s arrival to do some puppy-proofing around the house. She brought her own dogs to coach us and gave London and Maddie a private session before our puppy arrived with hands-on practice. We had all the info and training we needed to set off on the right foot. So much is in the preparation, and and we were writing our term paper on the night before it was due. That day, Justine emphasized the importance of socializing our puppy before she’s 16 weeks old, including a “Puppy Bingo” game for London and Maddie to check off important “meetings” such as a toddler, a deliveryman, a motorcycle, and an elderly person (now that my mom is in a rehab/nursing home facility, Peanut Butter has become one of the most charming and popular visitors).
  2. A few days after Peanut Butter came to live with us, Justine came to meet our new puppy, and showed London and Maddie how to teach PB to sit, using “meatball” treats. We learned that Peanut Butter is a really, really smart dog. The girls learned the difference between kid vs. adult responsibilities, and Justine gave us a dry-erase schedule to post on our refrigerator to keep track of PB’s “activities.” When we struggled with accidents in the house, Justine told us a fabulous story about the Planet Dogtronis that made PB’s potty confusion completely understandable. She also taught London and Maddie how to turn into “the Grumpy Old Troll” when Peanut Butter nipped, jumped, or got too excited.
  3. The next lesson started with a family meeting to address our housebreaking concerns. From the beginning, Justine had encouraged us to follow the tried and true crate training method, but I had rebelled against the crate due to a bad experience in my past. Over the first two weeks, she continued to work around my issues, but when PB continued to make mistakes (”The world is my toilet”), Justine convinced me to borrow her crate for a week to give it a try…it worked so well and quickly that we made a quick trip to Petco for short-term crate of PB’s very own. After dealing with the “grown-up” issues, we moved on to the fun stuff. Justine showed the girls how to teach Peanut Butter “down” and “wait” (for her food) and “roll over.” By the end of the lesson, London and Maddie had Peanut Butter eating out of their hands….literally and figuratively. If only “pee OUTSIDE” were so simple.

In between lessons, Justine has been available for puppy emergencies (e.g., evil Petco salesman who refused to leave the aisle unless I bought a hideous cage instead of a plastic crate) by phone and email. Stay tuned until next time, when we conquer puppy separation anxiety on the grown-up wish list and swimming and “fetch” on the kid wish list.

The Family Dog, serving Morris and Somerset Counties with DogNanny 911 services from Mendham and Morristown, NJ.

Phone: (973) 910-0364. Be sure to let Justine know that Roxy sent you!!

Mar
07

Roxy’s Best Of… Morris County, NJ Summer Camps (as well as a few in Somerset County, NJ)

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Now that the weather has warmed up and the snow has melted, the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives are ready to get serious about summer camp 2010. As usual, I’ll do my best to cover the camps my kids have tried, and the ones my friends recommend. Some of my favorites haven’t posted all the details on their 2010 camp programs, but I’ll provide a summary of last year’s program now and update the dates and details as soon as they become available.

Mendham Township Elementary School Pathways to Learning Summer Camp:
While Mendham Township Elementary School has not yet posted this year’s details, I can highly recommend Pathways to Learning Summer Camp that former Superintendent Christine Johnson launched in the summer of 2007. In their first experience with Pathways in 2007, my girls attended the camp’s first two weeks in July and begged me to go back for the final week in August. The MTES Cub Camp was the perfect way for Maddie, at the time a rising kindergartner, to get to know some of the other kids she’d be in class with in September, and to get to know her way around the elementary school ahead of time. Camp is open to all children (from rising kindergartners through eighth grade) in Mendham Township and the surrounding communities.

In summer 2008, the Pathways to Learning Camp returned to MTES, running June 24 through August 1st, with expanded hours (8:30am - 2:00pm). We took advantage of the camp bus service that picked the girls up in the morning, but our nanny or Rex or I picked the girls up at the end of the camp day. While I had assumed that, without Christine Johnson at the helm, the camp would be less enriching than the prior summer, London and Maddie insisted they had even more fun during their two week Summer 2008 stint, possibly because Mr. Gallo (the MTES Technology teacher) was their camp counselor.

London and Maddie were too busy with other camps and activities to go back to Pathways last summer, but I suspect that this summer, with the new MCAW programs introduced to Pathways to Learning during this school year, Summer Camp at Mendham Township Elementary School will be back and better than ever. If camp is organized as it has been in the past, campers will be grouped by grade levels in order to provide appropriate activities and meaningful experiences.

  • Cub Camp - For students entering Kindergarten in September 2010
  • Junior Tiger Camp - For students entering 1st and 2nd grades in September 2010
  • Tiger Camp - For students entering 3rd and 4th grades in September 2010
  • Bulldog Camp - For students entering 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades in September 2010

If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that this year’s Pathways to Learning Summer Camp will run six weeks starting June 28th, ending on August 6th, though it would be terrific if Pathways extended the program for eight weeks through August 20th. Campers will spend an action packed week or weeks (you can sign up for 1 week or all 6 weeks or any number in between) engaged in activities such as creative fitness & sports games, visual and performing arts, challenges & contests to build teamwork & personal leadership skills, technology, theme days, literacy and math enrichment & skills reinforcement, and hands-on science projects. Certified teachers, district administrators, and junior camp counselors will staff the camp. In addition, a certified nurse will be on-site at all times. The MTES camp sounds “educational” but my girls never felt like they were in school, they were having too much fun!

Transportation and food services are also available at an extra cost. My kids won’t eat anything but mom’s home-made peanut butter sandwiches, but there’s a round-trip (or one way) bus option that worked well for us one summer.

The MTES Pathways to Learning Summer Camp is a great value if you don’t need full-day day care. At some of the “country club” camps mentioned below, you could pay $1,000 for one week of camp.

Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars:
London and Maddie have now attended the Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars Musical Theatre Camp for three summers, and we’ll be back again this year for four or five weeks. The camp runs 8 weeks, with a big show towards the end of camp where you’ll see your kids (and other talented summer stars) strut their stuff on stage at the Bernardsville Presbyterian Church. Annie hasn’t announced precise dates yet, but my best guess based on last year’s dates would be June 14th through August 6th, although due to all of the snow this winter, London and Maddie will be in school through June 25th, so we’d prefer a schedule that runs June 21st through August 13th.

Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars. Phone: (908) 658- 3002. Please be sure to let Annie know that Roxy sent you.

Pavan’s Tennis Academy Summer Camp has moved to Flanders Valley Tennis Club

On and off for the past four years, London and Maddie have taken tennis lessons with Pavan’s Tennis Academy at Fox Chase Tennis in Chester, NJ, and Pavan also runs an awesome summer tennis camp for kids of all ages (kindergarten through high school). Last summer, London and Maddie spent three hours a day with Pavan for one week in August and both girls dramatically improved their strokes and presence on the tennis court.

As I posted over on Roxy’s Best Of… Chester, NJ, in May 2010, Pavan is leaving Fox Chase and moving to Flanders Valley Tennis Club with an all new summer tennis camp for all ages and skill levels that will run 10 weeks from June 21st through August 27th. Phone 973-479-1329. Please be sure to let Pavan know that Roxy sent you.

Randolph Gymnastics

Randolph Gymnastics in Randolph, NJ, where London and Maddie are training for the Olympics, will offer a 10-week Summer Day Camp Gymnastics program from June 28th through August 27th. Both a full and half day camp schedule is available. The full day runs from 9:00am through 4:00pm and half day runs 9:00am through -1:00pm. Before and after care is available if needed. The minimum age for Randolph Gymnastics Summer Day Camp is five years old. Some of the camp’s activities will include: recreational gymnastics & open work-out, arts & crafts, games and races, swimming, non-contact team sports, and a climbing wall. The schedule is flexible, and you’ll find rates on the Randolph Gymnastics web site for one to five days per week and one to ten weeks of camp. Phone (973) 584-4111. Please be sure to let Shannon know that Roxy sent you.

Garden State Ballet:

Garden State Ballet, where London and Maddie attend weekly ballet classes, will offer a summer program at each of its three locations in Randolph, Rutherford, and Newark, NJ. Last year, London and Maddie experimented with modern dance and found that they enjoy it even more than ballet… now both of my girls have added weekly modern dance classes and will dance in two different workshops in this year’s recital.

Girl Scout Camp

Last summer, London and Maddie tried Girl Scout Camp in Jockey Hollow for the first time and loved it. I’ll write more about their experience soon, but for now I’ll give you the link for Girl Scout Camp 2010 and let you know that the camp has my girls’ seal of approval and they will be headed back for one or two weeks this summer. There are one night sleepover opportunities for rising 3rd graders and up… last year London had a blast with an extra free swim, songs and stories by the campfire, and trying out her sleeping bag in one of the cabins.

Word of Mouth Summer Camps, Untested by this Roxiticus Desperate Housewife:

We have friends who swear by Harbor Hills Day Camp in Randolph, NJ. Since I have a nanny (remember, I’m an investment banker, not really a housewife), I’m not really interested in putting my kids on a bus at 8 in the morning and not seeing them again until 4 or 4:30pm. However, if you’re looking for a full day camp with round-trip bus service and all the “country club” extras your kids can imagine (swimming, bungee jumping, go carts, etc.), Harbor Hills may be the place for you.

Hi-Hills Day Camp at Gill St. Bernards is right down the street from us in Gladstone, NJ. Cheaper than Harbor Hills but not quite as luxurious, Hi-Hills does offer horseback riding.

Meadowbrook Country Day Camp in Long Valley, NJ is another option if you’re looking for full day care, want to spend a bit less than you would at Harbor Hills, and want your kids to have a more outdoorsy camp experience (e.g., fishing instead of bungee jumping). My good friend and fellow Roxiticus Desperate Housewife, Lynette, has twins who have enjoyed the camp for the past two summers, and one of my loyal readers left the following comment: “My 2 children have attended Meadowbrook for the past 2 summers (and attended Valley Brook, the adjoining preschool and kindergarten school). They have had a wonderful time, had tremendous supervision (pools have always scared me at camps!) and have made long time friends. Wonderful summers at Meadowbrook.”

Roxy’s Mailbag received a rave for Soulshine Farm Summer Camp in Randolph, NJ: Yoga, farm activities, organic food!

More from Roxy’s Mailbag: Are you doing another post this year about camps? If so, I would love to give you information about the camp my kids have attended for the past 9 summers, headed into our 10th. I also work for the camp. It’s JCC Camp Deeny Riback in Flanders. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have on the camp. Thanks — Lauren.

Please see the comments on this post for a thoughtful review of Stonybrook Day Camp in Randolph, NJ.

If you have a favorite summer camp that you’d like to share with Roxy’s Best Of… readers, please leave a comment on this post or contact Roxy. With your input, I’d love to be able to expand Roxy’s Best Of… summer camp recommendations beyond Morris County NJ and Somerset County NJ.

Jan
30

Mansions in May Comes to Harding Township, NJ, in 2010

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Maddie, our family weather girl, tells me that it is 14 degrees outside and feels like zero, so it is hard to believe spring will ever arrive… but I just read in our local paper that Mansions in May is coming to Harding Township, New Jersey, this year.  I’ll post more details and maybe a photo soon.

The Women’s Association of Morristown Memorial Hospital (WAMMH) is pleased to announce its 15th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens at Fawn Hill Farm in Harding Township, New Jersey. Proceeds from the May 2010 event will be directed toward the $25 million expansion of the Emergency Department at Morristown Memorial Hospital. Last renovated in 1993 to serve 50,000 patients per year, the Emergency Department is now approaching 80,000 visits per year with a 4% annual growth rate.

“The Mansion in May is our signature fundraiser,” said Tina Mulhare, President of WAMMH. “We are very excited to showcase Fawn Hill Farm this year; it is an exquisite property. After evaluating over 100 proposals, 36 interior designers and 18 landscape designers were selected to create unique spaces around the property.”

The 34-acre estate, originally named Graymar Farm, traces back to 1937 when businessman Allan Kirby, the president of Alleghany Corporation, purchased part of a large farm located in prestigious New Vernon. The farm remained in the Kirby family until 1980. A few years later, the estate was acquired by its current owners, renamed, and greatly enhanced through a meticulous restoration of the main house and other buildings.

Fawn Hill Farm, one of the largest intact estates within the New York City tri-state area, is replete with picturesque pastures, ponds, stable and barns and adjoins miles of equestrian trails that lace Harding Township. At the heart of the estate sits a gracious 21-room stone manor perched atop a knoll, affording sweeping views of the countryside. This classic structure with a slate roof and colonnaded rear terrace boasts extensive moldings, arched doorways, pegged hardwood flooring, seven distinctive fireplaces, seven bedrooms and a grand wainscoted foyer with an elegant Georgian staircase.

The WAMMH has been a driving force and supporting presence since the hospital’s earliest days. The Association has over 750 members and raises more than $700,000 annually for the hospital. The Mansion in May is the most profitable event, generating over $5 million for Morristown Memorial Hospital since its inception in 1974.

WAMMH’s 2008 Mansion in May at Froh Heim involved over 1,000 individuals volunteering in excess of 12,000 hours in the Showhouse and Gardens. Over 18,000 visitors attend the Mansion during the month of May. Volunteer to work at the mansion during May by emailing MIMvolunteer@optonline.net or call the Volunteer Hotline at 973-971-8800.

Mansion in May - Fawn Hill Farm will be open for the entire month of May. To learn more visit www.WAMMH.com or www.MansioninMay.com. Fawn Hill Farm is available for sale. Contact Mary Horn of Weichert Realtors at 973-713-9489.

Dec
12

Garden State Ballet Youth Company Performs the Nutcracker Today: Saturday, December 12th at Holy Family School in Florham Park, NJ

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The Nutcracker will be performed by the School of the Garden State Ballet’s Youth Company on Saturday, December 12th at Holy Family School in Florham Park, NJ.  There will be two performances: 3pm and 7pm.  Tickets for the 3pm performance are $5.00 each (family maximum of $25); tickets for the 7pm performance are $7.00 each (family maximum of $35). For tickets contact: Ruby Sanchez: 973.462.6402 email: rub1 at optonline dot net or Amy DeFranco 973.216.0626 email: defr1234 at aol dot com.

Additional Garden State Ballet Youth Company Nutcracker Performances are scheduled as follows:

  • Secaucus High School on Friday, December 18th at 7:00pm
  • Rutherford Public Library on Sunday, December 20th at 3:00pm.

London and Maddie take ballet and modern dance lessons at the Garden State Ballet Randolph Studio.  Although our girls won’t be performing in this year’s Nutcracker, Rex and I wanted London and Maddie to see their friends dance, and determine whether they’d like to make that serious dance commitment next year.  We’re going to see today’s 3pm show, and will report back.

Jul
03

Fourth of July 2009 Fireworks and Parades in Morris and Somerset County, NJ

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In addition to the Dancing in the Street” Parade in Mendham Township, NJ featuring Martha Reeves and the Vandellas this year, and the Fourth of July Fireworks event at North Branch Park in Bridgewater, NJ, there are Independence Day celebrations going on all over the Morris County and Somerset County areas. Here are just a few highlights I found online:

Bridgewater Township: Saturday, July 4, 2009. Washington Campground Association’s annual one-hour Fourth of July ceremony will take place at 10:00am at the Middlebrook Encampment Site at Mountain Avenue and Middlebrook Road. It will include a retiring of the colors by an honor guard, followed by the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Sallie de Barcza, a direct descendant of John Hancock. 5:00pm North Branch Park on Milltown Road. Family festival with live musical entertainment. Activities include a moonwalk, giant slide and cartoon characters for children, Revolutionary War-period groups and other attractions. Live music will be performed by Bounce Ooolala and Daniel, Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns and Fortune. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. For all the details, check online (somersetcountyparks.org) or call (908) 722-1200, ext. 225.

Chatham: Chatham Borough’s annual Fourth of July parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday on Hillside Avenue and continues down Main Street to Chatham Middle School, 480 Main Street. A picnic on the school grounds begins after the parade, with hot dogs and other refreshments. Fireworks are scheduled at dusk. For more information, please call (973) 635-9090.

Chester: The West Morris Community Band presents an Independence Day weekend concert at Chubb Park (off Routes 24 and 206) on Friday, July 3rd at 7:00 p.m. For details please call (908) 879-5100. On Saturday, July 4th, an Independence Day celebration will take place from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Cooper Mill on Route 513. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and blanket or folding chair. Admission is $3, $2 for seniors and $1 for ages 4-16. Call (908) 879-5463.

Denville: A Fourth of July band concert will kick off activities at Gardner Field, just off Route 46 West at Savage Road from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by fireworks. Call (908) 964-0026.

Dover: Holiday activities begin with food, refreshments and musical entertainment by Tropical Storm at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd on Hamilton Field, 302 E. McFarlan Street at Route 46. Fireworks start at 9:45 p.m. For more information, please call (973) 366-2200.

East Hanover: Festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th, in Lurker Park on Eagle Rock Avenue including children’s rides, pony rides, food, refreshments, DJ music and games. At 8:00pm, Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra will perform, followed by fireworks at dusk. Call (973) 428-3091 for details.

Flemington: The Flemington-Raritan Recreation Committee will sponsor fireworks at the Reading-Fleming Intermediate School on Allen Street at dusk Friday. Call (908) 284-7501.

Florham Park: Independence Day events begin with a flag-raising ceremony at Firehouse No. 1 on Brooklake Road at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 4th. A parade steps off at 9:30 a.m., rain or shine, at Ridgedale Avenue and Brooklake Road. A family picnic will be held on the borough hall lawn at Ridgedale Avenue and Elm Street from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with children’s rides, games, pony rides, a petting zoo and the Saint Barnabas “Fire Safety House.” Fireworks are scheduled for about 9 p.m. Look online (www.fpjuly4th.com/schedule.html) for more details.

Franklin Township (Somerset County): Food vendors, inflatable children’s amusements, crafts, games and a clothesline arts exhibition will take place at the municipal complex, 475 DeMott Lane in Somerset, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Parking will be available at the Sampson G. Smith School. Call (732) 873-2500.

Glen Gardner: There will be firetruck rides for children Saturday in celebration of Independence Day. The first truck will depart Glen Gardner Borough Park at School Street and Hampton Road at 10 a.m. and rides continue until noon. Call (908) 537-2370.

High Bridge: In addition to hosting its sixth annual traditional Fourth of July celebration Saturday at the Solitude House Museum, 7 River Road, High Bridge will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Lake Solitude Falls. There will be free food, including hot dogs, soda, ice cream, popcorn and snow-cones, and entertainment by Billy D. Hunter. The High Bridge Mini-Historians will read their compositions from this year’s competition. Call (908) 638-3200.

Lebanon: The 62nd annual Lebanon Borough Fourth of July parade will kick off 10 a.m. Saturday with a theme of “Many Faces, One Nation.” It will run from Main Street to Myrtle Avenue, then down Brunswick Avenue, Beforehand, there will be a baby parade at 9:30 a.m. on Sutton Place, and a “Borough Students of the Month” presentation at 9:50 a.m. in Holjes-Sheppard Park, 6 Maple St. behind Lebanon Borough Elementary School. Call (908) 236-8464.

Lincoln Park: Paired with the grand opening of the Jerry and Dolores Turco Medical Rehab Center, the Lincoln Park Care Center at 499 Pine Brook Road will host a variety of activities 6 p.m. Saturday, including carnival games, pie-eating contests, a moonwalk, an “Elmo & Friends Revue,” an obstacle course, face-painting, watermelon-eating and hula hoop contests, rock climbing, balloon-making and a DJ. Foods will be available, and fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. Call (973) 696-3300.

Mendham Township: Saturday, July 4, 2009, 9:00am. “Dancing in the Street” parade down Main Street in Brookside.

Morristown: A Fourth of July celebration is scheduled to begin noon on Saturday, July 4th, at Washington’s Headquarters Museum in Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place. Stories, riddles, jokes and an inspection of the troops will precede a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 1p.m. Costumed park rangers will denounce tyranny and praise liberty, and the festivities will conclude with celebratory musket volleys. Call (908) 879-5463. Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Road, will host a patriotic celebration from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 5th, with old-time games. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lunch. Admission is $6; $5 for seniors; $4 for ages 4-16; $2 for ages 2-3. Call (973) 326-7645.

Mount Arlington: A fireworks display over Lake Hopatcong will begin at dusk Thursday, sponsored by the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club, 75 Bertrand Road. Call (973) 398-4324.

North Plainfield: The 4th of July Parade begins at 10:00am on Saturday at Wilson Avenue and Greenbrook Road and ends at the North Plainfield Community Center on Clinton Avenue. The honorary grand marshal is the North Plainfield Volunteer Rescue Squad, celebrating 60 years of service. Call (908) 769-2902 for detais. On Sunday, July 5th, there will be a concert by Mylan starting at 7:30 p.m. at West End School, with fireworks to follow at dusk. Call (908) 769-2900 for more informations.

Parsippany: The annual Parsippany fireworks display will take place at dusk Saturday at Parsippany Hills High School, 309 Baldwin Road. Call (973) 263-7001.

Randolph: Randolph’s annual Independence Day parade will be held at noon on Friday, July 3rd, beginning at Dover Chester Road and Randolph Avenue and marching to the County College of Morris. It will be followed by a Freedom Festival Fair from 2 to 11 p.m. at the college. The fair will continue on Saturday, from 2 to 11 p.m., with fireworks set to begin at 9:45 p.m. Call (973) 442-7608. Nash Dancenter at 10-12 Emery Ave. will host a Fourth of July party with a picnic-themed ballroom and Latin dance social 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Participants are invited to dress in casual red, white and blue clothing. Admission is $20. Call (973) 328-7979.

Somerville: Somerville, where Roxy went to high school way back when, marks the 100th anniversary of its historic courthouse from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd with music, children’s games and entertainment, all part of an event called Picnic on the Green. The courthouse is at 20 N. Bridge Street. Call (908) 231-7110 for details.

If any of you Roxiticus Desperate Housewives out there attend these events, we hope you’ll come back here and share a comment with the rest of us. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Jun
19

Awesome News! MRC Cleaners Found My Pants!

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Even before he could distribute the $100 Reward flyer for my missing pants to MRC Cleaners’ customers, our regular dry cleaning delivery guy, Javier, came running back to the door. “Are these your pants?” he said, handing me my favorite pair of Yves Saint Laurent pants that match the jacket in the photo, as well as the navy blue ones and a pink striped shirt. “Hooray!” Rex and I shouted, knowing that now I’ll have clothes to wear to all of our very important meetings coming up at work.

Jun
19

Have You Seen My Pants? $100 Reward for Safe Return to MRC Cleaners in Cedar Knolls

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In mid-May, I sent in two pairs of pants to MRC Cleaners in Cedar Knolls, NJ (via their convenient home pickup and delivery service) to be dry cleaned. My favorite pair of pants matches the jacket in the photo: black pin-striped ladies’ Yves Saint Laurent, originally European size 42, but tailored to a smaller fit. The other missing pants are plain navy, women’s size 10, either Donna Karan/DKNY or Dana Buchman.

Please check your closets and recent dry cleaning orders. If my pants turned up in your dry cleaning order by mistake, please contact MRC Cleaners at (973) 267-4430.
Thank you!

I’m sending in a few hundred of these fliers to MRC Cleaners tomorrow, along with my most recent laundry and dry cleaning order, with the hope that management will distribute them to all of their customers…. we’ll hope to have a happy ending to post soon.

Jun
14

Summer Camp Plans Coming Together in Morris County and Somerset County NJ…Just In Time for the Last Day of School

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I can’t believe we’re coming up on the last day of school, but Rex and I have attended two year-end celebrations:  Maddie’s Incredible Kid Day in the first grade, and London’s Beatnik Poetry Cafe in the second grade.  Luckily, Roxy and the other Roxiticus Desperate Housewives have made our kids’ plans for summer camp 2009.  In case you’re still figuring it out for your family, I’ll do my best to cover the camps my kids have tried, and the ones my friends recommend.

Mendham Township Elementary School Pathways to Learning Summer Camp:
For starters, I can highly recommend the Mendham Township Elementary School Pathways to Learning Summer Camp that former Superintendent Christine Johnson launched in the summer of 2007. In their first experience with Pathways in 2007, my girls attended the camp’s first two weeks in July and begged me to go back for the final week in August. The MTES Cub Camp was the perfect way for Maddie, at the time a rising kindergartner, to get to know some of the other kids she’d be in class with in September, and to get to know her way around the elementary school ahead of time. Camp is open to all children (from rising kindergartners through eighth grade) in Mendham Township and the surrounding communities.

Last summer, the Pathways to Learning Camp returned to MTES, running June 24 through August 1st, 2008, with expanded hours (8:30am - 2:00pm). We took advantage of the camp bus service that picked the girls up in the morning, but our nanny or Rex or I picked the girls up at the end of the camp day. While I had assumed that, without Christine Johnson at the helm, the camp would be less enriching than the prior summer, London and Maddie insisted they had even more fun during their two week Summer 2008 stint, possibly because Mr. Gallo (the MTES Technology teacher) was their camp counselor.

While my girls will not be attending this summer, the Pathways to Learning Summer Camp at Mendham Township Elementary School is back (with shorter hours, now 8:30am-12:30pm) and promises fun and enrichment for all under the guidance of our new Superintendent, Kristopher Harrison. Campers will be grouped by grade levels in order to provide appropriate activities and meaningful experiences.

  • NEW!  Pre-K Cub Camp — children entering or presently attending pre-school (note higher price of $450/week and abbreviated hours: 8:30am-11am)
  • Cub Camp - For students entering Kindergarten in September 2009
  • Junior Tiger Camp - For students entering 1st and 2nd grades in September 2009
  • Tiger Camp - For students entering 3rd and 4th grades in September 2009
  • Bulldog Camp - For students entering 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades in September 2009

This year’s Pathways to Learning Summer Camp will run six weeks starting June 22nd and ending on July 31st.  Campers will spend an action packed week or weeks (you can sign up for 1 week or all 6 weeks or any number in between) engaged in activities such as creative fitness & sports games, visual and performing arts, challenges & contests to build teamwork & personal leadership skills, technology, theme days, literacy and math enrichment & skills reinforcement, and hands-on science projects. Certified teachers, district administrators, and junior camp counselors will staff the camp. In addition, a certified nurse will be on-site at all times. The MTES camp sounds “educational” but my girls never felt like they were in school, they were having too much fun!

Transportation and food services are also available at an extra cost. My kids won’t eat anything but mom’s home-made peanut butter and honey sandwiches, but there’s a round-trip (or one way) bus option that worked well for us last year.

For all but the pre-K Cub Camp, the camp tuition is $269 per week, or you can pay $1,599 to register for all six weeks. The MTES Pathways to Learning Summer Camp is a great value if you don’t need full-day day care. At some of the “country club” camps mentioned below, you could pay $1,000 for one week of camp.

Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars:
My girls have also attended the Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars Musical Theatre Camp for two summers, and we’ll be back again this year. The camp runs 8 weeks, with a big show towards the end of camp where you’ll see your kids (and other talented summer stars) strut their stuff on stage at the Bernardsville Presbyterian Church. This year, Summer Stars starts tomorrow (June 15th) while London and Maddie are still in school, and runs through Friday, August 14th with the Big Show on Friday evening, August 7th.

Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars. Phone: (908) 658- 3002. Please be sure to let Annie know that Roxy sent you.

Pavan’s Tennis Academy at Fox Chase Tennis Club in Chester, NJ

Over at Pavan’s Tennis Academy at Fox Chase Tennis Club, Pavan is running his awesome tennis camp for kids of all ages (kindergarten through high school) for nine (9) weeks this summer, starting Monday, June 22nd through Friday, August 21st. London and Maddie spent three hours a day with Pavan for one week in August last summer and both girls dramatically improved their strokes and presence on the tennis court.  Pricing for the one hour (Monday-Friday, 9am-10a) Quick Start Tennis program is $130 per week. The three-hour (9am-noon) Beginner and Low Intermediate (age 9 and up) program is $330 per week, or you can register for two hours (10a-noon) for $250/week. The four hour Hot Shots (USTA Players’ Development, Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate — USTA and high school age) program is $420 per week.

Phone 908-879-5231. Please be sure to let Pavan know that Roxy sent you.

Randolph Gymnastics

Randolph Gymnastics in Randolph, NJ, where London and Maddie are training for the Olympics, will offer a 10-week Summer Day Camp program from June 29th through August 28th. Both a full and half day camp schedule is available. The full day runs from 9:00am through 4:00pm and half day runs 9:00am through -1:00pm. Before and after care is available if needed. The minimum age for Randolph Gymnastics Summer Day Camp is five years old. Some of the camp’s activities will include: recreational gymnastics & open work-out, arts & crafts, games and races, swimming, non-contact team sports, and a climbing wall. The schedule is flexible, and you’ll find rates on the Randolph Gymnastics web site for one to five days per week and one to ten weeks of camp. Phone (973) 584-4111. Please be sure to let Shannon know that Roxy sent you.

Garden State Ballet:

Garden State Ballet, where London and Maddie attend weekly ballet classes, will offer a summer program at each of its three locations in Randolph, Rutherford, and Newark, NJ.

Word of Mouth Summer Camps, Untested by this Roxiticus Desperate Housewife:

We have friends who swear by Harbor Hills Day Camp in Randolph, NJ. Since I have an nanny (remember, I’m an investment banker, not really a housewife), I’m not really interested in putting my kids on a bus at 8 in the morning and not seeing them again until 4 or 4:30pm. However, if you’re looking for a full day camp with round-trip bus service and all the “country club” extras your kids can imagine (swimming, bungee jumping, go carts, etc.), Harbor Hills may be the place for you.

Hi-Hills Day Camp at Gill St. Bernards is right down the street from us in Gladstone, NJ. Cheaper than Harbor Hills but not quite as luxurious, Hi-Hills does offer horseback riding.

Meadowbrook Country Day Camp in Long Valley, NJ is another option if you’re looking for full day care, want to spend a bit less than you would at Harbor Hills, and want your kids to have a more outdoorsy camp experience (e.g., fishing instead of bungee jumping). My good friend and fellow Roxiticus Desperate Housewife, Lynette, has twins who have enjoyed the camp for the past two summers, and one of my loyal readers left the following comment: “My 2 children have attended Meadowbrook for the past 2 summers (and attended Valley Brook, the adjoining preschool and kindergarten school). They have had a wonderful time, had tremendous supervision (pools have always scared me at camps!) and have made long time friends. Wonderful summers at Meadowbrook.”

Roxy’s Mailbag received a rave for Soulshine Farm Summer Camp in Randolph, NJ: Yoga, farm activities, organic food!

If you have a favorite summer camp that you’d like to share with Roxy’s Best Of… readers, please leave a comment on this post or contact Roxy.