Grover Cleveland Park: Essex Fells, NJ

Rating: 5 out of 5.

We begin the day by singing a song:

“Let’s go on an adventure! Time to go and explore. So much to see on our adventure. I can’t wait to see more!”

Singing helps energize our boys and excites us to explore something new. I tell them about the place we’re going to that day over breakfast to get them pumped up and ready to put on those socks and get out the door.

Our newest discovery, Grover Cleveland Park in Essex Fells, NJ, was an immediate hit with our animal enthusiasts. This place is teeming with wildlife! We spotted a turtle family of 5 sunbathing on a log, 11 ducklings following their loving mama’s every move, a half dozen catfish, a mama deer with her juvenile deer and 2 lovely fawns feeding on nearby grass, and the star of the show: an earthworm that our 4 year old proudly dug out of the ground using his favorite digging tool (a stick).

We picnicked in the shade, played tag in the open field, collected sticks and dug in the dirt on a mission to find bugs and worms, strolled along the paved paths around a lovely pond and woodland trails, and watched animals with a child-like sense of awe.

There’s a fun little playground with sections suitable for children aged 2-5 and 5-12. We’re avoiding shared equipment at the moment, but the children and parents there were enjoying it safely. Everyone we encountered throughout the park was friendly and respectful, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. There were open restrooms during the week, but they seemed to be closed on the weekend when we were there. There are porta potties available in a pinch.

The Park Mama Tips:

  • Street parking is free and easy. Parking next to the pond positions you for an awesome up close look at ducks, turtles, and fish. Parking further down the road by the tennis courts places you closer to woodland trails where you may spot deer, play at the playground and visit the restroom.
  • We spotted a couple of mosquitos here. Pack bug spray!

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Published by TheParkMama

Hi, I'm Janet, a city dwelling nature lover and mama bear of toddler and preschool aged explorers. We love discovering uncrowded green spaces within a short drive of Hoboken, NJ that are little kid-friendly - from botanical gardens and nature preserves to arboretums and parks - there's something magical about adventuring together.

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