Things to do in West Orange

Summers Are Cooler at the Family Fun Nights at Turtle Back Zoo

Uncage your wild side and enjoy this annual summer series of events at the Turtle Back Zoo!

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Anyone who has grown up in the Garden State surely has memories of family fun at the Turtle Back Zoo. Not as renowned as its nearby Bronx cousin, this small space in West Orange, NJ holds just as much animal amusements and childlike wonderment. One such example is the beloved series of Turtle Back Zoo events that have just returned for 2018. Every Wednesday and Thursday in July and August, the Zoo extends its hours of operation to 8:00 PM. These Family Fun Nights at Turtle Back Zoo allow you to visit and experience the wild wonders of the animal kingdom when the summer temperatures are cooler.

There are special events at the Turtle Back Zoo that coincide with these extended hours! Not only do you get a chance to see all of the exhibits that have captivated families for years, such as the beloved Prairie Dogs and majestic Black Bears, depending on the day of the week, there’ll be even more amazing animal action to enjoy.

Wednesdays become a trip to the “Zoo-vies”!

Enjoy family-friendly (and animal-inspired) movies on the rooftop of the parking deck. Paddington 2 and Deep have already lit up the screen, but don’t miss out on Kong: Skull Island and The Jungle Book!

Thursdays are a true behind-the-scenes affair!

Not only are you in the Zoo after hours, on Thursdays, the trainers give you even more access to your favorite exhibits. Tour behind the scenes at the Shores of Africa or take in a special night version of the beloved Sea Lion Show!

Only a short distance away, The Wilshire Grand is ready to cap off your night in truly memorable fashion. The comfortable accommodations of The Wilshire Grand NJ will help you refresh and recharge after your walk on the wild side.


Don’t Miss the Freestyle Fun of Wild N' Out Live!

Nick Cannon is set to bring a live version of his “all that” MTV show to the Prudential Center!

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Who knew what started as a summer replacement show on MTV in 2005 would go on to span twelve seasons of sketch comedy greatness! And now, Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out is taking their brand of hilarious competitions and “ill improv” on the road! Wild N’ Out Live is not only the first full-length tour of this hit television series; it promises to be one of the top comedic can’t-miss Prudential Center events of the year!

What can you expect from this star-studded end to summer events in NJ?

Just like when watching from the comfort of your home, Wild N’ Out in NJ will feature a comedy lineup of the show’s regular cast members. From the comedy stylings of Chico Bean and Hitman Holla to the musical mastery of Fabolous and YFN Lucci, the action at the Prudential Center on Saturday, August 25, 2018, will be wild and out of this world in terms of stand-up savagery!

Yet what’s the best thing about attending the Wild N’ Out NJ stop on the tour? It has to be the chance to participate in some of the most popular games from the show with the cast. Can you imagine getting the chance to engage in a little “Talking’ Spit” in front of the PruCenter crowd with Nick Cannon himself? Or what about being chosen to come up on stage and assist with “Tore Up From The Floor Up”? These once-in-a-lifetime moments are only possible if you are there when the show kicks off at 8:00 PM!

The Wilshire Grand NJ is ready to get “wild” with you!

Being located less than 10 miles away from the Prudential Center NJ, The Wilshire Grand is the perfect luxurious haven to ensure your freestylin’ fun doesn’t have to end after the last punchline is thrown!


Frontiers Will Be Broken By Alejandro Fernandez at Prudential Center

The highly-anticipated kick off of the “Rompiendo Fronteras” (Breaking Frontiers) tour will bring a unique Latin flair to the Prudential Center!

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His name may not light up the domestic charts like Taylor Swift or Drake, but pop/ranchero star Alejandro Fernandez has sold over 30 million albums over the course of his 30-year career. Nicknamed El Potrillo by his adoring fans (as he is the son of the “King of Ranchero Music”), this “colt” is kicking off his 20 city “Rompiendo Fronteras” (Breaking Frontiers) tour at the Prudential Center on Thursday, August 23. Making this concert tour, which is in support of his 19th and latest album, even more legendary is the inclusion of the influential norteño group Los Tigres Del Norte.

These two juggernauts have differing musical styles, but after a massive fan campaign, their 2018 collaboration “Para Sacarte De Mi Vida" was born. You can be sure that during the Alejandro Fernandez 2018 tour, this collaborative effort will be unveiled for the first time on the live stage. That fact alone makes this one of the most anticipated summer events in NJ. Fans can expect these two legendary acts to live up to their solid reputations for bringing their stellar musicianship to the live stage in full force. Will Alejandro Fernandez continue his set-list of ranchera openings and stripped down pop tunes to send the crowd home happy? Or will this new pairing with Los Tigres Del Norte alter his tried and true formula for singles success?

When visiting the area for any Prudential Center Events, The Wilshire Grand is the perfect home base to ensure your experience is truly unforgettable. Located less than 10 miles away, let the luxurious comfort of The Wilshire Grand NJ be the ideal complement to your “frontier breaking” night! There are only a few summer concerts in NJ left for the season! Don’t miss out on this one-night-only event in the Garden State!


3 Reasons Why Summer Weddings at the Wilshire Grand NJ = Happily Ever After!

Even though weddings at The Wilshire Grand are wonderful in all four seasons, here are the reasons why you should consider sending a “save-the-date” invitation for a summer ceremony.

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Planning a wedding in the Garden State is a choice between four differing seasons, with each one inhabiting its own inherent charm. At The Wilshire Grand, we know that there’s one season that reigns supreme in the eyes of many brides-to-be. From longer days to warmer temperatures, here are the top 3 reasons why summer weddings at The Wilshire Grand always connote ‘happily ever after’:

The natural ambiance of our outdoor courtyard is blooming with beauty.

If you are planning to have your actual ceremony with us at The Wilshire Grand NJ, there’s no better backdrop to exchange your vows than our beautiful gardens and gorgeous wooded canopy. We do offer luxurious indoor ceremonies as well, but when many think of Wilshire Grand weddings, they envision the natural, lush landscaping of our outdoor gardens that weave the wonderful summer season into their blessed event.

Summer events in NJ naturally coincide with your guests’ vacation mindset.

A wedding is a communal celebration of your love with friends and family. For all Wilshire Grand Weddings 2018, our luxurious ballrooms can accommodate up to 400 guests. Having both on-site and nearby overnight accommodations, you can invite everyone your heart desires! And during the summer, it’s a lot easier for people to RSVP with a confirmation of their attendance.

We have everything you need under one roof!

You’ll have full control of designing your personal wedding package with our expert team members. With full-service facilities, experienced chefs, hospitality suites, floral designers, photographers, musicians, and many other customizable features, you’re in control of ensuring the most important day of your life is exactly how YOU have always imagined!

Our on-line wedding planner has even more details on how The Wilshire Grand will ensure your summer wedding is the fairytale you always dreamed it would be!


Don’t Miss Out on the Summer Nights at SOPAC!

This series of summer events at SOPAC ensures that Wednesday is no longer the most dreaded day on your weekly calendar!

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Every week, the dreaded Wednesday “Hump Day” blues sink in. This sentiment may increase to truly feeling like a “Slump Day” when the summer months roll around. The kids are out of school! The weather’s warm! The nights are longer! But the work week is still only halfway through!  The Wilshire Grand wishes to ensure you no longer feel wary of Wednesday by recommending this returning and highly-anticipated series of summer events in NJ: South Orange Summer Nights!

The SO Summer Nights are weekly Wednesday night programs jointly produced by the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and SOPAC. Three separate programs blend together to form these fun summer nights at SOPAC:

Art in the Park – Let your artistic soul shine at the remaining 2018 events taking place at Floods Hill in Meadowland Park from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (adults and children age 6 and older is recommended).

Concerts in the Park – Arrive early to Floods Hill to sample the delicious delights from the food trucks and get your prime spot on the lawn before this concert series pumps up the jams at 7:30 PM (approximately 2 hours in duration). These four musical South Orange events will ensure you aren’t singing the Wednesday blues!

Moonlit Movies – Rounding out this season of SO Summer Nights are the three movie screenings at Floods Hill. Starting at 8:00 PM, a trio of 2017 family favorites (Coco, Jumanji, and Despicable Me 3) will light up the park.

Floods Hill is the place to be to wash away your case of the Wednesdays. The perfect complement to these South Orange events is booking a room with us at The Wilshire Grand NJ. Approximately five miles away, the luxurious comfort of our accommodations will guarantee your Wednesday is no longer weary and woeful, but wonderful, winsome, and worthwhile!


Unleash Your Inner Party Animal at Brew at the Zoo!

Pour on the fun and take a walk on the wild side at the Brew at the Zoo VI!

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Normally, a trip to Turtle Back Zoo is a fun-filled outing for the whole family. Yet at the annual adults-only Brew at the Zoo, slated for Saturday, June 30, the only children to be found are of the wild variety – both the animals of the zoo and your unleashed inner child. who’s ready to take a walk on the wild side! This year, Brew at the Zoo at Turtle Back Zoo will commemorate the park’s 55th birthday and only those with a valid ID are invited to the party. The Brew at the Zoo VI is three full hours (6:00 PM – 9:00 PM) of live entertainment, delicious delicacies from a myriad of local food vendors, and a selection of over 100 craft brews to whet your palate.

Food truck and beer festivals may be all the rage, but Brew at the Zoo NJ brings beers and beasts together for a truly one-of-a-kind event. Round up your drinking buddies and enjoy slinging back the suds with your new animal pals. You may think that you are the king party animal, but at Brew at the Zoo NJ 2018, you will soon discover the true royalty are the majestic creatures you have the pleasure of drinking alongside. Alligators, Otters, Penguins, even the world’s largest rodent in the Capybara are all along for your walk on the wild side.

After a full night of animal antics and a bevy of brews, you’ll need a comfortable place to crash. Soak up the afterglow at the Wilshire Grand NJ and allow yourself a chance to relax and your inner party animal to become caged once more. Located only a few miles away from the Turtle Back Zoo, Wilshire Grand has the ideal comfortable accommodations to refresh and rejuvenate as the wild wears away.


K CON 2018: The Korean Youth Culture Fandom Event Returns!

K Con 2018 is ready to bring all things “Hallyu” back to New Jersey!

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The inaugural event may have just taken place six years ago, but the upcoming celebration of popular Korean-culture at the Prudential Center is set to turn the “Hallyu”, or Korean Wave, into a tsunami! Now in its seventh year, K CON 2018 USA will continue its trademark of being part convention, part musical festival, all the while being fully dedicated to celebrating the best of Korean entertainment, cuisine, fashion and a myriad of other cultural entities. Last year, K CON NY was attended by more than 43,000 fans, and it is expected that the number will only continue to grow this year.  

KCON 2018 NY will return to Newark’s Prudential Center for the fourth consecutive year on June 23-24, 2018. Activities and different expositions, with a focus on Korean beauty, will be held throughout the two-day event. From food tastings and product demonstrations to panels and meet-and-greets, there will be fun-filled events for everyone, from the biggest “Hallyu stans” to the KPop neophytes who are still rocking out to “Gangnam Style”! When night falls, this convention turns into a concert event not to be missed, with many popular Korean acts still being added to the final line-up.

So, are you all ready to rock your biggest “eye smile” when K Con 2018 at Prudential descends upon the East Coast? The Wilshire Grand is conveniently located just minutes away from the Prudential Center, and is the perfect home base to unwind, relax and bask in the afterglow of your personal Hallyu experience. Whether traveling from afar or just a few miles down the road, we invite you to come spend the night with us, ensuring that your KCON experience is comfortable and stress-free. The Korean Wave is almost here, and The Wilshire Grand NJ is ready to ride it out with you! 


Come See a Show at SOPAC This Summer

This summer, we recommend you come see a show at SOPAC. They put on some of the best productions you’ll ever experience.

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Shows You Should See This Summer at the South Orange Performing Arts Center

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to go out with friends and enjoy some entertainment! Here are just a few of the shows you need to see at SOPAC this summer:

Savion Glover & OUT’KNiGHTz

Are you ready to witness the best tap dancer who has ever lived? Then you need to see Savion Glover, who is celebrating 33 years as a tap dancer and choreographer. The show will be on May 19, 2018 at 8 PM and is a Director’s Pick.

Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir

If you’re interested in Performing Arts in NJ, you need to check out Broadway Show Choir. They perform full song-and-dance routines from acclaimed shows on Broadway, including Newsies, Hairspray, and Rent. The performance will be on June 30, 2018 at 8 PM.

Gallery Exhibit: INSPIRED MINDS

The South Orange Performing Arts Center is proud to present Inspired Minds. This exhibit is a celebration of young artists in the area who are incredibly talented. The exhibit runs through August 17, 2018.

The Wilshire Grand Hotel Welcomes You and Your Entourage

Will you be able to come to South Orange and enjoy some of these incredible Performing Arts showcases? If so, we welcome you to stay with us at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. At the Wilshire Grand, you will have a comfortable place to call home during your time here. You can even bring your pets! We offer incredible amenities, including free WiFi and a complimentary breakfast for you and your family.

All of us here at the Wilshire Grand NJ hope to see you soon!


What's Happening Memorial Day Weekend in NJ and NYC?

If you plan to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in NJ/NYC, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy with your friends or family all weekend long. 

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Things to do Memorial Day Weekend in NJ/NYC

Woodland Park's Memorial Day Street Fair on McBride Avenue runs from 11 AM to 6 PM on Memorial Day. The warming temperatures make this holiday the ideal time to get out of the house for a block party with great food and live music. For the kids, there will be a petting zoo, sand art, pony rides, and many more fun activities.

If you plan to celebrate Memorial Day in NYC, there are a ton of great events taking place all over the city. Celebrate the end of Fleet Week with a tour of some of the U.S Navy ships that are docked in Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn or join in on one of the many parties and celebrations happening all over New York. 

Don't let bad weather keep you in the house. Although the museums will be closed on Monday in honor of the holiday, you can still visit the Montclair Art Museum and Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday.

How Wilshire Grand Can Help You Celebrate Memorial Day 2018 in NJ

If you're traveling in from out of town to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in NJ or NYC, consider staying with us at The Wilshire Grand NJ. Activities on Memorial Day weekend 2018 in NYC make the Manhattan area extremely congested, and our convenient location is a relaxing and luxurious alternative to hotels in the heart of the city.


Enjoy a New York Red Bulls Game at Red Bull Arena

Summer is on its way. This weather is the perfect time to enjoy a New York Red Bulls Game at Red Bull Arena.

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Watch the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena

The arena in Harrison, New Jersey has 25,000 seats overlooking emerald green grass to enjoy a game day out of the house. The stadium is part of a larger two-phase development project in New Jersey's Riverbend District.

The 30 luxury skyboxes and 1,000 club seats are perfect for watching New York Red Bulls Games with optimal comfort and style.

There are plenty of concession options inside the arena. The Chipper offers tasty delights like chicken and waffles, garlic fries, mac and cheese, and pulled pork fries. Other grills and concession stands provide traditional favorites like jumbo hot dogs, popcorn, and pizza.

Inside the stadium, drinkers can enjoy Budweiser, Coors, Yuengling, Blue Moon, Flying Fish IPA, and several other specialty brews. A beer garden is located near the arena where fans can watch performances from the Freestyle Soccer Street Team and take part in many fun activities.

Everyone, two years of age and older, needs a ticket to enter the field and make sure to check the list of prohibited items before planning your visit.

Plan Game Day with The Wilshire Grand Hotel

If you'd like to check out a soccer match at the stadium, consider staying with us. The Wilshire Grand NJ is a short drive from the stadium and offers several special packages to help you make the most of your visit.