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Fun Things to do in Newark NJ

Richard Latimer

February 25, 2021

Believe it or not, there are people who get bored on vacation. This sensation somewhat defeats the purpose of spending a lot of money and time, yet it can’t be helped.

The issue is that some tourists fall in love with their first few vacation destinations and repeatedly go there each year. It is human nature to get used to the same stimulus and to require something new. 

Trying to visit a new place will remedy that stagnation. 

Also, a majority of people migrate to the same ultra-popular destinations, leading to a very crowded and hectic experience. But the world is a vast place, and there are other destinations aside from Brooklyn and Manhattan. 

There are many fun things to do in Newark Nj, and this post is dedicated to exploring them. 

A destination for everyone. Fun things to do in Newark, Nj

Newark NJ is an enticing destination for those who want to enjoy a stimulating and pleasurable visit without having to break the bank. As mentioned, those who administer more mainstream attractions know that they are popular.

This popularity is used to justify a huge price increase.

Although not as well-known, Newark offers the Riverfront Park, beautiful museum tours, symphony concerts, culinary delights, and all manner of entertainment. 

All demographics are welcome, given that the attractions are well-distributed amongst age ranges.

We will look at some of the main attractions and try to get a good mix of the more costly delights and the free tourist destinations. The rich and the poor have many things to do in Newark NJ.

  1. Architectural wonders: The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart 

The continental United States is like a miniature version of the Earth itself. It has all climates and geography types, with diverse people and an astounding range of foods, attitudes, and accents. 

However, the only thing that this continent-sized nation was always lacking is a millennia-long history. A young nation could never hope to compete with the glory and history of Athens and Rome or France’s charm. 

Many European districts seem ripped out of a fantasy novel’s pages, while the New World is more modernist in conception and implementation. 

However, the heart sometimes craves that old architecture and charm. Thankfully, among the best things to do in Newark NJ is to visit the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.  

The construction has some of that distinct old-world charm, and it is the fifth-largest cathedral present on the continent. While the immediate target demographic is catholic, you do not have to be catholic to enjoy this cultural landmark. 

Similar to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Sacred Heart attracts a broad range of tourists who wish to appreciate its solemn beauty. 

The best part is that it is entirely free. Cost-free tours are available, explaining the spiritual significance behind the gorgeous stained-glass scenes and the building’s architectural style.

Construction began back in 1899, which may seem old but is actually very young for a cathedral. Despite its “youth,” the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart can pass for one of Europe’s medieval masterpieces. 

For aspiring pilgrims and tourists, here’s a list of nearby hotels.

  1. Attend events at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ

Are there more mainstream things to do in Newark NJ? 

Cultural masterpieces and Riverfront parks aside, sometimes people feel the need for something louder. Maybe you are in the mood for a concert or a sporting event. Fear not, because the Prudential Center in Newark, Nj, has you covered. 

You can find it in Newark’s business district on Lafayette Street. The large indoor arena has room for 17,000 people attending a hockey game or 18,000 watching a basketball game. 

Disney on Ice was hosted here, in addition to numerous music events and concerts. 

This center, also dubbed “The Rock,” was designed to breathe new life into downtown Newark. Its location is also close to many public transport routes, so you don’t have to worry about transportation. 

Eating is one of the best things to do in Newark NJ. Thankfully, The Rock offers an all-American selection at The Restaurant at Prudential Center. 

All-American is indeed a fortunate selection, given that nobody wants to eat Coq au Vin while rocking out to their favorite band. It just doesn’t match the vibe.

  1. Adega Grill

Speaking of fancy eating, Adega Grill should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Newark NJ. As previously mentioned, America is like a microcosm of humanity and the world. Adega grill represents the fiery-blooded culture of Mediterranean Europe.

Adega even means “wine cellar” in Portuguese. The look and feel of this restaurant are very high-class and refined. Tourists will get the impression of stepping into a boutique wine cellar somewhere along the sunny coast of the Mediterranean. 

Similar to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, this venue has a very old-world charm. You get the impression that Adega tells a story, a story of immigrants who brought a part of their motherland with them. 

There are many things to do in Newark NJ, but few involve high-quality seafood delights and expensive wine. European styles have a way of seeming both luxurious and rustic at the same time. 

Adega patrons are surrounded by exposed brick walls, stone-made fireplaces, artisanal arches, and wrought iron entry gates. It is an aesthetic of nobility, yet closeness to the land and the materials it births. 

Sometimes, the human heart grows weary with cheap plastic, neon, and strobe lighting. The natural charms of this Med haven have to be experienced in person. 

Aesthetics aside, Adega has some of the best food that will ever grace a patron’s plate. “Cheap” is not a word that you would use to describe their selection. As mentioned, it is a blend of Iberic delights with a heavy focus on organic meat and seafood. 

All produce used in preparation is fresh, seasonal, and locally-sourced. Every dish can be paired with one of the 180 wine varieties on offer. 

  1. Military park

Before we eat our entire wallet away, let’s take a look at something that will not cost a penny. 

You should consider adding a visit to Military Park to your list of things to do in Newark, NJ.

This triangle-shaped construction is at the intersection of Rector Street, Broad Street, and Park Place.

The park’s name perfectly described its purpose from 1667 to 1869, given that it was used to prepare soldiers for war. 

Since then, it has become more a place for relaxation rather than training, yet vestiges of its former purpose remain. There is a large memorial present in this six-acre park, dubbed the “Wars of America.”

If you enjoy the sculpture of Mount Rushmore, you might also enjoy Wars of America. The same artist (Gutzon Borglum) is responsible for both wonders. 

Pretty as the area may be, sightseeing can lose its entertainment value pretty quick. Are there entertaining and cost-free things to do in Newark Nj Military Park?

The short answer is yes. 

Things To Do In Newark Nj Park

Tourists and locals can enjoy and participate in many lawn games, table tennis matches, Zumba, and yoga. Depending on the time of day, these activities will occur with a background soundtrack of work and piano music. 

Given that this is a park, child-friendly events are also available. Parents can take their pride and joy to see events such as Story Time and Imagination Playground. 

Finally, a romantic summer evening stroll through the park has been known to work wonders for enamored couples. Out of all free things to do in Newark, Nj, most people prefer these romantic walks. 

  1. Fernandes Steak House in Newark, NJ

Eating is one of life’s primary joys and consolations. We have already discussed the subtle and cultured charms of another Newark locale, but there are other experiences to be had. 

Maybe, on your list of things to do in Newark, Nj, a sizable feast is included. To put it bluntly, you can’t really feast on fancy food because it is too expensive. Also, the nuances of fine-dining can be lost without stopping to savor every bite. 

Sometimes, you work up an appetite and just want to enjoy a huge steak. Thankfully, Fernades Steak house offers some of the best dishes in New Jersey. 

This venue isn’t low-class at all. In fact, it looks like a traditional dining hall with gleaming china, large tables, white cloth, and every other element associated with fine dining. 

Fernandes also has a Spanish and Portuguese tint, yet it is more subtle. 

Style aside, the food is terrific, and the portions are large. The customer won’t leave Fernandes with the vague sensation that they paid too much for too little food. 

The most sought-after dish consists of large meat pieces, covered with garlic and salt, grilled on a skewer.  It is called a Brazilian rodizio. 

The best part is that the kitchen is visible, and you can watch your order being prepared. For most people, this increases their appetite as they smell the cooking meat. By the time the steak reaches the table, the patron’s anticipation is at its height. 

  • Special category: things to do in Newark Nj, near the airport
Things To Do In Newark Nj Near Airport

So, you do not want to stray too far from the Newark Nj airport for some reason. Maybe it is because you have a few hours to kill before your flight and cannot afford to spend much time traveling to your destination. 

Regardless of the motive, some attractions are a short cab ride away from the airport. 

Newark museum 

Out of all the things to do in Newark Nj, going to the museum will probably be the most contested. For some visitors, the museum will be their primary destination, while others find it tedious; to each his own. 

However, there is an argument to be made for such an activity. Most other destinations and venues offer nighttime activities. Also, going to a concert or sports event can be tiresome and emotionally draining. 

If you only have a couple of hours until your flight leaves, the Newark Museum may be the ideal destination. 

It was constructed back in 1909, and it offers a fascinating natural science and global art selection. These include decorative art, ancient art, and contemporary art from across the globe.

Few people consider New Jersey a primary destination for exploring Tibetan art, yet the Museum houses one of the world’s best Tibetan collections. One of its Buddhist altars was personally blessed by the Dalai Lama himself. 

As mentioned, the Newark museum also has an impressive natural science exhibit. The Victoria Hall of Science hosts a planetarium and more than 70,000 science specimens. 

The Newark Museum is located just 3.6 miles from the airport. 

 Ironbound

Located only 2.9 miles from the Newark Liberty International Airport, this area receives extra points for having a cool name. You can take or leave any other site of Newark, but Ironbound represents its heart and soul. 

Covering a 4-square mile area of Newark, Ironbound represents a working-class, multi-ethnic core lacking in many cities. Surprisingly, the community is very close and friendly, which is another rarity in cities, where rudeness and cautious distance are often maintained. 

Here you will find more than 170 restaurants, and the Newark central business district is never far away. Many festivals are held in this area, and they occur year-round. Even if you visit during Spring or Winter, you will get to enjoy a bit of the local culture. Newark’s Ironbound isn’t just a summer destination. 

Overall, the neighborhood represents everything good about the United States. It crackles with life and culture, shunning the jaded city attitude of other areas. 

If your list of things to do in Newark Nj includes visiting the working-class core of an American community, you should head straight for Ironbound. 

Conclusion

There are many things to do in Newark, Nj. This destination offers cosmopolitan fun, local charm, exotic influences, and all-American pastimes. It may seem cliche to say so, but it has something for everyone.

Children, adults, poor, and wealthy can enjoy Newark’s delights. The city itself is a blend of so many things. But unlike other amalgamations, it doesn’t seem kitschy. 

The attractions and destinations belong there because they make sense and are part of the community. They weren’t tacked-on for tourist’s sake.

Overall, Newark is an excellent destination for visitors who want to visit a city that has a small-town charm. 

New Jersey is a hidden gem, often overshadowed by its more famous cousin that shall not be named. For more articles regarding New Jersey real estate, click here.

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