The vibrant waterfront town of Toms River, New Jersey is home to a wide array of different things to do for both visitors and local residents alike, including outdoor recreation, shops, entertainment, arts, and kid-friendly activities.

The Cattus Island County Park provides wooded trails for exploration and an environmental center, the Ocean County Mall offers plenty of shopping opportunities, and for people who like something out of the ordinary, Toms River also contains the Insectropolis. There are also a number of great restaurants in town as well.

1. Cattus Island County Park

Cattus Island County Park
© Cattus Island County Park

Spanning across approximately 530 acres, the Cattus Island County Park is home to seven miles of hiking trails, including ones leading to the beautiful views of Barnegat Bay and the beach.

The park also includes the Cooper Environmental Center, which offers several hands-on displays and exhibits for visitors of any age, including collections of live fish and reptiles, a children’s activity corner, a bird viewing area, a habitat tunnel and tree, and the live view osprey camera.

The center highlights the Barnegat Bay and the park’s natural beauty as well. There is also a butterfly garden at the Cattus Island County Park.

1170 Cattus Island Blvd, Toms River, New Jersey 08753, Phone: 732-270-6960

2. Ocean County Library

Ocean County Library
© Ocean County Library

An essential part of the local community of Toms River, the Ocean County Library supports economic development, sustainable communities, and lifelong learning. Situated along the New Jersey Shore, the Ocean County Library hosts a wide variety of events for both kids and adults throughout the year, in addition to providing around five hundred computers and free wireless internet for public use. The collection at the library consists of more than one million volumes, including print books, local history materials, magazines, audio books, e-books, video games, DVDs, and music. There are also numerous databases available for online learning and research.

101 Washington St, Toms River, NJ 08753, Phone: 732-349-6200

3. Insectropolis, the Bugseum of New Jersey

Insectropolis, the Bugseum of New Jersey
© Insectropolis, the Bugseum of New Jersey

Insectropolis, also known as the “Bugseum of New Jersey,” is a unique attraction in Toms River where visitors can view thousands of different bizarre, beautiful, and exotic insects from throughout the world. The “bugseum” also provides several other activities that are particularly fun for children, such as pretending to be a termite crawling through a mud tube and playing bug games on the facility’s touchscreen computers. Guests can watch numerous live insects, including safely getting up close to the Insectropolis observation bee hive, as well participate in one of the daily touch presentations, which include millipedes and tarantulas.

1761 Route 9, Toms River, NJ 08755, Phone: 732-349-7090

4. Toms River Brewing

Toms River Brewing
© Toms River Brewing

The Irish are a large part of the population of New Jersey and the town of Toms River is possibly the home to the state’s largest Irish population. Toms River Brewing is rooted in the Rinn Duin Brewery, known for its Irish-style and UK ales. In 2018, Jim Mulligan acquired the brewery and began his vision of a wide selection of beer styles that are able to be explored through adding natural extracts and fruits, in addition to an expanded selection of hop and yeast. The Tap Room at Toms River Brewing is open Wednesday through Sunday.

1540 Rt 37 W, Toms River, NJ 08755, Phone: 732-608-1004

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5. Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, Toms River, NJ

Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, Toms River, NJ
© Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts is situated on the campus of Toms Rivers’s Ocean County College and is dedicated to providing the Jersey Shore and Ocean County with entertainment and art. The performing arts center features premiere acts from all over the world, allowing guests to experience “once-in-a-lifetime performances” from unique entertainers, hometown musicians, and venerated artists within an intimate venue. The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts also includes an Art Gallery and fine arts and performing arts programs, educational organizations, and an Orchestra-in-Residence, which is the Garden State Philharmonic. More ideas: Weekend Getaways in New Jersey

1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754, Phone: 732-255-0500

6. Ocean County Historical Museum, Toms River, New Jersey

Ocean County Historical Museum, Toms River, New Jersey
© Ocean County Historical Museum

The Ocean County Historical Museum is operated by The Ocean County Historical Society, which was formed during the centennial celebration of Ocean County in 1950 by Dr. Joshua Hilliard, as well as several other dedicated residents who had a strong desire to collect and preserve the local area’s history. The historical museum is housed inside of a Victorian home in the town of Toms River and offers guided tours led by docents on certain days.

26 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ 08753, Phone: 732-341-1880

7. Ocean County Mall, Toms River, New Jersey

Ocean County Mall, Toms River, New Jersey
© Halfpoint/stock.adobe.com

The Ocean County Mall in Toms River, New Jersey is a “super-regional mall” that first opened in the community in July of 1976. Located off of New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway at Exit 82 down Route 37 East, the Ocean County Mall, which is the county’s only enclosed mall, is anchored by Macy’s, JCPenney, and Boscov’s. The mall, owned by the Simon Property Group, is also a particularly popular place for tourists in the area during the summer months. There are several places to eat at the mall as well, such as Applebee’s, Bahama Breeze, and BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.

1201 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753, Phone: 732-244-8200

8. Exit 82 Theatre Company, Toms River, New Jersey

Exit 82 Theatre Company, Toms River, New Jersey
© aerogondo/stock.adobe.com

The Exit 82: A Toms River Theatre Company was established in 2009 as a non-profit performing arts organization in the town of Toms River, New Jersey. The theater company boasts a mission of producing quality theatrical programming, as well as an educational environment that unifies the arts community, in addition to inspiring artistic development. Along with its adult theatrical programming, Exit 82: A Toms River Theatre Company operates the Creative and Performing Art Academy, which was formed to educate the next generations of artists. A wide variety of theatre performances are put on by Exit 82 throughout the year. More ideas: New Jersey Beaches

73 Main St, Toms River, NJ 08753

9. Shogun Legacy, Toms River, New Jersey

Shogun Legacy, Toms River, New Jersey
© Shogun Legacy

Shogun Legacy provides locals and visitors alike in Toms River with a unique dining experience, serving a menu of traditional sashimi and sushi, as well as contemporary Asian dishes within an upscale and elegant setting. The restaurant features an elegant dining room, a private dining room for private parties, a large sushi bar, and an outdoor deck consisting of a dining and bar area. Shogun Legacy offers a menu of originality and creativity, representing some of Central New Jersey’s finest Asian cuisine, consisting of a comprehensive assortment of Asian entrees. The restaurant also contains a wine cellar designed to compliment the menu.

1536 North Bay Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753, Phone: 732-286-9888

10. Solve the Room

Solve the Room
© Solve the Room

Solve the Room provides an escape room experience for friends and team building in the quiet township of Toms River, New Jersey. Participants have sixty minutes to solve the clues and puzzles of one of several different rooms in order to escape. That escape could be a prison break from a high security prison or finding a way out from a watering hole during the Prohibition Era. Or perhaps players will choose to try to replace the Pharaoh’s lost necklace and escape from the tomb before they run out of oxygen or pull off a heist for the Cullinan Diamond.

1555 NJ-37 #12, Toms River, NJ 08755, 732-244-2481

11. Playdrome Lanes

Playdrome Lanes
© georgerudy/stock.adobe.com

Playdrome Lanes is a place where family and friends can come to spend a few hours playing games, whether that’s arcade games, billiards, or bowling. The family-friendly entertainment center has been family-owned and operated since the year 1959 and features automatic bumpers and automatic scoring in its 24 bowling lanes. Guests can enjoy laser lights, music, and black light glow bowling on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, as well as more bowling fun on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. For bowlers 21 years of age or older, Playdrome Lanes is also a B.Y.O.B. establishment for only wine and beer.

821 Conifer St, Toms River, NJ 08753, 732-349-5345

12. Bury The Hatchet

Bury The Hatchet
© Adisak/stock.adobe.com

Bury The Hatchet brings the thrilling activity of axe throwing in a safe environment (a short training session is included) in Toms River, New Jersey. Customers will find an urban, fun setting at one of the many lanes in the indoor axe throwing range for a one-of-a-kind experience. When waiting for their turn, guests can watch fellow axe throwers from the sidelines while enjoying a drink with friends. In addition to the casual axe throwing visit, Bury The Hatchet also offers weekly tournaments where participants can compete head to head for a chance to be crowned the axe throwing champion. 1256 Indian Head Rd, Toms River, NJ 08755, 732-573-6919

13. East Coast Escape Room

East Coast Escape Room
© East Coast Escape Room

East Coast Escape Room offers fun and challenging adventure gaming as guests take on hands-on tasks, codes, keys, and clues to try and escape from a “locked” room. Participants have one hour to complete their objective in one of three differently themed rooms, each with their own level of difficulty, such as “Frostline Railway,” “Down at the Boardwalk,” and “Dreamcatcher.” Rooms are spacious, so guests shouldn’t feel claustrophobic. East Coast Escape Room is a great activity for birthday celebrations, team building, family fun, or simply a night out with friends. All escape room games here are private and reservations are necessary.

1747 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753, 732-864-1200

14. The Robert J. Novins Planetarium

The Robert J. Novins Planetarium
© The Robert J. Novins Planetarium

The Robert J. Novins Planetarium is the spot in Toms River for anyone interested in exploring the universe through viewing the planets and stars as they most likely have never viewed them before through the planetarium’s variety of Full Dome Movies, Sky Shows, and Laser Shows. A wide array of educational and fun programs are presented at the Robert J. Novins Planetarium for guests of all ages in a dome theater that can accommodate a little over 100 people. Along with public shows, programs for camp and school groups are also offered, as well as special themed events and birthday parties.

1 College Dr, Toms River, NJ 08754, 732-255-0343

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15. Tardi's Ristorante Italiano

Tardi's Ristorante Italiano
© Tardi's Ristorante Italiano

Tardi's Ristorante Italiano serves authentic, fine Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients to locals and visitors alike of Toms River, New Jersey. Boasting an intimate and cozy ambiance, the small dining room offers a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for a delicious meal. Tardi's Ristorante Italiano has been perfecting its Italian menu since 1979 and provides a menu with a wide variety of dishes for guests to choose from. There’s dishes like Chicken Giambotta and Chicken Marsala, Veal Parmigiana, and Steak Florentine among numerous other meat dishes, seafood dishes, and more. Pastas range from simple Cheese Ravioli to Linguini Puttanesca.

931 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, NJ 08753, 732-270-2111

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