Need a few moments of respite from the global health crisis? Consider ordering local wine and cheese delivered to your home from New York’s Backyard Garden—the rolling vineyards and farms of Central New Jersey, just an hour’s drive, or overnight delivery, from your doorstep. “New Jersey is producing some of the best wines in the east,” wrote the Wine Enthusiast a couple of years ago.  “New Jersey’s top estates are producing some of the best…

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…

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…

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 — Rock, formal, native, rose, peony, ornamental — whatever garden passion, the beauty and aroma of diverse gardens can be found in Somerset County, NJ! The County is home to five renowned garden experiences for you to explore. Plan a visit to Duke Farms, Leonard J. Buck Garden, Peony’s Envy, the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden or Hidden Spring Lavender. Gardens Getaways are ideal during Spring and Summer when many plants…