Handpicked Events for August 4-7, 2011

This past weekend, we had our PrincetonScoop summer party at Gravity Hill Farm in Titusville. While the party was fantastic (you can read more about it and Gravity Hill Farm below in our Sunday suggestions), all that talk about Gravity Hill got me thinking about how many weird local spots and urban myths NJ has to offer. For those who don’t know, a gravity hill is a spot where cars inexplicably roll up hill. Here’s the Titusville hill in action.

Whether haunted cemeteriesmysterious creatures, or any other variety of the weird and unexplained, New Jersey is full of places begging to be explored. With each of these events, you can discover something completely new, though not necessarily spooky, about our area.

The sun sets over Gravity Hill Farm after a day of exploring.

Thursday 

Open Mic Night
The Historical Society of Princeton’s Updike Farmstead is a perfect place for a picnic. The house on Quaker Road has tons of space to spread out and take in the summer air. This week they are hosting an open mic night from 6:30-8:30 next to the farmstead. Bring some bug spray, a blanket, and a picnic dinner, and enjoy this evening of music, comedy, poetry, or whatever people want to share. If you want to perform you must be 18 years or older and have family friendly material. Light refreshments will be available too! $5 per person or $10 per family. Free for HSP members. More information HERE.

Cherry Grove Kids
Cherry Grove Farm is one of many awesome local farms. Located in Lawrenceville, the farm store is open every day from 10 am-6 pm and sells grass fed organic beef and lamb along with pastured pork and free range eggs. They also have an amazing selection of cheeses hand made on the property. One cool program they offer is their Cherry Grove Kids classes. On Thursdays, kids get to really see where their food comes from through farm activities, stories and art. Then they get to prepare and eat the foods they’ve been learning about. This week’s class is designed for kids ages 6-8, but that varies week to week. Registration required. $15 per child. See their website for more HERE.

Make Mozzarella
The newest storefront on Palmer Square West is still a bit of a mystery. Olsson’s Fine Foods has actually been around for more than two decades but just moved to Princeton earlier this summer. From my few peeks in the window, it looks like they have an amazing selection of cheeses and jams. They also have some really interesting specialty meats like duck hot dogs and buffalo burgers. (Check their facebook page for updates about what’s fresh.) This Thursday at 7 pm, they are hosting a make your own mozzarella workshop in the store. For $35 you will get a hands on demo of how to make this “quick cheese” and even get to take a bunch home! In the summer nothing beats a fresh caprese salad or a mozzarella and prosciutto Panini. You can even pick up other fresh ingredients at the Princeton Farmer’s Market. More information on Olsson’s HERE.

Friday 

Masks and Costumes Workshop
In addition to being a great local theater company, Princeton Summer Theater also hosts a series of workshops for kids interested in acting and the behind the scenes work that goes into theater. In this, their last workshop of the summer, kids ages 7-13 will get to “explore the transformative power of clothing and mask.” Members of the company will instruct kids in the craftsmanship and tradition of costuming, an art as old as theater itself. $35 per child. 1:30-3:30 pm. More information and registration HERE

First Things First
PrincetonScoop has always been a fan of the Off-Broadstreet theater in Hopewell and this summer season just makes us love them even more. Their newest production is First Things First, a comedy about a happily married couple whose world is rocked by the news that the husbands first wife, presumed dead, is alive and well. Hilarity is bound to ensue. Plus, at Off-Broadstreet you always get coffee and dessert with the show! Doors at 7 pm, curtain at 8. $25. More information and tickets HERE.

Saturday

Princeton Free Wheelers
If you feel like building up an appetite before Burgermania (see below), check out this bicycling event sponsored by the Princeton Free Wheelers. This is the club’s 31st annual tour and it features seven different routes ranging from 16 to 100 miles to cater to all levels of cyclists. All rides begin and end at Mercer County Community College. This is traditionally one of the largest cycling events in the state with over 1,200 bikes expected to attend. Register online and save $5 off a $35 fee. Cost includes parking and a post-ride lunch. More information HERE.

Honey Harvest
Howell Living History Farm is known for its fantastic programs where they demonstrate their old-fashion farming practices. They have a cotton picking festival, an ice harvest, a maple syrup gathering, and a few others throughout the year. One of their newer programs is the honey harvest, where their beekeeper Bob Hughes will remove the boxes that contain the hive and harvest the honey. He will explain all about queens, drones, and workers and how the bees build their hives to make the honey. Children can even lend a hand cranking the extractor. Then afterwards there will be a honey tasting. Kids also have the opportunity to make a beeswax medallion from the wax collected for a $3 materials fee. The harvest is from 1-1:45 pm and the extraction/tasting is from 2:15-3:30 pm. More information HERE.   

Burgermania
Do all these farmers markets and fine foods have you longing some all-American red meat? Burgermania is the perfect place to satisfy that craving. Many of the best restaurants in Mercer County come out to this annual cook-off to fight for the title of Mercer County’s Ultimate Burger. Admission is free and each slider is only $1, so it’s easy to fill up with out leaving your wallet empty. There is also a beer garden and a bunch of activities for kids. Short Long & the Jersey Horns and 2U, a U2 cover band, will provide the entertainment. 3-8 pm at Mercer County Park near the skating rink. More information HERE  

Sarah Donner: …and the Beat Goes On
Local indie favorite Sarah Donner hits the stage this weekend for the latest installment of the West Windsor Art Council’s free Summer Music Series. Donner’s original, upbeat tunes and sassy lyrics offer the perfect summer soundtrack for a Saturday afternoon. If, like me, you are obsessed with mid-century inspired Scandinavian interior design, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to sign up for a free in-home design consultation with BoConcept, the sponsor of the event. 6-8 pm at the Nassau Park Pavilion. More information HERE. 

Sunday

Gravity Hill Farm
This past weekend we had our annual PrincetonScoop staff party at Gravity Hill Farm in Titusville. It was, in a word, lovely. Taking the county roads through Pennington, it’s about a 40 minute drive from Princeton but it is well worth the trip. The drive itself is gorgeous. Classic New Jersey farm scenes along winding roads make for the perfect Sunday roadtrip. Our party was in their newly built community building with a covered patio perfect for watching the sun set over the fields. We had great pizza made from Gravity Hill Farm ingredients baked fresh in their big outdoor oven and lots of awesome flavored water from our friends at BOT.

It was a fantastic place for a private party, but the farm also hosts a farmers market every Tuesday and Sunday (1-6 pm on Tuesday, 10:30-2:30 on Sunday).They grow tons of organic vegetables including some truly amazing sweet peppers. They also sell fresh eggs and flowers, both fresh cut and for planting. On a Sunday visit you can also hang out with their herd of llamas, alpacas, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, a donkey, and a bunch of chicks. This week from 11 am-2 pm, you can even stop by the barn for a cooking demonstration using their fresh heirloom tomatoes. More information about Gravity Hill Farm HERE.

From Gravity Hill Farm, it is only a 10 minute drive up the river to Lambertville, one of New Jersey’s nicest towns for art, antiquing, and spending an afternoon. Explore it with our new LambertvilleScoop app and facebook page! 

Compiled for PrincetonScoop by Grace Rosen