Step into the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, and it's as if the Industrial Revolution never happened. The museum focuses on the life of farmers, builders, and other tradesman of the United State's pre-industrial age. The main floor thrusts visitors into the world of New Jersey farming families from the early 1800s to provide in-depth information about these peoples' lives as well as showcase woodworkers' planks and various hand tools. The lower level, meanwhile, celebrates the working lives of four tradesman from 1850, including a shoemaker and a distiller. While these permanent displays stand as time capsules of a bygone area, a special exhibit space rotates its features regularly. Only a small portion of the museum's artifacts is on display at a time, but visitors can make an appointment to see items from the full collection, which totals more than 8800 artifacts from 21 different trades.
Even without the artifacts, the museum stands as a piece of history, as it's housed within The James Library Building. The building was finished in 1900 and contains stained glass windows, carved stone and wood detailing, and vaulted ceilings that make it the perfect setting to imagine life before Henry Ford invented his flying car.
The Summit Area YMCA with its Berkeley Heights location and the Madison Area YMCA serve as community gathering places where principles are put into practice. The cause-driven organizations focus on healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. The Learning Circle (Summit Area) and the F.M. Kirby Children's Center (Madison Area) take care of babies as young as 6 weeks old, and babysitting services afford parents the opportunity to explore the Y while childcare professionals watch little ones.
The Y also aims to keep kids and their families healthy with sports leagues, youth sports clinics, group fitness classes, and a fitness center equipped with a climbing wall, Olympic free-weight room, and a pool. All of the Y’s programs are accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or perform a back handspring.
One of the nation's most esteemed Shakespeare outfits, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has brought the playwright's work to life for the past half-century. But the troupe takes its name more as an inspiration than a strict limit, also mounting productions of other classics by writers such as Thornton Wilder and Noël Coward. Once a summer, the company takes to the College of Saint Elizabeth's outdoor amphitheater—modeled after Athens' Theater of Dionysius, a favorite venue for Shakespeare performances in Greece—to present the bard's work in the way he intended: alive under the open sky.
The Concert Hall at Drew University, located in the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, is a top-quality venue whose precisely designed interior exudes an austere aesthetic atmosphere to complement its bell-clear acoustics. Unlike large outdoor amphitheaters, there is no AstroTurf lawn with hacky sack pits and hemp-woven Jimmy Carter effigies, so all audience members are guaranteed an actual chair and a solid view of the pianist. Great for a romantic evening out, or a lone venture into the mellifluous world of long-dead Europeans, a performance by Ivana Ristova guarantees aural bliss.
LA Boxing offers fitness classes in boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and mixed martial arts. The proprietary style of the LA Boxing workout is a mixture of genuine fight training, engaging fitness, and stronger-than-Earth gravity. Quasi-boxers and martial artists can burn from 800 to more than 1,000 calories during these total-body routines, which combine external inspiration and jukes, jabs, and kicks. Both men and women are welcome in the ring, where they'll learn new techniques and methods to blissfully break into a sweat in an energetic group setting. Gloves are provided during the month-long trial membership, as are a set of reusable pro-quality hand wraps and complimentary motivational mumbling from Mickey Goldmill (all three subject to availability).
Led by former collegiate baller Tarik Beasley, the staff at Starting 5ive Basketball gives youngsters the guidance and court time needed to improve their game. Students can opt for private or group training sessions or perform referee-whistle renditions of "Kumbaya" during summer camps. Players can also try out for one of the organization's AAU teams and take all they've learned in practice to competition.