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Photo via Instagram/@caitandabbysbakery

Winter Activities around South Orange

The harsh winter season restricts students from doing many outdoor activities, but it allows them to explore all the winter fun South Orange has to offer.

The South Orange Performing Arts Center, also known as SOPAC, offers a contemporary venue that showcases a variety of performing arts, including theater, music and dance. SOPAC also welcomes students to watch cinema in their movie theater. 

Neyha Ramani, a sophomore nursing major, said she loves going to SOPAC to watch recently released movies.

“The most recent movie I went to was ‘Shang-Chi’,” Ramani said. “When I was leaving the movie, a worker gave me and my boyfriend 10 free tickets for future movies.”

Along with entertainment, South Orange offers students places to enjoy a meal. Toro Loco is a restaurant located in the Village that serves Mexican cuisine to customers. Hannah Blend, a sophomore special/early education and social behavioral science major, said Toro Loco is her go-to place for a meal with her loved ones. 

“I take my family there when they come to visit me at school,” Blend said. “The food is great, the staff is great, and the environment is so fun.”

For students looking for dessert, look no further than Cait and Abby’s Bakery.

Located in the Village near the train station, the bakery serves cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more for customer enjoyment.

 Blend said she used to always stop by the bakery when she would take the train as a freshman. 

“I would get treats that I’d bring to the people that I was visiting,” Blend said. “The cookies there are so good, especially the black and white cookies.”

When students feel like going on a shopping spree, they can ride the Shufly every Saturday to the Livingston mall, 14 miles from the University. 

Ramani said she enjoys going to the Livingston mall.

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“It’s a good place to hang around, eat food, and do some therapeutic shopping,” Ramani said. “They have a variety of stores where your time will just fly by.”

Students seeking more adventure from their winter activities can try something unconventional: ax throwing.

Bury the Hatchet is a recreation center located in Bloomfield, a little over five miles from campus. People can visit this business to throw axes at a target. 

Vicki Savoka, a sophomore sports management major, said the activity is one everyone should experience at least once. 

“It was riveting,” Savoka said. “Being able to throw an ax to relieve some stress was the most fun thing I’ve done all semester. I definitely crossed that off my bucket list.” 

No matter what students are looking for, there is something new waiting for them just a Shufly ride away in the Village.

“I would recommend other students to visit these places because it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the environment that's around campus,” Blend said. “It’s also a great way to meet people.”

Serena Davis can be reached at


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