Children and their parents experience Brandywine Christmas. Photo by Carlos Alejandro. 

By Ilene Dube

In all its starkness, winter was the favorite season of the painter Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009), one of the 20th century’s most popular American painters. Even today, exhibitions of his works draw large crowds to museums.

Wyeth described winter as a time when “you feel the bone structure in the landscape—the loneliness of it—the dead feeling…” Wyeth’s landscapes of that season are both placid in their silence and haunting in their feeling of desolation. He has the ability to capture the nuanced shades of white, even when working in watercolor. more

The Holidays at Drumthwacket

Jack Frost is in the air, and the “most wonderful time of the year” is about to begin…

Mark your calendar for these festive events that celebrate the season:

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Red Mill Museum Village

By William Uhl 

A symbol of early American industry, Clinton’s iconic Red Mill still sits aside the Raritan River. Since its construction two centuries ago, the mill’s sleepy water wheel has worked with cloth, minerals, food, and electricity. Now, the mill is home to an array of galleries. Some house historical reproductions, some display pieces from international artists, and others hold fragments of local Clinton history. more

By Wendy Plump 

Photography Courtesy of Nomadic Expeditions

In a dramatic re-interpretation of the notion “If you build it, they will come,” New Jersey resident and contractor Jalsa Urubshurow built a base for his adventure expedition company in Mongolia. He chose the South Gobi Province on the edge of the Gobi Desert—where the Altai Mountains rim the horizon—and put up forty Ger, the traditional felt yurts of Mongolia’s indigenous nomadic tribes. He designed the main lodge in the style of an ancient temple. He quarried local stone and installed local staffers – herders, guides, cooks – because he wanted authenticity in a world greatly in need of it, and, if truth be told, because he demanded the most breathtaking gateway for those visiting his beloved Mongolia, the home of his Kalmyk ancestors. more

Mercer County Italian American Festival

By Laurie Pellichero 

The leaves will soon be falling, the air is crisp…it’s time for fall festivals!

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

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Photo Credit: Asbury Park Distilling Co.

Craft Distilleries are Booming in New Jersey 

By Laurie Pellichero

From Jersey City to Cape May, craft distilleries have been quickly popping up and producing local spirits throughout the state. While craft beers and breweries have grown quite ubiquitous in New Jersey, it’s been in just the past few years that these small batch distilleries, which now number 16 and counting, have been able to produce and promote their wares.

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Photo Credit: Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association

Friday, August 11

9 to 10 a.m.: Free, Baby Boot Camp stroller-based fitness program on Palmer Square Green (weather permitting). For more information and to register, visit www.babybootcamp.com.

5 to 8 p.m.: Sunset Sips and Sounds at Terhune Winery, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton. more

TRIUMPHANT AT THE FINISH: A team celebrates completing the R2C relay just beyond the finish line in Manasquan. (Photo by Paul Mecca: PaulMecca.com)

By Doug Wallack

Early on Saturday morning, 44 teams comprising over 300 runners will gather in Lambertville, on the banks on the Delaware River, and head east across the Garden State, winding 72 miles through Mercer and Monmouth counties before arriving at the beach in Manasquan late in the day. This year will mark the 22nd running of the River 2 Sea Relay, an event that for many participants has become a beloved annual tradition. Each team of seven divides the course’s nine stages between its members in an event that embodies teamwork to an extent that is rare in the world of distance running.  more

Emilie Brzezinski, Lintel, 1993, bronze. Photo by David Howarth for dmhphotographer.com

By Laurie Pellichero

Founded by artist and philanthropist J. Seward Johnson, Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) has welcomed more than two million guests since it opened to the public in 1992. The 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum features a unique collection of contemporary sculpture, special programs, and seasonally-rotating exhibitions in six indoor galleries.

In honor of its 25th anniversary, GFS has opened five new exhibitions for its Spring/Summer Exhibition Season including two site-specific interior glass sculpture installations by Daniel Clayman, titled Daniel Clayman: Radiant Landscape and an exploration of space and sky with photographic collages and pastels by Elyn Zimmerman in Elyn Zimmerman: Sensitive Chaos. more

Liberty State Park

By Wendy Plump

On a recent train ride home from Boston, surrounded by people tapping at computers and staring into cell phones, as well as my own pile of devices, the meaning of serenity asserted itself. It wasn’t gained by answering emails or texts or squinting through news feeds, but by looking out the window at miles and miles of wild coastline and coves, a great gray ocean, and a marbled sky. Every seabird scratching in the sand or stand of evergreens leaning out of the wind served to remind me that this is what saves. more

By Doug Wallack

I turned off Route 206 and wound my way southeast toward Chatsworth, in the heart of cranberry country. Within a few miles, the farmland—acre upon acre of wheat and corn—was swallowed up by thick forest. A few miles further, the maples, oaks, and sassafras trees that form so much of the state’s deciduous canopy yielded almost entirely to pitch pines and shortleaf pines. The road became an evergreen-lined alley stretching out into the flat distance, where heat waves shimmered above the asphalt — looking for all the world as though the Atlantic had crept some twenty miles inland of its usual home along the Jersey Shore. The drive continued this way for some time, punctuated by the the occasional bog, until I arrived — almost without warning — in the middle of Chatsworth. more

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

In the early 1800s, the southern banks of the Navesink River bustled with steamboats, sailboats, and commercial fishermen transporting shellfish and local crops to New York City. In 1908, the area was incorporated into the town of Red Bank, whose name is attributed to the clay found along its coast. Come 2017, you’ll still find sailors and fisherman along these red banks, but you’ll also find young professionals on their way to stand-up paddle yoga. Indeed, some of Red Bank’s 12,200 residents start their day floating on the Navesink River with Flow Paddle Yoga.  more

Every year, in observance of Independence Day, Morven Museum and Garden at 55 Stockton Street in Princeton hosts a FREE event celebrating America’s heritage at the home-turned-museum of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The festivities take place on Tuesday, July 4, from noon to 3 p.m. No registration is necessary.

Perfect for the entire family, the fun-filled afternoon will feature live bluegrass music on the front porch by Ocean Country Band; an All-American BBQ with refreshments by Oink & Moo BBQ, Tower Dogs and Halo Pub; an opportunity for children of all ages to “sign” the Declaration of Independence; and a meet and greet with General George Washington portrayed by renowned reenactor Bill Agress. more

Friday, June 23

10 a.m. to noon: The Friends of the Princeton Public Library Preview Sale (regular sale begins at noon and continues through Saturday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m.).

12 to 8:30 p.m.: The annual Friends of Princeton Public Library Book Sale. The sale features special collections and rare books as well as books in all genres and for all ages. Princeton Public Library.

12:30 p.m.: Meeting, Gotham Networking at Eno Terra in Kingston. The cost to attend is $38 per person. For more information, visit www.gothamnetworking.com.

7 to 10 p.m.: The Trinity Counseling Service Junior Board presents The Summer Soiree, A Taste of Hope at D&R Greenway in Princeton. Tastings of food, wine, and brews. For tickets, visit www.tcssummersoiree.orgmore

By Doug Wallack 

On Saturday, June 10, the Chatham Borough Department of Community Services will hold the annual Fishawack Festival in downtown Chatham. Inaugurated in 1971, the festival — which takes its name from the Lenni-Lenape term for the Passaic River — is a day-long celebration of the region’s culture and history. The festivities will include local art exhibits, live music and dance performances, a car and truck show, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, an exhibition on Lenni-Lenape history, and more. more

The Tradition Continues

Photography by Charles R. Plohn 

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Illustration Courtesy of the Historical Society of Princeton

Friday, May 19 

6 to 9 p.m.: Opening reception for ArtJam at 19 Hulfish Street in Princeton’s Palmer Square. The exhibit features national and local artists. Proceeds benefit HomeFront’s ArtSpace (the exhibit will be on view through June 6).

6:30 p.m.: Award-winning author and professor Eddie Glaude Jr. speaks at One Table Café at Trinity Church, Princeton. Reservations are required by May 17. RSVP by calling (609) 216-7770.

7 to 9 p.m.: Opening Night, Dancing Under the Stars at Hinds Plaza co-sponsored by Princeton Public Library and Central Jersey Dance. more

 

Friday, May 12

6:30 to 8 p.m.: Damsel Duo, an indie-neo-folk group featuring Beth Meyers and Monica Mugan, presents a Mother’s Day concert with acoustic-based duo Helen and Molly. Molly Trueman of Helen and Molly is Mugan’s daughter; Hinds Plaza.

Saturday, May 13

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center hosts its annual Bike Safety Rodeo and Safe Kids Day. Children ages 3-12 and their families are invited to learn about safety and prevention when participating in sports and other recreational activities. Children will receive free bike helmets, have their bikes inspected, and ride a safety course. RSVP by emailing bikerodeo@slrc.orgmore

Check out some creative party venues for kids in the greater Princeton area

“You’re invited!”

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

It’s the sentence that makes children shriek with excitement. Full of presents, treats, and entertainment, birthday parties are the height of childhood fun. But as parents keep upping the birthday party anti, the yearly celebration can leave families at a loss for new and creative ideas. Alas, the days of Pin the Tail on the Donkey and ice cream cake might be ending, but luckily, our area is filled with unique birthday venues to keep you up with the Joneses. From arty parties to farm fetes, we outline party venues that will make all of your child’s birthday wishes come true. more

A Night in Old Havana 

Photography by Erica Cardenas

On Saturday, May 6, McCarter Theatre Center welcomed Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to “A Night in Old Havana” Gala 2017. The evening began with a cocktail reception and dinner on McCarter’s back lawn, which was tented and decorated with 1940’s-era old Havana flare. The musical performance was held at McCarter’s Matthews Theater. The electric after-party included more food, entertainment, and dance. All proceeds benefit McCarter’s Artistic, Education, and Engagement Programs. more