10 Things To Do In Cape May, New Jersey With Kids

by Dawn Miller
Originally Published: 
Shot of a Cape May Lighthouse in New Jersey

Tucked onto the tip of the peninsula, Cape May is the jewel of the Jersey Shore. Even back in the day, this Victorian village attracted kings, queens, and presidents for vacations. Cape May is a fabulous, family-friendly place for a getaway. Here are ten activities the entire family will love.

1. Take a trolley ride. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities runs several trolley tours from the Washington Street Mall. Its Children’s Trolley Tour is geared towards kids ages 5 through 10. The narrator tells tales about Cape May’s pirates and discusses architecture and history, all while viewing the sights. Riders also get to sing along to childhood favorites like The Wheels on the Trolley.

2. Climb to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse. The 199-step Cape May Lighthouse is a must-see for any visitor to the area. The view from the top is breathtaking. Kids will also love the scenic bike ride out to the lighthouse along well-maintained and safe bike paths. Stop by the adjacent wildlife center afterwards.

3. Miniature golf anyone? Miniature golf is a Jersey Shore staple and Cape May has several to choose from, including Cape May’s Miniature Golf, which includes the Cocomoe’s Premium Ice Cream Parlor. You can’t go wrong with an afternoon of 18 holes followed by ice cream!

4. Go whale watching. Most of the time it is more of a dolphin and seal watching cruise, but occasionally a whale is spotted. However, a fun time is had by all on board and the dolphins are always plentiful and playful on a voyage run by the Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center.

5. Experience a sail on a tall ship. The A.J. Meerwald is a 115-foot oyster schooner. Voyagers get to see what life as a sailor on the Delaware Bay is like. Children get to participate in the raising and lowering of sails as well as taking a turn at the helm.

6. Take a trip to the zoo! The Cape May County Zoo houses over 550 species of animals, including bears, lions, and giraffes. It is the perfect size for families to see all the sights in an afternoon, and it is free. A voluntary donation is all that is asked of visitors. The zoo also offers a miniature train ride through the park that sits outside its entrance and a carousel ride on animals native to New Jersey.

7. Enjoy a kayak ride. A kayak is a unique way to view Cape May’s wildlife up close and personal.

8. Attend a teddy bear tea party. The Emlen Physick Estate hosts teddy bear tea parties in the summer that feature music, a child-friendly menu, and fun all around. The event is sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. Teddy bears are welcome to pull up their own chair.

9. Take a ride on a surrey. Biking around Cape May is the best way to see the sights in town and the surrounding areas. Rentals are plentiful, as are bike racks. Surrey rentals are a blast for families. Little ones can have a seat and enjoy the ride if they aren’t tall enough to help pedal yet.

10. Hunt for Cape May diamonds at Sunset Beach. Cape May diamonds are quartz crystals that are found on the beach at Cape May Point. Swimming isn’t allowed on this section of beach, where visitors can also see the wreck of the famous concrete ship, the S.S. Atlantus. Children of all ages love combing through the multi-colored rocks and pebbles in search of the Cape May diamonds.

No, heading to the beach was not an oversight! The beaches along the shores of Cape May are beautiful and a fabulous place to spend the day, evening, or wake up early to catch a sunrise. It’s just that there is so much to see and do in Cape May that sometimes an afternoon on the sand is an afterthought!

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