Have an Inexpensive Valentine’s Day in Cape May County

The average person spends $136 on Valentine’s Day. In an inflationary world, those seem like boko-bucks that most of us don’t have right now. When a carton of eggs costs six dollars, it’s time to get creative. Here are some of our favorite things to do on a night out without sweating the cash.  

Free Zumba Date  

You might not want to jiggle and sweat with your partner, but nothing builds intimacy like a little shared suffering. Libraries across Cape May County offer free workout classes year-round several days of the week, but a free in-person Zumba class takes place every Tuesday at the Cape May Court House library at 5 p.m. And you know what else is on a Tuesday? Valentine’s Day! No registrationis required for this class; just show up and enjoy “Zuma with Kellie.”  

Other free workouts include:  

  • Zumba at Wildwood Crest Library: Mondays at 10 a.m. Wednesdays at 6 p.m.,  
  • Zumba at Lower Township Library: Thursdays at 6 p.m.  
  • Zumba at Court House Library: Tuesdays at 5 p.m.  
  • Tai Chi at Lower Township Library: Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m.  

Fish off a Jetty 

Your editor just visited the Reeds Beach jetty for the first time and was shocked to hear barking seals. You might not hear something so spectacular on your visit, but many species of fish use jetties for cover, and you’re more likely to strike here than if you fished off a random beach spot. Even if you’re a fishing novice, jetties are beautiful structures that allow access to deep water in spots that might not have a dock.  

But be careful if you’re visiting a jetty. They are severely slippery, and waves lap up on them often. Don’t veer out too far and be sure to check the tide before you go. And make sure you’re allowed to go out on a particular jetty before you head out; don’t ignore signs that say, “stay off the jetty!” 

Stone Harbor, Cape May, Reeds Beach, Higbee Beach, Avalon, and Ocean City all have jetties. They help stop erosion at certain critical points along vulnerable beaches. But they’re also fascinating man-made structures that make great date spots.  

Picnic on Jake’s Landing 

Link to directions

Jake’s Landing is an isolated birding hotspot in the middle of the wetlands up in Woodbine. It sits a mile or so off Route 47 and is easily accessible by car; this is one few easy-access spots in the county that has a 360-degree view of the bayside Wetlands. 

 It’s a great spot for a serene picnic where you’re unlikely to be bothered by others, especially in the off-season. Jake’s Landing is one of our favorite places to take a reflective pause in nature, even when the weather is cold. If it’s windy, which mid-February is bound to be, bring an SUV out there and eat from your open trunk. You’re guaranteed a romantic view, especially if you can make it out around sunset.  

To get here, take a left on “Jake’s Landing Road’ if you’re heading north on Route 47 just past Dennisville Fence. Keep driving on Jake’s Landing road until you hit the end; you can’t miss the spot.  

2$ Tuesday Bowling  

Island Bowl, in Wildwood, has “2$ Tuesdays” every week – this means $2 for a game of bowling, 2$ draft beers, and 2$ shoe rentals. If you’re renting shoes (you must rent bowling shoes if you don’t have your own) you can get two solid rounds of bowling in for only 6$ a person. And your alcohol bill will be lower than just about any restaurant.  

A Zoo Zate – learn how they mate  

The Zoo is easy to take for granted if you’re a local. Our Zoo is one of the best in the country; it is one of only a few in America to be accredited by both the Zoological Association of America and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  

If you haven’t been in a while, you can see some of the Zoo’s newest additions, including a new bison calf, a new toucan exhibit, and a two-toed sloth that makes special appearances at the zoo’s educational events. Maybe take the time to learn about some of our zoo animal’s weirder breeding behaviors. Some animals – like ducks, lions, and giraffes – have some truly out-there mating rituals.  

Grab your partner and get learning!  

Try a new restaurant  

We hear people complain that there’s “nothing to do” and “nowhere to eat” in the winter, but even the most seasoned of locals haven’t been to every eatery in the county. Seek out a new place, even it doesn’t look like your typical vibe. Once you get outside the typical high-traffic destinations you might be surprised at the low prices, and large variety, of food you can find.  

If you’re feeling like a super-loyal Herald reader, find a Herald / Do the Shore advertiser in our print edition, and be sure to tell the waiter we sent you!  

Foot traffic to Delaware  

The Cape May Lewes Ferry is cheap if you don’t taking the journey by foot, or by bike. Foot travelers can board the ferry – a round trip – for around $14. The other side of the ferry, in Lewes, is super walkable. There are wide sidewalks and bike paths that lead to either Cape Henlopen State Park or to downtown Lewes. Downtown has great thrift shops, coffee stops, and a smarty thrift shop called “The Vintage Underground” that has a snazzy selection of used garbs. There’s no reason to pay nearly $60 to take a car onto the ferry when your feet – or a bike – will get you to the faraway land of Delaware for under $20 a person.  

Lewes, Delaware waterfront with boats and restaurants in summer