Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Old Bridge, NJ

  • Published 2023/05/12

The township of Old Bridge is a quaint community in Middlesex County, central New Jersey.

The Lenni Lenape Indians were the earliest known inhabitants of the area.

Initially incorporated in 1869 as Madison Township, the town traces its origins to English, French, and Scotch settlers.

It changed its name to Old Bridge in the 1970s.

Situated in the Raritan Bay area, it is home to serene natural areas, offering plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature.

There are also leisure and entertainment facilities around town, such as restaurants, shops, and fun activity centers.

If you’re exploring the towns of Raritan Bay, here are some of the best things to do in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

Explore the Cheesequake State Park

Scenic view of Cheesequake State Park

Atul Avijeet /

Explore the diverse habitats at Cheesequake State Park.

This unique park is situated in an exciting part of the township, a transition point from the northern urban areas to the southern suburbs.

Head out on the trails and experience the beauty of the park’s natural areas.

The trails will take you through hardwood forests, coastal marsh, and pine barrens, allowing you to see the park’s rich wildlife and flora.

You can also camp at the park if you’d like to explore more.

Stair case at Cheesequake State Park

Andrew F. Kazmierski /

Don’t forget to stop by the interpretive center, where you can learn more about the park from the nature and history exhibits.

When visiting in the winter, you can enjoy the season’s activities, such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

The Cheesequake State Park is located along Gordon Road.

Boardwalk at Cheesequake State Park

quiggyt4 /

Visit the Thomas Warne Museum & Library

Dive into Old Bridge’s storied past at the Thomas Warne Museum & Library.

The museum is in a historic 1820s schoolhouse called Cedar Grove School, a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.

Stop by and tour the museum’s artifacts, dating back to when Old Bridge was still known as Madison.

You can see colonial-era pottery, war artifacts, and photographs on display.

The museum was named after Thomas Warne, one of East Jersey’s original proprietors.

You can find the Thomas Warne Museum & Library along Route 516.

Bask in the Beauty of the John A. Philipps Open Space Preserve

Spend a day in nature at the John A. Philipps Open Space Preserve.

As one of the largest preserves in the county, the preserve spans over 1,500 acres of wetlands, thick upland forests, and streams.

There are over six miles of marked hiking trails to explore.

Go on a self-guided tour along the interpretive nature trail, where you can learn about the fascinating plants and animals in the preserve.

Bask in the beauty and serenity of the pine barrens, the pine-oak forest, and the brooks.

If you have more time, you can experience more of the preserve’s rich biodiversity at the other longer hiking trails.

You can find the John A. Philipps Open Space Preserve along Maple St.

See the Races at the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park

Check out the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park if you’re into racing and cars.

This racing park hosts formula drift, motocross, karting races, and swap meets.

Visit on a race day and see some New Jersey racing action.

If you’d like to experience the action, you can sign up for an exciting karting class!

The park hosts an annual car show in spring and fall, where you can see hundreds of cars and check out auto parts vendors.

You can find the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park along Pension Road.

Have Fun at Long Live Paintball

Take your friends to an exciting game day at Long Live Paintball.

This outdoor paintball center features well-maintained playing fields for paintball throughout the year.

Gear up, devise a strategy, and play a round with friends.

Otherwise, join a tournament and make some new friends!

Long Live Paintball is located along Englishtown Road.

Take the Kids to 10 Lil’ Acre Rescued Animal Farm

Lead the kids to a fun and educational farm visit at the 10 Lil’ Acre Rescued Animal Farm.

This farm is home to various animals, including former racing horses.

It offers family-friendly activities, such as feeding the animals and learning how to care for them.

Take your kids to see the farm’s American ponies, sheep, and cows.

The farm also hosts various seasonal events, such as easter parties, scavenger hunts, and movie nights.

The 10 Lil’ Acre Rescued Animal Farm is found along Texas Road.

Relax at Geick Park

Take a break from your activities and spend some downtime at Geick Park.

This 40-acre town park has sports courts, game fields, play areas for children, and open spaces.

Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing day at the park.

Other park amenities you can explore include a sensory garden and fitness trail.

Geick Park is located along Route 516.

Spend a Day at the Old Bridge Waterfront Park

Fishing at Old Bridge Waterfront Park

Andrew F. Kazmierski /

Take the family to Old Bridge Waterfront Park for a day of recreation by the bay.

This beautiful park provides access to recreational activities along the shores and waters of Raritan Bay.

Go for a stroll on the boardwalk and take in the lovely views of the beach.

Head down south into the salt marsh and spot wildlife.

View of the Old Bridge Waterfront Park

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If you’re visiting with kids, let them have fun in the sun at the playgrounds.

Other park amenities include fishing access, a kayak launch site, and a gazebo.

You can find Old Bridge Waterfront Park in Laurence Harbor in the north.

View of the beach from Old Bridge Waterfront Park

quiggyt4 /

Grab a Drink at the Pine Tavern

Unwind with a pint at the Pine Tavern.

This lovely local restaurant and bar serve American dishes such as grilled meat, steak, and burgers.

Its rustic space offers a lively setting for some evening drinks.

After a tiring day in town, stop by and enjoy a night at the bar.

If you’re visiting during the day, you can also enjoy your drinks outdoors for the sun and fresh air.

The Pine Tavern is located along Route 34.

Blow off Steam at Bury the Hatchet Old Bridge

Burn off some energy and have fun atBury the Hatchet Old Bridge.

This indoor recreation center features a fun and safe space to enjoy this increasingly popular axe-throwing activity.

If you haven’t tried this modern pastime yet, give it a go and enjoy the experience.

You’ll have a training session at the start to brief you on the safety and basics of this thrilling activity.

If you’re already confident with your aiming skills, take the family and see who can hit the target!

Bury The Hatchet Old Bridge is located along Route 34.

Indulge in Mouthwatering Barbecue at Big Ed’s BBQ

After a day around town, refuel with a sumptuous local barbecue at Big Ed’s BBQ.

This popular local barbecue joint is known for its all-you-can-eat ribs.

Indulge in delicious servings of St. Louis ribs, pulled pork barbecue, beef brisket, and baby back ribs.

There are plenty of starters and sides to complete your meals.

Don’t worry if you’re dining with your kids, as it offers child-friendly servings and familiar dishes from its kid’s menu.

You can find Big Ed’s BBQ along Route 34.

Check Out the Shoppes at Old Bridge

Get your vacation shopping done at the Shoppes at Old Bridge.

This local shopping area features a great collection of specialty shops and upscale clothing stores.

Explore the shops, and you might find a new piece or two to update your wardrobe.

Check out the specialty shops for some souvenirs and gift items.

Complete your retail therapy with a bite from the cafés and dining spots.

You can find The Shoppes at Old Bridge along Texas Road.

Play Sports at Veterans Park

Take a walk and see some local games at Veterans Park.

This 33-acre town park is home to a recreation center, walking trail, play areas, and sports facilities.

Stop by for a leisurely walk and play games at the courts.

See local baseball league action on the fields.

The park hosts various community events throughout the year, such as dances, games, and field days.

You can find Veterans Park along Englishtown Road.

Go Thrifting at Bridge Life Thrift

Find some good deals for a cause at Bridge Life Thrift.

This lovely thrift shop operates for a good cause, with proceeds funding local education and women’s programs.

It has home décor, ceramics, clothes, accessories, and collectibles.

Browse the shelves, and you might find vintage items or decorative pieces for your home.

Bridge Life Thrift is located along Route 34.

Wine and Dine at Grillestone Old Bridge

End your day in town with dinner at Grillestone Old Bridge.

This local restaurant features classic American fare in a welcoming setting.

Enjoy its signature steak served on a stone and indulge in the delicious seafood dishes.

Complete your dining experience with a specialty cocktail or craft beer.

You can dine outdoors, and there’s patio seating with a fire pit to enjoy the night with friends.

If you’re dining with family, its kids’ menu has familiar favorites for picky eaters.

Grillestone Old Bridge is located along US Highway 516.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Old Bridge’s neighboring areas also offer plenty of recreation opportunities.

Here are some nearby attractions you can visit.

Spend a Summer Day at Keansburg Amusement Park

Rides at Keansburg Amusement Park

Andrew F. Kazmierski /

Kick off summer with a visit to Keansburg Amusement Park in Keansburg, New Jersey, 14 minutes from Old Bridge.

This classic boardwalk attraction offers plenty of activities to enjoy on your summer getaway.

Watch your kids have fun on the kiddie amusement rides.

Play your favorite games at the arcade.

Get some pizza and ice cream and stroll along the boardwalk.

Otherwise, take it easy, lounge by the beach, and take in the beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline.

The Keansburg Amusement Park is a 9-mile drive from the Old Bridge’s Laurence Harbor area.

Go Shopping at Brunswick Square

Facade of the Brunswick Square

Artix Kreiger, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Drive to nearby East Brunswick, New Jersey, for an afternoon of retail therapy at Brunswick Square, 11 minutes from Old Bridge.

This shopping center is home to over 50 shops and food spots.

Find great deals on clothes, accessories, and shoes.

Stop by the specialty shops for gifts and souvenirs.

There are also service shops and entertainment options at the center.

Brunswick Square is a 5.5-mile drive from Old Bridge.

Enjoy the Scenic Views at Raritan Bay Waterfront Park

Head to the nearby city of South Amboy, New Jersey, and enjoy the views at the Raritan Bay Waterfront Park, 15 minutes from Old Bridge.

This county park covers over 100 wetlands, green open spaces, and sports facilities.

Head to the overlook and take in the gorgeous New York skyline and bay views.

Spend a relaxing time with your family in the nature area.

If you’re visiting in September, don’t miss out on the Seafood Festival that the park hosts annually.

The Raritan Bay Waterfront Park is a seven-mile drive from Old Bridge.

Catch a Music Show at Starland Ballroom

Exterior view of the Starland Ballroom

GrkNJ84, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See your favorite music stars perform live at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, 11 minutes from Old Bridge.

This concert venue opened in 2003.

It hosts around 100 live music events annually, from pop, country, and rock concerts.

Performance at Starland Ballroom

Richard Acosta / Ricapar at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch a show and feel the venue’s vibrant atmosphere and great energy.

The venue has a drinking area to enjoy alcoholic beverages.

Starland Ballroom is a six-mile drive from Old Bridge.

Final Thoughts

The township of Old Bridge is a charming destination where you can enjoy nature recreation and fun leisure activities.

From scenic waterfront views to beautiful trails and exciting sports, the area offers plenty of activities to explore throughout the year.

While exploring Middlesex County, don’t forget to try some of the best things to do in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

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