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Best Things To Do In Newark NJ

Cityscape photo image of newark, nj.

A state located in the northeastern area of the United States, New Jersey offers over 100 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. From several parks that you can explore to numerous museums and historic sites, there’s an abundance of things to do for all ages with a nice balance of indoor and outdoor activities.

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New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Located in downtown Newark, this is a center that promotes diversity among those who participate in the performing arts. It’s one of the largest in the country of its kind. This is a nonprofit organization that focuses on equality with each performance that’s offered along with providing educational programs for those who want to learn more about singing, acting, and other types of performing on stage. Sometimes, you’ll be able to view a comedy show so that you can enjoy a good laugh for the evening. One of the major jazz festivals for the area is held at the center, which is the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz. Events are held across the city and are usually free of charge so that everyone can enjoy them. 

Branch Brook Park

Branch Brook is the first county park in the nation. The park spans over 360 acres and is known for one of the largest collections of cherry trees. Walking trails wind through the trees along with bridges over streams and several sculptures scattered throughout the park. Visitors will usually see festivals in the spring and summer. This is a park with an abundance of open space for families to enjoy a picnic or to enjoy playing with children. The best time to visit the park if you want to see the cherry blossoms is March and April. There are over a dozen species of trees in the park with over 4,000 trees to view from one end to the other. The Cherry Blossom Festival is held in April and brings out those who love the trees as well as those who enjoy music, food, and fun. 

Prudential Center

The Grammy Museum Experience at the Prudential Center is interactive and allows guests to view past winners of the award as well as the history of each one. This is a new museum that opened in 2017. Several pro sporting events are held at the center as well including hockey and basketball. This is the primary location for larger concerts by artists including Bon Jovi and Justin Beiber. 

Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart

This is the fifth largest cathedral in the country and where the Archdiocese of Newark is seated. When you approach the cathedral, you’ll see beautiful stained glass windows and detailed architecture from the towers to the arches over the doors. Final vows are professed in the church as well as services for ordained priests. This is where everyone from students and teachers to pilgrims worship the Lord and profess their faith. Tours are offered with a guide to learn more about the history of the church and to see some of the most popular details. Elegant chandeliers hang from the ceiling, lighting up wooden rows of pews. This is an attraction where many people visit to just listen to soothing music that’s played during the day. It’s also a location where Christmas programs are performed with the music often being heard down the street. 

Newark Symphony Hall

Often seen as a source of entertainment and inspiration, the Newark Symphony Hall is considered a staple for the arts industry in New Jersey. Education programs are offered as well as outreach programs so that as many people as possible can learn about the arts and how beneficial they are in various aspects of life. While symphonies are the most common presentation, line dancing, youth programs, and plays can be seen as well. The Festival of Praise and the Intro to Ballet Program are events held during the year. 


A quaint neighborhood in Newark, Ironbound covers only about four miles and is filled with people from multiple ethnic groups. It’s a neighborhood with hard-working residents who care for others and show visitors what it’s like to live in a cozy town. The town is surrounded by railroad tracks, which is where it gets its name. Many people enjoy visiting the community for the bakeries and restaurants. The various types of food that are offered is a reason why the area is so popular. It’s often referred to as Little Spain or Little Portugal because these are the most popular cuisines that you’ll find. Nasto’s Ice Cream and Lopes Sausage Company are two of the places in Ironbound that should be put at the top of your list of businesses to visit. 

Downtown Newark & Newark Penn Station

This is one of the busiest railway stations in the area of the country and is also home to numerous bus carriers. Over 30 regional and local bus lines operate from the station as well as almost a dozen Amtrak services. There are eight tracks that are used each day. Downtown Newark features several shops and restaurants that you can visit while waiting on a train or a bus or if you simply want to explore the city and enjoy the sights and sounds that give it its charm. This is an area that features many businesses for the city and is known for its skyline that can be seen from miles away. 

Newark Public Library

Walk through the doors of this large library to grab a book that can take you to another world. Special events are held during the year as well as programs for children and young adults to enjoy so that they learn more about various subjects, such as nature or popular book characters. Story Time is offered during the week as well as special programs for senior citizens in the area. Electronic resources are available for those who are unable to get to the library but still want to read a book or magazine. 

Newark Museum

The largest museum in the state, you’ll be able to see major art collections from across the world. You’ll find decorative displays as well as contemporary displays among the historic art exhibits in the museum. Located in the downtown area of Newark, you can easily grab a meal or visit some of the shops after exploring the museum. There are special events and programs held during the year, such as exhibits showcasing work from local artists. There are over 80 galleries in the building with guided tours available so that you don’t miss out on the exhibits that are the most popular. The museum is located between two city streets and is also a short distance from the water that makes up Newark Reach. There are sometimes over 5,000 artifacts in the museum at one time depending on the exhibits that are on display. 

St. Lucy’s Church

The church is located in the First Ward and is often considered the center for Italian life in the city. People started gathering in the church in the 1880s. Various paintings can be seen on the walls and on the ceiling. The church opens its doors to all who want to learn about the Lord and works with the community to promote a sense of belonging and acceptance for everyone. Beautiful sculptures can be seen around the building as well as historic information about religious leaders and how the church started. 

Military Park

The park is often known as the gathering location for people who live in Newark. This is where special events are held outdoors during the year, such as concerts and flea markets. It’s a park where families can gather to play and where people can walk or jog on the trails. The larger park is made up of three smaller ones that are designed in what looks like a triangle. It was once used as a training area for soldiers. You can easily reach the park from Penn Station and many of the businesses in the downtown area. Many of the statues that are seen in the park are of Union Soldiers who took part in the Civil War. A restaurant has been added to the park as well as a bust of John F Kennedy. New pathways have also been added so that people who visit are a bit more spread out. 

Greater Newark Conservancy

This is a nonprofit that offers numerous programs in the community about the environment. The organization offers programs that teach about gardening and farming and also gives information about local farms and ways to access produce in the area. It does everything possible to support local farmers so that they have a business and so that people living and visiting the area have fresh foods to enjoy. 

Weequahic Park

Located in the South Ward of Newark, this is a charming park filled with trails, trees, and benches. There is a large pond in the center of the park with a fountain along with trails that wind around the water. While at the park, you can view many of the buildings in the city. Sporting events are held at the park throughout the year, such as soccer in the spring and summer. There is a golf course nearby where you’ll often find people enjoying a round or two of the game when they aren’t relaxing.

The Jewish Museum of New Jersey

This museum was founded in 2003 and had its grand opening in 2007. It’s one of the oldest synagogues in the area and was built in 1923. There are several rotating exhibits that can be seen in the museum as well as traveling exhibits so that guests don’t see the same things each time they visit. Photographs and paintings are often seen in the museum along with information about Jewish history, artifacts, and music. Guided tours are available so that you see the most important information. There are exhibits about the Holocaust and the Immigration of the Jews into New Jersey, which can be a tender subject for some people. 

Have You Met Newark Tours

If you’re new to the area, then this is a tour that you want to consider as guides take you to see some of the most popular attractions while also giving a bit of history about the city. You’ll visit galleries to see where works of art are located, pass by some of hte best restaurants, and take a look at some of the parks and churches. Private tours are available for smaller groups so that you can get more of a personal experience.

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