West Orange is a suburban township in the Watchung Mountains in central Essex County, New Jersey. The wooded South Mountain Reservation on the Rahway River is known for turtle-shaped rocks, giving the area the name "Turtle Back Rock Picnic Area." The local zoo is called Turtle Back Zoo and has 1400 animals from 40 species. Thomas Edison's Laboratory and home are now a National Park. It was in that lab that Edison developed more than 1000 inventions including the light bulb. Eagle Rock Reservation is a forest reserve and recreation park in the Watchung Mountains that includes a monument to those lost during the September 11 attack. The Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain is an ice hockey and ice skating arena in West Orange and part of the South Mountain Recreation Complex. Luna Stage is a theatre in West Orange, New Jersey, founded in 1992. Sea Turtle Recovery is a 4,000-square-foot nonprofit organization working on the rehabilitation of sea turtles and educating people on the important role of sea turtles, what is endangering them and how to protect them. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange, NJ
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Turtle Back Zoo is part of the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange, New Jersey. It is spread over 20 acres in the South Mountain Reservation. The zoo was founded in 1963 and was originally reserved for animals native to the New York metropolitan area. Today it includes species from every continent on Earth except Antarctica. It is home to about 1400 animals belonging to 40 species. A free-flight aviary contains several hundred birds. The zoo is open year-round. It is .member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and of the Zoological Association of America. Exhibits include an American black bear exhibit; the Essex Farm that includes farm animals and a petting zoo; and the Tropical Currents Aquarium. The aquarium consists of six large tanks with fish from all over the world. There is also African Adventure's first enclosure with Masai giraffes, Common Eland, White-faced whistling ducks, Ostriches, and Bontebok.
560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052, Phone: 973-731-5800
2.Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Thomas Edison National Historical Park was established to preserve Thomas Edison's laboratory and Glenmont, his residence in West Orange, Essex County, New Jersey. Both the lab and the residence were designed by architect Henry Hudson Holly in 1887. The Edison laboratories were used for over 40 years. The park consist of two properties in West Orange: the second Edison Laboratories and Edison's home in Llewelyn Park. The laboratory complex includes the industrial facility Edison built in 1887 to research and work on his inventions. It has over a dozen buildings where Edison did research on electricity, photography, chemistry, metallurgy, motion pictures, chemistry and other disciplines. A private library is located next to the main lab. Edison’s home was designed in Queen Anne style and originally had 23 rooms, gravity-convection central heat, indoor flush toilets, and hot and cold water. The house still has its original furnishings in an Eastlake style interior. Edison added six more rooms, and electrical wiring.
211 Main St, West Orange, NJ 07052
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3.Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange, New Jersey
Eagle Rock Reservation is a 408.33-acre forest reserve and recreational park in the First Watchung Mountain of New Jersey. The reservation got its name from the Eagle Rock, a bare rock high up on the mountain, at the boundary between the towns of Montclair and West Orange, New Jersey. The popular Lenape Trail passes through the reservation. It is intersected by a number of streams and the lush forests are home to plenty of wildlife, such as deer and occasionally bears. The reservation includes Highlawn Pavilion, a restaurant and special event site, that occupies the building that was once a casino. A section of the reservation that overlooks Manhattan skyline includes a memorial that honors those killed in the September 11 attacks. The memorial has inscribed the names of all who died at the World Trade Center and on the two planes that crashed into the twin towers.
Eagle Rock Ave &, Prospect Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052, Phone: 973-268-3500
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4.South Mountain Reservation
South Mountain Reservation is a 2,110-acre nature reserve on the Rahway River in northeastern New Jersey. It is part of the Essex County Park System. The reservation was carved from the surrounding wilderness at the end of the 19th century. It was designed by Olmsted Brothers, developed over a few decades and changed very little through the years. Preserved primarily in its wild state, the woodlands were preserved mostly in their natural state and include a variety of hardwood trees. Stately hemlocks tower share the forest with cool streams, creeks, ponds and waterfalls. Crater View offers views of the New York and Jersey City skylines, Staten Island and surrounding townships. The reservation includes Richard J. Codey Arena and Turtle Back Zoo. The recreation area includes Safari Minigolf and the Treetop Adventure Ropes Course. McLoone's Boathouse Restaurant is located next to the Orange Reservoir.
Cherry Ln, West Orange, NJ 07052, Phone: 973-268-3500
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5.Codey Arena, West Orange, New Jersey
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The Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain , also known as the South Mountain Arena, is an ice hockey and ice skating arena in West Orange, New Jersey. It is part of the South Mountain Recreation Complex. South Mountain Arena was opened in 1958. The second, smaller rink was added in 1983. The arena underwent major renovations in 2004 and 2005. At that time the arena was renamed the Codey Arena. The arena features two NHL-sized skating rinks. The main arena can accommodate 2,500 and the second rink seats 500. In 2007, the New Jersey Devils used the arena for the team practice. It is home to the Jersey Rockhoppers of the Eastern Professional Hockey League and a home to the New Jersey Daredevils, a special needs hockey team. The arena offers scating classes for children and adults. The arena has been used for other sport tournaments such as Essex County Tournament of high school wrestling, graduation ceremonies and other events.
560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052, Phone: 973-731-3828
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6.Luna Stage Co., West Orange, New Jersey
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Luna Stage is a theatre in West Orange, New Jersey, founded in 1992 by Jane Mandel. It became a professional theatre in 1995. For the first 18 years, the company worked in Montclair, New Jersey, starting in a small space on Walnut Street and then moving to a larger facility on Bloomfield Avenue. Luna Stage develops and produces plays about local and global events and experiences, bringing communities together for artistic events that create understanding and change. Luna Stage has contributed to the production of more than 100 new works for the stage. Their world premieres have been produced in New York and all over the country. They offer classes for children and adults and have developmental programs for early career artists.
555 Valley Rd, West Orange, NJ 07052, Phone: 973-395-5551
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7.Sea Turtle Recovery, West Orange, New Jersey
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Located in Turtle Back Zoo, Sea Turtle Recovery is a 4,000-square-foot nonprofit organization working on the rehabilitation of sea turtles and educating people on the important role of sea turtles, what is endangering them and how to protect them. The Sea Turtle Recovery is located inside Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. It provides food, medicine, staff, surgeries and other treatments to injured and sick sea turtles. The Recovery takes care of them until they can be released into the ocean. Sea Turtle Recovery also works with people in the region to raise awareness about sea turtles.
560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052, Phone: 609-667-4076
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8.Highlawn Pavilion, West Orange, New Jersey
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Located in Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey, Highlawn Pavillion is an upscale restaurant with spectacular views of Manhattan and elevated New American cuisine. The restaurant was opened in December 1986 in the former open-air “casino” surrounded by beautifully landscaped park. Pavilion is a popular destination for lavish weddings and other special events. The restaurant is richly decorated and has a charming Old World vibe, with arched windows, coffered ceilings, white tablecloths and bright light reflected on cutlery and classes. The menu revolves around their wood-burning Italian brick oven and char-grill. Besides the main dining room, guests enjoy a charming Piano Room with a well-stocked bar and live music on Fridays and Saturdays. On warm days, outdoor patio offers dining al fresco and magnificent views of the gardens and Manhattan.
1 Crest Dr, West Orange, NJ 07052, Phone: 973-731-3463
8 Best Things to Do in West Orange, New Jersey
- Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange, NJ, Photo: ronald leunis EyeEm/stock.adobe.com
- Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Photo: tonyaro/stock.adobe.com
- Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange, New Jersey, Photo: spiritofamerica/stock.adobe.com
- South Mountain Reservation, Photo: Demetrios/stock.adobe.com
- Codey Arena, West Orange, New Jersey, Photo: Dmitry Grushin/stock.adobe.com
- Luna Stage Co., West Orange, New Jersey, Photo: P Stock/stock.adobe.com
- Sea Turtle Recovery, West Orange, New Jersey, Photo: Tamara Kulikova/stock.adobe.com
- Highlawn Pavilion, West Orange, New Jersey, Photo: Highlawn Pavilion
- Cover Photo: spiritofamerica/stock.adobe.com
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