Things to do in Newark When Your Flight is Delayed

In the scheme of life, getting stuck at Newark Airport because of a delayed flight or a cancellation isn't the worst thing, except maybe if you're there with children. While we all can admit there are far worse things in life, however, when you are experiencing it, you feel as if you've been pulled into a dark pit and there isn't any escape.

Now, you really have two choices, you can tough it out like the trooper you are and find a hard chair or a dirty part of the floor to occupy for hours on end or you can venture out into the unknown and sample a bit of life outside the airport. Personally, I would opt for the later, especially if the delay was a lengthy one. Newark Airport isn't rated as one of the best in the country.

However, what it does have just a short monorail ride away is a New Jersey Transit Train stop. Step onto the train and a little adventure awaits. The train will, of course, take you into the nearby city of Newark, but it will also take you to many other wonderfully alluring parts of the state including the shore. Why sleep in the airport when you can put your head on a pillow in a lovely bed and breakfast in Spring Lake?

If you'd rather not venture that far, Newark, despite its sometimes unsavory reputation, does have quite a few bright spots. Here are some of the best.

Catch a Devils Game

If you're having flight issues, the calendar probably says winter. The National Hockey League season is in full swing from October through early April. The New Jersey Devils play at the Prudential Center, which is a short walk from Newark Penn Station. They're won three Stanley Cups since moving to the Garden State in the 1980s. Sure, they haven't made the playoffs for a couple of years, but that's a good thing if you're stuck in town. Tickets will be easier to get. What would you rather do? Enjoy an NHL hockey game or the clock tick at Newark Airport?

Explore the Newark Museum

The Newark Museum holds the largest collection of art in the state. It houses countless works of decorative art, American art, modern art as well as stunning art from Asia, Africa and South America. There are also extensive examples of ancient art as well. In addition to the exhibits, the museum offers numerous family activities and programs as well. The Newark Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon until 5 p.m.

Take in the Beauty of the Cathedral of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart

The Cathedral of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark is the fifth-largest cathedral in North America. If you're stuck in the airport and enjoy taking in the stunning architecture of a cathedral, it's worth the trip. The cathedral features both Gothic Revival and French Gothic architecture styles.

See What's Happening at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

A train ride into Newark Penn Station will get you to downtown Newark. From there, walk, grab a taxi or hop onto the Light Rail to catch an event at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The NJPAC is one of the biggest performing arts centers in North America and hosts numerous events and concerts throughout the year. Check out their schedule online to see who's playing.


Yes, there is food inside Newark Airport, but do you really want to eat it? A better idea might be to catch the train from the airport to Newark Penn Station. The area around the nearby Prudential Center is filled with tasty restaurants. Some top picks are Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Deborah's Jazz Cafe.

*Dawn Miller is a freelance writer and mystery author. She lives in New Jersey.