Collingswood was officially established in 1888. Close to Camden and across the river from Philadelphia, Collingswood was conceived as a suburban town with a main street and a large central park as its main gathering places.
Today, Collingswood remains a striking model of a suburban town. It has been described as the “Norman Rockwell in the MTV era.”
Haddon Avenue is Collingswood’s main thoroughfare. Walkable from one end of town to the other, it offers a marvelous mix of shops, restaurants, entertainment options, and more. While some are new, others having been around for decades, quick connections via PATCO put you in Philadelphia within minutes.
Collingswood’s charm has taken home national recognition, including being named the Best Place to Go Car Free by the Men’s Journal and a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association.
Collingswood is a community that offers something for everyone – singles, families, and seniors, who enjoy everything from its outstanding schools to its countless community groups. Haddon Avenue offers an array of options, from dry cleaners to yoga studios, making it easy to meet your everyday needs. This commercial strip includes a remarkable restaurant row that features several blocks of BYOB dining with flavors ranging from Cuban to Japanese.
Collingswood has an eclectic mix of homes that include large Victorians, twins, and town homes. More modern residential options include the recently completed LumberYard Condominiums, a mixed-use retail development that consists of 119 residential and retail condominium units, and features brick and stone facades in a brownstone-like setting with landscaped courtyards and roof terraces. Other similar developments are in the works to support the continued interest of living in Collingswood.
Over the past 10 years, business in Collingswood has been growing steadily. Continual press coverage and the support of the Business Improvement District have helped build Collingswood’s brand, while attracting new businesses to the community. Three commercial business districts and a very vibrant business community regularly bring customers and clients to Collingswood, who enjoy its mix of retailers, restaurateurs, and professional services.
Instead of driving, many of Collingswood’s residents and visitors take advantage of Collingswood’s pedestrian-friendly nature and walk. Additionally, its central location in Camden County and accessibility by public transportation puts residents only a short and easy commute away from Philadelphia and nearby locations in New Jersey.
Parks and open spaces remain at the heart of the Collingswood community. Cooper River Park, Camden County’s recreation jewel, forms part of its northern border and connects Collingswood to Haddon Township, Haddonfield, and Pennsauken. Knight Park, which was conceived as the center of Collingswood’s community, features little league fields, running trails, and even a restaurant. Cooper River Park runs continuously through Collingswood and much of the surrounding region. Almost 350 acres in total, it offers a mix of amenities that include walking and biking trails,fishing holes, a dog park, and even a miniature golf course. Newton Lake is another local favorite. It features picnic benches, a boat ramp, and a number of bike trails. When it’s time to cool off, many of Collingswood’s residents head over to Roberts Pool.
While outdoor activities are plentiful, free time can also be spent enjoying one of Collingswood’s many restaurants and entertainment options. The Collingswood Youth Theatre and Community Theater Company puts on regular productions, and the Perkins Center for the Arts offers courses for aspiring artists of all ages and levels. One of Collingswood’s best-kept secrets is the Ballroom and Theater at Collingswood, formerly the Scottish Rite Theater. Throughout its history, it has hosted performances by artists including Joan Baez, the Beach Boys, and David Crosby. Built in 1931, it has recently received more than $5 million in renovations.
Special events and festivals are yet another opportunity to celebrate community in Collingswood. One favorite is Second Saturday. Held throughout the year on the second Saturday of each month, these events feature artists, musicians, and more along Haddon Avenue. Also on Saturdays from May through Thanksgiving is the Collingswood Farmers’ Market. It features the best produce and whole foods grown in the Garden State and beyond.
Cruise Nights happen once a month from April through October. Antique, custom, and classic cars and motorcycles come to town and many restaurants offer Cruise Night specials. The May Fair, traditionally held the Saturday before Memorial Day, features a mix of artists, craftsmen, and musicians of all kinds. In October, the Before the Bridge Music Festival brings emerging and established musicians to Haddon Avenue. And when winter comes, Collingswood becomes a warm and inviting community, home to a number of winter and holiday craft festivals and parades.
Immerse yourself in the beauty and sights of Collingswood through a Walking Tour that is guaranteed to be exciting. Whether you are interested in history, the arts, or gorgeous parks, this stroll offers something for everyone with a starting point at Collings-Knight House.
The Collings-Knight House is the best-preserved and most publicly accessible regional example of a Federal style farmhouse built to resemble an expanded Colonial home, a style considered unique to the vicinity of Newton Colony. Alterations have been minimal and the fine interior Federal detailing reinforces the significance of the house as a historic resource listed on the National & NJ Historic Registers.
Given by Edward C. Knight in 1888, the 70 acre park has long been enjoyed not only as a great venue for sports activities from high school through Little League and recreational leagues, but also as a natural area of beauty for passive recreation. The park features athletic fields, a walking and biking path, pond, and playground area.
Work your way through the park to the north side and exit at West Zane Avenue. Continue walking and make a right onto Haddon Avenue. Enjoy the shops and restaurants that make Collingswood a destination!
The Collingswood Theatre, designed by Philadelphia architect David Supowitz and opened in 1928, is a good local expression of Spanish Revival style movie theatre architecture featuring finely crafted terra cotta and plaster ornamentation. The theatre closed in the 1960’s but has served as the home of a variety of businesses, including an advertising agency, retail, a coffee shop, and a maker space.