Category Archives: Westfield Events

Events in and around the Westfield New Jersey area.

“THE EYES” Have It In Westfield NJ May 31, 2017

The Eyes

There’s no shortage of talent in the Cranford-Westfield Area, but this is the first time I’ve met a local resident who directed a feature film with well-known actors! And lucky for us, his movie “The Eyes” will be showing this Wednesday, May 31st at 7:30 pm at the Rialto Theater in Downtown Westfield! c(Link to purchase tickets is at the end of this article.)

Robbie Bryan has been living in Westfield for the past 15 years with his wife, and has been working in the film industry for quite some time. He first caught the acting bug while attending Ryder University, where he performed “Godspell” his senior year. Robbie said, “An elderly woman came up to me after the play and said, ‘My husband passed away six months ago, and you made me laugh for the first time since then.’ That’s when I knew that this is what I have to do with the rest of my life.”

After college Robbie went to New York and acted for a decade, serving as a stand-in for Michael J. Fox in many of his movies, as well as for Elijah Wood and Woody Allen! Being on-set for hundreds of hours gave Robbie an education in filmmaking. He said, “I learned so much standing next to the camera, watching what to do and what not to do.” 

Eventually Robbie realized he wanted to be a storyteller behind the camera. He was inspired by the auteurs of the 1990s such as Kevin Smith and Ed Burns. But it was only after an acquaintance of his made his own independent film that Robbie decided make a go of a filmmaking career. 

“My wife Christie and I opened our company Good to Be Seen Films and made our first feature film in 1998 called ‘The Stand-In,’ based on my experiences as a stand-in for well-known actors. Kelly Rippa acted in it!” Since then Robbie has worked as a producer, director, and/or writer for six feature films and one short film about cancer. 

Robbie was diagnosed with Stage 4 tongue cancer mid-production of “The Eyes,” and he underwent intensive chemotherapy and radiation. Robbie said, “In June 2015 I told my wife and the cast and crew that if my pet scan was clean, we would finish shooting right away, even though I wasn’t fully recovered. I got a second chance, and I want to live. We finished post-production at Skywalker Ranch, which was a dream come true for me, and the film won the Rhode Island Film Festival. ‘The Eyes’ officially premiered on April 7th in LA, and New Jersey is the 6th city where it’s being shown. Even though I’ve seen the movie what seems like thousands of times by now, I’m so excited to watch it in my hometown.”

As for the the movie “The Eyes,” it’s a taut psychological thriller starring several actors you will recognize, including Vinny Tastori from ‘The Sopranos’ (who might be visiting the Westfield premiere!!), Nick Turturro from “NYPD Blue,”  and Danny Flaherty from “The Americans” (who also might make an appearance this Wednesday). 

Don’t miss your chance to see this award-winning independent film and shake hands with the director Robbie himself! This is a one-time showing at the Rialto. 

Tickets are available for purchase in advance through Fandago:

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Comedy For A Cause Hosted by the Junior Woman’s Club of Westfield 3/24/17

Comedy For A CauseWant to eat, drink, and laugh until your sides hurt . . . all while supporting a great cause? Then get your ticket to the COMEDY FOR A CAUSE benefit hosted by the Junior Woman’s Club of Westfield on Friday, March 24 from 7-11pm at the Scotch Plains Italian American Club.

This “Funnyraiser,” as it’s affectionately come to be known, will include stand-up comedy, live music, a full buffet (provided by everyone’s favorite Five-Star Catering), unlimited wine/beer/soda, tricky tray, auction, raffle, and more! Proceeds from the Funnyraiser will benefit High Expectations Inc., a NJ-based nonprofit that provides recreational sports programs for the special needs community.

Event Co-Chair Mary-Eileen Fay explained how High Expectations was chosen as the beneficiary of the Funnyrasier: “Every year the club invites a few nonprofit organizations to our May meeting and we vote on which charity we will support through our major fundraiser. This is always a difficult decision because we wish we could say yes to all of them. We all were so moved by High Expectations, which is dedicated to the enrichment of the ‘whole person’ by providing developmentally disabled individuals and their families with access to athletic, recreational and social activities to supplement their educational and vocational training.”

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Mary-Eileen went on to say, “Both my twin nephews are affected by autism, and if it were not for High Expectations, my nephews would not have played sports. They look forward to practices and games where they could be themselves and never feel judged. It has provided life-long friends for them and their parents. My nephews also love to perform and tell jokes, and that’s how I was inspired to incorporate comedy into the fundraiser.”

After catching one of his hilarious stand-up shows, Mary-Eileen selected renowed comic Rich Vos as the headlining entertainment for the Funnyraiser. Rich has been featured on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, and countless other media outlets. He grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, so it’s great to have a comic who truly understands his audience.

Live music at the event will be played by the local KGB Band. Comprised of former high school friends, the KGB Band has become widely known as a top cover band in the Cranford-Westfield Area. And in case you were wondering, KGB stands for Kevin’s Garage Band! Kevin is also the director of Westfield’s Washington School Show band. 

Tickets to the Funnyraiser cost $75 per person. You can purchase your tickets here: If you have any questions or would like to become an event sponsor or donate a tricky tray prize, email [email protected]

For more information about High Expectations, visit their team website:

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Santa Claus Is Coming to Town!! (Cranford and Westfield)

santa-kidsYou better watch out, you better not cry … oh who am I kidding, any sane child will cry in the face of a stranger dressed up as Santa Claus! But we love subjecting our children to it nonetheless! Here’s a list of places in the Cranford-Westfield Area where Jolly Old Saint Nick will make an appearance to delight (i.e., scare the bejeezus out of) your little ones. 

NOVEMBER 25, 6:00pm

Gazebo at corner of North Union and Springfield Ave, Cranford

Santa lights the tree; photos with Santa immediately after, $3 per child.


Lord & Taylor, 609 North Ave. W., Westfield

Friday & Saturday 1-7pm, Sunday 1-4pm

Free 5″ x 7″ photo with donation of 2 cans of non­-perishable food for the Holy Trinity Westfield Food Pantry. Nominal shipping fee will apply. Additional photos can be purchased.

NOVEMBER 26, 12-4pm

Tiffany Pharmacy, 1115 South Ave W., Westfield

Visit with Santa, enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies, and receive 25% off gift department purchases while you’re there! Visiting with Santa is free, but you can purchase photo packages if you’d like. 

NOVEMBER 27, 3:30pm

Fire Me Up Studio, 117 N. Union Ave, Cranford

Make plates and decorate cookies with Santa! $45 per child (accompanying non-painting adult free). Purchase tickets at:–studio

NOVEMBER 27, 5:30pm

North Ave. W. Train Station, Westfield

Annual Tree Lighting with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Free.

NOVEMBER 29, 4:30pm

Fire Me Up Studio, 117 N. Union Ave, Cranford

This is the second event where kids will make plates and decorate cookies with Santa! $45 per child (accompanying non-painting adult free). Purchase tickets at:–studio

DECEMBER 3, 8:30am

Trinity Episcopal Church, 119 Forest Ave, Cranford

Pancakes, bagels, cereal, muffins, munchkins, juice, coffee & tea will be available. Jewelry, Christmas wreaths & grave covers, photo with Santa, fabulous raffle baskets 50/50 for sale. Breakfast tickets $6.00.

DECEMBER 8, 5:30pm

Giggles, 103 Miln Street, Cranford

$40 first child, $35 each sibling, includes indoor play. Email [email protected] for tickets.

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The Westfield Summer Concert Series 2015

I love how our bustling towns still feel like old-fashioned villages when the community comes together for family-friendly events. The Westfield Summer Concert Series is a classic example of that! On select dates throughout the summer, locals gather at Mindowaskin Park for great music under the setting sun.

Westfield NJ Mindowaskin ParkSponsored by the Westfield Recreation Department, the summer concerts will take place at the Mindowaskin bandstand from 7:30 to 9:00 pm on the following Thursdays:

June 25

July 2, 9, 16, 30

The Westfield Community Concert Band will perform at all of the above dates except for July 30, which will feature the Westfield Swing Band (no doubt some people will get up and dance at that one!). Attendees should bring their own lawn chairs or beach blankets. Best of all, the concerts are FREE!

And don’t forget about the Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival every Tuesday evening from July 7 to August 25: jazz musicians will be scattered throughout downtown Westfield entertaining diners and shoppers from 7-9 pm (rain date is every Wednesday). For more information visit

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ALEX and ANI in Westfield Hosts Charity Events!! Shop AND Support at the Same Time!

ALEX and ANI Charity By Design – CPL Event


Not that any of us ever need another reason to shop at Alex & Ani, but here’s one, anyway.

On Tuesday, March 17th, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, the Westfield store, located at 200 East Broad Street, will donate 15% of all profits they make to the Cerebral Palsy League.  So that new bling you’ve been eyeing up will not only look good on you, it will make you feel good, too.

Each year The Cerebral Palsy League (CPL) serves not only hundreds of Union County infants, children, and adults with developmental disabilities, but their families, as well.  Their goal is to enable people with disabilities to reach their greatest potential and to lead happy and productive lives as participating members of their communities. For more information of the CPL, visit their website at .

This is nothing particularly new for Alex & Ani.  The company is well known for its charitable contributions to many different institutions and organizations.  At least a partial list of them can be seen here: .

They are also hosting a few others for neighboring towns and charities in the month of March.  On Wednesday, March 18th, also from 6:00-9:00 PM, 15% of all sales will o to Buddy Ball of Edison, which children with special needs an opportunity to participate in an organized sports program.   On Monday, March 23rd, same hours, the benefits will go to the Tamaques Elementary School PTO.  And on Tuesday, March 24th,   proceeds go to the Union County Vocational-Technical School Project graduation.

It’s always heartening when a local business finds a way to support the community it serves.  The beautiful jewelry at Alex & Ani is reason enough to shop there, but this makes the experience all the sweeter.  Treat yourself, and help out others, by hitting the shop on one of thee evenings!

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Shoe Tying Classes for Little Ones Offered At Westfield’s Castle Bootery!

photo 1 Tying your shoes seems like such a basic skill — but for children who’ve never done it before, it can be really daunting! That’s why Castle Bootery of Westfield offers shoe-tying classes every week, to help kids learn to make those infamous shoelace bunny ears in a non-threatening atmospherec.

The classes are geared toward children ages 4 1/2 and up, and the cost is $5 per child. Classes are held every weekday at 4 pm, and at 10 am and 2 pm on Saturdays. You must call ahead to reserve a spot: 908-233-7172. Each class lasts approximately 40 minutes (parents must stay in the store), and coupons are given to all participants at the end of class, so you can save on your next shoe purchase. And let’s face it, kids’ feet seem to grow by the second, so you might as well browse the great shoe selection while you’re there!

Castle Bootery is an institution in Westfield, having been in business downtown for 65 years. They specialize in expertly fitting infants, children, and young adults for footwear, and they carry only reputable brands of shoes and dancewear, such as Stride Rite, Puma, UGGs, and Capezio. You’ll also find a wide selection of rain boots, umbrellas, socks, and adorable hair accessories in the shop.

Afraid your little ones will complain if you drag them to a shoe store? Castle Bootery has a great bribe–a free helium balloon for every child. Never gets old, I tell you.

You can find Castle Bootery at 52 Elm Street. Conveniently, there is an entrance on Elm Street as well as on Quimby Street.

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Westfield Community Players Theater

Westfield Community PlayersWho doesn’t love Broadway? The lights, the larger-than-life scenery, the songs, the talent, the timeless stories! But you know what I don’t love? Insanely high ticket prices, expensive parking garages (or worse yet, parking tickets), and lousy seats. So give my regards to old Broadway, and buy me a ticket to a Westfield Community Players show!

Now in its 80th season, the Westfield Community Players perform several shows every year, many of which win prestigious awards for their excellence. Productions are staged in an intimate 150-seat theater on North Ave. in Westfield, where such hits as “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Man of La Mancha” have been performed to accolades, along with 200 other comedies, musicals, mysteries, and dramas.

There are two more performances remaining in the Players’ 2015 spring season:

March 7-28

“A Thousand Clowns” by Herb Gardner

Plot: A middle-aged eccentric lives a nonconformist life with his nephew but faces losing custody of the boy.

Tickets: $20; $10 for students

May 9-30

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” by William Finn and Doug Wagner

Plot: Socially awkward youngsters find joy, heartache, and purpose at the annual regional spelling bee.

Tickets: $25; $15 for students

The Westfield Community Players regularly holds open casting calls and welcomes volunteers. For more information, visit their website:

For show tickets, call: 908-232-1221 or visit:

The theater is located at 1000 North Ave. West, Westfield at the intersection of Edgewood Ave. During performances the theater parking lot is reserved for emergency vehicles and handicapped patrons. Free on-street parking is available, as well as a free lot across the street at the American Legion (please cross North Ave. very carefully at the crosswalk!).

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Westfield’s Winter Restaurant Week 2/15-2/26

If you love to dine out in Westfield, then mark your calendar for Winter Restaurant Week–two weeks of specially priced prix fixe meals at your favorite restaurants, from February 15-26.

Participating establishments will offer 2-course lunches and dinners and 3-course dinners with considerable discounts off their normal menu prices. It’s a great way to try a restaurant you’ve never been to before, without dreading a hefty check at the end of the meal.

Did you know that Westfield has more than 50 places to eat? That’s part of what makes its downtown such a popular destination. Roosterspin and Amuse we’re recently named two of the best new restaurants in New Jersey by “NJ Monthly” magazine, and Chez Catherine continues to receive accolades for being one of the finest French restaurants in the state.

How would you like to win $50 just for dining out during Restaurant Week. Simply snap a photo of your meal (must be taken during Restaurant Week!) and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #westfieldrestaurantweek. The person whose photo gets the most likes will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Westfield restaurant of his or her choice!

For a list of restaurants participating in Winter Restaurant Week, visit: Reservations are highly recommended for many of the restaurants during these two weeks.

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Westfield Area Y offers Healthy Eating/Aging Lunch N’ Learn 2/11/15

Westfield Area YMCA

Westfield Area YMCA

So, how many chicken wings, pizza slices, and other nutritionally un-sound things did you consume on Superbowl Sunday?  And how long did you pay for it afterwards?  Let’s face it, none of us can eat the same way we did when we were younger.  As we get older, our gastro-intestinal systems become more fragile, and our dietary needs realistically change.

On Wednesday, February 11th, from 12:30-1:20 PM, the Westfield Area Y will host a free lecture by registered dietitian Lindsey Roth, of ShopRite of Garwood.  The lecture will take place at the Main Y Facility at 220 Clark Street. Roth will cover the topic “Healthy Eating/Healthy Aging,” focusing on special nutrient needs for older adults, and how to adapt nutritional goals to support physical and mental health as we age.

Best of all, the discussion is absolutely free, and available to everyone. You can register in person at the Welcome Center of the Main Y Facility, or online if you are a Westfield Area Y member. Contact Jean White with any questions at 908-233-2700 x246, or you can email [email protected]

Participants are asked to bring a bag lunch.  Maybe you want to pck something OTHER than buffalo wings and Superbowl leftovers.  Just sayin.’


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Salsa Night at the Westfield Library 2/4/15 at 7pm

If you’re someone who loves to listen to salsa music — or better yet, someone who loves to shake those hips — then you should be at the Westfield Memorial Library on Wednesday, February 4 at 7 pm. Salsa at a public library? Well, why not??

The Jose Obando Trio will perform an exuberant medley of music from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, along with lively selections of Latin jazz. A dance lesson will be included in the event, as well as a discussion of the roots of salsa music and its instruments.

Jose Obando is one of the founders of the Salsa Museum located in Spanish Harlem, New York. He founded and serves as the current executive director of the Lubona Corporation, an educational consultancy that has aided such institutions as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Juilliard School, and the NY Public Library. Among the selections his Trio will perform at the library are “Guantanamera” and “Besame Mucho.”

The salsa event is FREE and open to all members of the Westfield Library. You must register to confirm a space: visit, click “calendar,” then click on “Jose Obando Trio” on Feb. 4 to sign up to attend. Or call 908-789-4090. The performance will take place in the meeting room within the library.

And take advantage of the dozens of other great events offered for adults and children at the Westfield Library, most of which are free!

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