We all know that Montclair is full of delicious and highly rated bars, restaurants, and lounges. But for those looking to start the new year on a dry note, there are plenty of fun activities to do that do not involve drinking. From an entertainment experience to enjoying the outdoors, or making candles and perfume, there are so many to choose from. We decided to compile a comprehensive list of things to do locally sans alcohol. Read on to see the activities we have chosen for the best-non drinking experiences in the area.
Candle and Fragrance Making at Alchemy Scent Bar | 30 Church Street
(Photo credit: @alchemy.scentbar)
Recently opened in 2021, Alchemy Scent Bar is a one-of-a-kind retail experience specializing in candles, perfume, and other body products. Round up your friends and belly up to the fragrance bar where the helpful team will help you customize fragrances using essential oils, create names and labels for your scent, and end up with an item that is truly personal.
Take a Hike at Eagle Rock Reservation | Eagle Rock Ave and Prospect Avenue
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There’s something for everyone at Eagle Rock Reservation, with hiking trails and footpaths for explorers of all ages and skill levels. This 400+ acre park along the Watchung Mountains ridgeline is located between West Orange, Montclair, and Verona. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
Take a Workshop at SevenSouth Studio + Market | 7 South Fullerton Avenue
(Photo credit: @sevensouthstudiomarket)
SevenSouth Studio + Market offers a rotating calendar of workshops and events hosted by local artists and brands. With workshops and classes ranging from an introduction to crystals to wreath-making with a local florist and sensory play for children with Bloom Childcare + Coworking, there’s always something new to check out. . Follow along on the space’s Instagram for the latest events.
Axe Throwing at Bury The Hatchet | 672 Bloomfield Avenue
(Photo credit: @burythehatchetmain)
Looking to relieve some stress or just want to experience the thrill of throwing a 1.5 piece of whirling wood? Try your hand at axe throwing at Bury The Hatchet in Bloomfield. This is a great activity for team building, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties where you and your friends can spend two hours throwing axes in a safe and fun environment.
See a Concert or Comedy Show at The Wellmont Theater | 5 Seymour Street
(Photo credit: @thewellmonttheater)
Montclair residents and visitors are beyond lucky to have a theater and concert venue offering up some of the world’s best musical and comedy acts to perform right here in town. The Wellmont has comedians Chelsea Handler, Whitney Cummings, George Lopez, and Patton Oswalt lined up for 2022 as well as some great musical performances. Grab dinner at one of the many local restaurants within walking distance to round out the experience.
Take An Art Class at One River School of Art & Design | 6 Seymour Street
(Photo credit: @oneriverschool)
Artists of all abilities can explore their creative sides through an introductory class or develop already established skills at One River School of Art & Design. The school is focused on a “new direction in art education,” is tucked away on Bloomfield Avenue in the up-and-coming Arts and Entertainment District. The school offers innovative art and digital classes available both in-person and online for students of all ages. Classes range from drawing, painting, and animation, to portfolio development and introductions to Photoshop so there is bound to be a class suited for you.
Explore Van Vleck House and Gardens | 21 Van Vleck Street
(Photo credit: @vanvleckhouseandgardens)
Once a private estate, this 20th century home is now open to the public and hosts numerous community events throughout the year. Visitors can explore the grounds, or check out the events calendar to partake in meditation and yoga classes, educational seminars about the gardens, concert series, plant sales, and more. The private gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk [unless there is a private event] and offer a magical escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
See a Movie at The Clairidge | 486 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair’s historic Clairidge Theater, which originally opened in 1922, has recently reopened its doors is ready to invite the community in to view one of its many feature films. The Clairidge is a six-screen, non-profit cinema open seven days a week. MG Pro-Tip: don’t miss grabbing a sweet treat from Jayce Baudry French Pastry, Montclair’s newest bakery tucked inside the theater.
Presby Iris Gardens | 474 Upper Mountain Avenue
(Photo credit: @presbyirisgardens)
Come springtime, the Presby Iris Gardens are the place to visit. The iris gardens contain over 10,000 irises of approximately 1,500 varieties and produce over 100,000 blooms over the course of the season, which look as incredible as it sounds. Visitors will see artists and painters setting up to capture the beauty of the gardens during the height of the season. Bring a blanket, a chair and pack a picnic and enjoy all the gardens have to offer. MG Pro-Tip: don’t miss out on the annual plant sales where you can get great deals on some of these gorgeous blooms.
Explore All That Montclair Art Museum Has to Offer| 3 S. Mountain Road
Visitors can surround themselves with rich history and culture in the center of downtown Montclair at The Montclair Art Museum. Originally opened in 1914, this was the first museum to focus primarily on collecting American and Native American art in the country. The museum has continued to collect and preserve this artwork and visitors can now find over 12,000 works of art in the form of sculpture, works on paper, artifacts, ceramics, and more. MAM also has virtual offerings for the community including virtual tours, view works in the galleries, and learn more about the history behind the pieces. Head to the exhibitions page on the website to see the new and upcoming exhibitions.
Wander Around Kip’s Castle Park | 22 Crestmont Road
One of New Jersey’s best-kept secrets is right here in Essex County: a 9,000 square foot mansion designed to replicate a medieval Norman castle and grounds. Originally a private residence, built between 1902 and 1905, Kip’s Castle is now part of the Essex County Park System. Kip’s Castle Park spans eleven acres of land resting in both Montclair and Verona townships and provides spectacular views of New York City. Don’t forget to bring your camera to snap photos of this gorgeous property. Self-guided tours of the mansion are open Tuesday–Friday from 12PM-3PM during the months of May through October.