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 — 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…

Dear EscapeMakers — Less than an hour from NYC in Somerset County, New Jersey, Colonial Park Gardens is the place to be on June 9th! Their annual Rose Day Festival celebrates one of the first signs of summer. Roses in Bloom! In the heart of the park, the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden displays thousands of roses of many varieties, with both modern and historic significance. Stroll through the gardens, enjoying music and…

Dear EscapeMakers — What a crazy winter but as soon as the last snow melts, you’re going to want to hightail it to Somerset County, NJ! It’s just across the river from NYC and home to six internationally recognized garden experiences. Make plans to discover them all! Rock, formal, native, rose, peony, ornamental, whatever your garden passion, the beauty and aroma of gardens can be found in Somerset County. See below for a list of…