With summer at our doorstep, there is no better time to enjoy eating outside with family and friends. One of the best ways to enjoy food outdoors while sticking to a budget is to go on a picnic. Whether you’re looking for a park with a playground for the kids or a place to enjoy some quiet time in nature, this list is a round-up of some of the best locations to pack a lunch and sit outside for a picnic in the Montclair area — all you’ll need to bring is the picnic basket, food, and blanket. Read on for a list of picnic destinations in Essex County for your next alfresco adventure.
The park is a 32.70-acre wooded landscape and is located along the Second River, which was once a part of the Morris Canal. This park makes for a lovely picnic location with some of Branch Brook Park’s Cherry Blossom trees overflowing into this park.
Bloomfield’s Brookdale Park has a variety of walking paths and picnic areas. There are playgrounds, sports fields, track facilities, tennis courts, and an archery range. There is a rose garden and pollination garden for those who enjoy a walk through the flowers. And a dog park for man’s best friend.
Read More: Outdoor Spring Escapes in Essex County
Grover Cleveland Park in Caldwell is a great spot for a family picnic. The park offers well-spaced picnic tables and grills for the public to use. It has a large playground with closeby tables and benches so parents can sit and relax while the kids play. There is a small lake that is open to fishing in the warm months and ice skating in the cold months. There are tennis courts and a baseball field, as well as a paved running path on the outside of the park.
South Mountain Reservation has a variety of parking lots around the property and picnic areas near the playground and the lake. Take a walk around the 1.7-mile loop around the lake or take a walk over to the Turtle Back Zoo to visit the animals. This West Orange destination has a dog park, too, so there’s something for everyone in your group to enjoy.
Edgemont Memorial Park is great if you want to spread out a picnic blanket on the ground and enjoy the views. This park features a fenced playground for the kids, a pond with a fountain where you can fish or feed the ducks, and a paved running and biking trail. In addition to that are a baseball field and softball field with open green space to run around in.
This 20-acre park is a great neighborhood location, and many families from surrounding neighborhoods visit to simply walk to this gem. This park has a designated picnic area along with a large shaded playground, water fountains, restrooms, a basketball court, and baseball fields.
This expansive park is a great place for a picnic, with tables placed throughout the park. You can spend the day strolling the paved paths. Enjoy the view of the open spaces and the lake. This park is especially beautiful during the spring when the cherry blossoms start to bloom. The park also has a baseball field, soccer field, tennis courts, and a dog park.
This park is home to the largest lake in Essex County and is full of space for a variety of activities. There are playgrounds, a jogging trail, an 80-acre lake, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball fields, softball fields, and picnic areas. The park hosts a variety of outdoor concerts and festivals. The park also contains the first public golf course in New Jersey, expanded to 18-holes in 1969.
This park is a hidden oasis in Nutley. With a beautiful waterfall and views of the historic Kingsland Manor, this park is sure to please any nature or history lover. This park has a designated picnic area with tables, and you can reserve the space for large parties through the township. The historic home is open on the third Sunday of each month from 1-4PM for tours.
Eagle Rock Reservation has 408 acres of wooded land, with multiple hiking and walking paths, and is a great place to spend the day. After spending the morning hiking you can have a picnic on one of the many picnic tables within the park, or at the park’s gazebo. There are multiple entrances into the park and all parking is free.
Verona Park, just off Bloomfield Avenue, is a great picnic location. With picturesque views of the lake, you can sit at a table or a bench and enjoy watching the paddle boats in the water. There are numerous connecting walking paths and a playground for the kids.