The charming township of East Brunswick is one of the fastest-growing suburban areas in central Middlesex County, New Jersey.
It is part of the New York metropolitan area and sits on the southern shore of the Raritan River.
The South River runs parallel to its easterly and southern sides, while the Farrington Lake borders its westerly side.
Early settlers of Scotch, English, Dutch, and German origin arrived in the area in the 17th century.
In 1860, East Brunswick was incorporated as a township from parts of North Brunswick and Monroe.
Besides its rich history, East Brunswick takes pride in its many attractions, including the East Brunswick Museum, Crystal Springs Family Waterpark, and Brunswick Square.
Here are the best things to do in East Brunswick, New Jersey:
Shop ‘Til You Drop at Brunswick Square
For a wide range of entertainment and shopping options, visit Brunswick Square along State Route 18.
You can go on a shopping spree with its anchor stores, Macy’s and JCPenney, and other shopping spots offering accessories, toys, and more.
Some of the shopping mall’s attractions include an arcade zone, all-in adventures escape rooms, and a movie theater.
If you need a short break or crave something mouthwatering like burgers, desserts, and pretzels, you can dine at one of the restaurants in the mall.
Brunswick Square has a friendly atmosphere and hosts exciting events throughout the year, including festivals, shows, and Christmas programs.
Check Out the Stunning Butterflies at the Butterfly Park
If you’re fond of butterflies, visit Butterfly Park, the first municipal park in New Jersey devoted to the conservation and enjoyment of butterflies.
It has an 11-acre preserve adjoining Great Oak Park and a 1,000-foot-long cinder trail with extensive plants that attract butterflies.
It also has a 400-foot meadow trail and 1,000 feet of woodland trails.
Located on Rues Lane, Butterfly Park is home to diverse wildlife species, including butterflies, rabbits, and birds.
However, note that butterflies may only be visible during peak season, which is summer.
Visitors can use field guides and butterfly nets at the park entrance near the kiosk.
All trails have signs and benches to sit on when you need to rest.
If you need more convincing, Butterfly Park has bagged numerous awards and garnered wide media coverage since its beginning in 2002, including in the Start Ledger and USA Today.
Fill Your Basket at Giamarese Farm & Orchards
Sitting on Fresh Pond Road, Giamarese Farm & Orchards is a family-owned and operated farm dating to 1941.
They have pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, peaches, pumpkins, greens, and varieties of apples, plus “Choose ‘n Cut Christmas Trees.”
You may call them to make sure about availability.
You can also visit their Greenhouse & Farm Market, filled with seasonal field fresh produce, spring bedding plants, herbs, and hanging baskets.
Moreover, you’ll enjoy their Corn Maze, Hayrides, Farm Tours, and other fun events.
Giamarese Farm & Orchards is open from May through December.
Watch Theatrical Performances at Playhouse 22
East Brunswick Community Players founded Playhouse 22, an all-volunteer-run community theater, more than 60 years ago.
The theater moved into its first home, “Playhouse 22,” 22 years after its founding until it moved into its current location in East Brunswick Community Arts Center on Cranbury Road.
This community theater is home to award-winning productions, including straight plays, musicals, and a series of original play-readings by local playwrights throughout New Jersey.
They have staged hundred of stellar shows, including “Into the Woods” and “1776” for mainstage musicals and “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Rumors” for plays.
Since 1994, they have also showcased an original production of “A Christmas Carol.”
Playhouse 22 also hosts events, such as theater festivals, live music concerts, and children’s programs.
Besides being long recognized by the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters for its excellence in community theater, Playhouse 22 has also garnered numerous awards and nominations in different areas.
Play Your Favorite Sport at Bicentennial Park
There are plenty of things to enjoy with the family and friends in the more than 30-acre Bicentennial Park, located on Hardenburg Lane.
The park boasts athletic and sports facilities excellent for those who want to practice or play basketball, volleyball, tennis, handball, football, and more.
At the same time, the place is perfect for family outings because it has picnic tables and areas, grills, parking, restrooms, and a playground for kids.
Bicentennial Park sits beside Farrington Lake, which provides water recreation like fishing and kayaking.
You can also hike the trails or spend a relaxing afternoon soaking up nature.
Test Your Skills at Tamarack Golf Course
The Hal Purdy-designed Tamarack Golf Course offers two 18-hole championship golf courses that will test even the most experienced golfers.
It is home to numerous Middlesex County high school golf teams.
New Jersey State Golf Association rated it the second most difficult golf course in Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Somerset, and Union Counties.
The par-71 East (Gold and Blue) course spans 6,226 yards, while the par-72 West (Red and White) course spans 7,025 yards.
This public golf course has an excellent practice facility for those who want to improve their game.
The golf course also features locker rooms, electric golf carts, and two large putting greens.
Play a round of golf at Tamarack Golf Course on Hardenburg Lane and visit the restaurant in its clubhouse afterward to treat yourself to food and drink.
Beat the Heat at Crystal Springs Family Waterpark
Crystal Springs Family Waterpark is perfect for families for its family-friendly attractions.
It lies on Dunhams Corner Road and is New Jersey’s first municipal waterpark.
This spot takes pride in its water amenities, including water slides, a lazy river, a spray park, and separate pools for kids.
Life jackets are available for guests on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The park also features a concession stand offering various menu options and selling waterproof nose clips to waterproof ID holders.
Crystal Springs Family Waterpark is open seasonally and requires you to follow its regulations for safety.
You must also pay a fee to enter the park and enjoy the water activities.
Reconnect with Nature at Ireland Brook Conservation Area
The Ireland Brook Conservation Area is part of East Brunswick and South Brunswick.
It spans over 500 acres and is best for passive recreation activities.
Here, you'll enjoy hiking the trails, taking photographs of picturesque surroundings, reconnecting with nature, and viewing wildlife.
The 0.8-mile Forest Brook Trail is accessible from East Brunswick’s Riva Avenue, while the 1.8-mile Ireland Brook Trail is accessible from South Brunswick’s Parkview Court.
The trail on Farrington Lake connects the Ireland Brook Conservation Area and Davidson’s Mill Pond Park in South Brunswick.
See the Exhibits at the East Brunswick Museum
The East Brunswick Museum is a great way to learn and discover the history of early life in East Brunswick and its surrounding areas.
It features an extensive collection of artifacts, documents, and personal and household items that illustrate the heritage of the East Brunswick area.
Exhibit collections include many local farms’ antique farming implements, tiles from the Old Bridge Enameled Brick and Tile Company, paintings like “Winter in Old Bridge,” and Native American artifacts like pottery shards and ax heads.
The East Brunswick Museum has interpretive tours and events like the Annual Cemetery Tour, where you’ll walk along candlelit paths and enjoy entertainment from actors dressed in period costumes.
East Brunswick Museum is in the Historic Village of Old Bridge on Maple Street.
Its building was the former home of the 1862-built Simpson Methodist Church, which East Brunswick Township bought in 1977 to function as a museum.
Enjoy a Week-Long Fun at the Middlesex County Fair
The annual Middlesex County Fair takes place on the first week of August at the Middlesex County Fairgrounds on Cranbury Road.
This event has been around for over 80 years, gathering over 70,000 visitors from across the New York metropolitan area every year.
There are so many things to enjoy with your family, friends, and special someone during this annual tradition.
These are carnival rides, kids’ activities, 4-H exhibits, arts and crafts, home goods, food vendors, and the rich agricultural heritage of Middlesex County.
In addition to animal exhibits, the Middlesex County Fair also presents dog shows and horse demos.
Attractions, entertainment, and fireworks also add fun to the week-long event.
Let the Kids Enjoy at LakeView Day Camp
Nestled on Riva Avenue, Lakeview Day Camp is the perfect summer environment for children.
It was established as a resident camp in 1939 and became the day camp it is today.
This 20-acre oasis, alongside scenic Farrington Lake, boasts numerous day camp facilities and activities, so kids can make the most of their time while making friends.
They will enjoy creative arts, including ceramics, cooking, and woodshop; creative play, including a pirate ship playground, gaga, and spaceship playground; performing arts featuring music, yoga, and theater; and sports, including tennis, soccer, and basketball.
Water adventures are also available, like kayaking and canoeing on the lake and outdoor adventures, like archery, mountain biking, and zip lines.
Besides these, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in their wide-open spaces, wooded nature trails, cabins, adventure complex, trees, waterfront, and athletic fields.
Lakeview Day Camp has a well-trained and seasoned staff, which guarantees children's safety and security while having fun.
Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Heavenly Farms
Adjacent to the Middlesex County Fairgrounds, Heavenly Farms spans roughly 150 acres, with many facilities where you can have a good time with friends.
You can play and practice football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, or softball at this park.
If golfing, walking, or biking is your thing, there’s a disc golf course and trails here.
You can also bring your furry friends to the charming dog park section.
Other features at Heavenly Farms are lighted fields, ample parking, and restrooms.
You’ll enjoy its vast open space and beautiful greenery on Dunhams Corner Road.
Enjoy a Fantastic Meal at Gusto Grill
Established in 2006, Gusto Grill is an American restaurant and sports bar serving various classic and modern American fare.
They have a wide selection of craft beer, wines, signature cocktails, and entreés of varying meats, and they also offer internationally inspired cuisine.
Sample the short rib cavatapi (cabernet braised shredded short rib ragù, pecorino) or try their specials like the Gusto chicken parm (breaded chicken cutlet, melted fresh mozzarella, and penne vodka with tomato and spinach).
Gusto Grill has a beautiful aesthetic interior and friendly staff.
You’ll find this restaurant on Route 18.
Relax at Welsh Park
Welsh Park features hiking trails and picnic amenities such as picnic areas, tables, and grills.
You may bring your children here because it has a playground and a tot lot.
You may also play basketball, baseball, or softball.
Its quiet and relaxing atmosphere is also ideal for breathing fresh air or reading a book.
Find Welsh Park on Gordon Avenue if you want to enjoy solitude or with some companions.
Let Your Kids Have a Memorable Day at The Jumping Jungle
Located on Alvin Court near Tices Lane Park, The Jumping Jungle has been around the state since April 2009.
This 10,000-square-foot clean, safe indoor inflatable amusement center is geared toward kids of all ages.
It has been voted the best place to host a child’s birthday party in Central Jersey for five consecutive years.
Kids would love to climb, slide, and bounce, and adding to the fun are the laser tag and summer camp, featuring story time, music, arts and crafts, sports, games, and more.
The amusement center has a café with Italian, Mexican, and American Indian food options.
If you want to celebrate your kids’ birthday or other special events at The Jumping Jungle, you may call them for bookings.
East Brunswick has many things to offer, both indoor and outdoor fun.
You’ll enjoy viewing artifacts at the museum, exploring verdant parks, shopping at the mall, dining at restaurants, or experiencing a week-long fun at the county fair.
Check out these best things to do in East Brunswick, New Jersey, to make the most of your trip!