8 Great Places to See and Do in Maplewood, NJ

Often referred to as “Brooklyn-West,” Maplewood, NJ offers the feel of small town USA with the poppin’ lifestyle of the big city. Colonial houses, parks, and rolling hills frame the heart of the town on Maplewood Avenue, full of shops, restaurants, entertainment, and venues for enjoying nature, arts, and sports.

With Maplewood’s proximity to New York City, a 25-minute commute if traffic allows, the number of things to do in and around Maplewood are too great of a number to list. Still, there’s no shortage of things to do within town limits.

So, pull out your calendar and start filling in the blanks with the following 8 must-see places and gotta-do activities in Maplewood, NJ.

  1. South Mountain Reservation

    Covers 2,110 acres in the Essex County Park System with distinguishing features as Washington Rock Lookout Historic Site and Wildflower Sculpture Park. Fill your day here enjoying carriage roads for jogging, horseback, and cross-country skiing. Take lunch in one of the many picnic areas, experience adventure in hiking trails, and inhale fresh air at the scenic overlook. You may need a second day to also experience the South Mountain Recreation Complex and Turtleback Zoo.

  2. Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts

    Close to Maplewood Village, is a multi-purpose facility offering a 100-seat theatre and 1600 sq.ft. community room. Check its online calendar for events and activities most interesting to you, but visiting this place for the history alone is worth an afternoon. Built in 1925 as the First Church of Christ Science, the architecture alone intrigues the mind and engages the senses. The local performing company, The Strollers, will not disappoint.

  3. 1978 Maplewood Arts Center

    “A community space dedicated to the arts,” as its website declares, this attraction offers classes, workshops, art shows, film programs, and live performances. Stopping by day or night, you might catch a few artists in their creative zones, working and interacting with others.

  4. SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center)

    Offers a wide variety of exhibits, events, and showcases to fill your calendar including The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery and Seton Hall University Arts Council performances, including a Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘n the Hall performances, Seton Hall University Theatre productions and also showcase performances by the Seton Hall University Choir and Orchestra.

  5. Maplewood Theatre

    Let’s face it. Nothing says good ole’ fashioned fun like a night at the movies. Located in the heart of downtown, Maplewood Theatre runs the latest movies and convenient showtimes

  6. Shopping

    For unique gifts, gaming, books, and home decor, several shops in Maplewood will peak your interest, including, GeniusMods, Green Bean Babies, Words Maplewood’s Books, and Perch Home

  7. Coffee & Desserts

    Strolling down Springfield Ave will awaken your senses with the sweet smells of Palmer’s Sweetery & Cafe, Gigi’s Cupcakes and the freshness of gourmet coffee brewing at The Rack and Village Coffee

  8. Nightlife

    Plan a night on the town with any of these local hotspots: The Theater Project, Express Yourself Studios, St. James’s Gate Publick House, and O’Reillys Bar & Grill