Are you a New Parent to Maplewood/South Orange?

Blog / January 29, 2016

Recently, my amazing friend Katie Rickard helped a new client get “plugged in” to this amazing community by writing her this email (below).  First of all, no one has a bigger heart than Katie Rickard.  She is the “Mom Mayor of Maplewood” and she is a true CONNECTOR, and I love and adore her and am blessed to call her a friend.  Second of all, how fortunate are we, that when I asked if she would please “let this client know about a few playgroups in the area for kids <2 years old”, she wrote THIS?!  And then she gave me permission to publish it.  Enjoy, VP


Katie Rickard

Dear VP team client,

Welcome to Maplewood! Super fun town with so many options for stay at home moms of the littles.  I remember when I moved here and was home with my son, it’s kind of daunting to venture out and meet people…here’s a few places you might have luck.

1. Facebook groups! Three I really like are –
2. Open Play Areas:
Jewish PlaySpace on Parker and Prospect (enter in the back, next to playground).  $5/kid and they have coffee! Score! This place is awesome especially in the cold months.  It *can* get packed, so try and get there early.
The Connection in Summit – Has Drop in from 12-1 a few days a week.  You don’t have to be a member, I think this is also $5/day.  Doesn’t work for me with naptimes, but people love it.
Giggles in Cranford – I haven’t been yet but apparently it’s awesome – $10/kid and it’s open from 9-6
Work And Play in South Orange – They have drop-in play on Mondays at 9:30 (and tons of classes too).  They cap at 20 kids though so get there early to make sure you get in.   It is $5/child.
3. Library Story Hours:
3 major libraries – 2 in Maplewood (Main Branch and Hilton Branch), 1 in South Orange.  They all have awesome (free!) story hours and activities/programs.  My kiddos and I have spent the better part of their childhood at these libraries.  Such a great resource for our towns.  I just checked and neither website has their February calendar up yet, but I’m sure they will in the next few days.  Also cool – the library is reciprocal so you can check out books from either library with your Maplewood card.  🙂
4. Classes
Just so many.  For your little one, music or gymnastics might be best.  Here’s a list of a few ideas:
Sunburst Gymnastics:
The YMCA in Maplewood – They have a Parent/Tot Gymnastics class for $95 that my kids loved:
The Gym For Kids in Union:
Shakti Yoga – Storytime Yoga Drop in:
My Gym and the Little Gym are in neighboring towns – I can’t vouch for them, but I’m sure they’re great.
So that’s what I have for you – The facebook groups are really awesome for playdates and meetups and all sorts of things.  And of course, once the snow melts, the parks and the pool in the summer are amazing.
But welcome though! Happy to grab coffee and hang – my littlest will be 3 in May (also have a 6 year old and a 5 year old) so happy to help in any way I can.
Also – if you’re thinking about preschools and need guidance, let me know (although the VP team probably already sent you the preschool list!).
Hope this didn’t terrify you.
Oh, and congrats on hiring the BEST real estate team on the planet.  These people are the real deal.  Good work. Welcome!
Best, Katie






Vanessa Pollock

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