Remedy the Winter Blahs with a Central Jersey Culture Cure
Here's a tonic for the long winter ahead: a generous dose of Central New Jersey's arts and culture offerings. Refresh yourself with vibrant performances, eclectic dining and shopping with cozy getaways in three unique destinations. This seasonal pick-me-up from New Jersey Travel & Tourism comes just in time for planning a spontaneous winter escape.
Winter Stages in Historic New Brunswick
If your favorite "date night" is dinner and a show, New Brunswick is a must-go destination. For a provocative evening that is sure to spark conversation, watch emerging artists performing at the nationally recognized George Street Playhouse (part of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center), which presents thought-provoking shows each season. At New Brunswick's State Theatre, catch big-name Broadway productions, iconic ballet performances and headliner concerts and comedy acts.
For pre-theater dining, savor seasonally inspired cuisine at Frog and the Peach (reservations recommended), fine Italian dining at Catherine Lombardi (reservations suggested) or casual fare at Stuff Yer Face. This New Brunswick stromboli institution is located on the Rutgers University campus, where you can watch an opera, classical music or dance performance at the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center or view the permanent galleries and special exhibitions at Zimmerli Art Museum, which offers free admission to the public. With the money you saved, treat yourself to an overnight stay with accommodations in The Heldrich or the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, both ideally located in downtown New Brunswick.
Seasonal Openings in Ivy-Covered Princeton
Princeton's arts and culture scene is always lively—especially at the Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre Center, featuring a wide variety of dance, drama and musical productions year-after-year, everything from traveling ballet troupes to jazz performances.
On campus, see what's happening at the Lewis Center for the Arts. It presents numerous public performances, exhibitions, readings, film screenings and lectures annually (many are free!). Use your savings to help finance an overnight getaway. Enjoy the contemporary setting at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, also home of Catch a Rising Star comedy club. Or stay at the quaint Nassau Inn, a landmark in the heart of Palmer Square, Princeton’s charming shopping and dining district.
Frosty Strolls in Lambertville
The Delaware River town of Lambertville exudes plenty of historic charm, and you’ll see why it’s nicknamed “The Antiques Capital of New Jersey” as you stroll along its major thoroughfares (Bridge and Union Streets). Shopping includes antique dealers, boutiques and fine art galleries like Jim’s of Lambertville. Take Route 179 from town to catch Broadway favorites at Music Mountain Theatre, which offers performances for the mainstage as well as those geared for young audiences.
Lambertville is also known as a dining destination, and many of its popular restaurants—including Hamilton’s Grill Room and El Tule Mexican & Peruvian Restaurant—are BYOB. Instead of driving home after that bottle of Cabernet, enjoy a cozy stay at the Lambertville House Hotel, which has been welcoming guests since 1812. Or enjoy a charming stay at The Inn at Lambertville Station, which offers fine dining on-site, as well as an award-winning Sunday brunch.
Make the most of your winter with a Central New Jersey arts & culture getaway. As always, we recommend checking out the official website for the venues, restaurants or accommodations of your choosing before visiting to ensure you understand the latest hours of operation, restrictions and policies. For more artsy ideas all over the state, be sure to download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news.