County to celebrate July as Parks and Recreation Month

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs will host a month-long schedule of free activities to celebrate July as National Parks and Recreation Month. The public is invited to enjoy “Wellness on the Waterfront,” which includes yoga demonstrations, concerts, movies, and arts and crafts at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in July.

On Monday evenings throughout July, there will be yoga for adults. Classes are suitable for beginners and seasoned yoga practitioners; bring a yoga mat and dress comfortably. Meet in the Clipper Pavilion next to the paddle boat area on Cherry Lane at 6:30 p.m. Classes are held rain or shine.

On Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., elevate your visit to the South Mountain Recreation Complex with Jammin’ in July, a free series of concerts at the Clipper Pavilion. Take in a new sound every week with Broadway tunes, big band, steel drums and more. Jammin’ in July will be held as follows: Newark Arts High School Latin Band on July 3; Maplewood Concert Band featuring clarinet soloist Jonathan Towne of the U.S. Coast Guard Band on July 10; Chatham Community Band on July 17; and Kamate Traders on July 31.

On Wednesday evenings, bring a lawn chair and enjoy “Zoo-vies,” a free series of summer blockbuster movies under the stars on the rooftop of the Turtle Back Zoo Parking Garage, 560 Northfield Ave. in West Orange. Participants are asked to bring their own lawn chairs. Admission is free and the deck will be open for seating at 7 p.m.; the movies will be shown at dusk. Refreshments will be for sale. Rain will cancel the presentation. The Zoo-vies schedule is as follows: “Peter Rabbit” on July 11, “Wall-E” on July 18 and “Deep” on July 25. Zoo-vies will continue into August with: “George of the Jungle” on Aug. 1, “Paddington 2” on Aug. 8, “Ratatouille” on Aug. 15, “Kong: Skull Island” on Aug. 22 and “The Jungle Book” on Aug. 29.

Each Thursday evening in July, from 6 to 7:15 p.m., staff from the Essex County Environmental Center will serve up nature art at the Clipper Pavilion, so come spend some time outdoors getting artistic.

Wellness at the Waterfront is sponsored by the Essex County Parks Foundation and the Zoological Society of New Jersey. For more information, call 973-508-2912 or visit