Stuck in Newark? No Sweat! Fun Things to Do on a Layover at EWR Airport

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Ah, the dreaded layover. Stuck at an airport, watching precious travel time tick by. But fear not, weary traveler! Even Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) can be a launching pad for mini-adventures if you know where to look. So ditch the boredom and transform your layover into an exciting pitstop with these fun activities.

For the Art Enthusiast

  • Explore the Unexpected – EWR boasts a surprisingly impressive permanent art collection scattered throughout the terminals. Download a map beforehand and embark on a self-guided art tour. Spot sculptures by Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson, or admire vibrant murals by local artists.
  • Catch a Changing Exhibit – The airport frequently hosts temporary exhibits showcasing various artistic mediums. Check the EWR website to see if anything piques your interest during your layover. Who knows, you might discover a hidden gem!

For the Foodie on the Go

  • Go Beyond Airport Fare – EWR offers a surprising array of delicious dining options beyond the usual airport fare. Escape the generic food court and indulge in gourmet burgers at Bobby’s Burger Palace, savor fresh sushi at Kura Sushi, or grab a steaming bowl of ramen at Tinga.
  • Sample Local Specialties – Craving a taste of New Jersey? EWR features several restaurants serving local favorites like thin-crust pizza and juicy cheesesteaks. This is your chance to experience a regional culinary treat without leaving the airport.

For the Relaxation Seeker

  • Find Your Zen – Escape the airport hustle and bustle at the Escape Lounge or the XpresSpa. These havens offer various spa services, from relaxing massages to rejuvenating facials. Melt away travel stress and feel refreshed before your next flight.
  • Catch Up on Some Shut-Eye – If your layover allows, find a quiet corner and catch some sleep. Many terminals have designated rest areas with comfortable seating, perfect for recharging your batteries.

For the Retail Therapist

  • Duty-Free Delights – If you’re flying internationally, take advantage of EWR’s duty-free shops. Browse a wide selection of luxury brands, fragrances, and electronics at tax-free prices.
  • Local Souvenirs – Looking for a unique New Jersey souvenir or a last-minute gift? EWR features shops selling local treats like Jersey Shore saltwater taffy or Bruce Springsteen memorabilia.

For the Explorer with Time

  • A Touch of History – For a quick history lesson, head to the Newark Museum & Planetarium (a short taxi ride from EWR). Explore exhibits on New Jersey’s rich history, marvel at the wonders of the cosmos at the planetarium, or delve into a collection of American art.
  • Urban Adventure (if time allows) – If your layover is several hours long, consider venturing beyond the airport and exploring a bit of Newark. Take the AirTrain to Newark Penn Station and explore the vibrant downtown area. Grab a delicious meal in the Ironbound District, known for its Portuguese restaurants and shops. Just be sure to factor in travel time and allow ample time for security checks upon returning to the airport.

Bonus Tip: Many airlines offer complimentary lounge access to certain passengers. Check with your airline to see if you qualify and enjoy the exclusive amenities like comfortable seating, complimentary food and drinks, and faster Wi-Fi.


  • Check Your Layover Time – Plan your activities based on the length of your layover. Factor in security checks and travel time between terminals.
  • Download Entertainment – If Wi-Fi access is limited, download movies, music, or podcasts beforehand to keep yourself entertained.
  • Stay Informed – Check the airport’s website or download the official EWR app for real-time flight information, gate changes, and restaurant listings.

With a little planning and this handy guide, your EWR layover can be a fun and enriching experience. So, embrace the unexpected, explore your options, and turn your airport wait into a mini-adventure!