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!


The Color Purple at Paper Mill Playhouse is an Inspirational Tour de Force!

Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel comes to life to begin the new season at Paper Mill Playhouse.

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The bright lights of Broadway always shine a little brighter when Paper Mill Playhouse begins its new season each fall. Located in Millburn, NJ, Paper Mill Playhouse events draw talent from the New York stages, both onstage and behind-the-scenes, to entertain and inspire patrons of regional theatre. And this year, the 2016 Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple will open the 2018-2019 season in soul-raising fashion!

If you’re a lover of the Alice Walker bestseller, you’ll never forget this powerful production of The Color Purple at Paper Mill Playhouse. Not only does it stay loyal to its inspirational source material, it recreates the award-winning reimagining that John Doyle staged on the Great White Way to universal acclaim. He returns to serve as director of this production making this a can’t miss event for any theater lover!

If you are new to this epic saga, depicting forty-years in the life of a family in rural Georgia at the turn of the century (and we mean the twentieth century), you’ll be in for quite an emotional roller coaster ride. This stirring musical follows the life of the inspirational Celie as she journeys through the innocence of youth to find hope, despair, and joy before finally discovering her voice and inner strength. If you want to see a show at Paper Mill Playhouse that extols not only the power of love, but the love of living life, this is the production for you!

The Color Purple arrives on September 26 and runs through October 21.

If you’re coming to Millburn for any Paper Mill Playhouse production, book a room with us at The Wilshire Grand NJ. Only a few miles away from the theater, the comfortable accommodations of The Wilshire Grand will ensure your own theatrical journey is truly standing ovation worthy!


3 Reasons to Say “I Do” to Fall Weddings at The Wilshire Grand

Every season is wedding season at The Wilshire Grand, but discover the distinct benefits of saying “I Do” with us in the fall!

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When pumpkin spice becomes all the rage, you know that the fall season has begun! Even though the temperatures drop, fall weddings are on the rise in popularity. There are a multitude of reasons for this ever-growing trend and we here at The Wilshire Grand NJ have composed a list of the 3 top reasons you should consider doing your wedding planning with the fall season in mind!

Weddings at The Wilshire Grand can be indoor or outdoor affairs!

Depending on the size of your ceremony, Wilshire Grand weddings can be officiated in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations. No matter which type of ceremony you decide, the picturesque fall foliage surrounding our West Orange property paints the perfect natural backdrop. This earth tone theme, mimicking the changing colors of the trees, can be incorporated into your indoor ceremony and reception, providing the perfect autumn blend of modern yet rustic luxury. The aforementioned chillier weather also caters to more diverse fashion options, ensuring that your Wilshire Grand wedding can be the ceremony you have always dreamed of.

The summer wedding season, and all of your guests’ personal vacations, are behind you!

Fall weddings at The Wilshire Grand fall perfectly on the calendar. Guests have most likely already spent some time vacationing during the warmer weather months. Your RSVP list will see an uptick in confirmations (especially as we can provide you with a block of rooms to accommodate out-of-town attendees).

Every season is wedding season at The Wilshire Grand!

Our team of wedding specialists is dedicated to making your dreams come true no matter the season. From catered menus to floral arrangements and all other “little” details that make a ceremony unique, we will ensure that your fall wedding is the perfect start for your personal “happily ever after”!


Experience the Sights and Sounds of Game of Thrones at Prudential Center

Winter is coming early this year when the critically acclaimed Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience brings the world of Westeros to the Garden State!

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If the anticipation for Season 8 of the groundbreaking HBO series Game of Thrones (GOT) is as frustrating as watching King Joffrey rule from the Iron Throne, The Wilshire Grand has the ideal solution! Take a trip into the world of Westeros yourself and take part in a live concert experience that needs to be seen to be believed! Coming off an original successful tour of North America in 2017 and a smash hit run of Europe earlier this year, Ramin Djawadi is bringing his evocative score – and the HBO adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world from his A Song of Ice and Fire series – to life with the all-new Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience!

Experiencing Game of Thrones at Prudential Center is a must for any superfan!

This updated Game of Thrones 2018 “greatest hits” compilation, being altered from its original staging to feature the most recent season of the series, comes to the Prudential Center on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 (show starts at 8:00 PM). Along with the famed composer, a full orchestra will take you on a journey through the highlights and lowlights that are still etched in your memory. Yet instead of watching your beloved “Dragon Lady” Daenerys command her army of scaly flying creatures from the comfort of your living room, you are thrown into the action, complete with the requisite pyrotechnics and fire to ensure you feel a part of the fantasy around you.

No longer is winter coming, music is coming

and The Wilshire Grand NJ is waiting to be your Casterly Rock for this one-of-a-kind experience. Located just a short ten-mile dragon ride away, the luxurious comfort of our accommodations will keep you feeling as if you truly took a trip to the Known World, if only for one night.


It’s Time to Celebrate Labor Day in NJ!

Monday, September 3rd, brings the unofficial end of summer and with it a variety of ways to celebrate Labor Day 2018!

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The unofficial end of summer is upon us as Monday, September 3 is Labor Day in NJ. Unlike other holidays, Labor Day celebrations don’t have specific rituals to follow. No tree to decorate. No candy to trick-or-treat for. Labor Day 2018 is just a day to honor the creation of the labor movement in the US… by not working!! Labor Day Weekend in NJ promises to be chock full of regional events to enjoy. The Wilshire Grand NJ has a few suggestions that will help you celebrate the non-traditional aspects of this beloved holiday!

Looking to celebrate Labor Day in NJ throughout the entire weekend? There a few destinations you should consider that are hosting weekend-long events. The 2018 Boonton Fire Department Labor Day Carnival starts on Thursday, August 30 and runs all the way to Sunday night. This annual event features rides, games, live entertainment, a parade on Saturday, and a grand finale of fireworks on Sunday night. Another popular choice is The Feast of Saint Joseph in Lodi, NJ (Friday through Monday). This family event is full of rides, games, live entertainment and a big helping of great Italian food.

If you are just planning a one-day affair, the Labor Day Paddle on the Passaic River is always a top choice for families. Located at the Essex County Environmental Center (Roseland), you’ll be able to enjoy the relaxing ambiance of floating down the river. Or maybe check out the more traditional Rutherford Labor Day Street Fair, the largest and longest running in the entire Garden State!

No matter your choice, end your summer in memorable fashion by booking a room with us at The Wilshire Grand. Celebrate the spirit of Labor Day with all the comforts of home, but without any of the work!


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!