By ROBIN WOODS
For Montclair Local
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there’s no reason for you or the kiddies to be bored from morning until night unless you want to be.
I enjoy shopping at farmers’ markets, flea markets and markets of all kinds. Crane Park Market on Glenridge and Greenwood avenues is open for the summer on Thursdays from 3 to 8 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Listen to live music as you shop at various stalls, more vendors added weekly. I love my produce, but purchased some wonderful Polish borscht and homemade blueberry jam. A great-smelling citronella and natural ingredients soothing spray keeps the mosquitoes away. Parking is easily available.
I rarely miss the Walnut Street Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s a great way to get the kiddies to eat their fruits and vegetables, as they seem so much more inviting to them in this environment. Say hello to “Cowboy” Jim Matarazzo from Matarazzo Farms in North Caldwell while you choose the best reasonably priced fruits, veggies and flowers. His wife, Jeannie, gives me recipes each week for sunchokes, beet greens, or broccoli rabe. I always stop by TreeLicious Orchards of Port Murray, where people line up for their amazing doughnuts and homemade pies as well as their delicious berries, cherries and tomatoes. They have sugar-free and gluten-free items as well, plus savory vegetarian quiche. Nothing is overly sweet, so you can taste the abundant fresh fruit in the pies and cakes. Go early to buy fresh muffins. I try to snag the few pistachio ones each week, which sell out quickly. Ask about their Farm to Table dinners served until October in the orchard. Although the market officially shuts down right before Thanksgiving, there are at least seven brave and hardy vendors there throughout the year. Don’t forget to get your kid a pickle on stick.
It’s raining, it’s pouring but we go to the movies for free on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10. Right here in town, Bellevue Cinema, 260 Bellevue Ave., is the place to take your kiddies and a few healthy morning snacks and head on over. (I know, you’re supposed to buy things at the concession stand, but sometimes they want $10 worth of popcorn.) Yes, adults get free admission as well. Parking tip: Use the municipal lot at the side of the theater so you don’t have to run out in the middle of the movie to feed the meter. No worries about talking during the movie or walking around a bit in this most child-friendly setting, annually from late June until mid August.
Hang out with friends on Church Street while enjoying great music. Montclair Center Stage has a full lineup for the season. Bring your own chair, or sit outside at Simit Turkish Bakery, Le Petit Parisien, Manny’s Diner, Raymond’s or other excellent eateries on both sides of the street. You can BYOB if you wish from Amanti Vino. Come by and have a drink or snack with me as I listen to Black Lace Blues perform on Aug. 26 from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Keep rolling out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!
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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