Down the Shore

by R. Cohen | Feb 21, 2009
Down the Shore 13th Annual Kids Can Expo, Third Annual Winter Jazz Series, Chocolate Fantasy Buffet and much more! Check out exciting tours and events in Cape May, great nature events, and much more this week down the shore in South Jersey.

Special Event

Bring the whole family to enjoy the Nature Center of Cape May's "13th Annual Kids Can Expo" on Sunday, February 22, from 11am until 4pm. Come chase the winter blues away with this special family event hosted each winter by the Nature Center of Cape May. New location this year at Cape May City Elementary School, 921 Lafayette St., in Cape May. Activities include children's yoga, "Green Fashions," ocean touch tanks, games, hands-on science and natural history activities, live animals, crafts, learning, and FUN for kids of all ages. Many environmental groups and organizations will be participating and providing activities. Volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of Cape May will be serving good things to eat. Be there...or be bored. Walk-ins welcome! Cost: $5 per person, children 2 years and under free. Nominal charge for food and some crafts. For more information, call the nature center at 609-898-8848.

Other Stuff You Won’t Want to Miss

This week, don’t miss the Annual Island-wide Basketball Tournament. through February 22 Boys & girls teams from four grammar schools of the Wildwoods competing for Tournament & skills competition. It’s all happening at the Crest Pier Rec. Center, 5800 Ocean Ave., Wildwood Crest. Call 609-523-0202 for hours.

The Blue Moon Brewery presents their Third Annual Winter Jazz Series Saturday, February 21, 6:30pm to 8pm. At the Inlet Restaurant, 998 Bay Ave., Somers Point, there will be a NJ Reception honoring 2009 Jazz Maser Award recipient Joe Barrett followed by a performance by 2008 Jazz Master Award recipient Johnny Andrews and his quartet at 8pm. Bob Ferguson and his Traditional Jazz All-Stars will be on at 8:30pm at Gregory‘s Restaurant, 900 Shore Rd. For more information about the Somers Point Jazz Society, call 609-927-6677 or go to

The Cape May City Public Library will present a special art program for children in 2009. Children ages 6 through 10 are invited to enjoy “Art at the Library – Let’s Compare 19th and 20th Century Artists, sponsored by the Cape May Center for Community Arts every other Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The program is offered on February 19, March 5 & 19, April 2 & 23 and May 7 & 21. The Cape May City Public Library is located at Ocean & Hughes Streets, Cape May. Art projects will be centered on the following artists – Lois Elhert, Ed Emberly, Alexander Calder, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Hanoch Piven, Ezra Jack Keats, Sarah Perry and Pierre Morgan. Children will experiment with pastels, paper cutting, 3-D mobiles, surrealism self portraits, watercolors and collages. This program is made possible through funding from the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Please sign up in advance by calling609- 884-9568.

If you like birding, check out the programs at Cape May Point State Park and Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO)!
Migrant songbirds move past the northwest corner of Cape Island every morning in the fall. The flight can end abruptly two hours after sunrise or continue into the afternoon. CMBO researchers document this flight. Peak days tally tens of thousands of birds! Join other observers at the small observation tower just south of the jetty parking area at Higbee Beach. Turn right onto the unpaved road at the west end of New England Road to access the viewing tower. Wintering birds also like to make Cape May their home, and there are lots of great opportunities to enjoy a variety of species. Here is a list of some upcoming events:
Birding Cape May Point, Saturdays, 8-10am. Great year-round birding occurs right in the heart of Cape May Point. Meet Tom Parsons, Karl Lukens, and Judy Lukens at Cape May Point State Park on the Wildlife Viewing Platform (also known as the Hawk Watch). Enjoy wintering waterfowl and songbirds and, in March, search for early returning migrants. Cost: $6 members, $10 nonmembers. Bring binoculars, field guides, bug repellent, sunscreen, and drinking water. Dress for prevailing weather and for protection from sun and insects. Note: Programs may be cancelled at leaders’ discretion due to heavy rain or unsafe weather conditions. Walk tickets are available at a savings if you purchase ten or more.
Sunday Mornings at Turkey Point, Sundays, 8-10am. Meet Karen Johnson and Janet Crawford for a walk for winter birds down New Jersey’s miracle mile. Meet at the end of Turkey Point Road in Cumberland County (reached from Route 553 south of the town of Dividing Creek). No preregistration necessary. Cost: $6 members, $10 nonmembers. Note: Programs may be cancelled at leaders’ discretion due to heavy rain or unsafe weather conditions. Walk tickets are available at a savings if you purchase ten or more.

For more information on Cape May Point State Park, call 609-884-2159. For more information about the Cape May Bird Observatory, call 609-884-2736 or visit for the current schedule of events.

The Wetlands Institute always has lots of great stuff going on!! From salt water aquaria to beautiful gardens brimming with birds and butterflies, they offer a variety of exciting features and programs that let you make the most of your visit. Hours (through May 14th) are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30am to 4:30pm. Closed Sunday and Monday; closed Christmas through New Year's Day. Admission is $7 for ages 12 and up; $5 for ages 2-11; Members are admitted FREE. Stop by for any of these great programs:

Lunch and Learn Fill your stomach and your brain at the same time! Bring your lunch, we’ll provide coffee and dessert, and enjoy a different speaker each week. Tuesdays, through March 24th, 11:45am - 1pm $5 ($3 for members ).
Feb. 24: Delaware River Update Maya VanRossum, Delaware Riverkeeper
Mar. 3: Offshore Wind Power in Delaware Kris Ohleth, Bluewater Wind
Mar. 10: Prepping Your Garden For Spring Hope Gaines, Master Gardner
Mar. 17: St. Patrick’s Snakes Kevin Wilson, Cape May County Zoo
Mar. 24: Oystercatchers at the Point Ilene Eberly
Aquarium Feedings Help feed the fish and terrapins, or just watch them gobble down their food. We’ll open up feeding time twice each week so you can see the turtles chasing minnows, the octopus swallowing crabs, and the horseshoe crab gobbling shrimp. (Not all animals are fed every day.) Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30pm. All ages, Free with admission.
The Wetlands Institute is located at 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd. in Stone Harbor. For more information, call 609-368-1211 or visit

Tuckerton Seaport is a great place to spend the day.
This one-of-a-kind attraction 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, and more. Decoy carvers, boat builders, basket makers, and baymen entertain, educate and delight visitors of all ages.
Tuckerton Seaport, a project of the Barnegat Bay Decoy & Baymen’s Museum, is a maritime village located along the historic Tuckerton Creek. Its 40-acre site includes 19 historic and recreated buildings connected by a boardwalk, a nature trail, two houseboats, a decoy gallery, a working boatworks building in which restoration of sneakbox designs of the Barnegat bay occurs, a historic marine railway currently under construction, decoy carving workshops and the recreated Tucker’s Island Lighthouse.
Don’t miss their Wooden Boat School!
Make a Half Model Boat, February 28 & March 1 with Boat Builder Timo White. Come and learn the age old art of building a half model in the lift method. This art was used as a design tool in boat building from the turn of the century and now makes a decorative display piece. Fee: members $125; nonmembers $175.
Make a Greenland Style Kayak Paddle, March 21 & 22 with Boat Builder Timo White. Come build your own Greenland style kayak paddle custom fit to your size. Made of Western Red Cedar which produces a light, strong paddle that is both attractive and functional. Fee: members $125; nonmembers $175.
Build a Skin On Frame Kayak, March 18 & 19 and March 25 & 26 with Boat Builder Timo White. Come build your own skin on frame sea kayak. In just four days you can build your own boat which is strong, light weight and completely sea worthy in the traditional style of the Inuit people. Fee: members $800; nonmembers $1000.
You also won’t want to miss their Jersey Shore Folklife Center Classes
Shorebird Carving: Lesser Yellowlegs, March 1 & 8 with Malcolm Robinson. Make an antique style Lesser Yellowlegs. Fee: $65 members/$75 nonmembers.
Fishing Lure Carving Class, March 7 & 14 with Rich Brooks. Carve and paint three different lures for both fresh and salt water. Fee: $95 members/$110 nonmembers. Contact Director Jaclyn Stewart, Jersey Shore Folklife Center at the Tuckerton Seaport, 609-296-8868 x116.
Tuckerton Seaport, located at 120 West Main Street in Tuckerton, is open daily, from 10am - 5pm. Admission during February and March is $5; Children 12 and under are Free; Members are free. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit their website at

The Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts continues its exciting tours and events. Here are some of the exciting offerings for this week:

Chocolate Fantasy Buffet If you love chocolate (and who doesn’t?), you won’t want to miss the Chocolate Fantasy Buffet. Milk or dark, whatever your preference, you can fulfill your chocolate fantasy in the decadence of a completely chocolate buffet. Washington Inn Chef Kathleen Cressman-Pastiu will be on hand to share the secrets of her trade. 2 p.m. at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington St. Saturday, Feb. 21. Admission is $35 per person.

Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour A 45-minute evening ride through the streets of Cape May with a guide who relates the paranormal findings of Ghost Writer Craig McManus. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. $10 for adults, $7 for children (ages 3-12).

Cape May Wine School—You say Syrah, I say Shiraz Learn to discern and appreciate fine wines from California during this informative class, Sunday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m. at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington St. $30 per person.

“Family Tree, Many Families Come to Life” exhibit panel discussion Join descendants of families featured in the exhibit for the panel discussion on the exhibit “Family Tree” at the Carriage House Gallery located on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22. Panel discussion is Free.


“Family Tree” Exhibit This Carriage House Gallery exhibit traces the origins, descendants and relationships of Cape May’s oldest and most prominent African-American families. The Gallery is at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30am to 1pm. Through April 11. Admission $2 for adults, $1 for children (ages 3-12), or free with any tour of the Physick Estate. Free exhibit opening on Monday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m.


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 daily, year-round. $5 per packet (Only one packet is needed per family).

Cape May Lighthouse, Oil House and Museum Shop Climb 199 steps to the watch gallery of this 1859 structure for a panoramic view of the Jersey Cape and Atlantic Ocean. Museum Shop carries souvenirs, books, videos and other maritime items. Reopens for the season President’s Day Weekend, Saturday, Feb. 14 through Monday, Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open Saturdays & Sundays from Saturday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, March 22 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. 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).

Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tours Guided trolley tour of Cape May’ Historic District, followed by a guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., with its new theme through Spring 2009: “Upstairs Downstairs: Servants and the Served.” Offered Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 28; times vary. Additional tour offered on Monday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. $18 for adults, $9 for children (ages 3-12).

Emlen Physick Estate Tour New theme through Spring 2009: “Upstairs Downstairs: Servants and the Served.” Enjoy this entertaining and educational guided tour of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May’s only Victorian house museum. Offered Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 28; times vary. Additional tour offered on Monday, Feb. 16 at 11:45 a.m. $10 for adults, $5 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 Sundays through Feb. 28; times vary. Additional tour offered on Monday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. $10 for adults and $5 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 daily from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Hill House office at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Available only from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 and Sunday, Feb. 8. Rental fee: $10 per unit.

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

To see our complete listing of South Jersey events, including local nightlife, shore events, shore nightlife, community events, kids events, and many more, check out our Events Calendar here.

Have an event that you want listed in our events calendar? Add your event here.

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Author: R. Cohen


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