Cape May County Department of Tourism
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News from the Jersey Cape

Family Fun at the Jersey Cape

Cape May County is known for its wonderful beaches, great fishing, boardwalks and wonderful nightlife. But, as anyone who has children knows, families need a wide variety of activities and attractions to keep everyone interested, especially on vacation.

Some families are able to spend every day of their vacation lolling on the beach, with children building sandcastles or bodysurfing while mom and dad soak up the sun or enjoy a good book. Others will hear the words “I’m bored,” or the whine of “didn’t we do this yesterday?” before they’ve even opened the beach umbrella.
 
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While it’s good bet that every family will want to spend a couple of days enjoying the beach , there are a myriad of things to do that don’t require traveling too far or spending too much.

First, try Cape May. Take a walk along the Washington Street Mall to browse the shops then continue along the side streets. Even kids enjoy the charm of the Victorian homes that define America’s Oldest Seashore Resort. If you want more education and more information, take the Cape May Family Treasure Hunt packet along, which includes a clue sheet and map for a self-guided tour.

Cape May’s Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) offers a plenty of kid-friendly tours, programs and more. There’s a 30-minute tour of the 1879 Physick Estate, home to MAC, that provides a glimpse of life before iPods, DVDs, and Nintendo DS. Kids Day at the Physick Estate is filled with tall tales, hands-on activities and tea with your teddy bear (or dolly) at the Twinings Tea Room.

Just a stone’s throw away from Cape May, in Cape May Point, is the Cape May Lighthouse – 199 steps high and offering the best view of the southernmost point in New Jersey, where the ocean and bay meet.
From there, take Broadway into Sunset Beach and gather up Cape May Diamonds. Not really diamonds, the pieces of quartz are called that because of their resemblance to the real thing when cut and polished.
Educational nature tours are held in the Cape May area by the Nature Center of Cape May and in the Seven Mile Beach area by the Wetlands Institute. Both charge nominal fees and provide a wealth of facts and information about the natural habitat.

Sea Isle City's Environmental Commission offers families the chance for families to learn about shells, birds, plants, and the ocean through Beachcomber Tours held every Tuesday and Thursday in the summer. Tours begin at 10 a.m. sharp, and are held at the 29th Street beach on Tuesdays and the 94th Street beach on Thursdays. Wildwood Crest offers a similar experience with Captain Oceans Ecological Program, Mondays at 8 a.m. on the beach at Rambler Road throughout the season.

In Lower Township, tucked in between Cape May and Rio Grande, is Historic Cold Spring Village, a recreated farm village of the 1850s with a collection of more than two dozen historic buildings. During the summer, interpreters practice crafts from the age of homespun, a fun way to learn a lot about history while making something special to take home. Older children will love the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum where vintage planes are housed in a World War II era hangar at the county airport.
Cape May County is peppered with fun, yet sometimes challenging, miniature golf courses. These mini-golf or "putt-putt" courses are a great way for a family to spend a late afternoon or evening, topped off with cone or sundae from a nearby ice cream parlor.

While the beaches are the focal point of any Cape May County vacation, the boardwalks that border the strand tend to grab the attention of the youngsters in all of us. Rightly so.

Ocean City has a boardwalk that stretches for nearly three miles and is enjoyed by many during the early part of the day with a bicycle ride. Shops, eateries and amusements attract families throughout the day, and at night many families stroll up to the Music Pier to enjoy some entertainment before taking a spin on the rides.
The boardwalk that stretches from more than two miles along the ocean front in the Wildwoods is filled with state-of-the-art amusement piers, seven coasters, three water parks and more thrills than you can cram into one vacation. During the summer there's almost always a special event or activity held at the Wildwoods Convention Center, and it's easy to find something for the entire family to enjoy here.

Cape May and Sea Isle City each have a promenade, lined with retail shops and dining opportunities, making for an enjoyable visit for all.

Bordered on both sides by water, the boating and fishing opportunities in Cape May County are boundless. Families can enjoy a day on a fishing or sightseeing excursion or grab a few traps and enjoy a day landing blue claw crabs for an evening meal.

Just because the school bell commands children back to school in September doesn't mean the family fun must end in Cape May County. The post-Labor Day "second season" at the shore is jam-packed with almost as many special events and activities as the summer holds.

With so much for families to see and do on the Jersey Cape, parents rarely hear complaints of boredom from their children and in their place will a more difficult time figuring out which fun and exciting activity the family will try first!

   

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