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Welcome to Jersey City: Starter Guide for Newbies

Written by Events-Coordinator

Welcome to Jersey City: Starter Guide for Newbies

New in Jersey City? Welcome to our city… this little guide will help you in many ways, check it out!

Moving is never easy, especially with kids. It’s easy to see how newcomers to Jersey City could get a bit overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the area. Here’s a starter guide to get your feet wet, but be aware that Jersey City is a buzzing and growing city that continues to evolve before our eyes, so it’s by no means comprehensive. Feel free to add your own ideas to our Facebook page, Instagram, or the comments section!

And also, WELCOME! All of us at JCFamilies were new in town once too — we know and completely understand the mix of excitement, trepidation, and confusion that can come with a big move. We hope you’ll introduce yourself to us at our next event!


While it might be less daunting to order everything online, there’s real value to getting outside and supporting the local economy while meeting your neighbors. Every time you step out, you will feel a little bit more confident and more comfortable in your new neighborhood!

There are grocery stores (and great bodegas) within walking distance of most neighborhoods, but the following listed below feature parking lots (except Key Foods) so you don’t have to walk.

Key Foods – 574 Jersey Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Shop Rite – 400 Marin Blvd, Metro Pl Dr, NJ 07302
BJ’s (Members only) – 396 Marin Boulevard, right next to Shop Rite
ACME – 125 18th St, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Target – 100 14th St, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Morton Williams – 105 River Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07310
99 Ranch Market – 420 Grand St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Stop & Shop – 232 Central Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
Supremo – 323 Palisade Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307
C Town – 759 West Side Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306


Having a housewarming party? We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that there’s a giant booze warehouse open until 10 pm daily (except Sunday), which also has a parking lot, a create-your-own six-pack craft beer section, a massive wine selection, and discounts on quantity.

JC is also home to a lot of well-stocked, smaller wine and liquor shops, cheers!

We are also lucky to have very high-quality farmer’s markets in almost every neighborhood!

In addition to the stores already mentioned, don’t forget that one of the biggest benefits of living in a major metropolitan area is that we don’t have to go to big box stores if we don’t want to. There are bodegas, corner stores, wine shops, and food trucks all around you. The Jersey City consumer is so selective and has so many options, you can be confident that any and all of those corner stores will be stocked up on the necessities and will operate in a clean and professional environment. We are proud of our ability to shop local – it’s great to have milk and eggs easily accessible. Here is a list of some businesses you should check out! 


Do yourself a huge favor and schedule a date night in a nearby bar or restaurant without the kids. There are so many hip and trendy options that are trying hard (and succeeding) to keep your dollars in Jersey City. That said, there are also lots of options for fun days and evenings out with the kiddos!

The Liberty Science Center has four floors of entertainment. Get a membership. When winter arrives, you’re going to need a place where the kids can run and feel the freedom that they feel outside in a climate-controlled environment. The science center is that place. There are always at least two exhibits/rooms for little ones, one which changes and one that stays the same. Right now, the rotating exhibit is Thomas & Friends! There’s also a section with animals – the Eat and Be Eaten exhibit – and another area where there are giant fish tanks. Explore. You won’t regret it.

2.1 Outdoors:

JC is home to so many amazing parks and green spaces! Your kids will love the playgrounds, and we have lots of options for your four-legged friends as well.

These parks feature lots of outdoor space to run around, and playground equipment to climb, slide, and swing on! Programming includes farmer’s markets and movies in the park. Friends are everywhere in Jersey City – chat someone up today!

The hip city is also coveted for its mural street art, which has been mapped out by city officials for you to be able to see on a self-guided tour. Every summer, the city offers an opportunity for student youth to participate in a six-week mural arts mentorship program.

2.2 Indoors:

Check out some of these fantastic indoor play spaces in Jersey City and Hoboken. Grab your energetic little ones and get them playing, singing, reading, crafting, or exploring. And you don’t even have to travel that far.

The city hosts a wide array of art galleries, studios, and museums to visit. Make sure to check out their respective websites for special programs and event opportunities.

Mana Contemporary — 888 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
150 Bay Street — 150 Bay Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Sky Garden Gallery — 150 Bay St, PH9,Jersey City, NJ 07302
Novado Gallery — 110 Morgan Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Curious Matters — 272 Fifth Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Village West Gallery — 331 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Deep Space Gallery — 77 Cornelison Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304
Drawing Rooms — 926 Newark Ave #T101, Jersey City, NJ 07306
Now Project Space — 411 Monmouth St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Pro Arts Jersey City — 157A 1st St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
SMUSH Gallery — 340 Summit Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
MORA Museum of International Art — 80 Grand St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
New Jersey City University’s Galleries — 2039 Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Saint Peter University’s Fine Arts Gallery — 2641 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, Nj 07306
Jersey City Art School’s 313 Gallery — 313 3rd St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Liberty Science Center — 222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Museum of Jersey City History — 298 Academy Street, Jersey City, Nj 07306
The Afro-American Historical Society Museum — 1841 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Jersey City has two independent bookstores, WORD on 29 McWilliams Place and Jersey City Free Books on 3396 John F. Kennedy Boulevard. It also has a robust public library with nearly a dozen branches throughout the city.

Jersey City is home to a diverse range of restaurants and cafes! Check out our comprehensive blog post covering our food scene here: Places to eat in Jersey City

And don’t forget to check out our weekly meetups: JCFamilies Weekly MeetUps


There are many ways to get around Jersey City, and so many of us are grateful for the walkable design of the neighborhoods. For those times we can’t walk to where we need to be, there are lots of options that are oftentimes easier than driving your own car.

The PATH Train has stations at Grove Street, Newport, Exchange Place and JSQ. All of these will take you into lower Manhattan and midtown in minutes and operate around the clock.

There are 2 ferries options: NY Waterway and Liberty Landing Ferry Service

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail takes you around North New Jersey above ground. Kids LOVE the Light Rail. They don’t need tickets, but you do. Be sure to VALIDATE your ticket after purchasing it so you don’t get fined if they check tickets! This can be done in or near the ticket machine, or on the NJTransit app.

CitiBike doesn’t have child seats but it is a fun and easy way to get around if you’re on your own or with your teenager!

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have gotten really popular in the past few years. Jersey City has seen a huge increase in their use because many times it’s easier to get a car service than to figure out where you’re going to park.

Jersey City is proud to partner with Via, a low-cost rideshare service available to residents in certain parts of town.


There are so many options for daycares and schools in Jersey City that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. Please, check some options at the JCFamilies Education Guide 2024.

Some things to know and/or think about when starting your school search:

  • Jersey City provides a free public school option beginning at age 3. Since there is limited space in the local schools, JC outsources their pre-k program to contracted child-care centers. All of these contracted childcare centers use the High/Scope curriculum.
  • In addition, many families choose private, Montessori, religious, or cooperative education options for their young children because they allow parents more flexibility and can be closer to home than the public option.
  • Nannys and au pairs are also very common for parents who choose in-home care for their babies.

JCFamilies organizes the JC Education Fair & the JC Summer Camp Fair every year. Check our events page for updates.


Being active is essential for both physical and mental health. Check out our list of local fitness and wellness clubs to find the one that best suits your needs, location, and budget.

JCFamilies Fitness Directory


It’s comforting to know that you and your family are well taken care of with a great group of healthcare providers in town. Our list here is a helpful guide for newbies in the neighborhood!

Looking for a pediatrician? Click here

Expectant mom or planning to have a baby? Primary Physicians info here: Carepoint Health and DRS

Adult and Pediatric ER


Check out these kids’ dentists in Jersey City! 

True Dental Care – 255 Brunswick St #5, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Modern Family Dentistry – 551 Jersey Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Dear Tooth Fairy – 414 Grand St Ste 3, Jersey City, NJ 07302


Free Woman With Face Mask Holding An Alcohol Bottle Stock Photo

A complete list of Jersey City Pharmacies 
Newport Pharmacy – 165 Erie St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Downtown Pharmacy – 18 Park View Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Palace Drugs and Liquors –  172 Newark Ave # 2, Jersey City, NJ 07302
CVS –  88 Morgan St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Duane Reade: 110 Newark Ave/ 52 River Dr S /1 – Path Plaza, Jersey City, NJ, 07306
Rite Aid –  2859-61 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07306


Urban living brings its challenges of space, especially when you are planning your kids’ big day! We’ve made finding a birthday party space easy with our list of venues here.

The Best Kids Birthday Cakes in Jersey City and Hoboken

We’re happy you’ve decided to make Jersey City the new home for your family! This city takes a lot of pride in being very community-oriented, so while things may seem new and overwhelming now, just know that you’ll be a part of the JC Family in not time at all!

Updated: 4/20/2023

Jersey City

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