The constant tug-of-war between education and fun finds middle ground inside this Central Jersey children’s museum, as entertaining exhibits and engaging staff members embed knowledge in each young visitor. Young guests can play veterinarian at the Pet Vet Center, read the news and see themselves on television at the TV News Room, or shed light on the complexities of the human body inside a replica doctor’s office outfitted with realistic equipment.
A motorcycle, retired fire engine, and a grounded airplane shows visitors the wonders of mechanized travel in the Varoom!!! Vehicle Showroom, which leads to an enchanted castle outfitted with a wooden drawbridge, a faux moat, and a new level 3 train exhibit. Party rooms manned by helpful staffers merge learning and celebration, and the onsite gift shop coaxes homebound brain building with a selection of scientific toys.
CBL Fine Art upgrades abodes with custom artwork, décor, and sundries honed by the keen eye of founder Connie Lior. For more than a quarter-century, the boutique has supported artists while cultivating a wide selection of uncommon gifts, including the Lillo Studio glass heart box($35), which ably stores jewelry or sets of gold dentures. The shop also specializes in Judaica, from frosted glass Shabbat candlesticks etched with the phrase Shabbat Shalom ($30), to Kiddush cups in materials such as stainless steel, pewter, and glass ($38+). Shoppers can frame an engagement photo or cake-topper portrait within a 4"x6" wedding frame($25) and finally learn Roman numerals with a stained-glass table clock ($55). Accommodating staffers happily provide complimentary shopping counsel or gift-wrapping services, saving customers the inconvenience of wrapping presents in newspaper or old graduate dissertations.
Open for business from the first blossoms of spring until the last leaves of autumn, Decker Farm stocks its shelves with organic fruits and vegetables harvested each day from its 11-acre field. Crisp stalks of asparagus beckon shoppers away from ripe tomatoes and juicy lemons, and fresh foods—such as sourdough bread, cheeses, and raisin fennel semolina prepared onsite—add local touches to dinner parties or food-pyramid Halloween costumes.
For more than 30 years, the framing experts at Grove Pointe Frame & Art have preserved valuable and sentimental items for posterity by encasing them within museum-quality frames. Specialists help to choose from more than 4,000 frames and 300 mat samples to create a border that accents any item, from sports jerseys to cryogenically frozen uncles, and complements existing décor. In addition to framing services, Grove Pointe Frame & Art can create custom signs and banners to help customers to promote their own businesses or join street protests of blank picket signs.
The undead roam the corridors and exhibition galleries at the nonprofit Liberty Science Center, seeking out intrepid brain owners who come to enjoy an evening of trick-or-treating, crafting, costume contests, and other ghoulish delights. Class is in session at the Halloween Haunted High School as ghouls recreate terrifying scenes from horror films and elementary-school gym class. Visitors tiptoe into the Creepy Cafeteria, where zombie lunch ladies serve up delicacies fresh from the graveyard and a menacing nurse awaits those foolish enough to seek remedies for their fits of fear.