You know we love New York and everything Big Apple here at NYBits – but sometimes we like to encourage our readers to explore everything just outside our fair city. One instance of that being Northern New Jersey – Bergen, Sussex, Hudson, and Union, among others. Here are some Entertaining Ways to Explore Northern New Jersey.
One advantage of Northern New Jersey is the incredible proximity to the city, typically lower rent, access to incredible food, and neat little pockets of culture here and there.
Speaking of culture, there’s the Newark Museum of Art, that’s not only the state’s largest museum, but also holds an incredible amount of American art, contemporary art, and art from all over the world – including Asia, Africa and from ancient civilizations. There are also interactive galleries that are totally age appropriate and awe-inspiring.
There’s also the Princeton University Art Museum, that promises to be a cultural treat, with previous exhibits such as “Picasso Prints” and “Blue Green Realms in Chinese Painting.”
If you prefer to be outdoors for your dose of nature and history, there’s Northern New Jersey’s Paterson Great Falls National Historic Site or the Dey Mansion in Wayne. The former was a favorite haunt of Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury and Lin Manuel Miranda’s muse, for its natural beauty. The latter was a stop for George Washington and his troops for a short period in 1780. The Mansion has gone through many hands and extensive restoration – you can now visit the Mansion and look at the 18th century antiques.
If you’re interested in historic houses and places, there are numerous others, such as Ringwood Manor, Kingsland Manor, Lambert Castle, and Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial, all within a few hours of each other.
Rutgers University also has a botanical garden, and is completely free, and open all year long. There’s a lot of plant life and unique vegetation, with small farmers markets, natural rivers, as well as seasonal events. It is such a cute place for a date – or a wedding.
Our next recommendation is a little more out there, especially in terms of location, but well worth the drive. Morristown, NJ boasts a Game Vault, that hosts many retro and vintage games of yesteryear. The arcade has over 100 arcade games and pinball machines for you to choose from. Best of all, you can play an unlimited number of games for a certain period, to your heart’s content. If you see one of the NY Bits team hogging the Donkey Kong or Pac-man games for hours on end, mind your business!
Speaking of spending hours indoors, we absolutely love the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. The Science Center has a huge planetarium and a bunch of extremely interactive exhibitions. There are also 3D Films, and you can also host birthday parties and do camp-ins. There’s currently a Minecraft exhibition going on right now that we’re excited about, as well as a Dinosaurs in Antarctica one.
One last thing we’re super pumped about is the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market in Trenton, New Jersey. This of course primarily caters to the punk rock scene – with over 140 vendors to choose from. You can find a ton of eclectic things from vintage clothing and albums, all the way to comic books and art and jewelry. There are also a bunch of food trucks to cater to the hungry flea market goers, with live musicians to entertain you. With a lot of seasonal and holiday events, you’re sure to find something to tickle your punk rock fancy, outside of your love of the Ramones and the Dead Kennedys.
If you love our Entertaining Ways to Explore Northern New Jersey, let us know – and if there are more places within New Jersey you’d like us to showcase, let us know that too!