I’m Easy Like Sunday Morning
Sundays are a blissful and much-needed breather that allows us all to unwind and prepare for the week ahead. It’s your chance to spend some quality time with your loved ones, and why not, to enjoy all the great adventures your hometown has to offer.
In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the most fun activities you can partake in on a Sunday in New Jersey. These will keep you entertained if you’re a newcomer to the city, but also if you’ve lived here for decades!
So without further ado, let the adventure begin!
1. Take in the sights
It’s never a bad idea to learn a bit about local history, so get in your car, and go digging. If you loved Jaws as a kid, then why not visit the site of the shark attack that inspired it (Matawan Creek, NJ)? Or if you’re a history buff, you might go visit the site of the infamous Hindenburg Crash of 1937 (563 Saniuk Road, Lakehurst).
2. Visit a Ghost Town
New Jersey has had its fair share of spooks, down the years, and you might take the time to visit some of them! The now-abandoned Batsto Village used to be an iron-working village n the 18th century, but now sits deserted, waiting to be rediscovered.
3. Go for a picnic
If you’re looking for excitement, try visiting a place you’ve never been before like a park or a zoo! Better yet, combine both by visiting Thompson Park in Jamesburg, NJ.
4. Visit a Museum
Tired of the same old art and history museums? That’s not a problem! New Jersey has lots of unusual museums, like the Paranormal Museum in Asbury Park, or the Silverball Arcade Museum (a great one for all you geeks out there!), which is also conveniently situated in Asbury Park.
5. Pay homage to the fallen
America is a great country, but we do have our dark moments in history. If you’re feeling solemn, you might go walk between the two twin walls at the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial. It is a sobering and moving experience and everyone who visits New Jersey should go at least once!
6. Delve underground
When’s the last time you went and explored a mine? Well, strap on your boots, ‘cause you’re about to. Oh, and pack your camera, because you’ll want to take down the sweet sights at the Fluorescent Rocks of Sterling Hill Mine in Ogdensburg, New Jersey.
7. Indulge your inner child…
Remember reading Hansel & Gretel for the first time? Who didn’t want a cottage made of actual gingerbread to feast on? If that’s you, then you need to take a trip to the fairytale-like Gingerbread Castle in Hamburg, New Jersey.
8. Get your inner fairy princess on
Hey, we all wanted to be part of some fairytale or another when we were children, and now you can, by visiting the astounding South Mountain Fairy Trail in Millburn, New Jersey. Picturesque huts and enchanted fairy houses, but also a great chance to get in some fresh air!
9. Take a day trip to a small town
While New Jersey may be known for big city living, it seems a shame not to see the many lovely small towns it has to offer. Admire the classy houses in Collingswood, or just listen to the silence in Stone Harbor. Often, spending a day away from our busy lives helps us feel more grounded throughout the week!
10. Swing high in the sky
If you’ve got children, then you can go spend some much-deserved family time together at the playground. But if you don’t, that shouldn’t stop you! You’re never too old to enjoy the seesaw or the swing, so grab a friend (so that you get to feel silly together) and hit up a local playground. We recommend the all-wooden Jackson Jungle Playground!
11. Go for a bike ride
The weekend is also a great opportunity to get in some exercise and some fresh air. And what better way to do that than going on a biking trip with your friends or family? The Patriot’s Path in Morristown or the Wild Duck Pond trail in Bergen County are both ideal choices if your biking skills are a little rusty!
12. Take your special someone out for a romantic dinner
We bet both you and your partner could use a little time away from the same old home-cooking, delicious though it may be. So this Sunday, why not take them to a special place? New Jersey has loads of excellent, romantic restaurants with a view, like the Chart House in Weehawken, with its great view of the Hudson River!
13. Walk on the Boardwalk
Okay, this might be a bit of a cliche, but that shouldn’t stop you! Put on your Sunday clothes, go for a walk on the Ocean City Boardwalk and pretend it’s the 1930s. Because why not? See all NJ Boardwalks.
14. Why don’t ya take a hike?
No, we mean it! Take advantage of your free Sunday to get those legs moving. Put on your comfiest sneakers and pack plenty of snacks, then hit up one of New Jersey’s several hiking spots, like the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County.
15. Rent a boat
Boating is a fun exercise, and can also provide an excellent opportunity to have a deep talk with that friend you haven’t seen in forever! So rent a boat in one of the many parks that allow that (ahem, Cheesecake State Park in Matawan, anyone), grab a friend, and get rowing!
16. Cut down a Christmas Tree
Yes, this one’s a time-sensitive option, but for the Sundays leading up to Christmas, why not pile the family into the car and visit a special Christmas Tree farm, like the one at Holiday Tree Farms in Augusta, New Jersey?
17. Go skating
Another one for the winter season – you might spend the Sunday showing off your ice-skating skills on one of NJ’s many rinks, then going for hot cocoa afterward. The Charlie Heger Ice Rink in Jersey City always makes for a fun afternoon with the whole family.
18. Take the kids to learn something new
There are so many excellent schools and centers that offer free or very cheap lessons for little ones (and sometimes for parents, too!). So why not get crafty this Sunday with a class of fast-flying gliders at Lakeshore Learning (with locations in Cherry Hill, East Brunswick, and Hackensack)?
19. Visit a Nature Center
There’s just something awe-inspiring and grounding about spending the day at a nature center, perhaps learning a thing or two, and getting a feel of how our ancestors used to spend their days. The Essex Country Environmental Center in Roseland offers bird walks, as well as activities for children.
20. Take a dip
In the summer, there is literally nothing better than taking a cooling dip in a clear-blue pool! So get your swimsuit on and dip your toes in the pool at the Delaware River Family Campground. For more ideas, visit our water parks in NJ page.
21. Go camping
Yes, there are such things as one-day camping trips! Simply pack up some sandwiches, put on some sportswear, and get your folding chairs out at Kymer’s Camping Resort in Branchville! See the best campgrounds in NJ for more ideas.
22. See a movie at the drive-in
This is so 1960s, we know, but hey, given the times we live in, a drive-in show is better than no show at all! So take your sweetheart, or you know, your best mates, and visit one of the many drive-in cinemas available in New Jersey, like the Delsea Drive-In Theatre in Vineland, NJ.
23. Go on a film tour
If you’re a film-lover, New Jersey has quite a few sweet spots that are heavy on the film lore. You might spend your Sunday going on a guided film tour around Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in Hardwick, New Jersey, which inspired, yes, you guessed, it the Friday the 13th franchise.
24. Learn a bit of history
Another really cool trip down memory lane would be visiting the Palace of Depression, a highly peculiar building inspired by the 1930s Great Depression. The Palace is situated in Vineland, NJ, and will yield some astonishing pics!
25. Lose yourself in some art
No, we mean physically. Don’t just go visit a museum filled with pictures, but actually take a walk through some of Claude Monet’s paintings at the Rat’s Restaurant, in Hamilton Township, NJ (the restaurant was inspired by Monet’s hometown of Giverny).
25. Hit up Atlantic City
Yes, some areas of Atlantic City still need some work, but you still can’t go wrong strolling on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, hitting up a casino or catching an intimate concert at one of Atlantic City’s fine venues and concert halls. Make sure you grab a sub at the Whitehouse Station!
26. Get a tan, you deserve it!
Say what you will about dangerous UV rays and all that, but everyone looks better with a hot tan. So if you’re stumped for ideas this coming Sunday, pack up a beach towel and go sun tanning at Sunset Beach in Cape May, NJ.
27. Indulge your inner war buff
Sundays are made for indulging in your hobbies, and if that happens to be World War II trivia, then why not visit the massive concrete bunker from WWII, also on Cape May?
28. Visit a zoo
Now, maybe your mind is already coming up with some ethical (and justified) objections to that – but there are alternatives. For example, you might visit the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township, NJ, which is a sanctuary for abused and exotic animals that will warm your heart. See a list of all zoos in NJ.
29. Get poetic
Spend the day reading or listening to some poetry. Watch a documentary about your favorite poet, and if you’re feeling adventurous, buy some flowers, and go visit the grave of one of America’s most famous poets – Walt Whitman (buried at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, NJ).
30. Take Flight
There’s something fascinating about man taking flight, a curiosity that lingers to this very day. So why not indulge that curiosity by visiting the Cathedral in the Air at Manchester Township, New Jersey, with its glorious stained-glass depictions of the history of aviation.
31. Do the robot
We don’t mean that literally. Actually, you know what? Do it. We changed our minds, we’ll tell you what we meant to write there next turn, but for now, just do the robot – on the balcony, in the park, wherever you want!
32. Visit a tech museum
Considerably less cool, we know, but still, a fascinating trip that’ll astound you when you realize how far humanity has advanced. The Sarnoff Collection, at the Exing Township in New Jersey, depicts all the amazing tech inventions of the 20th century.
33. Read a book
Sunday is a perfect opportunity for you to finish that novel you keep putting off during the week, so why not cozy up in one of New Jersey’s bookish cafes – like Bogart’s Bookstore and Cafe – and spend the afternoon transported to another world?
34. Buy a book
Hey, we get it, maybe you just finished an amazing novel and ar stumped for things to read. So why not spend your Sunday browsing the fiction section of WORD, one of the trendiest bookstores in Jersey City?
35. Watch the sunset
There’s something undeniably romantic about taking in a beautiful, crimson sunset with your significant other! So get some hot chocolate, a big, cozy blanket, and settle in to watch the sun go down. We recommend the Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
36. Go on a nature hunt
This is a great way to teach your kids about the world around them, but also an exciting opportunity to spend time with friends. So write up a list of things to find (like acorns, slugs, red leaves, or what have you). The first one to gather all these things wins, the loser buys coffee!
37. Have a chat
Who doesn’t love to catch up with their friends on Sunday? So if you’re not in the mood for outdoorsy stuff or if the weather’s just horrid, call up a friend and meet at a cozy cafe (the Trend Coffee&Tea House in Montclair, NJ, wink wink!). Catch up. See what’s been going on in their lives.
38. Get ice cream!
Because let’s have it, where would we be without our sweet tooth, right? Besides, there’ll always be plenty of time to burn it off during the week (right). So visit a sweet and cozy abode, like the Thee Ice Cream Parlor in Flemington, New Jersey, and have a scoop or two. You’ve earned it!
39. Pretend to be a tourist
Okay, so maybe you’re a little bored, think there’s nothing new to see in New Jersey. You’d be surprised, honestly. So just for today, pretend you’re a tourist (hey, even wrap a camera around your neck if that tickles your fancy!) and go on a tourist bus ride or a guided tour!
40. Go to a Farmer’s Market
Now more than ever, we need to support local businesses, and what better way to do that than by buying local produce, rather than from some big chain store? Places like the Paterson Farmers Market in Paterson, NJ, is an excellent farmer’s market to get some tasty, local grown veggies.
41. Walk the dog
We’re sure we don’t need to tell you to do that, but we just wanted to say, while you’re out and about with your beloved canine, maybe stop by the Morris Frank and Buddy Statue in Morristown, NJ. erected in honor of the first assistance dog, it’ll be a sweet stop for both you and your doggo.
42. Pick apples
Did you know there are places, like the Terhune Orchards Pick Your Own in Princeton, NJ, that allow you to pick your own apples? Yummy and fun for all your city-based family!
43. Bake an apple pie!
As if you didn’t see that one coming. I mean, what else are you going to do with all those juicy apples just wasting away in your trunk? Or if you like, you could have a pie baking contest with your friends!
There is truly nothing more rewarding than donating a bit of your time to helping those less fortunate than yourself. So if you’d like to do that, why not spend the day volunteering at one of the many local soup kitchens, such as the St John’s Soup Kitchen in Newark, NJ?
Maybe you’ve been meaning to for months, or maybe you’ve never gone fishing before. Doesn’t matter. Pack up some worms and go to the Lake Lefferts Fishing Spot in Matawan, NJ.
46. Climb rocks
Rock-climbing is a fantasy for many, but one that few have the guts to go through with. If that’s the case for you, book a spot at a place like the New Jersey Rock Gym in Fairfield, NJ, and see what you’re capable of!
I bet that right now, there are at least a dozen or so things you don’t really need. So why not give those away, to a thrift store, like the Village Thrift in Pennsauken Township, NJ? Someone else might find and love them!
48. Go see a play
While it may be more difficult to do so with the current Covid-19 regulations, it’s not impossible. So if you’re stumped for ideas this Sunday, you might go see a play at the Sitnik Theatre in Hackettstown, NJ.
49. Go bowling
Bowling is a super-fun indoor activity to be enjoyed with the kids, or with your best friends, and in New Jersey, there’s never any shortage of great lanes. Don’t believe us? Check out the infamous Jersey Lanes in Linden, NJ.
50. Start a garden
What with everyone spending more and more time at home this year, it stands to reason you would want to make the home (and garden) prettier. So take a quick trip at Corrado’s Garden Center in Clifton, NJ, for example, and buy yourself the basics for a garden like you see in the movies!
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What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday in New Jersey? Let us know!