Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Kearny, NJ

  • Published 2023/06/10

Kearny, New Jersey, offers a plethora of thrilling pursuits and spectacular sights for visitors.

This picturesque town occupies 9.3 square miles in the county’s northwest region in northeastern New Jersey.

Uplands, Kearny Meadows, and South Kearny Peninsula are the town’s three primary districts since its incorporation in 1899.

The Uplands is where most of the city’s residents and businesses are located.

Meanwhile, the Kearny Meadows, located in the southern section of the Hackensack Meadowlands, are a unique ecosystem that make up 59% of the town’s area.

At the meeting of the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers sits the South Kearny Peninsula, an outlying chunk of land.

Kearny’s prime position in the northern New Jersey-New York metropolitan area makes it convenient for commuters to New York City and other major cities around the United States.

Read on to discover the best things to do in Kearny, New Jersey.

Relax at the River Views of Kearny Riverbank Park

Distant view of the Kearny Riverbank Park

Hudconja, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kearny Riverbank Park is a linear park that runs beside the Passaic River.

It began in the Kearny Uplands to the north of Bergen Avenue and was expanded in 2011 with brownfield cleanup initiatives all the way to Belleville Turnpike.

The park’s greenway was upgraded in 2012 with $1.8 million in state funding.

For a long time, rowing clubs have flocked to the Passaic River’s park-adjacent sections.

The oarsmen from Kearny, Belleville, and Nutley high schools all utilize the boathouse at this site.

The park is divided up into several parts honoring different people and events from the past.

Some of them are named for former Kearny leaders, such as Henry J. Hill, Norman A. Doyle, Joseph M. Healey, and Daniel T. Sansone. Bernard J.

Keating is honored with his own cove, Wallace Glen is named for Councilman David A. Wallace and Sir William Wallace.

Play Ball Games at Veterans Memorial Field

From Bergen Avenue to Afton Street, along Belgrove Drive, you’ll find the multi-use Veterans Memorial Field.

Kearny Little League baseball, softball, football, and soccer are played in the park’s southern end, closest to Bergen Avenue.

Veterans Row is the section of Belgrove Drive that contains the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marine Corps League, and American Legion buildings, and the park receives its name from its proximity to this area.

Prior to the 2012 season, the Little League field house was replaced with a brand new, unusually designed and “green” facility.

Artificial turf was laid in November 2015, making Veterans Memorial Field the only Major League field in its Little League region to no longer have a dirt infield by July 2015.

The main field can be used for two different pitching and base lengths, making it suitable for both baseball and softball, while the other two fields may be removed in the fall to provide room for football or soccer.

Catch a Hockey Game at Corbett Roller Hockey Facility

This municipal park that houses the Corbett Roller Hockey Facility is situated between Passaic Avenue and the Passaic River.

For almost 20 years, locals and hockey fans alike have been able to take advantage of this rink’s prime location.

Hundreds of Kearny citizens and students from the Kearny High School Athletic Department and the Kearny Recreation Department use the rink every hockey season.

Visiting Kearny? Kill some time watching a hockey game.

Skating practice is welcome here as well.

Walk Your Fur Baby at Kearny Dog Park

Kearny Dog Park between Passaic Avenue and South Midland Avenue.

In 2015, the community officially opened a dog park.

The almost 17,000 square foot building will separate large and small dogs into separate areas.

The handicap-accessible facility also features new trees, drinking fountains, and chairs as well as fencing, bag dispensers, and water.

If you’re in Kearny and need a place to let your dog run free after a long trip, Kearny Dog Park is available weeklong.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Not far from Kearny are the New Jersey cities of Newark and North Arlington, the town of Secaucus, and townships of Lyndhurst and Belleville.

These areas also offer a variety of attractions, from nature preserves, to outdoor activities, and art.

Here are other things to do near Kearny:

Grab a Book at Newark Public Library

Facade of the Newark Public Library

Felix Lipov /

If you’re a bibliophile, visiting the Newark Public Library is one of the nicest things to do in Newark.

This library, eight minutes from Kearny, with its four stories and thousands of volumes, including some rare ones, captivates readers and non-readers alike with its impressive design.

The main library building, one of the oldest in the state, was constructed in the 1800s and stands as a magnificent structure.

However, the library is more than just an architectural marvel; it also serves as a venue for various intimate activities.

Join book readings, lectures, and museum displays at Newark Public Library.

Play Bowling at North Arlington Bowl O Drome

North Arlington Bowl O Drome, five minutes from Kearny, is a ten-pin bowling alley.

There’s bumper bowling, an arcade, and computerized scoring, so you can have a good time with your pals or family.

This North Arlington bowling alley also encourages introducing bowling to children at an earlier age at this establishment, which has plastic sliding dinosaurs for rolling the balls on.

It also features a restaurant, pro shop, and sports bar. The North Arlington Bowl O Drome is an excellent party venue as well.

If you’re a fan of retro, you’ll love the score and graphic displays, as well as the devices to enter names, which are reminiscent of those used in the mid to late 1990s.

Gaze at the Art Pieces Displayed at The Newark Museum of Art

Entrance to the Newark Museum of Art

Jim.henderson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Newark Museum of Art in Newark, nine minutes from Kearny, was founded by John Cotton Dana in 1909.

It is the largest museum in New Jersey and a major cultural institution in the country.

The museum houses significant collections of American art, decorative arts, modern art, and ancient and contemporary art from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe.

The museum features one of the best collections of American modernism as well as the biggest collection of Tibetan art in the Western hemisphere and the National Register Ballantine House from 1885.

The museum also houses renowned collections of American art from the 18th to the 20th centuries, classical antiquities from Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman cultures, and 75,000 specimens from the field of natural sciences.

Book a Tee Time at Hendricks Field Golf Course

Hendricks Field Golf Course in Belleville, eight minutes from Kearny, offers stunning scenery and a tough layout suitable for golfers of all ability levels.

The legendary Charles Banks designed Essex County Hendricks Field, featuring well-contoured greens and several challenging holes.

Since its opening in 1929, Hendricks has made considerable improvements that have greatly enhanced playing conditions.

These improvements include restoring tees and bunkers and enhancing drainage.

At Hendricks Field Golf Course, the par four fourth hole features a cluster of Principal’s Nose bunkers in the center of the fairway, forcing players to make tactical decisions.

The par three sixth hole presents a particular challenge due to the surrounding bunkers.

Additionally, the par five tenth hole, located on the back nine, stands out as one of the course’s finest, requiring players to cross a brook to reach the green.

Golfers will find Hendricks Field Golf Course’s well-maintained fairways and greens both challenging and enjoyable, while the helpful staff is readily available to provide game-improvement advice.

Whether you’re seeking a new golfing location or regular rounds of golf in Belleville, you and your golfing buddies will love Hendricks Field Golf Course.

Catch Stellar Performances at New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Exterior view of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

quiggyt4 /

Located nine minutes from Kearny, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark is one of the largest such venues in the country.

More than nine million people have visited the facility, which is home to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) and was built on the site of the old Military Park Hotel in October 1997.

It has four parts: The center features four performance spaces: the 2800-seat Prudential Hall, with boxes and orchestra seating arranged in a horseshoe shape; the 514-seat Victoria Theatre, with orchestra level and single balcony seating; the 350-seat The Chase Room, which hosts the center’s cabaret performance series, spoken word series, and hip hop festival; and the 88-seat black box Horizon Theater.

The Passaic River shoreline is directly west of the Center, making it a prime location in the cultural hub of the city.

Come see a comedy show, a dance recital, or a piano concert.

Observe the Manhattan Skyline from World Trade Center Memorial Cove

Looking out toward the lower Manhattan skyline, the World Trade Center Memorial Cove in Lyndhurst, 11 minutes from Kearny, may be seen on the edge of the marsh next to the NJSEA administrative building.

The structure is a sinuous freeform timber deck with two protruding piers that are meant to evoke the silhouettes of the collapsed skyscrapers.

The piers were designed with the proportions of the Twin Towers in mind.

The 110 floors of the twin skyscrapers are represented by the 110 boards used to cover each.

From the deck, you can see the pre-September 11th skyline in the form of a silhouette carved from Corten Steel. to a predetermined location, sightseers may look up to the site where the twin towers used to be.

Wild grasses native to the area are planted along the sides of each dock to provide a sense of privacy. Ducks Unlimited contributed to the memorial’s funding.

It was completely destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, but reconstruction began in the summer of 2013.

Learn Jewish History and Culture at Jewish Museum of New Jersey

Outside view of the Jewish Museum of New Jersey

Peter Greenberg, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Jewish Museum of New Jersey in Newark, 11 minutes from Kearny, is one of Newark’s unheralded treasures; it is a center of learning about Jewish history and tradition.

This museum highlights the significant Jewish community in New Jersey.

It highlights the significant impact Jews have had and continue to make in many different regions of the globe.

The Ahavas Sholom synagogue, one of the oldest in Newark, is also home to the Jewish Museum.

It has both temporary and permanent exhibitions, a gift store, and occasional activities that are appropriate for people of all ages.

Learn about the Plants and Animals at Lyndhurst Nature Reserve

This area of around 3.5 acres in Lyndhurst, nine minutes from Kearny, was formerly a rubbish island that had been unlawfully filled in the 1950s.

Lyndhurst Nature Reserve‘s refurbishment project started up in 1989.

The area’s native marsh grasses were able to take root because a breakwater wall was constructed around its periphery.

Soil was then carried in and shaped by hand to create hills and valleys.

The interior plantings are designed with environmental education, plant and animal habitats, and natural succession in mind.

Along the way, they will see explanatory signs, vantage points for seeing wildlife, and patches of natural vegetation.

Observe Wildlife at Mill Creek Marsh

View of the Mill Creek Marsh

quiggyt4 /

Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus lies 12 minutes from Kearny.

To restore the wetlands and encourage a variety of aquatic life, including birds and tidal flows, park operators removed and replaced invasive Phragmites reeds that had strangled them with native plant species.

The 209-acre natural area is framed by the marshes and the New York City skyline, both of which may be seen from the Mill Creek Marsh Trail, which is one mile long.

Nature trail at Mill Creek Marsh

Andrew F. Kazmierski /

There are many ancient white cedar trunks strewn throughout the marsh, and these are the most striking features.

For hundreds of years, these were the only thing standing from a forest that spanned a third of the land.

These days, egrets and shorebirds flock to the marsh specifically to sit on the rot-resistant stumps.

Mill Creek Marsh frozen during winter

quiggyt4 /

Enjoy a Drink at All Points West Distillery

If you’re in Newark and you’re looking for a great drink, stop by the All Points West Distillery, 13 minutes from Kearny.

It uses its own special distillation methods to produce award-winning handcrafted spirits that offer a distinctively American twist on classic drinks like rum, whiskey, and gin.

In the November 2019 issue of NJ Monthly, one of its distillers was recognized as a Whiskey Artisan.

Tours and tastings of the All Points West Distillery are available (and highly recommended) but only by appointment.

Get a taste of the renown for yourself by paying All Points West Distillery a visit.

Take Photos with Gorgeous Flowers during Cherry Blossom Festival

A couple enjoying their picnic at Cherry Blossom Festival

Andrew F. Kazmierski /

Cherry Blossom Festival occurs in April at Branch Brook Park, 13 minutes from Kearny.

The event is known for its unending supply of cherry blossoms, as well as its bike races, 10k marathon, and food vendors.

Many locations inside the park provide access to excellent views of the park’s stunning floral displays.

Visitors strolling around at the Cherry Blossom Festival

quiggyt4 /

Take advantage of being in this area by having a picnic beneath the flowers, taking pictures, or just soaking in the sights.

If the trees at the Cherry Blossom Festival are your only attraction, consider going later in the day.

You’ll have easier access to the stunning flowers, as well as parking, if you come after the midday rush.

Scenic view of the Colrful Cherry Blossom Festival

gary718 /

Final Thoughts

Kearny, New Jersey, may not be a well-known tourist destination like New York City or other major cities, but it does offer some attractions and features that might make it worth a visit for certain individuals.

If you’re ready for some downtime and are looking for the best things to do in Kearny, explore its several parks and recreational areas.

It’s also located just a short distance from larger cities and other fantastic destinations.

If you’re visiting the area, Kearny can serve as a more affordable and convenient base for exploring the state.

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