By ROBIN EHRLICHMAN WOODS
for Montclair Local
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for our children. Months of summer vacation to enjoy. Endless hours with nothing to do. That was great for a few weeks, then boredom set in. We’re exploring the town from morn till night in search of fun things to do.
A is for awake. We’re awake by 6 a.m. The Boys like to watch “the earth get up.” As many times as I explain that the earth can get up without their assistance, it falls on deaf ears. A walk around Glenfield Park, 115 Bloomfield Ave. We mosey down Maple Avenue and take a few laps around the field, then play for a few minutes in the wonderfully renovated children’s area.
B is for breakfast at Marlboro Bakery, 133 Grove St. Good old-fashioned and delicious sweet or savory choices. No, I don’t let the kiddies eat cake for breakfast. That’s reserved for me, as an independent adult. We pack fruit and yogurt to take with us, and settle into our usual tables for two. It’s the simple things they love, like plain long rolls without butter served to them with plate and napkin. I sip some of the best coffee in town for under $2, large cup.
C is for camp. Geyer Family YMCA, 159 Glenridge Ave., has wonderful choices for day camp on site. The Boys are attending Explorers Camp here and there, a specialty camp for ages 8-12. Drop them off at 8:30 a.m., pick them up at 3:30 p.m. Swim, gym, art, science, outdoor play and trips twice a week. Pack them a nut-free lunch with beverage and they’re good to go. It’s so much fun greeting the counselors dressed in festive sparkly tutus each morning.
D is for drop in at Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Ave., or Bellevue Avenue Branch, 185 Bellevue Ave. We all signed up for Summer Reading Club 2017, and are enjoying books from “Charlotte’s Web” to “Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!” Use the computers for an hour or so, then go back downstairs to the café area to pick up a free lunch provided by Toni’s Kitchen , 73 South Fullerton Ave., for children up to the age of 17, Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m. until Sept. 3. First come, first served but there are at least 60 bag lunches ready to enjoy each day with a simple and nutritious sandwich, fruit and a sweet treat. Vegetarian option also available in small quantities. Please be aware that lunches are not nut- or gluten-free. The wonderful volunteers at the kitchen make lunches from daily donations. We avoided a meltdown about cheese on the sandwiches by letting the kids swap out what they didn’t like with each other. Negotiating skills lesson to boot.
The day is barely done, and I have a list with so much fun to share in the future. Free kids movies, township pools, Montclair History Center, Montclair Art Museum and a bit of mystery. Hang in there, parents! Remember to check which sippie cup you put in with lunches for the kids, if need be. Not that I accidentally packed my cup with an adult beverage in one of their bags, but better safe than sorry. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Robin Ehrlichman Woods is a writer living in Montclair. For Local Voices, she writes about things to see and do in town.
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