The start of the new year is normally pretty exciting for most people as they look forward to what the new year will bring. However, such enthusiasm often dims in just a few weeks as the magical holiday season is left behind and everybody returns to their daily grind. The cold winter months can also act to dampen one’s spirits, but the reality is that this outcome is not necessarily certain. Residents of the Grand Meridia in Rahway, New Jersey, actually enjoy a variety of fun events to kick off 2019.
29,451 individuals call the city of Rahway, New Jersey, home. (1) The city boasts more than ten parks with various amenities, such as trails, fishing spots, and fields for sports. Echo Park in nearby Mountainside features ice skating and sledding during the winter months. Ice skating can also be enjoyed at Warinanco Park in Roselle and at Briant Park in Springfield Township, both just a short commute from the Grand Meridia apartment complex. The Watchung Reservation in Mountainside features fishing spots, nature trails, and cross-country skiing.
The city’s Recreation and Senior Services department offers a plethora of fun activities for both young and old. Very young children can be introduced to the basics of popular sports while older children and adults can partake of gymnastics, basketball, tennis, and wrestling. Art is heavily promoted during the winter months with programs on drawing, painting, cartooning, knitting, ceramics, scrapbooking, and sculpting. There’s even a program on Japanese style manga/anime art. (2) Quite a few residents of the Grand Meridia avail themselves of the multiple fitness classes offered by the department to burn off all the hot chocolate sipped during a chilly evening.
A good way to have some fun while getting out of the cold is to visit the Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC). On January 27th, the UCPAC’s Sensory Friendly Theater is featuring Jeff Boyer’s Bubble Trouble. This act features a cavalcade of bubble-created magic that is designed for children with autism and other sensory sensitivities. Fans of the 1980s will enjoy the Classic Film Series, which features a pre-show playing of the center’s Wurlitzer organ. The films being shown in January and February include The Breakfast Club, Pretty Woman, and The Karate Kid. The UCPAC is kicking off Black History Month with a free concert version of Ain’t Misbehavin’, a tribute to the black musicians of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, on February 9th. (3)
Hadi Abreu of the Grand Meridia says, “It’s common for people to take it easy and relax once the new year starts as the holiday season usually takes a lot of out of them. That being said, there’s a tremendous amount of things that one can do in the first few months of 2019, both indoors and outdoors. There are quite a few parks where one can ice skate, go fishing, and even enjoy some cross-country skiing. Personally, I love how Rahway’s Recreation and Senior Services department goes all-out in providing activities encompassing the entire family. There are a ton of sports that children can become involved in, ranging from basketball to yoga, but I really love all the arts and crafts workshops. From painting to drawing, there’s something for everyone, including working with stained glass. Parents will be grateful to the Rahway Public Library that offers regular storytime readings for toddlers. Older kids can take part in the library’s graphic novel book club. Of course, many of our residents regularly attend concerts, plays, sketch comedies, and films at the Union County Performing Arts Center. An event that is close to my heart is the Special Needs Open Gym Buddy Ball. This event takes place throughout January at the Rahway Recreation Center’s mini-gym and allows special needs children a fun and safe place to run, climb, jump, and more. In the end, there’s no excuse to sit at home during the winter months of 2019 as the city of Rahway has almost too many activities for one to keep up with.” (4)
4) Quote from Hadi Abreu of the Grand Meridia