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While not as famous as its neighbour, New York City, Newark has a certain charm of its own. From award-winning parks to a real love of sports, plus some great attractions thrown in for good measure, a holiday to Newark will enchant the whole family. Over the years Newark has undergone huge regeneration efforts and as a result, is now a holiday destination in its own right, with a great many attractions, galleries and museums to offer. The most popular of Newark’s museums would have to be The Newark Museum which is home to a huge and diverse collection of art, science and history exhibitions, as well as a planetarium and a zoo, if that wasn’t enough.
If it’s music you’re after, take your pick out of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark Symphony Hall, both of which have been host to many famous artists including the Rolling Stones. There’s theatre and dance performances held here too so don’t forget to check the schedules while on holiday in New Jersey. One of Newark’s pulls is the beautiful Branch Brook Park which was named one of America’s ‘30 Great Public Spaces’ by USA Today. This sprawling natural area is most famous for its annual cherry tree blossoms, giving it the nickname Cherryblossomland. There’s also a lake and river perfect for boating, as well as playgrounds, ballfields, basketball and tennis if you’re up for some sport.
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Sport is something Newark definitely isn’t short of. With baseball, football, hockey and basketball a big deal here, you won’t run out of activities to get the blood pumping. Go ice skating at the Amerihealth, dancing, kayaking, or roller skating at the urban roller rink in Branch Brook Park, paintballing, or even laser tag. If you’d rather hit the shops, there’s plenty of that too. From big department stores to offbeat vintage stores, sprawling markets and the huge Nike or Gap Factory outlets – you’ll definitely go home with some bargains.
If that’s got you all tired out, catch a movie at Shaquille O’Neal’s supersized CityPlex cinema, or sit and watch the world go by with a coffee from TM Ward, which has been the locals’ favourite for fresh roast coffee since 1869. While Newark may not be top of everyone’s holiday lists, that doesn’t make it any less of a cultural gem. So if you need a break from the bustle of New York, Newark is a fantastic option.
Top 5 things to do in Newark
Take a stroll along Newark's Riverfront Park
Wander along the vibrant orange walkways of Riverfront Park where you’ll find fantastic views of the Passaic River. During summer, there’s plenty of events to keep you busy, from yoga to outdoor movies, dancing, boating and even kayaking.
Spice up your holiday at Ironbound
The vibrant Ironbound District boasts more than 170 restaurants serving up the finest in South American cuisine. There’s plenty of shops, bars and cafes to keep you busy too, but the real fun starts when the sun sets, so don’t forget your dancing shoes.
Take a daytrip into New York
With the Big Apple just 8 miles away, it would be a shame not to take advantage with a trip to this famous city. See the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square. Stroll through the beautiful Central Park and spend some dollars at Macys. You might even need more than a day!
Get arty with glass blowing
Learn the art of glass blowing at GlassRoots on Bleeker Street. Find out the history of this fascinating art while you make your own piece of glass to take home. Classes are suitable for all ages and range from bead making and jewellery craft to kilnforming.
Hit the ice at Amerihealth Skating Pavilion
As the home of the New Jersey Devils ice hockey team, the Amerihealth Pavilion is one of New Jersey’s favourite attractions. Take to the ice for a fun afternoon of skating that the whole family will love. You can even attend a game and go in for a pre or post game skate to top it off.
10 facts about Newark
Newark is just eight miles from New York City, making it a perfect place for holidaymakers to base themselves outside the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.
Branch Brook Park is home to the biggest collection of cherry blossoms in America. There are more than 5,300 cherry trees in 14 varieties.
Nasto's ice cream parlour in the Ironbound district has been serving up homemade ice cream to locals and tourists alike since 1939.
Newark Museum contains the biggest collection of Tibetan Art located outside of southeast Asia, amongst thousands of other international pieces.
The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is America’s 5th largest cathedral. You might recognise it from the opening credits of the Sopranos.
The Newark Museum has been presenting famous jazz acts at its annual Jazz in the Garden Summer Concert Series for more than 40 years.
The gorgeous Passaic River runs through many of Newark’s parks and during the summertime, many people take to its waters on a boat tour.
Newark Liberty International Airport is the America’s oldest airfield and the location of the country’s first ever commercial airline terminal.
In April, Branch Brook Park’s Annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place alongside a 10-k run for charity. There’s music, food and celebrating too.
Newark is the biggest city in the state of New Jersey. It’s a major U.S. hub for air, shipping and rail.