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Step away from Netflix. Forget Facebook. Stare instead at this energized list of ways to make Friday, Saturday and Sunday rock. (Your weekend plans never looked so good.)

 

Get Outdoorsy

It’s getting colder these days, but there’s something magical about taking a stroll in the woods on a brisk day. Even if you’re not the hike-through-the-wilderness type, there’s other ways to get in touch with nature.

Journey Between Two Rivers
Join Pinelands Adventures Naturalist John Volpa Nov. 11 for a 4-mile hike between the Mullica and Batsto rivers. Explore uplands, river dredges and check out native plants as well as local critters.

Batona Trail
While the Batona Trail weaves through 53 miles of the Pine Barrens, you can explore the 7.5-mile portion of the trail called the Franklin Parker Preserve with Pinelands Adventures on Nov. 5. Make sure to layer up and pack a snack – it’s a seven- to eight-hour trip.

Family Nature Walk
Hit the trail with your family on this walk through Palmyra Cove Nature Park with naturalist Kristina Merola on Nov. 4.

Owls in Autumn
This family-friendly program at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford is sure to be a hoot. Get up close to resident owls at the center and take a hike to search for local species at this event on Nov. 11.

Interpretive Trail Hike at Rancocas
This hour-long hike will take you through varied habitats and well-maintained trails, with a Rancocas Nature Center naturalist as a guide on Nov. 5.

 

Straight No Chaser

Can’t-Miss Concerts

Straight No Chaser
Nov. 5
The Scottish Rite, Collingswood

Exit Zero
Jazz Festival
Nov. 10-12
Cape May

Janet Jackson
Nov. 10
Boardwalk Hall,
Atlantic City

Gladys Knight
Nov. 11
Tropicana Showroom, Atlantic City

Max Weinberg’s Jukebox
Nov. 18
The Landis Theatre, Vineland

Beatlemania Again
Nov. 18
Grace Performance Hall, Haddonfield

Gin Blossoms
Dec. 1
Borgata Music Box,
Atlantic City

 

Do Date Night Right

Inject some fun into your next night out with these out-of-the-ordinary options.

Hit a bullseye at Bury the Hatchet
Date night has never been so daring! First you’ll learn how to safely handle and throw a hatchet at the wooden target, and then square off for one epic tournament.

Breakout at Escape Room South Jersey
Grab your friends for a group date night, then put your heads together to tackle the clues and puzzles hidden throughout one of the themed rooms at Escape Room South Jersey. You only have 60 minutes to solve the task at hand to get out, so teamwork is key.

Go to new heights at Elite Climbing
Take your relationship to another level during a rock-climbing class at Maple Shade’s Elite Climbing. Take a class with an instructor to learn the ropes before getting access to the facility’s rock walls.

White Hill Mansion Ghost Hunt
Add some spooky excitement to your dating life at this mysterious mansion, where witnesses have claimed to see flying vases and hear eerie whispers.

 

Make Your Kids’ Weekend Rock

School’s out, fun’s in!

Tots on Tour
Immerse your toddler in the arts with this kid-friendly program at Grounds For Sculpture. Each session includes a story time, a tour of the grounds and a craft inspired by current exhibitions.

Johnson’s Corner Farm
There’s still plenty of fun to be had at Johnson’s Farm this season. Every weekend, you can hop on a hayride out to the fields (sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower are ripe and ready to be picked!), play at the Discovery Barnyard and even try your hand at gem mining.

Grounds For Sculpture Tots on Tour

Howell Living History Farm
Meet the animals at Howell Living History Farm and learn what farming was like in the early 1900s. With special programs like cider making and Christmas on the Farm, the kids can keep the fun going all weekend long.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center
Visit New Jersey’s only rescue agency for stranded beach animals to learn everything your child has ever wondered about sea creatures. You might even meet some adorable new friends.

WheatonArts & Cultural Center
From sidewalk chalk to creation stations, there are plenty of ways to show off your creative side at WheatonArts. Plus, there’s plenty to learn from the artists working in the many craft studios – just peek inside and watch the magic happen.

Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge
Meet some of the animals native to your own backyard at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. Once you’ve seen the residents, hike the trails for a closer look at nature.

Paws Discovery Farm
Enjoy acres of family fun at the recently renovated Paws Discovery Farm. There are more than 80 birds and animals housed at the property, and the kids can take part in classes, story hours and animal programs every weekend.

 

Sunday Funday

Raise a toast to everything that makes Sundays awesome at these South Jersey wineries and breweries.

Willow Creek Winery
Sample fruity reds and crisp whites, tour the vineyard, and dine on the light tapas menu.

Amalthea Cellars
Indulge in some wine and cheese with the vineyard’s winter flight tasting. Try five wines that arrive tableside in a tower accompanied by a cheese board.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish Brewing Co.
Drop by every third Sunday of the month to replenish your body and mind with Power Ale Yoga. Afterward, order a few flights to taste some unique brews.

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing
Spend the day down the Shore without leaving Cherry Hill. With skee ball, a funnel cake brew and sandy vibes, this spot will make your Sunday a fun one.

Valenzano Winery
Relax on the patio and enjoy a complimentary wine tasting with any purchase. Add some food from the tasting menu.

Zed’s Beer
This newly opened brewery encourages you to get creative while you sip your favorite beers. Check out the chalkboard tables and leave your own mark on the tasting room.

Renault Winery
Explore the nearly 150-year-old winery by horseback and sip some wine with the tour, tasting and horseback riding program. Reservations are required.

Auburn Road Vineyards
Sip on a selection of wines with a slice of pizza made at the on-site, European-style wine bar.

Cape May Brewing Company
Enjoy a flight of beer paired with a few tacos from next door. Pull up a seat at one of the picnic tables outside or inside near the bar.

 

Have A Good Night

Candlelight Walk
Nov. 4, 6 to 8 pm
See Historic Cold Spring Village by candlelight. Several historic buildings will be serving beer, wine and light fare. Stop by the Village Pavilion for desserts, live music and hot beverages.

Collingswood’s Second Saturdays

Fall Foodie Fest
Nov. 4, 3 to 9 pm
Bring your appetite for some lake-side fun at the first annual Fall Foodie Fest. The event will feature plenty of food trucks, live music, local breweries and more at Paradise Lakes in Hammonton.

Collingswood Second Saturday
Nov. 11 & Dec. 9,
5 to 9 pm
Stroll the streets of Collingswood to admire works from local artists and musicians during the monthly Second Saturday event.

Indulge at Bordentown’s Chocolate Walk
Dec. 1, 6 to 9 pm
Show your sweetie – and sweet tooth – some love during the annual stroll through historic Bordentown.

Christkindlmarkt
Dec. 1-3, 4 to 8 pm
The European-style outdoor market at Tuckerton Seaport features holiday decorations, kiddie rides, boardwalk sleigh rides, gift vendors and more. (You can also stop by during the day – the market is open 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday.)

 

How to survive (and even love) weekends with your kids

When kids come along, things change – especially weekends. Sleeping in, long brunch dates and nights out on the town become a thing of the past, and many parents feel stressed about how to survive, let alone enjoy, the long hours between Friday evening and bedtime on Sunday. But Donna Snyder, director of early childhood and family engagement at the Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center at the Katz JCC, says there are a number of ways to take your weekends from awful to awesome.

 

Regroup
Parents and kids often feel like they’re pulled in a million directions during the week, so weekends should be time to come together as a unit, says Snyder.
“The biggest thing you can do to improve weekends is to make an intentional effort to regroup and reenergize. Start the weekend by cooking breakfast together or by playing a board game as a family. That connection will set the stage for the weekend,” says Snyder. “Parents should also make time to regroup as a couple. Hire a sitter and enjoy a date night so you can feel energized as a unit, too.”

Put down the technology
“So much of what we do at work and school requires adults and kids to be connected to our phones and computers, and it can be hard to break that cycle during the weekend,” says Snyder. “But if you’re constantly checking email, you can’t relax, and too much technology can be very detrimental for kids. Make an effort to put down the tablet and be present with each other.”

Don’t overschedule
“We’re so scheduled during the week that there’s no time to just do nothing. There’s often this pressure to get everything done and go everywhere, and that can spill over into the weekend,” says Snyder. “It’s much more enjoyable if you choose one age-appropriate activity your entire family will have fun doing, and limit it to a few hours. And don’t forget to block off downtime for everyone.”

Get back to the basics
Sometimes the simplest activities can make the weekend memorable, says Snyder. “You don’t have to spend a bunch of time or money to make your weekends fun. Simply playing Chutes and Ladders or taking a walk to get ice cream together can bring back those sparks of connection between your family. Low-key, old-fashioned activities are so crucial to building memories as a family.”

November 2017
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