Yes, when you think of the Jersey Shore, you think of blue skies, sunshine and beach weather. But here in Cape May County, there are tons of things to do when you step off the beaches; and as the days get colder, you’ll discover that there’s still plenty of ways to do the shore during the winter months.
1. Embrace nature.
Cape May County offers both indoor and outdoor facilities that allow interaction with wildlife and its habitats. The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, surrounded by award winning gardens with hundreds of native plants, features Marshview Hall from which visitors can observe the surrounding marsh and sample wildlife art and carvings. Visit the Wetlands Institute on the weekends during the winter. The Cape May Bird Observatory in Cape May also proves to be a great lookout point when it’s chilly outside, and offers special educational programs on weekends throughout the winter. If the cold doesn’t bother you, bundle up and head over to the Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May Court House. Open year round and completely free, the zoo consists of 550 animals representing 250 species.
2. Attend a wine or beer tasting.
In the mood for a tasting? Cape May Winery & Vineyard in Cape May invites visitors into its tasting room daily to sample various wines produced on-site. Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery in Rio Grande also offers its own wine tastings daily, with vineyard and winery tours on select weekends throughout the winter. Willow Creek Winery in Cape May is open year round to the public for daily farm and vineyard tours, wine and sangria tastings and private wine paired events. Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House is open every day, year round and offers wine styles that best express the fruits of the vineyard and please the local palate. For those who prefer a different taste, the well-known Cape May Brewing Company in Cape May offers tastings of its personally brewed beers daily as well as guided and self-guided tours throughout the winter. A new brewery in the area, Slack Tide Brewing Company in Clermont, also offers tasting and tours on weekends throughout the winter. The company’s beer is brewed with all natural ingredients and sourced locally whenever possible.
3. Visit the theater.
When it’s chilly outside, check out the indoor stages of talented local theater companies. East Lynne Theater Company (ELTC) based out of Cape May is a proven destination for theater lovers who crave the adventure of discovery. The company operates all year long with various shows, lectures, workshops and other programs for all ages. Cape May Stage, also based out of Cape May, inspires performers, audiences, the community and the entire region. Cape May Stage offers main stage shows, educational programs, dinner and a show packages and more. For a unique theatrical production, visit Elaine’s Dinner Theater in Cape May for a full course dinner and a show put on within the walls of a restored Victorian Mansion.
4. Get a history lesson.
There is an abundance of history behind your favorite shore towns in Cape May County. Travel back in time by visiting the following historic sites, which are just a few of many in the area. The Naval Air Station Wildwood at the Cape May Airport has been restored and transformed into an Aviation Museum that houses a number of aircrafts, engines, special exhibits and educational interactive displays. Visit the museum during the week throughout the winter. The Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May Point, open on select dates throughout the winter, offers one of the county’s best vantage points. On the way to the top, visitors can learn about the monument and its history over the past two centuries. The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood is open year round from Wednesday to Sunday for guided and self-guided tours through the lighthouse. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities hosts many events at the historic Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, including house tours and seasonal tours offered on select dates throughout the winter that showcase the history behind this 18-room mansion and the homes that border it. Visit The Museum of Cape May County in Cape May Court House to see a showcase of county life from Native American times through the twenty-first century. Tours available by appointment only.
5. Catch a movie.
Going to the movie theater is one of the most popular things to do in any town when the skies aren’t blue or there’s a chill in the air. Frank Theaters in Rio Grande is a full-service movie theater open year round, so grab a bucket of popcorn and your favorite candy and catch that new release you’ve been dying to see!
6. Go bowling.
Let out your pent-up energy with the classic indoor activity of bowling, which can be enjoyed by family members and friends of all ages. Both Island Bowl in Wildwood and Mouse Trap Lanes in Woodbine are great places for family entertainment, friends’ night out or date night. Open year round, both bowling alleys have an arcade and lounge for some post-match fun, and both offer multiple specials throughout the week.
For specific hours of operation, please visit the business’ websites or call.
For more ways to Do The Shore during the off-season, check out the Do The Shore section!