After a long year, there is much needed holiday cheer and 2020 deserves it more than ever before! Even though this year has taken a toll of many lives, there were countless moments where families received that much needed embrace of support, where heroes were acknowledged more than ever and that sense of hope for normality feels much closer than before.
While COVID cases are still rising at alarming rates, it is imperative to take preventive measures and enter the holiday season and new year in great condition. Much like the Thanksgiving holiday, it is advised by officials to administer important protocols by remaining home as much as possible this season. If planning on having get-togethers at home, some of the best suggestions provided for Thanksgiving still apply, such as only celebrating with household members, taking COVID tests prior to having guests over, remaining six-feet apart or celebrating in an outdoor location with masks on. For more suggestions on how to enjoy this season, take a look at this CDC site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
Merry Days in December
The Avenue residents looking to relish in many COVID-safe activities with the family may still do so this season. Although nothing beats staying indoors in the comfort of one’s home, if residents are looking to take a day to join in some holiday activities, it might be worthwhile to check out any of these locations:
Millburn Winter Walk: Enjoy an afternoon stroll at Millburn’s Taylor Park for a winter walk lit up in jolly colors (1). The park’s decorations will stay on until the end of January, so no rush!
South Orange Holiday Market: Open each Thursday evening and even on Christmas Eve for any shoppers out of time, if you haven’t caught up with this amazing shopping experience, there’s still time! Find products from over 25 vendors all from The Village’s finest and look through it all in a festive environment (2).
American Dream in East Rutherford: Currently, American Dream Mall is sharing holiday fun with their The Heart of the Holidays events (3). Each day you can find a new special holiday tribute such as Music Mondays, Winter Wishes on Wednesdays, or Togetherness Thursdays (3). The mall also has a skating rink and Big Snow attraction in addition to the Nickmas Universe Elf Workshop (3)! To buy tickets, visit the following link and be sure to check out all their COVID protocols ahead of time: https://www.americandream.com/venue/dreamworks-water-park/tickets
Six Flags Holiday in the Park: Six Flags is hosting two new holiday-themed areas, Jolly Jamboree and Wild Lights National Park (4). There is plenty to do at these holiday themed areas including roasting smores, enjoy holiday foods, holiday games, meeting Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, and 30 thrilling rides for all ages (4)! Tickets are as low as $29.99 and attendance is limited so be sure to reserve your visit ahead of time.
Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience at Six Flags: A superb option for families who would like to stay inside the comfort (and warmth) of their own vehicles! Tickets are sold for $14.99 per person and they must be bought in advance (5). This drive-thru event is only from Monday through Thursday starting at 6:00 in the evening (5). Don’t miss out on one of the best holidays drive-thru in the Northeast region (5)!
AMC Private Theater Rental: Rent out an entire theater auditorium for up to 20 friends or family members! Pick from any movie genre available at your local AMC from family holiday movies to action and much more. All theaters are sanitized completely prior to use and masks are required during the entire visit unless eating or drinking refreshments (6). Theater rentals start from $99.00 to $299.00 plus tax depending on movie showing (6). For more information, please take a look at https://www.amctheatres.com/rentals.
For families looking to do things indoors, here are a few ideas you can try for each day of the week:
- Bake cookies before Christmas Eve and for Christmas Day!
- Have a cozy movie night with family and a small popcorn or candy bar
- Make rice crispy ornament treats (these can be gifted as well)
- Create peanut chocolate clusters (very easy to make!)
- Set up a hot cocoa bar and have a hot cocoa night
- Create an at-home holiday scavenger hunt
- Make your own holiday mask out of unused clothing
- Create a family holiday picture album or a holiday scrapbook
- Create your own ornaments
A Word to Our Residents at The Avenue
In the spirit of the holidays, there is no time like now to give to those who have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Many people throughout the country are facing difficulties simply feeding their family members. For those looking to make a contribution, there is an overwhelming number of organizations to choose from to donate food, clothing, or money to.
FLAG of South Orange and Maplewood township is currently taking much-needed donations. Requests start anywhere from $10-$20, where any monetary contribution is a huge help to those in need, especially during these times. Please click the following link to make a donation:
The Food Donation is also taking donations for those in need of food at Our Lady of Sorrows
and The Parenting Center of South Orange and Maplewood. Donations can be made Monday through Saturday 7 AM to 4 PM. Here is a list of items that are mostly needed: shelf-stable milk, low-sugar cereal and oatmeal, canned tuna and chicken, peanut butter, pasta, tomato sauce, canned fruit (in juice), canned vegetables (no corn), canned or dried beans, and rice in 1lb. packages (7).
In light of growing COVID numbers, we untiredly ask our residents to continue enduring through and remain safe by complying to property rules; wearing a mask in the hallways, using stairs when the elevator is occupied, remaining six-feet apart and using sanitation stations in main entryways. Likewise, we untiredly thank our residents for supporting COVID regulations and pushing through a difficult year!
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to All!
-The Team at South Orange