Fun Things to Do in Princeton
Take a shuttle to Princeton and spend the day wandering around the town and campus!
Princeton University Interactive Maps
Take a picture in front of FitzRandolph Gate
The imposing wrought-iron gate, known as FitzRandolph Gate, is the official entrance to Princeton’s campus. It was funded by a bequest from Augustus Van Wickle in honor of his great grandfather, Nathaniel FitzRandolph. The son of a 17th-century Quaker settler of Princeton, FitzRandolph was instrumental in raising the money and land required to build the college, and in 1753 he gave the original four and a half acres on which Nassau Hall was built.
Look for Tigers
Today tigers decorate campus buildings (the gateway posts at Little Hall, since 1902; the north side of McCosh Hall, since 1907) and sculptures of tigers can be seen at the entrance to Nassau Hall (a gift in 1911 from Woodrow Wilson’s Class of 1879, to replace the lions, previously donated by the same class, that now guard Wilson College). The male and female tigers between Whig and Clio Halls were created in 1969 — the year of coeducation — by sculptor Bruce Moore.
Princeton Colors and Shield
This version of the Princeton shield can be found on the Bicentennial Banner, which has been used at Commencement, Alumni Day and other ceremonies since 1947.
Princeton’s shield is adapted from the central image of the University Seal, the corporate signature of the trustees that is embossed on diplomas and printed on official documents. The shield depicts an open Bible inscribed with VET NOV TESTAMENTUM, to signify the Old and New Testaments, above a chevron that represents the rafters of a building. An optional ribbon below the shield bears the University motto, DEI SUB NUMINE VIGET, or “Under God’s power she flourishes.”
Find the Big Cannon https://princetoniana.princeton.edu/campus/landmarks/cannons
Brought to Princeton while the Revolutionary War was still going on, the “Big Cannon” is now buried behind Nassau Hall in the center of the quadrangle appropriately known as Cannon Green.
The Mather Sundial in McCosh Courtyard is a replica of the Turnbull Sundial (1551) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Princeton’s sundial was given by Sir William Mather, governor of Victoria University in Manchester, England, “to symbolize the connection between Oxford and Princeton. . . [and] Great Britain and America.” In 1907, Viscount James Bryce, then British ambassador to the United States, and Princeton President Woodrow Wilson presided over the dedication.
Sculptures on Princeton Campus
Look around Princeton campus for sculptures by Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Richard Serra, The Starn brothers George Segal and much, much more!
Princeton Art Museum www.artmuseum.princeton.edu/ Elm Dr, Princeton, NJ 08544
Although located on Princeton University’s campus, this art museum is free and open to the public. The University is the oldest collector of fine art in NJ and as such, this museum has some of the most historical pieces of work you will see on display. Spend the afternoon taking a tour, viewing current exhibits or participating in special events.
Cotsen Children’s Library – trust us…this is something to see
Visitors enter Bookscape through a garden of topiary animals. From there, the room unfolds in a succession of cutaway views and whimsically furnished spaces with books and nooks to read them in. In the house area, be sure to pause at the “Hearth of Darkness” fireplace. Beyond is a wishing well, a playful puppet theater, and a towering bonsai hollowed out for the ultimate reading experience. The rear of the gallery is designed for workshops and programs.
The Cotsen Children’s Library is located on the main floor of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, at the corner of Nassau Street and Washington Road. After entering Firestone, simply look to your right for the orange Cotsen Children’s Library sign.
Firestone Library, One Washington Road, Princeton
Have a drink with Norman Rockwell
Yankee Doodle Mural at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room
Known simply as the Yankee Doodle mural, the 13-foot-wide scene depicts Yankee Doodle, feather firmly in cap as he rides his pony into Princeton, much to the mockery of British troops in all their red-coated finery. It was commissioned by Princeton alumnus Edgar Palmer in the mid-1930s, when he moved the Nassau Inn to its current location to make way for his namesake square.
See ‘dead people’ at the Princeton Cemetery
Find the graves of Aaron Burr, Grover Cleveland, Michael Graves, Sylvia Beach, Kurt Godel, Jose and Kitty Menendez http://nassauchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/PrCemGuide2016WebVersion.pdf
The Albert Einstein House at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States was the home of Albert Einstein from 1935 until his death in 1955 His wife Elsa Einstein died in 1936 while living in this house.
Einstein ‘museum’ at Landau’s 102 Nassau Street
Visit a Battlefield
On January 3, 1777, the peaceful winter fields and woods of Princeton Battlefield were transformed into the site of what is considered to be the fiercest fight of its size during the American Revolution. During this desperate battle, American troops under General George Washington surprised and defeated a force of British Regulars. Coming at the end of “The Ten Crucial Days” which saw the well-known night crossing of the Delaware River and two battles in Trenton, the Battle of Princeton gave Washington his first victory against the British Regulars on the field. The battle extended over a mile away to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).
Plan a tour of Morven Museum (former Governor’s Mansion)
At this Princeton, NJ attraction, you will be exposed to some of the state’s cultural heritage. They are open Wednesday through Friday from 11am – 3pm and tours depart every hour, on the hour.
Morven Museum 55 Stockton St., Princeton, NJ 08540
Stop by The Arts Council of Princeton: At this Mercer County NJ artistic hotspot, you will be given the chance to see some of the best work by local artists. They have continually rotating exhibits, offer art lessons and summer camps and are guaranteed to inspire the creativity in you as you walk their property.
See the Donor Wheel and much more at the Arts Council of Princeton
102 Witherspoon St., Princeton, NJ 08542
Visit Happy World at the Princeton Public Library https://www.princetonlibrary.org/happy-world/
Artist Ik-Joong Kang’s “Happy World” mural has become the signature piece of art work for the library. Consisting of more than 3,700 individual 3-inch by 3-inch tiles, the mural includes objects that were donated by the Princeton community to the artist in advance of the library’s opening in 2004
Find the Continuum Mural http://artscouncilofprinceton.org/community/public-installations/continuum-mural/