Special Event Calendar

Union County Parks follow NJ COVID-19 guidelines: Social distancing required/Masks strongly recommended

Union County parks and recreational facilities are operating in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines. For everyone’s safety, please wear a mask in public restrooms and in other indoor facilities as requested.

Updates:

  • Trailside Nature & Science Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Please wear a mask when visiting.
  • Watchung Stable is open to visitors from Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please wear a mask in the main barn, administration building and restrooms.
  • Please note: Trail biking is prohibited in all Union County parks. Trail biking was prohibited before the COVID-19 outbreak, and the prohibitions continue. Bicycles are permitted on paved paths and roadways only.
  • Hikers and dog walkers: Stay on marked trails to preserve fragile native habitat. The taking of plants and other wildlife is prohibited. Share paved paths by keeping to the right unless passing. Dogs must be kept on leash unless in dog parks. All trash must be carried out when receptacles are full or unavailable. 

For more information and updates on Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak visit ucnj.org/covid19.

The COVID-19 virus is still circulating and it can still cause serious illness or death among unvaccinated people.Protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.To make an appointment visit ucnj.org/vax.

Food Drives and Walk-ups

Click here

Volunteer

Recycling Events

Click here

Job Fairs

Get hired on the spot. Pre-registration required ucnj.org/dhs/2021-job-fair/

Union County’s Wheeler Spray Park Program for Children with Special Needs Continues Through August

The Union County Board of Commissioners is pleased to invite persons with special needs and disabilities up to age 16 to attend the Wheeler Spray Park Program for Children with Special Needs. This program will take place every Wednesday evening in the month of August from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and every Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The Wheeler Spray Park Program for Children with Special Needs has been organized through the Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs in the Union County Department of Human Services.

“The Special Needs Night series in July was a huge success and safe opportunity for children with special needs,” said Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “To continue to provide a safe space for families with special needs, we have extended the program through August and added Saturdays to the schedule in support of our goal of providing inclusive, welcoming environments for all County residents.”

The program continues in August beginning on Wednesday, August 4 at Wheeler Spray Park, located at 234 West Stimpson Avenue in Linden. Every child must be accompanied by an adult.

The event is free but pre-registration is required online for each child through the Union County events registration page. To register, visit www.ucnj.org/opdsn-reg and scroll to “Recreation Programs for People with Special Needs.”

“The Union County Commissioners were excited to see so many families with special needs come out to enjoy this wonderful event every Wednesday in July,” said Commissioner Sergio Granados. “We want to continue to strive for inclusivity throughout our County programming and are proud to add more opportunities for entire families to bond together in an inclusive manner.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to spend the evening in Union County’s 11,000-square-foot water playground, Wheeler Spray Park, packed with over 30 attractions including a waterfall, pirate ship, water sprinklers, slides, sprayers, and even a giant water serpent.

The August Schedule for the Wheeler Park Program for Children with Special Needs:

  • August 4 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 7 at 10:00 a.m.
  • August 11 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 14 at 10:00 a.m.
  • August 18 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 21 at 10:00 a.m.
  • August 25 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 28 at 10:00 a.m.

For more information about Special Needs Night at Wheeler Spray Park, and all recreation programs for people with special needs and disabilities, visit ucnj.org/dhs/office-for-persons-with-disabilities-and-special-needs or call 908-527-4781.

For information on all programs and services of the Union County Department of Human Services visit ucnj.org/dhs.


Union County’s Wheeler Spray Park Program for Children with Special Needs Continues Through August

The Union County Board of Commissioners is pleased to invite persons with special needs and disabilities up to age 16 to attend the Wheeler Spray Park Program for Children with Special Needs. This program will take place every Wednesday evening in the month of August from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and every Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The Wheeler Spray Park Program for Children with Special Needs has been organized through the Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs in the Union County Department of Human Services.

“The Special Needs Night series in July was a huge success and safe opportunity for children with special needs,” said Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “To continue to provide a safe space for families with special needs, we have extended the program through August and added Saturdays to the schedule in support of our goal of providing inclusive, welcoming environments for all County residents.”

The program continues in August beginning on Wednesday, August 4 at Wheeler Spray Park, located at 234 West Stimpson Avenue in Linden. Every child must be accompanied by an adult.

The event is free but pre-registration is required online for each child through the Union County events registration page. To register, visit www.ucnj.org/opdsn-reg and scroll to “Recreation Programs for People with Special Needs.”

“The Union County Commissioners were excited to see so many families with special needs come out to enjoy this wonderful event every Wednesday in July,” said Commissioner Sergio Granados. “We want to continue to strive for inclusivity throughout our County programming and are proud to add more opportunities for entire families to bond together in an inclusive manner.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to spend the evening in Union County’s 11,000-square-foot water playground, Wheeler Spray Park, packed with over 30 attractions including a waterfall, pirate ship, water sprinklers, slides, sprayers, and even a giant water serpent.

The August Schedule for the Wheeler Park Program for Children with Special Needs:

  • August 4 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 7 at 10:00 a.m.
  • August 11 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 14 at 10:00 a.m.
  • August 18 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 21 at 10:00 a.m.
  • August 25 at 6:30 p.m.
  • August 28 at 10:00 a.m.

For more information about Special Needs Night at Wheeler Spray Park, and all recreation programs for people with special needs and disabilities, visit ucnj.org/dhs/office-for-persons-with-disabilities-and-special-needs or call 908-527-4781.


Students Can Plant a Pizza Garden with New Union County 4-H Program

This summer, the Union County 4-H program is offering students the opportunity to grow their very own “Pizza Garden” and improve their gardening abilities, too.

“By combining hands-on learning with remote instruction, this gardening project provides Union County students with an enriching experience all summer long, said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are very proud to support the 4-H program here in our community.”

The Union County 4-H program is part of a national initiative aimed at providing youth with opportunities to learn, lead, and share their knowledge. Union County 4-H is run through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, with support from the Commissioner Board.

Each participant in the Pizza Garden project will receive a starter kit consisting of a container stocked with oregano and basil seedlings to plant at home, along with a marigold seedling for decoration.

The program also includes a series of free, optional biweekly virtual meetings. Participants will learn how to care for their seedlings, hone their hone their gardening skills, improve their presentation skills, and complete community service.

The series of meetings will begin on June 18 and conclude in August with a harvest contest among the participants.

Students in grades k-3 will meet for one hour on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Students in grades 4 and up will meet for one hour on the first Monday and third Friday of each month, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A limited number of pizza garden starter kits are available free of charge. To request a pizza garden, contact Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at jnichnadowicz@ucnj.org.

Union County’s Family Fun and Flix Outdoor Movie Series Returns

Free outdoor movies will be presented in Union County parks this summer on a walk-in, sit-down basis; no pre-registration required.

The Union County Board of Commissioners would like to inform all residents of the reopening of Union County’s “Family Fun and Flix” outdoor movie series. On July 13, Raya and the Last Dragon will kick off the series at 7:30 p.m. at Warinanco Park in Roselle.

“We are all very excited to bring back Union County’s Family Fun and Flix series this summer,” said Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “It has been a favorite family activity for many years.”

Each movie will begin at dusk, with everyone encouraged to bring a blanket or beach chair to claim a spot on the lawn.

The fun begins with a family-friendly dance party before each movie. An ice cream truck will be on site for attendees who wish to purchase a snack.

Movies will be shown on a weather-permitting basis. In case of bad weather, the rain date for each event will be the following Wednesday night.

The 2021 Family Fun & Flix movie schedule is:

  • Raya and the Last Dragon:  July 13 at Warinanco Park in Roselle
    • Postponed to Wednesday, July 14th
  • Scoob: July 20 at Warinanco Park in Roselle
  • The Croods: A New Age: July 27 at Rahway Park Stadium in Rahway
  • Tom and Jerry: August 10 at Warinanco Park in Roselle
  • Black Panther:   August 17 at Warinanco Park in Roselle
  • Aladdin – live action:  August 24 at Rutgers Avenue Park in Hillside

For more information, call the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at 908-527-4900 or visit the Union County website; www.ucnj.org.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.


Union County Nature Enthusiasts Invited to Join the 4-H Master Tree Stewards

Union County residents are invited to join the 4-H Master Tree Stewards of Union County this fall. Members of this all-volunteer group receive expert training in tree identification, ecology, and biology, and they put this knowledge to use by providing interactive lessons about tress and the environment to local children.

No previous experience is required.

“Our Master Tree Stewards play an important role in our conservation efforts and have inspired countless Union County youth to care for our environment,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The Board of Commissioners is very proud to support this program.”

Each volunteer Master Tree Steward will be trained by experts from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. In-person training begins September 8th and primarily consists of guided educational walks in nature preserves across New Jersey.

In the spring, Master Tree Stewards visit 4th grade classrooms in Union County to teach students about the importance of tress to the environment. No previous teaching experience is necessary, and the Extension provides a lesson kit and teaching support. 

Master Tree Stewards also participate in other community service projects. Earlier this month, a group of volunteers created a new “tree trail” in Rahway River Park. Visitors to the park can use QR codes posted on trees of distinction to find out more about each tree. The Tree Stewards have also created tree trails in nine other County parks.

To join the Master Tree Stewards, or for more information, contact Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at 908-654-9854 (ext. 3) or jnichnadowicz@ucnj.org.

The 4-H Master Tree Stewards program is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. Supported in part by the Board of Commissioners with offices in Westfield, the Union County Extension is part of a nationwide public outreach initiative coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information about other Extension programs in Union County, visit the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County online at ucnj.org/rce.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and volunteer activities, visit The Green Connection at ucnj.org/green-connection.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

Union County Offers “Grab and Go” Meals at Senior Centers

The Union County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce that box-lunch meals will be available to seniors beginning in May, through the “Grab and Go” program. The program is run through the Union County Division on Aging and Disability Resource Connection, in the Department of Human Services.

“This alternative dining option will provide seniors with access to nutritious lunches, while reducing the risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus,” said County Commission Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

The Grab and Go program is offered for those seniors age 60 and up who reside in Union County, and who are not receiving home delivered meals from Meals-On-Wheels.

It will be available at 19 senior centers and senior housing sites throughout the county every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning on May 4.

Reservations are required, and are available by calling the Division on Aging by 9:00 a.m. on the previous Thursday for Tuesday pick-up, and by 9:00 a.m. the previous Monday for Thursday pick-up.

To make a reservation or to register for the program, please call the Union County Division on Aging at (908) 527-4870 or (908) 527-4877.

A voluntary donation of $1.75 is suggested for each meal. Participants will receive guidance on masks, social distance, and any other COVID-19 prevention measures when picking up meals.

Any eligible senior can use the Grab and Go program at any of the following senior centers:

  • Ann Ferguson Towers, 1601 Dill Ave., Linden
  • Casano Community Center, 314 Chestnut St., Roselle Park
  • Cranford Lincoln Apartments, 800 Lincoln Ave., Cranford
  • Ehrhart Gardens, 100 Francis St., Union
  • Farley Towers, 33 Cherry St., Elizabeth
  • Gregorio Recreation Center—330 Helen St., Linden
  • Hillside Senior Center—265 Hollywood Ave., Hillside
  • JFK Senior Apartments, 250 W. Grand Ave., Rahway
  • Kenilworth Senior Center—526 Boulevard, Kenilworth
  • Liberty Square Senior Center—204 Elizabeth Ave., Elizabeth
  • O’Donnell Dempsey Senior Center—622 Salem Ave., Elizabeth
  • Plainfield Senior Center—400 E. Front St., Plainfield
  • Roselle Community Center—1268 Shafer Ave., Roselle
  • Schaefer Gardens, 35 Summer Ave., Union
  • Shady Rest Golf and Country Club, 820 Jerusalem Rd., Scotch Plains
  • Stephen Sampson Center, 800 Anna St., Elizabeth
  • Union Senior Center—968 Bonnel Ct., Union
  • Westfield Community Center—558 W. Broad St., Westfield
  • Winfield Community Center—25 Roosevelt Dr., Winfield Park

The Grab and Go program allows for safe social distancing to protect against transmission of COVID-19, while continuing to provide healthy meals for Union County’s aging population. Each meal meets one-third of the daily nutritional requirements of an adult aged 60 or older. 

Community Science Project Invites Union County Residents to Document Biodiversity of Rain Gardens

Union County residents of all ages can become community scientists by identifying and photographing butterflies, birds, and other wildlife for the “Rain Gardens of Union County” project. The project is being run through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension program of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

“The Rain Gardens of Union County project is a unique opportunity for residents of all ages to help demonstrate how rain gardens can help attract and preserve pollinators and other wildlife in the urban and suburban environment. We hope the experience inspires the installation of additional rain gardens in our community,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Rain gardens are attractive, low maintenance garden areas that are specially designed to help reduce flooding and pollution in local waterways. They capture and filter rainwater and snowmelt that would otherwise flow into the street from driveways, rooftops and other hard surfaces.

When planted with native species, rain gardens also attract bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.

Approximately 30 rain gardens have been installed throughout Union County. Many are located on the grounds of public buildings and other locations accessible to the public, including several in Union County’s Watchung Reservation, by the Trailside Nature and Science Center at 152 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

Residents who are interested in joining the rain garden documentation project can find complete instructions online at the “Rain Gardens of Union County” page on the Rutgers NJAES website, at njaes.rutgers.edu/rain-garden-biodiversity. The page includes a Google map showing the location of local rain gardens.

Starting on July 1, a patch will be available to Girl Scouts who participate in this project from the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey. For more information about the GSHNJ Guardian of the Rain Garden project, visit gshnj.org or contact GSHNJ at info@gshnj.org or 908-518-4400.

For additional information, contact Michele Bakacs, Rutgers NJAES Agriculture & Natural Resources County Agent, at bakacs@njaes.rutgers.edu.

OUT in Union County

A virtual hour-long conversation with some of New Jersey’s dedicated LGBTQ+ advocates, community leaders, and allies. QUEER EMPOWERMENT HOUR will explore LGBTQ+ specific topics and offer stories and discussions involving queer folks from different backgrounds and experiences. All are welcome! Come with an open mind, leave with a new understanding. Each conversation will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7PM. Click each link below to pre-register. The QUEER EMPOWERMENT HOURS will be held via the Zoom platform and live streamed on the County of Union’s Facebook page.

Jun 9
The History of PRIDE | how Pride came to be & where we are now

Jul 14
Love Makes a Family | hear from people all of different family structures

Aug 11
LGBTQ+ Elders | get to know the experiences from multiple generations

Sep 8
Faith & LGBTQ+ | queer inclusion throughout different houses of worship

Oct 13
Coming Out | celebrate coming out & share experiences

Nov 10
Trans Youth | learn how to be an ally to transgender & nonbinary youth

Dec 8
Queer Sex Ed | Healthcare & STI prevention/awareness

Help with Senior Services

Find upcoming local events to learn about senior services. Click here.

Cultural Events Calendar

ART EXHIBIT – CALL FOR ENTRIES

Register  by Aug 23

The Union County Senior Citizens’ Virtual Art Show

Any artist age 60 or above, professional or non-professional, currently residing in Union County, may enter one artwork. Entry must be an original work completed within the past three years, and not entered in a previous Union County Senior Art Exhibit. Artists must register online and submit a digital photo of their artwork. Exhibit goes on view September 30.

Learn full details here


Jul. 31

11 am

Outdoors – LIVE PERFORMANCE

Galumpha

Combining stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy and inventive choreography, Galumpha brings to life a world of imagination, beauty, muscle and merriment. Performers create a sensory feast of images ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, drawn together into a seamless whole, consistently bringing audiences to their feet. See Galumpha performed outdoors on the Lawn at Enlow Hall on Kean University’s East Campus. Chairs will be provided, arranged in pods with space between groups. Family Series ticket packages are available.

$15

Premiere Stages

Enlow Hall, 215 North Ave, Hillside (Kean Univ. East campus)

908-737-4769

premierestagesatkean.com


Jul. 31

6:30 pm

OUTDOOR CONCERT (Live in person)

Judith Hill

Rolling Stone praises Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Judith Hill for her “stellar powerhouse vocals.” One of the final musicians mentored by Prince, who co-produced her debut album, Hill is an accomplished independent artist who has worked with Michael Jackson; toured with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Ringo Starr; and was a tour-opener for John Legend and Josh Groban. Chairs will be provided, arranged in pods with space between groups. ADA Parking on site. ASL Interpretation.

$40

Tickets & details: keanstage.com/judith-hill/

The Lawn at Enlow Hall (Kean University)

215 North Ave., Union

908-737-7469


Aug 7

6:30 – 8:30 pm

FREE CONCERT – Outdoors Live in Downtown Westfield

NJ Workshop for the Arts Presents – Kia Chiang on Guitar

NJ Workshop for the Arts in conjunction with the Downtown Westfield Cooperation presents the bold acoustic stylings of Kai Chiang at the intersection of Quimby and Elm in Westfield. Outdoor dining is available as well as sidewalk access.

Quimby St., Westfield

908-789-9696

njworkshopforthearts.com


Aug. 13 – 14

6:30 pm

THEATRE

HAVING OUR SAY – THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS – presented by duCret School of Art

Outdoors / Live in-person on the front porch of ducret School of Art

Written by Emily Mann. Directed by Anna Paone. 103-year-old Sadie Delany and 101-year-old Bessie Delany welcome us into their home. As they prepare dinner, they take us on a remarkable journey through the last hundred years of our nation’s history, recounting events and anecdotes drawn from their rich family history and careers as pioneering African-American professionals.

Area facing the stage is flat and wheelchair accessible.

$10

duCret School of Art

1030 Central Avenue, Plainfield

908-757-7171

ducret.edu/plays


Aug. 15

3 pm

THEATRE

HAVING OUR SAY – THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS – presented by duCret School of Art

Outdoors / Live in-person on the front porch of duCret School of Art

Written by Emily Mann. Directed by Anna Paone. 103-year-old Sadie Delany and 101-year-old Bessie Delany welcome us into their home. As they prepare dinner, they take us on a remarkable journey through the last hundred years of our nation’s history, recounting events and anecdotes drawn from their rich family history and careers as pioneering African-American professionals.

Area facing the stage is flat and wheelchair accessible.

$10

duCret School of Art

1030 Central Avenue, Plainfield

908-757-7171

https://www.ducret.edu/plays


Aug. 21

10 am – 12 noon

Outdoors – Live in person

ART EXHIBIT

CAU Arts in the Park

Community Access Unlimited presents paintings, sketches, crafts, music, dancing and poetry readings, throughout Warinanco Park – an opportunity for people with and without disabilities to appreciate self-expression, through the display of artwork and artistic performance, and an opportunity to create a deeper of understanding of diversity and inclusion. Event is centered at the Sports/Skating Center in Warinanco Park.

Warinanco Park, Roselle/Elizabeth

908-510-7119

caunj.org

 


Aug. 24 (rain date Aug. 25)

7 – 9 pm

FREE CONCERT | Outdoors Live in Downtown Westfield

Jazz & Rock Bands – Sweet Sounds of Westfield

Jazz and Rock Bands of NJ Workshop for the Arts perform improvisational jazz and classic rock at Memorial Park in Westfield on North Ave (next to the circle). Bring a lawn chair. Area is wheelchair-accessible.

908-789-9696

njworkshopforthearts.com


Aug. 30

1 pm

FREE CONCERT – Virtual Live

Jazz Vocalist Jerry Costanzo

Jazz vocalist Jerry Costanzo performs music of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Enjoy this virtual concert from the comfort of home, free of charge.

Call 908-352-8375 for the Zoom link. Presented by Jewish Family Service.


2021 CHORAL CONCERT (on video)

Watch/listen now or anytime

Oratorio Singers – Works by Mozart, Handel & Vaughan Williams

Featuring a chamber choir performing works by Mozart and Vaughan Williams, and renowned soprano Maureen Francis singing works by Mozart and Handel, the Oratorio Singers present a virtual concert — followed by a video narrated by Music Director Trent Johnson about the 40-year history of the Oratorio Singers, based in Westfield.

vimeo.com/514786532


VIDEO LECTURES (FREE)

Watch now or any time

Plainfield Symphony presents “Chat with Charles” – Beethoven’s 5th & Mahler’s 9th

This ambitious series of on-demand video-lectures from Plainfield Symphony features Conductor and Music Director Charles Prince discussing Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5 and Mahler’s Ninth, broken down by movement. Each video-lecture is an intimate talk elucidating the themes and history of the music, and includes excerpts played by orchestra members, plus footage from full-orchestra performances. Understand and enjoy these masterworks at The Plainfield Symphony Channel.

youtube.com/channel/UC1Iw32Qvmb0i5q0QMGAcH_g


VIDEOS

Enjoy now or any time

Historic Sites in Union County

Take a virtual tour of some of the “Four Centuries” historic sites in Union County. You may be surprised at the rich history in our midst.

ucnj.org/parks-recreation/cultural-heritage-affairs/historic-sites-map/videos-of-four-century-sites/


On-demand video – enjoy any time

FREE KIDS’ CONCERT (Virtual / Interactive for children)

YOSI – Pajama Tales

Award-winning children’s recording artist and entertainer, Yosi, rocks the house with a humorous and interactive Pajama Tales Concert. Dancing, singing and stories make this the perfect family concert! Presented by Linden Public Library. Stories and songs go with reading themes for the library’s summer reading program.

Enjoy here: youtube.com/user/YosiKids/videos

For further information, call Ginger Moore at Linden Library, 908-298-3830.