Vacations in New Jersey usually include time spent at the beach. It's in our blood. It's who we are.

While we love the beaches, those with young children know you've got to expand your game plan.

Luckily, we've got some great things for those with kids to see and do. All are within driving distance, and some are even free.

This may be the best bargain in all of New Jersey.  Entry is free, but donations are welcome.  It's a great day trip that kids and adults will enjoy.

707 North Route 9, Cape May Courthouse

Open 7 Days 10 am - 4:30 pm

609-465-5271

Photo: Mardy TV USA via YouTube
Photo: Mardy TV USA via YouTube
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If you've never heard of them, you have to check them out.  I think the best way to describe them is bicycles that operate on rails.

The tours are magnificent.  There is no age limit, so don't let it scare you.  You'll take tons of pictures, and it's fun.

500 Forrestal Rd, Rio Grande

Open Monday - Friday 10 am - 4 pm (Closed Weekends)

609-886-8787

Who doesn't like a lighthouse?  Located on the southern tip of Jersey, this giant lighthouse offers a great view.

1048 Washington St., Cape May

Open 7 Days 10 am - 5 pm

609-884-5404

Get the family together and hit the links.  This game never gets old.

315 Jackson Street, Cape May

Open 7 Days 10 am - 10:30 pm

609-884-2222

They offer dolphin and whale-watching cruises.  At this time of year, the whales aren't as prevalent as dolphins, so know that in advance.

I'm told that there seems to be a larger number of dolphins than usual in our waters, and they're always fun to watch...and they seem to enjoy watching us.

1218 Wilson Drive, Cape May

Hours vary depending on which package you choose.  Click link for details.

609-884-5445

Truthfully, how can you be in South Jersey in the summer and not visit Morey's?  There's something for all age groups.

3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood

Open 9 am - 12 am

Depending on your interests, there are several centers to choose from.  Click the link for the full list of options and locations or call.

908-396-7380

This is fun, especially for younger kids and even adults.  These aren't really diamonds, but rather beautiful quartz crystals that wash up along the shore.

You'll be amazed by what you'll find.  These crystals vary in color, and many are transparent.  You can buy these crystals in the gift shops, but it's much more fun to discover them yourself.

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