Students at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers (the state university of New Jersey) have it made their school is a world class institution and half of their school’s name rhymes with ‘butt’. Most importantly, though, they live in a town overflowing with culture, parties, and thousands of other students to do it all with. With all of the options for fun, one can become overwhelmed, so we’ve listed the 8 best things for a college student to do on a Friday or Saturday night.
1.) Go to a party.
Go for the music, the free beer, and the people. Stay for the guy in an inner tube, the UV lights, and the pervading sense of ‘I’m only young once.’ Cracked red cups, sloppy make out sessions, straight shots, packed basements, body paint, beer pong, blunts, loud yelling, tiny skirts, high heels, low standards, and the phrase ‘getting turns are all a part of the tableaux which make Rutgers parties the most college-y college parties around, for better or worse. Even if parties aren’t your thing, go just for the sights and to say you did it.
2.) Hit up the bar.
Olde Queens Tavern is pretty much a frat party guised as a bar. Clydz is an upscale martini bar with lots of fish tanks. Corner Tavern is crowded with dads but has a great pool table. And then there’s Harvest Moon the first date bar, Court Tavern the live music bar, Ale ‘N’ Wich the “hipster” bar, Mike’s Courtside the sports bar, Old Bay the Mardi Gras/karaoke bar, and Olive Branch the creepy bar that sells pizza slices for 50 cents. New Brunswick truly has it all.
3.) Or a basement show.
Existing as a pit stop for small touring bands traveling between Philly and New York, and a town with a solid music scene, New Brunswick lends itself to the cultural force that is the basement show. Here’s how it works someone volunteers to open their home up as a temporary music venue, you show up, pay around $5 to get in (which goes to cover the bands’ touring costs), watch a few touring and local bands play music in a basement, and stand around drinking beer in a backyard or living room between sets. Great for people that like parties without all of the aforementioned, or people that like their music loud, live, and accessible.
4.) Explore Bucculeuch Park.
Don’t tell the cops we told you since it’s technically “closed” after the sun goes down, but chilling in Bucculeuch Park after dark feels like equal parts adventure and horror movie, and is the perfect way to follow up a few hours of partying. Find a spot out of the open, lay down a blanket, and just kick it. If you have the foresight to remember to wear dark colors, do it.
5.) Check out a play.
New Brunswick’s theatre district is located in the middle of Downtown and is great for nights when all the stuff listed above has caught up with you. The State Theatre ranges from comedy shows to Shakespeare to Sesame Street Live so there’s bound to be something you enjoy. Crossroads Theatre specializes in African American theatre while the George Street Playhouse presents plays that run for a few weeks at a time. And don’t forget the student shows put on by Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts.
6. Or a comedy show.
The Stress Factory is New Brunswick’s premier comedy club, having hosted Chris Rock, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Tracey Morgan, Jeff Ross, Bill Burr, Drew Carey, The Lucas Brothers, and many others throughout the years. This is great for when you’re going on a date, your parents are in town, or you just want to laugh.
7.) Hop on the train to New York.
One of the best things about New Brunswick is how easy it is to leave. You can catch the Northeast Corridor line from the station located downtown and pull up to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan in about an hour and a half, after which you can hop between museums, shop, eat, go to a show, or whatever. Spend a few hours or the whole weekend. Alternatively, Philly is an hour and a half in the opposite direction.
8.) Get something to eat.
After a night of drinking, socializing, and bopping around you’re probably hungry. Most true New Brunswickians will recommend a fat sandwich from a grease truck. A fat sandwich is basically a custom combination of fried food on a torpedo roll, topped with lettuce, tomato, and the like. Classics include the Fat Darrell (chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, and French fries), the Fat Fellatio (cheese steak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, French fries, and honey mustard), and the Veggie Butt (mozzarella sticks, French fries, jalapeno poppers, ranch dressing). New Brunswick also has a pretty solid pizza place selection check out PJ’s, Tata’s, or Giovanelli’s.
Kirsten Volkert graduated from Rutgers University in 2013 with a BA in English. She is currently accepting the fact that she’ll never have a clever byline.