Maplewood, NJ

Maplewood Avenue, the town’s commercial heart, maintains a small-town feel. 

In addition to biannual art walks, community art centers and artists’ studios throughout town, Maplewood’s artistic nature is reflected in an underground passage leading to the train station, which has been painted with murals and mosaics by local artists and organizations.

Residents gravitate to Maplewood’s bustling downtown, full of shops, restaurants and a movie theater, or to Memorial Park, 25 acres of ball fields, picnic areas, tennis courts and playground. Here is where the town’s annual Maplewoodstock, a two-day music and art festival, takes place each July. Another popular summer spot is the Maplewood Community Pool, open to residents through a paid membership. The South Mountain Reservation, a 2,047-acre county park that is partly in Maplewood, has a zoo, an ice skating arena, a dog park, about 20 miles of footpaths and 27 miles of carriage roads. The town has two libraries, and a weekly farmer’s market runs from June through October.

The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts on Durand Road is home to performances and children’s classes by the Theater Project, among other programs.

Maplewood is part of the School District of South Orange and Maplewood, where children attend one of six public elementary schools, Maplewood or South Orange Middle School, and Columbia High School, which is in Maplewood. The high school prides itself in the diversity of its roughly 1,860 students, and in programs like its robotics club, which has gone to the world championships the last two years. The school offers 21 AP courses. Its average SAT scores for 2012-13 were 522 in reading, 540 in math and 521 in writing, compared with state averages of 495, 521 and 496.


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