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 — There’s a NEW Jersey you haven’t seen yet! We’re excited to announce that just this week, a coalition of New Jersey farmers, beverage makers and farm-to-table restaurateurs launched a new website, DiscoverCentralNJ.com – a guide to help you find the special places, food, and drink that earned the Garden State its nickname! Central New Jersey is located within 1 hour of NYC, completely accessible by NJ Transit, and is steeped in agricultural…

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…

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 — 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…