Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Jersey City, NJ

  • Published 2022/12/05

Jersey City is usually considered a major American city, ranking third in the New York Metropolitan Area behind New York City and Newark.

Jersey City is a unique city in Hudson County because it has one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the country.

Its historical landmarks are among its most notable features.

Liberty Island National Park, which contains the Ellis Island Immigration Station, is in Jersey City.

This city also boasts many free attractions you might want to explore while here!

Here are the 15 free things to do in Jersey City, New Jersey:

Do Some Sightseeing at Liberty State Park

Statue of liberty at Liberty State Park


If you’re looking for the perfect place to get a Statue of Liberty view, head to Liberty State Park.

You can find Liberty State Park along the Jersey City waterfront, and it’s just a short distance from New York City.

It’s also a lush sanctuary in the middle of Central Northern New Jersey, which acts as the entryway to the area’s abundant natural, cultural, and historical resources.

Trail at Liberty State Park

Mariusz Lopusiewicz /

The park offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as the Manhattan skyline.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in the park, including hiking, biking, picnicking, and fishing.

There is also a museum and an auditorium that offer educational programs about the history of the area.

Liberty State Park is a beautiful oasis in the middle of a busy city, and it’s perfect for a day of relaxation or exploration.

Promenade at Liberty State Park

Edi Chen /

Take a Minute and Reflect at Empty Sky Memorial for 9/11 Victims

View of Empty Sky Memorial

365 Focus Photography /

Nestled in the shadow of the busy district in Jersey City, Empty Sky is a memorial for the victims of 9/11.

The simple design of two brushed stainless steel walls rising to meet at a point is intended to evoke the twin towers, and the names of the victims are inscribed on the stainless steel panels.

Closer view of the panels at Empty Sky Memorial

365 Focus Photography /

The memorial is situated on a spot where the towers once stood, and from its vantage point, visitors can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

On a clear day, it’s also possible to see the outlines of the World Trade Center site.

It’s a place where people can reflect on the lives lost during that tragic day.

Night view of the Empty Sky Memorial

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See the Statue of Liberty at Reclining Liberty

The Reclining Liberty is a sculpture near the Empty Sky Memorial.

It is a clone of the Statue of Liberty, but instead of it standing while holding a torch, this sculpture is reclining!

Reclining Liberty is a public artwork by Zaq Landsberg located in Jersey City.

View of the Reclining Liberty by Zaq Landsberg

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The twenty-five feet tall sculpture, made of foam, steel, wood, oxidized copper paint, and plaster resin, looks like a very relaxed Statue of Liberty watching movies in her home.

In addition to getting the attention of tourists who come here, this sturdy sculpture can be touched or leaned on without fear of breaking it.

Don’t forget to take a picture of this landmark when you visit Jersey City!

Spend Time with Your Family at J Owen Grundy Park Offers

Entrance to J Owen Grundy Park

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J Owen Grundy Park Offers is a hidden gem in the heart of Jersey City.

The park is situated along the Hudson River and features beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline that you and your family will love.

The pier and pavilion at J Owen Grundy Park are situated at Exchange Place at the base of Montgomery Street.

Sitting area at J Owen Grundy Park

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Adding to its scenic location, the park also features a variety of amenities, including a playground, picnic areas, and a pathway where you can stroll and bike.

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an exciting day out, J. Owen Grundy Park has got you covered.

View from J Owen Grundy Park

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Take a Picture with the Colgate Clock

View of Colgate Clock

James Andrews1 /

The Colgate Clock is one of the most iconic landmarks in Jersey City.

The giant red clock has been a fixture on the city’s waterfront for over 100 years, and it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.

The Clock was created by the Colgate-Palmolive Company as an advertisement for their products in 1924, but it quickly became a beloved landmark.

The design of the clock was inspired by Colgate’s Octagon Soap bar, which was developed in 1887 as a laundry detergent.

Aerial view of Colgate Clock

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A structural steel frame supports the clock, which has a 1,963.5 square feet surface area and a diameter of 50 feet.

The hour hand is mounted on stainless steel slats, while the minute hand measures 25 feet and 10 inches long.

The clock in Jersey City has become an iconic spot for tourists to take photos together.

Don’t miss the opportunity to capture a picture with this iconic piece of history!

Enjoy Your Time at Van Vrost Park

View of the Van Vrost Park

Hudconja, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Van Vorst Park is the focal point of the same-named downtown Jersey City area and historic district.

It was originally designed by local florist and horticulture Peter Henderson in 1851, making it “one of the most formal of Jersey City’s parks.”

Van Vorst Park is flanked by beautiful late-nineteenth-century brick and brownstone rowhouses that reflect various popular architectural styles during the Victorian era.

Gazebo at Van Vrost Park

AtsushiJC, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is a gazebo, a gazing fountain, and a playground in the park, and flowers and trees give a tiny, lush haven along the walking routes.

It’s the perfect place to start your day while sipping your morning cup of joe.

Check out this Victorian-style park and enjoy a morning stroll on your next visit!

Craft exhibits at Van Vrost Park

AtsushiJC, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Come Down to the Streets of Historic Downtown Jersey City

The best way to get to know Jersey City is to take a stroll on the busy streets of Historic Downtown Jersey City when you come here!

Historic Downtown Jersey City is a neighborhood with a rich cultural heritage.

The area is home to a diverse population, and the streets are lined with restaurants, shops, and businesses that reflect the community’s ethnic and economic diversity.

Street view of Historic Downtown Jersey City

James Andrews1 /

As you walk to the streets, you will see public wall artworks painted on the walls of buildings, parks, and some historical landmarks, including Liberty State Park.

These attractions draw visitors from all over the world, and they help to make Downtown Jersey City a truly unique place to live, work and visit.

Visit this vibrant Historic Downtown Jersey City and tour its famous streets!

Bike along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

View of Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

James Andrews1 /

The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is a public park that runs along the Hudson River of Jersey City.

The park is a popular spot for walking, running, and biking and offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.

The walkway is also home to a variety of businesses and attractions, including restaurants, cafes, shops, and museums.

View of Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

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The park hosts a number of events throughout the year, such as concerts and festivals.

Whether you’re looking for a place to stroll or a fun day out, the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is sure to please.

Night view of Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

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Enjoy the Breathtaking Skyline Views at Riverview Fisk Park

Men playing Basketball at Riverview Fisk Park

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Riverview Fisk Park is one of the best-kept secrets in Jersey City.

Nestled atop a bluff overlooking the Hudson River, the park offers breathtaking views of New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline through its gazebo.

Although it’s just a short walk from busy Journal Square, the park feels like a world away.

The hilly terrain provides a welcome challenge for hikers, and the well-maintained pathways are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

View of Riverview Fisk Park

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Picnic tables and benches provide ample opportunities to relax and take in the scenery.

In the summer, the park comes alive with flowers, and in the fall, the leaves turn a beautiful shade of red and gold.

This park is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life while you take in the mesmerizing skyline views!

Photoshoot at Riverview Fisk Park

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See the Exhibits at the Interpretive Center

The Interpretive Center is a great place to learn about and explore the natural world.

The center has a variety of exhibits on animals, plants, and ecosystems.

Exhibits at the center focus on the geology of the island and dune formation, featuring tall grasses and short trees.

You will also see different varieties of plants growing throughout the island, as well as learn about all the different animals that call this place home.

You can also see other themes for the tools used by humans on the island in the past and the island’s political history here.

There’s also a herbarium that houses plant specimens discovered on Island Beach that you can see.

Visit this center to learn more about these exhibits!

Appreciate Local Artworks at Mana Contemporary

Exterior view of Mana Contemporary

Hudconja, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mana Contemporary is a world-class art destination in Jersey City.

Mana Contemporary, founded in 2011, is dedicated to creating a venue for modern art and artists through exhibits, studio activities, and public engagement.

Housed in a reclaimed warehouse, Mana is home to artist studios, galleries, performance spaces, and more.

Entrance to Mana Contemporary

Selenawrites, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors can explore the many exhibitions on view, participate in hands-on artmaking workshops, and enjoy a variety of public viewing of the art pieces here.

Mana Contemporary is always looking for new collaborations that investigate the convergence of contemporary art, music, new technologies, and design.

Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply looking for a unique day trip destination, Mana Contemporary is sure to inspire you, so check out this place on your next visit to Jersey City.

Dance art at Mana Contemporary

Shenweidancearts, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have Fun with Your Family at Pershing Field Park

Pershing Field Park is a much-loved Jersey City landmark and a great area for kids to play, get some fresh air, and learn new sports.

There is a large loop available around the grass field for children and adults to run, walk, or ride bicycles.

It also has many recreational facilities like pools, basketball and tennis courts, an ice skating rink, a track, and an open field.

Pershing Field Park also has a rich historical significance for the heroes of World War I.

Entrance to Pershing Field Park

Jim.henderson, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Vietnam War Memorial at the park is not to be missed, as it has numerous trees planted in memory of those who lost their lives.

You can also enjoy the cherry blossom and fall seasons here, while winters are even more picturesque when the ground is covered in snow.

You can visit with your children and family and build a large and magnificent snowman!

Check this park out when you visit Jersey City.

Visit the Oldest and Largest Park in Jersey City Called Lincoln Park

Gazebo at Lincoln Park

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Lincoln Park is the ideal place to take a stroll in Jersey City, not only because it is the oldest of the county parks but also because it is by far the largest.

Lincoln Park East sprawls over 150 acres and boasts several amenities, including children’s playgrounds, historical monuments, athletic facilities, trails, and Wi-Fi which is open for public use.

It is divided into two sections, namely Lincoln Park East and Lincoln Park West.

Fountain in a pond at Lincoln Park

Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Park East has various sports areas, recreational amenities, and four gazebos.

While Lincoln Park West has wetlands and Joseph J. Jaroschak Field, which houses Saint Peter’s University’s baseball, softball, and soccer teams.

Visit this park and enjoy its facilities to the fullest!

Bird's eye view of Lincoln Park

King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a Perfect Shot at Lefrak Point Lighthouse

The LeFrak Point Lighthouse, as a historic landmark, is an essential element of the Newport community.

It’s ideal for a picnic, and it makes an excellent backdrop for a photo session.

Stunning view of Lefrak Point Lighthouse

John Penney /

With sweeping Manhattan skyline views, a lighthouse is unquestionably a destination spot for viewing the city at its best as the seasons change.

The tower is the ideal place to soak in the stunning views that you have in your backyard, and it also makes for a terrific photograph!

Pathway near the Lefrak Point Lighthouse

Mariusz Lopusiewicz /

If you want to see some amazing Jersey City sites while admiring the New York City skyline, the LeFrak Lighthouse must be your next trip.

Stop by the Statue of Mystic Lincoln

The Mystic Lincoln statue is a monumental sculpture located in Jersey City.

The statue was designed by American artist James Earl Fraser, and it was completed in 1926.

It depicts an idealized version of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, who seems to be contemplating some troubles.

Sculpture of Mystic Lincoln

Hudconja, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The statue of Abraham Lincoln was created by James Earle Fraser out of bronze.

A wall surrounds the statue, and on this wall are extracts from three speeches that Fraser attended given by Lincoln.

Stop by the Mystic Lincoln and read the speech engraved on the walls of this sculpture!

Final Thoughts

With so many gorgeous places to see, it might be tough to pick where to go first in Jersey City.

Luckily, this city has a little something for everyone, whether you’re looking for some parks or historical landmarks.

Be sure to check out all of the amazing sites that Jersey City has to offer on your next trip and try these 15 free things to do in Jersey City, New Jersey.

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