15 Best Things to Do in Budd Lake, NJ

Budd Lake, NJ
Danita Delimont / shutterstock.com

Budd Lake is a census-designated place and incorporated community within Mount Olive Township, Morris County, New Jersey.

Budd Lake took its name from John Budd, who acquired 1,300 acres of land in the region in 1714.

Before that, its name was Hattacawanna Lake.

The lake itself is a geological phenomenon, a glacial lake at an elevation of 933 feet with large algal blooms.

Budd Lake is a former industrial hamlet where ice works and mills once operated in the mid-1800s.

By 1880, Budd Lake had become a thriving resort area.

During the 1930s, local nightclubs hosted many famous big bands here.

In 1874, Budd Lake Chapel was built on land donated by John Budd and remains a focal point for visitors today.

Budd Lake is an extremely ethnically-diverse town with a population from many important ancestries.

Today, the town continues to be an important location for sports fishermen, kayakers, and boaters.

There is an impressive host of attractions and experiences in Budd Lake, making it well worth a visit.

Do you want to know more about the place?

Here are the best things to do in Budd Lake, NJ:

Get Pampered at Revive Studios

Revive Studios is a welcoming studio offering fitness, yoga, salt therapy, and bodywork in their salt cave.

It features a Halotherapy Salt Cave for maximum wellness, with two in-house studios offering Cycle, Yoga, Pilates Reformer, Mat Pilates, Zumba, Chair Aerobics, Power 45, TRX, Ripp/Tone, and Barre.

Its Group Yoga classes feature levels of yoga to strengthen the mind/body connection, improving balance, strength, and flexibility.

Its Pilates classes create a body-positive environment that puts you at ease, allowing the focus to be on yourself.

Its Salt Therapy sessions include Bodywork Massage with expert practitioners and Salted Yogi meditations in the therapeutic salt cave.

They also include Assisted Stretching to benefit the body, Focused Awareness to improve coping skills, and Reiki which creates deep relaxation.

Their Himalayan Salt Cave is the perfect place to retreat, refresh your mind, and heal your body.

Work Out 'Til the Wee Hours at the 24 Hour Gym of Budd Lake

The 24-Hour Gym of Budd Lake is a privately owned 24-hour health club.

It is a members-only facility providing adults with incredible ease of access: 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The staff maintains the place's cleanliness, with organized equipment in good condition.

Here you can find personal trainers and well-educated staff available for every guest, maintaining a welcoming environment.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned fitness nut, they will provide a service that will help you achieve your goals.

Being open 24/7 means that this gym rarely gets crowded.

You will enjoy a workout that flows easily, without too much waiting around or downtime between sets.

Every time you come to the gym, you will decompress, relax, and enjoy yourself.

Smoke Quality Cigars at Wizard Smoke Shop

Since 2005, Wizard Smoke Shop has provided New Jersey with quality tobacco products at affordable prices.

It first opened a store in 2010 at Little Falls, and then at Randolph, opening its 3rdlocation in Budd Lake in 2017.

Wizard Smoke Shop provides e-cigarettes, hookahs, cigars, glass pipes, vaporizers, and water pipes.

If you don't know what it is, hookah is a single or multi-stemmed instrument used to vaporize and smoke flavored tobacco.

This vapor or smoke passes through a water basin (often glass-based) before the smoker inhales it.

Hookah smoking has gained popularity worldwide, largely because of immigrants from the Levant.

Wizard Smoke Shop also believes that quality cigars are still handmade.

Rollers keep the tobacco moist, use knives called chavetas to form filler and wrapper leaves, then store the cigars in wooden forms as they dry.

Taste Asian Fare at Mount Olive Ginza

Mount Olive Ginza is proud to provide delicious dining and takeout to Budd Lake.

It is a cornerstone in the community, recognized for outstanding cuisine, amazing service, and excellent staff.

It offers delicious Asian cuisine and fresh sushi to the Budd Lake community.

Its sushi restaurant is well known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on using the freshest ingredients.

It is also known for a high variety of Chinese and Japanese dishes using top-quality fresh ingredients.

Its affordable prices and convenient location make it a natural choice for customers.

Try their Chinese dishes such as Szechuan wonton, pork egg roll, steamed Peking duck bun, shu mai, and drunken mussels.

Sample their Japanese dishes like edamame, aged tofu, beef negimaki, shrimp and vegetable tempura, and yakitori squid.

Spend a Wonderful Day at Turkey Brook Park

Turkey Brook Park is one of the best parks in New Jersey, containing sports fields, a stellar playground, and a splash pad.

The park covers 267 acres designed for recreation, hiking, walking, fishing, and local sports.

It is equipped with three full-size grass soccer fields, one full-size turf and lighted soccer field, two softball fields, two baseball fields, and a football field.

It also has the Mount Olive Dog Park, 2 acres that have dedicated areas for large, small, and disabled dogs.

Bring your kids to Mount Playmore, which has eight different slides, rock climbing areas, and a lookout spot.

They also have traditional, tire, and therapy swings; spinning cups; climbing nets; and many beautiful paintings.

It has a pirate ship where your kids can run wild all over the rope ladders, rock walls, tight ropes, balance beam, and plank.

The Pirate’s Cove Water Park is a fun place to cool off, complete with spray squirters, a dumping bucket, overhead waterfalls, sprinklers, and fountains.

See a Show at Pax Amicus Theater

If you look across Budd Lake, you will spot a glowing castle made of stone reflected in the waters.

To the residents of Budd Lake and the surrounding communities, this castle is an all-too-familiar touchstone.

Founder Stan Barber, with his friends and colleagues, rebuilt a run-down building into the Pax Amicus Theater.

With the help of parents, young teens, and lots of kind souls, the theater soon got up and running, starting its run with a musical tribute.

Today, Pax Amicus produces Broadway and off-Broadway revivals, professional products of famous works, a program for children’s theater, and special events throughout the year.

Their Castle Shakespeare Repertory specializes in the creations of William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and other playwrights.

Their Magical Caravan Players make up a professional acting company specializing in educational theater for children.

Their Pax Amicus Castle Community Theater specializes in dramas, contemporary comedies, and musicals for the public.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes at NJ Dance and Show

NJ Dance and Show’s goal as a studio is to cultivate a positive atmosphere, introducing students to technique, musicality, and artistic expression in a simple class setting.

They aim to teach commitment, dedication, and the art of physical expression through dance.

Their Toddlers Baby Dance classes help your child develop basic skills like jumping, hopping, skipping, and coordination.

Their Kinder-Pre-Primary classes focus on rhythm, memory, and body control with a fun routine of exercise and dance steps.

Their Primary classes help students internalize concentration, body awareness, self-control, and respect via formations and laterality exercises.

Their Jazz classes teach strength, flexibility, and conditioning with techniques and progressions including kicks, turns, and leaps.

Their Paraguayan folk classes challenge students to balance vases, baskets, and bottles on their heads, focusing on steps and choreography.

Their Acrobatics classes are for students who love to roll, flip, and tumble with fluid and lyrical acrobatic movements.

Learn Martial Arts at Dragon’s Den Martial Arts Academy

Dragon’s Den Martial Arts Academy is dedicated to the development of the spirit, mind, and body through martial arts training.

It ultimately aims to create individualized success with each person trained.

The instructors are ready to know each student’s goals and help them achieve these goals in a fun, welcoming environment.

With their Little Dragons program, your children will know focus, practice hand-eye coordination, learn about their bodies, and control movements to the best of their ability.

With their Taekwondo Juniors program, your kid will have immense fun in a host of exercise routines packed with games, activities, and drills that are a secret training routine.

With Taekwondo Teens, teens will learn about respect, making judgments on the fly, and differentiating between good instincts and bad ones.

With Taekwondo Adults, students will learn strength, confidence, and agility along with basic but effective self-defense and self-belief.

Have an Eventful Party with Michael Scalisi DJ Entertainer

Michael Scalisi owns a full-time professional wedding DJ company providing emcee, disc jockey, photo booth, and karaoke services at the lowest cost.

He is fully insured with a state-of-the-art sound system, professional quality, and great lighting.

Michael Scalisi has had a grand passion for music since he was 16 and has developed an enormous clientele for whom he has hosted memorable events.

Susan Longo is an emcee, party motivator, and coordinator who is energetic and enthusiastic, and will ensure that your celebration is unforgettable.

Tom Hunt is an emcee and party motivator who loves to sing, dance, and entertain and will make sure your celebration is a hit.

For wedding days, they can customize your music ranging from big-band to romantic ballads and everything in between.

For parties, they will give you a top-tier sound and access to a music library, with a personalized music selection and basic lighting package.

Bounce Your Heart out at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Sky Zone Trampoline Park believes in the power of active play, which makes people bounce, laugh, flip, sweat, jump, and dodge.

They believe in play that is good for the bodies and great for the brains.

In their vision, kids, teens, and kids-at-heart can play every day.

At the Private Play 60 Experience, gather up your family and friends to enjoy jump time on a private court reserved especially for you.

At Little Leapers, watch your child bounce, explore, and climb in a safe environment while learning about sharing, teamwork, and social skills.

At GLOW, discover the trampoline park after dark with lasers, GLOW lights, blacklights, and party music.

Defy gravity and reach new heights at Freestyle Jump, swerve, jump, and tag at Ultimate Dodgeball, and fearlessly practice your most daring stunts at Foam Zone.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Step Back in Time at Waterloo Village

Canal museum at Waterloo Village
Zeete, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Waterloo Village is a beautifully restored canal town spanning its evolution from a 400-year-old Lenape Indian village to a bustling port along the Morris Canal.

It is a working mill complex with a general store, active church, blacksmith shop, gristmill, sawmills, and several historic houses.

Within this site, there are many historic, cultural, and natural resources.

The site bursts with plants and native wildflowers, and wildlife abounds in the wooded environment.

Morris lock at Waterloo Village
Zeete, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rutan Cabin and farm site portray old-time pioneer family farms in northern New Jersey.

The Lenape Village called Winakung is a stunning, unspoiled place surrounded by streams, marshes, wooded forest, and stone cliffs.

The village is scattered with longhouses, bark wigwams, native gardens, and cooking, fishing, and hunting areas.

Step 400 years back in time to a gentle and ancient way of living.

You'll find this place in Stanhope, New Jersey, nine minutes from Budd Lake.

Blacksmith shop at Waterloo Village
Zeete, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unleash Your Inner Cowboy at Wild West City

Wild West City is located in Stanhope, ten minutes from Budd Lake.

Saddle up and get ready for an amazing interactive experience.

Wild West City will spin stories of the wild west to life with dramatizations, costumed historical characters, and period craftsmen demonstrations.

It opened in the spring of 1957, creating an authentic model of Dodge City, Kansas, in the 1800s.

If you’ve got a thirst for history, admire their authentic period memorabilia worthy of any museum.

The Main Street buildings are accurate reproductions and filled with antiques and a vast collection of Native American artifacts and art.

Learn about period dressmaking, blacksmithing, late 19th-century farming tools, and more.

Get a bird’s eye view of the town aboard the Wild West City stagecoach or travel deep into the badlands on a train ride.

Pan for gold at Egan’s Gold Mine, go on a cattle drive and hear stories about cowboys on Cookie’s Chuckwagon, and practice your survival skills at Mountain Man Camp.

Take Your Family to the Land of Make Believe

Tourists riding the Land of Make Believe's train
Mminc10, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Land of Make Believe is a family amusement park and water park catering mostly to families and young children.

It's in Hope, New Jersey, 22 minutes from Budd Lake.

It is a former dairy farm transformed into a charmingly magical amusement park in 1954, with over 30 acres of excitement.

The park’s founder designed and built it, dreaming of providing affordable family entertainment where parents can have as much fun as their children.

You can’t go wrong with classics like the Ferris Wheel, the carousel, and the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Then, take your kids to Jump Around Frog, which hops around making noises, and Red Baron to fly the skies like Snoopy.

Feel the thrill on the twisting, spinning Tornado, go on a spine-tingling rush on the Sidewinder, and ride the curves of the Thriller roller coaster.

Then sail the stormy seas on Rockin’ Tug and ride waves, rapids, and waterfalls at Blackbeard’s River.

Afterward, you can relax and feel summery Christmas cheer at Santa’s Barn or adorable pet animals at Old McDonald’s Farm.

Appreciate Healthy Living at City Green Farm Eco-Center

City Green is an urban farming and gardening organization that works to revitalize urban areas through educational programming and agriculture.

You'll find this place in Clifton, New Jersey, 34 minutes from Budd Lake.

They work to open access to healthy local food and cultivate education in nutrition, food systems, and the environment.

As a result, residents can access fruitful, fresh produce, and youths have work and leadership opportunities.

Neighborhoods also have natural respites that focus on community involvement and individual empowerment.

City Green partners with local schools to create educational programming that brings nature to the classroom.

One of their most important functions is to give nature-based learning chances to urban students.

Lots of these students have the first-time opportunity to learn about the relationship between food, people, and the environment.

Join their Farm Festival, where you can enjoy live music, grab bites to eat, shop, bring your own picnic, and visit livestock in the Learning Farm.

Bring your kids to Fun on the Farm Camp, to enjoy the farm animals, visit gardens, and make connections to the natural world all around them.

Relax on the Water with Lake Hopatcong Cruises

Lake Hopatcong Cruises offers incredible views of Lake Hopatcong from Miss Lotta, a beautiful dinner cruise vessel.

You'll find it in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, 18 minutes from Budd Lake.

Miss Lotta is a 57-foot skipper liner with an upper deck, full dining room, full bar, stellar audiovisual system, and large-scale windows overlooking the lake.

Their weekend and weekday cruises are the most popular ones, offering delicious meals and cocktails with the backdrop of a lovely sunset.

Miss Lotta is also available for lunch, dinner, and Specialty Cruises throughout the summer.

Their Live from the Lake cruise gives you a ‘Lakeside Broadway Experience,’ featuring guests such as Lotta Crabtree, Hudson Maxim, and the Whistler.

Their imaginative Blast from the Past transports you to the lake circa the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, narrated by Lake Hopatcong’s historian, Marty Kane.

Their Doo-Wop Dinner Cruise will take you back to the heyday of the Platters and the Flamingos, regaling you with doo-wop tunes throughout dinner.

Final Thoughts

Budd Lake may seem like an unassuming town, but it is packed with rides, cruises, entertainment, recreation, and history.

Anyone visiting Budd Lake is sure to have a wonderful learning experience seasoned with small-town flavor and big-time excitement.

So grab this chance and head on over to Budd Lake today!

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