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
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, NJ 08753, Phone: 732-270-6960
2.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, 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
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
5.Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
© 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.
1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754, Phone: 732-255-0500
6.Ocean County Historical Museum
© 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 Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with the first Saturday of the month, from 1:00 pm until 3:00pm. These guided tours of the Ocean County Historical Museum are free.
26 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ 08753, Phone: 732-341-1880
7.Ocean County Mall
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
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.
73 Main St, Toms River, NJ 08753
© 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
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9 Best Things to Do in Toms River, NJ
- Cattus Island County Park, Photo: Cattus Island County Park
- Ocean County Library, Photo: Ocean County Library
- Insectropolis, the Bugseum of New Jersey, Photo: Insectropolis, the Bugseum of New Jersey
- Toms River Brewing, Photo: Toms River Brewing
- Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, Photo: Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
- Ocean County Historical Museum, Photo: Ocean County Historical Museum
- Ocean County Mall, Photo: Halfpoint/stock.adobe.com
- Exit 82 Theatre Company, Photo: aerogondo/stock.adobe.com
- Shogun Legacy, Photo: Shogun Legacy
- Cover Photo: Jin/stock.adobe.com