Tag Archives: clark new jersey

6th Annual Miles With Moms 5K and Fun Run 4/23/17

Miles With Moms 5 K and Fun RunThe 6th Annual Miles with Moms 5K and Fun Run is fast approaching, and I’m thrilled to be a sponsor of this wonderful family-friendly race that raises money for the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ. The event will take place on Sunday, April 23rd at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, with the first race starting at 9 am, and it’s sure to be a memorable day for adults and kids alike. 

I caught up with Miles with Moms volunteer Jenn Gillman to chat about this year’s event. Jenn said, “This is an event that has something for EVERYONE in the family–a 5k race, 1 mile race, free fun run for kids, great music, delicious refreshments, wonderful raffle items, and ways to keep the kids busy. Runners, walkers, moms and dads with strollers, kids, friends and neighbors are all welcome.”

If you’ve been hesitant to do a 5K with your children, this is the perfect “ice breaker” 5K since it’s specifically geared toward families. Jenn said, “We have special crafts, activities, and races just for young kids. Our DJ will be playing fun music appropriate for young listeners; we have a face painter who will be offering free face painting for kids; and Creative Kids from Scotch Plains and Tinkergarten will be back with plenty of hands-on activities for kids to partake in. We also have a free Fun Run for children age six and under where everyone gets to show their speed.”

Besides all the races and activities, there will be refreshments and lots of raffles with chances to win some great prizes. And let’s face it, any event is better when you leave with a prize in hand! There will also be awards given out for the top finishers in several categories of the races.

Based out of Garwood, the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ is a nonprofit that creates and supports a community for all mothers. According to Jenn, “The fundraising done through the Miles with Moms 5K helps pay for our rented space, keeps costs at a minimum so all of our programming is accessible to everyone, and pays for exciting events for our members.” 

The Mothers’ Center has been around for almost 40 years, offering daytime and evening activities for moms and their children, fostering lifelong friendships among Union County mothers. For more information about the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ, visit http://cnj.mom-mentum.org/

To register for the Miles with Moms 5K visit www.njmileswithmoms.org2017 flyerScreen Shot 2017-04-07 at 11.37.52 AM

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

The Deutscher Club of Clark is the Largest German Club in NJ!

Deutcher Club Of ClarkIf you are of German heritage — or simply love German beer, food, and music — you should definitely pay a visit to the Deutscher Club of Clark! The club is celebrating its 80th anniversary this September, and it has so much to offer local families.

The Deutscher Club is located on Featherbed Lane in Clark, and it is the largest German club in NJ — the 2nd largest in all of the United States!

On the club grounds is a ginormous wooden pavilion with a stage area, dance floor, and seemingly endless picnic tables. Outside are also the famous food and drink stands, where you can get a frothy cold “bier” to wash down your bratwurst and the world’s biggest darn soft pretzels. There’s also a great little playground for kids as well as an ice cream stand. The clubhouse has a bar and large dining area with a kitchen that can provide catering.

Throughout the summer and fall, the club hosts huge outdoor picnics with live German/American bands, Biergarten food and drinks, flea markets, and more. These events are open to non-members for a small entrance fee.

Regular happenings for members at the clubhouse include Friday and Saturday evening dinners (with live music every Saturday), and the bar is open most evenings. Members get together outside of the clubhouse for many activities supported by the club, such as skiing, German language classes, participating in the Steuben Day Parade in New York City, and German movie outings, just to name a few.

Deutcher Club Of ClarkTo become a member of the Deutscher Club, you need to be sponsored by a current member (of two years or more). Although most of the members are of German ancestry, membership is open to anyone! You can obtain an application on their website: www.deutscherclub.us.

Follow the Deutscher Club on Facebook to hear about all their events that are open to the general public. You won’t want to miss the classic car show on August 28 and of course the annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 3!

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Favorite Ice Cream Shops in the Cranford Westfield Area of NJ

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Here are some favorite local haunts for the cold, sweet treats that everyone craves on hot days. Whether you prefer old-fashioned churned ice cream, a blended creation, or frozen yogurt with extreme toppings, there’s surely a place in our area that will satisfy your cravings. What’s YOUR favorite spot to grab a frosty treat?

Frosty Freeze

1 North Ave, Garwood

Old-fashioned ice cream stand reminiscent of the kind you see at the Shore. Hard and soft ice cream, novelty ice cream bars, cakes, shakes, and more.

Couple of outdoor benches for seating; free parking.

Vanilla Bean Creamery

22 North Ave West, Cranford


Homemade artisan hard and soft ice creams (they vary by season–I adore the pumpkin-inspired flavors in the fall), frozen yogurt, blended creations, frozen drinks, custom cakes, and more. Newest flavors: coffee chip fro yo, red raspberry sorbet, and strawberry soft serve.

Plenty of indoor seating and some outdoor tables; metered parking.

Dairy Queen

337 North Ave East, Cranford


Home of the original Blizzard (“brownie batter” flavor is back!), soft serve, sundaes, shakes and a full menu of lunch and dinner fast food. No indoor seating, couple of benches outside and free parking.

Sweetie Frozen Yogurt

109 N. Union Ave, Cranford


Self-serve frozen yogurt in 12 flavors with 35 toppings to choose from, smoothies, shakes, and more.

Indoor seating, metered parking.


1463 Raritan Road, Clark


Home of the beloved Reese’s Pieces Sundae and other irresistible trademarked sundaes, plus Fribble shakes, hard and soft ice creams, and a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Fusion Yogurt Lounge

1085 Raritan Rd, Clark


Self-serve frozen yogurt with tons of toppings, smoothies, gourmet coffee.

Indoor seating and free parking (in the Clarkton Shopping Center).

Creme Berree

506 North Ave, Garwood


Frozen yogurt (with unique seasonal flavors such as honeydew, green tea, watermelon, and red velvet); yogurt pops dipped in toppings, and their trademarked “shooties”: 4 mini cups of different-flavored yogurt topped with 4 different toppings and drizzle. Indoor and outdoor seating with free parking in the back.

Uncle Louie G

57 Elm St, Westfield


Signature Italian ices in dozens of flavors (unique ones too: cappuccino breeze, cantaloupe balls, rainbow cookie, root beer mug, etc.), plus soft-serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, shakes, and cakes.

A few indoor seats, metered street parking.

Let’s Yo

121 East Broad St, Westfield

Self-serve frozen yogurt with oodles of toppings, unique sundaes, and smoothies.

Wednesdays are “No-Weigh Wednesdays” where you fill a cup for just 5 bucks!

Lots of indoor seating with iPads for the kids. Metered street parking (and metered lot in back with another entrance into the shop).

Bohemian Raspberry

219 South Ave East, Westfield

Self-serve frozen yogurt with every topping imaginable, plus shakes, juices, and a full gourmet coffee bar with cappuccino and other hot drinks. They even have almond and soy milks for dairy-free folks.

Indoor and outdoor seating, free parking.


116 Elm St., Westfield


Self-serve frozen yogurt and toppings in a bright and cheery atmosphere.

Indoor seating, metered parking.

Chocolate Bar

112 Quimby St, Westfield


Authentic Italian gelato in a wide array of flavors (the stracciatella is amazing), plus gourmet chocolate, full coffee bar, shakes, and more. Good luck not gaining 10 pounds while you’re there!

Indoor seating, metered parking.

Cold Stone Creamery

163 East Broad St, Westfield


Handmade ice cream and frozen yogurt that is mixed with toppings on a chilled marble countertop while you wait. Try their trademarked “Red Velvet Dream”!

Indoor seating, metered parking.

Scoops: The Ice Creamery

2014 Route 22 East, Scotch Plains


Old-fashioned handmade hard ice cream in great flavors that change daily, soft-serve, frozen yogurt, shakes, cakes, and more.

Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating (there’s a porch and a great hidden patio on the side of the shop), free parking.

Double Dipper Cafe

38A South Martine Ave, Fanwood


Hard and soft ice creams in lots of flavors (vanilla cashew caramel chip, anyone?), shakes, custom cakes, and a full menu of lunch and dinner foods and coffees. They even deliver now!

Indoor seating and free street parking.

Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream

700 Boulevard, Kenilworth


New-York style Italian ice in two different styles: water ice, and creme ice (aka sherbet). Countless flavors, including ones you won’t find elsewhere (black cherry cheesecake, strawberry margarita, etc.); plus incredible signature blended drinks like the Ralphaccino and the Cake Shake; soft and hard ice cream; sundaes; and more.

Free parking.

Boathouse Snack Bar

Echo Lake Park, Mountainside

There’s just a small variety of novelty ice creams (and some snack foods) at this humble snack bar at the paddle boats, but you sure can’t beat the view of gorgeous Echo Lake! Plenty of benches and grass for picnicking.

Free parking.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

4th annual NJ Miles for Moms 5K Run/Walk 4/19/15

5kcollagepicsHave you heard about the local 5K race for the hardest-working people on the planet–I’m talking about MOMS, of course! Dads and kids are welcome too at the 4th annual NJ Miles for Moms 5K Run/Walk on April 19th in Clark’s Oak Ridge Park.c


The fun begins at 9:00 am with a 1-miler. At 9:30 the 5K begins, and 10:30 am starts the kids fun run and raffle. There’s still time to register (fees apply for the first two races; the kids’ run is free for children 6 and under): http://cnj.mom-mentum.org/5k/.

The event will be held rain or shine on the certified traffic-free course, so you don’t have to fret about bringing your little ones, and strollers are welcome. The 5K is chip-timed, which is good news for the serious runners who want an accurate measure of their finish time, but all skill levels are invited to participate. In addition to the races there will be raffles, complimentary refreshments, DJ entertainment, kids’ crafts, and more. So make a day of it!

winners runnersMy friend and certified personal trainer Christine Cohen is running this 5K, and she said, “I wanted to get a few of my friends who have never done a 5K before to do a run with me, and this seemed like the perfect first race for them because it’s low key and non-competitive. Plus it benefits a great cause–all of the proceeds go to the Mothers Center of Central NJ.”

The Mothers Center of Central NJ (MCCNJ) is a local group dedicated to supporting moms in whatever stage of parenting they’re in. MCCNJ embodies the phrase “It takes a village,” and the group meets regularly in Garwood for a wide array of family-centered activities, including mommy-and-me playgroups, kids’ art and music classes, educational workshops for moms (childcare provided on-site), holiday parties, fun family movie and bowling excursions, and much more.

If you’re a new mom, or a mom who’s looking to make some like-minded friends, check out the MCCNJ website: http://cnj.mom-mentum.org/index.html.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

The Exploration Studio in Clark NJ Offers Activities For ALL Ages!

image_2If you or your kids end up feeling more than a little bored during these cold winter days, consider taking one of the interesting hands-on classes at The Exploration Studio in Clark. This new facility just opened its doors in October of 2014 and aims to provide our community with creative and educational activities for all ages.

photo 3 photo 2Owner Vicki Herbig says that The Exploration Studio is a fun place where kids and adults explore, experiment, and enjoy classes and events that will appeal to many different interests and levels of expertise. “You can experiment with science, build memories, design with watercolors, sew your first piece, learn how to play chess, or make new friend. The Exploration Studio lets your imagination soar!”

I’m just amazed at the vast list of classes and events already scheduled at The Studio. To name just a few:

**Adult Night Out (paint on wine glasses; paint on canvas; decoupage)

**Tween Night Out (variety of activities chosen by participants, providing a safe environment to socialize with friends)

**Kids Night Out, aka Date

Night (one Friday per month, potty-trained kids up to age 8 will craft, eat pizza, and watch a G-rated movie while Mom and Dad enjoy a night on the town!)

**Adult Workshops (Pastels; Sewing; Drawing; Crochet)

**Kids Classes (Write & Illustrate a Book; Build with Blocks; Fun with Food; Games Galore; Science Exploration; Movers and Shakers; and many more!)

Best of all, the Studio classes and events won’t break the bank. For example, one of the four-week art classes for kids that I checked out costs only $60!

photo 4 photo 1And you guessed it–The Exploration Studio is a perfect spot for unique birthday parties. They offer crafty princess parties, tea parties, Lego parties, pirate parties, craft parties, paint on canvas, or pretty much any theme you can dream up, and they will customize the decorations and activities for each party/child. I love the idea of a birthday party with built-in favors, where the kids actually create something and get to take it home.

For more information and to register for classes/events, visit their very user-friendly website at www.theexplorationstudio.com. The Exploration Studio is located at 1055A Raritan Road in Clark, in the Clark Village shopping center across from the A&Pc.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Gift Basket Ideas for the Holidays

We’ve all received a holiday gift basket.  The cheese log, the stale crackers, the hard as rock cookies . . . . . not very exciting.  But that’s because it’s “cookie cutter” gift giving.  Wouldn’t it be better to actually CHOOSE what goes into the gift basket you purchase for someone?  Well, you can!

Here are a few local places that offer great ingredients for a gift basket that recipients are sure to remember, appreciate, and actually USE.

Personally Yours Gift Baskets at 23 Westfield Avenue in Clark 


You can shop by gift type, or by occasion, and build your own personalized gift basket.  Gift baskets IS what they do, so you can be sure they are outstanding!

Atlantic Beach Soap CoAtlantic Beach Soap Company at 102 North union Avenue in Cranford


Walk in the store and sniff, and you’ll know why this is a good choice.  SO much better than that Old Spice or Jean Nate gift set from Walmart!

Cheese PleaseCheese, Please! At 26 Eastman Street in Cranford


Every variety of cheeses, crackers, and teas to make a wonderful gourmet basket.

Brummer’s Chocolates at 125 East Broad Street in Westfield


Insanely delicious and creatively beautiful chocolates, as well as other candies.

Breadsmith of Cranford at 32 North Avenue West


The smell alone when you walk in is pure heaven.  Delicious breads, muffins, jellies . . . . . so good!

The trick is to think of what your gift recipient really likes, even if it is not typically something you would think of as “gift basket-esque.”  My son got a gift basket full of soccer socks and shin guards a few years back, and he thought it was the greatest thing since sliced Breadsmith bread.  Gather a few things that you know the person would like.  If the store doesn’t make gift baskets, make your own.  Thrift stores are the greatest place to find inexpensive quality baskets.  A little cellophane, some creativity, and voila!  You’re a gift-giving hero!

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Clark, NJ’s Manny’s Diner is THE Place To Go!

Manny’s Diner

mannys1We’re Jerseyans.  We know darn well that there is nothing better than a really good diner.  A place where you can get virtually ANY food you can think of, made to order, quickly, and at all hours.  A good diner is a gem.  And Manny’s Diner in Clark is a pure gem.

Manny’s Diner, at 1030 Raritan Road, has been in business in Clark since last year when the Windsor Diner closed.  This is actually the second location for Manny’s Diner; the original and still operating location is at 12 Church Street in Montclair.

The menu, and the portions, are enormous.  Truthfully, manny's dinerso is the diner itself. The recent renovations created an updated look and modern décor, with plenty of seating for the weekend crowd.   The diner is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an even has a full bar.  You can enjoy a cannoli martini (yes, I said a CANNOLI MARTINI) with dinner!  And the food is out of this world.  I mean, how could you possibly do any better than Nutella banana pancakes for breakfast?!  And the chef is happy to accommodate specific requests or instructions from customers.

Why would you possibly want to cook and wash dishes, when you can get great food and make everyone happy without the work?  Check out their website Manny’s Diner ….it is currently under construction, but the menu is up.  That will be enough to get you salivating!

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Hyatt Hills Driving Range in Clark, NJ

Hyatt Hills Golf

Looking for something different to do with the kids?  Or maybe just something fun for yourself?  Why not get a bucket of balls?

The beautiful and well-maintained 84 acre Hyatt Hills Golf Complex, at 1300 Raritan Road in Clark (the course actually spans from Clark into Cranford),  is  a meticulously manicured public golf facility, with a lovely, scenic, regulation nine-hole golf course, ample parking lot, an elegant, full-service clubhouse, a putting green, an absolutely beautiful eighteen-hole miniature golf course, and a driving range. While local parents bring their kids out to enjoy the miniature golf course all the time, they may not think about the driving range as an option for kids.  Yet, it’s something the kids usually love to do.

golfJust have them bring a kid-sized club, get a bucket of balls, and grab a stall!  The kids feel like they are playing “real golf,” and its great exercise.  It’s also a great way to get them turned onto the sport.  Be sure to visit Cranford.com/coupon to print out a coupon for a free bucket of 50 balls when you buy two buckets.  The facility is open daily from 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM.  While you’re there, check out the other services they offer, such as golf instruction, or special celebrations.  (Who doesn’t love a miniature golf party?)  You can check out their entire website at HyattHills.com .

Who knows?  You may have a mini Tiger Woods in the making . . . . a cub, if you will.  It’s a great day out, and easy on the parents!


If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

NJ Miles With Moms 5K and Fun Run at Oak Ridge Park in Clark NJ 5/3/14


You’ve probably seen the latest viral video sensation, with the fake interview for “the toughest job in the world.” It outlines the brutal requirements of a ridiculously difficult job, with no pay involved, only to find out at the end that it is the description of the job of “Mom.”  No one can deny that being a mom is, in fact, the most difficult, albeit rewarding, job on Earth.  But moms are human, and sometimes they need some support, some advice, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or just an hour or two out of the house.

The Mothers’ Center of Central NJ is a non-profit organization committed to raising the status of women as mothers. Established in 1978, the local branch of the National Mothers’ Center meets at Garwood Presbyterian Church, at 341 Spruce Avenue in Garwood, and consists o members from Garwood, Clark, Cranford, Westfield, and surrounding communities. Through daytime and evening activities they offer opportunities for local moms to connect and maintain sanity, while the kids have other kids to play and spend time with.   It provides peer support and fun for both moms and children.  MCCNJ (Mothers’ Center of Central New Jersey) is dedicated to helping those within the community, whether organizing meals for new moms and others needing some extra help, or assisting other charitable projects within our neighborhoods.

The NJ Miles With Moms 5K and Fun Run will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ.  There will be times races, prizes, raffles, a fun run for the kids, and much, much more.  All the makings of a fun-filled day!  To register, or to make a donation, go to http://cnj.motherscenter.org/5k/ by April 26th for early registration pricing, although sign-ups can also be done for a slightly higher fee at the race site. (T-shirts may not be available that day.)  Proceeds will benefit the MCCNJ and the great work that they do with new mothers and their children.

Consider donating or running on May 3rd, and helping out some local new moms of the community.  Think of it as an early Mother’s Day present that you can give to fellow moms.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Northern Lights The Salon in Clark NJ Salon Blow Out Fundraising Event 2/22/14

A Blow-Out Fundraising Event!Blow Dry



While we all learned one definition of the term “blow out” at this year’s Superbowl, this is another kind of blow out.  And this is one that is not only desirable for locals, but it can help others in need, as well.

On Saturday February 22, 2014, from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Northern Lights the Salon in Clark will be holding a blow out event to raise money for the Junior League of Elizabeth-Plainfield. For the cost of $25, customers can get a full blowout treatment for a great cause! They will also be offering raffles for gift baskets, a 50/50, and gratefully accepting donations during the entire month of February. While walk-ins are welcomed, it is highly advisable to call ahead at (732) 333-0920 to schedule an appointment.

Northern Lights the Salon is a full service hair styling studio, located at 67 Westfield Avenue in Clark.  They also offer manicures, pedicures, consultations, and much more.  The business is celebrating its one year anniversary this month.  Check out their website at northernlightsthesalon.com for a full list of services available.

The Junior League of Elizabeth/Plainfield is an organization of women committed to promoting and providing volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  They provide numerous outreach programs, and arrange various types of community support to do so.  You can learn more about this wonderful organization by visiting their website JLEPNJ.org

It’s a perfect win-win situation.  You can walk out feeling better because you look better, AND feeling better because you’ve helped a worthy cause.  How can you beat that?

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it: