Discovering the Best Attractions in Union County, NJ 

Welcome to Union County, NJ! Union County is home to a variety of attractions and activities that are sure to keep you and your family entertained. From museums and parks to shopping and dining, there is something here for everyone. Let’s explore the best attractions Union County has to offer, and provide you with ideas for fun things to do that are family-friendly, adventurous, and even educational. Whether you’re looking for something to do on the weekend or just want to explore the area, we’ll help you discover the best attractions in Union County, NJ! 

Family-Friendly Fun 

Mother enjoying helping her child cross the monkey bars at a outdoor playground.

Are you looking for fun activities to do with your family in Union County, NJ? Look no further! There are plenty of exciting options that everyone in your family will enjoy. Here are some of our top picks: 

Walter E. Ulrich Memorial Pool 

Beat the summer heat and take a dip in this public pool located in Rahway. There are designated family swim times as well as swim lessons available for children. 

Wheeler Spray Park 

This Westfield park offers plenty of space for your family to play, including multiple playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, and a running track. 

Esposito Park 

If your family is into skateboarding, check out this park in Union. It features various ramps and rails for all skill levels. In addition to the skate park, there are also playgrounds, walking paths, and a freshwater wetland. 

Watchung Stable 

Take a scenic horseback riding tour at this stable located in Mountainside. They offer trail rides, pony rides, and riding lessons. 

Nomahegan Park 

Located in Cranford, Nomahegan Park has something for everyone in your family, from a playground and fishing lake to sports fields and picnic areas. 

No matter what kind of outdoor fun you’re looking for, Union County has plenty of options to choose from. Pack a picnic, grab your sunscreen, and head out for a day of family fun! 

Museums and Historical Sites 

Variety of different paint colors with paint brushes inside cups.

If you’re looking for a little bit of history in Union County, there are a variety of museums and historical sites to choose from. Here are a few must-visit spots: 

The Trailside Nature and Science Center is the perfect spot for families interested in learning about the natural world. This museum features exhibits on animals and plants native to the area, as well as hands-on science activities for visitors of all ages. 

If you’re a fan of historic homes, Liberty Hall is a must-see attraction. This beautiful estate dates to the 18th century and has been home to several notable families throughout its history. Today, visitors can take tours of the house and grounds to learn more about its fascinating past. 

For art lovers, the Visual Arts Center of NJ is a must-visit destination. This museum features contemporary art from both local and national artists, as well as educational programs and workshops for visitors of all ages. Plus, the museum’s location in Summit’s bustling downtown area makes it the perfect spot for an afternoon of exploring and shopping. 

Whether you’re interested in science, history, or art, Union County has plenty of museums and historical sites to satisfy your curiosity. Plan a visit to one of these great attractions today and discover all that this vibrant area has to offer. 

Parks and Recreation 

A calm lady finds peace in a quiet park while doing yoga, surrounded by nature's beauty.

If you love spending time outdoors and enjoying nature, then you will love exploring the many parks and recreational areas in Union County, NJ. Here are some of the best parks and recreation spots in the area: 

Cedar Brook Park 

Located in Plainfield, Cedar Brook Park offers visitors a wide range of outdoor activities, including walking and biking trails, fishing in the lake, a fitness trail, and basketball and tennis courts. Kids will love the playground and spray park, while adults can relax and enjoy the picnic areas and benches throughout the park. 

Echo Lake Park 

Nestled in the heart of Mountainside, Echo Lake Park boasts picturesque scenery and plenty of outdoor fun for everyone. Take a leisurely walk around the lake or hike one of the trails. The park also has several sports fields, picnic areas, a fishing pier, and an outdoor amphitheater for live performances during the summer. 

East Coast Greenway Bike Route 

Union County is a major stop on the East Coast Greenway Bike Route, which stretches over 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. This paved trail offers bikers and hikers scenic views of the countryside, parks, and rivers throughout the county.  

Oak Ridge Park 

Located in Clark, Oak Ridge Park is the perfect destination for a relaxing day outdoors. The park has numerous walking and biking trails, a fishing pond, sports fields, picnic areas, and even a dog park for furry friends. 

Warinanco Park 

In Roselle, Warinanco Park offers visitors a plethora of outdoor activities. There is a lake for fishing, boating, and skating, several sports fields, an ice-skating rink, and a bike trail. You can also visit the playgrounds and picnic areas with friends and family. 

Watchung Reservation 

Watchung Reservation is a natural oasis situated in the Watchung Mountains. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, picnicking, and biking. The reservation also has an equestrian center and a nature center, which offers educational programs and guided hikes. 

Whether you are a nature lover or an active individual, the parks and recreation areas in Union County, NJ have something for everyone. From hiking and biking to fishing and picnicking, these parks offer plenty of fun and exciting activities for all ages. 

Education and Learning Opportunities 

A group of women in a well-lit dance studio, engaged in the art of dance.

Union County is a hub for learning opportunities, with institutions ranging from dance schools to colleges. Here are some of the top educational spots to check out in Union County: 

Starry Night Dance Studio offers a welcoming and fun environment for dancers of all ages and levels. From beginners to advanced dancers, their highly trained instructors ensure each student receives individual attention and reaches their full potential. Meanwhile, at Union UTA Martial Arts School, students can develop confidence, discipline, and respect while learning self-defense techniques and physical fitness. The school’s experienced instructors teach classes for both kids and adults, so there’s something for everyone. 

For those interested in pursuing the arts, the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy is a must. This highly respected high school offers specialized programs in theater, music, dance, and the fine arts, providing students with a comprehensive education in the arts. Their professional-level facilities and experienced faculty make it an ideal spot for aspiring artists.  

Acting Out Acting School offers a range of classes for aspiring actors, from introductory courses to more advanced training. They also offer summer camps and workshops, making it a great place for kids and teens to hone their skills and build their confidence. 

For those looking for higher education options, Union County College and Kean University offer a range of programs and degrees. Whether you’re pursuing a degree in business, education, or the arts, these institutions offer excellent resources and facilities to help you succeed. 

With so many educational opportunities available in Union County, it’s no wonder that this area has become a hub for learning and creativity. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced student, there’s something for everyone to discover in this dynamic and vibrant community. 

See It Live! 

Close up view of audience sitting in theater seats.

When it comes to the performing arts and cultural events in Union County, there is something for everyone. From Broadway-caliber performances to local theater productions, this region offers a wide variety of entertainment options that are sure to please. 

One of the premier venues for live entertainment is the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway. The venue has hosted a number of Broadway shows, comedy acts, and musical performances. The stunning historic theater features a fully restored balcony, beautiful décor, and state-of-the-art acoustics, providing an unforgettable experience. 

The Cranford Dramatic Club Theater is another excellent destination for theater enthusiasts. Located in the heart of downtown Cranford, this intimate theater showcases a wide variety of shows, from classic plays to contemporary productions. You can even get involved in productions as an actor, volunteer, or supporter of the theater. 

If you’re a music lover, don’t miss Crossroads in Garwood. This intimate setting hosts a range of live music acts, from blues to rock and jazz. You’ll feel like you’re right on stage with the performers as they take you on a musical journey. 

In the summer months, head to Biertuempfel Park in Springfield for their Summer Music Series. The outdoor venue features live music performances from a variety of local and national acts. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with friends and family while taking in some great tunes. 

Whether you prefer theater, music, or both, Union County has plenty to offer when it comes to performing arts and cultural events. Check out these venues and events to experience some of the best entertainment around. 


Woman looking back as she walks smiling into camera holding shopping bags over her shoulder.

If you’re a shopaholic, you’ll love exploring the small businesses in Union County, NJ. From unique boutiques to specialty stores, Union County has it all. The downtown areas of Cranford, Berkeley Heights, and Westfield offer an exceptional shopping experience that will leave you feeling satisfied and excited. 

Downtown Cranford is the perfect place to start your shopping spree. The charming downtown area boasts a range of unique boutiques, such as Periwinkle’s, a jewelry store with handmade pieces. Take a stroll down North Avenue and check out the storefronts for various small businesses on your way to or from your home at Riverfront at Cranford Station.  

Berkeley Heights has an excellent shopping scene that caters to different needs and is close to Woodcrest at Berkeley Heights, one of our premier 55+ communities. Stop by Blue Jasmine Floral for stunning, hand-crafted floral displays.  

Westfield is another excellent destination for shopping and dining and is just a short drive from our brand new community, Orchid Park in Scotch Plains. The downtown area boasts a mix of national chains and unique local businesses, like Juxtapose Gallery or Evalyn Dunn Gallery, both excellent choices for art enthusiasts. Be sure to check out The Farmhouse Store, a local home goods store that has everything from pillows to dishes. 

Visiting these downtown areas is not only good for the economy, but also allows you to support small businesses that make these communities special. Be sure to shop local and take in all the unique finds that Union County has to offer. 


Couple enjoying a steak dinner.

When it comes to dining in Union County, NJ, there is no shortage of options. From casual cafés to upscale restaurants, there is something to satisfy every taste bud. Here are some of the top dining destinations in Union County: 

For a contemporary dining experience, head to 100 Steps Kitchen + Raw Bar in Cranford. Their menu changes seasonally, offering a variety of locally-sourced ingredients in creative dishes. Don’t miss their raw bar offerings and artisanal cocktails. 

Valenca in Elizabeth is a family-owned Portuguese restaurant that has been serving traditional cuisine for over 20 years. Their menu features a variety of seafood dishes and hearty meat options, all cooked to perfection. 

For authentic Mexican fare, El Mirador Restaurante is a must-visit in Elizabeth. Their menu includes classic dishes like tacos and enchiladas, as well as specialties like mole and chiles rellenos. 

For a quick bite, check out The Halal Guys at their location in Union Township, known for their famous gyro sandwiches and falafel platters. The portions are generous and the flavors are bold.  

In the mood for seafood? Limani Seafood Grill in Westfield is the place to be. They offer a variety of fresh fish dishes, as well as Greek-inspired dishes like grilled octopus and spanakopita. 

Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Mexican, Portuguese, or something else entirely, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings in Union County, NJ. 

Public Transportation 

Front view of NJ Transit train.

One of the best public transportation options in Union County is NJ Transit. With numerous train and bus routes running throughout the county, NJ Transit offers easy access to New York City, Newark Airport, Jersey City, Hoboken, and more. The NJ Transit bus service runs along major highways such as the Garden State Parkway and Route 22, providing access to many destinations in and outside the county. 

If you’re planning a trip to the Jersey Shore, the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line provides service from Union County to destinations such as Asbury Park and Long Branch. The line also connects to Newark Airport, making it a convenient option for those flying in or out of the area. 

Newark Liberty International Airport is located in nearby Newark and is easily accessible by public transportation from Union County. NJ Transit offers direct train service from Union Station in Union Township to Newark Airport Station, making it easy to catch a flight or pick up arriving passengers. 

Welcome Home to Union County! 

As you explore the amazing attractions in Union County, NJ, you’ll quickly discover why it’s such a great place to live. With its friendly communities, fantastic schools, and thriving businesses, Union County offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a long-term resident or just looking to move in, we invite you to discover all that Union County has to offer. Welcome home!