New to Madison? Start Here!
Recently, two new families with kids about my kids’ ages moved into my neighborhood. As someone who lived in the same house from age 1 through high school graduation (and my parents still live there!), and my kids have lived in the same house all their life, too, I can’t even imagine all that these families must be going through as they get themselves and their kids accustomed to a new town and school.
Fortunately for them, though, they have chosen an AWESOME town and school district, so there are two worries they can cross off their list! Now to figure out the rest!
I’ve compiled a few links below to help new families get to know the ins and outs of Madison.
MADISON FACEBOOK PAGES
Obviously, the first Facebook page your should follow is “A Madison Mom” (self-promotion alert! — Ha! Ha!). No, really, you should. We post several blogs a week, many of which include local events and info. In addition, you should click on “subscribe” in the top right corner of this blog to subscribe and stay on top of all our latest posts.
The next page you should follow is “Madison Area Parents & Community (original)” Facebook Page. You will need to submit a request to join. There is a wealth of info on here that local residents share (and debate—some of which it is best to ignore completely). Be sure you use the search feature before you post general things like looking for recommendations on dry cleaners, handymen, electricians, etc. There are bound to be many listings already for those topics, so start there.
Also, join “I Love Madison, NJ” and “Borough of Madison New Jersey” Facebook pages. There are a ton of others, like “Madison Eagle” (local newspaper — great to buy subscription!), “TAPinto Madison,” “Madison NJ Patch” (both also local news), “Madison Public Library,” and your kids’ school pages. If your kids get into sports or other activities, check for those pages, too.
The public school district is Madison School District: www.madisonpublicschools.org
Use the “Schools” icon at the top left corner to access the Web sites for each of the district schools’ sites:
1 Junior School (grades 6-8): Madison Junior School (MJS)
1 High School (grades 9-12): Madison High School (MHS)
If your kids are starting MJS or MHS for the first time in September, be sure to visit the school Web sites and do a search for summer reading and math assignments!
There is also a Catholic School in Madison: St. Vincent Martyr School (SVM) (grades preK-8)
There are numerous preschools in town, as well as in surrounding towns. Here’s a link to an A Madison Mom post listing the schools.
TOWN INFO, RECYCLING SCHEDULES, ETC.
Madison’s Web site is www.rosenet.org You can click around this site to find town history, tax info, how to pay your utility bills online, and the trash/recycling schedule (from this link, click on “Public Works Department” in the left bar, then scroll to “Recycling Newsletter”). The site also has a specific link for new residents that has many of the important links in one place.
If you want to get your kids into some sports teams, check out the Recreation Department link from the town Web site www.rosenet.org/298/Recreation-Department There is info on Madison sports in the Program Info & Registration page, including soccer (rec and travel teams), football, track, cross country, field hockey, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, wrestling, and ski club, in addition to others. There is also an ice skating pond on Rosedale!
There are also several local travel and club teams for soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, etc. A quick Google Search, or search on the Madison Area Parents & Community Facebook Page will help you find those.
One stroll down Main Street will help you see that there are plenty of small and focused gyms to choose from in Madison. If you are looking for a specific type, like pilates, barre, women-only, group exercise classes, you will definitely find one in town. I, however, am partial to the Madison Area YMCA (111 Kings Road), where we have been members since we moved in 15 years ago. The Y offers everything under one roof—weights, treadmills, group exercise classes, a swimming pool (with a new one being built!), classes for kids of all ages (sports, craft, cooking, etc.), teams (gymnastics, swimming, basketball), an after-school teen center and Friday night teen events (see my blog about it here), babysitting and open play space (Kids Central), and even free membership for seventh graders!
Madison has its own town pool—Madison Community Pool (MCP) (105 Rosedale Ave)! There are various levels of membership—family, single, etc—and also an option for only August, in case you move in later in the summer or are away for the beginning of the summer. They offer group swim lessons or you can ask about which lifeguards can teach private swim lessons. There is a baby pool with small playground in the same section, a twirl slide, a drop slide, two smaller slides, a snack bar, and adult lap lanes. Several times a summer, they bands play on weekends, moonlight swim events at night where you can bring pool floats, preteen parties, and an annual adult social.
Be sure to head on over to the Madison Public Library (39 Keep Street) with your Madison ID to get a library card. This will allow you to take items out of our library, but also from any Morris County Library System library. There are programs and story hours for babies through teens, as well as book clubs and classes (including lectures and classes run by local universities). Summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults. Also, check out the Museum Passes that you can check out for free or reduced prices to get in to numerous local and NYC museums.
A Madison Mom has started a great way to help local families and local babysitters connect. https://amadisonmom.net/babysitters-club If you are looking for a babysitter, check out the link for details, and also ask to join the Facebook Page: “Babysitters Club of Madison NJ”
Madison Girl Scouts are part of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey council (www.gsnnj.org/) If your daughter is interested in joining a Girl Scout troop, contact the school where she will attend. Each elementary school has a Girl Scout coordinator (I know, since I was the coordinator for CAS for the past several years), and the front office should have the person’s name and contact info. If not, they might help put you in touch with one of the leaders who can let you know your daughter’s grade leaders.
The Madison Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are part of the Patriots Path Council, Fishawack District (https://ppcbsa.org). Here are some helpful links:
Cub Scout Pack 7 (St Vincent Martyr): www.svmsnj.org/Page/69
Cub Scout Pack 124 (CAS and TJS): www.facebook.com/MadisonNJPack124/
Cub Scout Pack 226 (KRS): (I couldn’t find a Web site, but here is a flyer with email addresses I found)
Boy Scout Troop 7: www.troopwebhost.org/Troop7Madison/
Boy Scout Troop 25: www.troopwebhost.org/Troop25Madison/Index.htm
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO, CAMPS, ETC.
I have blogged about many cool places to go (mostly with kids) throughout the year, and also about local summer camps. Check out this link to many of my blogs: amadisonmom.net/blog/summer-survival?rq=survival
I have also written about several specific not-to-be-missed Madison events amadisonmom.net/blog/must-do-madison-events?rq=must-do
I hope this list helps you settle in to town! What other info do you think new families want to know? Please comment below!