September Simple Stuff

I re-fall in love with Madison every September. There’s something about warm days and cool nights that seize my heart and make me walk and wander more. Watching kids walk to and from school, seeing university students grab the all-important coffee, and happily strolling Main Street are just a few simple reminders of what makes our town so special.

But there’s more to Madison than what I mention. It’s our access to simple outings and treasured traditions that gets us ranked #1 by NJ Monthly.

And whether you’re in Madison or wanting to explore right outside of Madison, it doesn’t have to be complicated and over-the-top to make a memory or leave a mark of magic.

This past weekend we headed into Manhattan for a day of adventure. While we often drive, our girls had been begging for a train ride. Closed on the weekend, the interior of Madison train station is worth a visit during the week, especially with little ones. A quick tour, a stop to see Madison Santa’s relative who operates the Hava G-day Cafe inside, and a viewing of the comings and goings of NJ transit trains can easily occupy young eyes and active minds for a half hour or so. While we stuck to the outside, the experience of boarding a train and going into the big city made us the loudest and proudest passengers of the day. If you’re not up for New York, we favor quick rides to Summit and Maplewood when our transportation toddler or persistent preschooler need their train fix.

Did you know you could stare at fish for twenty-plus minutes? Me either. But I have at the Madison Pet Store and it makes for one of our most fun and easy outings. Sometimes we kick it up a notch and go for ice cream at McCool’s and other times we meet a fellow mom friend and their tiny tots and take our coffee habits to the next level. Drip has my heart but Simple Coffee can’t be missed either. PS Sunday Morning Co I want the scoop on your opening. This caffeine consumer is desperate for an invite.

And while I wrote all about preschool plans last week, it didn’t feel quite right to not expand somewhat on a few more freebies or low cost options around town.

Short Stories has a free storytime that’s sure to please the youngest readers in your household. I love seeing the kids discover books and experience the beauty of browsing in this special shop. There’s something to be said about seeing eyes dance in delight over the newest Pete-the-Cat.

We’re big fans of trips to the Post Office where we mail artwork to grandma and grandpa, take pictures in front of the sunflowers, and once again, stare at incoming trains. Again, it doesn’t have to be grandiose to be a grand slam with the family.

I could write for hours on the simple stuff. But I think part of the fun of discovering Madison is unearthing and developing your own simple stuff too. In every corner and crevice, there’s fun to be had and memories to be made.

Just walk up and down Main Street, Central, or Waverly and pop-in the places that make Madison so wonderful. I’m in awe of the hard working, loyal, and loving people who build us a downtown to be proud of. This fall, rediscover the charm of living in Madison. September, you’re looking good. Madison, stay marvelous.