Things to do in West Orange

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.

Host Your Holiday Social Events at The Wilshire Grand Hotel

Discover how we can transform any ordinary holiday events in New Jersey into extraordinary affairs that will be remembered well into 2019!

As the end of 2018 is upon us, many are hurrying to find the perfect venue for their holiday events in New Jersey. The Wilshire Grand Hotel is not only a favorite spot for some of the top companies looking for an event venue in West Orange but also an ideal spot for all type of social events in New Jersey!

Gold chalice

Why Choose The Wilshire Grand in West Orange?
No matter if you wish to have an intimate gathering, a vibrant social meet-and-greet, or a lavishly large party with a guest list in the hundreds, the event space at The Wilshire Grand Hotel will exceed all expectations. Our hotel has eight unique rooms of varying size. Even though these distinctive spaces that cover over 20,000 square feet of space differ, they all share the luxurious style we are known for.

Our Tuscany Room and Grand Ballroom both have capacities of 450+ guests with furnishings that can cater to any type of layout. If you’re looking for a space that is comparable in size but with a more modern feel, our Loft @ 350, with seating up to 300 guests, will provide a similar flexibility with an updated twist. If you’re searching for a truly exclusive setting, our Regency Room, Essex Conference Suite, and Wilshire Room are ideal for an elevated but casual environment. Yet if you wish to keep it “all in the family” our Pleasant Valley Room or Private Study Room will make your handful of attendees feel like the true VIPs they are!

Holiday Social Events at The Wilshire Grand Hotel are a Fully Personalized Affair!
All of the grand amenities at The Wilshire Grand Hotel are available to you, with the added benefit of the expert one-on-one service of our Corporate Event Staff to help you plan every aspect of your gathering. From the convenience of overnight room accommodations, an on-site restaurant, and reliable, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access, having your event in our West Orange, New Jersey location, with its ease of accessibility to NYC and proximity to all major highways, will ensure you won’t have to wait long for the RSVPs to roll in!

There is only a little time left to book for the 2018 holiday season! Contact us today!

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!

Santa dog 2

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.


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!

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.

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!

NJ Wedding Venues on a Budget - The Wilshire Grand Hotel NJ

NJ Wedding Venues on a BudgetSearching for NJ Wedding Venues on a Budget - Look No Further Than The Wilshire Grand Hotel NJ

What can a bride and groom expect when making the decision to book their wedding with us at The Wilshire Grand Hotel NJ? Timeless elegance, world class service and limitless ballroom space to host the wedding of your dreams. If you've been searching for NJ wedding venues on a budget, we challenge you to look no further than The Wilshire Grand Hotel NJ. Our wedding venue in West Orange New Jersey offers everything you will need for a truly one-of-a-kind celebration.

No matter the season, we are fully equipped to handle all wedding celebrations. With over 20,000 square feet of breathtaking ballroom space, as well as outdoor space, we are fully capable to hosting your special wedding day any day of the year.

Along with our top of the line venues in New Jersey, we also offer on-site catering at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Our catering team is dedicated to serving you and your guests. Every wedding package at the Wilshire Grand Hotel is tailor-made to accommodate your party’s specific taste, whether traditional, vegetarian, Indian or Kosher.

Our Wedding packages include:

  • Over 20,000 square feet of breathtaking ballroom space and outdoor space
  • A complimentary bridal suite on the night of your special day
  • Newly designed Bridal Hospitality Suites for you and your bridal party, featuring large mirrors and private restrooms and reception area
  • Wedding concierge to help you plan and design every step of the way
  • Bridal attendants
  • Exquisite outdoor gardens for ceremonies and receptions
  • Special guestroom rates for your guests
  • Customized packages
  • Private bridal suite and reception area

We understand how frustrating and difficult it can be searching for NJ wedding venues on a budget. Our event specialists in New Jersey want to help make the process a little bit easier for you. We invite you to take a tour of our elegant event space in Essex County NJ and experience an up close and personal view of our affordable New Jersey wedding venues 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.

  Pablo (16)

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.

  Pablo (13)

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!


“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!

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!


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.


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!