9 Fun Things to do at Rutgers over the Summer

By Catherine Geller

Student walking down Livingston Campus Student walking through Livingston Campus in the summer; Credit: Denys Henriquez

Summertime, and the living is easy. But what is there to do at Rutgers University—New Brunswick when the majority of students are away? Don’t worry, this list has you covered.


Picture of Rutgers Gardens

Smell the Flowers at Rutgers Gardens 

Located on the outskirts of Cook Campus, Rutgers Gardens has tons of beautiful scenery to behold. This picturesque spot is free to the public and home to a large array of botanical gardens, a student farm and market, nature trails, and much more. If you’re looking for a peaceful spot with gorgeous views, there’s no better place. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Picture of woman with chicken at Rutgers Farms

See the Animals at Rutgers Farm 

Contained within Rutgers Gardens is Rutgers Farm. You could kill two birds with one stone by visiting both, but there’s enough to do at each to make it a two-day trip! At the farm, you can go on a tour to see the cattle, horses, sheep and pigs. Be sure to stop by the farm store while you’re there!


Picture of George Street

Stroll over to George Street  

George Street is a short walk from the College Avenue campus and shines in the summer. The block of restaurants on the street features outdoor seating options, and the street is filled with string lights to create a beautiful ambiance. Some of the restaurants even have live music! From burgers to tacos to ramen, there’s so many cuisine options represented that there’s bound to be something for everyone to enjoy.


Picture of comedian at Stress Factory Comedy Club

Catch a show (or movie) around campus 

The Stress Factory Comedy Club on Church Street (right off George Street) hosts a number of comedy specials and offers dinner options to enjoy as you watch the show, while the State Theatre shows movies, concerts, and even hosts festivals! Finally, Rutgers Cinema offers showings of new movies every week! You can look at various events and prices at the State Theatre, Stress Factory, and Rutgers Cinema websites.


Picture of ice cream in a cone

Treat yourself to some Ice Cream 

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than some cold ice cream. There are a variety of options around New Brunswick, including Surreal Creamery, Thomas Sweet Ice Cream, and Truly Yogurt. If you go to Surreal Creamery, check out their signature mason jar ice creams with flavors like “chocolate blackout” and “nom nom cookie.”


Picture of a local park

Visit a Local Park

Get in touch with nature at one of the many beautiful parks surrounding the New Brunswick campus. You can walk along the Raritan and visit the animals at Johnson Park, play tennis or soccer at Donaldson Park, or check out the view of the river and Ampitheater at Boyd Park. No matter which park you choose to visit, there’s something to do at all of them.


Picture of Zimmerli Art Museum

Check out the Zimmerli Art Museum

Cool off from the summer heat and view some beautiful art at the Zimmerli Art Museum! Located right on the College Avenue campus, Zimmerli is open Wednesday through Sunday for students to view free exhibitions! Though the museum is closed for the month of August, it will reopen at the beginning of September, and houses more than 60,000 works of art. No matter what you’re interested in, whether it’s European Art or Art of the Americas, there’s something for you at the Zimmerli!


Picture of Passion Puddle on Douglass Campus

Walk or Picnic at the Passion Puddle 

The Passion Puddle on Douglass Campus is the perfect scenic picnic spot. This quaint pond has tall trees and benches for students to relax in the sun (or shade), away from the hustle and bustle. Bring a picnic blanket and it’s the perfect place to hang out with friends for a few hours. It's also been ranked as one of the most romantic spots on an American college campus by Collegeranker!


Picture of students at an event

Attend a Rutgers Summer session event

Don’t forget! Rutgers Summer Session has a myriad of events for on-campus and remote students! They’re offering fun activities like a tie-dye making party (with supplies shipped to your home!) as well as multiple movie nights at the Rutgers Cinema (for free!). Don’t miss out on the wonderful events free to you this summer.