What to Do When Skies Aren’t Blue…

When summer showers render a beach day impossible, what alternatives does Cape May County offer? Whether you’re feeling like a classy afternoon of wine tasting or a cut-throat game of mini golf, “Blast” has a recommendation for exploring the Jersey shore in a new way on a dreary day.

Feeling rainy day anxiety? When looking for an outlet for pent-up energy during a downpour, choosing a more physical activity is the way to go. Bowling is a classic indoor activity that can be enjoyed by family members and friends of all ages. 3 J’s Wildwood Bowl on New Jersey Ave. in Wildwood offers weekly specials and has an arcade for some post-match fun. While kids win big in the arcade, parents and non-gamers can kick back in the bar and lounge. Mouse Trap Lanes of Woodbine, with its old-school checkered floors and décor, also has an extensive menu and a full service bar in The Trap Lounge. On a rainy weekend night, check out Mouse Trap’s Galactic Bowling for a cosmic glow-in-the-dark look at the lanes.

If bowling is not your sport of choice, check out an equally neon alternative at Medieval Fantasy Mini Golf in Ocean City. Located atop a roof overlooking the boardwalk, this 19-hole indoor and outdoor course is a great option near the beach when the weather does not permit a day on the beach. Look for the dragon and dungeon themed entrance. Boardwalk Mini Glow Golf in Wildwood offers a similar glow-in-the-dark experience with a 3-D twist. Also on the Wildwood boardwalk, the Adventure Maze designed in collaboration with former president of Ripley’s Believe It or Not challenges even the most seasoned puzzle solvers. This series of mirrors and dead ends can cure a case of rainy day boredom.

Inspired to commune with nature instead? Cape May County offers various indoor facilities that allow interaction with wildlife and its habitats. The Wetlands Institute of 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. The Cape May Bird Observatory also proves to be a great lookout point on a rainy day. Binoculars make for an even better look and can be purchased in the nature shop. To get a closer look at nature’s smaller critters, head over to the Wildwood Insectarium which displays thousands of live and mounted insects and has numerous interactive displays.

Forgot an umbrella? Hop aboard Dolly the Trolley, sponsored by Downtown Wildwood, for a free ride from 26th St. all the way to Cresse Ave. and back again. From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Dolly runs north on Pacific Ave. and south on Atlantic Ave. and offers shield from the rain.

Interested in the history of your favorite shore towns? Visit the Cape May Lighthouse at Cape May Point for one of the county’s best vantage points and to learn about the monument and its history over the past two centuries. Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood is also open for touring and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. For those reminiscent of Wildwood in its “heyday”, be sure to check out the Doo Wop Experience Museum where the architecture, design, pop culture, and the “Wildwood Days” music that defined the town in the 50s and 60s are celebrated.

In the mood for a tasting? Cape May Winery & Vineyard opens its tasting room daily at noon and visitors can sample the various wines produced on-site. The Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery of Rio Grande also features its own wine bar while the Jessie Creek Winery of Cape May Court House allows visitors to participate in the production process, from grape-picking to bottling. For those of a different taste, Cape May Brewing Company open on Saturday afternoons offers four 4 oz. tastings of their personally brewed beers.

By Megan Kummer