What to Do on a Layover in Newark

Photo of Katherine Oakes
31 January 2018

A city on the brink of a huge revival, Newark, New Jersey is home to more than just its international airport. If you happen to find yourself on a layover here, you’ll be glad to know there’s more to do beyond airport kiosks and overpriced sandwiches. A quick trip outside Newark International will fill your time with culture, entertainment and world-class food all before your plane leaves the tarmac.

Dino BBQ

If you have three hours…

If you’re stuck with a three-hour layover, hop in a cab or an Uber and take a quick ten-minute drive from the airport to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. This fun and relaxed joint serves up plates of their famous Southern-style BBQ as noted by names such as Good Morning America, who called their fare the country’s number one BBQ. Located just outside of The Prudential Center, you have plenty of time to stop in for a bite and head back to to the airport without feeling strapped for time. Since this cuisine is all about slowing down and savoring every bite, indulge in a few shared plates like the Dino Poutine and Fried Green Tomatoes (fingers crossed they aren’t sold out!) and a New Jersey craft beer on tap to sample the local flavors.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 224 Market Street Newark, NJ, USA + 862 214 6100

Newark Museum

If you have five hours…

For all the history buffs and curious minds, a five-hour layover is the perfect excuse to check out the Newark Museum. A brief 15-minute drive will take you to New Jersey’s largest museum located in the heart of the city’s University Heights neighborhood. In addition to its normal gallery tours and rotating cast of featured exhibitions, the Newark Museum also has an interactive planetarium that costs only $6 for adults and $4 for children. If you happen to find yourself with some extra time and the weather is nice, walk around the museum grounds to stretch your legs before getting back on the plane.

Newark Museum 49 Washington Street Newark, NJ, USA + 973 596 6550


If you have seven hours…

Believe it or not, New Jersey’s only professional sports team plays in Newark. So for a true Jersey experience you can’t do better than seeing a New Jersey Devils hockey game at The Prudential Center. With a famous roster of Stanley Cup champs like Martin Brodeur and Adam Henrique, plus a fresh batch of promising rookies, you’re guaranteed to catch an exciting game. Luckily, The Prudential Center is only a ten-minute drive from the airport with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que located conveniently next door.

The Prudential Center 25 Lafayette Street Newark, NJ, USA +973 757 6600


If you have twelve hours…

How about dinner and a show? Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson recently opened a much anticipated restaurant, Marcus B&P, on Newark’s Halsey Street. Only ten short minutes and you can stop here first to grab a bite of his award-winning food in a hip and relaxed atmosphere. After dinner, walk a few blocks over to New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and catch a show. Whether it’s comedy, music or conversations, NJPAC offers performances on par with any New York venue.

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