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More Things To Do On A Half Day


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The Pond at Bryant Park

On Monday, we put up five suggestions for activities for this week’s half days. Our goal was to give the kids some new options and their parents fun that wouldn’t break the bank. Here are five more things to consider:

  1. The rain is supposed to ease up today, which means that tomorrow, you could go ice skating outside. No, not here, not yet, though we can hope we have as much fun on Verona Park Lake this year as last. No, you can head in to New York City to Bryant Park and skate at The Pond. Skating there is free–sort of. There is no charge to skate if you have your own skates. If you don’t, the rentals are $13 each. And yes, we haven’t forgotten that, if you’re coming from Verona, there’s the tunnel and parking. But there’s just something inherently cool about skating between skyscrapers. Oh, we’ll save you the clicks and tell you that none of the indoor rinks around here have open sessions during the afternoons when the kids are out of school.
  2. Much more free, and closer to home, are some of the hikes we’ve told you about already: The Hilltop, Pyramid Mountain, the West Essex Trail and Eagle Rock Reservation.

    The Great Falls
  3. Free and mesmerizing: The Great Falls in Paterson, especially after it’s been raining. You can park close and just watch the water flow, or walk across a nearby pedestrian bridge. The address to plug into your GPS is 65 McBride Avenue, Paterson; the parking lot and entrance is actually on Spruce Street. If you don’t have a GPS, head towards the Little Falls ShopRite, then continue on Browertown Road. It become McBride Avenue. The Paterson Museum, located close to the Falls, will help you explain to the kids how important they once were to Paterson.
  4. Outside and not all that expensive: Essex County’s new miniGOLF Safari. This is a 19-hole course with African landmarks and animals for decoration, just down from the Codey Arena. Open since September, it passed muster with a pre-teen crowd a few weeks back. It’s open until 6 p.m. and will cost you $7 for adults and $5 for kids. And if you’re up for it, there’s a shuttle over to Turtle Back Zoo.
  5. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, Tracy wants you to know that there are two kid-friendly movies out right, Secretariat and Megamind. The AMC Loews near Willowbrook has mid-afternoon shows and the Clearview in Caldwell has late-afternoon times.

Maybe next week we’ll look at day spas to help you recover from three half-days in a row…

Bryant Park Pond by Tree Tops via Flickr.

Great Falls by Joiseyshowaa via Flickr.

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