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Brookdale: Best Park in Montclair and Bloomfield

Park in Montclair, Bloomfield. Tennis, soccer, softball in Montclair

Relaxing in Essex County's Brookdale Park

It's unusually cold for this time of year, but since it is in fact April, I assume that we'll see warmer weather soon. For me, that means more time outdoors, specifically in Brookdale Park.

I've been going to Brookdale Park since my kids were babies: I spent many afternoons pushing their strollers along the paths and later helped them navigate the equipment on the two playgrounds. Several years later, I found myself at the park again, cheering them on from the sidelines of the soccer and softball fields with fellow Montclair moms.

My kids have moved on to other activities, but I still love the park. Whenever I get a chance, I meet a friend for some tennis (there are 11 courts). I  also love the art shows held there in spring and fall, as well as the free summer concerts and July 4th fireworks. Note to gardeners: there are dozens of  different species of roses in the gorgeous rose garden.

Brookdale Park was designed by the Olmstead brothers, who also designed New York City's Central Park. Since I grew up in the city and spent a lot of time in Central Park when I was young, I really feel right at home here.