Remedy the Winter Blahs with a Central Jersey Culture Cure

  • arts and culture in New Jersey

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, and cozy getaways in three unique destinations. This seasonal pick-me-up from New Jersey Travel & Tourism comes just in time for your winter planning.

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, 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, fine Italian dining at Due Mari and Catherine Lombardi Restaurant 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 at places like The Heldrich in downtown New Brunswick or the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick.

Seasonal Openings in Ivy-Covered Princeton

Princeton's arts & culture scene is always lively—especially at the Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre, featuring more than 200 dance, drama and music productions per year, everything from traveling ballet troupes to jazz performances. 

On campus, don't miss the diverse exhibits at the Princeton University Art Museum, ranging from ancient relics to contemporary art, collected from all over the world. Best of all, the museum is free to the public. Or see what's happening at the brand-new Lewis Center for the Arts. It presents over 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, film screenings and lectures annually. (Many are also free!) Use your spare change 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 area.

Frosty Strolls in Lambertville

The Delaware River town of Lambertville exudes plenty of Victorian charm, and you'll see why it's nicknamed "The Antiques Capital of New Jersey" as you stroll along its main streets (Bridge and Union). Shopping includes antique dealers, boutiques and fine art galleries like Jim's of Lambertvile. Take Route 179 from town to catch Broadway favorites at New Jersey's newest stage: Lambertville's Music Mountain Theatre, which also offers relaxed productions for patrons with autism or sensory sensitivities.

Lambertville is also known as a dining destination, and many of its restaurants, like Hamilton's Grill Room, El Tule Restaurant and Liberty Hall Pizza, 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 the charming Chimney Hill Estate Inn. Or enjoy a charming stay at The Inn at Lambertville Station, which offers fine dining onsite, as well as an award-winning Sunday brunch. For more food, music and fun, consider timing your visit to coincide with the Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival, happening every January.

Make the most of your winter with a Central New Jersey arts & culture getaway. For more artsy ideas, be sure to download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news.