I have lived in Millburn/Short Hills 2 different times, one before kids, and now with a child. Both times I joined The Newcomers & Neighbors Club of Short Hills & Millburn, a group of 500 families just interested in meeting new people, and both times I met best friends that I am still BFFs with. I served on the Board both times and can say I always got much more out of it than I put in. It is an amazing organization that sponsors so many events for every type of resident: single, married, divorced, kids, no kids. No agenda, not exclusivity, anybody who wants to be a part of it can be. And the benefits are amazing: a ListServ that we use to share resources for emergencies like plumbers or electricians, or just to say help, I just moved to town and have a 3 year old, is anyone interested in a playgroup? Social events to make meeting people easy.
The quality of the residents makes this a wonderful place to live. The emphasis is on education and all are involved to keep the school system stellar. The housing stock is remarkable and unique, no two houses look alike, which is so special. The neighborhoods are distinctive and charming. There are 2 train stations that lead to Hoboken or Penn Station NYC, with plenty of parking. Until I lived here, I did not understand some of the things that make this town highly desirable, and the town services are exemplary. Didn’t get your refuse out for pickup in time? Call them and they will come back to get it. The responsive town hall addresses neighbor’s concerns. The police department is right on it. The fire department will send the fire truck by your house on your kid’s birthday. No, this isn’t Mayberry, but it feels pretty close to it.
My favorite restaurant is where they know me. (Nod to James Beard). I can go to any restaurant in town and they know what my favorite dish is, or what my son likes to eat. Restaurants that don’t deliver have brought food over, by the owner, when we needed some TLC. There are some great nightlife options, with local live music, and many people who are not residents come here for the lively scene.
The playground in Taylor Park is a mecca for kids, my son thought it was his own backyard, we went there every day and met other families with children the same age. We go to the music presentations the town sponsors, and right now there is a darling Winter Walk light festival that is so pretty to walk or drive by. The Memorial Day Parade showcases scouting and other community groups, plus the local fire and police department. It’s so cute! And the volunteer 4th of July Committee puts on a great all day event every year. Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is a 16 acre treasure boasting the Stone House for environmental education and other events.
The Racquets Club of Short Hills is another amazing asset, a small family oriented group with 4 fabulous Har-Tru tennis courts, a pool with bar and grill, 2 paddle courts restriped in summer for pickleball, and an appealing clubhouse restaurant with entertaining space. Very warm and welcoming, the location can’t be beat, right across from the Short Hills train station with free parking for members. My son’s best friends were made here while on swim team, and parents being able to hang out in a small environment where the lifeguards know your kids by name, and if they can swim or not, allows them to exhale. I was on the Board for years, and just like anything else, I got so much more out of it than I put in.
Now I am trying paddle, or winter tennis, and although I am not an athlete, the exercise is fun but the camaraderie is exemplary.
The convenience factor of this town cannot be beat, with several supermarkets, local delis, and a Trader Joe’s, easy access to Route 78, Newark Liberty Airport, rail service to Newark and NYC, plus the shore less than an hour away, and skiing in Pennsylvania an hour west. It truly feels like home.
Millburn/Short Hills covers an area of 10.5 square miles and has an approximate population of 20,000. Short Hills is an unincorporated section within Millburn and both parts of the town have access to the same services and public school system. Given its proximity to NYC (22 miles away) and access to Midtown Direct train lines, Millburn and Short Hills are recognized as outstanding commuter towns. In addition, Millburn Township schools are recognized nationally for their excellence and are consistently rated at the very top of public school systems in the US.
The Millburn Township Public Schools are consistently rated at the very top of NJ and National public schools. There are 5 elementary schools (K-4) , 1 Fifth Grade Academy, 1 Middle School and 1 High School.
Elementary Schools (K-4)
5th Grade Academy (5)
Middle School (6-8)
As well as outstanding public schools, there are many private schools in the immediate area including Far Brook School (N-8), Pingry School (Lower School, K-6) and St. Rose of Lima (PreK-8). In addition, there are more than 15 pre-schools in the immediate area.
The township has Midtown Direct service as well as service to Hoboken leaving from 2 stations – the Short Hills station and the Millburn station. Residents can purchase a Commuter Parking permit for an annual fee. There is parking at both stations. Millburn station has additional parking at the adjacent parking deck. There are also daily parking spaces available.
Millburn/Short Hills has a vibrant downtown area with excellent restaurants, shops and personal service businesses. The highly acclaimed Short Hills Mall is never more than a 5-10 minute drive away. The Papermill Playhouse, which won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, is walking distance from downtown Millburn.
Parks abound with many homes within walking distance to the South Mountain Reservation (2,100 acres), Gero Park (36 acres) or Taylor Park (14 acres). There are multiple smaller parks and playgrounds, a Par 3 golf course, Municipal Pool, Tennis and Paddle Courts. The Township Recreation Department runs a variety of sports leagues for children year-round. In addition, there are many private country clubs in the area.
Millburn/Short Hills has a rich history dating back to the 1660s when the Elizabethtown and Newark settlements included what is now Millburn Township. In the late 1800’s, Millburn underwent a transformation due to its location and access to transportation. At that time, Millburn and Short Hills were developed. In fact, Short Hills was the first planned commuter suburb in America, the brainchild of Stewart Hartshorn, the inventor of the spring roller shade. The area today that is known as “Old Short Hills” was the land originally purchased by Hartshorn in 1877 which consists of undulating hills, streams and a forest of chestnut trees. He laid out the roads to follow the contours of the land and maintained as many of the trees as possible. He also employed some of the premier architects of the time to build the original Hartshorn homes which still stand today.