Inexpensive + Fun Things to do in Hudson County

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So many of the things that make us happy cost money and rest assured, that is totally OK. Ashely Feinstein, the woman behind The Fiscal Femme, truly believes that the whole point of having money is to have and experience what we want in life —  in both the short and long-term. It’s all about our happiness.

We want to prioritize, as much as we can, spending money on the things we value. Ashley calls this budget a “happiness allocation” because it’s a much more fitting term. It’s a plan to allocate our money in the ways that are going to make us the happiest. 

Unfortunately, we can only spend each dollar once. This is true no matter how much or how little money we have. This restricts how much money we can spend on the things that bring us joy — especially when we are trying to spend less money. Enter frugal joys. Frugal joys are free or inexpensive things that make us really happy. Keep reading for a round-up of fun + inexpensive things to do in Hudson County, courtesy of the Fiscal Femme herself, Ashley Feinstein.

special improvement district

About Frugal Joys 

Frugal joys aren’t the same for everyone. Things that make one person happy might make another want to run for the hills and vice versa. So it’s important to test them out and see which works best for you. Some might sound great but in practice don’t bring us as much joy as we think. And others might not sound too exciting but end up surprising us at the moment. 

The best part about frugal joys is that we can use them in a couple of ways. We can use frugal joys as a substitute for things and experiences that cost money. This means we’re getting to experience the joy while saving more money. We can also add frugal joys to our lives without replacing anything. In this scenario, we get to experience more joy without spending more money. 

Inexpensive Things to Do in Hudson County

Here are some of Ashley’s favorite frugal joys in Hudson County. 

Get Hidden Perks from Your Library Card

hoboken library events

{Photo credit: @hobokenlibrary}

The Hoboken Public Library is a treasure trove of frugal joys. You can check out a copy of a book on your wishlist and read it wherever it suits your fancy. They also host events for all ages. But the most surprising one is that membership comes with free museum passes to many museums, including the Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and many, many more. That’s an incredible perk of a free membership. 

Visit the Liberty Science Center

Use your library card to get free or very low-cost tickets to visit the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. Tickets are available for rent at libraries all around Hudson County. There are changing exhibits for kids and adults and it’s home to the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. 

See More: What to Do Near the Liberty State Park Light Rail Stop in Jersey City

Stroll {or Run} down the Hoboken Waterfront Walkway

For the milder weather days, a walk on the Hoboken Waterfront Walkway is a real treat. You get beautiful views of the NYC skyline and there are fun places to stop along the way, including bars, restaurants, and even playgrounds. Turn the stroll into a run to get some exercise. 

Go on a Light Rail Adventure

liberty state park

The NJ Light Rail costs $2.25 per ride and it can take you all over Hudson County. Spend an afternoon or the entire day exploring one of the lines. You can map out your destinations in advance or see where the day takes you. 

Get Free Fitness, Music, and Movies in the Summer, Spring, and Fall

Outside of the winter months, there are tons of happenings in the Hoboken parks uptown and downtown. You can test out all different types of workout classes, attend outdoor concerts, and watch movies under the stars, all for free. This winds down mid-fall and kicks back off again in the spring. 

Visit Where Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Had Their Famous Duel

The Dueling Grounds in Weehawken, where Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had their famous duel, is home to the lovely Hamilton Park with beautiful views and a monument. There is a boulder behind monument that was from the original grounds of the duel and some say Hamilton rested his head on it after he was shot. 

Hear From Authors at Little City Books

little city books

Little City Books has amazing {and free} events each week where you can hear from authors directly on topics you are interested in. There’s nothing like spending an evening in a cozy independent bookstore, no matter which season it is. 

Have a Picnic in One of Hoboken’s Many Parks

Hoboken is filled with beautiful parks and the ones along the water have the most amazing views of the New York City skyline. Bring a blanket {and a jacket if it’s chilly outside}, some snacks or even a full picnic lunch, and enjoy time in the park when the weather is nice. 

Read More: A List of Hoboken + Jersey City Charities to Donate to Year-Round 

Celebrate with Hoboken’s Many Festivals

Throughout the year, Hoboken has a variety of festivals including the Hoboken Italian Festival, the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, and so much more. Local vendors, musicians, and artists take to the streets and it’s always a lively and fun day to take a stroll through the city.

Visit Galleries and Mingle with Artists

barsky gallery

{Photo credit: @barskygallery}

Hoboken is home to some beautiful galleries that are open to the public and even host free events where you can mingle with artists. The Barksy Gallery and Hob’art Gallery have some free mix and mingle events with artists, and Proto Gallery is open for visits on the weekends.  

Watch Free Shakespeare in Hamilton Park

Hamilton Park is one of the many wonderful parks in Hudson County and is home to Shakespeare in the Park by the Hudson Shakespeare Company. The events are free and open to the public. If you miss Shakespeare, there are many other festivals and events held at the park.   

There are so many frugal joys available to us in Hudson County. We can use frugal joys to replace things in our lives that cost us money in order to save, or we can add them in to add more joy to our lives. 

For more ideas, check out these free activities in Hoboken and Jersey City. And Ashley’s book, The 30-Day Money Cleanse, she provides a list of 100 other non-Hoboken specific frugal joys you can try out.

Have you tried one of these frugal joys yet? Let us know in the comments! 

Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

We release new episodes every Tuesday, starting again January 14, 2020 for Season 2.


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