In the Real NJMOMs of NJ, we take you on an adventure through a new town with one of our Garden State moms spilling the beans on the best places to eat, play, and shop in her ‘hood. Just think of it as a real mom’s guide with insider intel you need to know – because mom life gets a lot more groovy when you supplement your usual go-to’s with some new ideas for dining or play dates with the kids, or a fun visit to a new city.
The Real NJMOMs of NJ: Kristie Mass, Westfield
Kristie Mass keeps her days sweet and simple in Westfield, New Jersey with her husband, twin girls, three pups, and custom cookie decorating business. To add another layer to this mama’s recipe for success, Kristie is a winner of Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge. This FIT graduate and former fashion merchandiser turned cookie entrepreneur loves serving up intricate designs with her flourishing business, Peapods Cookies. After residing in Upper West Side in New York for more than 10 years, she now loves living in Westfield because its urban characteristics and bustling downtown help bridge the gap between city living and small town.
We have found it very easy to make fast friends with lots of neighbors in Westfield.
“We also love that there are a lot of young families moving here from the city or Hoboken,” says Kristie. “Westfield continues to surprise us with fun family activities all year round, like their annual Spring Fling and FestiFall festivals and Downtown Summer Jazz Nights.” Read on for Kristie’s favorite places to eat, play, and shop in Westfield, New Jersey – and a real pearl of wisdom she’d like to tell all NJMOMs. (p.s. If you’re looking for a delicious almond linzer cookie recipe for Easter, Kristie’s your girl! See her award-winning family recipe here.)
EAT in Westfield
We have a lot of favorites in Westfield, but Mulberry House has quickly become our go-to. We love to come here for the Tea Time Lunch, where they do a special tea tower just for kids and even serve pink lemonade in a teapot for those not drinking actual tea yet. The kids love it, and I love the vast selection of teas and adult sandwiches, such as truffled egg salad and hoisin pork. Their scones and sweets are also just amazing!
Mulberry House, 415 Westfield Ave., Westfield, NJ 07090
PLAY in Westfield
Classic Thyme Cooking School
This might not be your “typical” play, but my husband and I love to take the kids to cooking classes at Classic Thyme. The kids have an absolute blast and love making three to four different things in class and sampling everything as we go. The instructors are patient and let the kids be hands-on in every step, and we usually have a lot to bring home at the end of class.
Classic Thyme Cooking School, 710 South Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090
SHOP in Westfield
I’m guilty of buying a lot online, but shoes for the kids is one thing I absolutely make time for going to a store. Castle Bootery has a great selection of not just shoes but also dancewear, hair accessories, and raingear and they measure your kids’ feet so that the shoes fit perfectly. They also offer “Shoe Tying” classes when your little ones are ready to do it themselves. I’m excited for the girls to get to that phase.
Castle Bootery, 52 Elm St., Westfield, NJ 07090
BEST KEPT SECRET in Westfield
I don’t know how much of a secret this is, but since we live very close to Tamaques Park we are there a lot! Last year we noticed that they stock the pond with fish every spring and you can catch and release fish there all summer. It’s fun to watch the older kids fish and we’re looking forward to when the girls can participate. We also noticed lots of deer families who live on the north side of the park – the girls love to watch them and see the new babies every spring. There also are sports classes held right in the park, which is so convenient.
Tamaques Park, 1101 Lamberts Mill Rd., Westfield, NJ 07090
Kristie’s Pearl of Wisdom: On Motherhood
One of the things I always tell second-time moms (or new moms to multiples) is to make sure to make time for each of your kids individually. It’s really hard, especially with twins, to not group them both together all the time. I try to give my girls at least one alone day with me every month, and I know they enjoy their “special” individualized time and it strengthens our bonds.
For more Westfield adventures, follow Kristie over on Instagram.