What is Open in New Jersey and What is Still Closed?

Posted on: May 1st, 2020 by

What is open in New Jersey? What is still closed in New Jersey?

If you’re like us you’ve started to hear news about parks across New Jersey opening up. Yet, at the same time Governor’s Murphy’s daily press conferences are still encouraging us to stay at home. If they’ve got you confused, we can help.

This is the first weekend where we can start to announce that more places across New Jersey will start to open. But BEWARE this is a test! It’s still important that we stay close to home, stay away from others, and wear face masks or other face coverings if we are going to go out in public.

A neon open sign shows a location open in New Jersey

So while you may be tempted to go for a road trip to that park you’ve always wanted to visit. WAIT! There will be time for that later. For now, stick to those places that are local to your home and open in New Jersey.

Below is a list of what is open in New Jersey and what is still closed in New Jersey. We’ve also included dates for potentially opening if those are known. Keep in mind New Jersey is a big state with nearly 600 municipalities. Information about closings and openings will be coming from a variety of sources and we will do our best to keep this updated. This is a work in progress.

view of the water from the JFK Park in Somers Point

What’s important to keep in mind is that these openings can only happen if we continue to do our part. Wear a face mask or covering when you will be around others. Keep a safe distance of 6-10 feet between you and others around you. Also remember to be patient and be kind. We’re probably all a little more anxious and stressed than usual and being impatient or rude with others will not be helpful.

New Jersey’s Plan for Reopening

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced his strategy for lifting COVID-19 restrictions. The plan, titled “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” does not provide for a lot of specifics or even a timeline of openings. Instead it lays out six key principles and benchmarks that the Governor will use to decide what to open and when.

A one page description of the “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” plan can be found here.

New Jersey State Parks are Open

New Jersey State Parks are open effective sunrise, Saturday, May 2, 2020. The only exception to this is Corson’s Inlet State Park which is closed to those wishing to access the trails or beach.

Rules for the State Parks

  • Social distancing is required! Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged. Do your part to protect others while outdoors — wear a face covering.
  • Regardless of the size of the state park, admission is limited to 50% of the parking lot’s capacity. Visitors are prohibited from parking in undesignated areas, including in roadways.
Hike with your kids Hike the Stairway to Heaven Trail in Wawaynada State Park
Hike the Stairway to Heaven Trail in Wawaynada State Park

Recommendations for your visit

  • Only visit with your immediate family
  • Make space for others on trails
  • Leave crowded park areas
  • Go before you go — restrooms are closed.
  • Please limit your visit to two hours so that others may have a chance to visit the parks as well.

What you can do at the State Parks

Even though not everything is open at New Jersey State Parks there is still a lot you can do.

  • Hike/Walk
  • Horseback Ride
  • Bicycle
  • Fish/Hunt (with permit)
  • Boat/Canoe/Kayak
  • Bird/wildlife watch

To find out which New Jersey State Parks offer hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, fishing, and kayaking read our 25 Things to Know About New Jersey State Parks.

Boy at Parvin State Park sign

What is still closed at the State Parks

To keep New Jersey families safe, certain activities and amenities are not permitted/open. We will reevaluate this list as virus cases in New Jersey continue to decline.

  • Restrooms until May 22, 2020.
  • Camping
  • Buildings
  • Pavilions & playgrounds
  • Picnic areas
  • Education programs
  • Food concessions
  • Swimming

New Jersey County Parks

Governor Murphy has given authority to county officials to determine if they want to open their county parks in New Jersey. Below is what we know.

Atlantic County Parks

Effective May 2, 2020 Atlantic County Parks are now open (with the exception of Lake Lenape Park West). All restrooms, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic areas, buildings and offices will remain closed in accordance with the state directive.

For more information visit the Atlantic County Parks website.

Estell Manor Park
View from the trail in Estell Manor Park

Bergen County Parks

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announced that he will issue an Executive Order re-opening most sites within Bergen County’s Park System and golf courses effective Saturday, May 2, 2020 with some exceptions. The Bergen County Zoo and the McFaul Environmental Center shall remain closed.

“Bergen County still has the most COVID-19 cases and deaths in New Jersey.  But we are Bergen County STRONG, and we will get through this only if we all work together to slow the spread. We are insisting that residents who visit our parks and golf courses continue to practice social distancing and take the necessary steps to protect themselves by wearing masks and gloves, and staying home when they are not feeling well.”

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco

For more information visit the Bergen County Parks website.

Burlington County Parks

On Saturday, May 2, 2020, Burlington County will re-open the Burlington County Parks System with certain restrictions. Assemblyman Herb Conaway, MD, Chair of the Burlington County Coronavirus Task Force said “Residents utilizing our parks for passive recreation will be required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing rules. Park rangers are authorized to enforce rules to ensure public safety.

Park facilities, such as bathrooms, playgrounds and pavilions will remain closed. Though organized group activities are barred, walking trails and paths will again be open to the public. In accordance with State guidelines, access to parking will be reduced by half.

For more information visit the Burlington County Parks website.

Camden County Parks

All Camden County parks will reopen beginning on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

Playgrounds, pavilions, visitor centers, and restrooms and dog parks will remain closed. Picnics, organized activities, and team sports will remain prohibited. Parking will be limited to 50 percent capacity in order to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

For more information visit the Camden County Parks website.

Cape May County Parks

All Cape May County Parks will open Saturday, May 2, 2020. The Cape May County Zoo will remain closed for now until Executive Order #107 is lifted and they are permitted to open. All restrooms, playgrounds and pavilions will remain closed.

For more information visit the Cape May County Parks website.

Cumberland County Parks

Cumberland County does not operate any general publicly accessible parks – the parks in Cumberland County are either operated by individual municipalities or non-profits. Each of the municipalities or non-profits will decide whether or not to open their parks.

For more information visit the Cumberland County website.

Essex County Parks

Essex County Parks will be reopened for passive use as of Saturday, May 2, 2020. Face coverings and social distancing are required!

For more information visit the Essex County Parks website.

Gloucester County Parks

Gloucester County Parks will be open daily from sunrise to 8 pm. Here’s a park by park breakdown of what’s opened and closed. Social distancing is required. All employees and visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings.

Greenwich Lake Park

  • Passive recreation – Open
  • Fishing – Open
  • Picnics – Prohibited
  • Pavilions – Closed
  • Restrooms – Closed

Scotland Run Park

  • Passive recreation – Open
  • Fishing – Open
  • Picnics – Prohibited
  • Pavilions – Closed
  • Restrooms – Closed
  • Playgrounds – Closed
  • Visitor’s Center – Closed

Redbank Battlefield

  • Passive recreation – Open
  • Picnics – Prohibited
  • Pavilions – Closed
  • Restrooms – Closed
  • Playgrounds – Closed
  • Historic Buildings – Closed

James G. Atkinson

  • Passive recreation – Open
  • Fishing – Open
  • Picnics – Prohibited
  • Pavilions – Closed
  • Restrooms – Closed
  • Sports fields – Closed
  • Tennis – Closed
  • Pickleball – Closed

For more information visit the Gloucester County Parks website.

Hudson County Parks

Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise announced a limited re-opening of the Hudson County Park System effective Saturday, May 2nd at 7 am. Residents are reminded they must wear a mask and practice social distancing.

These parks will remain closed until further notice:

  • Columbus Park in Hoboken
  • Mercer Park in Jersey City
  • Washington Park in Union City and Jersey City.

These parks will be re-opened from 7 am to 8 pm each day:

  • Stephen R. Gregg Park in Bayonne
  • Lincoln Park in Jersey City
  • West Hudson Park in Kearny
  • James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen
  • Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus.

All open parks will allow passive recreation only—no hoops will be returned to backboards on basketball courts, no open tennis or bocce courts will be open, no use of picnic areas until further notice. The track in Lincoln Park will be open. All park bathrooms will remain closed until further notice.

Dog runs: The dog run in Stephen R. Gregg Park in Bayonne will remain closed. The dog runs in Lincoln Park in Jersey City and in James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen will be open.

Parking will be limited. All the lots in the re-opened parks will be limited to 50 percent capacity to encourage their use by local residents. All restrictions on street parking in the re-opened parks, such as the circle around the Lincoln Park Statue in Lincoln Park, will continue in place until further notice.

For more information visit the Hudson County Parks website.

Hunterdon County Parks

Hunterdon County parks will open again starting Saturday, May 2, 2020. Activities are limited to fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing, hiking, walking, running or jogging, biking, birding, and horseback riding. Social distancing is required. Visitors should wear face coverings if there are crowds.

For more information visit the Hunterdon County Parks website.

Ocean County Parks

Ocean County will gradually reopen its parks for passive recreation along with its golf courses starting Saturday, May 2, according to Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines, Chairwoman of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Parks that are scheduled to reopen on May 2 are

  • Wells Mills County Park, Waretown
  • John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island
  • Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood
  • Ocean County Park and Lake Shenandoah County Park, both in Lakewood
  • Patriots County Park, Jackson Township
  • Freedom Fields, Little Egg Harbor Township.

These parks will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. “These locations are open to the public for walking, jogging, biking,” Haines said. “It’s all passive recreation which allows for social distancing. “Our playgrounds, public bathrooms, nature centers, and pavilions will remain closed to the public as will the dog parks and some of our smaller parks,” Haines said. “As per the Governor’s executive order there cannot be any large gatherings, no sporting activities or picnics allowed at this time.”

In addition parking will be capped at 50 percent and wearing face coverings is strongly suggested, according to the Governor’s executive order.

For more information visit the Ocean County Parks website.

Passaic County Parks

From the Passaic County Parks website, with immense interest in the health and safety of guests, staff and community, the County of Passaic is taking precautions to help stop the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). All playgrounds, bathrooms and historic sites in the Passaic County Park System are closed. All public events are cancelled. No new permits will be issued.  We take that to mean the Passaic County parks will be open beginning Saturday, May 2, 2020.

For more information visit the Passaic County Parks website.

Mercer County Parks

Mercer County Parks will reopen on Saturday, May 12, subject to certain restrictions.

For more information visit the Mercer County Parks website.

Middlesex County Parks

All Middlesex County Parks and Open Space will reopen this Saturday, May 2nd for passive recreation only, with reduced parking and strict social distancing requirements. All facilities, including restrooms, comfort stations, playgrounds, dog parks, basketball and tennis courts, the flying field and buildings remain closed. All park events, picnics and sports are suspended until further notice. All park visitors are to practice social distancing, refrain from large groups, and are encouraged to wear masks while enjoying our parks and open spaces.

For more information visit the Middlesex County Parks website.

Monmouth County Parks

All Monmouth County parks will reopen for posted hours this Saturday, May 2nd, with reduced parking and strict social distancing requirements. No group gatherings. Restrooms and buildings remain closed, along with some facilities.

All programs and events are cancelled through May 17th.

For more information visit the Monmouth County Parks website.

Morris County Parks

Many of the 38 distinct parks, facilities and trails the Morris County Park Commission has stewardship responsibility for will reopen this Saturday, May 2nd, with reduced parking and strict social distancing requirements. Restrooms and buildings remain closed, along with athletic facilities, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Adhere to Governor Murphy’s April 29, 2020 Executive Order: including the recommendation to wear a face covering. Parking to be limited to 50% capacity.

These parks will be open for passive recreation.

  • Columbia Trail
  • Hedden County Park
  • James Andrews Memorial County Park
  • Jonathans Woods
  • Loantaka Brook Reservation (all areas including Giralda Farms)
  • Mahlon Dickerson Reservation
  • Mount Paul Memorial County Park
  • Old Troy County Park
  • Passaic River County Park
  • Patriots’ Path
  • Schooley’s Mtn. County Park
  • Silas Condict County Park
  • Tourne County Park
  • Traction Line Recreation Trail
  • West Morris Greenway

These additional areas, managed by Morris County Parks, are also open.

  • Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center grounds and trails
  • Cooper Mill trails
  • Mount Hope Historical County Park trails
  • Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area grounds and trails
  • Central Park of Morris County grounds and trails
  • Lewis Morris County Park grounds and trails
  • Seaton Hackney Stables

All public restrooms are closed but many sites have portable restroom facilities please bring personal sanitary supplies. It should be noted that benches, picnic tables, etc. are not disinfected.

Closed through May 31, 2020

  • All indoor facilities, including; Visitor Centers, Public Restrooms, Environmental Education Centers, Mennen Sports Arena, Park Commission HQ at the Cultural Center have been closed to the public.
  • Outdoor Facilities: All playgrounds and playing fields, including; softball, artificial turf fields, volleyball courts, etc. all closed along with picnic shelters.
  • All Park Commission Programs, Activities & Events: All indoor/outdoor programs have been cancelled through May 31, 2020.

For more information visit the Morris County Parks website.

Salem County Parks

Salem County parks are closed until normal access is permitted by the State. with no restrictions in place.

For more information visit the Salem County Parks website.

Somerset County Parks

Somerset County Park Commission has announced the reopening of its general use parks, trails, and golf courses in Somerset County on
Saturday, May 2, 2020 at sunrise. Rules can be found here.

General use parks that are open:

  • Duke Island Park on Old York Road and North Branch Park on Milltown Road, both in Bridgewater
  • Natirar Park in Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone
  • East County Park in Warren
  • Skillman Park in Montgomery

  • In addition, the trail systems in Washington Valley Park in Bridgewater, the Sourland Mountain Preserve in Hillsborough and Montgomery, the Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge, and the Little Brook Sanctuary in Bernardsville will be open.

However, restroom facilities, picnic areas, pavilions, playgrounds, exercise stations, and all buildings including, but not limited to, visitor centers and educational/interpretive centers will remain closed to the public.

The leash-free dog areas will remain closed. Classes, lessons, and programs at all Park Commission facilities remain suspended indefinitely. All of the Commission’s baseball, basketball, softball, cricket, and soccer fields, the tennis courts at the Green Knoll Tennis Center and Colonial Park, and the roller hockey rink at the North Branch Greenway Park in Bridgewater remain closed.

For more information visit the Somerset County Parks website.

Sussex County Parks

We have been unable to find any information concerning Sussex County parks.

For more information visit the Sussex County Parks website.

Union County Parks

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is reopening County-owned parks effective Saturday, May 2, 2020 for passive recreation by individuals who observe social distance guidelines that protect against the COVID-19 virus.

Individual activities such as walking, jogging, biking and fishing are permitted. Bikes are permitted on paved paths only; trail riding strictly is prohibited. For these activities, individuals may be accompanied by family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

Use of walking paths: Follow arrows to move counter-clockwise only. Slow users keep right; fast users pass on left. Give way to others to maintain six-foot distance when passing.

Masks are strongly recommended.

All recreation equipment and facilities remain closed including restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, athletic fields, running tracks, dog parks, workout/fitness equipment, tennis courts, basketball courts, Archery Range, Trailside Museum, Warinanco Sports Center, and Watchung Stable.

For more information visit the Union County Parks website.

Warren County Parks

Warren County will reopen its parks to the public on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 6 am. Hours of available use are dawn to dusk. Only the following uses are permitted at Warren County parks.

  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Running or jogging
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Horseback riding

The following shall remain closed to the public at all Warren County Parks

  • Picnic areas
  • Exercise stations and equipment
  • Kayak rentals
  • Pavilions
  • Restrooms
  • Other buildings or facilities, including, but not limited to, visitor centers, interpretive centers, and interior historical sites

Available parking shall be limited at all County Parks to 50% of the maximum capacity at one time, and visitors shall be prohibited from parking in undesignated areas, including in roadways and other undesignated areas.

For more information visit the Warren County Parks website.

New Jersey Township Parks

Governor Murphy has given authority to township governments to determine if they want to open their local parks in New Jersey. Below is what we know.

Details coming soon.

New Jersey Beaches

Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he is signing an executive order that will open New Jersey’s shores and lakes in time for Memorial Day weekend. There will be a restriction on the number of beachgoers allowed on each beach or lakefront, and social distancing measures will be required. The order will be in effect on Friday, May 22, 2020. Some beaches are already open. Find our more in our guide to New Jersey Beaches and Beach Tag Information 2020.

New Jersey Beaches & New Jersey Beach tag information (1)

New Jersey Drive In Movies

The Governor has lifted some restrictions and allowed New Jersey drive in movies to happen. Read more and find out where to go in our New Jersey Drive In Movies Are Back article.

drive in movie theater

New Jersey Farms

Coming soon we’ll have details about which New Jersey farms are open. Most are allowed to open with restrictions in place. If you are looking for options for shopping from farms through walk up service, curb service, or farm-to-car service read our guide to New Jersey Farmers Markets.

New jersey farmers markets

New Jersey Libraries

New Jersey libraries are still closed until further notice.

New Jersey Malls & Shopping Centers

As per Executive Order No. 107 (2020) non-essential retail businesses are closed to the public, but permitted essential retail businesses and other businesses that require an in-person workforce are allowed to be open.

New Jersey Movie Theaters

New Jersey movie theaters are still closed until further notice.

New Jersey Museums

New Jersey museums are still closed until further notice.

New Jersey Family Attractions

With the exception of New Jersey State Parks, county parks, and other parks, New Jersey museums are still closed until further notice.

All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions will remain closed as per the Governor’s order.

Worried about what’s going to happen to your season pass or prepaid tickets? Read What’s Going to Happen to my Season Pass & Prepaid Tickets?

amusement-park-tickets

While Six Flags Great Adventure theme park is closed, they recently announced some exciting news. The safari will reopen as a drive thru. Read more and get all the details, Six Flags Great Adventure Drive Thru Safari will open.

New Jersey Restaurants

Under Executive Order No. 107 (2020) New Jersey restaurants, cafeterias, dining establishments, food courts, bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges are ONLY allowed to provide food delivery and/or take-out services during their normal business hours.

Click over to see our listing of New Jersey Restaurants with Curbside Service, Drive Thrus, Take Out or Delivery options.

New jersey restaurants that offer delivery and takeout

New Jersey Schools

On Monday, May 4, 2020, Governor Murphy declared schools will be closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year.

ALL SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year – to protect the health of our children, our educators, and their families.

Guided by safety and science, this is the best course of action.

Governor Phil Murphy

New Jersey Splash Pads & Spray Grounds

New Jersey splash pads and spray grounds do not usually open till June. If that changes for 2020 we will update you as soon as we know.

New Jersey Zoos

At this time New Jersey Zoos are still closed to the public.

All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions will remain closed as per the Governor’s order.

  • Bergen County Zoo is closed.
  • The Cape May County Zoo will remain closed for now until Executive Order #107 is lifted.

This is a work in progress. If you know of anything that is open in New Jersey that we should add to our list, please comment below.

Posted in: All, Things to do in Central Jersey, Things to do in New Jersey, Things to do in North Jersey, Things to do in South Jersey

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.