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SOMA – Two Towns For All Ages
SOMA Age Friendly Iniative Logo.jpg
Catherine Rowe
SOMA Age Friendly Initiative Coordinator

574 Valley St.
Maplewood Township, NJ  07040

Ph: (973) 762-8120 ext. 4005
Fax: (973) 763-4202

Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Our Mission Statement:

To identify, develop and coordinate resources, policies, programs and services

that support and empower all residents of Maplewood and South Orange

to age in place as full members of the community.

Recognizing the increasing number of residents over 60 and the desire to keep long-term residents in our communities, South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA) launched "Two towns for all ages." Under this new initiative, SOMA is taking a proactive approach to foster healthy aging and enable residents to age in place.

This age-friendly initiative engages all stakeholders in the community - government, businesses, schools, non-profits and people of all ages - to build a lifelong community.  To ensure programs and services in our two towns meet these important goals we strive/pledge/commit to:

  • Be responsive to the needs of older residents.
  • Combine the resources and interests of both towns to build a synergistic relationship that promotes and supports healthy aging.
  • Recognize the role older adults play in our communities and their contributions to the fabric of our diverse community.
  • Realize that improvements that benefit the older population also benefit the rest of our community.
  • Ensure older adults engage in the conversation and allow their concerns to be heard and acted upon.

Both towns are committed to the long-term continuity and sustainability of the Two towns for all ages initiative. 

July Events

***Upcoming Events in Maplewood and South Orange (Events are free unless otherwise noted, registration may be required)***


Project Healthy Bones at the Baird, 10am-11:45 am.

  • New members are welcome to join Tonia Moore in ongoing classes which help persons with osteoporosis, osteopenia, and anyone interested in promoting and maintaining  healthy bones over the years ahead.

Senior Fitness at the Maplewood Senior Center, 106 Burnett, 11am

  • Robin Weber's  fitness class usually held at The Baird will continue this summer at a new location - The Maplewood Senior Center
  • $42 for 7 week class, register with S.O. Dept. of Recreation at The Baird

Maplewood Farmers Market, 2-7pm

  • New location: 1848-1852 Springfield Ave (between Yale and Oberlin)


Digital Device Clinic, Hilton Library, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

  • Drop in for free support for using your e-reader, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device.


South Orange Farmers Market, 2-7pm

  • Parking lot adjacent to Sloan St.

Art in the Park at  S.Orange Floods Hill, 6:00- 8:00 pm

  • July 5 - Faces of South orange, who's your real life hero;
  • July 12 - Squirt painting, step one of a community art project.
  • July 19 - balloon sculptures.
  • July 26 - "Sew it up,"  step 2 of a community art project
  • Aug. 2 - confetti mural

Concerts in the Park,  Floods Hill, 7:30 - 10pm

SOMA Two Towns for all ages tent with chairs will be set up for seniors

  • July 5 -  Mark Murphy
  • July  12- Nine Deeez Nite
  • July  19 - Shining Star
  • July  26- Counterfeiters


 Chair Yoga, Maplewood Senior Center, 106 Burnett, 11am

  • Robin Weber's  yoga class usually held at The Baird will continue this summer at a new location - The Maplewood Senior Center
  • $42 for 7 week class, register with S.O. Dept. of Recreation at The Baird

International Folk Dancing, Burgdorff Center (10 Durand Rd, Maplewood) 8-10:30 pm

  • Sponsored by the Maplewood Recreation Department, admission $5.

Friday & Saturday nights,

July - Labor day  Downtown after Sundown, Sloan and Spiotta Park, 7:30 - 10:00 pm

  • Friday & Saturday nights through the summer, two venues per night - Jazz on Sloan St (in front of train station), bands at Spiotta Park

Saturday, July 1         

Start of Maplewood Libraries' Summer Hours

  • Hilton Library Branch will be closed on weekends until Labor Day.  Maplewood Main branch will be open Saturdays, 10am-5pm.

July Events

Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo, 1688 Springfield Ave. (Hilton Library) 11am

  • Jason Didner & the Jungle Gym Band * bring hard to recycle objects like styrofoam, cell phones, batteries, fluorescent bulbs.

Tuesday, July 4th

Celebrate an Age-Friendly Independence Day in Maplewood Memorial Park

  • S. O. residents – Jitney transportation provided from SOPAC parking lot to Memorial Park 10am-10pm.
  • Maplewood seniors – The Senior Bus will be available between 9am and 5pm.  Call (973) 763-0750 to schedule a pick up by noon on Monday, July 3 to schedule.
  • 3 Handicap parking locations: Dunnell St between Oakland Rd and Oakview Ave; Baker St. near Baker Entrance Gate; and parking lot behind Town Hall on Valley St.

Wed, July 5    

S. O. Jitney goes to Essex Green in W. Orange, leaving 10am

  • Call S.O. Dept. of Recreation to reserve a seat (973) 378-7754

Thurs, July 6   

Summer Lecture Series, S. Orange Library, 1pm

  • Karen Gevirtz, Author and Professor of English at SHU. Topic: Now Playing: The Eighteenth Century, In a Theater Near You

Saturday, July 8         

Friends Bag of Books Sale, Maplewood Main Library, 10am - 4pm

  • Fill a bag (provided by the Friends) with some new-found treasures. Offerings include all categories of fiction and nonfiction, kids & teens, movies and music.

Saturday& Sun, July 8&9       Maplewoodstock, Memorial Park, Noon-9pm

  • Come out for the annual music festival.  SOMA Two towns for all ages  tent with seating will  be provided at bottom of hill, Oakview Ave. side

Monday, July 10        

Computer Class, S. Orange Library, 10am

  • Gadgets: Tablets, smart phones, etc.

Northern NJ Professionals in Transition, Hilton Library Library, 10am - noon

  • Join a group roundtable discussion. Network with other friendly & helpful people from varied industries and walks of life.

Elder Law, Maplewood Main Library, 6:30pm-8:30pm

  • Protect Your “Stuff” and Your Family’s Future.This seminar will provide relevant information to help you plan ahead. Learn from attorneys some of the strategies and tools that will allow you to protect and preserve your assets and plan for the future

Tues, July 11  

Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew, S. Orange Library, 7pm

  • Presented by The Shakespeare Company of NJ 's Next Stage Ensemble

Wed, July 12  

Free Adult Health Screening, Hilton Library, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Blood pressure and carotid bruit screening,  medication, weight & health counseling.

Historic Tour of Newark with Sam Convissor, 10:30am

  • Get an insider’s look at the Greater Newark Conservancy, County Court House, the old Bamberger’s and Hayne’s department stores, Military Park and lecture on WWI at the NJ Historical Society. Transportation included, lunch available for purchase at Whole Foods.
  • Sponsored by the JCHC - sign up at senior apartment offices at 110 Vose Ave. or 219 S. Orange Ave.

Wednesdays, July 12, 19 & 26          

Maplewood Arts Center Member Show, 1978 Springfield Ave, 7-9pm

  • The Gallery will be open to all for viewing, discussion, while sharing refreshments.

Thursday, July 13

“A Touch of Sinatra,” Maplewood Senior Center, 11am

  • Call (973)-763-0750 to reserve your seat.

Friday, July 14           

Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo, 1688 Springfield Ave.(Hilton Library), 7pm

  • Greg Bufford Group Jazz Quartet

Monday, July 17        

Make an Origami Greeting Card, Maplewood Main Lbrary, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

  • Learn simple folding techniques for making original cards for any  occasion. Led by experienced origami teacher Mary Kao.

Wednesdays, July 19 

S. O. Jitney goes to Target & Whole Foods, leaves 10am

  • Call S.O. Dept. of Recreation to reserve a seat (973) 378-7754

Thursday, July 20

Summer Lecture Series, S. Orange Library, 1pm

  • Abe Bunis, Raconteur.  Topic: Humorous Tales

The Climate Reality Project: There is No Planet B, Maplewood Main Library, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

  • Presenter Ridge Kennedy has been personally trained by former US Vice President Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project to serve as a volunteer Climate Reality Leader.

Saturday, July 22       

Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo, 1688 Springfield Ave. (Hilton Library), 11am

  • Chibi Kodama

Monday, July 24        

Computer Class, S. Orange Library, 10am

  • Microsoft Word Basics

Book Discussion Group, S. Orange Library, 7pm

  • "Hillbilly Elegy" by JD Vance

Friday, July 28

Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo, 1688 Springfield Ave. (Hilton Library), 7pm

  • Random Test Reggae Band

Saturday, July 29       

Author Talk: Three Cents a Mile with Mark Mooney, Maplewood Main Library, 3:00 - 4:00 pm

  • Three Cents a Mile is a rollicking, exciting and often poignant tale of Mark’s 41,000-mile hitchhiking journey around the world, the characters he befriended, and what led him to his sometimes scary, always fascinating adventures.

Tuesday,  August 1    

National Night Out, S.O. Flood's Hill, 6pm-10pm

Thursday, August 3   

Summer Lecture Series, S. Orange Library, 1pm

  • Wayne Eastman, Author & Professor at Rutgers Business School.  Topic: Making our Lives Sustainable

Lunch Cruise, New York Harbor

  • Transportation from Dehart Community Center to boat includedl leaves 10am
  • $75, call (973)763-0705 for reservations

Friday, August 4        

Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo, 1688 Springfield Ave (Hilton Library) 7pm

  • Grupo Warachando Latin Dance

Location Guide:

The Baird – 5 Mead St, S. Orange (973) 378-7754

Dehart Community Center – 120 Burnett Ave, Maplewood (973) 763- 0750

Maplewood Main Library – 51 Baker St., Maplewood (973) 762-1622

Maplewood Hilton Library – 1688 Springfield Ave., Maplewood (973) 762-1688

Maplewood Senior Center – 106 Burnett Ave., Maplewood (973) 763- 0750

The Pierro Gallery – inside the Baird, 5 Mead St., S.Orange (973) 378-7833

South Orange Public Library (SOPL) – 65 Scotland Rd., S. Orange (973) 762- 0230

Winchester Gardens – 333 Elmwood Ave., Maplewood (973) 762-5050

If you would like to receive information, mailings and emails from SOMA Two towns for all ages, or post an event in our calendar, please email or leave a message at (973) 762-8120 x 4005.


Tips for an Age-friendly Block Party

Dear Neighbors,

The SOMA Two towns for all ages program is a new initiative for South Orange and Maplewood.  Our goal is to help our towns be more age-friendly by helping people age in place, stay in their homes and our community as long as they can, and increase access to community events.  One of the highlights of our two towns are the neighborhood block parties – the events that bring neighbors out to meet, mix and catch up.  When planning your block party, please consider the following suggestions to make your event age-friendly for all neighbors:

  • Many older residents don’t use email on a regular basis, so please give them a flyer, call or stop by and invite them personally.
  • Make sure you have adequate seating, so older neighbors don’t have to stand too long, and don’t have to carry their own chairs to the party.
  • Include your older neighbors in block party planning – they may have lived on your street for years and have interesting stories to share, photos of the neighborhood or memories of who used to live in your house.
  • Depending on your plans for food, (potluck, catered, etc.) consider a heart healthy option – what is good for seniors is good for all. Older residents have great recipes and may be interested to help cook or plan the menu.
  • If you have music, set up some seats behind the speakers or in a quieter area, and play a variety of music.
  • Having a contest for the kids?  Your older neighbors would be experienced and neutral judges.
  • If it is hot out, provide umbrellas/shade and plenty of water.  Again, what’s good for seniors is good for all.
  • Use name tags.
  • Make a directory with contact information for everybody to keep in touch.

If you have questions about how to make your block party more accessible for older neighbors, or suggestions that you would like to share, please contact Cathy Rowe at (973) 558-0863 or

Thank you for considering how to make your block party age-friendly and have a great time!

574 Valley St.
Maplewood Township, NJ 07040
Hours of Operation 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Ph: (973) 762-8120