Located in Morris County, Madison is a bustling community that offers both an easy commute to New York City as well as the charm of living in a college town. Bordered by Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Madison-Florham Park campus) and the College of St. Elizabeth, Madison offers unsurpassed cultural, historical and educational opportunities and events. Madison offers an excellent public school system that is rated among the best due to the small class sizes and the broad curriculum taught. There are over 100 acres of parks and public spaces, a rich downtown filled with unique restaurants and shops, and entertainment options such as the Playwrights’ Theatre of New Jersey and the Museum of Early Trade and Crafts. The annual Shakespeare Festival of NJ is also a very popular event.
The cultural line up in Madison is extraordinarily rich and diverse, thanks largely to its status as a three-university town.
The Playwrights Theatre is a community of professional playwrights, theater artists, and arts educators that enables writers to develop their works in a nurturing environment and to connect with new audiences. Visit their website for performance information and details on education programs.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Main Stage season, presented in the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the Drew University Campus in Madison, runs from June through December. An outdoor production is presented each summer at The Greek Theatre, an open-air amphitheater located on the College of Saint Elizabeth’s campus in Morris Township.
The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts collection consists primarily of hand tools and the products that were produced those in pre-industrial times. Among the permanent exhibits is “The Essential Trade: Blacksmithing in America”, which explores the important work of blacksmiths in American history.
The wonderful acoustics at the state-of-the-art Concert Hall on the campus at Drew University attract world class performers. There is also a summer jazz festival held there every year.
There is also four-screen Clearview Movie Theater right in town.
Parks and Recreation
If you love fresh air and wide open spaces then Madison is the place for you. In addition to the numerous parks, picnic areas and playgrounds maintained by Madison Borough, residents are free to wander through the Zuck Arboretum at Drew University. This woodland retreat has two small ponds where you can watch turtles, goldfish, catfish and muskrats, as well as migrating Canada geese, ducks and herons.
Health & Fitness
Madison Recreation Department facilities include six lighted tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, nature/fitness trails, a lighted outdoor ice skating rink, lighted football & soccer fields and three basketball courts. There are also facilities for lacrosse, hockey, and track and field.
Madison also has a YMCA where there are fitness programs for all ages and sports ranging from golf for 3-4 year olds to basketball, karate, soccer and dodgeball. The McLoughlin Soccer school is a favorite among the youth.
Madison Community Pool is open to residents and a limited number of non-residents for family swimming, swim lessons, and swim team. Madison Golf Club is a wonderful private 9-hole course. There is also a spectacular golf course at Fairmount Country Club in neighboring Chatham.
Madison’s town center has some of the best restaurants around, drawing locals from all over. A unique and popular spot in town is Shanghai Jazz. A fusion of Great American Jazz and Gourmet Asian Cuisine, with two dinner seatings on live jazz nights.
For Italian, check out Il Mondo Vecchio on Main Street for a great casual Italian restaurant. Also, the hand tossed pizza at Romanelli’s is legendary and is family friendly. They also do take-out and delivery.
Terra Mare serves authentic Mediterranean specialties that include fresh seafood, live lobsters and Old World traditional dishes. The creative food and energetic atmosphere of Soho 33 is the perfect spot for a lively night out with friends.
Looking for an old fashioned home cooked meal? Check out the Rose City Grille on Central Avenue, a popular spot amongst families and local college students. For a quick bite, head to Fat Boy Subs and Salads. For dessert, make sure you stop at McCool’s Ice Cream Parlor. It’s not only a Madison institution, but they have the best milkshakes in New Jersey!
Madison is the perfect blend of old fashioned charm and modern convenience. The historic business district has over 50 buildings listed on the State and National Registers of Historic places, many of them independent mom and pop shops. Here you can find chic boutiques for both adults and children, home furnishings, housewares, antiques, jewelry and books. East of the historic district, on Main Street, you can find big name stores and car dealerships.
There is a large Whole Foods supermarket on Main Street and nearby a Gary’s Wine and Marketplace. Madison also has a Farmers’ Market on Thursday afternoons from June until October.
From Madison Station, (located in the center of town) commuters can take NJ Transit’s Midtown Direct service to New York Penn Station in 50 minutes. Madison is on the Morristown branch of the Morris and Essex Line, with trains for the Hoboken terminal and connections to lower New York City.
Parking permits for commuters and residents are administered by Madison Police Department; applications can be found on their website. Bike racks are also available at the station.
For just $1, the Last Mile Shuttle runs between Madison Railroad Station and East Hanover, stopping at several corporate offices in the area, including Novartis and Kraft Foods. The Morris County Metro bus travels between Madison, Livingston and Greystone Park, stopping at Livingston Mall, Short Hills Mall, Chatham, Morristown and Morris Plains.
By car, Routes 24 and 287, I-78, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway are all within easy access.
Newark Liberty Airport is a 25 minute drive away. Madison is also just ten minutes by car to Morristown Municipal Airport.