Here are itineraries for students, parents, children, alumni and members of the community for the university’s flagship event on Saturday, April 27

The celebration of everything Rutgers is nearly here. 

Rutgers Day, the big spring event at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, on Busch campus in Piscataway, N.J., and the College Avenue and Cook/Douglass campuses in New Brunswick, N.J.  

More than 500 programs and activities are planned. Admission and parking are free for the rain-or-shine event. 

“It's such a wonderful day to build on our community connections,” said Melissa Selesky, senior director of strategic events and programs for Rutgers Communications and Marketing (R-Comm). “There's something for every age and interest. It’s a great day to come and enjoy all the wonderful things your state university has to offer.” 

Busch campus is bustling on Rutgers Day.
Busch campus is bustling on Rutgers Day.
Shelley Kusnetz

While Rutgers Day is loaded with traditions, there’s a new element this year: The New Jersey Folk Festival is moving to a new space near Passion Puddle on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick.

“This change is more than just a shift in scenery,” said Patricia Kastner, associate director of strategic events and programs for R-Comm. “It’s an invitation for festivalgoers to immerse themselves in the vibrant cultural tapestry the event has to offer, all the while enjoying the beloved traditional activities on the Cook campus.”

Whether you’re new to Rutgers Day or a veteran of the event, there’s a lot going on – and a little planning might be helpful to optimize the day. Here are some recommendations for students, alums, families with children and other members of the Rutgers community.  

Review the full list: Consider mixing and matching the suggested itineraries. 


Rutgers Day is a perfect time to gather with fellow alums young and old to reminisce a bit and have some college fun. 

Meet Up at an Alumni Tent – Catch up with old friends at all Rutgers Day locations. 

At College Avenue, join former classmates and friends at Scarlet Headquarters on Voorhees Mall. Learn more about the Office of Alumni Engagement, the Rutgers University Foundation and the alumni house. Grab some swag, too.

At Busch, the School of Engineering is welcoming alumni at the Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering with presentations and hands-on interactive activities, including augmented reality mural making, robot operations, 3D printing, and the chance to engage with the Rutgers formula race car pit crew.

At Cook/Douglass, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences has a tent near Martin Hall and is holding giveaways and a raffle to win a 50-quart cooler. Meanwhile, the Cook Community Alumni Association has a tent featuring a collection of yearbooks and information on upcoming events. Also, Rutgers food science alumni are encouraged to swing by the lobby of the food science building at 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, at 10:45 a.m. for coffee.

Looking to capture the nostalgia? Keep an eye out for “R Alumni” roving photo booths on the Busch and Cook/Douglass campuses as well. There’s a photo booth at College Avenue, too. 

Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano leads the Scarlet Knights onto the field.
 Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano leads the Scarlet Knights onto the field.
Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

Catch the Spring Football Game (Busch) – Rutgers Day 2024 features the annual Scarlet-White Game, a preseason scrimmage presented by PNC, at 3 p.m. at SHI Stadium, 1 Scarlet Knight Way, Piscataway, N.J. Spectators are invited to come onto the field for pregame festivities beginning at 2 p.m. for some favorite elements of The Rutgers Boardwalk, including free rides, games and giveaways – plus a post-game autograph session with the football team. Parking and admission are free.  

Celebrate Black Contributions to the Beloved Community (College Avenue) – Head over to Paul Robeson Plaza to experience an array of activities, including interactive performances and storytelling sessions. Presented by the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance Inc. and the Rutgers class of 1971. 

Hey, It’s Also Ag Field Day (Cook/Douglass) – Presented by the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, this is a chance to learn more about the university’s environmental and agriculture-related programs. Ag Field Day features:  

  • Student exhibitions of cows, goats, horses, pigs and sheep 
  • Arts and crafts 
  • Plant and flower sales 
  • Student club activities  


Rutgers Day offers something for everyone in the community, including performances, exhibits, plenty of activities and demonstrations – plus all of it is free.  

New Jersey Folk Festival Has a New Location (Cook/Douglass) – This Rutgers Day staple, featuring live music and craft vendors, is relocating from the great lawn of the Eagleton Institute of Politics to the grassy area near Passion Puddle, the popular pond that’s surrounded by trees, often filled with waterfowl and situated between Cook and Douglass campuses off Red Oak Lane.  

This celebration of the arts and traditions of the cultures throughout the state runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Garden State: Cultures of Cultivation.”  

Members of the marching band perform during Rutgers Day 2023 on College Avenue campus.
Members of the marching band perform during Rutgers Day 2023 on College Avenue campus.
Shelley Kusnetz

Watch the Marching Band and Bang a Drum (College Avenue) – Members of the Marching Scarlet Knights will strut their stuff during the Rutgers Day parade, starting at 10:30 a.m. along Seminary Place. The marching band also will host a table on Voorhees Mall featuring drums for visitors to pound. 

Get Screened at the Health Village (Busch) – The village is focused on Rutgers Health programs and other health-related initiatives. In addition to free blood pressure and other medical screenings, attendees can learn more about the university’s health and wellness resources, as well as:   

  • Build a model of a brain with the help of members of the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology and the NeuroConnections Club. 
  • RU smarter than a nursing student? Play trivia against a member of the Rutgers Student Nurses' Association. 
  • Play pin the tail on the parasite and other games with members of the clinical laboratory sciences program at the School of Health Professions.  
  • Become a cell detective and learn to identify healthy and cancerous cells with the help of members from the diagnostic cytopathology program at the School of Health Professions. 
  • Get emergency preparedness tips. 

A popular attraction – and prime photo opportunity – is a giant, inflatable colon that people may walk through. 

Medical equipment is demonstrated for visitors at the RWJBarnabas Health tent on Busch Campus during Rutgers Day 2022.
Medical equipment is demonstrated for visitors at the RWJBarnabas Health tent on Busch Campus during Rutgers Day 2022.
Shelley Kusnetz

Engage With Engineering (Busch) – The School of Engineering and related organizations will host an array of programs, demonstrations and cool experiments, including: 

  • Mechanical and aerospace engineering students and faculty will unveil a formula race car, drones, mini cube satellites, a robotic rover and a high-altitude weather balloon.  
  • Members of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering will host demonstrations involving robots, an autonomous wheelchair and a 3D printer.  
  • Fold paper into planes and origami shapes with the help of members of the Society of Women Engineers. 
  • What’s it like to be a civil engineer? Learn about engineering clean water and check out the strength of steel bridges in a live demonstration and engage in rail safety activities. A robot dog will be on hand, too. 
  • Make some slime with members of engineering fraternity Theta Tau. 

Hi-Yo, High-Speed Horse (Cook/Douglass) – Watch a horse hoof it on a high-speed treadmill during 30-minute demonstrations at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. in the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the Equine Science Center. (Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance to secure a spot in line; the doors close once capacity is reached.) 

Catch the Seeing Eye Dog Show (Cook/Douglass) – Meet puppies in training to become guide dogs by the Round House at the farm and watch them demonstrate their skills on Skelley Field. Presented by the Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club of Rutgers University, which raises puppies for The Seeing Eye Inc., a Morristown-based national nonprofit group. 

Families With Children 

Rutgers Day is all about family fun and features hands-on, engaging activities for children and parents. 

Get Creative at the Zimmerli Art Museum (College Avenue) – Children and families are welcome at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick, N.J., for art activities and guided tours. 

Join a Marathon Reading (College Avenue) – Take to the stage on Voorhees Mall to read passages from The Adventures of Pinocchio. Presented by the Department of English and the Writers House, an undergraduate learning community. Participants get a free copy of the book as well as treats. 

Philosophize With Puppets (College Avenue) – Members of the Department of Philosophy and the department-sponsored philosophy honors club are putting on a puppet show called “Minerva's Owl of Athena Presents ‘A Philosopher's Puzzle Extravaganza at Plato's Cave and Philosophy Puppet Time.’” 

Laugh and Learn During the Faraday Physics Lecture (Busch) – This popular show, a humor-charged physics demonstration and talk, is for children of all ages. Beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the Physics Lecture Hall at 120 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, N.J., the 90-minute show – which includes a man on a bed of nails and an exploding hydrogen balloon – is named after British physicist and inventor Michael Faraday.  

Give Your Stuffed Animal a Checkup (Busch) – Does Bear Bear have a boo-boo? Medical students from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s Office of Community Health-backed Homeless and Indigent Population Health Outreach Project (HIPHOP for short) are offering mock physicals for plush animals. 

Four-year-old David Hung feeds a cow on Rutgers Day 2023 at College Farm on Cook Campus.
Four-year-old David Hung feeds a cow on Rutgers Day 2023 at College Farm on Cook Campus.

Make Friends at the Petting Zoo (Cook/Douglass) – Piglets, lambs and kids will be on hand for visitors young and old to meet in the Round House at the Cook campus farm on College Farm Road in New Brunswick. Presented by the Veterinary Science Club.  

Gather Your Garden Faves (Cook/Douglass) – Explore an assortment of unique native plants and popular vegetables, herbs and flowers – including a plethora of Rutgers-bred varieties and heirloom treasures – at the Middlesex County Master Gardener Plant Sale. Rutgers Cooperative Extension master gardeners and staff will be on hand to provide gardening guidance and details on upcoming programs. 

Prospective Students and Their Parents 

Thinking about going to school here? Rutgers Day is a fantastic way for prospective students and their families to experience what the university has to offer.  

Arrived Early? Attend Douglass Residential College Information Sessions and Walking Tour (Cook/Douglass) – Discover this close-knit community open to female undergraduate students. Hear about the benefits of attending Douglass – from free study-abroad programs to supportive communities and leadership opportunities. The sessions and walking tour are held from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Kathleen W. Ludwig Global Village Learning Center, 9 Suydam St., New Brunswick. 

Snap Selfies at the R Garden (College Avenue) – Here's another Rutgers Day staple – and a fun photo opportunity. Walk through the “R” garden, an art installation made of 3D Rutgers “R” sculptures and decorate your own paper “R.” 

Attendees pose with School of Social Work frames during Rutgers Day 2022 on College Avenue campus.
Attendees pose with School of Social Work frames during Rutgers Day 2022 on College Avenue campus.
Shelley Kusnetz

University Departments Represent at Voorhees Mall (College Avenue) – Professors, staff and students from various school departments at Rutgers–New Brunswick are on hand at Voorhees Mall to highlight their programs and offer some Rutgers Day fun, including a math festival held by members of the Department of Mathematics. 

Dive Into Pre-College Outreach and Upward Bound Math-Science Programs (College Avenue) – Learn how the Pre-College Outreach and Upward Math-Science programs provide supportive and educational resources to assist college-bound middle school and high school students in navigating the admissions process. Presented by the Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement.  

Unleash Your Inner Mad Scientist at the Makerspace Tent (Busch) – Rutgers Makerspace, with collaborative workspace locations at College Avenue and Livingston campuses – and, soon, Cook campus – provides DIY equipment for Rutgers students, staff and faculty. The Makerspace tent offers an array of equipment, including 3D printers, laser cutters, and a virtual welder. 

Take Part in the Super-Duper Egg Toss (Cook/Douglass) – Join this annual Rutgers Day tradition: An egg toss presented by the New Jersey Folk Festival. This event, which starts at 2 p.m. and is open to all ages, is being held at the Big R stage at Passion Puddle. 


Rutgers Day is a time for students of this New Jersey institution to shine brightly – and have some fun, too.  

Speak Up at the World Language Pavilion (College Avenue) – Members from various language departments and programs offer an array of activities, including crafts, games, language-learning sessions, recording opportunities and information about programs and services available to both the Rutgers and wider community. 

Visitors meet Sir Henry's horse during Rutgers Day 2022.
Visitors meet Sir Henry's horse during Rutgers Day 2022.
Shelley Kusnetz

Cheer on Rutgers University Athletics (College Avenue) – This tent, next to Scott Hall, features appearances from our student-athletes as well as giveaways, temporary tattoos and an opportunity to snap photos with Sir Henry, the official mascot of the Scarlet Knights. 

Human-Size Bubbles (College Avenue) – Create human-size bubbles and learn about programs for LGBTQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual and other identities) students. Presented by the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities. 

Become a (Jell-O) Brain Surgeon (Busch) – Under the guidance of real brain surgeons from Rutgers Neurosurgery, don surgical gowns, hats and masks to perform simulated surgery on model skulls and gelatin brains using authentic operating room instruments.  

Know Your Limits (Cook/Douglass) – Drive a golf cart while wearing “Fatal Vision Goggles” to see how your perception changes under the influence of alcohol and then take a “walk and turn” field sobriety test. Presented by the Center for Communication and Health Issues, the student-led alcohol safety campaign RU SURE, the Rutgers Recovery House, the Rutgers University Police Department and the Center for Alcohol and Substance Use Studies.  

Learn About Fire Safety (Cook/Douglass) – Witness a side-by-side dorm room fire demonstration – one room has fire sprinklers; the other doesn’t – conducted by Rutgers Emergency Services Fire Systems Bureau and the New Brunswick Fire Department.