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The Top Things to Do in Scotch Plains

By Amy Wood in Scotch Plains
The Top Things to Do in Scotch Plains


14 hours ago

No matter what the season, Scotch Plains offers plenty of things to do. Recreational opportunities at area parks help residents stay fit and healthy, while year-round community events banish boredom and solidify the town’s reputation as one of Central New Jersey’s friendliest areas. These five activities are among the most popular in the area.


If golf is your game, you’ll want to schedule tee times at Ash Brook Golf Course or Scotch Hills Country Club. Ash Brook’s 18-hole course was recently renovated by Rees Jones and offers large greens and tree-lined fairways. Historic Scotch Hills Country Club was the first African American Golf and Country Club in the U.S. Today, it offers a 9-hole golf course and an 18-hole miniature golf course.

Shackamaxon Country Club, a private course located in the township, features an 18-hole championship course designed by Albert W. Tillinghast. Other facilities include a pool with a swim-up tiki bar and a fitness center.

Outdoor Activities at Local Parks

Thirteen parks provide a variety of outdoor activities, including playgrounds, picnic areas, softball and baseball fields, and tennis and basketball courts. During hot summer days, the Sprayground at Ponderosa Park keeps kids cool and entertained. The Walter E. Ulrich Memorial Pool in nearby Rahway offers discounted rates for Union County residents. Scotch Plains residents pay a daily fee of $5 for adults and $4 for children 17 and under.

Community Events

Some towns have practically given up on community events, but not Scotch Plains. Year-round events draw include:

* In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, make sure you follow your local and national guidelines from protecting yourself in social situations.

  • The Annual Easter Egg Hunt: Held at Brookside Park, the hunt is open to children 8 and under. In addition to the egg hunt, the event also includes other activities, including a balloon artist and a visit with the Easter Bunny.
  • Farmers Market: Held on Saturdays from May through November, the Scotch Plains Farmers Market is the place to find juicy, red tomatoes, farm-fresh corn, sweet strawberries and other produce and products. The market takes place in the municipal parking lot.
  • Memorial Day Parade: The Memorial Day parade honors and remembers the area’s military members who sacrificed so much for their country. Local groups enter floats and compete to win the best float contest.
  • Free Concerts: Offered every Thursday night during July and August, the free concert series is the perfect place to relax, listen to good music and enjoy the company of your neighbors.
  • Scotch Plains Day: The annual event celebrates the township with a street fair in October. The day includes family entertainment, interactive inflatables and food trunks.
  • Halloween Trunk or Treat: Scotch Plains Trunk or Treat offers one-stop convenience for trick or treaters. During the late October event, decorated vehicles line Park Avenue and distribute candy. Other activities include the Howl-o-Ween dog parade and costume contest, hayrides, crafts and spooky stories.
  • Tree Lighting: The holiday season kicks off with a tree lighting and visits with Santa on the Village Green.

Watchung Reservation

Watchung Reservation, located north of Scotch Plains, is one of the area’s most valuable natural resources. The 1,945-acre reservation includes miles of hiking trails, paved roads suitable for biking, horseback riding, bouldering, fishing, kayaking and boating on Lake Surprise and Moxon and Seeley’s Pond. The Sierra Trail leads hikers through the abandoned houses in the Deserted Village of Feltville, once a busy mill town in the 1800s. During October, the Deserted Village offers haunted hayrides through the town.

The reservation’s Trailside Nature & Science Center offers summer camps, guided hikes, exhibits, a reading room, school and community programs, the Loop playground, summer and winter workshops, a sensory-friendly trail and family programs.

Scotch Plains Library

Libraries are more than just places to borrow books these days. Good libraries, like the one you’ll find in Scotch Plains, offer programs for children and families, provide free computers and WiFi, and offer virtual books for patrons who want to download reading material. Popular programs at the Scotch Plains Library include story time and crafts for children, book clubs, writing workshops, lectures, Friday films and homework help.

Are you ready to buy a new house but haven’t found the perfect place to call home yet? County Classics at Scotch Plains may be the ideal location for you. The new community will include seven luxurious homes built in the heart of the community off Westfield Avenue. Contact us if you’re interested in becoming a resident of Country Classics at Scotch Plains.

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Amy Wood

Vice President of Operations at Country Classics

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