There’s a certain vibe about summer. Things are slower, more relaxed.. and we are too. We took our first trip down to the Jersey Shore this recently to spend time in Wildwood, New Jersey to check out Morey’s Piers.
We journeyed down to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey on Friday afternoon. We left around 3pm, in the luxurious Buick Enclave (thank you Buick USA!). My children loved the smooth ride and the in car entertainment city (thank you to the movie Frozen for making the trip so much better). If you are going down to the Jersey Shore from the NY area, I’d recommend traveling at a time where you won’t hit traffic. We did and a trip that should have taken 3 hours, actually took 5. However, we had plenty of fun anyway and we didn’t waste our energy being upset about it.
Tip: Bring lots of things to do in the car. We also had their LeapPads packed, as well as books and toys. Since we don’t have a entertainment center in our current vehicle, my kids were very happy to watch movies.
We got to the Starlux Hotel at 8:50 PM at night. It was very easy to find and located across the street from the beach.
You can pull up to the hotel and and check in. Parking is right across the street and you’ll need to get a tag to put above your rearview mirror (for parking purposes).
We were pleased with our 4th floor room. It was the cleanest hotel room I’ve ever seen in my life (seriously) and had a cute retro decor. We had a sitting room with a couch and small kitchenette, as well as a room with two beds and a bathroom inside.
The couch pulls out to a bed (which I had forgotten to ask about), so we also had a requested a cot. This came in handy, because our two youngest children ended up sleeping in this room.
My son and husband ended up sleeping in one bed and I slept in the other. I was going to have my daughter sleep in the bed with me, but she ended up staying on the cot and my toddler slept on the couch in the other room. Which worked out much better, since this was the first trip where our toddler didn’t sleep in a crib, plus my daughter is a very wild sleeper. The two of them have been getting pretty close, so they were happy being together. After everyone was settled in, we washed up and went to bed (we were exhausted from the ride).
The next morning, we were up very very early. This is my one negative thing to say about our room — the sun came streaming in around 5:30 and there were no blackout curtains. So, if your children can’t sleep without blackout curtains (which mine cannot), either rig up a blanket over the living room and bedroom windows or get something portable like this: Blackout Buddy – 2 x Portable Blackout Blinds / Curtain for Home and Travel (Black). It would have helped. But then again, you’re at the beach and you don’t want to sleep the day away.
The bathroom was a good size and had awesome Philosophy Brand travel size products.
We had plenty of towels for our family of 5, but did need an extra blanket.
I really liked that there was a small kitchenette. Having a fridge was great, I made sure I brought 2 six packs of water bottles. I plugged in my tech on the kitchen counter (great for keeping away from sticky little fingers). There were plenty of cups and plates, as well as pots and pans — so you could go shopping and stock your fridge to save money on food.
We brought sand toys for the beach, but I was pleased to see that the lobby of the Starlux offered many sand toys and vehicles that anyone can borrow. They also gave us towels for the beach. The staff was courteous and very concerned with making us happy. I couldn’t get the safe to work and someone from the front desk came up quickly and showed me how to work it.
There was a cool enclosed sitting area that you could chill in, with a TV.
And there was also a large swimming pool, which unfortunately we didn’t get to use.
After a complimentary continental breakfast the next day (bagels, danishes, mini muffins, juices and coffee), we hit the beach. Since it was literally across the street, we left the stroller at home. However, it was a longer walk from the boardwalk down to the ocean, so if you have a young child, taking a carrier or a stroller that can handle sand might be good. There was a planked walkway for 1/2 the distance.
My kids and husband had a blast making sandcastles and happily spent the morning playing. The sun was strong, so be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen (and reapply). I have a redheaded, light eyed toddler and he unfortunately got his first sunburn, even with sunblock on. I didn’t reapply enough and he refused to wear a hat or sunglasses. I got burned on my shoulders and my husband’s back got burned. We weren’t in pain (I’ve had very painful ones before — and yes, there are several Romanian red headed ancestors who gave me ultra pale skin).
Around 11:30 we headed back to the Starlux to clean up and spend the rest of the day at Morey’s Piers.
We showered (we had a kid-assembly line going and then showered ourselves) and set back off for Morey’s Piers. We found a cute little restaurant on the way and stopped for lunch. I had a delicious corned beef sandwich with french fries, my husband had some kind of sandwich, my daughter had fried shrimp and french fries, and my oldest son had grilled cheese and french fries (and my toddler’s hot dog). My toddler just had french fries (sigh). Which cemented his day of eating french fries for his next meal also. It was vacation, so I tried not to stress about unhealthy food.
I’ll be honest, the only boardwalk experience I had was Coney Island’s and does not compare to Morey’s Piers. We were blown away — there are stores lining the boardwalk and you can get t-shirts with funny sayings, funnel cakes, pizza, ices, ice cream, burgers. Anything you want.
Morey’s Piers consists of 3 Piers (Aventure, Mariners, and Surfside), and has been in business since 1969. You will get tired walking from one end to the other (seriously, it’s THAT big). We saw these tram cars that run both ways and I’ll admit I was a little dismissive. We won’t need these, I thought. We walk all over NYC all the time and think nothing of walking the avenues and streets. But it really is a long walk from where we entered the boardwalk to the second pier, let alone the third pier. The tram cars are a viable alternative. It will take between 20 to 25 minutes to walk from near the convention center to the third pier, which is why you’ll see a lot of people taking the tram car. And after you walk between the piers a few times, you will be dying to get on the tram car!
TIP: Get a pass for the tram car, or else you’ll be paying $3 per person, per ride. I believe the pass can be had for $6 a day. Kids under 5 are free. If you have a small stroller, it will fit right on the tram car, but you have to hold it securely. If have young kids or know you will be spending the day on the third pier, you may want to drive and park right near the boardwalk (but expect to pay between $6- $10 to park). After 3 pm the cost goes up (because more people want to park).
Adventure Pier hosts roller coasters, games, the Art Box (more on that later), games such as World Cup Soccer, and a HUGE roller coaster called theGreat White. I’ll admit I wasn’t too pleased that my husband let my 8 1/2 year old ride the Great White Roller Coaster by himself (he didn’t realize it was THAT big.
We did a craft at [artBOX], which is a 10,000 square foot interactive artists’ colony.
We decorated lanterns with tissue paper (you actually brush glue on top of the tissue paper circles).
Of course, B did a “Iron Man” themed Lantern. Little Miss A did a mix of all the colors.
We really liked the activity at the [artBOX] activity. We let the lanterns dry and then picked them up later that night.
We went to Mariner’s Pier next.
Mariner’s is a more traditional amusement park. It offers rides that you’d expect to see like Super Scooters, bumper cars, teacups, Musik Express and the Giant Wheel, as well as carousels. My children were thrilled and had an amazing time.
Mariner’s Piers offer this cool thing called “Breakfast in the Sky” – a gourmet, white linen and china breakfast on the Giant Wheel, offering spectacular views of the ocean and all of the Wildwoods. There’s also lots of games and the people who ran the games were characters. Everyone had a smile for the kids and everyone had a great time.
You can also find Mariner’s Arcade here, one of the largest arcades in Wildwood!
Don’t forget to try such boardwalk treats as funnel cakes, fresh donuts (these were amazing), pretzels, lemonade, deep fried Oreos, and ice cream. This is not the place to try and be healthy — though I’ll admit we were jonesing for fresh fruit after a while. Since I am (reluctantly) milk and ice cream free, I was pleased to find Polish Water Ice, which was dairy free. It meant I could enjoy a frozen treat without worrying about getting sick.
TIP: Don’t get their mix ins (it was too large for my 6 year old daughter). A cup or cone with one scoop is still a pretty large portion.
By the time we had gone on some rides, it was time to get cleaned up for dinner. We were invited to a cocktail hour at Stubborn Brothers, at the Surfiside Pier. It took a long time to get back to the hotel, shower and dress, and then go to the next pier from Mariner’s, which is Surfside. That’s when the tram car would have come in handy, but sure enough, I didn’t see one until we were all the way back by Mariner’s, heading to Surfside. We met the rest of the bloggers and Morey’s Piers staff at Stubborn Brothers, which had a great view of the beach. This bar and grille offers a laid-back atmosphere, delicious grown up drinks and tasty bites. It’s right next to the beach and the Ocean Oasis Waterpark & Beach Club.
After spending time in the sun, I was a little cranky, but having an ice cold Pina Colada and some tasty snacks revived me. My daughter enjoyed the chocolate cupcakes.
At this point in the day, my toddler finally crashed and fell asleep (he rarely naps anymore).
We grabbed dinner at Joe’s Fish Company. You can choose from sit down service (served at cute picnic tables) or grab a bite from the outward counter around the corner from the seating. We were pleasantly surprised at the prices — I got a lobster, baked potatoes and broccoli for $26. We were mistakenly brought a huge bucket of Curley’s fries, making this the second meal that my toddler only ate french fries.
Surfside Pier – was the first of Morey’s three piers, opening in 1969. It offers a variety of kiddie rides with thrill rides. You’ll find Joe’s Fish Co., the Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club, and Stubborn Bros.
My toddler, daughter, and I were done after that, so we went back to the Starlux. My husband and oldest child went to Mariner’s Piers to go on more rides. Morey’s Piers was really alive at night.
And we finally took the Tram Car back to the Convention Center and then walked the block to the Starlux.
The next day our toddler woke up at 5:30. Luckily I was able to bribe my toddler and my daughter with some TV to let us sleep a little more. We packed up and had the front desk hold our suitcases, while we packed some things in the car.
Instead of hoofing it back to Mariner’s Pier, we drove and parked. We paid $7 and had to promise to be out of the spot by 3pm (the night crowd starts parking around then).
We hit the Do Wop Diner on the boardwalk again, this time to enjoy pancakes and omlettes.
We went on more rides and had a blast, leaving at 1pm and picking up our luggage.
Our children were worn out and happy.
We were so happy to have the Joovy Groove Ultralight with us. It was the perfect lightweight travel stroller to have with us. Skylar got tired both Saturday and Sunday, so it was great to have somewhere to put him while he napped. Plus, if I needed to stash it in a corner at a restaurant, it really folds up slimly.
We enjoyed a comfortable ride down and up from Morey’s Piers, courtesy of the Buick Enclave. The ride was quicker this time, around 3 1/2 hours (we hit a tiny bit of traffic in Brooklyn. Wondering how we liked the Buick Enclave? More to come on that in another post.
Thanks Morey’s Piers, we had a truly wonderful time!
3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260
305 E Rio Grande Ave, Wildwood, NJ 08260
Thank you to Morey’s Piers for sponsoring this press trip. As always, all opinions are my own.