It’s time to be a tourist at home AGAIN!
The good majority of our readers are from New Jersey. We love that and we’re always looking for new and fun things to do with kids in New Jersey. You never need to go very far for a fun family day trip. We’ve packed Jersey Family Fun with tons of ideas for you. With so many places to visit in New Jersey make sure you are taking the time with your kids to be a tourist.
Are you looking for things to do in Cape May?
Many of you have probably visited Cape May during the summer. You love the Cape May Zoo! You love the beaches! But did you know there are things to do with kids in Cape May yearround? In fact, I would say that with summer crowds gone, now is a great time to visit Cape May for a family vacation. Play a hooky day or take advantage of an upcoming school holiday to get down to Cape May New Jersey for a day of family fun. We’re sharing our ideas for things to do in Cape May. These are so easy to plan either in advance or spur of the moment. Even better, with some of these Cape May family attractions you can buy your tickets online or at the door. Grab the planner and get planning your trip to Cape May!
We originally wrote this in 2018, but we’ve added some updates for 2020.
10 Things to do With Kids in Cape May
Dig for diamonds in the sand
Yes, diamonds can be found on the Sunset Beach of Cape May. This is one of those things to do with kids in Cape May that I’ve heard about from friends but still need to do with my boys. It sounds so fun! Small pieces of quartz, rounded and smoothed through hundreds of years traveling down the Delaware River are underfoot on this Cape May beach. When polished, these quartz rocks look like diamonds-hence the name “Cape May Diamonds.” Hunting for diamonds is a tradition for many families looking for things to do in Cape May. Why not make it a tradition with your kids on your next visit to Cape May?
Search for birds
The Cape May Bird Observatory offers a variety of family friendly activities for your family’s visit to Cape May. One of our favorites is their Weekly Walks led by naturalists and professional staff. Leaders take walkers through the best birding and natural history locations around Cape May. The walks change throughout the year, focusing on the best birds to view each season, including breeding hotspots, winter visitors, or the spectacle of migration. Learn more at their site. They are open for the 2020 summer season.
Seek out dolphins and whales aboard a Cape May Whale Watcher cruise.
Join the captain and his crew for a 3-hour whale and dolphin watching cruise through the Delaware Bay and into the Atlantic Ocean. You never know what you’ll find. The Delaware Bay Estuary is home to many species of marine life, including humpback whales, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, manta rays, thresher sharks, hammerheads, harbor porpoise, seals, northern gannets, great shearwaters, laughing gulls and multitude of fish species.
This was one experience that caught my eye while searching for things to do in Cape May. Tickets for a Cape May Whale Watcher can be purchased through the Cape May Whale Watcher site. Since the Cape May Whale Watcher offers cruises most days at 1 pm it wasn’t hard to find a day for us to go at all. In fact, since their season runs from March through December we may just may make it back there before the end of the year. Booking tickets took just a matter of minutes and on cruise day you can show your printed ticket or downloaded voucher. Families with kids 6 and under are in for a bonus. Those kids ride free and those ages 7 to 12 years old are $25 each.
On our Cape May Whale Watcher cruise we were able to see a few dolphins, one Humpback whale, some jellyfish, and several sting rays. It was a great outing that got my boys off the electronics and out enjoying nature. My boys appreciated that not only was there indoor seating with windows to the outside but there were also snacks and drinks available for sale. Because you know boys always seem to be hungry.
Visit their website for current cruise times. They are open for the 2020 summer season.
Go on a safari at the Cape May County Zoo
Time and time again….we ask our readers what their favorite thing to do with kids in South Jersey is. The Cape May County Zoo is always near the top of the list. Kids love animals and there’s nothing better than a free New Jersey zoo to take them to visit and learn about different species and their habitats. That’s just one of the many reasons why the Cape May County Park and Zoo is one of our favorite FREE places to visit in New Jersey. Not only is it free, but the zoo offers a large variety of animals from all over the world, including over 500 animals representing 250 species.
Visit their website for current hours. They are open for the 2020 summer season.
Walk through history at Cold Spring Village
Our last idea for things to do in Cape May with kids is to go back in time and visit Cold Spring Village. I had been there before with the boys’ school field trips, but I never felt like I had enough time to truly explore it on those trips. I wanted to come back for a longer visit.
Historic Cold Spring Village is an open air living history museum for kids and adults to explore the roots of South Jersey from the industries that supported the area and its families to how they lived, worked, and went to school. As you walk from building to building and one colonial shop to another over the 30-acre property you truly will feel like you’re back in time. Learn how pottery was made. Watch a basket be weaved. Ask the blacksmith a question. Pet the horse. Pump a glass of water. Maybe even take home some Cold Spring money from the printshop or a souvenir from the country store.
Cold Spring Village is open during the spring-summer season with family-friendly events going on nearly every weekend. You can buy your tickets to Cold Spring Village online or at the door. They are NOT open for the 2020 summer season, YET.
Special Note: Historic Cold Spring Village is open during the summer from midJune to Labor Day weekend. They are open for their special weekend events and school field trips at other times of the year.
Visit their website for current hours.
Climb the Cape May Lighthouse
Another beautiful place to get out and explore nature in Cape May is at the Cape May Point State Park. Best known for its 157 foot Cape May Lighthouse, the Cape May Point State Park is also busting with all kinds of wildlife and nature trails. Plan a visit. Climb the lighthouse. Hike in the park or do both. To learn more about the Cape May Lighthouse visit our review of Cape May Lighthouse.
Visit their website for additional information. They are open for the 2020 summer season.
- Daily 10 am – 4 pm until July 23, 2020.
- Daily 9 am – 8 pm from July 24, 2020 till September 6, 2020.
- You can buy tickets online at the Cape May Mac website.
Catch a fish
Families visiting Cape May can also buy tickets for a Half-Day Fishing Trip with Miss Chris Boats. This is one adventure I still want to do with my boys. The 4-hours fishing trip sails into the waters of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. With a well-experienced cruise this can be a wonderful outing for a first time fisher (kids or adults) or ones who’ve had more experience and are looking for a new spot to fish. This Cape May Half-Day Fishing trip combines inshore and some offshore bottom fishing for species like Fluke, Bluefish, Weakfish, Kingfish, Croakers, Drumfish, Black Sea Bass, and Taug. Other species you may see include Smooth Dogfish, Clearnosed Skates, Sharks, Sea Robins, Oyster Crackers, and others. Should you or the kids get hungry Miss Chris Boats has free snacks and beverages for guests. The Half-Day Fishing Trip goes out twice a day.
Visit their website for current schedules. They are open for the 2020 summer season.
Bike to the Washington Street Mall in Cape May
With so many things to do with kids in Cape May so conveniently located near each other leave the car at your hotel or in a parking lot. Cape May is another easy Jersey Shore destination that you can explore on bike or on foot. The mall stretches for 3 blocks and is located near the beach and close to Congress Hall. It’s a pedestrian mall so park your bike at one of the bike racks available near the mall. Start your day by stopping by the visitor center for a map, they can also provide information about walking tours. The visitor center is located near the Cape May Bell and Winterwood Christmas shop. From there you will be able to see the Mary Star of the Sea Church, which makes for a great photo opportunity. Make sure to leave time to show. Washington Street has many unique shops including toy stores and children’s boutiques.
Hike a beach, boardwalk, and trails
Explore Cape May Point State Park for all it has to offer. There’s a World War II bunker on the beach. Real animals you can see in display cases in the visitor center and museum. Hiking trails that cross through the sand, boardwalk trails, and dirt paths. There’s so much to see. Read our guide to Cape May Point State Park for more information. They are open for the 2020 summer season.
Become a Ghosthunter
The last of our things to do with kids in Cape May come from our friend and reader, Carla. She shared that the Cape May Ghost trolly tour was fun and kid friendly. Cape May is rumored to be the most haunted town in New Jersey. With ghost tours by foot or trolley to places like The Emlen Physicks Estate, The Inn of Cape May, The Hotel Macomber, the Cherry House, and the Cape May Lighthouse I can see how that’s happened. Visitors are even encouraged to bring their own recorders and EMF meters as they investigate. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough for that, but if your kids or teens are..go for it.
The trolleys are not open for the 2020 summer just yet, but they are certainly getting ready. Take a look at how trolleys will be cleaned and sanitized for your protection.
If all this talk of things to do with kids in Cape May is making you hungry just imagine how you might feel when you are doing all the activities. No worries, we can help. Here’s a listing of reader recommended family friendly Cape May restaurants.
MORE Things to do in Cape May with Kids
A few more ideas came to us as I was updating this guide to Cape May.
Taste some fun foods
Ever wanted to find out how some foods are made? Do you enjoy tasting fresh made food? As you make your way down Washingtion Street get a free sample of fudge from the fudge kitchen and watch fudge being made. Visit the Cape May Peanut Butter Company Shop for a peanut butter tasting. End your day with a stroll through Congress Hall and a stop at Fralinger’s for some salt water taffy!
Lookout from the World War II Lookout Tower
In 2009, Cape May MAC opened Fire Control Tower No. 23 to the public after an award-winning restoration process. Visitors can climb the six floors and view interpretive panels and exhibits along the way, learning about the role Cape May played during World War II. The World War II Lookout Tower has played a major part in coastal defenses.
- Open daily from 11 am – 2:30 pm from Saturday, June 27, 2020 till Thursday, July 23, 2020. After July 23, please visit their website for more information.
- You can buy tickets online at the Cape May Mac website.
5 Places to Eat with Kids in Cape May
- Mad Batter
- Stewart’s Rootbeer, which is in a location that used to be a bank and has been restored with a soda bar and seating in the former bank vault.
- Harrys restaurant
- Cabanas has a kid night
- Hot dog Tonys has gluten free and vegan options
For more help planning your visit to Cape May check out these resources
- Cape May MAC – Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture), as a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the greater Cape May region for its residents and visitors. Visit their website at capemaymac.org.
- Cape May Strong – #CapeMayStrong is a collaborative project of the Greater Cape May Chamber of Commerce, the City of Cape May, and Cape May Community Partners. Our mission is to provide support and guidance to all local residents, seasonal homeowners, businesses, and visitors in Cape May, while keeping our community informed as we all navigate the evolving COVID-19 situation. They have up-to-date information on Cape May’s reopening status for restaurants, attractions, accommodations, and more. Visit their website at capemaystrong.org.
What will you do first in Cape May?
Need to book a stay in Cape May for your family? Consider AirBnB.