The Village at South Orange slowly reopens along with the rest of NJ and residents cannot be happier to get back to the many activities that have been on pause. With COVID-19 cases dropping along the state (1), The Village at South Orange begins to bustle with energy as outdoor dining reopens, retail businesses accept limited customers, personal care businesses take in appointments, and even yoga studios function through virtual sessions! A great beginning to this summer considering all that has occurred during spring!
The residents at The Avenue may take advantage of being a part of a community that has so much to offer and has many great resources available near-by. With stay-at-home restrictions lifted, residents may enjoy an early morning walk around the South Mountain reservoir or disconnect for a moment from the current circumstances by hiking one of the South Mountain’s Trails. (Please click on this link to get a map of the different trails of South Mountain: https://www.southorange.org/365/South-Mountain-Reservation).
Close to home at The Avenue, residents may also begin to meet with friends and family to do outdoor activities. While the Codey Arena continues to suspend all ice activities and the Regatta Children’s Playground continues to be closed (2), many recreational centers are currently opened and taking guests in:
- Turtleback Zoo– starting June 18th, the zoo has begun to take in “timed tickets” only. Time reservations are needed, all guests must wear a mask, keep a 6 feet distance from each other and no water fountains will be accessible. Although there are safety regulations in place, some may say that besides having to wear a mask during a hot summer day, the zoo is as enjoyable because it is not as crowded, people can take extra time to watch animals since there are no restrictions on how long a guest may visit the zoo and there are no wait lines! Turtleback Zoo has also opened their Mini Golf Safari and their Treetop Adventure zipline activity located right next to the zoo (3). For more information on visiting the zoo, please check out this link: https://turtlebackzoo.com
- The Waterfront– currently opened with the requirement of “face coverings” (4). All guests that are interested in paddle boats must purchase tickets at the Boats Hut and all “persons sharing a paddle must be members of the same household” (4).
- Peter S. Connor Memorial Swimming Pool– The Village is very happy to announce that the community pool is reopening on July 6th! There are many regulations and modifications that have been done to adhere to the NJDH’s requirements (5), however, families can now enjoy the summer at the poolside by reserving a timeslot. All who would like to swim in the pool would have to have membership since no guests are allowed in the pool facility (5). Additionally, there will be no tables or chairs available- guests must bring their own chairs (5). For more information on the new pool policies and membership renewal or purchases, please visit: http://www.southorange.org/753/COVID-19-Pool-Updates
Meanwhile many recreational areas get a head start on reopening, The Mall at Short Hills is now opened and anticipating returning customers. For a list of what stores will be opened, please visit the following link as each store at The Mall has different reopening dates: https://shopshorthills.com/pages/openstores
Furthermore, residents may enjoy a takeout meal from their favorite restaurant or savor a midday treat from any of the local bakeries such as Carvel, Cait & Abby’s Daily Bread, or Cold Stone Creamery.
A Word to Our Residents at The Avenue
The Village at South Orange is asking its residents to join in on deciding a new community logo. The community logo, not the same as the historical South Orange logo, is the village’s official seal which the community uses in publications, or properties (6). To take the survey and chime in on what logo looks great, please go to the following link to submit your response: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TB87R9N?fbclid=IwAR1JHVDlLJMmiPPavCL9uHiAFr_XmZZCKetk6_HMWydb7UQBfYTBLTqEhm0
Additionally, please stay tuned for any future Virtual Hall Town Meetings. These meetings keep residents informed on how The Village is handling COVID-19 changes, protecting its residents, and answering any concerning questions residents may have.
Although most counties in NJ will not celebrate 4th of July through a display of fireworks, NJ has legalized the purchase of ground-based fireworks (7). We ask all residents to celebrate safely and check out the following website for guidelines on fireworks safety: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/Consumer%20Briefs/fireworks.pdf
We urge residents of The Avenue to take a few minutes to complete their census which is still available at: https://2020census.gov/?cid=20003:census%202020:sem.ga:p:dm:en:&utm_source=sem.ga&utm_medium=p&utm_campaign=dm:en&utm_content=20003&utm_term=census%202020#
Again, a special tribute to all the healthcare and frontline workers who continue to work extra hard and extra-long shifts to ensure the health and comfort of all others, and a kind thank you to residents at The Avenue that is inspiring a promising future full of health and wellness!
Happy Independence Day to All!
-The Team at The Avenue