From the Victoria Carter group
With the arrival of sunny days and warmer weather, New Jersey residents can begin to enjoy the outdoors. Our state offers many unique attractions–from sculpture gardens with rich greenery to historical open-air museums–where families can venture out for a day trip. Many of these places also capture the unique history of our state.
If you’re looking for something interesting to do for an upcoming weekend, here are 5 fun outdoor activities in and around northern New Jersey:
1. Spend a day on the Essex County waterfront in West Orange
The waterfront is an outdoor favorite in Essex County. Located on the Orange Reservoir, the strip is flanked by a 1.7 mile walking trail, a shaded picnic area, and the children’s regatta play area, known for its play equipment on the boat theme. Residents enjoy popular pastimes such as lounging on Adirondack chairs by the water or participating in the local fishing tournament. Pedalo is available seasonally, and the Waterfront is adjacent to the Turtle Back Zoo, Mini Golf Safari, and Treetop Adventure Course. It’s easy to check what’s on the agenda with their online calendar.
2. Browse the grounds of sculpture, Hamilton
Sculpture patterns offers another unique outdoor experience. The Contemporary Museum features nearly 300 sculptures and works of art on display over 42 acres. Visitors can browse various works hidden in indoor or outdoor exhibits throughout the property. They can also take a leisurely stroll in the gardens, stretch out on chairs by the pond or have a picnic on the green. On a hot day, peacocks and other wildlife can be seen on the grounds. Grounds for Sculpture is also home to an excellent restaurant, Rats, which is reserved only.
3. Visit Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills
Greenwood Gardens, a former private estate in Short Hills, features many original rustic waterfalls, caves and stone summerhouses since its inception in the 1920s. The land was part of a preservation project supported by the Garden Conservancy and now serves as a public garden. Visitors are drawn to the property’s elegant design, particularly the hand-wrought iron entrance gate with metal birds of paradise, parakeets, vines, and ferns. The gardens are currently open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until November 7th. Visitors can also take part in new expert tours over the summer of 2021, ranging from the historic expansion of the gardens to the life of the bees.
4. Visit the park of Kip Castle, Montclair and Verona
Visitors to Kip Castle Park can spend a day exploring the vaulted ceilings and ornate features of a castle in the heart of northern New Jersey. Originally built in the early 20th century by Frederic Ellsworth Kip and his wife Charlotte, the four-story private residence reproduces a medieval Norman castle. The estate became part of the Essex County Park System in 2007, and residents can enjoy self-guided tours on the castle’s first floor. Kip Castle Park also owns 11 acres which extend over the townships of Verona and Montclair. Seasonal programming includes candlelight tours and films on the green.
5. Explore the Environmental Center, Roseland
The Environmental center, run by Essex County, offers a range of interactive activities focused on enjoying nature. In the surrounding area, residents can find thematic learning gardens, nature trails and habitats formed along the Passaic River. The center itself incorporates eco-friendly features such as recycled building materials, energy-saving technologies and a “green roof” for stormwater management. Popular summer programs include the Butterfly Tent Safari and the Youth Garden Club. Find all the upcoming programs on their calendar.
Interested in learning more about our Northern New Jersey communities? I would like to help you. Contact Victoria Carter at (973) 220-3050 or by email [email protected].