Roxy’s Best Of… Bernardsville, New Jersey

The Best of Bernardsville, NJ, from kid stuff (including summer camp) to restaurants to shopping

Jan
30

Wishing London a Happy 8th Birthday at The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, New Jersey

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As my loyal readers know, we’ve got a big celebration weekend planned for London’s 8th birthday.  It started at home last night with Rex’s famous rack of lamb from Louie at the Chester Meat Market, followed by a chocolate layer cake from Cocoluxe in Peapack-Gladstone.  The festivities continue with dinner tonight at the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, New Jersey, then on to the big birthday bash in Newark, NJ with three of London’s BFFs and their moms for the matinee performance of Cirque Eloize in Nebbia at NJPAC on Saturday afternoon.

For tonight’s dinner, we’ve requested London and Maddie’s favorite seat by the piano, but there’s apparently a gentleman who enjoys that spot more often than our family, dining out at the Bernards Inn every Friday night… we’ll have to see if he’s there tonight.  You may have noticed that I’m licking my lips in anticipation, as I’ve already reviewed chef Corey Heyer’s winter menus and started to plan my meal.

London the Birthday Girl has her heart set on a hangar steak, while her sister Maddie may have another rack of lamb, but for Rex and me, the Winter 2009 tasting menu includes:

TUNA SASHIMI, SALMON TARTARE, OYSTER
white soy, sesame, & green apple vinaigrette, spicy clementine, Szechuan mignonette
Veuve Clicquot “Yellow Label” Brut Reims NV
Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne Brut Reims NV
OR
GRATIN OF JUMBO LUMP CRAB
ruby red grapefruit, mâche, celery leaf, radish, vanilla sabayon, rye crouton
Matanzas Creek Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley CA 2006
Château de Puligny Montrachet, Clos du Château 2006

KATAIFI WRAPPED SHRIMP
chorizo, grapes, roasted almond & shrimp broth, garlic chips
Wente “Riva Ranch” Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco, Monterey CA 2007
Ramey Cellars Chardonnay, Russian River Valley CA 2006
OR
WARM GOAT CHEESE CROQUETTE
walnuts, tian of beet & mango, blood orange, salad of endive & pickled red onion
Naveran Reserve Brut Cava Blanc de Blanc, Cataluna, Spain NV
Paul Laurent Champagne Brut, Epernay NV

CORIANDER & SESAME-CRUSTED GROUPER
salsify, roasted pears, pearl onions, root vegetable pearls, Thai basil & star anise essence
Four Graces Pinot Blanc, Willamette OR 2006
Domaine Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve, Alsace 2004

OR
PACIFIC KING SALMON
braised romaine, black trumpet mushrooms, cauliflower cream, apple cider & pink peppercorn glaze
Bouchaine Vineyards Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley CA 2005
Spätburgunder Pinot Noir, Malterdinger, Huber, Baden, Germany 2004

CERVENA VENISON
port wine-braised red cabbage, mushroom & herb crêpe, kumquat chutney, clove jus
Tandem Winery “Peleton” CA 2005
Viader Vineyards “Dare” Tempranillo, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley CA 2005
OR
CRISPY SLOW-COOKED SUCKLING PIG
MacIntosh apple purée, bacon-wrapped peanut butter-stuffed dates, black cardamom jus
Tamarack “Firehouse Red,” Walla Walla Valley WA 2006
Lail Vineyards “Blueprint,” Napa Valley CA 2004

A SELECTION OF ARTISANAL CHEESE
Graham’s 10 Year Tawny Port
Graham’s 30 Year Tawny Port

DESSERT TASTING
almond mousse-stuffed poached Seckel pear, warm pumpkin tartlet topped with marshmallow,
apple cider ice cream
Ste. Chapelle Winery Riesling “Ice Wine,” Southwest Idaho 2006
Dobogo Mylitta Irabella Tokaj Late Harvest, Hungary 2004

Per Person: Without Wine - $85. First Tier of Wine - $135. Second Tier of Wine - $185.

Don’t worry, I’ll delivery mouth-watering photos of all of these tasty delights over the weekend.

Jan
21

Take Home A Piece of Pierre’s Restaurant… Come to the Pierre’s Memorabilia Sale This Friday, January 23rd and Saturday, January 24th, 2009

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It’s too late to enjoy one last meal at Pierre’s Restaurant and WIne Bar in Harding Township, New Jersey, but you can still take home a piece of Pierre’s at the Memorabilia Sale from 9am to 3pm this Friday, January 23rd and Saturday, January 24th.

Sale items include:

  • Bistro chairs;
  • Four sideboards and one corner cabinet;
  • French Bistro glassware and plates;
  • Guy Degrenne and Christofle silverware;
  • Miscellaneous kitchen equipment;
  • Paintings by Philip French;
  • Photographs by Phillippe Vermes;
  • Holiday decorations and decorative plates;
  • Decorative trees and silk flower arrangements;
  • Prints and assorted bric-a-brac

Visit the Pierre’s web site for a video retrospective of happy moments at Pierre’s.

Jan
11

Exposed as a Pack Rat! This Just In from Roxy’s Mailbag: Ready-Set-Organize in Bernardsville, New Jersey

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The other day when I returned to my home office after a snack in the kitchen, I found this anonymous message in ransom note style cut-out letters, taped to my computer:

Dear Roxy,

Someone (one of your fellow Roxiticus Desperate Housewives?  your husband?  your children?) has turned you in… If you don’t get help soon you’ll turn into one of those little old ladies the neighbors find under a stack of old newspapers.  Get it under control… before it gets you…

Sincerely,

A Friend

Note:  Roxy actually made that part up.  The e-mail I received looked more like this:

Dear Roxy,

I would love to get my business featured on your blog - - as a desperate housewife myself (hahahaha) I thought why not network with other desperate housewives?  I am a professional organizer and can help people get their home environments under control….

Thanks for your time - great blog!

Pam Carlson
Ready-Set-Organize!

Dear Pam (and Roxy’s Best Of… Bernardsville, NJ readers),

Since I haven’t yet tried your services (and it shows, just ask my family!), I can’t give you the Roxy’s Best Of… official seal of approval, but I’d be happy to share the information about your Ready-Set-Organize services with my loyal readers.

For those of you who are pack rats like Roxy and end up wasting a lot of time searching for things, take note:  a Professional Organizer enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring organizing skills. Professional Organizers help individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper and their systems for life.  Ready-Set-Organize services include:

Hands-On Work
Residential:  Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Home Office

Business:  Filing System, Budget

Relocation:  Home Staging, Packing, Resettling

Senior Downsizing:  With compassion and understanding, Ready-Set-Organize can facilitate the transition into a smaller home, while preserving precious memories.

Maintenance:  If you need ongoing assistance, Ready-Set-Organize travels to clients’ homes or offices on a regular basis, to help maintain the space (think days of unopened mail, clothes scattered on the closet floor, purses filled with old receipts and loose change, etc.).

Gift Certificates:  Know someone who wants to get organized?  Ready-Set-Organize! offers gift certificates for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays and much more!

Referrals:  Tell your friends, family and co-workers and for every new client you refer, Ready-Set-Organize will give you one free hour of organizing… and if you’re reading this, tell ‘em that Roxy sent you, since you know I need to get the clutter under control… before it gets me!

Ready-Set-Organize!, Bernardsville, NJ. Phone: (973) 818-4728.  Please be sure to tell Pam Carlson that Roxy sent you, and mention promotional code ROXY09 for a 15% discount.

Dec
28

Roxy Raves: A Perfect Christmas Eve at Due Terre Enoteca in Bernardsville, New Jersey

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The weather outside was frightful, but our Christmas Eve dinner at Due Terre was delightful.

All day long, the icy rain poured down.  When Rex went out in the morning to bring in some provisions from Shop Rite in Chester, NJ, I called his Blackberry to suggest that he pick up some ingredients for dinner and just stay home. Rex was hoping for a Christmas Eve miracle that would get us to the 4pm children’s pageant at Hilltop Presbyterian Church in Mendham, NJ, and out for an early festive dinner afterwards. He had read a recent rave review in the Star Ledger of Due Mari in New Brunswick, so he asked me to call for reservations at their sister restaurant… Due Terre Enoteca in Bernardsville, NJ.

When I spoke with Matthew Rotella, the restaurant manager, in the early afternoon, it was clear that Due Terre was pretty well booked for the evening, but he agreed to email the Christmas Eve prix fixe menu and to squeeze us in at 5:30pm, right after church.

Despite the weather, Rex did his best to cheer us into our holiday finery and off to Hilltop Church in time for the Christmas Eve pageant.  As soon as the children began to sing “Jesus, Light of the World,” my spirits lifted and the meaning of Christmas came back to me once more. ”Long after the dawn of creation, God promised another light.  This light would shine through the eyes of a child.  This light would bring hope and love to a world darkened by sin.”  We sang along to the traditional Christmas carols:  “Silent Night,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” “Joy to the World” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” I stopped worrying about whether London would be disappointed if Santa didn’t deliver a Teeny Puppini (he didn’t, she wasn’t), and let myself believe and remember.  We all joined in for “Go Tell It On the Mountain” and headed out into the night holding the light of the world in our hearts.

We headed over to Bernardsville for Christmas Eve dinner, and the rain let up as we arrived at Due Terre.  We found a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  Reviewing the menu ahead of time, we hadn’t known there was a kids’ menu option, and Rex was interested in three appetizers, so we had planned to split three of the prix fixe menus among the four of us.  However, as soon as we arrived, London and Maddie made it clear they craved Due Terre’s special homemade chitarra spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese, and we were thrilled to learn that a plentiful portion came with the kids’ menu at half the price.  As you can see from the beautiful photo on the left, I chose the delicious Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar (Diced Fennel, Green Onion, Caper Crema) as my appetizer, and Rex enjoyed the Lobster Bisque (Poached Shrimp, Cognac) that had tickled his fancy when we perused the menu from home.

My entree, on the left, was the amazing Fresh Chitarra Spaghetti with Lobster, Shrimp, Fresh Tomato, Garlic and Chilies.  With the help of our waiter, Andre, Rex chose the Zuppa Di Pesce (Monkfish, Mussels, Clams, Calamari & Saffron Couscous), pictured on the right.  While the girls and I had nice leftover portions of chitarra spaghetti to enjoy for lunch on Friday, Rex devoured every last bite.

For dessert, London was ecstatic to find her favorite, Tiramisu… a serving that could have fed all four of us.  However, Maddie and I each had our own Tartaletta (Dark Chocolate Cream Filled Tart, White Chocolate Crema, Chocolate Gelato) and Rex chose the Zucca (Pumpkin, Candied Walnuts, Currants, Vanilla Gelato).  The perfect ending to a wonderful Christmas Eve.

If you haven’t made your plans for New Year’s Eve, Due Terre is having a similar festive prix fixe menu and I highly recommend it… a late seating for just the grown-ups to ring in the New Year or an early seating for the whole family.  The price is $50 per person for a three course adult menu, and $25 per person for a two course (entree plus dessert) kids menu.  Call (908) 221-0040 for reservations and be sure to tell ‘em Roxy sent you!

Due Terre Enoteca, 107 Morristown Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. Phone: (908) 221-0040.

Dec
24

We’ve Decided! Christmas Eve Dinner at Due Terre Enoteca in Bernardsville, New Jersey

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I’ve just received the special Christmas Eve Dinner menu from Matthew Rotella, the manager at Due Terre Enoteca in Bernardsville, New Jersey, and we’ve decided… we’re on for an early Christmas Eve dinner at Due Terre tonight after the annual Christmas Pageant at Hilltop Church in Mendham.

I’ve posted the complete menu below, but it looks like we’re going to head out with a plan to share three of the price fixe menus for the four of us.  Rex is looking for three appetizers: Lobster Bisque, Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar, and Mediterranean Mussels. I’m interested in the Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar, followed by the Fresh Chitarra Spaghetti with Lobster, Shrimp, Fresh Tomato, Garlic and Chilies.  London and Maddie will share the Linguine with Clams as well as the Dry Aged Sirloin and try to get the potatoes without the truffles.

Appetizers

 

Mushroom Bisque, Truffle Cream

 

Lobster Bisque, Poached Shrimp, Cognac

 

Field Greens Misticanza Salad, Goat Cheese, White Balsamic Vinegar

 

Stuffed & Fried Calamari, Pomodoro, Toasted Bread Crumbs

 

Mediterranean Grilled Octopus, Ceci Beans, Red Peppers, Olives, and Citrus Vinaigrette

 

Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar, Diced Fennel, Green Onion, Caper Crema

 

Kobe Carpaccio, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Arugula, Parmigiano, Mushroom Crema

 

Mediterranean Mussels, Green Onion Puree, Apple Smoked Bacon, Cherry Tomatoes

 

 

Chef’s Selection of East & West Coast Oysters, Celery Mignonette, and Grapefruit Sorbet

($3.00 surcharge)

 

 

Entrees

 

Linguine Pasta, Clams, Mussels, Garlic, Leeks, White Wine, Red or White Sauce

 

Fresh Chitarra Spaghetti, Lobster, Shrimp, Fresh Tomato, Garlic, and Chillies

 

Ricotta Gnocchi with Jumbo Lump Crab, Cherry Tomatoes, Pomodoro, Uni

 

Garganelli Pasta Quills, Parma Prosciutto, Wild Mushrooms, and White Truffle Butter

 

Zuppa Di Pesce, Monkfish, Mussels, Clams, Calamari & Saffron Couscous

 

Grilled Scottish Salmon, Castelluccio Lentils, Pancetta & Sauteed Greens

Crispy Organic Chicken, Broccoli Rabe, Slab Bacon, Cipollini Onions, Rosemary Potatoes

 

Mixed Grill-Venison Chop, Lamb Loin & Duck Sausage, Caramelized Sweet Potatoes,

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Salsa Verde

($3.00 surcharge)

 

Dry Aged Sirloin, Truffled Potatoes, Broccoli Rabe & Red Wine Sauce

 

Desserts

 

Zucca Pumpkin, Candied Walnuts, Currants, Vanilla Gelato

 

Panna Cotta Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, Passion Fruit Sorbet, Pistachios, Dark Chocolate

 

Tiramisu, Espresso Soaked Lady Fingers and Mascarpone Mousse

 

Tartaletta, Dark Chocolate Cream Filled Tart, White Chocolate Crema, Chocolate Gelato

 

Schiuma di Cioccolato Dark Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Cookie

Homemade Gelato & Sorbetti

Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee

Raspberry, Lemon-Lime, Passion-Fruit

 

Selection of Three Artisanal Cheeses

($3.00 surcharge)

Due Terre Enoteca, 107 Morristown Road, Bernardsville, NJ  07924.  Phone:  (908) 221-0040.

Dec
10

Celebrate Christmas Eve Dinner or Ring in the New Year 2009 at the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, New Jersey

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Rex, London, Maddie and I enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner a couple years back in the dining room at the Bernards Inn. There was something delicious on the menu for each of us, and the evening was joyous and festive in all the right ways. This year on Christmas Eve (Wednesday, December 24th), the Bernards Inn presents two festive dining options that are perfect for entertaining family and friends. Enjoy a three course, prix-fixe dinner in the dining room or an enchanting buffet in the Ballroom. The prix-fixe dinner has seatings from 4:30pm to 8:00pm and is priced at $90.00 for adults and $45.00 for children under age 12. The buffet has seatings from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and is priced at $75.00 for adults, $35.00 for children ages 6 to 12, $15.00 for children ages 2 to 5 and no charge for children under age 2. Roxy has it on good authority that Santa Claus will be at the Inn on Christmas Eve with treats for children of all ages.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style at The Bernards Inn with a special prix-fixe dinner with three or four courses on Wednesday, December 31st. The first seating will be from 6 pm to 7 pm and offers a three-course prix-fixe dinner. Executive Chef Corey Heyer will present a spectacular holiday menu of outstanding appetizers, entrees and desserts. Guests can also enjoy live piano music in the Library Bar. The cost is $110 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (908) 766-0002. Ring in the New Year at the second seating, which will feature a four-course prix-fixe dinner with seatings between 9 pm and 10 pm. The second seating is $170 per person and includes a glass of Champagne and party favors to welcome in the New Year.

For those of you coming in from out of town, or if you’d just like to avoid driving after you ring in the New Year, keep the celebration going all night at the Bernards Inn with a romantic overnight stay for two that includes overnight accommodations in a luxurious guest room, a bottle of champagne nestled in ice, a decadent assortment of chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate truffles, the four-course a la carte dinner (the late seating), a midnight champagne toast, a sterling silver Bernards Inn wine stopper, an a la carte breakfast on New Year’s Day 2009, and late check-out. The Bernards Inn New Year’s Eve Celebration Getaway is priced from $650.00 based on guest room accommodations. Taxes and gratuities are additional. For reservations, call 908-766-0002.

The Bernards Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville, NJ. Phone: (908) 766-0002.

Nov
28

Have a Holly Jolly Holiday…Roxy Heads Down the Holly Trail from Mendham to Bernardsville, New Jersey — Holiday Shopping Events on Saturday, December 6th

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Holly seems to be the theme for holiday shopping in Morris and Somerset Counties here in New Jersey.  Last week, I reported on our plans to participate in Mendham’s Holly Trail 2008, starting with Brownie Girl Scout Christmas Caroling at three locations around town in Mendham.  This week, my other local Recorder Newspaper, The Bernardsville News, has a special section about Bernardsville’s Holly Days celebration.

Bernardsville kicks off Holly Days 2008 with a Holiday Celebration of Music and Art on the evening of Friday, December 5th from 5:00 to 9:00pm:

  • At 5:00pm, the Bernardsville Public Library, 1 Anderson Hill Road, presents Winter Tales, a collection of stories for adults and children 10 and up, with Story Teller Kathy Pierce.
  • At 6:00pm, the Bernardsville United Methodist Church, 22 Church Street, presents a Hand Bell Concert under the direction of Larry Carey.
  • At 7:00pm, the Bernards High School Performing Arts Center, King of Kings Worship Center presents a Festival of Carols on Olcott Avenue.
  • At 8:00pm, Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Seney Drive presents a musical performance under the direction of Joe Cullinan.
  • From 5:00pm until 9:00pm, Studio 7 Art Gallery, 5 Morristown Road, hosts an artists reception.  Take an Art Walk from Studio 7 to the Burnt Mills Gallery at 9 Olcott Square and WallFlowers Gallery of American Craft at 15 Olcott Square.

Presented by the Bernardsville Chamber of Commerce, the following Holly Days events are scheduled for Saturday, December 6th:

  • Coldwell Banker in Bernardsville presents Frosty the Snowman and Santa’s Elves, greeting the children from 3:30pm until 5:30pm.  There wll be complimentary photo opportunities and refreshments at the Coldwell Banker office at 39 Olcott Square, Bernardsville, NJ.
  • Santa arrives by fire truck for a 4:00pm Tree Lighting at Olcott Square.  From 4 o’clock until 4:30pm, the Yuletide Carolers will sing holiday songs, and Stephen Taylor Photographers will take pictures of children.
  • At the Bernardsville Public Library from 4:30pm to 5:30pm, Peter Roselle will read “The Night Before Christmas,” Santa will be there to greet the children, and the Yuletide Carolers will be joined by children from Annie’s Playhouse in Far Hills, NJ, for more singing.

Festivities continue on Sunday, December 7th with Children’s Shopping Days at the Bookworm, 99 Claremont Road in Bernardsville, NJ.  From 10am to 4pm, kids of all ages are invited to select gifts for relatives and friends with help from the Bookworm’s Santa Helpers, who will help children to choose the perfect gift, wrap, and label their purchases.

For adults, 56 Degree WIne hosts its second annual Champagne Campaign Benefit at the Bernards Inn from 3pm to 5pm on Sunday, December 7th.

Nov
26

Farewell to Pierre’s Restaurant in Harding Township, New Jersey… The Roxiticus Desperate Housewives Are Going To Miss You!

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My pre-Thanksgiving copy of the Observer-Tribune arrived today, delivering the sad news that after 15 years, the landmark French cuisine restaurant known as Pierre’s Restaurant and Wine Bar will be closing its doors for good on New Year’s Day — January 1, 2009.

Our table of ten Roxiticus Desperate Housewives (and Husbands) have enjoyed many a wine tasting dinner with Chef Michael over the past few years, as well as one memorable New Year’s Eve dinner for Rex, London, Maddie and me. Speaking of New Year’s Eve, Pierre’s will celebrate its final night with New Year’s Eve dinner. I’ve checked out the menu for Pierre’s New Year’s Eve event, and after seeing a mustard-crusted rack of lamb for London and Maddie, Rex and I may decide to take the girls to ring in the New Year and to say goodbye to Pierre’s.

According the owner and chef Michael Peters, he and his wife, Marybeth, would like to pursue other interests. Peters told the Observer-Tribune that he has promised the employees a great last month. “We’ve told them that December is going to be like attending summer camp. You know it’s going to end, and there will be a lot of sad goodbyes, but you enjoy it while you can.”

Nov
15

Raise a Glass for a Great Cause: 56 Degree Wine Champagne Campaign on December 7th at the Bernards Inn to Benefit Grapes for Good

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I just received an email from Joe Bembry at 56 Degree Wine in Bernardsville, NJ, inviting Rex and me to help kick off their second annual holiday “Champagne Campaign” on Sunday, December 7th from 3:00 to 5:00pm at the Bernards Inn.  Rex, London, Maddie and I are headed into NYC that day for our annual holiday get together with old friends from our co-op in the West Village, but that shouldn’t stop the rest of you from adding a little bubbly to your holiday shopping in Bernardsville, NJ.

The celebration will include a wide array of sparkling wines from around the world, everyday bubbles to serious vintage Champers. Partygoers will feast on delightful hors d’ouvres, cheeses, pasta station and carving station. A group of bright importers and distributors of wonderful small artisanal growers will talk about how the wines are made and the people behind them.  And it’s all for a great cause, as Grapes for Good will donate the proceeds to The Friends of the Shelter.

Admission is $80. Call 56 Degree Wine at 908-953-0900 and tell ‘em Roxy sent you to reserve your spot. Make it quick, as space is VERY limited.

56 Degree Wine, 40 Quimby Lane, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. Phone: (908) 953-0900

Nov
03

Roxy’s Mailbag Responds to Desperately Seeking Activities in Bernardsville, New Jersey

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Dear Roxy,
I have a toddler son and am trying to find local (Bernardsville, Bedminster) things for him to do in the afternoons. I’m sick of Gymboree..any toddler cooking classes, or other different types of things?
  Thanks in advance.
Desperately Seeking Activites

Dear Desperately Seeking Activities,

Thanks for visiting Roxy’s Best Of… here are a few tips for you and your toddler in and around the Bernardsville and Bedminster areas:

  • Little Music Makers in Basking Ridge, NJ: a more local, personal version of Gymboree for “mommy and me”… or as their web site describes it, ”a fresh, fun, and innovative approach to making music with your child.”  Our very first nanny out here in the Roxiticus Valley found Little Music Makers for us when we moved here from New York City in October 2003, and my girls really had a lot of fun there when they were toddlers.  Little Music Makers playfully blends weekly themes, as well as singing, live music (12 string guitar/piano), dancing, musical instruments (from near & far), marching, chanting, fingerplays, lap songs, puppets, scarves, parachute, free movement, props (hoops, balls, beanbags), musical flannelboard stories, unusual tonalities & rhythms, musical make-believe, weekly themed stickers and activity sheets in a rich, diverse musical environment….and, if I recall correctly, a dog puppet named Petey. 
  • Annie’s Playhouse in Far Hills, NJ – acting, singing, dancing, movement for boys and girls of all ages, starting quite young and continuing through high school.  London and Maddie have attended the Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars camp for the past two summers and particularly enjoy the end of summer performance.  During the school year, Annie’s offers a Broadway Babies program for ages 17 months to 5 years.
  • There’s a place called Cooks & Crafts in Flanders, NJ, that my girls have been to for birthday parties, probably not inclined towards toddlers as there aren’t many people brave enough to teach toddler cooking classes, but worth a phone call.
  • For afternoon outings but not formal “classes” with your toddler, check out some of the local farms (Alstede, Riamede, Stony Hill) for pumpkin or apple picking, petting zoos and other activities on the Roxy’s Best Of… Community Site Kid Stuff Category.
  • Although it may be a bit out of your way, Randolph, NJ has a lot of London and Maddie’s favorite kids stuff:  Time In, Aspen Ice (ice skating), Tai Kwon Do, Pump It Up, the Little Gym, and Garden State Ballet.  Randolph Gymnastics (and Randolph Rock Climbing) is a great venue for both lessons and birthday parties.  When my girls were toddlers, we also spent a fair amount of time at the West Morris YMCA for swimming lessons and other toddler-oriented classes and activities.  The Somerset County YMCA, with a similar selection of family programs, is located in Basking Ridge, NJ.
  • For more of a commitment than just the occasional activity, Roxy highly recommends Westmont Montessori in Mendham, NJ, which starts with small classes for 2-year-olds and was an enriching pre-school experience for my two girls.  They’re having an open house for new families on Saturday, November 15th.

Good luck, and if you find something great for your toddler son, I hope you’ll share it by leaving a comment here on Roxy’s Best Of… so that I can pass it along to my local readers. Oh, and don’t forget — please let everyone know that Roxy sent you!

All the best,
Roxy