Before Melissa DeSanti, the mom of two (daughter Georgia, 3 and son Freddie, 18 months) behind Mendham Moms, joined The Local Moms Network, she spent years working as a marketing executive. In her last role she served as the senior marketing manager for Omega Watches; she also worked with other luxury brands like Montblanc and Jaquet Droz. Now she’s using her marketing savvy to bring resources to other moms in the Mendham, New Jersey area (including Mendham, Chester, Far Hills, Peapack Gladstone, Bedminster, Bernardsville, Basking Ridge and Morristown, New Jersey). “For me it was a no-brainer. I could quickly see the value these resources have for our community, which tends to get overlooked because of its size. I thought if I could bring this platform to a community such as ours, then maybe we can utilize more of the local activities and small business that people may not know are right at their fingertips,” says Melissa. “It’s also a great way for this mama to talk to adults vs. tiny humans all day and bring back the part of work that I love and miss—connecting with people!” Here’s more from our Local Moms colleague, including recs for anyone visiting the Mendham area—just over an hour west of New York City.

Where’s your go-to spot for date night, or for dinner with the family?
We love a date night at Ninety Acres in Peapack. Try to arrive an hour earlier than your reservation to have a drink by their outdoor fire pits too! Our area has so many family-friendly options, but one we love is Millie’s Old World Meatballs & Pizza in downtown Morristown. Most items are easily shareable and in the warmer months they open the front sliding doors for outdoor seating. After we love to get some ice cream at South Street Creamery too!

Sounds great! When you have family/friends, in town, where do you recommend they stay (if not with you, of course!)?
The Madison Hotel in Morristown is a great local option; it has two restaurants on site and an indoor pool, which is great for kids of any age!

Where do you go for a drink? For coffee?
The Black Horse Pub is a Mendham staple and as one on NJ’s oldest restaurants it’s a must. It’s a great casual spot to grab a drink and listen to a live local band on Friday or Saturday Nights! And for coffee, Simple Coffee in Mendham.

Do you have a favorite store in the area?
Nothing beats the variety of Windswept, you can always find that “it” piece you are looking for. Baby Crossing is perfect for the little ones or the Streets of Chester shopping center has tons of options too!

If someone is visiting the Mendham area, what are the must-do activities?
We have SO MANY local farms who offer anything from pick your owns to pony rides, most of which are open all year long too. Since Morristown is such a historical spot too (George Washington spent a lot of time in this area) you can visit museums and fort sites too.

So fun! And any seasonal events that people might plan a trip around?
Hands down, our favorite is the Brookside Fourth of July Parade. It is the quintessential small town parade down Main Street. The whole community comes out for it and you get all those good feels. It makes me remember year after year why we moved here and how much we love this area.

So lovely! Finally, our mission is to give moms the gift of time. What is your best time-saving mom tip?
I love a schedule! My husband thinks I’m nuts because I literally buy Polar Express tickets in August, but if you don’t want to miss out on things, it’s a great idea to get a head start on your planning. Our Calendar page is an awesome resource for this. It gives an overview of each month so you never miss out on an activity happening around town!

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