Baristanet Family-Friendly ‘Down the Shore’ Beach Round Up

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The summer sun might soon be setting, but the Jersey Shore is still bursting with fun. Whether your kids are toddles or teens, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Read on for a Jersey Shore round up of the hottest spots for water sports, games, rides, mini golf, zoos and lip-smacking treats:

long branch

Long Branch offers tons of land and water activities for all ages as well as shopping and restaurants.

The main attraction is Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, a 38-acre beach park with play areas an activity center, boat launch, surfing, guarded swimming, fishing, beach volleyball, picnic tent (fees and reservations), snack bar, sheltered eating areas, outdoor showers and changing areas. Be sure to check out Tony’s Place, an inclusive playground where kids can crawl through tunnels, soar on the swings and beat on the drums in the music section – all atop a smooth wheelchair-friendly surface. If skateboarding or in-line skating are on your agenda, head over to the Skateplex for tricks and thrills in the bowl. There’s also a short paved trail, landscaped open play areas, drink vending machines, open shelter and tables. (Note: The Skateplex will be under construction from around August 17 through late fall.)

Pier Village is worth visiting with its fashionable boutiques, sit-down restaurants and mouthwatering treats from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Stewart’s Root Beer – all only steps off of the beach.

Highlights:

Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
Address: 221 Ocean Avenue North, Long Branch
Phone:732-229-0924

Tony’s Place
Phone: 732-842-4000, ext. 1 (call one week before your visit to register for your permit)

Pier Village
Address: 50 Chelsea Avenue, Long Branch
Phone: 732-923-0100


asbury park

Many people know Asbury Park as a radiant seaside town with Zagat-rated restaurants, art galleries and a legendary music scene (thanks to the Stony Pony). But it also has great activities for kids along the mile-long boardwalk.

Your youngsters will get splash-happy at Splash Park, a sprayground of water delights with sprinklers and a giant tipping tea cup. If sinking golf balls with the sound of waves crashing behind you is more your family’s speed, stop by Asbury 18 Mini Golf for a beachfront game. Don’t forget to visit the Silver Ball Museum Arcade, where you’ll find hundreds of antique pinball machines to play and learn about.

Highlights:

Splash Park & Asbury 18 Mini Golf
Address: 1100 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park
Phone: 732-897-6538

Silver Ball Museum
Address: 1000 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park
Phone: 732-774-4994


jenkinson's

Head down to Point Pleasant to play in the sand, surf, swim and take in Jenkinson’s Boardwalk attractions.  

There, you’ll find Jenkinson’s South Amusement Park with heart-racing rides like the Tilt-a-Whirl and Crazy Bus for older kids. The carousel and an antique-style train are fan faves of the younger crowd. There’s also three mini-golf courses, batting cages, four arcades, a Fun House and sweet treats like homemade fudge, salt water taffy, ice cream and funnel cakes. Jenkinson’s Aquarium is also a must-visit with Atlantic and Pacific sharks, coral reefs, penguins and seals as well as workshops for kids of all ages.

Highlights:

Jenkinson’s South Amusement Park
Address: 500 Boardwalk, Point Pleasant Beach
Phone: 732-892-0600

Jenkinson’s Aquarium
Address: 300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach
Phone: 732-899-1212



LBI
If you’re headed to Long Beach Island, the borough of Beach Haven has rides, games, golf and crafts.

Check out the Victorian inspired Fantasy Island Amusement Park for rides like the Pirate Ship and Bumper Cars and a casino arcade. Thundering Surf Waterpark & Adventure Golf is also worth a visit, with eight winding waterslides that your kids can tube down, a Lazy Crazy River and Cowabunga Beach, which was designed especially for toddlers. During waterpark hours, you can boogie board at FlowRider. The two eighteen-hole golf courses offer fun and adventure with caves hidden under rushing waterfalls and a suspended swinging bridge. Before leaving Beach Haven, head over to the Sand Crafted shop to design your own beachy souvenirs.

Highlights:

Fantasy Island Amusement Park
Address: 320 Seventh Street, Beach Haven
Phone: 609-492-4000

Thundering Surf Waterpark & Adventure Golf
Address: Bay and Taylor Avenue, Beach Haven
Phone: 609-492-0869

Sand Crafted
Address: 118 N. Bay Avenue, Beach Haven
Phone: 609-492-1824

wildwood

The fun factor for Wildwood is off the charts with their legendary boardwalk that boasts three amusement piers, three beachfront waterparks and over 100 rides. If your family is into watersports, there’s also jet skiing, parasailing, wave running, surfing and speedboat rentals.

You simply cannot visit Wildwood without checking out Moreys Piers & Beachfront Waterparks, which stretches across 18 acres and six beach blocks and includes three amusement piers and two beachfront water parks. Mariner’s Pier serves up a classic amusement park experience with Tea Cups, Bumper Cars and a Carousel. You’ll also find Mariner’s arcade, games and plenty of sweet indulgences from fried Oreos to ice cream. Visit Raging Waters Water Park for an obstacle-laden activity pool and fun-filled kiddie play areas with cargo nets, slides and water sprays. Surfside Pier is a vision of bright colors and unique rides like Kong and The Great Nor’Easter (for those brave enough to whirl through a suspended looping coaster at 50 miles per hour). For relaxation, sink into the tropical vibe of The Oasis Ocean Water Park + Beach Club with private cabanas and a fire pit. If yours is a family of thrill-seekers, visit Adventure Pier with its famous The Great White wooden rollercoaster, Cliff Dive and scenic six minute helicopter rides. For younger kids, Bonsai Beach is a huge interactive play area with water jets, climbing ropes and slides.

Before leaving Wildwood, visit Flow House at Splash Zone Water Park for music, entertainment and plenty of good eats. There, you’ll also find FlowRider Double, with flow boarding (a combination of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding) for all levels.

Highlights:

Moreys Piers & Beachfront Waterparks
Address: 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood
Phone: 609-522-3900

Flow House at Splash Zone Water Park
Address:3500 Boardwalk, Wildwood
Phone: 609-729-5600


sandy hook

Sandy Hook offers seven miles of ocean and bay beaches, hiking and biking trails and 264 acres of maritime forest. Rich in history and ecologic diversity, Sandy Hook’s offerings are unique and varied.

Gateway National Recreational Area at Sandy Hook is a homerun for nature lovers. Hikers, bicyclists and in-line skaters should check out the Multi-Use Pathway, a five mile paved path between the park entrance and Fort Hancock, a national historic landmark site. Another option for hikers is the Old Dune Trail. For bird watching, grab your binoculars and head over to Plum Island, the Spermaceti Cove boardwalk, the Horseshoe Cove salt marsh, North Pond or the fields at Fort Hancock. You can go camping on any of the 20 tent campsites at Camp Gateway or take in some history at Fort Hancock as well as the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the nation. If you are looking for water` activities, Sandy Hook offers boating, fishing, windsurfing and kite-boarding.

Highlights:

Gateway National Recreational Area at Sandy Hook
(GPS) Address: 128 South Hartshorne Drive, Highlands
Phone: 732-872-5900 (Park Ranger Station)

Cape May County Park/Zoo

Had enough funnel cake and boardwalk rides to last you ‘til next summer?  Venture down to Cape May for some wildlife fun.

At The Cape May County Park & Zoo you’ll see big cats, monkeys, zebras, giraffes and more. You can also enjoy the picnic areas, walking paths, bike paths, fishing ponds, disc golf course and playgrounds. If you’d like to see some whales and dolphins, Cape May Whale Watcher cruises won’t disappoint.  

Highlights:

Cape May County Park & Zoo
Address: 707 North Route 9, Cape May Court House
Phone: 609-465-9300

Cape May Whale Watcher
Address: 1218 Wilson Drive, Cape May
Phone: 800-786-5445


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