Home to Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey, New Brunswick is a vibrant town with an energetic, youthful vibe and plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy. The town has a rich history dating back to pre-Revolutionary times with many beautifully preserved buildings from the mid-1700s, and several interesting museums that delve into the heritage of the town. Three distinct theaters present an array of theatrical productions from the African American-focused Crossroads Theatre to the State Theater of New Jersey. Here are some things to do when visiting the ‘Hub City’. Hours/availability may have changed.
Located on the outskirts of Cook Campus at Rutgers University, Rutgers Gardens is a 180-acre botanic garden the official arboretum of the University and features pristine, beautifully maintained gardens and grounds. The garden boasts an array of flora in specialty gardens, grassy lawns, specifically designed flowering beds, and an array of tree and shrub collections, as well as a network of walking paths and trails, benches, and interpretive signs. The 70-acre Frank G. Helyar Woods is located next to the gardens, both of which act as educational facilities for students and the public, and a farmer’s market sells fresh produce, herbs, and vegetables. Rutgers Gardens is open year-round.
112 Log Cabin Rd, North Brunswick Township, NJ 08902, Phone: 732-932-8451
2.State Theatre New Jersey
© State Theatre New Jersey
The State Theatre New Jersey is a non-profit theater designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb and built in 1921, making it one of the oldest theaters in the State of New Jersey. The 1,850-seat theater is the premier venue for the arts community of New Brunswick and presents a diverse schedule of entertainment, ranging from drama, musicals and comedy shows to international orchestras, music concerts, and family events. The theater offers an array of education programs, including Scientists Exploring the Arts, Milk & Cookies Series, and an Artist-in-Residence program.
15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 732-246-7469
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3.Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
© Viacheslav Iakobchuk/stock.adobe.com
Rutgers University is the state university of New Jersey with three regional campuses in New Brunswick, Camden, and Newark. The Rutgers University-New Brunswick is the oldest campus of the university and is composed of several smaller campuses, namely Busch, Cook, College Avenue, Douglass, and Livingston. Rutgers University-New Brunswick features 19 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, including the Mason Gross School of the Arts, the School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers Business School, School of Engineering, the School of Nursing, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.
New Brunswick, NJ, Phone: 732-445-4636
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4.George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, New Jersey
© George Street Playhouse
Founded in 1974, George Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theater that presents a highly acclaimed schedule of both on and Off-Broadway theater performances by established and emerging artists. Based in downtown New Brunswick, the performing arts center is helmed by Artistic Director David Saint and Managing Director Kelly Ryman and has presented award-winning productions like The Toxic Avenger, The Spitfire Grill, and Curvy Widow. The Playhouse also has a Touring Educational Theatre that presents productions that focus on youth issues such as bullying, nutrition, and tolerance, and offers an array of educational programs for up-and-coming artists.
9 Livingston Avenue at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 732-246-7717
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5.Kirkpatrick Chapel, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Located on the elegant Old Queens Campus of Rutgers–New Brunswick University, the Sophia Astley Kirkpatrick Memorial Chapel, also known as the Kirkpatrick Chapel, is the university’s main chapel and one of the university's oldest extant buildings. Designed by architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and built in 1872 in the High Victorian Gothic Revival style, the chapel is named in honor of Sophia Astley Kirkpatrick, the wife of local attorney and politician, Littleton Kirkpatrick. Notable features of the little chapel include beautiful opalescent stained-glass windows, and the chapel is available to students, alumni, and faculty of all faiths.
81 Somerset St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 848-932-7808
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6.Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University
© Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University
Located on the Voorhees Mall of the campus of Rutgers University, the Zimmerli Art Museum is a teaching museum that features a collection of over 60,000 works of art, including American 20th-century works, non-conformist Soviet art, and 19th-century French prints. The museum hosts many free public programs, ranging from artist talks, lectures, curator-led tours, dance, and theatrical performances, symposia, and receptions. The museum also offers a range of tailor-made educational programs and research opportunities for students and the greater community.
71 Hamilton St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 848-932-7237
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7.Christ Church Episcopal, New Brunswick, NJ
© Christ Church Episcopal
Christ Church or the Christ Episcopal Church is a historic Episcopal church and a welcoming congregation of the Diocese of New Jersey’s Oasis Ministry that worships each Sunday and welcomes all. The church also offers special services for Christmas, Easter, and other festivals of the Church, such as a popular Jazz Vespers. There are also special liturgical actions walking the Stations of the Cross during Holy Week and foot-washing on Maundy Thursday. The Prayer Ministry offers nursery care for infants and toddlers during sermons, Christian education classes, Adult Formation classes, WomenSpirit sessions, community outreach programs, and Chamber Choir music programs.
5 Paterson St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 732-545-6262
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8.Rutgers Geology Museum, New Brunswick, New Jersey
© Rutgers Geology Museum
The Rutgers Geology Museum, formerly known as the Geological Hall, is a beautifully preserved building on the historic Queens Campus of Rutgers University. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building was designed by architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and built in 1872 and currently houses the university's geological museum and several administrative offices. The Rutgers Geology Museum was founded by state geologist and Rutgers professor George Hammell Cook and is the oldest collegiate geology museum in the United States. The museum is dedicated to the natural history of New Jersey with a focus on anthropology, paleontology, and geology and features impressive collections of fluorescent zinc minerals, and fossils such as a mastodon, a dinosaur trackway, and an Egyptian mummy from the Ptolemaic era.
85 Somerset St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 848-932-7243
9.The Frog and The Peach, New Brunswick, New Jersey
© The Frog and The Peach
The Frog and The Peach is an award-winning gourmet restaurant that serves innovative farm-to-fork seasonal cuisine and fine wines from around the world in an elegant, relaxed setting. Based in an old industrial building on Dennis Street that once housed huge printing presses for the local paper, The Home News, the well-established restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience with stylish dining spaces and impeccable service. The multi-level restaurant has contemporary décor that reflects the industrial spirit of the building, and a beautiful garden room with lush greenage for romantic celebrations. Seasonal menus feature creative dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and an extensive beverage list features world-class vintages, imported spirits, and classic cocktails. The Frog and The Peach is open for dinner only, Wednesday through Sunday.
29 Dennis St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 732-846-3216
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10.Catherine Lombardi Restaurant, New Brunswick, New Jersey
© Catherine Lombardi Restaurant
Catherine Lombardi is a high-end Italian restaurant with cozy dining spaces with two fireplaces and a lively bar that serves homey fare in a laid-back and relaxed setting. The family-owned and operated restaurant brings the sun-kissed tastes and flavors of Italy to the tables of New Brunswick with a farm-to-table menu of Neapolitan-based and influenced fare. The award-winning restaurant serves signature dishes using the highest quality and locally sourced where possible ingredients, such as mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, handmade pasta, and grass-fed veal. A stylish cocktail bar serves a wide of libations against a backdrop of downtown New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Theater District. Catherine Lombardi is open for dinner, seven nights a week.
3 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, Phone: 732-296-9463
10 Best Things to Do in New Brunswick, New Jersey
- Rutgers Gardens, Photo: Demetrios/stock.adobe.com
- State Theatre New Jersey, Photo: State Theatre New Jersey
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Photo: Viacheslav Iakobchuk/stock.adobe.com
- George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Photo: George Street Playhouse
- Kirkpatrick Chapel, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Photo: prozamargo/stock.adobe.com
- Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, Photo: Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University
- Christ Church Episcopal, New Brunswick, NJ, Photo: Christ Church Episcopal
- Rutgers Geology Museum, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Photo: Rutgers Geology Museum
- The Frog and The Peach, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Photo: The Frog and The Peach
- Catherine Lombardi Restaurant, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Photo: Catherine Lombardi Restaurant
- Cover Photo: Jin/stock.adobe.com
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