Part of the Essex County Park System, Verona Park offers a little something for everyone.
There’s a 1.2 mile paved loop surrounded by weeping willows (this will be especially beautiful in April), a lake with seasonal paddle boating and fishing, a boathouse restaurant, a softball field and bocce courts, a children’s garden, and plenty of grass for shaded picnics. There’s also an epic playground complete with tandem swings and hillside climbing that earns my vote for best playground in NJ.
We love scooting and strolling around the lake and taking plenty of pit stops to enjoy the view and say hi to the ducks.
Fun fact from their Facebook page: “The Essex County Park System holds a special place in American history as the first county park system established in the US.”
Geese flock here for snack breaks, too. Pro tip: Counting them aloud is fun number practice for littles. We lost count at 50 on our last visit!
Lakeside picnic, anyone? We discovered the cutest avocado-themed restaurant called The Guac Spot just 3 minutes away from the park, and picked up food to go. Lime shrimp tacos with avocado crema for mama, quesadillas for the littles, and the most delicious hot chocolate churros for our Friday afternoon treat. Creative menu, friendly staff, and curbside pick-up, I really can’t say enough good things about this family-owned small business.
The Park Mama Tips:
- The playground is popular. Plan an off-peak visit to avoid crowds.
- There’s a large parking lot and street parking is also free and easy.
- The grassy area gets really muddy after rainfall. Visit on a sunnier day for a better picnic experience.
For more info: