Yesterday we had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Tuckerton Seaport with a group of bloggers, hosted by Tuckerton Seaport and the lovely Joey Fortman and Steph Glover at Real Mom Radio.
It technically wasn’t a field trip. We were invited to Tuckerton Seaport’s Bluegrass and BBQ Festival but in true home school mama fashion I turned it into a field trip. When we arrived we were welcomed at the Hunting Shanty, a room with bits of Seaport history and a wall full of duck carvings or decoys. After snacks and a friendly welcome we started our tour of Tuckerton Seaport.
First we headed to the basement of The Seaport’s welcome center for some Bluegrass and BBQ Festivities. The first thing, a complete fascination for the kids, was Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo. Brilliant concept! The kids loved trying out many different instruments and mommy loved the harp second most. It was so cool to be able to pluck an actual tune on the harp. E9 loved the guitars, K7 loved the violin, and R5 loved the drums, no surprise there although she was quite fascinated with the guitars also.
Next we chatted with a gentleman with West Crick Outdoors, LLC who told us all about crabbing. I can’t wait to share that with you in another post. It was fun and informative. We also visited with ladies who are part of the Penn-Jersey Basket Guild (another upcoming post), and two women who work with the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences where the kids were able to touch a starfish and horseshoe crab. While there we learned that the flooding from Hurricane Sandy washed up terrapin nests, and they are now finding hatching turtles in many places they don’t belong, including basements and wedged into homes’ siding. My 9 year old’s favorite part though was the Watershed Ambassador’s table where the kids hunted through containers of murky sludge and pine needles to find little insects and creatures hiding there. They found salamanders, crayfish and water bugs. We learned how the water ambassador uses the data she finds on the creatures living in the water to help determine the water quality.We also watched Jimmy Ward’s Jersey Strong Project before heading out for lunch.
With lunch calling our names we were off to try some BBQ. I hate to say that the BBQ we tried didn’t leave us with the greatest impression so we are going to move along on the rest of our field trip. Through out the morning and afternoon there was a constant line up of bluegrass players and no matter where we were we could hear the talented musicians playing and singing. The only thing my daughter felt was missing was a dance floor.
The last part of our day was actually spent touring the Seaport Lighthouse. We had so much fun seeing a museum of information housed inside this Tucker Island Lighthouse replica. The coolest part was actually seeing the lens they rescued from the old lighthouse that had gone down in a hurricane in 1927. I don’t think my kids would want to grow up in a lighthouse though as the children who lived there had to carry 26 pounds of oil up the stairs to the lamp every morning and night. Talk about responsibility. We did climb to the top and stand on the lookout to see the landscape below us though. Even my little guy who is more scared of heights than I am managed to make it to the top and look around.
Taking a break from history, we passed the Tuckerton Petting Zoo where one small goat stood like a king on his mountain while the BIG goat butted the daylights out of their small hut. I’m not sure if the little one was trying to be bigger or just stay out of the way. We also stopped at the playground and mini-golf course. Yes, even in the rain and chilly breeze the kids HAD to play mini golf and run on the playground.
Our final stop on the tour was the boat house, which houses an active boat making workshop. The scent of fresh sawdust brought me back to my younger life when I would help my dad in his wood shop. Here we learned how they make the sneak boxes – small boats that are designed for duck hunters to hide in while they are hunting.
Our final fun for the day was painting duck head magnets. Well, I should say fun for the kids. I was happy it wasn’t my gig. Kids plus paint are so not my thing. They had so much fun creating their duck heads though. We will display them with pride.
I know we haven’t talked about the Jersey Shore and Hurricane Sandy here but a quick drive through sea side communities made very clear the fact that this community is still struggling. Many homes are still in ruins and some are completely gone. The people and towns of Jersey Shore are hurting and can use our help. Even visiting the Jersey Shore can help as tourism brings money to these towns. Below are things you can do to help Tuckerton even if you can’t go rebuild a home.
- Take a family trip to Tuckerton Seaport. You can easily spend hours there, exploring all they have to offer. After your tour make sure to stop by Stewart’s next door for a root beer float or one of their yummy milk shakes. You can get a Tuckerton Seaport Membership HERE. Well worth it if you can visit more than once in a year.
- Vacation at the Jersey Shore – all along the coast are many sea side towns that are open for business and waiting for your arrival. There is no end to the fun you can have, whether kid or adult.
- Tuckerton’s Pirates and Privateers Festival – June 8, 2013
- Tuckerton Seaport’s Auction to support educational programs
Thank you to Tuckerton Seaport and Real Mom Media for inviting us along for the fun!
*This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own since I wouldn’t have it any other way.