Category Archives: Fun

What if it’s a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?

what if we create a better world for nothing
Credit: Editorial cartoon by Joel Pett – displayed at

A Joel Pett character asks a bonafide good question on Climate Change: “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?”

See more of Pulitzer prize winner Joel Pett’s environmental cartoons at Climate Action Reserve. Thanks Samantha Tang for the fun share.

Hudson River Ramble activities: bike, hike, boat, play, sightsee

Hudson River Ramble activities16 years of fall activities bring thousands out to enjoy the Hudson River Ramble and Hudson Valley in southern New York State. Take a look at through the activity choices in the website and Guidebook and head out to enjoy the culture and natural beauty of this region. There’s truly something for everyone.

Every September, participation continues to grow. ‘Ramblers’ come not only from the Hudson Valley region and New York State, but from other regions of the country as well to discover the riches our Valley has to offer. Whether you are interested in a challenging hike, bike ride or paddle, an inspiring walk through the grounds and homes of some of the Valley’s most notable artists, authors, and Great Americans, a trip back in time to experience the significant role the region played in the Revolutionary War, or a family-fun festival or river exploration event, the Hudson River Valley Ramble truly offers something for everyone!

Free admission to 5th Ave museums & 1-mile block party June 9 @ 6-9pm

Museum Mile 2015One evening a year, nine of the city’s finest museums on Fifth Avenue (aka Museum Mile) open their doors to visitors for free and close down the avenue to traffic for a mile-long block party.

Free Museum Mile Access 6pm – 9pm
Tuesday 09 June 2015

23 Car-Free Blocks
5th Ave btw 82nd – 105th St

Live Bands & Entertainment

Art-in-the street activities for kids

Begun as an initiative to spur the development of new museum audiences and to increase support for the arts during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, Museum Mile was formed as a consortium by the museums that share the Fifth Avenue address. The first festival, held in June of 1978, was an instant success. Not only did it expose New Yorkers and NYC visitors to an incredible collection of New York’s artistic riches, it also brought together disparate New Yorkers. From the barrios of East Harlem and the townhouses lining the Upper East Side, to the winding streets of the Village and the clustered neighborhoods of the outer-boroughs, people came to celebrate their shared pride in their city. Museum Mile Festival promoted public awareness through increased visibility, accessibility and attendance at all the museums, and brought many New Yorkers to upper Fifth Avenue for the first time.

This traffic-free, music and art-filled celebration fills the street and sidewalks of Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Street, the mile now officially designated as Museum Mile.


Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Festival is now!

Essex County BBP Cherry Blossom Festival
The 39th Annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival will be highlighted by the planting of 1,000 new cherry blossom trees, solidifying Essex County’s position as having larger and more diverse collection than the national display in Washington, DC. The festival begins with the Cherry Blossom Challenge Bicycle Race on Saturday, April 11th and concludes with the bus tour’s final trip through the park on Wednesday, April 22.

“The colorful display of the cherry blossoms throughout Branch Brook Park will be greatly enhanced with the planting of an additional 1,000 trees. When we started our replanting program seven years ago, it was always our goal to have our collection reach 5,000 trees. This will make the transformation each spring more dramatic and ensure the Cherry Blossoms remain a feature of Branch Brook,” County Executive DiVincenzo said. The project is being funded through the Essex County Capital Budget.

The Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival includes the following events:

Cherry Blossom Challenge Annual Bike Race
Saturday 11 April 2015
7am – 1pm
Essex County Branch Brook Park
Heller Parkway, Newark NJ
Race through Branch Brook Park in the Cherry Blossom Challenge, a competitive New Jersey tradition, or cheer on the cyclists while enjoying a day in the fresh, spring air. Various races occur throughout the morning, with the first race at 7am and the last race at 12 Noon. Registration fees apply to racers. It’s free to enter the park and watch.

Cherry Blossom 10K Run
Sunday 12 April 2015
Registration: 8am
10K Race: 10am
Race for the Disabled: 10:10am
Essex County Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Center
Mill Street, Newark NJRun through the historic cherry tree groves in this race that is sanctioned by the USATF. A portion of the race proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. Online registration can be done at Same day registration begins at 8am Advanced registration is recommended. Race starts at 10am Disabled Run starts at 10:10am It’s free to enter the park and watch.

1-Mile Fun Run and Walk
Saturday 18 April 2015
8am Registration
10am Race
Essex County Branch Brook Park Southern Division
Prudential Concert Grove, Newark NJ
Celebrate the arrival of spring and get fit with your family or friends. Children are encouraged to run individually or as a member of a school team. Schools and groups must register in advance by calling 973-268-3500. This is a free event. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Essex County Family Day
Saturday 18 April 2015
11am – 3pm
Essex County Branch Brook Park
Southern Division, Prudential Concert Grove, Newark NJ
The public is encouraged to come out and enjoy an afternoon of family-fun with a variety of events including live performances, children’s activities, a fishing derby and more. Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase food from vendors who will be on site and enjoy the picturesque views overlooking the lake. Admission is free but food and other merchandise will be for sale.

Sunday 19 April 2015
11am – 5pm
Essex County Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Center
Mill Street, Newark NJ
Enjoy a family day in the pink park! A packed schedule of events includes cultural demonstrations, children’s activities, live music, a crafter’s marketplace, food and more. Winners from the “Why My Essex County Park is Important to Me” essay contest for 4th graders and “Cherry Blossom Poster Contest” for 6th graders will be recognized on stage. Admission is free; food and merchandise will be for sale.

Newark Cherry Blossoms festival & trolley

Cherry Blossom Guided Trolley Tours
15 through 22 of April on the hour
No tours will be given on Sunday, April 19
Depart from: Essex County Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Welcome Center
Mill Street, Newark NJ
Have knowledgeable guides take you on a 45-minute journey and point out 120 years of history hidden within Essex County Branch Brook Park’s structure and design. Tours leave from the Essex County Cherry Blossom Welcome Center on the hour. Tickets are $5 person and can be purchased at the Welcome Center on the tour dates. Space is limited – first come, first served. Call 973-268-3506 to inquire about group tour bookings.

Cellphone Tours – free and on demand with your own cellphone
Visitors to Essex County Branch Brook Park can enjoy a self-guided tour by dialing 973-433-9047 and following the prompts or by using their Smart Phone to scan the bar codes at each of the 72 locations to connect to a short history of the park and horticultural information.

More Information

History, driving directions, a complete list of activities and a web cam where the public can monitor the cherry trees for the peak of the bloom season can be accessed by visiting and clicking on the Cherry Blossom banner at the top of the home page or call 973-268-3500. General information about the park lives at the Branch Brook Park Alliance website.

The Essex County Park System is the first county park system in the country. It is the thought child of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted – who created Central Park in New York City – and was designed by his sons, the Olmsted Brothers.

Sign your high school team up for Shore Bowl competition

To compete in the 2014 Shore Bowl you need a team, a coach and to sign up by November 30. Teams will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Shore Bowl overview and registration link.

Shore BowlWhat Is Shore Bowl?
The Shore Bowl is a regional academic competition for high school students in NJ, NY, and PA that focuses on ocean-related topics. These topics include the biology, chemistry, physics and geology of the ocean, as well as navigation, geography, and related history and literature. The Shore Bowl will be one of 25 regional competitions hosted around the country. The winners of each regional competition will travel to Seattle, WA to compete in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Prizes will be awarded to the top teams at both the regional and national levels.

Shore Bowl happens

Saturday, February 1, 2014 | 7am – 6pm
Food Science Building
Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Wild gorillas meet man in Uganda

What if you were a baby gorilla in Uganda, wandering peaceably around the jungle with your Silverback Daddy and the rest of your gorilla family … and happened upon a bunch of concrete steps making a pathway going up and down through the jungle, and discovered on those steps small troops of humans walking around. And one of those humans happened to be sitting down at just about your eye height and he had the oddest, silver hair. What would your baby gorilla mind tell you to do? Obviously, you must check this fellow out thoroughly. You must groom his hair a bit, lick him, and then climb up a small tree to see him better from a top view.

Gigantic Daddy at one point, grabs junior to move him on, but the little one isn’t ready to leave yet, and his fascination has attracted several of his brothers and sisters, who mill about next to the man together with junior. So Daddy Silverback walks a few feet behind the man and plunks himself down to sit and watch casually while his children, and then two female gorillas as well, examine this man thoroughly by touching his upper body, head and hair. Eventually, the family has seen enough and amble away. When the smaller gorillas move on, so does gigantic Daddy. They leave one very amazed man still sitting, keeping his head well down while the gorillas are in motion so as not to appear threatening or confrontative to them in any way. Clearly, the same benign Daddy who looks on with only moderate interest while his children swarm around the silver haired man, could very easily tear that man into several pieces if he was of a mind to do it.

This is a beautiful little vignette. Watch it if you have five and a half minutes to spend on a bit of pure enjoyment, observing the intersection of nature with the world of man.

The silver haired subject of the gorilla examination was visiting the Bwindi National Park wildlife preserve as an eco-tourist. Eco-tourism provides substantial revenue to the people of Uganda.

Green Drinks 3 (eco chats) March 2013 Schedule

Calendar treeGreen Drinks 3 logo

Green Drinks are about the environment, sustainability, community empowerment, saving the net & happiness
At Green Drinks we are working on building healthy food systems and clean, safe communities. We’re chatting about . . . combatting climate change, composting, biking, kids walking to school, protecting public education, solar energy, alternate fuel cars and better public transit. Each of these is a sustainability topic.

Expert social and environmental justice advocates come out to spend the evening with the community discussing these issues. The point of Green Drinks is to spark conversation about integrating sustainability activities and environmentally friendly practices into our lives and neighborhoods!

You are! We have interesting and lively discussions, and meet at restaurants that serve good, inexpensive food. If you have information to contribute, or just want to learn, you’ll be welcome at Green Drinks. Feel free to bring a friend.

Recognizing your blessings is a game changer, so we discuss happiness. Protecting the free and open internet is ESSENTIAL to being happy and empowering communities, so we discuss this too.

Kimi Wei, Ivan Gomez Wei, Angenett Washington & Sally Gellert

Newark 1st Mondays (04 March) 7-9PM
Hackensack 2nd Mondays (11 March) 7-9PM
Paterson-Clifton 3rd Tuesdays (19 March) 12NOON
Visit for other location addresses

Check our list of upcoming events, actions & training