In 1754, Richard Stockton, a leading attorney who would go on to be a signer of the Declaration of Independence, acquired land on his grandfather's 5,500-acre tract to build a home. The house later traded hands among Stockton family members until the 20th century, when it served as the state's first Governor's Mansion, eventually housing five governors.
Since its restoration and conversion into the Morven Museum & Garden in 2004, galleries on two floors of the dwelling have housed permanent and temporary exhibitions relating to New Jersey history and culture, as well as the Morven property, now a National Historic Landmark. As guests wander the museum’s halls, Stockton family portraiture and decorative art speaks of past eras while contemporary art and photographs keep visitors grounded in the present day. Meanwhile, 5 more acres outside host a massive garden that includes a recreation of Morven's old Colonial Revival¬–style blooming garden and its charismatic, singing Venus flytrap.
Inside a vibrantly lit ballroom, the names of two newlyweds glow in big, cursive letters on the dance floor. The venue, an expansive space with arched ceilings and ornate chandeliers, is no doubt a popular spot for wedding ceremonies, but Majestic Entertainment’s team has gone above and beyond to make the space unique to the bride and groom.
This quest to personalize each event is what fuels the decisions of Majestic Entertainment’s photographers, videographers, DJs, emcees, and lighting technicians. Their services include live music, photography, and lighting design and were awarded WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice award in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Bonkerz Family Fun Center makes birthday parties memorable. Emerging from private party rooms where they've noshed on pizza and cake, kids are unleashed on the fun center to burn off energy. They battle each other in the high-octane laser-tag arena or test their hand-eye coordination in the arcade. The crack of bats hitting baseballs arises from the batting cage, and the smack of satisfied lips comes directly from the onsite candy store. Kids can also come and play on their unbirthday, as long as they're accompanied by a grownup or a doting gorilla.
Pour & Pedal leads wine lovers on 13-mile excursions through the picturesque farms, gardens, and vineyards of New Jersey and New York's wine country. Tours progress at a leisurely pace over predominantly flat terrain and well-surfaced roads, and riders are provided with bicycles that feature baskets for carrying any bottles bought at vineyards. Tours begin at 10 a.m. and finish around 3 p.m., often passing by seasonal attractions such as antique car shows or live concerts en route.
Across the placid waters of the finger of Carnegie Lake, standup paddleboarders glide serenely behind an instructor. At PaddleGroove SUP, visitors can learn the basics of navigating on the long, sturdy boards before embarking on ecotours or carefree afternoon excursions. The guides also lead standup-paddleboarding yoga, which is held out on the water and helps further promote good balance and overall health.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.