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Experience

New Brunswick Things to Do

Quirky, under-the-radar experiences only a local could recommend.

The Heldrich invites you to explore the best of downtown New Brunswick attractions just outside our front door. We are directly across the street from three performing arts theaters, and moments from shopping, dining and nightlife. Less than 60 minutes away, you can visit Manhattan landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty; or take a day trip to Atlantic City and the Jersey shore.

THE STATE THEATRE NEW JERSEY

state theater in new brunswick

Enjoy the State Theatre NJ Only Steps from The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick


Located in the heart of downtown New Brunswick, The State Theatre hosts a wide variety of musical and theatrical performances.

Events, Packages & Shows

  1. BUY TICKETS

Did You Know ...
The State Theatre has been a New Brunswick landmark since 1921, when it first opened on December 26, and was then known as "Reade's State Theatre."

The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center

New Brunswick Performing Arts Center

EXPLORE THE NEW BRUNSWICK PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

When the curtain goes up on The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in the fall of 2019, the state-of-the-art center will immediately take its rightful place as one of the Northeast's premier venues for musical, dance and theatrical performances.

NBPAC will offer a vibrant and diverse performance program that will elevate the Center to the role of entertainment and cultural hub throughout the community, state and region. It will offer show-stopping experiences that captivate, entertain and leave audiences clamoring for Encores.

The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center will include the Main Stage, which is a 463 seat Proscenium Theater designed to accommodate musical theater, dance, opera, and dramatic theater. While the Arthur Laurents Theater, also designed as a Proscenium Theater, will primarily host theatrical and smaller dance performances. It includes a 60 ft. stage with a state-of-the-art grid system for lighting and sound. It will accommodate 252 patrons, in the orchestra (222), and balcony (30). It is anticipated that this theater will be home to a variety of performing types including dramatic theater and dance with styles ranging from traditional to experimental.

Member companies include The George Street Playhouse, the American Repertory Princeton Ballet School, Crossroads Theatre, and Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.

LEARN MORE

RUTGERS EVENTS

Rutgers' football stadium

Experience the Adventure of a Rutgers Event at The Heldrich

Come cheer on the Home Team!  Whether its a football game at High Point Solutions Stadium, or a basketball game at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, known to the locals as "The RAC," feel the thrills and excitement of The Scarlet Knights!  See the game schedule >

Fun Facts:
Did you know that Rutgers University played the first intercollegiate football game, on November 6, 1869 against Princeton University; 
Rutgers won 6-4!

New Brunswick Dining Guide

Did you know that New Brunswick has not one, not two, but THREE restaurants that made AAA's Four-Diamond list this year? 

New Jersey foodies already know that New Brunswick is a restaurant hotspot - now, we want to share our dozens of out-of-this-world eateries with you. And the best news? Everything on our dining guide is within walking distance of The Heldrich!
 

  1. VIEW AREA DINING GUIDE

Explore New Jersey & NYC

The Heldrich Hotel is situated just a 5-minute walk away from the NJ Transit Line, making downtown New York City accessible via an easy 60-minute train ride.

Or, take in the sights of Atlantic City or the Jersey Shore - both less than an hour away too. A stay at The Heldrich is an affordable alternative to expensive downtown hotel accommodations.

  1. NJ Transit Information

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The Helrich Wanderguide

Your top-rated places to explore in New Brunswick, NJ

Brunswick Farmers Market

Brunswick Farmers Market

Distance: 0.6 mi


In the 10 years the market has been around, it has outgrown two locations, meaning there are three mini-markets scattered around town on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Brunswick Farmers Market

Brunswick Farmers Market

Distance: 0.6 mi


In the 10 years the market has been around, it has outgrown two locations, meaning there are three mini-markets scattered around town on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

George Street Playhouse

George Street Playhouse

Distance: 0.2 mi


No need to head into New York City to see a show...on- and off-Broadway musicals, dramas, and comedies play right down the street every Friday from October to April.

George Street Playhouse

George Street Playhouse

Distance: 0.2 mi


No need to head into New York City to see a show...on- and off-Broadway musicals, dramas, and comedies play right down the street every Friday from October to April.

New Brunswick Train Station

New Brunswick Train Station

Distance: 0.2 mi


Like an old train stop out of a movie, this quaint train station is the perfect launching point for day trips to New York and throughout New Jersey. @Tom Slucer

New Brunswick Train Station

New Brunswick Train Station

Distance: 0.2 mi


Like an old train stop out of a movie, this quaint train station is the perfect launching point for day trips to New York and throughout New Jersey. @Tom Slucer

Old Man Rafferty's Restaurant

Old Man Rafferty`s Restaurant

Distance: 0.02 mi


Affectionately known as “the New Brunswick habit,” this local eatery serves classics like chicken pot pie and corned beef brisket sandwiches in modern, atmospheric digs.

Old Man Rafferty's Restaurant

Old Man Rafferty`s Restaurant

Distance: 0.02 mi


Affectionately known as “the New Brunswick habit,” this local eatery serves classics like chicken pot pie and corned beef brisket sandwiches in modern, atmospheric digs.

Rutgers Busch Campus

Rutgers Busch Campus

Distance: 0.5 mi


Launched as a “daring move” during the Great Depression, today the Busch campus section of Rutgers University–New Brunswick boasts five libraries, a stadium, and even an 18-hole golf course!

Rutgers Busch Campus

Rutgers Busch Campus

Distance: 0.5 mi


Launched as a “daring move” during the Great Depression, today the Busch campus section of Rutgers University–New Brunswick boasts five libraries, a stadium, and even an 18-hole golf course!

Rutgers Douglass Campus

Rutgers Douglass Campus

Distance: 0 mi


Rutgers has more to offer than your average college campus, like the 60,000-works-strong Zimmerli Art Museum and the hidden gardens tucked under the Route 1 exit ramps.

Rutgers Douglass Campus

Rutgers Douglass Campus

Distance: 0 mi


Rutgers has more to offer than your average college campus, like the 60,000-works-strong Zimmerli Art Museum and the hidden gardens tucked under the Route 1 exit ramps.

Rutgers High Point Stadium

Rutgers High Point Stadium

Distance: 1 mi


Truly a multi use facility, you can catch a football game, both men's and women’s basketball, as well as wrestling and lacrosse.

Rutgers High Point Stadium

Rutgers High Point Stadium

Distance: 1 mi


Truly a multi use facility, you can catch a football game, both men's and women’s basketball, as well as wrestling and lacrosse.

Rutgers Livingston Campus

Rutgers Livingston Campus

Distance: 0.5 mi


The expansive Livingston or "Livi" campus is located in Piscataway and is the youngest of Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s five campuses. The compact walkable area boasts plenty of entertainment, with a plaza featuring a movie theater and restaurants. @RBScomm

Rutgers Livingston Campus

Rutgers Livingston Campus

Distance: 0.5 mi


The expansive Livingston or "Livi" campus is located in Piscataway and is the youngest of Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s five campuses. The compact walkable area boasts plenty of entertainment, with a plaza featuring a movie theater and restaurants. @RBScomm

Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

Distance: 0.02 mi


Clams, local oysters, lobster, or stone crab? Why choose when you could order the Seafood Tower and get them all and more.

Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

Distance: 0.02 mi


Clams, local oysters, lobster, or stone crab? Why choose when you could order the Seafood Tower and get them all and more.

Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

Distance: 0 mi


Twenty-one second-floor windows look out at the Theater District, giving you an amazing view while you dine on some amazing Italian food.

Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

Distance: 0 mi


Twenty-one second-floor windows look out at the Theater District, giving you an amazing view while you dine on some amazing Italian food.

State Theatre New Jersey

State Theatre New Jersey

Distance: 0 mi


In 2003, as many as 20 layers of paint were removed from the walls of this 1921 Thomas W. Lamb–designed theater during a $3 million restoration. @State Teatre NJ

State Theatre New Jersey

State Theatre New Jersey

Distance: 0 mi


In 2003, as many as 20 layers of paint were removed from the walls of this 1921 Thomas W. Lamb–designed theater during a $3 million restoration. @State Teatre NJ

Steakhouse 85

Steakhouse 85

Distance: 0.02 mi


You’ll go for the steak, you’ll stay for the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. You'll leave happy.

Steakhouse 85

Steakhouse 85

Distance: 0.02 mi


You’ll go for the steak, you’ll stay for the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. You'll leave happy.

Stress Factory Comedy Club

Stress Factory Comedy Club

Distance: 0.2 mi


In Stress Factory’s 20 years, it has hosted the likes of Amy Schumer, Drew Carey, and Chris Rock. See which up-and-coming comedian or famous act will be performing during your visit.

Stress Factory Comedy Club

Stress Factory Comedy Club

Distance: 0.2 mi


In Stress Factory’s 20 years, it has hosted the likes of Amy Schumer, Drew Carey, and Chris Rock. See which up-and-coming comedian or famous act will be performing during your visit.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

The Grape Escape

Distance: 11 mi


Choose the region, varietal, and barrel type then spend four sessions crushing, pressing, racking, and bottling your own signature wine.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

The Grape Escape

Distance: 11 mi


Choose the region, varietal, and barrel type then spend four sessions crushing, pressing, racking, and bottling your own signature wine.

The Helrich Wanderguide

Your top-rated places to explore in New Brunswick, NJ

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Flavor of

The best food artisans, farms, and local markets. 

New Brunswick Community Farmers Market

What started as just one home location on Jones Avenue in 2009 has grown to three market locations scattered across the city on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The weekday markets tend to be the quietest – which means more facetime with farmers and artisans, hawking everything from homemade honey and jams to local meat and veggies.

Scala Bakery

Scala Bakery

Said to be the best Italian bakery outside of New York’s five boroughs, this 50-year-old family-owned establishment utilizes every inch of its space, chockablock with a variety of traditional cookies, cakes, and pastries, as well as wonderful breads: semolina, rustic, rolls, rye, all made fresh daily. Just remember to bring cash or a check.  

Cypress Brewing

Cypress Brewing

Located just 15 minutes from New Brunswick on the other side of the New Jersey Turnpike, this nano-brewery is known for beers with progressive flavor profiles, deep colors, and frequent rotation (if you find something you like, scoop up a few growlers as it might not be there the next time). Eight taps are offered in its small tasting room, as well as tours of the attached brewhouse. 

Giamarese Farm & Orchards

Giamarese Farm & Orchards

This 35-acre East Brunswick farm has been in the Giamarese family since 1941 and is the locals’ choice when it comes to pick-your-own with quite the roster: strawberries, peas, peaches, apples, pumpkins, and greens. But if you’re not into picking, a farm store sells produce, as well as eggs, homemade pies, jam, and honey. 

The Weekender

How to spend 36 hours in New Brunswick, with The Heldrich as your base camp. 

Friday

6 p.m. | Dinner at Catherine Lombardi

Located within walking distance of The Heldrich, this second-floor Italian restaurant gets you a bird’s-eye view of the Theater District, thanks to 21 windows that line the spacious, deep red interior. Dishes embody the Italy-meets-Brooklyn cooking style of the owner’s grandmother, the restaurant’s namesake.

8 p.m. | Evening Show at the George Street Playhouse

No need to head into New York City to see a show…or cross the street for that matter. This playhouse is located within a five-minute drive from the hotel (along with two other theaters). With a mainstage season that runs October through April, productions include on- and off-Broadway musicals, dramas, and comedies with show times that start promptly at 8 p.m. on Fridays. 

Saturday

10 a.m. | Brunch at Hansel ’n Griddle

Don’t expect a super high-end brunch café from this local chain, but do expect hearty, well-made breakfast dishes served all day. Head to their location on the edge of Rutgers University campus on Easton Avenue to try their signature “breakfast crisp,” a three-egg omelet, Cajun-style home fries, bacon, and cheese all folded and grilled in a flour tortilla.

11 a.m. | Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

In the heart of Rutgers, the Voorhees Hall building contains what is said to be one of the largest university-based museums in the country with more than 60,000 works. Its most unique feature is its particularly extensive collection of Russian art. A realm of art history rarely seen in other museums, here, it accounts for almost one-third of the entire holdings.

3 p.m.| Spa at The Heldrich

Return to The Heldrich for a 55-minute Raindrop Therapy at the hotel’s spa [www.heldrichspa.com] (be sure to book ahead). This unique full-body treatment takes various oils and drips them down your spine and legs before fully massaging them in. Hot towels are applied to allow the oils to penetrate deeply into the skin.

7 p.m. | Comedy at Stress Factory

After grabbing dinner at one of the many eateries that line George Street (some picks: Glo, Hotoke, Tumulty’s Pub), you can easily walk to this comedy club that has been here for 20 years and has hosted the likes of Amy Schumer, Drew Carey, and Chris Rock. Doors open at 5 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m.  

Sunday

10 a.m. | Breakfast in Style

Before departing, you can’t miss dining at least once at the hotel’s urban-chic restaurant, Christopher’s, featuring theater-style lighting and an open-hearth kitchen. Breakfast comes in the form of a buffet, with chef-manned stations for omelets, waffles, and pancakes made-to-order. 

Like a Local

Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.

 

Rutgers Gardens

It’s a place that even the locals drive by, unaware of the little oasis tucked under the Route 1 exit ramps. Here, you’ll find a bamboo forest, interwoven with a path that follows a small creek and tiny waterfalls along the way, several botanical gardens (one boasting the world’s largest collection of holly), and a slew of wooded nature trails.

State Theatre

Most towns can claim a gem of a historic theater in their ranks. But not many can say their icon was built by one of the most prominent twentieth-century theater architects, Thomas W. Lamb. That’s why $3 million was invested in 2003 in this downtown 1921 theater, removing as many as 20 layers of paint in some places, to bring it back to its true design.


The Heldrich’s Art Collection

Three beautiful women with flowing red hair are always on hand to greet guests with apples as they enter the lobby of this downtown hotel. Actually nymphs from Greek mythology, the ladies are depicted in 10- by 10-foot nine-panel glass installation by J. Kenneth Leap – just one of several New Jersey artists represented in the hotel’s three-gallery art collection

The Adventurist

When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.

Feature Adventure: Bike About

One of the state’s most scenic bike paths calls Central New Jersey home: the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail. Shaped like a “V,” the smooth and flat route runs along an 1830s canal towpath from Frenchtown in the northwest down to Trenton in its southernmost point, then up to New Brunswick to the northeast over a continuous 70 miles along. With a dozen places to access it, the eastern side of the route (from New Brunswick down to Trenton) features 40 miles of scenic nineteenth-century bridges and bridge-tender houses, remnants of locks, and hand-built stone-arch culverts. 

Walking Tour | Historic Walking Tours of New Brunswick

4 centuries of history in 2 hours

Enjoy a two-hour tour that covers one-and-a-half miles of downtown New Brunswick; landmarks include one of the oldest churches in North America (dating back to 1717). Need a little more excitement? Try the drunken history pub crawl, where you can learn the history and have a few drinks along the way.

Making Wine | The Grape Escape

A wine with its own style.

Journey over to the leading East Coast hands-on winery to learn the winemaking process from start to finish. Choose the region, grape type, and barrel type, then return for four one-hour sessions to crush, press, rack, and bottle. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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