AMERICAN DREAM

I spent the first 18 years of my life (in the pre-Amazon delivery days) living in Maine, a state with very few malls.

When I moved to New Jersey, I lived near the Freehold Raceway Mall, which had rides inside and so many stores. I thought I had landed in retail heaven! NJ is home to American Dream, the mega entertainment and shopping complex in East Rutherford that has everything from a ski slope to an indoor water park to an amusement park to high-end shops like Gucci and Hermès. And that’s just one of a host of exceptional malls around the state.

Short Hills has upscale shopping and there’s so much to do at Menlo Park Mall in Edison. The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack was recently renovated and has stores like Tiffany and Co., while the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus is packed with shops and fun pop-ups.

And although malls in Bergen County are closed on Sunday because of the blue laws, that just gives us an excuse to drive to one to the outlets in Jackson, Tinton Falls, Elizabeth or Woodbury Commons just over the New York border.

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