For more local trip ideas, checkout //www.discovercentralnj.com Holiday trips in the family car while growing up in the 1970s often featured my mother leading the family in singing “Over the River and through the Woods,” a holiday poem and song written by a prominent abolitionist in 1844. It goes this way: “Over the river, and through the woods, To Grandmother’s house we go; the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white…

New Jersey is the Garden State for a reason. For more three centuries, the state’s fertile fields and valleys have fed America’s cities and armies. Indeed, Central Jersey was the site of the “forage wars” of the American Revolution, in which winning the loyalty of local farmers as a key to the American victory. Today Central Jersey’s farmers welcome millions of visitors from near and far to partake in the bounty—and fun—of harvest season. Just…

Dear EscapeMakers — Tackle the corn maze challenge and harvest your perfect pumpkin at the Norz Hill Farm Fall Festival! Don’t miss this family-owned and operated farm of almost 100 years! Every weekend in September and October, visit Norz Hill Farm and pick from over 45 acres of pumpkins, gourds and squash! You and your family will find all the right fall decorations, tour the farm and befriend the animals, enjoy pony rides and visit…

Dear EscapeMakers — Travel less than an hour from NYC for some good old-fashioned fun! Somerset County New Jersey will continue their annual 4-H Fairtradition on Wednesday August 7th through Friday August 9th (10am-10pm) at North Branch Park located in Bridgewater NJ. This is a FREE family-friendly event with no admission or parking fees and no fees on midway or carnival rides. All day professional & amateur entertainment can be enjoyed as well! The Fair…

Dear EscapeMakers — If you’re looking for the ULTIMATE local wine getaway just an hour or so from NYC, we’ve got the scoop! Book an exclusive 2-night escape at the eco-friendly Chauncey Hotel during: Central Jersey Art & Wine Weekend! July 26-29 Thepackage includes 2-nights hotel, breakfast and a dinner at Chauncey Hotel for two, plus a series of wine tastings for two at Terhune Orchards, Unionville Vineyards Summer Artisan Market and Sourland Mountain Spirits,…

Celebrate ‘merica with blueberry picking at Central NJ Farms! Dear EscapeMakers — Blueberry season is in full swing at Snyder’s Farm in Somerset, NJ starting June 29th until they are all picked out! July 13th, visit for Blueberry U-Pick & Movie under the stars. Only a 5-minute cab from the Somerset NJ Transit train station (1 hour from NYC),just grab a friend, a basket and go! And on July 6-7th from 10am-5pm, Terhune Orchards in…

Dear EscapeMakers — Less than an hour from NYC in Somerset County, New Jersey, Duke Farms will be all aglow at the Firefly Festival! On Friday July 12th & Saturday July 13th, experience the magic of fireflies at the Firefly Festival, one of the world’s most renowned environmental destinations! During this family-friendly event, you’ll meander along a self-guided 1.5-mile loop through woodlands and meadows to get a glimpse of fireflies in action. Stop at over…

Dear EscapeMakers — Make a vibrant connection to history! Visit 30 significant historic sites, all open to the public, free of charge, for special events and activities celebrating the history of Somerset County on their annual Weekend Journey Through the Past! Explore the county’s quaint villages, rolling farmsteads, lively towns and unspoiled natural areas. Witness what life was like 50, 100 or even 200 years ago, from daily work responsibilities and pleasant pastimes to the…

Dear EscapeMakers — Travel less than an hour from NYC for a day filled with jazz music at the Central Jersey Jazz Festival – Somerville! Free parking is available in all municipal parking lots as well as on-street. Plus, the festival is only a few blocks from the Somerville train station. Take NJ Transit from Penn Station! Experience the sounds of today’s best live jazz at Somerset County Historic Courthouse Green in Downtown Somerville. The…

Dear EscapeMakers — Less than an hour from NYC in Somerset County, New Jersey, Duke Farms will be all aglow at the Firefly Festival! On Friday July 13th & Saturday July 14th, experience the magic of fireflies at the Firefly Festival – at one of the world’s most renowned environmental destinations! During this family-friendly event, you’ll meander along a self-guided 1.5-mile loop through woodlands and meadows to get a glimpse of fireflies in action. Stop…