21 Best & Fun Things to Do in Montclair (NJ)

Want to know the various fun things to do in Montclair, NJ? Come with us as we show you all of them in this article!

In New Jersey, the town of Montclair is known for its vibrant arts and media community. It is also home to a variety of writers and artists.

In addition to its vibrant arts scene, there are various activities and amazing places to go in and around the town of Montclair, including museums, art galleries, educational centers, and charming restaurants.

Now, let’s learn more about the city of Montclair, NJ and the numerous tourist attractions that awaits you there!

Where is Montclair, New Jersey?

Located in New Jersey’s Essex County, the township of Montclair is a diverse community of New York City-style homes. 

Situated in the Watchung Mountains, it is ideal for those looking to live in a high-end area. 

As of the 2020 census, the township’s population had increased by 3,234 to 40,921. It was the 60th-most populous municipality in the state of New Jersey.

The township of Montclair was first established on April 15, 1868, due to a railroad project that was going to be carried out in the area. 

It was officially re-established as a town on February 24, 1894, following a referendum. 

The name of the municipality was derived from the French word Mont Clair meaning clear mountain.

Fun Things to Do in Montclair, NJ

Below outlined are 21 top things to do in Montclair as a visitor or tourist.

1. Montclair Public Library

The library of the city of Montclair was founded in 1893. It serves the residents of the area and is inclusive of all people. 

However, its origins can be traced back to 1869, when Israel Crane established the organization. This group was a subscription-based organization.

On April 12, 1893, the citizens of the city of Montclair voted to establish a free public library. It was located on the second floor of Love’s office at 16 Church Street.

The library of the city of Montclair has two facilities that provide various services. One of these is the Main Library.

Address: Montclair Public Library is located at 50 S Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042-2629.

2. Alonzo F. Bonsal Wildlife Preserve

The Bonsal Preserve is a historical site made possible through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres program. 

It was purchased with the help of donations from the Bonsal family. The group that lobbied for woodland protection was able to get this property purchased.

The preserve is in its natural state, aside from a sewer line constructed in the 1900s. There are also remnants of wetlands that are located near the Third River.

Address: The Bonsal Preserve is at 23 Riverview Dr. W, Montclair, NJ 07043-2608.

3. Montclair Historical Society

The Historical Society of Montclair was established in 1965 to promote and appreciate the area’s history. 

It has two important historical sites that are located in the city. 

One of these is the Nathaniel Crane House, which was built in 1818, and the other is the Isreal Crane House, which was constructed in 1797.

The Crane Houses are historical museums that are open to the public. They exhibit the history of the area and the buildings that were in the surrounding town.

Address: The Historical Society is located at 108 Orange Road Montclair, NJ 07042, 973-744-1796.

You may also want to check out the fun things to do in Morristown, New Jersey!

4. Alexander Kasser Theater

The Alexander Kasser Theater is a facility owned and operated by the University of Montebello. 

It is a modern theatre that allows students to perform various types of art.

The design of the theatre is similar to the University’s historic buildings. 

However, it features a modern and intimate setting. Its large arcaded loggia and sweeping plaza are also featured.

Address: The Alexander Kasser Theater is located at 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ 07043, 973-655-5112.

5. Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church

If you need a place of worship, the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church is a great place to go. 

It was established in 1939 and is an old worship center for Christians.

The church’s design features a charming Italian Gothic style. Its open nave and the various featured columns are also designed to provide an open view of the sanctuary.

The members of this church believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. 

They also carry out humanitarian projects in the community. They are known as the Small Parish with a Big Heart.

Address: This church is located at 94 Pine St, Montclair, NJ 07042-4812.

6. Van Vleck House & Gardens

The Van Vleck House & Gardens was established over a hundred years ago as the personal property of Joseph Van Vleck Sr., a successful businessman. 

His dream came true when he moved to the city of Montclair in 1868.

Despite the various changes in the property over the years, the magnificent U-shaped villa built on the property remains intact.

The garden is open to the public all year round. It can be visited during the day or at night. 

In addition, it features various special events and occasions throughout the year.

Address: The Van Vleck House is at 21 Van Vleck St, Montclair, NJ 07042, United States.

7. Montclair Film Festival

Photo by Montclair Film via Flickr

The annual film festival of the city of Montclair, known as the Montclair Film Festival, is a community-focused event that showcases local and international filmmakers. It began in 2012 and is currently in its eighth year.

The festival is attended by thousands of people, including film lovers and critics. It also features over 80 films that are shown at various venues in the city.

The festival also serves as an opportunity for the public to participate in various educational and public events. 

It can be held during the summer season and features screenings of African-American Heritage Month programs.

Address: Montclair Film Festival is hosted at 505 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042, United States.

8. Prudential Center

Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr

The Prudence Center, constructed in 2007, is an indoor arena that HOK Sport designs and is owned by the New Jersey Devils.

It is also the home of the men’s basketball program of the University of South Jersey. It is also the site of the New Jersey Devils home games.

It has over 16,514 seats for hockey games and 18,711 for basketball. 

It’s also the site of the New Jersey Devils home games. As a result, its fans and sports writers refer to the arena as The Rock.

Address: The Prudence Center is at 25 Lafayette St, Newark, NJ 07102-3603.

9. Watchung Booksellers 

Kathy Linsk opened the Watchung Booksellers in 1991 to provide the residents of the city of Montclair with the best selection of books. 

This store is located right above Bradner’s Pharmacy. It’s also dedicated to the general collections of fiction, history, and biography.

The store’s selection is focused on various genres, such as poetry and the arts. It also features educational and travels books. 

The store’s staff members are dedicated to ensuring that the books they carry reflect the values and norms of the community.

Address: Watchung Booksellers is located at 54 Fairfield St, Montclair, NJ 07043.

10. Branch Brook Park

Located between Forest Hill and Roseville, Branch Brook Park is a public park that’s accessible through the township of Belleville. 

It’s also known for its various activities. For example, people frequently visit this park due to its extensive cherry blossom tree collection.

The park is approximately 4 miles long and has an average width of about 1.4 miles. 

It’s regarded as the most extensive public park in Essex County. It features various areas of open woodland and natural vegetation.

Address: Branch Brook Park is located at Lake St & Park Avenue, Newark, NJ 07104, United States.

11. Wellmont Theater

The Wellmont Theater was first opened in 1922 as a theatre. In 1929, it was transformed into a state-of-the-art motion picture theater. 

It has been known to have some of the most prominent guests, such as Thomas Edison. 

After that, it moved to Seymour Street and eventually became a restaurant. During the 70s, the theater had a triplex.

The WellmontTheater underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. 

As a result, it transformed itself into a concert venue. It features a dance floor, as well as flexible seatings.

Address: The WellmontTheater is located at 5 Seymour Street, Montclair, NJ 07042, 973-783-9500.

12. Exit Strategy – Last Minute Escape Montclair

The Whodunit game Exit Strategy is a type of game that keeps players focused on finding a solution to the problem. 

It’s commonly referred to as Last Minute Escape. This game is fun-filled and can be played in various settings.

Groups of up to 8 people can play the game. In addition, various scenarios and themes can be used in the game. 

The teams are given the option of coming up with a solution to the problem within an hour.

Address: Last Minute Escape Montclair is located at 408 Bloomfield Ave Suite D, Montclair, NJ 07042, United States.

13. Presby Memorial Iris Gardens

The magnificent collection of over 10,000 plants that the Pre by Memorial Iris Gardens has is a world-renowned facility. It features various types of irises and six different species.

The garden spans over 6.5 acres and is considered the biggest non-commercial garden with all kinds of irises. 

It’s on Upper Mountain Avenue in the township of Montclair.

The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys gardening. It’s also a free activity to do in the township of Montclair.

Address: Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is located at 474 Upper Mountain Ave, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043.

14. Edgemont Memorial Park 

The Edgemont Memorial Park is a popular spot for kids. It features a large children’s playground. 

In addition, this area has various structures that can provide a variety of entertainment for kids.

One of the most popular attractions in the park is a giant spider web structure that can be used for various activities. Kids can also use a rubber ground for their safety.

The Edgemont Memorial Park is also known for its World War I memorial, erected in 1924 by Charles Keck. It features a large island in the middle of the pond.

Address: The Edgemont Memorial Park Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07042, United States.

See Also: Fun Things to Do in Lexington (MA)

15. Thomas Edison National Historical Park 

Photo by Binksternet via Wikimedia

The home and laboratory of Thomas Edison are some of the most exciting places in the world.

They were able to operate for over 40 years. During this period, music was played using phonographs.

The National Park Service currently protects Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory. They are located in Glenmont, New Jersey.

Kids can better understand how technology works through the facility’s various exhibits. 

They can also create their inventions using the training materials available.

Address: Thomas Edison National Historical Park is at 211 Main St, West Orange, NJ 07052-5612.

16. Vanillamore

In 2007, Risa Magid Boyer opened her restaurant, known for its innovative use of vanilla. 

She wanted to create a unique blend of flavors that would not be found in other restaurants.

The restaurant features an art gallery that showcases the works of some of the local artists. Some of these include Amy Nadler and Aldo Luongo.

Address: Vanillamore is located at 349 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042.

17. Greek Taverna

The restaurant’s menu features a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes designed to give the guests a taste of Greece. 

In addition, its open-air kitchen allows the diners to get the feeling of being in this country.

Address: This restaurant is located at 292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.

18. Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center

A museum dedicated to the life and career of Yogi Berra is located at the University of New Jersey. 

It was constructed in recognition of the former Major League Baseball player. Berra was also an inductee into the Hall of Fame of Baseball.

Various items and artifacts related to Berra’s career are displayed at the museum. He also contributed to the development of baseball’s history.

The museum also offers various educational programs to help students develop their interest in sports.

Address: This museum is at 8 Yogi Berra Drive, Little Falls, NJ 07424.

19. Kips Castle

A grand mansion known as the Kip’s Castle is located in Verona, New Jersey. 

It’s a replica of a medieval castle. Although it’s not in the city of Montclair, this castle is worth a visit.

Originally built as a private estate, the castle is situated on First Mountain near Verona and Montclair. 

It features a two-story carriage house and a large living area. The exterior of the castle is made from local trap rock.

Address: Kips Castle is at 22 Crestmont Rd, Verona, NJ 07044-2902.

20. Yogi Berra Stadium

This stadium named after Berra is located in the heart of New York City. It has a seating capacity of 5,000. 

Almost 4,000 people take up permanent seats, and 1,500 fans sit in the lawn seats.

The New Jersey Jackals are a professional baseball team that plays in the Northeast League. The Red Hawks are a university team.

The stadium features various areas for the guests to enjoy. These include a game arcade, a picnic area, and an outdoor birthday party area.

Address: Yogi Berra Stadium is located at One Hall Drive, Little Falls, NJ 07424.

21. Montclair Art Museum (MAM) 

One of the most popular activities in the city of Montclair is visiting the MAM, an art museum showcasing the works of Native American and American artists.

The museum features over 12,000 articles, which are mainly comprised of drawings, paintings, and sculptures. 

These items were acquired from the 18th century to the present.

Address: Montclair Art Museum is located at 3 S Mountain Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042.