Around Town

Discover The Winter Attractions near The Wilshire Grand Hotel at Turtle Back Zoo!

You don’t need a fur coat to enjoy a winter getaway to the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange!

The residents of Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange New Jersey don’t leave town during the winter months! And with reduced admission rates and still a full day of operating hours, anyone looking for winter attractions in West Orange New Jersey should consider taking a walk on the wild side at Turtle Back Zoo! If you’re planning your vacation in New Jersey during the beginning of the New Year, The Wilshire Grand Hotel, one of the top hotels in West Orange, has three can’t-miss suggestions for your day at the Zoo:

Take a Behind the Scenes Tour!
Each month offers a different backstage look at a specific resident of the zoo. And for the Saturdays and Sundays in January 2019, you have the chance Turtle swim to get a meet and greet with the tallest – the giraffes! Each 30-45 minute tour also includes admission to the Zoo, but are only limited to 10 people. Be sure to book ahead!

Sea Turtle Recovery
The Zoo has partnered with this non-profit effort to help care for sick and injured sea turtles. Once the turtles in their care – that you can learn about and help during your visit – have regained their health, they will be released back into the sea!

Hike “Wild New Jersey”
Hike this rustic trail and view native New Jersey animals in their natural habitat. From bobcats to the newer addition of the Barred owls, you will get an appreciation for all of the amazing wildlife in our own Garden State!

Unlike the warmer months when all of their wild residents are outdoors, most of the exhibits have moved indoors. Still, after a day out exploring any winter events in West Orange New Jersey, warm up in luxurious comfort by booking a room with us at the nearby Wilshire Grand Hotel.


Discover Your Perfect Pet-Friendly Hotel for the Holidays – The Wilshire Grand!

Our pets are part of our family and The Wilshire Grand Hotel is waiting to welcome you all through our doors this holiday season!

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It may be traditional to be “home for the holidays”, yet many of us are finding ourselves spending part of this season at a hotel. Whether it’s due to wanting to get away or having family members living further apart, it becomes imperative to find a place where the family is comfortable and feels at home… and we mean the entire family!

Years ago, this may not have been possible. But now, there are quite a few pet-friendly hotels in New Jersey that are ready to open their doors for your whole family’s celebrations. Yet when it comes to pet-friendly hotels in West Orange, New Jersey, no one does it better than The Wilshire Grand! Embrace this opportunity to celebrate the holidays with your furry family members by your side!

Before you arrive…
When making your reservation, ensure that we know you’ll be bringing your entire family with you. There’ll be other guests who are not seeking a pet-friendly in West Orange, New Jersey accommodation and we want to make sure that each and every guest gets the best experience possible. Even though we wish that we could accommodate every four-legged family member, they must be no more than 35 pounds (surcharge of $30/stay).

During your stay…
Upon arrival, you will discover all of the amenities at The Wilshire Grand Hotel, including those specifically for the four-legged set. From a designated area for them to play and water bowls aplenty, we’ll ensure that you all feel at home in our care. Just remember basic courtesy around other guests (leashed/in carrier in public areas) and everyone will have a magical holiday in West Orange, New Jersey.

Wherever you decide to spend this festive season, The Wilshire Grand sends our warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and New Year!


Celebrate The Holiday With These Fun Thanksgiving Weekend Events in New Jersey

Whether staying home or traveling for Thanksgiving this year, enjoy some family fun for the holiday weekend!

In honor of Thanksgiving, we “give thanks” to all those who continue to make us a premier special event venue and true home-away-from-home in Northern NJ. For those cherished guests who’ve decided to spend their Thanksgiving with us, we welcome you “home”, and are ready to ensure you’ll enjoy some great family fun for the holiday weekend!
To many, the celebration of Thanksgiving is summed up by three “Fs”: family, food, and football! Here at The Wilshire Grand, we’ll provide you with the opportunity for all three, but with extra “fun” suggestions for the best Essex Country Thanksgiving holiday weekend events.

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Family

No matter if you’re celebrating with kin or find yourself apart, our luxurious accommodations and genuine hospitality will make you feel at home. Join us for our traditional evening toast or wake up to a delectable European Breakfast, both complimentary and in our Lobby. If you find yourself thinking of your family, get started on your gift-giving by taking in some Black Friday shopping at either the nearby Livingston Mall or Mall at Short Hills!

Food
No Thanksgiving would be complete without a festive feast. Home to one of the finest Italian restaurants in our area, Primavera, the talented chefs have crafted a special menu – complete with a seasonal Roasted Turkey Dinner – to ensure you don’t miss out on any of your traditional favorites.

Football
Catch the Turkey Day action from the comfort of your guest room, or maybe take in a different sporting event over the weekend when the New Jersey Devils take on the New York Islanders on Friday! Not a sports fan and looking for Thanksgiving weekend events in New Jersey? Consider taking a trip to Turtle Back Zoo for their Holiday Light Spectacular.

On behalf of our entire Wilshire Grand family, we wish you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!


Enjoy the Spirit of the Holidays aboard a Spirit of New Jersey NYE Dinner Cruise!

Spirit of New Jersey NYE Dinner Cruise

Ring in the New Year at the Spirit of New Jersey NYE Dinner Cruise.

It's a magical time of the year and the Spirit Cruises are celebrating in style. Hop aboard a Spirit of New Jersey cruise and celebrate the magic of the holiday season with friends and family in a lively atmosphere. The Spirit of New Jersey NYE Dinner Cruise is just one of the many Spirit of New Jersey holiday cruises that will be offered this year. Make memories that will last into the new year at the 2018 holiday cruises in New Jersey.

Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise
Monday, December 24th
2½ hr cruise along New York Harbor featuring incredible skyline views
Departing from Chelsea Piers in New York
Freshly prepared buffet dinner menu
Live DJ and dance floor. Festive holiday decor
Board: 6:30pm | Cruise: 7 - 9:30pm | Price: from $119.90*

Christmas Eve Lunch Cruise
Monday, December 24th
2hr cruise along New York Harbor featuring incredible skyline views
Departing from Chelsea Piers in New York
Freshly prepared buffet lunch menu
Live DJ and dance floor. Festive holiday decor
Board: 11:30am | Cruise: 12 - 2pm | Price: from $64.90*

Holiday Lights Dinner Cruise
Available Select Dates
2½ hr cruise along New York Harbor featuring incredible skyline views
Departing from Chelsea Piers or Lincoln Harbor
Freshly prepared buffet dinner menu
Live DJ and dance floor. Festive holiday decor
Board: 6:30pm | Cruise: 7 - 9:30pm | Price: from $119.90*

Jingle Bells Lunch Cruise
Available Select Dates
2hr cruise along New York Harbor featuring incredible skyline views
Departing from Chelsea Piers or Lincoln Harbor
Freshly prepared buffet lunch menu
Live DJ and dance floor. Festive holiday decor
Board: 11:30am | Cruise: 12 - 2pm | Price: from $64.90*

New Year's Eve Fireworks Dinner
Spirit of New York • 12.31.18
Count down to 2019 with a spectacular fireworks display at the Statue of Liberty, co-sponsored by Entertainment Cruises! (weather permitting)
New Year's Eve buffet-style dinner menu
Platinum open bar + champagne toast
DJ entertainment, dancing, and festive holiday decor
Access to our outdoor rooftop lounge
Departs from: Chelsea Piers, NY
Board: 9pm | Cruise: 10pm – 1am
Infants under 4 are not permitted. Children must pay full price.

New Year's Eve Fireworks Dinner
Spirit of New Jersey • 12.31.18
Count down to 2019 with a spectacular fireworks display at the Statue of Liberty, co-sponsored by Entertainment Cruises! (weather permitting)
New Year's Eve buffet-style dinner menu
Platinum open bar + champagne toast
DJ entertainment, dancing, and festive holiday decor
Access to our outdoor rooftop lounge
Departs from: Lincoln Harbor, NJ
Board: 9pm | Cruise: 10pm – 1am
Infants under 4 are not permitted. Children must pay full price.

How would you like to count down to 2019 with a stunning fireworks display at the Statue of Liberty? Sip champagne, indulge in a delicious holiday buffet and enjoy a holiday you will always remember. For more information about the 2018 Spirit of New Jersey NYE Dinner Cruise, click here.

The Wilshire Grand Hotel NJ is conveniently located nearby! Book your overnight accommodations with us today.


Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo!

Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtle Back ZooSpread the Holiday Cheer at the Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo!

It just wouldn't feel like the holiday season in Essex County New Jersey without the beloved Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo. The annual holiday tradition attracts locals and visitors alike and is at the top of our list as one of our favorite holiday events in Essex County NJ. If you’ll be staying with us at The Wilshire Grand Hotel, we recommend taking the short drive over to the Turtle Back Zoo for this year's holiday light show in New Jersey. Proven to be a magical celebration year after year, you certainly won't want to miss out on this magical winter event in New Jersey.

The 2018 Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo
The holiday event will be taking place through the Holiday Season
Time: 5pm – 9pm
Closed on December 24 and December 25
Ends January 1st

Experience the Turtle Back Zoo like you've never seen it before, under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters. The family-friendly outdoor holiday lights event in New Jersey is free of charge for all attendees. Yet, the Turtle Back Zoo will be celebrating the season of giving with a food and clothing drive. Visitors are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats.

The Holiday Light Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo will feature different themed activities each December weekend, which makes visiting extra exciting!

If you’ll be visiting the NJ holiday light event, we welcome you to plan your stay with us. The Wilshire Grand Hotel NJ is conveniently located just minutes away from the Turtle Back Zoo. Visit our website to learn more about our convenient, affordable and cozy accommodations and plan your holiday visit today.


Four Fantastic Reasons to See a Show at Paper Mill Playhouse This Season

The new season of productions is underway, making now the best time to plan a trip to Paper Mill Playhouse.

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No matter what’s on stage at Paper Mill Playhouse, you’re in for a good time. The bright lights of Broadway shine on this haven for the performing arts in NJ, with many shows premiering here before moving to NYC. Recently, The Wilshire Grand spotlighted the opening production for the 2018-2019 Season at Paper Mill Playhouse NJ. Yet even after the final bows are taken for The Color Purple, there are still four more reasons to visit the official “State Theater of New Jersey”!

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn | November 21-December 30, 2018

Unlike previous Paper Mill productions that were Broadway-bound, this festive feature is fresh from NYC! Featuring over twenty recognizable Berlin tunes, including the classic “White Christmas”, even the biggest Scrooge will find it hard to bah humbug this production!

My Very Own British Invasion| January 31-March 3, 2019

A world-premiere production including over two dozen hits from the top British bands of The Sixties, this tale of young love will transport the entire audience to the time of Flower Power and the Age of Aquarius!

Benny & Joon | April 4-May 5, 2019

This new musical adaptation of the eponymous 1993 film is a celebration of love that will captivate the crowd with its sights set on The Great White Way!

Disney's Beauty and the Beast | May 29-June 30, 2019

The tale may be as old as time, but this production will enchant the whole family and provides the season with the perfect fairy-tale ending!

 

If you plan to see a show at Paper Mill Playhouse, check out The Wilshire Grand NJ special offers to book a stay highlighted by luxurious comfort. Only a short drive away, we will ensure that when the curtain falls on your night, it will be one worthy of a standing ovation!


Have a Swinging Good Time with The United States Army Veteran Band at SOPAC!

Get ready to “swing” and salute some of our country’s finest as they perform at the nearby South Orange Performing Arts Center.

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Oh, say can you see

Looking for the perfect night out on the town that not only supports a great cause but honors the service of the brave men and women of our country’s Armed Forces? Well then, get ready to swing by the South Orange Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, November 6 for a trip back in time. Presented in conjunction with the Seton Hall University Arts Council as part of their “Jazz ‘n the Hall Series”, the United States Army Veteran Band at SOPAC promises to be a salute to service with music from the most influential genre in our country’s history – JAZZ!

It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing!

The Seton Hall University Arts Council’s mission is to support the integral role of the arts in higher education. Their dedication to preserving musical education provides our local community with many amazing events at SOPAC, including the Jazz ‘n the Hall Series of which this concert is a part of. Enjoying a night of music performed by the United States Army Veteran Band is the perfect way for long-standing SOPAC patrons and newcomers alike to kick off the new year of events at this beloved local venue.

We hope that you will swing on by and visit us at The Wilshire Grand after the show!

If you plan on visiting SOPAC now or in the future, make your night even more special by booking a room with us at The Wilshire Grand NJ. A perfect home-away-from-home for the SOPAC 2018 season, located only a short distance away, the comfort and convenience of our accommodations will provide you a relaxing place to refresh and fully enjoy your salute to the arts!


Enter At Your Own Risk: The Best Haunted Houses in NJ

Halloween fun in NJ isn’t just about the candy anymore, with festive tricks and treats being found all over the state!

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“Oh, the weather outside is frightful!” This may be the opening to a beloved Christmas carol, yet in October, it still rings true.  Now, the fright has nothing to do with snow, and everything to do with the best of Halloween fun in NJ. There are many types of attractions for the whole family to enjoy, such as pumpkin picking, hayrides and corn mazes. For those who want a little more scare with their seasonal NJ Halloween fun, The Wilshire Grand NJ suggests visiting these three local haunted houses:

Bane | Livingston, NJ

If you were making a list entitled “Best Haunted Houses NJ”, this would be on top. Bane, already considered the scariest and most interactive haunted attraction in the Garden State is expanding this year from 17,000 square feet of live action fright to a spine-tingling 40,000 of pure terror! No visit is the same, but be warned – this is not for the faint of heart.

The 13th Hour Haunted House | Wharton, NJ

The escape rooms may be open all-year-round, but this attraction truly shines once Halloween is upon us. Two Floors of Fear is not only the name of their main haunted house but is the perfect description of this innovative attraction.

Haunted Orchards at Demarest Farms| Hillsdale, NJ

A newcomer to the scene, the family-fun at Demarest Farm takes a frightful twist. Not as heart-stopping as the others on our list – take a spooky hayride or venture through their own version of haunted houses NJ.

After actively seeking out the scariest spots to celebrate Halloween in NJ, you will need a perfectly normal and relaxing haven to return to. Luckily, The Wilshire Grand is not only normal, but luxurious, comfortable, and zombie-free. Keep your brain safe, but use it to book a room today!


Support the Arts and Your Local Community at This Year’s SOPAC Gala!

This year’s edition of the annual kick-off to the South Orange Performing Arts Center season promises to be a night you won’t want to miss!

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The SOPAC Gala is a time for the community to celebrate and support one of the most beloved performing arts venues in the Garden State! On Saturday, October 27, 2018, SOPAC will be celebrating the contributions of three local dignitaries known for their philanthropy, along with a special presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to one of South Orange’s own living music legends!

This year’s honorees are…

Samuel M. Conivssor, who has helped foster a series of concerts featuring students from the famed Julliard School.

Dan Arrighi, a long-serving member on SOPAC’s Board of Governors who has championed the causes of people suffering from developmental disabilities.

Sam Jospeh, who’s on a mission to not only beautify but uplift the entire South Orange area to be a cultural hub.

Drum roll, please…

Unlike past years, the Gala Host Committee has chosen to bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award to a recipient that has embodied their message to support the arts. On top of her over 50 successful years in the music industry, Dionne Warwick continues to support many local and regional charitable efforts, including SOPAC!

Mingle and celebrate with the SOPAC Gala 2018 honorees!

The honoree tributes and Lifetime Achievement Award presentation will be part of a larger gathering including a cocktail service, strolling dinner stations, and dessert all serviced in SOPAC’s illustrious three-story lobby and theatre. No SOPAC event would be complete without some live entertainment, provided this year by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Judy Collins.

The Wilshire Grand NJ is ready to help you support SOPAC in style!

Make this night one to remember by booking a room with us at The Wilshire Grand. We’re less than 10 miles away from the Gala and all of the other can’t-miss events that this year at the South Orange Performing Arts Center!


A Night Out with Tony Bennett at NJPAC

He might have left his heart in San Francisco, but the living legend will be performing at NJPAC in October!

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A true musical icon is coming to the Garden State! The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is welcoming Tony Bennett to the Prudential Hall on Saturday, October 6, 2018 (8:00 PM). The concert promises to be one of the top NJPAC events of the entire fall, as the 92-year-old living legend will be bringing his entire repertoire to the stage. As part of the cross-country tour promoting his newest album, Love Is Here to Stay, he will be joined on stage by special guest Antonia Bennett (seamlessly filling in for the record’s collaborator Diana Krall).

What can you expect from a Tony Bennett 2018 concert?

Don’t let his age fool you. He is one of the only musical artists to have new albums reach the charts during every decade since the 1950s! Another impressive feat for this 19-time Grammy winner (and yes, we said 19-time) was being honored with The Gershwin Prize by the Library of Congress, an award that had only ever been bestowed upon composers in the past. Thus, it is fitting that his most recent album is a tribute to the music of George and Ira Gershwin!

Don’t miss your chance to see Tony Bennett at NJPAC!

Being such a significant part of the American musical canon throughout the entire 20th century, Tony Bennett’s concert is truly the centerpiece of the entire schedule of autumn NJPAC events 2018! And if you are looking for accommodations in the area that perfectly complement this virtuoso, look no further than The Wilshire Grand NJ. Located less than 10 miles away, the luxurious comfort of our accommodations makes The Wilshire Grand the ideal home base when in the area to see a show at NJPAC!