There's always fun stuff to do down the shore in South Jersey! Check out what's going on this week: Sherlock Holmes Weekend, Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Norwood Builder, Search for Clues Tour, St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations and more!
Don’t miss Sherlock Holmes Weekend in Cape May, with a new mystery for 2012! Join Sherlock Holmes and his partner, Dr. Watson in “Sherlock Holmes and the Trial of Moriarty’s Challenge” for a weekend of mystery and intrigue, Friday through Sunday, March 16-18. Get into the spirit of things by donning Victorian attire. Stalk the gas lit streets in search of clues and compete for the $250 grand prize and a variety of other valuable gifts as you attempt to solve the mystery. Full weekend packages are available at $180 per couple or $95 per person and include the welcome reception, performances, tour, luncheon and gift. Weekend overnight packages are also available. The Search for Clues tour on Saturday, March 17, can be purchased separately. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or go to capemaymac.org.
East Lynne Theater Company presents Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Norwood BuilderPerformed in the style of an NBC radio show from the 1930s, complete with live sound effects and commercials. All of the evidence points to a young lawyer as the murderer. But is he being set-up, or is he the murderer after all? It’s an exciting puzzle fit for Holmes and Watson. Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 at 8pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St. Tickets: $25 general; $15 students; ages 12 and under free. Sponsored by East Lynne Theater Company in association with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or go to capemaymac.org.
Check out the Search for Clues Tour. Travel from inn to inn in Victorian Cape May while you try to solve a murder mystery. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 17. $15 for adults, $7.50 for children (ages 3-12). Tour begins and tickets are available at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Part of Sherlock Holmes Weekend, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or go to capemaymac.org.
Join the Friends of the Cape May Lighthouse on a trolley tour dedicated to the Protectors of Life on the Friends of the Cape May Lighthouse Spring Expedition 2012. See the Stone Harbor Life Saving Station, along with the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse and get guided tours at each. The tour begins at 10 a.m. at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Tickets are $15; $10 for Friends of the Lighthouse members. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or go to capemaymac.org.
On Saturday, March 17, don’t miss North Wildwood’s St. Patrick's Day Celebration and Parade. It's a celebration of all things Irish. Ceremonies will be held on the steps of North Wildwood City hall (10th & Atlantic Avenues) at 11:30am. Parade begins at noon. The reviewing stand will be at Olde NJ Avenue. This event is free. Call 609-522-2955 or go to northwildwood.com for more information.
You also won’t want to miss Wildwood’s St. Patrick's Day Block Party on Saturday, March 17, on Pacific Avenue, between Spencer and Lincoln Avenues, from 9am until 10pm rain or shine. Pentatonix, Season 3 Champions from NBC's The Sing Off, will be performing from 8:30 - 9:30pm along with special guests Burning Bridget Cleary (11 - 11:45am & 4:45 - 5:30pm), the Soul Cruisers (3 - 4:15pm) and Fame & Fortune (6 - 7:30pm) There will be a giant heated tent along with a face painter, balloon artist, stilt walker, vendors and games. From 12 - 1:30pm there will be an attempt to make the world's largest shepherd pie for the Guinness Book of World Records! A minimum $1 donation is required to receive a fork and bowl, and all donations will benefit Lunch with Lynch. Kegs-n-Eggs breakfast buffet ($10 & includes 2 drink tickets) will be served from 9-11 a.m. to also benefit Lunch with Lynch. Stick around for a chance to win a trip to IRELAND courtesy of Cattle 'n Clover Irish Steakhouse and 98.7 the Coast, who will broadcast live from 7 - 10pm! The winner will be announced at 10pm. For more information, call 609-522-3800 or go to WildwoodStPatsDay.com.
In Sea Isle, check out the 22nd Annual St. Patrick Day Parade and Celebration on Saturday, March 17, from 3:30-8pm. The parade will commece at 93rd St. and Landis Avenue, with a celebration immediately following the parade at Kix McNutley’s. Call 609-263-4461 x230 or 609-263-6341, or go to kixmcnutleys.com for more information. This event will be held rain or shine.
Also on Saturday, March 17, there will be a St. Patrick's Day Dinner sponsored by American Legion Post 331 at The Yacht Club of Stone Harbor. For more information, call 609-368-1201.
The Nature Center of Cape May has a lot going on. And lots you can take advantage of, free of admission, with the entire family! The Observation deck and tower provide a panoramic view of the harbor and surrounding area. The upstairs lounge provides an indoor harbor observation area and a place to relax, play games with friends, or read alone. Birding from the deck on the second story of the welcome center provides the best viewing advantage for spotting birds in the harbor and around the meadow. Browse the Aquaria with local marine life, natural history artifacts, and their busy songbird feeding station (seasonal). Monthly exhibits in the Trucksess Welcome Center, feature special art and natural history displays. The NJ Audubon Nature Store has nature gifts, field guides, clothing, and children’s discovery items. Children’s hands-on activities allow them to occupy their time while exploring nature. The Children’s Garden is full of fun, exploration and sensory experiences. The Wildlife habitat meadows feature a Monarch butterfly, milkweed, and wildflower garden, a songbird grassland meadow, and a new nature trail and bridge crossing a meandering stream. Theme gardens include butterfly, hummingbird, seaside, drought tolerant, shade, and songbird gardens. You can beachcomb the harbor during low tide and search for shells and other interesting treasures. Picnic tables are available for an enjoyable lunch overlooking scenic Cape May Harbor. And you can witness spectacular sunsets and magical twilight, and watch the changing colors of the sky from the Cape May Harbor waterfront. The renovated “Harbor Gallery” in the Trucksess Welcome Center hosts new exhibits every month by local artists with a reception held on the first Friday of each month. For more information, go to njaudubon.org/SectionCenters/SectionNCCM/Introduction.aspx or call 609-898-8848.
If you like birding, check out the programs at Cape May Point State Park and Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO)! For information on upcoming classes, call 609-884-2159. For more information about the Cape May Bird Observatory, call 609-884-2736 or go to birdcapemay.org.
East Lynne Theatre Company will open its season on March 16. The 2012 calendar of shows is as follows: March 16 and 17 at 8pm: Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Norwood Builder. ELTC's exciting 1930 radio-style adventure returns, complete with live sound effects and commercials. Adaptation is by Gayle Stahlhuth, based on the story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Inspector Lestrade is convinced that a young lawyer committed murder. But did he, or is he being set up? Another adventure for Holmes and Watson! June 13-July 21 at 8:30pm: Ruth Draper’s Company of Characters. Beginning in 1920, and continuing for forty years, Ruth Draper held the stage in this country and in Europe, with her one-woman shows where she played a vast array of characters. From New York society matrons and New England crones, to British schoolgirls and Continental divas, she knew how to create and perform these humorous and touching scenes with precision. ELTC is only the second production company - ever - to be allowed to produce this incredible material since Ms. Draper's death. Performers are Karen Case Cook and Suzanne Dawson under the direction of Gayle Stahlhuth. Monday, July 2 at 8pm: Storybook Theater: An Evening of Fables, the Student Workshop Production. Twelve students, ages 11-17 meet for 9 sessions from June 19-July 2. The performance is free and open to the public – and it’s standing room only! July 25-Sept. 1 at 8:30pm: The Poe Mysteries, a World Premiere, adapted by James Rana, based on “Murders of the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” and “The Purloined Letter.” Follow the adventures of Auguste Dupin as he solves macabre mysteries in Paris of the 1840s, as created by Edgar Allan Poe. A cast of 6 portray 50 characters to bring these mysteries to life. Sept. 19-Oct. 13 at 8pm: It Pays to Advertise by Roi Cooper Mergue and Walter C. Hackett was a hit when it opened on Broadway in September of 1914, and the Metropolitan Playhouse in NYC had a great success with its 2009 production. This screwball comedy was twice made into a movie: a silent in 1919, and in 1931 with Carole Lombard. The premise – and promise – that anything can be sold in America is at its core, but it also examines the very nature and romance of advertising and its influence. All it takes is one adventurous young man to announce, “Advertising is responsible for everything!” and he and his two friends are off and running in this delightfully sly farce, with a cast of 10. Nov. 2 and 3 at 8pm: Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Norwood Builder. Nov. 23, 24, Dec. 2, 7, 8, 9, and 14 at 8pm, and a special 2pm matinee on Sat. Dec. 8: Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas. Three of Alcott’s tales, including the opening of Little Women are beautifully brought to life in storytelling fashion by Gayle Stahlhuth. A holiday treat for the whole family. ELTC shows run Wednesdays through Saturdays (unless otherwise noted) at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., in Cape May. Tickets are $30-general; $25-senior; $15 -students; ages 12 and under free, except tickets for Holmes and the Christmas Show: $25; $15; age 12 and under free. For more information, please call 609-884-5898 or go to eastlynnetheater.org.
Historic Absecon Lighthouse offers educational sleepover programs for youth groups focusing on fun, maritime history, and science. Junior Keepers enjoy a nighttime climb for spectacular views of Atlantic City, construct their own lighthouse with craft materials, learn how to use a compass, and learn maritime history through multi-media instruction. This program is $45 per person and is available on select Friday and Saturday nights. Snacks, breakfast, and on-site gated parking included…ghost stories optional! For information on scheduling your youth group, call Absecon Lighthouse at 609-449-1360. Absecon Lighthouse is located at 31 S. Rhode Island Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information, call 609-449-1360 or visit abseconlighthouse.org.
The Atlantic City Aquarium has a lot to offer! Amid the hum of the tanks and the occasional splash of the Touch Tank, Aquarist Sarita Stroud holds the rapt attention of a group of preschoolers. The typically squirmy set listens intently as Sarita tells them about a mother manatee and her calf. The story not only teaches about the species, it tells why it is important to obey your parents.The scene is repeated each Tuesday morning from September through May, during the Atlantic City Aquarium’s Preschool Story Time. Story Time on Tuesdays is an educational event that introduces preschoolers and their parents to various aquatic species. It starts with a story at 11am followed by either an Exotic Animal Show or a Live Diver Feeding Show. The Exotic Animal Show features the largest species of scorpion in the world and the softest furred mammal in the world. Aquarium handlers discuss their native habitats, their suitability as pets, natural defenses and predatory instincts other interesting facts. The Live Diver Feeding Show allows visitors to watch, and interact with, a diver in scuba gear as he or she hand feeds the stingrays and sharks inside the 25,000-gallon tank. The Atlantic City Aquarium is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children ages 4-12. Children three and under are free. Located in Atlantic City's Historic Gardner's Basin, the Atlantic City Aquarium offers a fun and educational look into more than 100 varieties of fish and marine animals. For more information on the Atlantic City Aquarium, call 609-348-2880 or visit acaquarium.com. Coupons for discounted admission are available on the website.
Tuckerton Seaport, a working maritime village, is located along the Tuckerton Creek. This one-of-a-kind attraction, in the heart of historic Tuckerton NJ, brings the Jersey Shore’s maritime traditions of the past and present to life through people, exhibits and hands-on activities. Discover the Jersey Shore's unique maritime heritage and the interaction between culture and nature on the Barnegat Bay. Experience the rich traditions of the Jersey Shore and its Baymen through the Seaport's recreated and historic buildings, demonstrations, interpretive exhibits, events, festivals, live aquatic displays and more. Decoy carvers, boat builders, basket makers, and baymen entertain, educate and delight visitors of all ages. Stroll the 3/4 mile boardwalk and experience life on the Tuckerton "Crik." Identify birds and plants on our 1/4 mile nature trail. Tour our site and view garveys, sneakboxes, cruising yachts and party boats displayed on land and water. Tuckerton Seaport, located at 120 West Main Street in Tuckerton, is open daily, from 10am-5pm, rain or shine all year round. Admission is $8 for Adults; $6 for Seniors (62 and over); $3 for Children 6 to 12; Members and children 5 and younger are admitted free of charge. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or go to their website at tuckertonseaport.org.
Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Science has some great things going on! The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences is located at 120 Long Beach Blvd. in Loveladies. The Galleries are open to the public all year round, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-3pm. For more information, please call 609-494-1241 or go to lbifoundation.org.
The Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts continues its exciting tours and events. Here are some of the exciting offerings: Special Events Wendel White’s Schools for the Colored … with an exhibit highlighting the life and soul of the Franklin Street School (through April 15). This Carriage House Gallery exhibit depicts the landscape and architecture of historically segregated schools in northern states in 50 photographs by nationally renowned New Jersey photographer Wendel White. Also included is an exhibit highlighting the life and soul of Cape May’s Franklin Street School. Free admission. Open Saturdays and Friday, March 30; admission is free and gallery hours vary. For information on hours, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278.
Ongoing Tours and Events
Cape May Family Treasure Hunt Discover the fun of exploring Cape May and uncovering its architectural elements from a kid’s perspective. Packet includes clues sheet and map that will take you on a self-guided discovery tour, set to your own pace (answer sheet also included). Available in the Hill House office at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Mondays through Saturdays and daily beginning March 30, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $5 per packet (Only one packet is needed per family). Also available at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth during hours of operation.
Cape May Lighthouse, Oil House and Museum Shop 1859 structure with 199 steps to watch gallery for a panoramic view of the Jersey Cape and Atlantic Ocean. Museum Shop carries souvenirs, books, videos and other maritime items. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. through March 25; and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on March 31. Cape May Point State Park, Lower Township. Admission to the Visitors’ Orientation Center and the ground floor of the Lighthouse is free. Tower admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children (ages 3-12).
Carriage House Gallery Shop Located in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., the Carriage House Gallery Shop is stocked with unique themed items, from teapots, teas, tea-related merchandise, jewelry, books, and decorative items, all with that distinctive Cape May style. Open Saturdays, through March 24 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and daily beginning March 30. The Carriage House Gallery is fully-accessible and proceeds benefit the on-going restoration and preservation efforts of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).
Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tours Guided trolley tour of Cape May’s Historic District, followed by a guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Offered Saturdays, and daily beginning March 30. Hours vary. Tour leaves from Washington Street Mall Information Booth. $18 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-12).
Emlen Physick Estate Tour Enjoy this entertaining and educational guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate at 1048 Washington St. Offered Saturdays, and daily beginning March 30. Hours vary. $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 3-12).
Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour Board a MAC trolley tour for a 45-minute evening ride through the haunted streets of Cape May. The paranormal findings of ghost writer Craig McManus come alive as your guide translates McManus’ spooky stories. Ride past the flickering gas street lamps, the haunted properties of Cape May and experience the spine-tingling tales exposed by McManus. Offered Saturdays through March 24 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 31 at 8:30 p.m. $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12).
Historic District Trolley Tours Get acquainted with Cape May on a trolley tour as knowledgeable guides present entertaining and educational stories about the nation’s oldest seashore resort. Offered Saturdays, and daily beginning March 30. Hours vary. $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12).
Self-Guided Audio Tour of Cape May Discover the Historic District of Victorian Cape May at your own pace with Acoustiguide Inform hand-held units. Tour comes complete with a map and index for 96 historic buildings on 69 sites. Available in the Hill House office at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Rental fee is $10 per unit.
Self-guided Wine Trail Spend the afternoon touring the wineries of Cape May County. Visit Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery and taste wines at each. Admission is $8 and includes a map with the wineries listed and a tasting glass. Offered Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. through March 24 and daily beginning March 30. Purchase tickets in advance at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth or the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitor’s Center at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., during hours of operation.
Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting Spend an afternoon at the award-winning Cape May Winery. Includes a barrel tasting accompanied by cheese and fruit and a complimentary tasting glass. Offered Saturdays at 3 p.m. $20 per person. Purchase tickets in advance at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth or the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitor’s Center at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., during hours of operation.
World War II Tower Lookout Museum and Memorial (Fire Control Tower No. 23) A Museum and Memorial. Fire Control Tower No. 23 on Sunset Boulevard is New Jersey’s last freestanding World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles. After the award-winning restoration, visitors can climb to the 6th floor spotting gallery while reliving the homeland defense efforts during World War II. The ground floor of the tower is fully accessible. Open Saturday, March 31, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for children (ages 3-12).
Schedules are subject to change. Please go to www.capemaymac.org for the most current schedule. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Cape May’s Victorian heritage. MAC also fosters the performing arts. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at capemaymac.org.
Historic Cold Spring Village is currently closed for the season. However, they are already planning their 2012 season of events, beginning with Feasting on History on May 1, 2012. Historic Cold Spring Village is a non-profit, open air living history museum that portrays the daily life of a rural South Jersey community of the Early American era. Its mission includes the preservation of 26 historic Cape May County buildings, history education and heritage tourism. The Village is a museum for all seasons. During the summer months, interpreters in period clothing discuss and demonstrate the trades, crafts and lifestyles from the “age of homespun.” From October to May, the emphasis is on teaching history through school trips to the Village, classroom visits by the education department and interactive teleconferences with schools throughout the United States. The Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern end of the Garden State Parkway. For more information, call 609-898-2300, ext. 10 or visit the Village website at hcsv.org.
Cape May Stage is closed for the season, but will return in May with a full line-up of great shows, including Uncle Jacques Symphony, God of Carnage, The 39 Steps, Time Stands Still, The Belle of Amherst, Poe Times Two and A Tuna Christmas. The Robert Shackleton Playhouse is located at the corner of Bank & Lafayette streets. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit capemaystage.com.