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New Jersey is full of exciting places to visit! Whether you are looking to spend time in the great outdoors, take an inside look at historical sites or visit an attraction, there is no end to the fun you can have just a few miles from SOPAC. Below are just a few of the great places in close proximity to South Orange.  We hope you will make a day of it when you see a SOPAC performance or come back to enjoy these places another time. For more about New Jersey’s attractions go to VisitNJ. 

And don’t forget! SOPAC is a 35-minute NJTransit train ride from New York City’s Penn Station. South Orange is also serviced by the NJTransit bus system. For directions and more information go to SOPACnow.org/directions

Visit NJArts.net for more on the arts in New Jersey. While you’re browsing the website, have a listen to publisher Jay Lustig’s 350 Jersey Songs Project. The list includes songs by New Jersey artists, about New Jersey or recorded in New Jersey and was compiled in honor of our great state’s 350th anniversary. There is no doubt about it, New Jersey rocks!

  • South Mountain Recreation Complex

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    The South Mountain Recreation Complex features a grand selection of recreational opportunities including the Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena, Mini-GOLF Safari, the children’s Regatta Playground, Paddleboating, a 1.7 mile walkway and the Clipper Pavilion picnic shelter. In the winter time, the South Mountain Recreation’s ice skating arena is quintessential for skating, group skating sessions and ice hockey camps and clinics.

    Distance from SOPAC: 1.7 miles 

    http://www.essexcountyparks.org/south-mountain

  • Turtle Back Zoo

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    New Jersey residents and visitors have the chance to experience more than 100 species of animals from five different continents at the Turtle Back Zoo. Turtle Back Zoo not only offers tour and party options for kids but has numerous rental options for adults as well. Whether it’s for personal affairs or corporate events and parties, spacious facility rentals and catering options are available. Some upcoming events include Zoo Summer Camp, Night Tours and Family Fun Nights, presenting fun outings for the whole family to enjoy.

    Distance from SOPAC: 3.9 miles 

    www.turtlebackzoo.com

  • South Mountain Reservation

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    Anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors would love to visit the South Mountain Reservation. One of New Jersey’s most historic parks features gorgeous views, a waterfall, dog park and access to public transportation. Visitors can follow the four hour Lenape Trail, named after the Lenni-Lenape tribe or walk a trail with more moderate options. With its historic background, people often volunteer to maintain the reservation or simply spend time camping, jogging or hosting a picnic. Visitors can easily travel a few miles away from city life to climb the First Watchung Mountain and view the New York City skyline.

    Distance from SOPAC: 1.7 miles

    www.somocon.org

  • Brookdale Park

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    A Northern New Jersey favorite, Brookdale Park is for anyone looking to reconnect with nature, offering access to a number of trails, track and physical fitness facilities, tennis courts, a stunning rose garden, an archery range and more. The park, which was once inhabited by the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans, is located in the heart of Essex County between Montclair and Bloomfield, existing as the third largest park in the county system.

    Distance from SOPAC: 12.5 miles


    www.essexcountyparks.org/parks/brookdale-park

  • Thomas Edison National Park

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    Thomas Edison National Park is a historic site for anyone looking to absorb a piece of history but an especially ideal place for lovers of science. The Thomas Edison National Park is a noteworthy museum with the most expansive collection of Edison-related material. Located in West Orange, New Jersey, the facility is only a short distance away from the beloved inventor’s estate and archives five million of his documents and plant specimens.

    Distance from SOPAC: 3.3 miles

    www.nps.gov/edis/index.htm

  • Riker Hill Complex

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    The former United States Missile Tracking Base, Riker Hill Art Park was purchased from the federal government for only one dollar in the early 70s. Today, the Art Park is worth much more as a creative haven for those who visit and work as artists-in-residence in one of the thirty-eight studios. The studio spaces that once housed army facilities have been renovated to assist artists in their painting, sculpture, photography, glass blowing and pottery creations.

    Distance from SOPAC: 8.3 miles

    www.essexcountyparks.org/parks/riker-hill-complex

  • Eagle Rock Reservation

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    Eagle Rock Reservation, the home of Essex County’s 9/11 Memorial delivers a beautiful view of New York City’s Skyline, providing a perfect place for couples and families who come to reminisce and reflect as they enter the park. The 400+ acre park is also skirted by hills, streams and valleys for patrons of all ages and abilities to enjoy while traveling up the 40 mile Lenape Trail.

    Distance from SOPAC: 5.9 miles

    www.eaglerockreservation.org

  • Liberty Hall at Kean University

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    The Liberty Hall Museum was once home to one of New Jersey’s first elected governors and signer of the Constitution, William Livingston. Since the building’s conception, over thirty rooms have been added to the home and it now holds an array of antique furniture, ceramics and textiles, toys and tools owned by seven generations of nearby families.

    Distance from SOPAC: 7.7 miles

    www.kean.edu/libertyhall

  • Pierro Gallery

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    The Pierro Gallery is housed in South Orange, one of the most socially diverse neighborhoods in New Jersey, enhancing the culture of the town with its artistic displays. Pierro Gallery promotes non-commercial artistry by featuring emerging visual artists from the surrounding community while aiming to engage with visitors of variant ages and backgrounds. The gallery distributes up to seven exhibitions a year and welcomes guests from near and far.

    Distance from SOPAC: 0.4 mile

    www.southorange.org/266/Pierro-Gallery

  • Montclair Art Museum

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    The Montclair Art Museum is an award winning facility, known for its amazing adult art classes and camp through the Yard School of Art and Summer Art Camp. The Yard School of Art offers programs for children, teens and adults throughout the year to either learn a new skill or cultivate an old trade with experienced teaching artists in its state-of-the-art studios. The world-renowned museum also offers community-oriented educational programs that connect contemporary art to modern personal experiences yet on a global scale.

    Distance from SOPAC: : 7.5 miles

    www.montclairartmuseum.org

  • Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center

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    A museum built on the man and legend himself, the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center is a tribute to one of the most interesting men in baseball. A resident of Montclair, NJ for over half a century, Yogi Berra has inspired many baseball fans from near and far as one of the greatest catchers and hitters of all time. The museum holds many nostalgic pictures from Berra’s St. Louis home, metals from his WWII accomplishments and major artifacts.

    Distance from SOPAC: 14.8 miles

    www.yogiberramuseum.org

  • New Jersey Historical Society

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    As the oldest cultural institution in the state, the New Jersey Historical Society collects and preserves physical records of New Jersey’s unique political, social, cultural and economic history through exhibitions and programs.

    Distance from SOPAC: 7.7 miles

    www.jerseyhistory.org/index.htm

  • Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University

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    The Walsh Gallery is a contemporary art venue that promotes critical thinking and cultural appreciation through poetry shows, symposiums, film screenings and artist talks that reflect the diversity of the surrounding campus and community. Admission to the gallery and all special events is free and open to the public.

    Distance from SOPAC: 1 mile

    www.library.shu.edu/walshgallery

  • Military Park

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    Since 2010, Military Park has been revitalized to a haven for art enthusiasts in Newark and the surrounding region, offering daily programs and free services including yoga, live music, movie showings, children’s activities, surrounded by ping pong tables, stools and tables for patrons to use while they visit the park. Also available in the park is a new burger restaurant, BURG along with a beer garden perfect for people to kick back and revel in after work with friends, coworkers and family.

    Distance from SOPAC: 7.7 miles

    www.militarypark.com

  • Gallery Aferro

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    Gallery Aferro is an artist-oriented organization, offering free tours, lectures, demonstrations and yearly exhibitions that feature local, national and international artists who engage and support the diverse community of Newark and surrounding New Jersey areas. Gallery Aferro also provides year-round residency programs with large studios to serve artists and their work.

    Distance from SOPAC: 7.6 miles

    www.aferro.org

  • Newark Museum

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    Newark Museum, the largest museum in the state of New Jersey features collections of American art, decorative arts, and contemporary art from all over the globe. There are a variety of activities for kids, adults, and educators, including the upcoming Newark Black Film Festival, Youth Cinema events, free yoga courses and workshops, a planetarium and class tours.

    Distance from SOPAC: 7.3 miles

    www.newarkmuseum.org

  • Arts Unbound

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    Arts Unbound is one of the only facilities that prioritizes artists and patrons with physical and developmental disabilities as well as senior citizens, having a diverse team of artists and board members who sponsor art education, community oriented events and gatherings. One of the most popular events at Arts Unbound is their monthly, professionally led Drink & Draw classes, including a FREE shuttle from SOPAC to the Arts Unbound facility. Shuttle services are first come, first serve.

    Distance from SOPAC: 1.9 miles

    www.artsunbound.org