Fun Things to Do in New Jersey
When planning a vacation, a road trip, or quick getaway, New Jersey may not be at the top of your list of places to go. In fact it may not even be on the bottom of your list. Many people simply think of New Jersey as a place filled with big hair and even bigger attitudes, and while we certainly do have our fair share of teased coifs and East Coast bravado, New Jersey is so much more than that. There are a number of fun things to do in New Jersey whether you’re vacationing with family, friends, or your significant other. Here’s a list of fun New Jersey attractions.
There’s a reason New Jersey is known as the Garden State. We’re chock full of pick-your-own farms where you can pick everything from apples and peaches to pumpkins and potatoes to broccoli and beans. Many farms are open daily from about late spring to late fall. Check out New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture website, http://www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/searches/pyo.htm, where you can search for pick-your-own farms in New Jersey by location or product.
New Jersey is also home to countless farmers markets – from Hoboken to Atlantic City. While some farmers markets are available year-round, most are available from about June to October or November. You can purchase everything from fresh fruits and veggies to homemade soaps and jewelry. Again, check out New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture website, http://www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/searches/urban.htm, where you can search for New Jersey farmers markets by county.
Great Adventure is probably the most recognized amusement park in New Jersey, but it’s actually just one of more than a dozen such places you’ll find throughout the state. There truly is a place for everyone – from iPlay America in Freehold, NJ, which boasts more than 250 rides, laser tag, and a 4-D theater to the Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ, which includes a variety of kid-friendly rides and entertainment. For a more detailed list of amusement parks in New Jersey, check out http://www.funnewjersey.com/upload_user/fun_with_kids/AMUSEMENT_PARKS_THEME_PARKS_NJ.HTM.
We may not be home to the largest mall in the United States, but you’ll never be far from some great places to shop in New Jersey. In fact, there are 12 outlet malls in New Jersey, which together boast nearly 600 stores. The largest of these centers is the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls, which includes more than 130 stores – from Ann Taylor to BCBG Max Azria to Godiva Chocolatier to Nine West to Tommy Hilfiger and more. Almost as large are the Jersey Gardens and Tanger outlet malls, each of which has nearly 100 stores. For a complete list of outlet malls in New Jersey, check out http://www.factoryoutletstores.info/all-outlet-stores-in-new-jersey.html.
Okay, New Jersey may not have Broadway, but we do have Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, which showcases everything from comedy to jazz and blues; NJ PAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center) in Newark, which has featured everyone from Britney Spears to the State Ballet Theater of Russia; and the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, where you can see a variety of classic shows like “A Chorus Line” or “The Sound of Music.” These are just a few of the theaters in New Jersey where you can find great entertainment. For a more comprehensive list, check out http://www.metrojersey.com/theatres_plays.htm.
Given that New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the US, you might find it hard to believe there would be any wide open spaces where you can be at peace with nature, but they do in fact exist. Actually, there are a plethora of camping grounds in New Jersey including RV sites, tent sites, cabin rental sites, and even remote wilderness sites. You can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, canoeing, fishing, scuba diving, boating, and hunting. Check out the “parks and forestry” section of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection site, http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/camping.html, for a list of campsites in New Jersey.
You can’t very well have a list of fun things to do in New Jersey without mentioning the Jersey Shore. New Jersey has more than 120 miles of beaches – from Atlantic City to Wildwood. Many locations offer everything from picnic areas to boardwalks to tennis courts and more. For a list of the top ten beaches in New Jersey, check out http://www.njtoptenbeaches.org/. For a more complete listing of beaches throughout the state, check out http://www.shore-guide.com/nj-beaches.htm.
Fun Facts About New Jersey
New Jersey state bird: Eastern Goldfinch
New Jersey state flower: Violet
New Jersey state tree: Red Oak
New Jersey state fruit: Blueberry
New Jersey state insect: Honeybee
New Jersey state motto: Liberty and prosperity
Every state has its history and New Jersey is no exception. In fact, you might be surprised at the number of museums and historical houses/buildings you’ll find in New Jersey. You could stop by Thomas Edison’s mansion/laboratory in West Orange, check out some antique bicycles and cars at the Metz Bicycle Museum in Freehold, swing by the United States Golf Association Museum in Somerset, or take in an American Revolution fort site at Fort Lee Historic Park in Bergen. For a comprehensive list of museums and historical sites in New Jersey, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_New_Jersey.
So there you have it. This certainly isn’t a complete list of everything there is to do in New Jersey, but it should give you reason to add this great state to the list of places you’d like to visit one day. Perhaps you’ll even put it at the top of the list.