Boating, frozen cocktails and dark restaurants: How to beat the heat before Memorial Day

·8 min read

It’s May, and we’re already pushing 100 degrees.

The temperature will soar this weekend to the mid- to high-90s. Unfortunately, most pools aren’t open yet, as it’s not yet Memorial Day. So how are we to cool off while enjoying the weather?

Here are a few ideas — from renting a boat to getting some ice cream to mixing up your own frozen margarita — to stay cool.

Rent a boat

People pedal kayak on Lake Hopatcong on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021.
People pedal kayak on Lake Hopatcong on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021.

Lifeguards might not yet be on duty at Lake Hopatcong, which means swimming is not allowed. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t rent a boat and head out on the water. Here are some boat rental shops on Lake Hopatcong.

  • Waterskiing, jet ski rental, wakeboarding: Lakeview Marina, 2 Beach Rd, Lake Hopatcong; 973-663-2935, lakeviewmarina.com.

  • Boat rentals, picnic area: Bridge Marina, 89 Brady Road, Lake Hopatcong; 973-663-1976, bridgemarina.com.

  • Fishing supplies and rentals: Dow’s Boat Rentals and Live Bait, 145 Nolan's Point Road, Lake Hopatcong; 973-663-3826, facebook.com/Dows-Boat-Rental-and-Bait-Shop.

  • Small boat rentals: Lake’s End Marina, 91 Mount Arlington Blvd., Landing; 973-398-5707, lakesendmarina.net.

  • Sailboat rentals: Sunset Sailboat Co., 335 Espanong Road, Lake Hopatcong; 973-663-1242, sunsetsailboats.com.

Take a swim

A busy day at James W. Roe Memorial Pool on Garside Avenue in Wayne.
A busy day at James W. Roe Memorial Pool on Garside Avenue in Wayne.

One of the only pools open this weekend is the James W. Roe Memorial Pool in Wayne. The massive pool has a flume ride, drop slide, diving board and more than 15,000-square-feet of swimming area. There’s also a kiddie pool, two playgrounds, basketball, bocce, sand volleyball and tetherball courts, as well as ping-pong, shuffleboard and a softball field. On May 22 only, from 1 to 4 p.m., the pool will be open to non-members.

Go: 133 Garside Ave., Wayne; 973-694-1800, waynetownship.com/parks-swimming-facilities.

Stay cool: Here are 10 ways not to heat up the kitchen

Dine in a cool, dark restaurant

Sometimes the best way to beat the heat is finding a dimly lit bar or restaurant, air conditioning pumping, and forgetting how hot it is outside. Here are some places to do exactly that.

Sharky’s Wings & Raw Bar: The brightest thing burning in this popular spot is the neon Sharky’s sign behind the bar. The rest is decked with simple tables and cool walls that alternate from brick to tile. Day or night, the lights are dim to keep things cool for the customers who stop by for a frosty pint of beer and an order of Sharky’s famous wings. Wing flavors range from honey mustard to lemon pepper butter to hot BBQ – the only thing that will heat you up here. 545 Highland Ave., Clifton; 973-473-0713. 431 3rd Ave., Alpha ;908-777-3610. 108 Boonton Ave., Boonton; 973-917-4466, sharkyswingsnj.com.

Morton’s The Steakhouse, Hackensack: For a classy, cool evening, head to Morton’s The Steakhouse. The dark brown wood accents, sleek leather chairs and crystal lighting fixtures that are never turned up too bright are the perfect escape from the blaring sun outside. Morton’s Bar 12-21 offers a selection of icy bottled beers and cocktails. Of course, this steakhouse is most known for its meats, like the ribeye steak and filet mignon. 1 Riverside Square, Hackensack; 201-487-1303 mortons.com/hackensack.

The Quiet Man, Dover: Things can get heated at an Irish pub, but not at The Quiet Man in Dover, where brown, paisley booths, a slick tile ceiling, stained glass lighting fixtures and dark wood accents create a chilled-out atmosphere. The Quiet Man specializes in classic pub fare. Plus, cold beer is always on tap. 64 E. McFarlan St., Dover; 973-366-6333, quietmanpub.com.

Salt Gastropub: Half hipster hangout/half tiki bar, Salt Gastropub seems to sit in the middle of nowhere. But its burger definitely makes a visit worth the drive. The half-pound burger cradled in a delicately toasted bun is an all-around win: a nice-sized, tender patty, made sweet from sautéed onions, smoky from gouda and spicy from sriracha aioli. Plus, there's usually live music and always dim lighting. 109 Route 206, Stanhope; 973-347-7258, saltgastropub.com.

Take a shady walk

Dan Padilla, of Suffern, N.Y., helps is son, Lewis, 8, and daughter, Riley, 7, fish at Scarlet Oak Pond at Ramapo Valley County Reservation in Mahwah, N.J. on Tuesday July 13, 2021.
Dan Padilla, of Suffern, N.Y., helps is son, Lewis, 8, and daughter, Riley, 7, fish at Scarlet Oak Pond at Ramapo Valley County Reservation in Mahwah, N.J. on Tuesday July 13, 2021.

When direct sunlight is not your friend, you need a shady spot to get in your 10,000 steps. Try these trails.

Ramapo Reservation, Mahwah: Forests, a lake, streams, waterfalls, hills — Ramapo Reservation has a bit of everything. Five loop trails have been carved out among the rocky forest of Northern New Jersey at the reservation. We recommend hiking the Vista trail loop, which includes views of a pond, reservoir and waterfall. 608 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah; 201-327-3500, nynjtc.org/park/ramapo-valley-co-reservation.

Palisades Interstate Park, Alpine: Palisades Interstate Park offers some of the most stunning views of the Manhattan skyline from its trails. The 2,500-acre park is located on the western shore of the Hudson River. Hike along its 30 miles of trails, check out a scenic overlook or pack a lunch to bring to the riverfront picnic area. Several locations in Alpine; 201-768-1360, njpalisades.org.

Lorrimer Nature Sanctuary, Franklin Lakes: The New Jersey Audubon Society runs the Lorrimer Nature Sanctuary, which offers hikers 14 acres of land to explore. The trails wind through oak, maple, ash, beech and evergreen trees and can be visited Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 790 Ewing Ave., Franklin Lakes; 201-891-2185, njaudubon.org/centers/lorrimer-sanctuary.

More hiking: Get some fresh air, explore nature and avoid germy crowds at these NJ hiking spots

Grab some ice cream or water ice

A cold treat is always a good idea on a hot day.

Apem Creamery, Bloomfield: This minimalist ice cream shop makes flavors such as cherry custard, amaretti and Maracaibo chocolate. Flavors change regularly, including vegan options. 870 Broad St., Bloomfield; 973-666-0438, apemcreamery.com.

Conrad’s, Westwood: An old-school candy shop open since 1928, Conrad’s also sells ice cream in the spring and summer. Expect cups and cones, as well as ice cream sandwiches and popsicles. 107 Westwood Ave., Westwood; 201-664-2895, conrads1928.com.

Kreme & Krumbs ice cream sandwich uses made-from-scratch cake instead of cookies
Kreme & Krumbs ice cream sandwich uses made-from-scratch cake instead of cookies

Kreme & Krumbs, Montclair: Kreme & Krumbs has ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cake instead of cookies. Everything is made from scratch, including lemon curd and blueberry, and flavors change weekly. 491 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair; 973-860-7184, kremeandkrumbs.com.

Sprinklez, Hillsdale: Head to Sprinklez for handmade cones, customizable ice cream sandwiches and massive milkshakes. Vegan ice cream is also available. 30 Broadway, Hillsdale; 201-497-5515, sprinklezhillsdale.com.

Ice Cream on Grand, Englewood: This ice cream parlor loved by locals offers more than 30 flavors of ice cream, as well as ice cream cakes, sherbets and soft serve. 523 Grand Ave., Englewood; 201-569-5346, icecreamongrand.com.

Van Dyk’s Homemade Ice Cream, Ridgewood: A no-frills, cash-only shop that has been open for a century. Stop by for flavors such as peach and lemon-vanilla, as well as vegan flavors. 145 Ackerman Ave., Ridgewood; 201-444-1429, vandyksicecream.com.

Goffle Creamery in Hawthorne offers soft-serve
Goffle Creamery in Hawthorne offers soft-serve

Dover Dairy Made, Dover: With its red and white awning, Dover Dairy Made looks the part of an old-school ice cream parlor. It’s family-owned and offers novelty treats, sundaes, cakes, cones and cups. 240 Route 46, Dover; 973-366-1650, doverdairymaid.com.

Falls Creamery, Little Falls: Old fashioned ice cream parlor with hard and soft ice cream, ice cream cakes and sandwiches. 11 Paterson Ave., Little Falls; 973-837-6118, fallscreamery.com.

Bischoff's, Teaneck: Open since 1934, Bischoff’s is as old school as it gets with an ice cream counter, a cream soda fountain, egg creams and wait staff that don paper hats. All of the sauces are made by hand in-house. More than 40 flavors of ice cream and sherbets are available. 468 Cedar Lane, Teaneck; 201-836-0333, bischoffsicecream.com.

Cranberry Junction, Hackensack: Hard and soft hand-made ice cream in a darling shop. 19 Temple Ave., Hackensack; 201-546-8966, cranberryjunctionicecream.com.

Guernsey Crest Ice Cream Co., Paterson: Old-school ice cream shop. 134 19th Ave., Paterson; 973-742-4620, facebook.com/Guernsey-Crest-Ice-Cream-Co-120531971292496.

Nasto’s Ice Cream Co., Newark: A family-owned shop since 1936, Nasto’s offers homemade ice cream, Italian ice and baked goods. 236-40 Jefferson St. Newark; 973-589-3333, nastosicecream.com.

Denville Dairy, Denville: Premium homemade ice cream made for more than a half-century. 34 A Broadway, Denville; 973-627-4214, denvilledairy.com.

South Street Creamery, Morristown: Laid-back parlor scooping out gelato and ice cream as well as serving crepes, sandwiches and panini. 146 South St., Morristown; 973-267-8887, southstreetcreamery.com.

Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream, Ledgewood: Old-school ice cream stand offering more than 60 flavors. 1475 Route 46, Ledgewood; 973-584-9721, cliffsicecream.com.

Dairy Swirl, Vernon: Homemade ice cream parlor. 71 Route 94, Vernon; 973-827-8114, facebook.com/DairySwirl.

Francy’s Artisanal Ice Cream: 461 S. Washington Ave., Bergenfield; 201-942-6282, francysicecream.com.

Bianco Nero is set to open in Engewood in June
Bianco Nero is set to open in Engewood in June

Bianco Nero Gelato: 18 E. Palisade Ave., Englewood; 201-731-3088, no website.

Daniela’s Ice Cream: 234 Closter Dock Road, Closter; 201-428-9600, danielasicecream.com.

Milk Sugar Love: 19 McWilliams Pl., Jersey City; 551-277-8252, milksugarlove.com.

Ice cream: Iconic ice cream shops in North Jersey that are now open for the season

Don’t heat up the kitchen

When the temperature is nearing 100, it's no time to turn on the oven. Throwing together sandwiches, tossing salads, blending smoothies and mixing up slaws all get our vote of approval this weekend.

No-cook recipes for summer: Sandwiches, salads, smoothies and zoodles

Make a cold drink

Keep that blender out to make a few frozen drinks. Here's how.

Love frosé?: Make it at home along with a sangria margarita and more frozen drinks

Rebecca King is a food writer for NorthJersey.com. For more on where to dine and drink, please subscribe today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter.

Email: kingr@northjersey.com 

Twitter: @rebeccakingnj 

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This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NJ weather: Boating, restaurants, drinks to beat heat