In Burlington and Ocean Counties
Climb aboard a pirate ship for an adventure on the high seas, enjoy a vaudeville-style Broadway cabaret with a side of ice cream or explore historical sites that date back to the 1600s. Don’t miss the Burlington County Farm Fair in Springfield Township or the parade of lighted floats at the Pemberton Township Water Carnival. Take in a show at the historic Strand Center for the Arts or listen to the Garden State Philharmonic. Burlington and Ocean counties are home to many entertaining activities. The following is merely a sampling of what the region has to offer.
Residents of Burlington and Ocean counties have dozens of different annual events, festivals and community gatherings at their fingertips.
Burlington County Farm Fair
The Burlington County Farm Fair showcases livestock and farm products to the tens of thousands of visitors that attend each year. The fair also features arts and crafts, old steam engines and antique farm equipment, a tractor pull, a midway, food, live entertainment and more.
Festival of the Sea Carnival
Since 1975, St. Francis of Assisi Parish has hosted the annual Festival of the Sea Carnival at Brant Beach. Held in August, the carnival has rides, food, games and more.
Lighthouse International Film Festival
The four-day Lighthouse International Film Festival in Long Beach Island showcases new and innovative films. The festival features films, panels, Q&As, parties and surfing. The event draws some of the industry’s top film critics, producers and distributors.
Pemberton Township Water Carnival
Celebrating 50 years in 2018, the Pemberton Township Water Carnival in July features a parade of lighted floats along Mirror Lake. The carnival has water activities, children’s games, contests, music and fireworks as well.
Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix
Watch this offshore beach race in May at Point Pleasant Beach. The course is a 4-mile oval as close to the beach as possible — even the outside leg can be clearly seen from the shoreline. Before race day, the race boats can be seen on display or during the parade of boats.
Artistic opportunities from theater to music to dance and more are no strangers to Burlington and Ocean county residents.
Burlington County Amphitheater
5 Pioneer Blvd.
Westampton, NJ 08060 609-265-5858
The Burlington County Amphitheater hosts a free summer concert series with seating for 500. The amphitheater is adjacent to the Burlington County Library. For information on upcoming acts, visit the amphitheater’s website.
Garden State Philharmonic
1 College Drive
Toms River, NJ 08753 732-255-0460
The Garden State Philharmonic’s concerts preserve classical music, promote arts education, and foster an appreciation and love of music. The season typically includes a four- to five-concert subscription series, a winter holiday concert, specialty concerts and a free Fourth of July concert.
Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
1 College Drive
Toms River, NJ 08753 732-255-0500
The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, on the campus of Ocean County College, is a performing arts center dedicated to providing art and entertainment to Ocean County and the Jersey Shore. The center features music performances, theater, film and dance. It is home to the Garden State Philharmonic, various educational performing arts organizations, an art gallery, and the Ocean County and New Jersey state teen arts festivals.
Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences
120 Long Beach Blvd.
Long Beach Township, NJ 08008
The LBIF is a nonprofit center for culture, education and recreation. The center offers adult and youth art workshops like basketry, bookmaking, ceramics, creative writing, culinary arts, drawing, glasswork, painting, photography, woodworking and more. Programming is diverse and includes book discussions, dances, film festivals and musical performances. Other recreational offerings include aerobics, ballet, jazz, kayaking, tennis, yoga and more.
The Music Man Singing Ice Cream Shoppe
2305 Grand Central Ave.
Lavallette, NJ 08735 732-854-2779
Seaside Heights, NJ 08751 844-854-2779
The Music Man Singing Ice Cream Shoppe is a vaudeville-style nightly Broadway cabaret. Performers maneuver around the entire shop, singing to guests and incorporating them into the show. Enjoy delicious ice cream and a show in Lavallette or Seaside Heights.
The Strand Center for the Arts
400 Clifton Ave.
Lakewood, NJ 08701 732-367-7789
The Strand Center for the Arts hosts a variety of national acts, concerts, music, dance, theater, comedy and arts education. The historic 1,042-seat theater opened its doors in 1922.
Learn about New Jersey’s history and cultural contributions by visiting any one of the many local museums.
Burlington County Historical Society
457 High St.
Burlington City, NJ 08016 609-386-4773
BCHS is an interactive history museum where children and families can have fun learning about the county’s history. The society’s campus includes the Bard How House, with an interactive children’s exhibit; the James Fenimore Cooper birthplace; the Capt. James Lawrence birthplace; and the Corson Poley Center, which is home to the Delia Biddle Pugh Research Library and museum galleries.
The City of Burlington Historic District
Burlington has more than 40 historical sites that date back to the 1600s. See the homes of Revolutionary War soldier Oliver Cromwell and Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the Surveyor General’s Office of West Jersey, an authentic carriage house, Underground Railroad sites and much more.
1761 Route 9
Toms River, NJ 08755 732-349-7090
This “bugseum” is a fun and unique insect learning center set within the architecture of a bug-themed city. See, and even touch, beautiful, bizarre and exotic insects from all over the world. Learn about bugs by pretending to be one as you crawl through a termite’s mud tube. Watch ants construct their tunnels in the live ant nest and busy bees tend their observation hive. More than a dozen exhibit areas are sure to educate and entertain.
John F. Peto Studio Museum
102 Cedar Ave.
Island Heights, NJ 08732 732-929-4949
John F. Peto is recognized by the art world as an American master of the trompe l’oeil or “fool the eye” school of still-life painting. His works are represented in the collections of major museums throughout the country. The John F. Peto Studio Museum is a historic recreation of Peto’s studio, home and gardens. The museum’s permanent collection includes artwork, furniture and artifacts original to the house, historic photographs and more.
Navy Lakehurst Historical Society
P.O. Box 328
Lakehurst, NJ 08733 732-818-7520
The Navy Lakehurst Historical Society, in partnership with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, conducts free tours of the Hindenburg crash site, the Navy Lakehurst Heritage Center, the Ready Room, the POW-MIA Room and Historic Hangar One. Tours begin at the Cathedral of the Air before proceeding to the joint base. Two weeks advanced notice is needed for tours; contact the society for information about tour rules and requirements.
New Jersey Maritime Museum
528 Dock Road
Beach Haven, NJ 08008 609-492-0202<
The New Jersey Maritime Museum has the most extensive collection of maritime historical artifacts in the state of New Jersey. The museum’s collection includes rare documents, antique navigational equipment, more than 10,000 rare and historic photographs, logs, videos and artifacts that span more than 100 years of maritime history.
Ocean County Historical Society
26 Hadley Ave.
Toms River, NJ 08753 732-341-1880
The Ocean County Historical Society’s museum is housed in an 1820s home that has been renovated and added to throughout the decades. Originally, the house consisted of one downstairs room and an upstairs sleeping loft. Today, the museum and its additions feature a grand staircase and many rooms, including a parlor, a Victorian dining room, a music room, a research center and exhibits that explore the history of Ocean County.
Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum
120 W. Main St.
Tuckerton, NJ 08087 609-296-8868
Explore Jersey Shore’s maritime traditions. The seaport features demonstrations, interpretive exhibits, hands-on activities, events, festivals, live aquatic displays and more. The seaport’s 40 acres include 17 historic and recreated buildings connected by a boardwalk, a maritime forest and wetlands nature trail, houseboats, a decoy gallery and carving workshops, a working boatworks building, a historic marine railway and a recreated Tucker’s Island Lighthouse.
The 300-mile New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail hugs the coastline of New Jersey and includes many New Jersey state parks, facilities and beaches. For more information on New Jersey beaches, visit the state’s tourism website at www.visitnj.org/nj/beaches. You can also check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
800 Great Creek Road
Oceanville, NJ 08205 609-652-1665
The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats that are actively managed for migratory birds. The value of protecting water birds and their habitat continues to increase as people develop the New Jersey shore. Wildlife can be viewed year-round on the refuge. The refuge also provides hunting and fishing opportunities.
Forest Resource Education Center
495 Don Conner Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527 732-928-2360
The Forest Resource Education Center pinelands forest is ideal for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting and nature photography. The center maintains 8 miles of trails with learning stations and information kiosks on environmental subjects.
Historic Smithville Park
803 Smithville Road
Eastampton, NJ 08060 609-265-5858
Historic Smithville Park is the centerpiece of the Burlington County parks system. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing and picnicking in the park’s 312 acres, which feature upland forests, meadows, freshwater streams, wetlands, creek shoreline and a 22-acre lake. The park has a butterfly garden, the historic Smithville mansion and museum, trails, a playground, picnic amenities and more.
Island Beach State Park
Route 35 South
Seaside Park, NJ 08752 732-793-0506
Shaped by storm and tides, Island Beach State Park is a narrow barrier island stretching for 10 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. Island Beach is one of New Jersey’s last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem that once existed along much of the coast. It is also one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast. The park is home to a variety of maritime plants and wildlife, including the state’s largest osprey colony and peregrine falcons, wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl and migrating songbirds. The park offers a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, hunting, biking, canoeing, horseback riding, surfing, scuba diving and more.
Popcorn Park Refuge and Zoo
1 Humane Way
Forked River, NJ 08731 609-693-1900
Popcorn Park provides a refuge for wildlife and domestic and exotic animals that are sick, elderly, abandoned, abused or injured and can no longer survive in its natural habitat. More than 200 of these animals and birds now live in the heart of the scenic Pine Barrens on the 7-acre refuge. Animals at the refuge include monkeys, bobcats, bears, llamas, reptiles, tigers and more.
From malls and major department stores to unique boutiques and souvenir shops, there’s something for every taste and budget.
Find local farmers markets, roadside stands and farms that let you pick your own produce at the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Find Fresh website.
Jackson Premium Outlets
537 Monmouth Road
Jackson, NJ 08527 732-833-0503
Jackson Premium Outlets has 70 stores and eateries, including outlet stores from name brands like Banana Republic, Coach, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren and Under Armour.
Ocean County Mall
1201 Hooper Ave.
Toms River, NJ 08753 732-244-8200<
Ocean County Mall is the area’s only indoor shopping mall and features 120 specialty stores and restaurants.
1801 Bayview Ave.
Barnegat Light, NJ 08006 609-494-0113
Barnegat Light’s historic Viking Village is a quaint fishing village with shops, dining, behind-the-scenes commercial fishing dock tours (reservations required), and craft and antique shows.
Sports and Recreation
Whether you’re looking to take in a game or cool off with a trip down a waterslide, you’ll find what you’re after in Burlington and Ocean counties.
Fantasy Island Amusement Park
320 Seventh St.
Beach Haven, NJ 08008 609-492-4000
This park with Victorian flair features thrilling rides, an arcade, boardwalk games, entertainment, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and more.
Golfing fans can play through on some of New Jerseys’ best golf courses in the region. Public, private and semi-private golf courses are all available. Burlington County is home to the highly acclaimed and challenging Pine Valley Golf Club. Ranked No. 1 in the world by Golf Magazine more than once, the private course is incredibly exclusive and out of reach for most nonmembers. Thankfully, the county is also home to the Golden Pheasant Golf Club, the Burlington Country Club, the Indian Spring Country Club and several other private and public courses. In Ocean County, you can play at the public Atlantis Golf Course, which was named one of the top 50 golf courses in New Jersey under $50 to play. Forge Pond Golf Course, another public course, was named “Best golf course in Monmouth/Ocean County” several years running. For a full list of golf courses in the region, visit the New Jersey State Golf Association at www.njsga.org.
300 Ocean Ave.
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742 732-892-0600
Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is fun for the whole family. The mile-long boardwalk features an aquarium, an amusement park, arcades and a Sweet Shop. Tee up at one of three mini-golf courses, batter up at the batting cages or eat up at the oceanside restaurants. No trip is complete without a visit to the beautiful sandy beach.
River Cruises and Pirate Adventures
Explore New Jersey by boat on a river cruise. The River Belle and River Lady paddlewheel riverboats offer sightseeing and dining cruises along the Manasquan River, Point Pleasant Canal, Barnegat Bay and Metedeconk River. Climb aboard these authentic reproductions that capture the charm of 19th-century Mississippi paddleboats for historical sightseeing cruises, fireworks cruises, murder mystery cruises, dance cruises and more.
If you’re looking for a swashbuckling adventure, sail with the Jersey Shore Pirates on the Sea Gypsy. Children can dress up like pirates, man the famous water cannons and embark on a treasure hunt on the high seas. Black Pearl Pirate Tours offer a similar experience for young pirates in training, as well as sunset cruises with a fully stocked bar for older buccaneers.
For more information on river cruises and pirate adventures, visit the Ocean County Tourism website at www.oceancountytourism.com.
Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Six Flags Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527 732-928-2000
Six Flags Great Adventure, Wild Safari and Hurricane Harbor thrill guests with coasters, shows, animals and water fun. Go from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds on the Kingda Ka roller coaster, experience the tallest and fastest drop ride in the world on Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, or try to stay dry on the Congo Rapids whitewater river rafting experience.
Team85 Fitness & Wellness
8500 K Johnson Blvd.
Bordentown, NJ 08505 609-298-8585
Team85 Fitness & Wellness is a one-stop shop for all your fitness, sport, family and lifestyle needs. Team85 began with the vision of its CEO — former professional football player Kevin Johnson of the Cleveland Browns. Today, the 120,000-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art fitness and cardio equipment, an indoor turf field, batting cages, basketball courts, an indoor track, indoor swimming pools, salon and spa services, a cafe with internet, child care services and more. The facility offers programs for all ages and fitness levels.