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30 Best Date Ideas in New Jersey (2024)

Not sure where to go for your next date in the Garden State? Check out our guide to the top date ideas in NJ!

If you’re dating in New Jersey, you’re in luck because there are so many amazing date ideas in this part of the country. From hiking to waterfalls to sipping on tiki drinks, you’ll find countless ways to spend time with your partner or crush in NJ. 

Whether you’re looking for some romantic NJ date night inspiration or adventurous date ideas in the Garden State, check out our list of the 30 best outings!

Casual Date Ideas in NJ

No matter if you’re planning a first date or a fiftieth date, check out some of these laidback ideas:

1. Make It a Four-Legged Date

Get out in nature and bring your pups along for the adventure. Fisherman’s Cove Conservation in Manasquan welcomes you to walk your dogs along the east portion of the beach. While you’re at it, pack a picnic and maybe even bring your fishing poles to cast a line in the cove.  

2. Treat Your Sweet Tooth

Nothing’s sweeter than a trip to an ice cream parlor. For a low-key weeknight date, invite your crush to Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream in Ledgewood, where you have your choice of 11 kinds of soft serve and more than 50 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream! With flavors like maple bourbon chocolate and cappuccino caramel crunch, you and your date are in for a real treat. 

3. Stroll the Seaside Heights Boardwalk

Is it touristy? Yes. But is it fun? Heck yes! Make your way over to Seaside Heights Boardwalk to spend the day playing arcade games, hopping on rides, and noshing on cotton candy. After your fill of sweets and prizes, head into one of the pubs for a drink or take a dip in the sea. 

4. Bowl Your Hearts Out

For a laidback NJ date night idea, hit up one of the many bowling alleys around the state, like Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park. After bowling a few rounds, be sure to check out the live music and grab a milkshake from the on-site diner. 

5. Explore the Hops Scene

Apparently, the state has more than 150 breweries, meaning you and your date have your pick when it comes to sipping craft brews. If you’re interested in sampling beers from one of the OG NJ brewers, zip over to Kane Brewery in Ocean Township for one of their legendary India Pale Ales. 

6. Enjoy the Most Important Meal of the Day Together

We often think of coffee dates and dinner dates, but why not breakfast dates? Start your day together by dining at a classic breakfast spot like Tops Diner in Harrison. Dating back to 1942, this diner feels like you’re stepping back in time. 

7. Go on Island Time

There’s no need to travel to Polynesia to enjoy some tropical cocktails. Instead, simply swing by the tiki-themed Cellar 335 bar and restaurant with your date, and spend the evening sipping on nautical cocktails like Lost at Sea and Missed the Boat.

Free or Low-Cost Date Ideas in New Jersey

You don’t have to spend your life’s savings to make a good impression. Consider some of the free or low-cost date ideas to help you score a second date without breaking the bank:

8. Go Chase Waterfalls

For this date idea, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails at Paterson Great Falls. This free national park invites you and your sweetheart to admire this majestic waterfall, which is one of the largest waterfalls (by volume) east of the Mississippi! 

9. Meander Around the Farmers Market

New Jersey is home to so many wonderful farmers markets, so you’re sure to find one right in your backyard. From the Columbus Farmers Market to the Summit Farmers Market, you and your date will love meandering your way through the stalls, picking up fresh produce, and admiring all the local wares. 

10. Soak in the Views

Want to enjoy NYC without actually traveling there? Plan an outing at Liberty State Park where you and your date can marvel at the sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Stroll around the pathways, visit the NJ Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, and picnic along the Hudson. 

11. Bike Ride Along the Hudson River Waterfront

For a fun and completely free date, bring your bikes down to the Hudson River Waterfront and cycle your way along the 18.5-mile trail. You and your honey will pass all kinds of scenic landmarks, such as the Lefrak Point Lighthouse, Fort Lee Historic Park, and the Holland Tunnel. 

12. Stop and Smell the Roses

New Jersey is known as the Garden State, so going on a date to the New Jersey Botanical Gardens only seems fitting. Enjoy free admission as you hold hands while moseying around the stunning displays, from the Lilac Garden to the Magnolia Garden. 

Unique Date Ideas in New Jersey

Why go the ordinary route when you could go the extraordinary route? Get inspired by these unique date ideas in NJ:

13. Play Games

If you and your honey enjoy a little friendly competition, then this date idea in NJ is right up your alley. Head over to Play! Hoboken, which is home to more than 400 board games, 17 pool tables, nine pinball machines, and more. You’ll both have a blast competing for the best high score. 

14. Trot Under the Moonlight

For an especially unique NJ date night, saddle up and hit the trails at night! Echo Lakes Stables in Newfoundland features night horse rights, inviting you and your sweetheart to ride horses at sunset, followed by a western-style barbecue and live entertainment. 

15. Invite Lady Luck Along

Feeling lucky? See if you and your date can strike a lucky streak at the casinos in Atlantic City. Home to nine casinos, this gambling city welcomes you to pull the slots and play the tables with the hopes of hitting the jackpot! 

16. Explore the Wonders of Luna Parc

If you’re an art-loving couple, then this date idea is for you. Book a tour of Luna Parc, which is an eccentric art installation spanning six acres, created by the multimedia artists Ricky Boscarino. The collection is only open to the public on certain days, so be sure to plan ahead. 

17. Cheer on the New Jersey Devils

Skip the traditional dinner and movie date idea and get tickets to a hockey game instead! You and your crush are sure to have a ball at the ice rink as you cheer the Devils to victory. 

18. Slip into a Speakeasy

Instead of imbibing at your go-to dive bar, take things up a notch with a visit to Xaman Room, a trendy speakeasy tucked upstairs above the ever-popular Avage Maria Mexican restaurant in Belleville. Sip on handcrafted cocktails while dancing to the live DJ set. 

19. Visit an Alpaca Farm

We’re willing to bet your crush has never been to an alpaca farm on a first date! Book a private tour at the Jersey Shore Alpaca farm in Cape May to spend an afternoon mingling with and feeding the gentle animals. 

Romantic Date Ideas in NJ

When you want to spice things up, let these ideas inspire your next romantic NJ date night: 

20. Sample Vino

A romantic date idea in New Jersey involves wine tasting at one of the local wineries. While there are a ton of lovely vineyards to choose from, consider one with an enchanting landscape, such as Autumn Lake Winery, where you can sit on the porch sipping wine with a view of the lake and surrounding woods.

21. Catch the Sunset

If you’re looking to turn up the romance, bring a beach blanket and head down to Stone Harbor Point at sunset. You and your love can cuddle up close with your toes in the sand as the setting sun paints a colorful canvas in the sky above. 

22. Dine at Stone Water

Stunning lake views, fresh seafood, and decadent desserts? You can’t get much more romantic than dinner for two at Stone Water, a dazzling waterfront restaurant on Lake Hopatcong. 

23. Board a Stargazing Cruise

You’ve heard of sunset cruises, but how about a stargazing cruise? Book a Miss Belmar cruise in Belmar for a magical evening. While cruising around, you and your partner can admire the sky as the sun slowly fades, giving way to legendary views of the constellations. 

24. Make Reservations at The Highland

For a romantic evening with seriously epic views, enjoy dinner at The Highland. This lovely restaurant sits perched on Eagle Rock Reservation, offering magnificent views of the New York City skyline while serving the finest surf-and-turf cuisine in town. 

Adventurous Date Ideas in New Jersey

If you’re an adventurous duo, these date ideas are sure to strike your fancy:

25. Ride the Coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure

Are you a couple that craves adrenaline rushes? Get tickets to Six Flags Great Adventure for some high-speed thrills! Be sure to brave the seven-story high CYBORG Cyber Spin and the Jersey Devil Coast, which reaches speeds of 58 miles per hour.

26. Tube Down the Delaware River

When the temperature starts to heat up in Jersey, cool off with a tubing adventure on the Delaware. Book rentals with the Delaware River Tubing to enjoy hours of tubing and a free barbecue meal on Adventure Island during your excursion.

27. Carve up the Slopes

If it’s wintertime in NJ, spend the day together carving up the slopes together at Mountain Creek Resort. This ski resort features terrain parks and 46 trails, making it a great spot for beginners and experts alike. 

28. Take a Day Trip to NYC

Itching to get out of town? Plan a day trip to New York City with your honey and play tourist for the day. Go for a stroll in Central Park, see a show on Broadway, stand below the Empire State Building, and eat your weight in black and white cookies for the ultimate city adventure!

29. Put the Pedal to Medal

Buckle up and get ready for a thrill! When you and your date book a day at New Jersey Motorsports Park, you can get behind the wheel of some of the most exotic cars, like Lamborghinis and Ferraris, and take them for a spin around the Lighting Raceway! 

30. Parasail Over the Sea

If you want adventure, we’ll give you adventure! For this extreme date idea in New Jersey, book a parasailing adventure in Ocean City so you and your love can spend your date gliding high above the Atlantic. 

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