Day Trips: Cheese, Bugs, Trains and Drag Racing


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Rosie the Tarantula, at the Insectropolis

Bet you never thought you’d see all that in the same headline. But it’s time for the third installment of day trip ideas gleaned from George and Cathy Anderson’s newsletter for Anderson Electric, and once again, there’s something for everybody to enjoy.

Last month’s tips started with an ice cream festival, and there’s dairy on the day trip menu again this month. George and Cathy are suggesting a visit to one of my favorite cheese makers on the whole planet, Valley Shepard Creamery in Long Valley. Maybe you’ve bought Valley Shepherd’s cheeses at the Montclair Farmer’s market on Saturday, maybe not. But I’m willing to bet that you and your kids will be fascinated by the tours they give at this working sheep dairy every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The tours cost $6.50 for kids 2 to 12 and $8.50 for everybody else, except that the farm says that “Shepherds over 100 are free!” And put this date on your calendars: October 2, 2010, which is the date of this year’s Autumn Leaves Artisanal Cheese Festival at Valley Shepherd.

The aging caves at Valley Shepherd

The Andersons also recommend Northlandz, a quirky model train museum Flemington, N.J. I took the kids there when they were little, but there are plenty of grown-ups who go too, drawn by the 8 miles of miniature railroad track and 4,000 buildings that dot the train landscapes. It’s an easy trip on a rainy day (which you know we eventually will get), but a bit pricey at $9.75 for kids 2 to 12 and $13.75 for others. If you bought that KidStuff coupon book from the elementary school fundraisers, there’s a discount coupon on page 299. But note: Northlandz is closed on Tuesdays.

The last two suggestions in the Andersons’ newsletter are completely new to me, though I have to admit I was intrigued when I clicked through on the “Bugs” link and saw what it was all about. Here’s what George and Cathy wrote:

Bugs! – Like you’ve never seen before–Insectropolis is a fun and unique insect learning center that dazzles visitors of all ages.  View thousands of beautiful and bizarre exotic insects from all over the world.  Watch ants forage for food and build tunnels in a live ant nest.  Click Bugs to learn more.

Drag Racing in NJ– Drag racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday from March to November.
Click Drag Racing for more details.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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