5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Newark, NJ

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Newark.

Branch Brook Park

360 acres of breathtaking nature. Branch Brook Park boasts gorgeous nature trails with bridges over rivers and lakes. In the Spring, Cherry Trees fill the park with bright colors and a feeling of joy. Picnicking under the Cherry Trees along the lake is a truly breathtaking experience. Prudential Concert Grove is a well-landscaped area of the park with lion statues, a gazebo, and fountains in the lake. I suggest visiting this grove if you’re looking for a more dramatic, classical view.

West Hudson Park

This park is a great combination of land and water. There is a large fishing, a water park, sport facilities, and several paths to follow over hills and under trees. It is a true escape from the havoc of city and a great place to picnic because no matter where you wander, you are sure to find a gorgeous place to sit and enjoy a good meal.

Weequahic Park

Everything you’d want for a day out picnicking is in Weequahic Park. There are playgrounds, hidden groves with plenty of shade for a wooded picnic, a golf course, baseball fields, and a track. In the middle of the park sits Weequahic Lake, a large lake with benches along the paths that follow it with fantastic water views. For a fun adventure, I recommend climbing to the large stone pavilion on Divident Hill. 

Essex County Riverfront Park

Situated on the Passaic River, this park is made for play. The two playgrounds are fairly new and each quite different from the other. There are also several athletics fields and courts to enjoy before eating your picnic. However, if you’re looking for a peaceful day out in nature, the park also offers large open green spaces where you can spread out a blanket and look out on the river. 

Independence Park

A beloved community park for Southern Newark. Head to Independence Park with the family for a combination of play and relaxation. There are softball diamonds and soccer fields, playgrounds, and a charming gazebo. Kids particularly love picnicking in Independence Park and adults will love the Cherry Trees that bloom in the Springtime.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Newark, NJ

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry route operated by the New York City Department of Transportation. The ferry’s single route runs 5.2 miles through New York Harbor between the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island, with ferry boats making the trip in approximately 25 minutes. The ferry operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with boats leaving every 15 to 20 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes at other times. It is the only direct mass-transit connection between the two boroughs. Historically, the Staten Island Ferry has charged a relatively low fare compared to other modes of transit in the area; and since 1997 the route has been fare-free.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park

211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052

Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory are a step back in time, when machines were run by belts and pulleys and music was played on phonographs.  Where to the uninformed passerby, the buildings betray little evidence of the industries they once started.  Discover where America’s greatest inventor changed our world forever.  Thomas Edison National Historical Park preserves Thomas Edison’s laboratory and residence, Glenmont, in West Orange, New Jersey, United States. These were designed, in 1887, by architect Henry Hudson Holly. The Edison laboratories operated for more than 40 years. Out of the West Orange laboratories came the motion picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies, and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery.

Branch Brook Park

Lake Street, Newark, NJ 07052

At 360 acres, Branch Brook Park is the largest public park in the city of Newark. The park is noted for the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the United States, having over 5,000 in more than eighteen different varieties collectively called Cherry Blossom Land, as well as its spectacular Cherry Blossom Festival each April.  The area had served as an Army training ground during the American Civil War. At the time, the northern portion of the area had been a marsh known as Old Blue Jay Swamp. In 1898, a public appropriation financed the conversion of the swamp into a landscaped lake.

Liberty Hall Museum

1003 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ 07083

The Liberty Hall Museum is a historic home where many leading influential people lived. It is now a museum. Originally a fourteen-room Georgian-style house, it was built in 1772. Liberty Hall stands today as a fifty-room Victorian Italianate mansion. Liberty Hall has been home to many historical figures and was the home of William Livingston, the first Governor of New Jersey, who served from 1776 to 1790; United States Supreme Court Justice Henry Brockholst Livingston; the Kean political dynasty, including Susan Livingston Kean, widow of Continental Congress delegate John Kean, United States Senator and Congressman John Kean, and Captain John Kean, son of United States Senator Hamilton Fish Kean; and, in its first year of occupancy, future Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Newark

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Newark this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Branch Brook Park

A laid-back day picnicking with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host an outdoor gathering, Branch Brook Park is one of the prettiest places near Newark. The park’s lovely landscape, which features lakes, bridges, and winding paths, was designed by the same firm responsible for Central Park in NYC. And in addition to the picturesque beauty of the park, there is plenty for the whole family to do. The park has public art, trails, playgrounds, horseshoes, bocce ball, tennis courts, and more!

Go to a Fair

State Fair Meadowlands, the New Jersey State Fair, is back this year from June 18th through July 11th. Come enjoy over 100 rides, carnival games, and yummy fair foods like fried Oreos and corn dogs. There are also going to be attractions like magicians, pig races, a petting zoo, helicopter rides, animal rides, and more. The schedule varies by day. Over 4th of July Weekend, there will be a fireworks show both Saturday and Sunday after 10 pm. Buy tickets online ahead for $34.99.

Cape May

Looking to get out of the city for Fourth of July weekend? A perfect weekend getaway spot is Cape May, a cute beach town located a little over two hours from Newark. There’s plenty to do in this historic seaside resort town on any given weekend, like exploring the lovely streets full of pastel-colored, flower-bedecked Victorian houses, shopping and dining in the pedestrian-friendly downtown district, or swimming at the miles of open, sandy beach.

Things get even better around Independence Day. Provided everything can happen due to COVID, there will be a parade along Beach Avenue at 1 pm on Saturday and fireworks Sunday night. Historic Cold Spring Village, a living history museum, will be hosting a celebration all weekend with music, family activities, demonstrations of early American trades, and the chance to explore historic buildings.

Runaway Rapids Waterpark

Cooling off in the pool is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and if you want to make your pool day extra fun for the whole family, head to Runaway Rapids Waterpark. This tropical-themed waterpark is only 45 minutes from Newark. Kids will love the 18 different water slides of varying speeds, little ones can enjoy splash pads and the “Toddler’s Reef”, and adults will appreciate the lazy river and spa pools.

For a truly epic day, pair the water park with a trip to its affiliate, the neighboring Keansburg Amusement Park, which has rides, go-karts, batting cages, arcades, a beach, a fishing pier, and a haunted manor.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Newark

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary

324 Forest Dr. S, Short Hills, NJ 07078

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is a historic woodlands garden and educational institution located in Short Hills, New Jersey.  We promote an understanding of the relationship between people and the environment through programs that integrate arts, sciences and the humanities. The arboretum provides services to local schools, community institutions and citizens of all ages.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum

165 Hobart Ave, Summit, NJ 07901

Where nature meets history—a place to grow for everyone.  Reeves-Reed Arboretum engages, educates, and enriches its visitors so that they become better stewards of nature and the environment. This mission is achieved through the care and utilization of historic estate and gardens.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum

353 E Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960

Our mission is to promote public awareness of horticulture, cultural landscapes, and the natural world through stewardship, sponsorship of projects, and educational opportunities; and to further development of horticulture and research facilities at Morris County Commission’s horticultural sites.

Laurelwood Arboretum

725 Pines Lake Dr. W, Wayne NJ 07470

Laurelwood Arboretum is a 30-acre botanically diverse property located in Wayne Township in northern New Jersey. Laurelwood features woodland trails and gardens, wildlife, two ponds, streams, and hundreds of varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas, and other unusual species of plants and trees. Gravel paths wind and connect through the arboretum, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers, hikers, runners, birdwatchers, artists, and photographers.

Greenwood Gardens

274 Old Short Hills Rd, Short Hills, NJ 07078

Greenwood Gardens’ mission is to connect people with nature in a historic garden oasis.

Our vision is a world that embraces the beauty and transformative power of nature and celebrates the history of the place.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Newark

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

The Deluxe Diner

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Newark, there’s no better place for brunch than The Deluxe Diner. This classic diner has been family-owned since 1969 but boasts a chic and modernized interior. They serve an extensive menu of diner classics – some fun picks for brunch include the lox and onion omelet, funky monkey pancakes, and red, white, and blue waffles. Please note, they’re closed on Sundays due to COVID-19, so you’ll have to celebrate Mother’s Day a day early or a day late.

Weequahic Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Weequahic Park. This 300+ acre park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers’ firm and boasts the largest lake in the county. After you eat, there are plenty of paths you can stroll around to warm up while taking in the spring scenery and spotting ducks in the lake.

Sip and Paint

If you want something unique to do with your mom, treat her to a Mother’s Day Sip and Paint Party at Urban Taste in nearby East Orange. Several local businesses have come together to make this fundraiser happen, which will be supporting humanitarian work in Haiti. Enjoy food from Urban Taste and music from DJ Vaselli while getting in touch with your creative side (painting materials and instruction will be provided). Drinks will be available for purchase, or you’re also allowed to BYOB.

Van Vleck House & Gardens

A lot of people get their mom flowers for Mother’s Day – but how about taking her to see thousands of blooming flowers? The Van Vleck House & Gardens is a lovely place to spend Mother’s Day with your special someone. The gardens of this historic, 12-acre estate are open to the public 365 days a year. There are many lovely gardens onsite for you to explore, including an “edible” garden of herbs, the wisteria courtyard, a butterfly garden, and more!

Fornos of Spain

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out at a renowned restaurant. Consider heading to Fornos of Spain, one of the most accoladed restaurants in Newark. It has both won awards and been proclaimed a “must try” by various national magazines. So, enjoy the night sipping wine, sampling tapas, and laughing with your mom!

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Best Car Washes in Newark, New Jersey

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Newark, New Jersey. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Newark has to offer.

First, we recommend Franktastic Detailing. This shop touts itself as “passionate and obsessive” about clean cars. They have over 10 years of experience in the business and offer not only detail services, but paint correction as well. All their car washes are by hand and they provide your car with two layers of paint sealant. You might also like their engine cleaning package or their ozone treatment as well, both add-ons to their already Franktastic services. Call now or go online to book your appointment today.

Second, we suggest Wet Paint Auto Detailing. Do you need paint correction or swirls and scratches removed? Then this is the shop for you. Wet Paint Auto Detailing specializes in making your paint job shine like it did the day you bought your car. They offer several packages you can order, or mix and match as you see fit. Do you need a standard wash? Interior detail? Exterior detail? The whole nine yards? Wet Paint Auto Detail is available for whatever is best for your car. As always, their detail work is subject to the famed “white glove treatment”.

Finally, All in the Detail Auto Spa & Detail Center might just be where you’ll want to go. This shop has a variety of packages to choose from or to mix and match, including their full-service hand wash, interior or exterior detailing work, or the whole shebang. Depending on the size of your car, their rates increase as the vehicles get larger. They service sedans, small SUV’s, large SUV’s, pick-ups, minivans, and full-sized vans. Anything larger is given a price estimate. You can even add on special services such as an engine bay detail, leather conditioner or paint correction. Call or go online today to book your appointment.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Supreme Carwash on Raymond Blvd., Zap Hand Car Wash on Broad St., or High Tech Car Wash on Washington St. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Newark, New Jersey, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Newark

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Newark and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Newark that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Element Harrison – Newark

If you’re looking for an all-around great hotel that balances amenities with a decent price, pick Element Harrison. This apartment-style hotel has rooms with kitchens, equipped with features designed for your relaxation, like rainfall showers and high-speed internet. Dine-in on free breakfast or enjoy pub-style cuisine and craft beers in the on-site restaurant, The Station Bar and Bites. Other perks include a fitness center and free airport shuttle. You may bring up to two pets (who weigh up to 50 lbs. each). Contact the hotel for more details.

Airbnb – Cozy Apartment

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this apartment on Airbnb, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and essentials. This Airbnb is also perfect when you’re traveling with more than just a pet. It has two bedrooms, each with a Queen bed, which makes it ideal for families or friends traveling together. It’s conveniently located just a 10-minute walk from Penn Station where you can catch NJ Transit or PATH trains.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Newark Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Home2 Suites, which is practically located on the tarmac. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than a quick shuttle service to take you just a couple miles to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable stay, with access to a fitness center, and free breakfast / Wi-Fi. In fact, this one is also perfect if you’ll be staying in town for quite a while. All rooms are suites with convenient kitchens and living and working areas. Small pets (under 25 lbs.) are allowed for a one-time fee of $150.

The Wilshire Grand Hotel

Really looking to get away from it all? The Wilshire Grand Hotel is tucked away on a golf course near the Turtle Back Zoo and the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. This luxury hotel has lots of perks, from massaging showerheads, whirlpool tubs, and minifridges in the rooms to a gym, outdoor patio, and putting green. Breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking are all free and you can enjoy the on-site Italian restaurant when you get hungry. Both dogs and cats are allowed as long as they’re under 35 lbs. and fully supervised. The pet fee is only $30 per stay and you can read more about their policies here.

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What to do in Newark, New Jersey

If you’re in Newark, New Jersey for business or pleasure and want to have a day of fun on the town, we have a few amazing suggestions for you to enjoy. Newark isn’t boring, and we hope to prove that to you. Whether you like the great outdoors, exploring various artifacts and specimens from ages past, enjoying music of all kinds, here is a snapshot of things you can do while on your stay in Newark, both virtual and in person, and maybe you’ll find a few adventures of your own!

First, we suggest the largest museum in New Jersey, the Newark Museum. During this season of Covid, the museum has decided to close its doors until early 2021, however, they are offering several virtual tours and exhibits online for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. From the meshing of Art & Tech, to exploring Four Quiltmakers, Four American Stories, to Wolfgang Gil: Sonic Geometries, you’re sure to find something fascinating to watch virtually. Keep checking back for when they reopen!

Next, we recommend the lush and lovely Branch Brook Park. This park boasts the title of the first county park in the nation and is in the North Ward of Newark. Branch Brook Park is known for its cherry blossoms, as it has the largest collection of them in the entire United States! Come online and sign up on April 3rd to participate in their virtual Cherry Blossom 10K Run! How do you run a marathon virtually? Simply download the route on their app and you have two weeks to finish it yourself! You’ll still get outside and enjoy the blossoms, but on your own time and your own terms. It’s a win/win!

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center is a fantastic concert venue you definitely do not want to miss. Whether rock concerts, symphony orchestras, dance, recitals, or comedy routines, there’s something for everyone at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. However, just like everything else in New Jersey due to Covid-19 restrictions, all of these amazing shows are virtual. Simply go to their website and sign up for the show you wish to attend.

Finally, the Riverfront Park is the only stretch of green in Newark that resides along the river. This park hosts a baseball field, a soccer field, basketball and tennis courts, two playgrounds, and an open grass area. A parking lot is located on the premises. This is a great place to play some sports, admire the scenery, or spend a day picnicking with the family. A parking lot is located on the premises.

While Newark’s sights are mostly virtual, there are still a few things to go out and do. We didn’t even mention the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, the New Jersey Historical Society, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, or the various restaurants in town. Keep checking back, as many of these sites will re-open sometime in 2021!

Links

On Air Parking (EWR) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Newark-International-Airport-EWR

Newark Museum – https://www.newarkmuseumart.org/

Branch Brook Park – https://www.essexcountyparks.org/parks/branch-brook-park

New Jersey Performing Arts Center – https://www.njpac.org/

Riverfront Park – https://www.essexcountyparks.org/parks/riverfront-park

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near EWR

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

City of Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness

110 William St

Newark, NJ 07012

973.733.7600

Hours:  Monday – Friday 8 am to 430 pm

Several Newark retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         Rite Aid

·         ShopRite

·         Liss Pharmacy

·         CVS

There is also the choice of being vaccinated at one of the participating hospitals or health centers.  Again, contact the hospital ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         East Orange General Hospital

·         Newark Community Health Center

·         Jewish Renaissance Medical Center

·         COVID-19 Vaccine Location – Essex County College

·         Saint Michaels Medical Center

·         Saint James Health Inc

·         Riverside Urgent Care of Bloomfield

·         Clara Maass Medical Center

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Great Places to Stay Traveling to Newark

Newark airport parking, try onairparking.com for the best rates!

Do you have travel to Newark coming up soon? Whether you’ve been to the city before or it’s your very first time, if you don’t have relatives or friends to stay with, you’re going to be looking for a quality place to rest your head.

Finding the very best place can be overwhelming when you have to consider all the factors, like price, comfort, service, health & safety, location, and more! To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Newark. All are very different -from quirky to traditional- but highly rated. Read on to see why these are your best options, and then choose the one that best serves your needs!

Les Saisons

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a quiet and relaxing place to stay, book a room at Les Saisons, a highly-rated bed and breakfast. This comfortable oasis from the city is located just 20 minutes from downtown in a Victorian mansion surrounded by woods, walking trails, and a fish pond. You’ll be able to unwind after a day out by strolling in the gardens, sitting on the patio, or warming up by one of the four fireplaces. It’s family-owned, and the hosts make it their goal to take the very best care of you, serving hot breakfast in the formal dining room with their warm and welcoming attitude.

TRYP by Wyndham Newark

If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than TRYP by Wyndham Newark, located conveniently downtown. The rooms are bright and trendy, and if you want, you’ll have the option of choosing a “Fitness Room” with an in-room exercise bike or a “Family Room” with bunk beds! Dine in at their hip gastropub, Dutch’s Restaurant, and enjoy the urban vibe throughout the hotel. Other modern amenities include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and an airport shuttle.

Holiday Inn Clark-Newark Area

Have some junior explorers tagging along with you on your trip? A fun and affordable place for families to stay is the Holiday Inn. This hotel makes a point of being super family-friendly by allowing kids under 19 to stay with their parents for free! Kids will enjoy spending time in the outdoor pool and adults will appreciate the on-site restaurant and 24-hour fitness center.

Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott, which is practically located on the tarmac. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than a runway view from your soundproof hotel room window and a quick shuttle service to take you to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable stay, with access to a fitness center, meeting spaces, and parking.

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