County plans month of festivities to celebrate parks and recreation

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

“National Park and Recreation Month is the perfect opportunity to highlight the beauty of our open spaces, the importance of recreation facilities and the positive impact they have on our wellness and quality of life. The area overlooking the Orange Reservoir provides a beautiful and unique spot to host a diverse lineup of activities to exercise, entertain and inspire you,” County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said in a release. “We invite the public to celebrate with us and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.”

On Monday evenings, “Exercise on the Waterfront” will present exercise classes for adults. Classes are suitable for those just starting out or those who exercise regularly. Meet in the Clipper Pavilion next to the paddle boat area on Cherry Lane. Classes are held rain or shine. Classes will be Mondays, July 11, 18 and 25, at 6:30 p.m.

On Tuesday evenings, elevate your visit to the South Mountain Recreation Complex with “Jammin’ in July,” a series of concerts at the Clipper Pavilion. Performances include jazz, rock and roll, steel drums and more. “Jammin’ in July” will be held July 12, 19 and 26, at 7 p.m.

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 new Turtle Back Zoo Parking Garage. 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 schedule is as follows: “Jaws” on July 13, “Zookeeper” on July 20 and “Kung Fu Panda 3” on July 27.

On Thursday evenings, Nature ARTS with the Montclair Art Museum will serve up nature art at the Clipper Pavilion. The MAM Art Truck is a mobile studio that offers creative art projects. So come spend some time outdoors getting artistic. The MAM Art Truck will be available as follows on July 14, 21 and 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Wellness at the Waterfront is sponsored by the Essex County Parks Foundation and the Zoological Society of New Jersey. For more information, call 973-268-3500 or visit