There’s so much more to the Shore than beaches and boardwalks, and winter is a great time to explore the sights and sounds without the crowds.


For a history lesson the entire family will enjoy, head to Tuckerton Seaport. The 40-acre village is located on the Barnegat Bay and brings the Shore’s unique maritime heritage to life with hands-on exhibits like a decoy collection, a houseboat from the 1800s, a replica clam and oyster house, and a sawmill. The seaport also holds special classes throughout the winter, including a Super Bowl Sunday class on Feb. 12 where you’ll make a 22″ trestle basket.

At The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, the environmental center only opens on weekends until May 22, but there’s plenty to do on those Saturdays and Sundays. On both days, the Institute holds a seasonal science activity, aquarium teaching and more. On Saturdays at 11 am, you can help feed the marine life – you might get to watch a horseshoe crab gobbling shrimp (we aren’t sure how that’s even possible).

Head indoors at the African American Heritage Museum, with locations in Atlantic City and Newtonville. With over 12,000 pieces, the museum showcases unique and local culture. One permanent exhibit, “Portraits of a People,” features decades-old portraits found by an Atlantic City family in a crawl space under their house.

The Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May is a former pastor’s house that now holds permanent exhibits to honor the life and legacy of Tubman, who spent time in Cape May during the 1850s raising money to help enslaved people escape from the South. The museum is open Thursday-Sunday. Reservations are required, as entry is timed and limited (you get 1 hour in the museum).

An off-season visit to the Shore also lets you see lots of local wildlife. Every Saturday morning in February, naturalists at the Cape May Bird Observatory can help you spot wintering waterfowl and songbirds among leafless branches. The observatory also hosts a number of special bird-watching events, including a workshop on wintering and migrant waterfowl on Feb. 26 at 8 am.

And speaking of wildlife, the Cape May County Park and Zoo remains open year-round and is free to visitors. Winter hours at the zoo are 10 am to 3:30 pm, though the park is open from 7 am to dusk. The zoo now offers private guided tours before the park opens. The one-of-a-kind tour takes 80 minutes and is limited to 8 people. There is a charge of $50 per person.

While you’re in Cape May, take a trolley tour – there’s one for every kind of interest you can imagine. Love ogling the mansions along the boardwalk in Cape May? There’s a tour for that. Want to spend the night getting spooked by ghost tales? Don’t miss the Ghosts of Cape May tour.

For an adults-only night, check out a concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (upcoming shows include Marc Anthony on February 18 and Journey on March 17) or have some laughs at the Borgata Comedy Club (3 headliners appear every Friday-Sunday). And while in Atlantic City, don’t skip the famous Boardwalk because of the cold – rolling chairs have blankets and plastic shades to keep the wind out and the warmth in.

February 2023
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