Winter Hums with Excitement in Northeastern New Jersey
Forget the winter doldrums. New Jersey’s Gateway Region positively hums with excitement all year long, gaining momentum during December’s festive holiday fanfare—and well beyond, throughout the post-holiday months.
Here are some favorite local places and activities that guarantee you’ll have thrill-filled winter fun in northeastern New Jersey.
Ice Skating and Animals
Open skate season continues at Bergen County’s Winter Wonderland through February 24. Enjoy unlimited skating on open-air rinks, as well as skate rental, with $10 admission—plus kids under three skate free.
You’ll also receive entry to the Bergen County Zoological Park, right next door, which exhibits wildlife from North America and South America. View mountain lions, spider monkeys, tamarins, sloths, giant anteaters, capybaras, bald eagles, Andean condors, American alligators and lots, lots more. You can also visit the zoo seven days a week, any time of year—admission is FREE through April 30.
Indoor/Outdoor Thrills and Chill
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament stages pulse-pounding, “epic battles of steel and steed” that heat up inside the stone walls of an 11th-century-style castle, a majestic venue for any celebration. Spanish Queen Maria Isabella invites you and your party to feast on a delicious four-course meal—and a spectacular show. Watch in awe as too-cool knights joust, weapons clash, royal falcons fly and graceful horses gallop. Will your knight become the Queen’s Champion?
There’s a 100% chance of snow and heartwarming winter moments at Campgaw Mountain (Mahwah), where day and night skiing, snow tubing and snowboarding await. With snowmaking capabilities and a variety of terrain covering every skill level, newbies and enthusiasts alike will love this alpine escape (tentatively open mid-December 2018 through March 2019).
Winter is Shopping Season
Looking for bargains, or simply picking up treats for yourself? Paramus in Bergen County, with its four major shopping malls, has become one of the state’s finest must-splurge stops.
At Westfield Garden State Plaza, the largest mall in New Jersey, check out winter sales, see Oscar-nominated movies, scope out spring fashions and enjoy a full range of dining, from Pokéworks and Shake Shack to Legal Seafood and Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar.
Browse an astounding variety of stores (and bargains!) across Paramus’ three other malls, too: Paramus Park, The Outlets at Bergen Town Center and Fashion Center.
Hudson County, Iconic Hub
Exactly how many wonders does Hudson County, alone, hold? Too many to tally, but luckily, its seemingly infinite options have already been collected for you. Go solo, or with your family, friends or pets. Simply choose your adventure!
Peruse handpicked Hudson County Tiny Trips you can complete in a single afternoon (Dine with a View Spirit Cruises? Yum!). Knock out some Hudson County Hot Spots,“5 Best...” hit lists of iconic locations for food lovers, thrill seekers, bargain hunters and sports fanatics.
Design your own trip from lots of eclectic attractions and can’t-miss occasions on the winter events calendar. For more ideas and insight into this vibrant area, read Hudson County’s newsletters.
Sizzling Nightlife of Jersey City and Hoboken
Jersey City and Hoboken never hibernate, not even in winter. Spanning dive bars to chic nightclubs, these sought-after Hudson County destinations boast great local scenes that keep on amplifying—and offer something for everyone.
In Jersey City, you’ll find dark-and-cozy New Park Tavern serving juicy burgers, quaint bar/restaurant and beloved Hamilton Park watering hole Ed & Mary’s and The Archer, with an intimate vibe, hunting lodge style, unique bar fare and curated cocktail creations.
Gotta dance? Miss Wong’s at Talde, Porta, Lucky 7 Tavern and The Brightside Tavern (check out its Jazz Night too!) are popular choices.
Downtown on Restaurant Row, historic White Eagle Hall presents live music (as well as theatre, comedy, dance, film and family shows), while serving food and drinks in restaurants Cellar 335 and Madame Claude Bis.
Up in Hoboken, try favorite bars like Pilsener Haus & Biergarten and The Ale House. For fabulous live music, consider Northern Soul, McSwiggans Pub, The Cuban, Finnegan’s Pub, Green Rock Tap & Grill, House of ‘Que, Willie McBride’s and more.
Whatever your flavor of fun, whenever you want to come, consult the events calendar and stay overnight in the Gateway Region to savor as much as you can. Discover attractions and activities throughout the state at visitnj.org, where you can also download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.