All work and no play is simply a big no-no in today’s hectic and fast paced lifestyle. Everybody needs some R&R, but unfortunately some of you have tight packed calendars busier than the Texas district court dockets, and sadly most of us are crunching every cent during these hard times.
So if you are too busy to hop on a plane and go trainspotting all over Europe and enjoy the lavish English, French and Italian countryside… where and what are your options for a recharging vacation?
Well, you are truly blessed when you’re in Union County, New Jersey. This county is home to the borough of Mountainside, a municipality in the New Jersey State which is not just ranked as one of the Best Places To Live by New Jersey Monthly magazine in 2008 and 2010, it is also a prime choice to experience a satisfying “Staycation”, earning two spots on the top three best destinations on this year’s Patch’s Readers’ Choice Staycation poll.
First on the list is Mountainside’s Trailside Nature and Science Center. This Union County recreation center boasts of having both indoor and outdoor activitie for nature lovers of all ages. The Discovery Room is an indoor treat for the young ones and the young at heart. Kids will have fun spending time on lots of nature-related activities such as puzzles, books and blocks among many other informative materials regarding Mountainside’s wildlife and natural habitat. It’s also a place where one can view the scenic and natural beauty of the Watchung Reservation using binoculars. Other great facilities within this nature center include a guided nature walk, a Raja Yoga workshop and the Night Theater.
Second on the list, falling behind the Trailside Nature and Science Center by just one point is Bowcraft which is in Scotch Plains. This is New Jersey’s much beloved Family Amusement Park. For decades Bowcraft has thrilled several generations of kids and thrills seekers with their wide array of amusement rides and attractions. New Jersey locals enjoy the numerous and aptly named rides such as the Crossbow Roller Coaster, Muzik Express, Drop Zone, Crazy Submarine, Galleon Pirate Ship, Frog Hopper and Scrambler among many others. Both kids and adults will enjoy spending the time together amidst a wholesome amusement park setting. Bonding time with the family has never been this good!
The other Mountainside destination, and also covered by Westfield, which has earned the third spot to have a Staycation is none other than Echo Lake Park. This nature park is the prime outdoor area to spend time with the whole family. There are picnic areas, a playground, fishing and paddle boating facilities, sport fields for soccer and softball and seasonal ice-skating and sledding areas to enjoy.
Why leave the state if there are places like this in New Jersey, inexpensive and so close to home. Enjoy your Staycation!