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From cave paintings to selfies, artists have always found creative ways of expressing themselves. Now, with the Google homepage as their canvas, we’re asking students to do the same. Young artists can doodle with any materials to show what makes them unique, and the winner’s artwork will be featured on our homepage for a day.
For this year’s contest, students can create a doodle that tells the world “What makes me…me.” Kids have all kinds of things that make them unique, so they can use all kinds of materials to create their doodles, from crayons, to clay, to graphic design, even food and video games.

Students in grades K-12 are invited to take part in the 2015 Doodle 4 Google contest. Like all Google Doodles, each doodle must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. One national winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The contest is open for entries from October 19, 2015 to December 7, 2015.

The contest is open for online and mailed entries until December 7, 2015. 
Students can work with any materials they want, but all doodles must be entered using the entry form. Parents and teachers can mail us the completed entry form or submit it online as a .png, .jpg, or .pdf. The contest is open for entries until December 7, 2015, so here's some information to help you get started now:
  1.  Download or print the entry form.
  2.  Doodle: Have artists create their doodles using any materials they want.
  3.  Write:
    1. Have artists write their 50-word statements.
    2. Fill out the rest of the required information and sign the entry form.
  4.  Combine:
    1. If the doodle wasn't created directly on the entry form, take a digital photo or scan of the doodle and combine it with the entry form.
    2. If you're submitting a digital entry, save the completed entry form as a .jpg, .png, or .pdf.
  5.  Enter the Contest:

Wizards and Witches take over the Hudson River walkway

Professor Magonigal, Luna Lovegood and Harry Potter
On most Saturday mornings the Hudson River Walkway is dotted with Runners and walkers out for some exercise. But this past Saturday the river walk made way for witches, wizards, ninjas and a host of other costumed kids and their parents. They came out for the Spooky Stroll a 3k Halloween themed walk to raise awareness and provide assistance to the Edgewater Community Food Pantry.
Jennifer Barry commented that
At pre-registration the Stroll had over 100 participants and had raised around five hundred dollars and collected canned food items to help stock the pantry for the winter.

This is the second year for the spooky stroll which is organized by Ms. Barry and Nancy Pollack both are teachers in the Edgewater School District. Last year, after the Avalon fire, the food pantry and The Holy Rosary Church were there to provide assistance to those displaced by the incident.

The Stroll starts and ends at City Place. Kids get a chance to preview their costumes, hang out with friends and pickup some early Halloween treats from tables setup along the route. At the last stop walkers receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes from sponsors including: Fleming's, Bareburger, Staples, The River Palm Terrace, Fitness Factory and McDonald’s.

Prior to the raffle Ms. Barry addressed the audience with a reading of an excerpt from Winnie the Pooh ending with a poignant  quote "A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey inside". She thanked the crowd for "filling their pot with honey".

Pictures from the Edgewater 3k Spooky Stroll

Not too Spooky Weekend activities 10-10-2015

Dinosaur and Train Show 
Oct. 10,11 & 12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31
& Nov. 1st 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial
2610 Amawalk Road (Route 35)
Katonah, NY 10536

Bronx Zoo 
The weekend forecast calls for clear skies with a chance of mischief! Spend the long weekend with us in the Bronx during Boo at the Zoo!
Our Halloween festivities are in gear and we're giving pumpkin treats to our animals and winding through a hay maze to celebrate.

Get your spookiest costume ready and join us for a costume parade. You can pick up treats along the way, or stop by our creepy crafts station and create a mask to take home. Keep your eyes peeled around the zoo, some of our animals are celebrating the holiday with pumpkin enrichments!

On October 10 and 11, we'll have a special treat at the Jack O'Lantern Illumination. In celebration of the worldwide release of Goosebumps, in theaters October 16, 2015, put yourself inside an action-packed scene from the movie in a virtual reality adventure!

We have activities all weekend, including Columbus Day, so check the schedule and plan a trip!

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Delaware River Railroad Excursions

Pumpkins - Corn Maze - Wine - and The Polar Express
At the Delaware River Railroad Excursions there are events for the whole family. Take a look at all the events we have taking place over the next three weekends, I am sure you will find something you will enjoy!
 See you on the railroad!
The Great Pumpkin Train

The Great Pumpkin Train  runs from October 3rd to the end of October, weekends.
Every train is "The great Pumpkin Train"in October!Take the Great Pumpkin Train to the Corn Maze or just for a scenic ride along the Delaware River! Ride our steam train through the beautiful fall landscape of Western New Jersey. Take the train to the pumpkin patch located in a little glade in front of the historic Carpentersville Lime Kilns dating from the 1700's. Once we arrive at the Pumpkin Patch  everyone is welcome to get  off the train and EVERY CHILD can pick their own pumpkin for FREE. For more family fun add the CORN MAZE & OLE' SUSQUEHANNA MINING COMPANY (for an additional charge)  experience  to your  Pumpkin Train ride!
Child Pumpkin Train $11.00
Adult Pumpkin Train $ 17.00
trains leave: ( 11 AM 12:30, 2 OR 3:30)
The OI' Susquehanna Mine

The original mine shaft is back in production. 
Come tour the grounds, listen to an interactive
history of the ol' Susquehanna Mine and pan for
real gem stones you can take home.
One person in each group  can "blow the mine"
and everyone can witness the mine shaft explosion.*
Gemstone Panning is a great activity for all ages.
Participants may find up to 11 ounces of gemstones
in a single bag which may include amethyst, rubies, rose quartz, emeralds, crystals, and an arrowhead.
All gems are of high quality and may be suitable for cutting, polishing, and mounting.
With every mine train ticker you will  receive one bag of  mining ore from  the
Ole' Susquehanna Mine.
Upon arriving at the mine site your guide will tell you the story of Sylas Smith and
how he found the mine and about his tragic death which left the mine
uncovered until this very year! Next you will walk over the the Ole' Susquehanna
mines operating sluice and learn how to pan for gem stones.
Once you understand how to pan give it a try and see if you can find some gems!
Fare includes Steam Train ride, mine history and instructions as well as one bag of
 mining ore guaranteed to contain 4 to 5 ounces of Gem Stones
Purchase your ticket for the great Pumpkin Train
and check the box to add the Mine  to your order!
Corn Maze

Come play the game where getting lost is half the fun!
To buy tickets visit the ticket office and purchase a steam train ride and choose the "Corn Maze" add on. Take the train to the maze where you can have a nice calm picnic lunch in our shaded picnic grove, visit the Susquehanna Mining Company ( for an additional fee) and play the corn maze game. You goal is to make it through each maze and finding each of the 12 check points!
The Warren County Winery Train

After a Steam Train ride along the Delaware and a short bus ride through rolling farmlands, you will arrive at Villa Milagro Vineyards( . 
There, you will learn how grapes are grown and made into
wine with a nice tour of the grounds.  Then you will have about one hour to sample their delicious wines and have an opportunity to purchase them at the source. Once that is done, they will
let you know when the bus has come back to pick you up
and bring you back to the train, so no worries about being left behind!
Once the bus drops you back off and you board the train again, it will begin to make its journey home... but not before passing the Ol' Susquehanna Mine! You are welcome to detrain at the Mine free of charge and spend as much time as you like relaxing in the picnic grove and then catch a later train home (trains come every hour and half). If you would like to enjoy your wine with a picnic, bring a lunch and relax at picnic tables in tree groves at the Ol' Susquehanna Mine/Corn Maze grove or at the station in Phillipsburg where you originally parked (please see our website for pictures of our groves at the mine/maze and at the station). The cost is $35 per person and it includes everything for a day filled with wine and fun! 
The Polar Express

Another day of Polar Express tickets will go on sale on October 12th at 6 pm EST.
Tickets will sell out fast 

Train & Historic House Tour
Oct 17th 
Ride back in time on the Delaware River Railroad Excursions behind steam locomotive #142.  The train will take you to just North of "Pinchers Point" along the Delaware where you will board a bus on a docent guided tour of three beautiful historic houses.  You will receive an informative brochure with plenty of information about the houses. After the house tour the bus will take you to Villa Milagro Vineyards for Hors D'orvres and wine tasting, then back to the steam train for your homeward bound trip to Phillipsburg.
Click here  to buy tickets

A review of Universal Orlando

My daughter and I just got back from our trip to Universal Theme Park in Orlando. This is our second year going and I am sorry to say our experience at the park was disappointing this year due to some ride quality and service issues.

On our first day at the park a third of the rides that we went on had a noticeable malfunction.
Where the ride stopped, lost sound and/or the visual was out of sync with the motion of the ride.
Some rides were not functioning at all. Fortunately we were there for multiple days and no ride was down for our entire trip. Spider man did experience issues four out of the five times we rode it. The last ride malfunction created a ride experience that was so frightening to my eleven year old that we left the park afterwards.

I had booked the Harry Potter VIP Experience which includes a breakfast at the Three Broomsticks and another at the Leaky Cauldron, a Shutterbutton's video where you get to dress up and act out in different Harry Potter Locales and Express Pass which allows you to skip regular lines at most attractions.

The Shutterbutton's experience was a lot of fun. The facilitator was friendly and really got us to ham it up and we have a DVD to commemorate our trip.

Almost all of the staff is pleasant however we had a bad experience at the three broomstick where I was trying to get the attention of one of the staff members. They looked right at me and kept walking. After getting up and searching I found another staff member who was helpful and polite.

We stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach resort which is a cool Retro 50's and 60's themed hotel.
They have 2 pools one with a lazy river and one with a water slide.
The Jack Lalanne fitness center was really great with a numerous displays it is like a museum within a state of the art fitness center.

Our room was at the far end of the hotel. I wished I had know the hotel was so expansive. At the end of the night walking down an endless corridor is not what you want. I recommend trying to get a room close to the main lobby. (Starlight, Castaway or Thunderbird) Also there was construction going on across the street from where our room was so we got a wake-up call every morning whether we wanted it or not. We walked to the Park a few times but it is about a mile away. Buses are available and run every ten minutes but I definitely enjoyed the convenience of being closer when we stayed at the Royal Pacific which was equally nice and had a few more dining options albeit a bit more sophisticated than the Cabana bay but still very kid friendly.

For Food and Drink the hotel has a Starbucks, a food court, Pizza Delivery to your room, a Poolside Bar and Grill at the Lazy river and a Bar at the Waterslide Pool.

Other entertainment includes a bowling alley, arcade,  movies by the pool, ping-pong, pool and beach games.

Universal Studios is an amazing place the re-creation of the world from the Harry Potter Book series is spot on. But Universal is competing with Disney not Great Adventure. My expectation is that they attend to all details not just the attractions. So in addition to amazing attractions they need to ensure consistent customer service and ride quality.

2014 Christmas Tree Lighting in New Jersey

Cliffside Park

Sunday November 30th

Cliffside Park Recreation will be hosting the annual tree lighting ceremony on the steps of Borough Hall on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 6:00 P.M.Please come join Santa and his friends as we light up the Borough Hall for the Holidays. Following the tree lighting, the characters will be on parade at the Fire House for all to meet.

Free pictures will be taken with Santa. Refreshments will be served.
Over 30 Characters including: Santa, Mrs. Santa, Minnions, Doc McStuffins, Jake the Pirate, Elsa, Clifford, Abbey Cadaby, Elmo, Cookie, Big Bird, Ernie, Dora, Pooh, Ninja Turtles, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Scooby, Buzz, Luigi, Cinderella, Nemo, and many many more!!


Sunday November 30th

One of Nutley's oldest traditions – the annual Holiday Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting - will take place on 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30 with activities scheduled to take place inside and around the John H. Walker Middle School and the Park Oval.

"The annual holiday celebration is a wonderful community event bringing families and friends together to welcome in the holiday season," Mayor Alphonse Petracco said. "It is a great way to see our community
at its best."
Franklin Avenue will be closed between Chestnut and New Streets during the celebration. Chestnut Street between Franklin Avenue and Vincent Place also will be closed during the festivities.
The event also includes a return visit by Santa with his reindeer ready for photos with children available for purchase.
The celebration also includes live entertainment by Nutley musical groups


Monday December 1st

The entire community is invited to share in the spirit of the holidays on Wednesday, December 1st at 7:00 pm, at the Holiday Tree Lighting at the beautiful and scenic City Place at The Promenade in Edgewater, New Jersey.

This great family event will feature holiday music, live performances, prizes, give-a-ways and more. Attendees will have an opportunity to win one of 15 holiday cookie jars filled with store coupons, candy and gift cards, compliments of Hallmark, a two-week membership to Cando Fitness, a men's bracelet from Alain Jewelers, Ferry Tickets from NY Waterway, Gift cards for dinner at Fleming's Steakhouse and more.
There will also be a very special guest who will perform during the Tree Lighting event.
Attendees are encouraged to bring food for the local Holy Rosary Food Bank. Food may be dropped off during the Tree Lighting event.
For more information, call the Hallmark store at 201-840-8955.


Fri, December 05, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood NJ
Tree Lighting
Live Entertainment and Tree Lighting Celebration

Sat, December 06, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood NJ
Santa is in Ridgewood-bring your list!

8:00am-10am Breakfast with Santa-The Office Beer Bar and Grill
10:00am Santa arrives at Columbia Bank* in his Fire Truck
10:30am FREE Movie at Bowtie Warner Theatre "Nightmare Before Christmas"

2:00-4:00pm Visit Santa at his house – Memorial Park @ Van Neste Square
Kilwins serving Hot Chocolate

East Rutherford 

Friday, December 05, 2014

East Rutherford Recreation presents the 2014 Holiday Celebration, with the tree lighting, on Friday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m., at Boro Hall Park. There will be refreshments, music and candy canes. Visit with Santa. Bring your camera.


Tuesday Dec. 9th,  begins at 5:00pm

In front of City Hall, 94 Washington Street, between. 1st and Newark Streets. Local school children and performers singing favorite Christmas songs. With Host and MC, Elvis the Elf and a special appearance by Santa Claus Special Prizes and Giveaways by radio station CBS FM  101.1

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author, Jeff Kinney to Appear at the Wyckoff YMCA

Jeff Kinney author of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid THE LONG HAUL”

Fri., Nov. 7 from 3-4pm at the Wyckoff YMCA
Books, Bytes & Beyond In partnership with The Wyckoff Family YMCA Presents best-selling children’s author Jeff Kinney for an hour-long presentation and Q&A. Each attendee must purchase a ticket for this event.
Ticket includes a copy of Diary of a Wimpy kid book 9, The Long Haul. Autographed by Jeff Kinney.
100% of the Y’s share of the proceeds help provide assistance to families in need or medical crisis.
This is a presentation and Q&A ONLY. There will not be a meet and greet or book signing after.
Tickets: $15