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Monuments, Museums and Parks

Springtime dazzles in Branch Brook Park, where every year the nation’s largest collection of cherry trees (more than 5,300) bursts into bloom. Don’t miss the Cherry Blossom Festival in April! Another park worth visiting is Military Park, home to sculptures by Borglum and Lipchitz, a children’s carousel stocked with historic horses, outdoor concerts, a farmers’ markets and yoga classes. Nearby is the striking Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the fifth-largest gothic cathedral in North America, which was visited by Pope John Paul II. If you’re a fan of museums, head to the Newark Museum and discover the vast collections of Tibetan and American art, the Planetarium and the adjacent Ballantine House, a preserved Victorian landmark. If indie art is more your style, check out the Newark Allery, a street “gallery” of urban graffiti. Jazz aficionados should explore the halls of Newark's award-winning public radio station, WBGO, where you’ll find monthly photographic exhibitions dedicated to legendary jazz artists.

 

Entertainment and Nightlife

Newark’s epicenter for entertainment is the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where you can see world-class dance, theater, music, poetry and comedy all year ‘round. Legendary artists George Gershwin, Patti LaBelle and the Rolling Stones have all performed at the majestic Newark Symphony Hall, while today’s biggest stars and two of New Jersey’s biggest sports teams rock the house at the Prudential Center. Sports fans also won't want to miss a chance to catch New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer at Red Bull Arena. For a super-sized cinema experience, check out Shaquille O’Neal’s CityPlex12, where you can experience flicks in “Shaq DX.”

 

Shopping and Dining

Start your foodie exploration of Newark in the Ironbound district, which is renowned for its Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian fare. Elsewhere in the city, favorite eateries include Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a nationally acclaimed barbecue joint, and Diamondz-N-Da Ruff Café & Lounge, a tiny restaurant owned by Jay Z’s mother, Gloria Carter. Sample everything from cupcakes to Cambodian food at Washington Park in summer – that’s where food trucks congregate. Shopaholics seeking bargains can splurge without guilt at The Mills at Jersey Gardens, New Jersey’s largest premium outlet mall with more than 200 stores, and no tax on clothing or shoes. Another fun shopping area is Halsey Street, Newark’s “stroll district,” where visitors will find a multitude of trendy boutiques, gift shops and shoe stores.

Fun Fact

Samuel Augustus Ward, son of Newark, composed America The Beautiful
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Newark-born Samuel Augustus Ward, composer of America The Beautiful, wrote the song’s melody on his way home from a trip to Coney Island amusement park.

The legendary aviator dedicated the country’s first commercial airline terminal here
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Opened in 1928, Newark Liberty International Airport is the nation’s oldest airfield, and its first commercial airline terminal was dedicated by Amelia Earhart in 1935.

Newark is the birthplace of M&M’s
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Everybody’s favorite candy, M&M’s, was created here in 1940 after Forrest E. Mars saw soldiers eating hard-shelled chocolate pellets during the Spanish Civil War.

The Newark skyline at sunrise
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