New Brunswick and its surrounding communities in central New Jersey offer six free things to do during an affordable family vacation.
The climate is typical of the northeast region – hot, humid summers, chilly winters, and moderate to considerable rainfall throughout the year.
Known for its ethnic heritage, New Brunswick was once home to a quarter of the state’s Hungarian population. It now houses a plethora of fine arts attractions, including three theater companies and a geology museum, and is a hub for punk-rock music. Its food options range from fine Italian and Middle Eastern dining to “The Grease Trucks,” a series of mobile vendors on the campus of Rutgers University specializing in high-cholesterol favorites.
1. Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum: Exhibits 50,000 pieces of art. Specialties include Russian and Soviet art, 19th century French art, and 19th and 20th century American art. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Free for all on the first Sunday of each month. Otherwise, children are admitted free and adults pay $3. New Brunswick.
2. Dozens of Parks: The area's 20 parks include 7,000 acres of baseball, football, and soccer fields, as well as ponds, playgrounds, boat ramps, and walking/hiking trails.
3. Rutgers Gardens: Provides information about public horticulture, the correlation between plants, human health and nutrition, and the roles plants perform in both manmade and natural landscapes.
4. Walking Tour of New Brunswick: Explore historic buildings and landscaping in downtown New Brunswick, as well as several sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
5. Rutgers Historical Walking Tour: Discover the origins, traditions, and architectural points of interest connected with this historic American college. Tours available by appointment – Fridays at 11:30 a.m. during the summer.
6. Edison Memorial Tower / Menlo Park Museum: Explore the state park, tower, and museum dedicated to the creativity and historical contributions of Thomas Edison. Open Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.