15 Best Things to Do in Wayne, NJ

Wayne, NJ
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Wayne is a township in New Jersey under Passaic County.

Established in 1847, the town has a rich history that dates back to the American Revolution.

Known for several historical museums as well as its surrounding nature, Wayne is an excellent addition to any New Jersey itinerary.

If you plan to visit New York City, the town is also a wonderful bedroom suburb of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

It usually takes only 30-45 minutes by car to get to the heart of New York City.

If you're planning to adventure in the tri-states, this list of the 15 best things to do in Wayne, New Jersey, will add new places to your itinerary.

Visit Dey Mansion Washington's Headquarters

Front view of Dey Mansion Washington's Headquarters
Ccrabb1948, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dey Mansion Washington's Headquarters is another prominent historical landmark in Wayne.

Named after the Dey family, U.S. President George Washington used the mansion as his headquarters during the summer and fall seasons of 1780.

During this time, the family's patriarch, Colonel Theunis Dey, served under Washington.

Front view of  Dey Mansion Washington's Headquarters
WikiKitty44, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Operated and managed by Passaic County as a historical museum, you can learn information relevant to the American Revolution and the era of Colonial America.

Various lectures and tours are available to the public.

The museum space is vast, as exhibits and tours are not limited to the house's interior but also its surrounding gardens with interesting historical facts.

You can visit Dey Mansion Washington's Headquarters at 199 Totowa Road.

Visit the Wayne Museum at the Van Riper-Hopper House

The Wayne Museum at the Van-Riper Hopper House is one of the primary destinations and historical landmarks in Wayne, New Jersey.

Wayne's history goes as far back as the 1600s.

Previously an agricultural community, the township has preserved much of its ancestral history.

Van Riper-Hopper House is one of the three historic houses that make up the Wayne Museum.

The house, named after the wealthy Uriah Van Riper, was built in 1786.

Seeing its interior will bring you back hundreds of years into the past.

Its architecture alone is fascinating, as it boasts a Dutch Colonial design.

You can visit the Wayne Museum at the Van Riper-Hopper House along Berdan Avenue.

Hike at High Mountain Park Reserve

While Wayne is a commuter town for New York City, it's blessed with High Mountain Park Reserve, a natural wonder that stands out from its urbanized surroundings.

Because of Wayne's proximity to the concrete jungle, climbing High Mountain Park Reserve will give you gorgeous sunset views of New York City like no other place.

There are various trails for you to choose from.

Each track offers a unique experience, especially during contrasting seasons, like summer and winter.

Taking on these trails can lead you to amazing discoveries, such as lush waterfalls and rock formations.

Wildlife enthusiasts will also love the experience.

The mountain is home to wild turkeys, flying squirrels, long-eared bats, and white-tailed deer, to name a few.

The High Mountain Park Reserve is one of Wayne's most treasured natural wonders.

Add this to your Wayne itinerary and visit its entrance along University Drive.

Skate or Watch Hockey at Ice Vault Arena

Ice Vault Arena isn't just your typical ice-skating rink.

It's one of the biggest multi-rink facilities in the tri-states and has become home to several significant sporting events.

World-class figure skaters have graced this beautiful facility, particularly Johnny Weir, Stephane Lambiel, and Viktor Petrenko.

Ice Vault Arena is also home to several hockey teams from New Jersey and William Paterson University.

With a seating capacity of 600, the facility is a fantastic place to watch your favorite hockey games or ice-skating performances.

Of course, if you want to ice skate at Ice Vault Arena, you can do so, as they accept walk-in public skating.

The arena is located at 10 Nevins Road.

Commune with Nature at Laurelwood Arboretum

Laurelwood Arboretum is a serene botanical garden that offers a soothing escape from the commercial streets of Wayne.

Around 30 acres, Laurelwood Arboretum is full of rare plant life for you to discover.

Rhododendrons and azaleas envelop many of its walking trails.

You can also spot wildlife in this public garden.

Birdwatchers will enjoy visiting as several species nest in Laurelwood Arboretum's lush trees.

Once you reach its streams and ponds, you'll also have a serene and relaxing experience.

These bodies of water complement the garden's plant life, giving you a sense of comfort.

Several art events also occur at Laurelwood Arboretum.

It's a fantastic place to achieve peace with nature, so check it out at Pines Lake Drive West.

Do Recreational Activities at Terhune Memorial Park

Terhune Memorial Park is one of Wayne's best spots to relax and do a few recreational activities, such as fishing, jogging, and photography.

It's named after American author and dog breeder Albert Payson Terhune.

Inspired by its namesake, Terhune Memorial Park is a great dog park.

It has beautiful sunsets and trails, so it's also a great place to have a picnic or do some walking with your pet.

There's also a couple of wildlife to see in the area, as it's right along Pompton Lake that stretches to Rampano River.

Terhune Memorial Park is a great place to visit if you want to take a breather. It's located along Terhune Drive.

Splurge at Willowbrook Mall

Front view of Willowbrook Mall
John Arehart / Shutterstock.com

Since Wayne is a bedroom suburb of New York City, its residents enjoy several shopping districts, the most prominent being Willowbrook Mall.

With whopping 170-plus establishments, it's Wayne's go-to place if you want to play at the arcade, go to the cinema, or do some shopping.

Several establishments stand out in this vast shopping center.

Locals visit Dave & Buster's for a fantastic arcade and dining experience.

Inside view of Willowbrook Mall with people
Rob DiCaterino from Clifton, NJ, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Likewise, they enjoy Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Uniqlo.

Willowbrook Mall is also home to Cinemark if you want to watch a movie.

It's a state-of-the-art 12-screen movie theater that gives you a pleasant viewing experience.

You can drop by Willowbrook Mall along Willowbrook Boulevard.

Take a Swim at Captain Kilroy Park

If you're visiting Wayne during the dry seasons, you may want to consider cooling down at Captain Kilroy Park.

Captain Kilroy Park is an artificial swimming park that's a great family destination if you're looking to relax and enjoy a cold swim.

Its artificial lake, Tom's Lake, also features a sandy beach.

It's a fun little escape in the center of Wayne's residential districts.

Outside of swimming, such as basketball, volleyball, and softball, are other activities.

A children's playground also welcomes kids.

Captain Kilroy Park is at Concord Plaza.

Go for a Hayride and Shop at Farms View Roadstand

Farm View Roadstand is a quaint little market with various interesting fresh produce.

The family-owned farm has seen six generations, making it a household name in Wayne.

Pumpkins are particularly common here; it almost looks like a Halloween space during the fall season.

Other crops like corn will excite your taste buds upon seeing large harvests.

The farm is also a significant family detour if you have kids.

They offer a hayride around their vast land while you do pumpkin-picking, which is a fun little treat for the kids.

Strawberry picking on this farm is also well loved by its locals.

Priced by the pound, these strawberries might get a little costly.

Bring enough cash before you get carried away!

Other items, like flowers, baked goods, and dairy, are also available.

You can drop by Farms View Roadstand at 945 Black Oak Ridge Road.

Take Stunning Photos of Nature at Two Sisters Wetland Preserve Park

Wayne is also home to the Two Sisters Wetland Preserve Park if you're feeling adventurous.

It's a natural park in Wayne that is easily missed, as there aren't many things to do.

However, if you're the adventurous type who loves the outdoors, this place is a haven for scenic photography.

Adjacent to Pompton River, Two Sisters Wetland Preserve Park has overgrown vegetation, making it seem almost abandoned.

It's also home to wildlife like birds, lizards, and insects.

Don't expect this to be a simple walk, as it has several muddy areas that may get you dirty, especially if you want to get closer to its ponds.

It's an exciting place if you want something mysterious, and you can easily access it by going to Riverside Park along Farmingdale Road.

Watch a Performance at Shea Center for Performing Arts

Shea Center for Performing Arts operates under Wayne's public university, William Paterson University.

It's a renowned performing arts theater in New Jersey, home to various iconic performances and speeches from David Crosby, Margaret Thatcher, and Wynton Marsalis.

Its state-of-the-art facility boasts 922 seats and modern sound and lighting systems.

Many professional performers hold shows at Shea Center for Performing Arts.

If you mean to go, you can find the Shea Center for Performing Arts at William Paterson University, situated along Pompton Road.

Have a Blast at Rockin' Jump Trampoline Park

If you want to have a blast with your friends and family, then Wayne has a trampoline park you wouldn't want to miss.

Rockin' Jump Trampoline Park is along Willowbrook Boulevard, just a few walks from Willowbrook Mall.

Various games involve the trampolines, such as basketball slam dunking and ultimate dodgeball.

While Rockin' Jump Trampoline Park is mainly geared toward children, adults are also allowed so that you won't feel left out.

Rockin' Jump Trampoline Park is an excellent addition to your Wayne itinerary if you're traveling with children.

Experience Authentic Chinese Cuisine at Cheng Du 23

Wayne is home to several diverse cultures, much like its neighboring cities in New Jersey and New York City, so it's no surprise it's home to several delicious restaurants.

Perhaps one of the most famous in Wayne is Chengdu 23, a Szechuan Chinese restaurant awarded several distinctions throughout its years of service.

In 2015, it received the award "The Most Authentic Chinese Restaurant" from Best Chinese Cuisine Metro New York.

Try their classic Szechuan dishes, mapo tofu, twice-cooked pork, and tea-smoked duck.

Cheng Du 23 is along Route 23 and Willowbrook Boulevard, adjacent to Willowbrook Mall.

Play Mini Golf at Willowbrook Golf Center

If you're feeling the urge to swing your golf club, Willbrook Golf Center is a great place to practice your swings and have a go at their unique mini golf courses.

Their 36-hole mini golf courses offer unique obstacles that both children and adults will enjoy.

It even has a 15 and 30-ft waterfall to make things exciting!

If you're not looking to play mini golf, their driving range is excellent for warming up and practicing.

Golfing lessons are also available here if you're interested in having a coach for yourself or your child.

You can visit Willowbrook Golf Center at 46 Service Road East.

Go Fishing at Point View Reservoir

One of the best places to fish in Wayne is Point View Reservoir, just along Berdan Avenue, where Wayne Museum stands.

The reservoir resulted from the Point View Dam construction, which the Passaic Valley Water Commission operates.

It's home to several fish, particularly largemouth bass, bluegill, and smallmouth bass.

Many locals report catching well-sized fish here, so your chances of landing a catch are pretty good.

Take a detour at Point View Reservoir if you like fishing.

Final Thoughts

People consider Wayne mainly a commuter town for its busier neighbor, New York City.

However, it still offers many things to do, whether an outdoor adventure or a quick trip to its historical museums.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Wayne, New Jersey!

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