Updated: Oct 29
Photo credit: https://njskylands.com/tnswarts, Swartswood State Park
As fall is in full swing and the temperature is dropping, people are looking for new activities to keep them occupied and safe during the pandemic. Thankfully, New Jersey is a great location for many different activities.
When it comes to outdoor activities, New Jersey has many scenic views, both for hiking and driving. Near PCCC’s Wanaque campus is Ringwood State Park, which has roads that go through thick forest and bend around stretches of lakes where there is a kayak rental.
Swartswood State Park in Sussex County is one of my favorites with a large lake and small beach near the parking lot. This park is free to visit after Labor Day and has easy hiking trails to follow through the camp grounds, as well as gazebos and picnic tables if you would like to bring some lunch.
In Passaic County there is Rifle Camp State Park, which has many trails, an observatory, and a picnic area.
If scenic hikes aren’t your thing, but you still want to be outdoors, New Jersey has other, more compact attractions. Space Farms, a zoo in Wantage, is offering drive through tours of their exhibits which is a great family activity.
Turtleback Zoo is also still open in West Orange, and they have events on their website that give families something to look forward to. There are also corn mazes this time of year.
Heaven Hill Farms in Vernon is keeping their patrons safe, practicing social distancing by having their guests sign up for time slots and enforcing a mask policy. They have a 10 acre corn maze with a western theme this year.
If mini golf is more your speed there are both indoor and outdoor options locally. Monster Mini Golf in Fairfield is open, so no matter the weather there is a safe place to get out of the house. As for outdoor options, Essex County Parks Safari Mini Golf in West Orange or the Willowbrook Golf Center in Wayne are good options.
Art classes are gaining popularity, and they are a great activity to keep people busy as the temperature drops. Arts & Creations Pottery Studio is located in Woodland Park and Creatively Yours is located in Ridgewood; both offering a variety of classes like paint and sip and pottery painting.
Before making any plans please call ahead to any businesses to see their new policies during COVID. Having some activities in the back of our minds can help us to have a healthy and positive end to the year.