If you have fallen victim to the inevitability of being left working in the city while your friends take vacations or go down the shore for the weekends, then we are here to help! Being on your own should not prevent you from enjoying summertime in this wonderful and vibrant city! Here are some of the best ways to get the most out of your summer spent with the best company you could ask for…yourself!
Groove on Grove
It's Wednesday night and you need a little something to look forward to to get you through the rest of the week, so why not head over to catch some live music that also allows you to enjoy the beautiful summer weather? Groove on Grove is the perfect way to spend your solo evening; you can browse through the vendors at your own leisure, grab an empanada, and people watch to your heart's content! Seriously, what's better than getting to watch people unabashedly dance right next to the place where you solemnly take the train every morning?
Take An Evening Stroll Along the Waterfront
Take a walk along the boardwalk and channel your inner photographer, avoiding the hustle and bustle of car traffic as you follow the Hudson waterfront! You can grab a bite at one of the many food trucks, catch up on some archived podcasts you've been saving, or if you're lucky there will be some live music at J. Owen Grundy Park. And you get to stay connected with your friends and family when you post your transcendent views of the NYC skyline!
Thrift shopping is a perfect way to spend a Solo Sunday, and Jersey City has so many fantastic spots with great deals. The ultimate 'Tour de Thrift Stores' should include: G-MA'S Thrift Shop, located at 118 Mallory Ave; Ed's Exchange, located at 672 Bergen Ave; Another Man's Treasure, located at 195 Montgomery Street; Thriftique Warehouse, located at 40 Carbon Place; Tah Vintage, located at 9 Erie St; and Mint Market, located at 339 Grove Street. The best part of this solo activity is that you don't have to adhere to the 'I saw it first' rule that has ruined many a friendship in the game of thrift shopping!
Read a Book at Word Café and Bookstore
There's nothing like enjoying a cappuccino and reading a good book–this is Word's specialty. You can easily waste away a Saturday afternoon getting lost in a new bestseller, and the staff is always happy to help find the perfect book. They also have a number of book clubs that meet once a month on various days if you're looking to include some human interaction in your solo time!
Sample Award-Winning Beer at Departed Soles Brewery
It's not considered drinking alone if it's educational! The knowledgeable staff and brewers at Departed Soles are always happy to talk about all things beer-related and help you find a brew that suits your taste! Their casual vibe filled with board games and cards is the perfect place to enjoy a flight while playing some solitaire, or join in on a game of giant Connect 4! They even offer brewery tours and a Wednesday Night Yoga class (make sure to RSVP ahead of time)! 150 Bay St.
Attend A Yoga Class
There's nothing like some meditative yoga to really focus on connecting with yourself and enjoying your solitude. Jivamukti Yoga is a great place to take a class, located right in the heart of the Historic Downtown, offering a variety of classes and times for every level and schedule. 171 Newark Ave.
Join A Running Group
Running is the perfect solo sport and a great way to connect with your city, and now you can have some company while you do it! Whether it's to try out a new route to change up your old routine or meet likeminded individuals who will help you push yourself to reach your fitness goals, joining a running group is the perfect activity to include in your solo schedule. You can find a bunch of options here that you can fit into your schedule!
Try out one of the many nail and hair salons in the city, or that blow-out bar you pass by every day on your way to the train! Treating yourself to a little pampering is a great way to unwind and enjoy your me-time, while also supporting local businesses! There are so many to choose from in the city: there's Blow-Out Hair Bar & Beauty Lounge at 127 Christopher Columbus Dr., Shampoo JC at 107 Christopher Columbus Dr., Aire Salon at 287 Grand St., Polish Me Nails & Spa at 208 Washington St., and so many more to suit your desires and to make sure you treat yourself while staying within your budget!
Luna de Papel is a local organization that offers crafting workshops with special BYOB Cr'After Hours classes just for adults on certain evenings from 7pm-9pm. The classes vary by session and have recently included terrarium building, jewelry box designing, and tons of other DIY crafts! This is the perfect way to tap into your creative side and maybe even learn a new skill while enjoying your own company! To see their schedule and to purchase a ticket visit their site here. 321 Communipaw Ave.
Be A Tourist
Whether you are new to the city or have lived here your whole life, it is always good to have an excuse to visit the tourist destinations right at home, and hopefully learn something new about the city's history! Going solo is the best way to enjoy these places at your own pace and shamelessly take as many photos as you want (and maybe even break out that selfie stick)! Some of the best opportunities include catching the ferry at Liberty State Park to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, spending the day at Liberty Science Center (bonus: on a hot day this is the perfect way to get you're A/C fix!), located at 222 Jersey City Boulevard, or wandering through The Museum of Russian Art, located at 80 Grand Street.
Explore the Parks of Jersey City
Take a book, music, or podcast with you and find some peace of mind in one of Jersey City's many beautiful parks. There are so many to choose from, including Hamilton Park, Van Vorst Park (which is conveniently located beside a public library in case you need a break from the heat), Lincoln Park, Newport Green Park, Washington Park, Morris Canal Park, and Riverview-Fisk Park. Many of these parks have events too, like Movies in the Park at both Hamilton Park and Van Vorst Park.
Get Involved in the Community
There are so many opportunities to volunteer in Jersey City, and this is a nice way to meet some new people who are also stuck in the city for the summer! The Liberty Humane Society, located at 235 Jersey City Blvd, is always looking for volunteers and you can spend time with some adorable animals and fellow animal lovers! The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery is another organization that has volunteer opportunities allowing you to get involved, learn some history, and possibly even spend some time outdoors assisting with the maintenance of this local treasure! To find more inspiration for volunteering opportunities that fit your interests you can visit the Jersey City volunteer database here.
Catch A Show
You don't need to go all the way to Manhattan to indulge in some live music! At a concert you'll be in a crowd, so no one will know you're there alone, and there's no need to be ashamed of your unique dance moves while singing along to your heart's content! You might even meet some new friends who share your taste in music! There are always fantastic concerts going on at White Eagle Hall, located at 337 Newark Ave, at Monty Hall, located at 43 Montgomery St, or at the historic Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre, located at 54 Journal Square Plaza.
A Night Out at the Movies
Whether it's catching the newest superhero release or shamelessly crying your eyes out at a rom-com while stuffing your face with popcorn, treating yourself to a night out at the movies is never a bad idea! The best local place for movies is the very accessible AMC in the Newport Center. You can even do some shopping while you're there! 30-300 Mall Dr. West
Festivals and Markets
Pretty much anything outdoors is a good choice when riding solo. You don't have to do the awkward entrance into a restaurant or bar where you feign to look for your friends and then continue to pretend that you are waiting for someone the entire time you're there…or maybe that's just me. There are a lot of great food and music festivals and outdoor markets this summer. The Famous Food Market is open every weekend from 2pm-7pm on the waterfront beside Lutze Biergarten, so you can enjoy some delicious food and grab a beer while you're there! There are also weekly Farmers Markets at Hamilton Park on Wednesdays from 3pm until 7:30pm, and at the Grove PATH Plaza every Monday and Thursday from 4pm-8pm.
Written by Claire Layton
Claire is a quintessential Canadian girl looking forward to exploring JC one craft beer at a time! She is a graduate student of anthropology, spending all of her free time either at the gym, frequenting comedy bars, or scouring the city for free concerts.