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Stay active in New Jersey on a budget

kids playing at sea

Apart from stability and proximity to their jobs, people are drawn to communities based on the location’s opportunities for keeping active and being entertained. This is especially true if the city allows them to have fun without having to break the bank.

Fortunately for New Jersey residents (and those who want to move there), the Garden State is no slouch when it comes to offering activities people can do on a budget.

Here are a few top free or affordable ways to stay active and enjoy New Jersey.

  1. Go running!
    By far the cheapest way to stay active in New Jersey – or anywhere, really, as long as one has suitable clothes and shoes— is to step out and go running. Of course one can always jog through parks and sidewalks, but New Jersey has a number of popular running trails all over. Some examples are Cushetunk Trail in Round Valley Reservoir, Hunterdon County, South Mountain Reservation in Essex County, and the 14 trails found within Wawayanda State Park, among others.
  2. Visit the zoo
    One way to get kids and animal lovers to enjoy the outdoors is to entice them with a visit to the zoo. The Cape May County Park and Zoo has a sizeable collection of feathery and furry creatures as well as free admission and parking, so it’s a win-win situation for all those involved. The Raptor Trust bird rehabilitation center and the Great Swamp wildlife refuge also have free admission, although visitors may donate to their causes.
  3. Hit the beach!
    A great place to stretch one’s legs and maybe swim a little is Sandy Hook National Park, a beautiful beach with a couple of interesting attractions like the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Fort Hancock. It only costs $15 admission per car, although if you arrive after 5 p.m., it’s free.
  4. Exercise the eyes and mind by going to museums
    There are a number of free museums and galleries in New Jersey where art lovers can view thought-provoking, insightful, and beautiful works of art for free – or take a walk through the past. Princeton University Art Museum, The Center for Contemporary Art, Atlantic City Historical Museum, and Howell’s Living History Farm are among the most notable ones. Not only are these places free to visit (you can always make a donation) but they’re also quite expansive, so there’s a bit of walking involved.
  5. Skate or skateboard
    New Jersey has skating rinks and skate parks where you can have fun for free or cheaply, such as the Roosevelt Park Family Skating Rink in Edison, New Jersey; Secaucus Ice Rink; or Woodbridge Skatepark. Some of these facilities are unsupervised, however, so skaters should gauge their own abilities and skate carefully, as well as use proper gear. Children should always be accompanied by adults.

Aside from those mentioned above, there’s really so much more to do in and around New Jersey that’s affordable or free, like going to farmer’s markets, visiting farms like Valley Shepherd Creamery, and wall climbing at New Jersey Rock Gym (which has promos for college students and ladies’ night).

So if you’re hoping to move to New Jersey but you’re worried that it isn’t as exciting as its fast-paced neighbor across the Holland Tunnel, don’t worry because The Garden State has a lot going on and you don’t have to spend much money to find out.

Contact the Top 1% of agents ranked among New Jersey Multiple Listing Service (NJMLS). Call Stacy Esser and her associates at 917.621.6794. Or email stacy(at)stacyesser(dotted)com.