· ·

Best 16 things to do in Southern New Jersey from a local (updated 2024)

Looking for fun things to do in Cherry Hill and South Jersey? Visit these top destinations and historical sites (with some FAQs)!

Top places to visit in Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, and Collingswood, NJ (near Philadelphia)

As a South Jersey local and area expert, I have visited all of these locations multiple times throughout the year. I was also born and raised in Philadelphia, so I spent many years driving over the bridge to South Jersey for shopping. Often, I wondered what else I could do or visit while I was in the area (after shopping, of course)!

Are you looking for fun, cool and interesting things to do in Southern New Jersey? Read my ultimate list!

If you live in Philadelphia, you may have visited Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, or Collingswood, New Jersey for shopping or dining (just like me)! This part of South Jersey is called Camden County — and is only a few miles from Philly.

This area has an abundance of interesting, independently-owned stores, great, under-the-radar parks, and a multitude of larger malls and shopping centers. It’s filled with fun things to see and do — for adults as well as well as kids!

If you want to explore the area, there are many worthwhile places to visit in South Jersey — and this post is specifically for activities for adults in Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Collingswood, and nearby. These towns are located just across the Delaware River (via the Ben Franklin Bridge) and are less than a 10-minute drive from the main shopping centers in Cherry Hill. And yes, this includes Garden State Shopping Center on Route 70 (that’s the large shopping center where Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Home Goods (and many other stores) are located! Note: Route 70 has a lot of construction going on these days.

You can easily visit these fun and cool places in Southern New Jersey (near Philadelphia). It’s definitely worth it to stop by these destinations and check them out.

Here’s the best things to do in and around Cherry Hill, New Jersey

(And if you’re a Bruce Springsteen fan, scroll down to number 11)!

16 fun things to do in South Jersey (Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, and Collingswood areas) + a bonus beach destination!

There’s more to South Jersey than meets the eye! Once you discover all these lovely spots in the area, you’ll want to explore even more fun places. And these are all located in and around the Cherry Hill area, so all of these destinations are within a short drive within Camden County.

1. Visit the town of Haddonfield, NJ

The town of Haddonfield is historic, charming, and walkable and a short drive from the massive Garden State Park Shopping Center on Route 70 in Cherry Hill. Haddonfield is quaint, picturesque, and home to many independently-owned cool boutiques, cafes, and an array of restaurants. 

“Low Poly Open Heart” sculpture by M.L. Duffy in Haddonfield, NJ. (Photo by Marla Cimini).

As you walk (or drive) along Kings Highway, the area’s main street, you will see plenty of activity – lots of pedestrians and fun shops of all kinds — including clothing boutiques, bookshops, art galleries, coffees shops, tea and spice shops, upscale consignment and thrift shops — and home design stores. There’re also cafes, restaurants, and the award-winning Kings Road brewery.

A few of my many favorite spots in Haddonfield: an independent bookstore, Inkwood Books; a fantastic hand-crafted chocolatier, Mecha Chocolate, a great Mexican restaurant, Canela Mexica Cafe and an awesome Mediterranean restaurant, called Zaffron Mediterranean Cuisine.

During the year, Haddonfield hosts many events, street fairs, and markets, so if you go, and you want to attend (or avoid) these events, If you like farmer’s markets, check out Haddonfield farmer’s market. Don’t forget….Most other small towns have farmer’s markets, too, such as Westmont and Collingswood (dates vary).

Dates to know for Haddonfield in 2024: Their annual “Skirmish” happens on Kings Highway in early June. It’s a Revolutionary War reenactment of when the troops met in this very spot! Get there early, because it’s a popular event! More details are here. Another big event in Haddonfield is the Craft and Fine Art Festival (usually in early July).

2. See the famous dinosaur statue in Haddonfield, NJ

The bronze dinosaur statue located in the center of Haddonfield, NJ with a shop and trees behind it.
Dinosaur statue in Haddonfield, NJ

Haddonfield is a quaint small town that’s filled with surprises! In fact, there’s a dinosaur statue in the middle of town because it was the first place in the world where a dinosaur skeleton was discovered in the 1800s. (Trivia: Steven Spielberg’s boyhood home was nearby — and he has revealed that this inspired those award-winning Jurassic Park films). You can see a dedication to him in front of the Westmont Theater — on Haddon Avenue!

The dinosaur statue is in the middle of everything, so you won’t miss it if you’re just strolling around. This is an especially delightful activity if you have kids, or if you’re a dinosaur enthusiast! Created by sculptor John Giannotti, this statue of Hadrosaurus is eight feet tall and eighteen feet in length.

Parking hint for Haddonfield: If you can’t find a metered parking spot along Kings Highway, don’t worry….there are several BIG parking lots behind the stores — and there are tons of parking spots at the Haddonfield PATCO train station at the south end of Kings Highway. Again, these are all metered spots. Note: Finding handicapped parking spots marked for disabled persons on the street can be challenging, and you’ll definitely find more options in the parking lots.

3. Visit a brewery in Haddonfield, NJ

Although Haddonfield is considered a “dry town,” you will find a brewery here! This means you won’t find any stores that sell alcohol, but you can enjoy a few pints at the local brewery, Kings Road Brewing Company It’s a cool, corner spot with plenty of seating — both at the bar and at tables. In warmer months, there’s an outdoor patio in the front and in the back of this brewery.

The brewery opened in 2017 and attracts a loyal crowd, as they offer handcrafted beer and seasonal releases all year long. The beer menu is extensive so you can order a flight and taste a variety of brews. It’s usually a lively and fun crowd, so you’ll definitely enjoy the ambiance if you stop by.

Note: Breweries in NJ are not allowed to sell food, so you will need to pick up a snack at a local place (and there are plenty nearby).

4. Check out the cool town of Collingswood, NJ

The town of Collingswood is not far from Haddonfield. In fact, it’s just a short drive down Haddon Avenue. This is also a historic town, and in recent years has become a cool destination within the suburbs, as it’s walkable and vibrant. There are many new apartments in this area, as well as lots of stores, cafes, boutiques, and restaurants along Haddon Avenue. 

You can easily spend several leisurely hours strolling around Collingswood, as there’s a lot to explore, with many shops and businesses in this town. If you’re planning to come here for dinner, it’s best to make a reservation in advance.

5. Sip some delicious Greek coffee in Collingswood, NJ

Along Collingswood’s Haddon Avenue, there’s a wide array of local, family-run businesses. I personally love the ambiance at Koupa Espresso Bar for a coffee (technically located in Haddon Township). This friendly coffee shop offers plenty of Greek pastries (they even make authentic Greek coffee!) It’s an ideal place to meet a friend or bring your laptop and hang out for a bit. Afterward, if you’re in the mood to shop for some food items, Haddon Culinary Gourmet market always has some freshly made specialties. 

Koupa Espresso Bar in Haddon Township in South Jersey (Photo by Marla Cimini).

It’s a fun place to explore, especially when the weather is nice — and you’re sure to discover some interesting finds along the way. If you wish to check out the restaurant scene, it’s best to make a reservation at the more popular spots, especially on the weekend. 

Parking note for Collingswood: Parking is tough here! If you find a parking spot on the street, you need to pay at the kiosk. Try to park at the Collingswood PATCO station and walk a block to the center of town. 

For more information, visit the Collingswood website.

6. Explore Cooper River Park in Cherry Hill

Cooper River Park in Cherry Hill with blue skies. A family of ducks are in the foreground atop green grass.
Cooper River Park view in Cherry Hill, NJ

Cooper River Park is a lovely place to walk (or run), enjoy nature, explore, go for a bike ride, paddleboard — or admire the lovely scenery. 

Cooper River Park is a large, 700-acre park located in two townships — Cherry Hill on one side and Pennsauken on the other. It features a paved pathway that’s nearly 5 miles around — and it’s picturesque, with river views and several lookout points, seating, and picnic areas. You’ll also find a large playground, a running track, a few lookout points with seating — and a number of interesting monuments along the way. You can also go boating and fishing here.

On weekends, it’s a busy place and it’s usually very lively during the summer months. It’s a popular spot for rowing events, 5k run / walks, and live music. During the warmer months, there’s canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and fishing, and you can also take sailing lessons here.

Tip for Philly visitors: The Philadelphia skyline is visible from the eastern side of the lake, and the best views are at sunrise and sunset. (And yes, there’s a parking lot there!)

7. Enjoy lunch or dinner with a great view of the Cooper River

At Cooper River Park, there’s a cool, casual restaurant, La Scalas Birra, situated on the lake that features great food, an outdoor patio, and pretty views. Check it out for pizza, salads, and other tasty Italian specialties. We love to go in the warmer months, as you can sit out on one of their decks and admire the views, and it’s especially pretty at sunset.

The good news is that this restaurant has a large parking lot, too!

Additional Parking note for Cooper River Park: There is a lot of parking around here — several lots are around the park. However, if there is a big event going on, parking may be a bit more difficult. 

Cooper River Park in Cherry Hill is a fun place to visit in New Jersey. (Photo by Marla Cimini).

8. Visit Croft Farm in Cherry Hill (home to some fun hiking trails)

Gazebo Challenge Grove Park (adjacent to Croft Farm)

Decades ago, Cherry Hill was mostly farmland. There are a number of small parks around Cherry Hill, and most have paved pathways (almost every small town in this area has one). Croft Farm in Cherry Hill is a great place to visit and a historic landmark. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, as it was formerly a mill and farm, as well as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Today, it’s an arts center and features wooded walking trails, a paved walking path, a new dog park, separated into areas for large and small dogs, and (newer) restrooms, too. There are several flat (very easy) wooded hiking trails that surround the property. They are marked and relatively easy, but it’s definitely a wooded area that can feel remote when the leaves are on the trees — so be aware!

Croft Farm hosts events throughout the year as well, such as their Christmas tree lighting, eco-friendly events and more. Usually, there’s plenty of parking throughout this property!

Steps away from Croft Farm, you’ll see Challenge Grove Park, which is adjacent to the farm, with an awesome and very popular playground (Jake’s Place), as well as flat (very easy) paved walking path. On summer weekends, the playground tends to get busy, as there’s also a shaded picnic pavilion here, too.

9. Go to Wegmans supermarket (especially if you haven’t been here!)

If you don’t live near a Wegmans supermarket, this is your chance to check out the most popular market in Cherry Hill! Wegmans is an elevated shopping / supermarket experience located on Route 70 in Cherry Hill. It has something for everyone, and always has a massive selection of fresh produce, seafood, baked goods and more. (And if you’re hungry, you can purchase a multitude of prepared foods and eat your meal in the cafe area.)

To purchase alcohol, you’ll need to go across the parking lot. Wegmans has a separate liquor store in a stand-alone building facing the supermarket.

Hint: Wegmans is very popular on weekends, so be prepared for crowds. But the parking lot is huge — and you’ll always find a spot!

10. Dine at the Pub — the most retro restaurant around!

The Pub restaurant’s interior in Pennsauken, NJ

Are you seeking a classic, Old-School type of restaurant? This is it! So many of us who live in Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia have grown up going to The Pub in Pennsauken for dinner — especially for special occasions. If you’re interested in taking a step back in time and if you love charcoal-fired meats, chicken, and classic seafood dishes, check out The Pub. (And for fans of salad bars, you’ll become an instant loyalist, as this salad bar has everything!) Meat lovers keep coming back for the steaks, and we love the crabcake dish — it’s one of our personal faves!

The Pub always feels festive, in a retro, fun ski-lodge kind of way. In addition to the great food, The Pub has an awesome bar with a robust selection of budget-friendly cocktails.

11. See where Bruce Springsteen was photographed in Haddonfield, NJ

The vintage Bruce Springsteen sign in Cherry Hill’s bowling ally

Are you a Bruce Springsteen fan? You can visit several important sights in E Street history in Southern New Jersey. In the late 1970s, Bruce Springsteen drove down the New Jersey Turnpike to the quaint, quiet town on Haddonfield from his home in North Jersey. Why? For a photo shoot by photographer Frank Stefanko, who lived in town. His resulting photos became super-famous — and very recognizable as the cover of Springsteen’s 1978 album, Darkness of the Edge of Town (featuring Bruce in front of flowered wallpaper). A number of his photos also appeared on his 1980 double album, The River, including the cover photo!

The indoor photos of Bruce were all taken inside Stefanko’s Haddonfield house. If you walk (or drive) down Kings Highway, you’ll see two memorable spots where Bruce posed outdoors: in front of the historic Indian King Tavern located at 233 Kings Highway East (now a historical site and museum); and leaning against a barber pole at Franks’ barber shop, which is now closed permanently. There are also a few shots of him leaning against his Chevrolet Corvette, the vehicle that he drove there!

But that’s not all! Back on Kings Highway (Route 41) in Cherry Hill, NJ, you’ll find a massive bowling alley (with billiards and arcade games). Bruce Springsteen fans get an extra treat! This bowling alley was formerly called Uncle Al’s Erlton Theater Lounge — and Bruce and his band played a gig here on a memorable night in 1973. I’m told it was a rainy night and there were only about ten people in the audience.

Bonus points: You can see the original sign (pictured here above) hanging “somewhere” inside (and notice the misspelling in Bruce’s last name).

Today, Bruce Springsteen is 73 years old and still touring the world with the legendary E Street Band! In fact, he’s scheduled to play several dates in Philadelphia and New Jersey in 2023! (Hint: He often releases tickets at the last minute)!

12. Drive under a covered bridge in Cherry Hill, NJ

The Scarborough Covered Bridge in Cherry Hill, NJ. This brown, wooden bridge is pictured with blue skies behind it.
Cherry Hill’s covered bridge

Take a pleasant drive down Covered Bridge road in Cherry Hill and you’ll soon be winding your way under the famous Scarborough Bridge (AKA “Kissing Bridge”) one of two remaining covered bridges in New Jersey. This wooden bridge is considered a neighborhood landmark and has an exciting history, as it was created by Robert Scarborough, who developed the surrounding community (Barclay Farm) from farmland in the 1950s. The bridge was built by New Jersey architect Malcolm Wells.

This covered bridge is called the “Kissing Bridge” as it was dedicated on Valentine’s Day in 1959. Exactly 101 local couples joined in the dedication with a big smooch. If you want to spend a little time experiencing this two-lane covered bridge, you can park close by (on a side street, please), walk over the bridge, and admire the architecture and rustic scenery, including the creek (from the North Branch of the Cooper River) that runs beneath it.

How to find the covered bridge: It’s located in the center of Cherry Hill. Covered Bridge road runs between Route 70 and Kresson roads, and takes you through the Barclay Farm development.

13. Visit a hidden brewery in Cherry Hill, NJ

Beer enthusiasts love discovering new places, and Mechanical Brewery in Cherry Hill is one of those under-the-radar spots. You won’t find this on a main road, as it’s a bit off-the-beaten-path, but once you find it, you’ll be impressed with the beer selection, the fun ambiance, and the friendly staff. Even if you don’t have time to for a beer, you can purchase some unique cans or growlers to take home with you and sip later!

14. Tour the Battleship New Jersey

The Battleship New Jersey (USS New Jersey) is located in Camden on the waterfront, just across the river from Philadelphia. The Battleship New Jersey (USS New Jersey) is the most decorated ship in the United States and a national treasure. This ship has received honors for participating in several wars across the world — from 1938 until 1991.

The ship was decommissioned in 1991 and today its permanent home is Camden, NJ. The ship is now a fascinating history museum with a past that’s worth celebrating. There are a number of tours available throughout the year, some specific for adults and/or kids. Visitors may need to plan in advance, but it’s well worth touring this incredible floating historical landmark. More information about the Battleship NJ (and how to visit) can be found here.

15. Visit the Haddonfield Sculpture Zoo (for Children or adults seeing a quiet park)

A view of a bronze giraffe in the Haddonfield Sculpture Zoo in New Jersey. Blue skies beyond.
Bronze giraffe at the Haddonfield Children’s Zoo

If you have young children (or if you would like to sit and relax in a small neighborhood park), visit the Haddonfield Sculpture Zoo. Established by the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust, this company park features bronze animal sculptures from a number of artists around the world. You’ll see a giraffe, a seal, an elephant, a toad, and more. There are plenty of benches for seating and trees for shade, and it’s a fun little spot for kids to run around and explore!

16. Take a road trip to Cape May, NJ (Bonus activity!)

Cape May, NJ with jetty on the ocean.
Jetty on the ocean in Cape May, NJ

If you have more time or you’re seeking a fun day trip from Cherry Hill, keep driving down Route 70 to several NJ beaches, including Long Beach Island. Or take a ride down the Atlantic City Expressway to visit Ocean City, Ventnor City Beach — or even Cape May, which is located at the Southern-most point in New Jersey. Most shore points are about an hour’s drive from Cherry Hill area. Although Cape May is farthest away, it’s still perfectly doable for a day trip — unless it’s a holiday weekend, of course.

Cape May is considered one of the loveliest and most unique beach towns in New Jersey. It features a multitude of historic bed and breakfasts and inns, a quiet boardwalk, and some highly-rated restaurants. Often referred to as “quaint,” it certainly has a different vibe from most of the other Jersey shore towns.

Cape May, New Jersey, is an enchanting, affluent destination that seamlessly blends a warm, friendly atmosphere with a rich historical heritage. Exploring Cape May offers a delightful experience for both tourists and professionals seeking respite from the bustle of everyday life.

The town’s distinct charm lies in the preservation of its 19th-century architecture, evident in the many impeccably-restored Victorian houses and buildings. Strolling through the streets feels like stepping back in time, offering a backdrop for leisurely walks and insightful history lessons.

Beyond its historic allure, Cape May boasts stunning beaches that cater to both relaxation and recreation. The soft sands and gentle waves invite visitors to unwind and soak up the sun, while the more adventurous can enjoy water activities — like surfing, paddleboarding or kayaking. There are plenty of places to grab a quick snack on the busier end of the boardwalk (or just across the street from the boardwalk).

Cape May beaches also feature air-conditioned restrooms along the boardwalk at various destinations! If you’re looking for food or facilities, head to the busier part of town.

For those seeking a dose of culture, Cape May’s arts and entertainment scene shines brightly. From art galleries showcasing local talent to engaging theatrical performances, there’s no shortage of artistic inspiration to be found here.

Additionally, Cape May’s reputation for warm hospitality extends to its dining establishments, offering delectable local cuisine and fresh seafood. Whether indulging in a beachside seafood shack or an elegant fine dining restaurant, the culinary experiences are bound to leave a lasting impression.

All in all, Cape May, NJ, offers a harmonious blend of history, relaxation, and cultural exploration. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend getaway or a professional retreat, this charming town promises to leave you with cherished memories and a desire to return.

Enjoy your adventures in Southern New Jersey! See my “New Jersey ” tab for more suggestions and read my other New Jersey posts, too, including my article about NJ’s best beach towns!

FAQs About South Jersey (Cherry Hill, Haddonfield and Collingswood, NJ)

So you’re visiting South Jersey for the first time (or perhaps the fiftieth!!) and seeking some fun things to do and see. But the state of New Jersey has rules and regulations that are sometimes different from the neighboring states.

Here are some FAQs that will help you visit South Jersey

Is Haddonfield, New Jersey a dry town?

Is Haddonfield, NJ a dry town? Yes, Haddonfield is a DRY town — Except there’s a brewery and a winery! Confused yet? The New Jersey state alcohol laws are tricky these days. You can buy beer and enjoy hanging out at the Haddonfield Brewery, Kings Road, which is on King’s Highway and the winery, which is also on Kings Highway…..but you CAN’T purchase food at either of these places, because they are not allowed to sell it.

You can, however, purchase your own food and eat it at these places, as you drink your beer or wine. So the best plan is…get your food first or order it — then go to the brewery or winery. Or, just order your food from a local restaurant while you’re already at the brewery or winery and get it delivered right to you — or pick it up.

Do Haddonfield, NJ restaurants sell alcohol?

Do Haddonfield restaurants sell alcohol? Haddonfield was originally developed as a dry town, so NO, you can’t BUY any alcohol in any restaurants in Haddonfield, but you can BRING your own (BYOB) in Haddonfield. Many restaurants in NJ are “BYOB,” so be sure to check in advance. The good news is that NJ has liquor stores just about everywhere. The larger stores (such as Wegman’s and Total Wine) are massive supermarket-style stores. However, there are smaller stores around as well.

Is Cherry Hill, New Jersey a dry town?

Is Cherry Hill, NJ a dry town? No, Cherry Hill is not a dry town, BUT there are many restaurants that do NOT sell alcohol, due to the expensive cost of liquor licenses. But not to worry, there are plenty of Cherry Hill restaurants that do have bars and do sell alcohol. Just a few are: Farm and Fisherman; Caffe Aldo Lamberti’s and PJ Whelihan’s (all there of these are located on Route 70, the main highway that goes through Cherry Hill).

Can you purchase cocktails or alcohol in Cherry Hill, NJ restaurants?

Yes, you can purchase alcoholic drinks in Cherry Hill restaurants, but NOT all of them! If the restaurant has a bar / liquor license, you can purchase alcohol there. But many restaurants in Cherry Hill, NJ are “BYOB,” which means you need to bring your own “booze,” so be sure to check in advance.

Is Collingswood, New Jersey a dry town?

Is Collingswood, NJ a dry town? Similar to Haddonfield, Collingswood was founded as a dry town, due to its Quaker roots. So, you can’t BUY any alcohol in any restaurants in Collingswood, but you can BRING your own (BYOB) in Haddonfield. Many restaurants in NJ are “BYOB,” so be sure to check before you go!

What’s the parking situation in Southern New Jersey?

Parking in Southern New Jersey is relatively easy. Most businesses in Cherry Hill have (usually large) parking lots. Many of the parks and outdoor spaces mentioned in this article have free parking. However, the towns of Collingswood and Haddonfield have street parking with parking meters. Some of these meters still require coins, while there are kiosks at others. Keep in mind that rules change often, so be sure to read the signs when you park.

Are you looking for some historical places to visit in Northern New Jersey? Check out my post about North Jersey historical sites here: the Ultimate Guide!


Similar Posts