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09 June 2010

A weekend with the kid in July So my husband will be in Vegas for a weekend in July and I decided I want to go somewhere with the kid as well. Any ideas about where would be an easy trip from NYC with a toddler? [More:]Obviously I'm well aware that over-ambition is the big factor here, so don't want to get too full-on and have a grumpy tantruming kidling (and Mama) but it would be nice to get out of the city for a night or so. Cost little object.
Rent a car and go to Ocean City, NJ? And take us with you? :D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 09 June | 09:12
that could be a go... hrm.
posted by gaspode 09 June | 10:42
I was going to say Ocean City at first really can't go wrong with Ocean City. It's lovely. But then I was thinking about the travel convenience and the toddler, and came up with this suggestion: Ocean Grove, NJ. I mentioned it yesterday in the oceans thread. I lived there as a kid, ages 7 to 10, and it's really lovely.

So it's a Victorian seaside village that began as a Methodist Camp Meeting campground. Today it still has a fanbase of Methodist and other Christian tourism, but don't let that put you off. There is also a creative community there. Here are some reasons I think it would make a good toddler/mom getaway:

-The beach is gorgeous and well lifeguarded.
-The whole town is easy walking, one end to the to the other.
-There's a lovely boardwalk to promenade.
-There are frequent events.
-There is one of the single best ice cream places on the Eastern Seaboard there - The Starving Artist at Day's Ice Cream and Tea Room. Purchase at the window, eat on the Victorian covered porch.
-There's a very nice downtown main street with some interesting shops - a couple good vintage emporium type places, candy shop.
-There's an old-fashioned lunch counter called Nagle's. They have a real soda fountain and can make you a cherry phosphate and a BLT. They also serve ice cream. It used to be a pharmacy, but they've turned that part into restaurant tables.
-There are several public squares and pocket parks that make good places for kids to toddle and adults to read in the shade. I remember one of my favorite pastimes as a kid was buying a .25 bag of peanuts at the Pilgrim's Pathway Market and feeding them to the extremely tame squirrels in Auditorium Park.
-The Great Auditorium is a marvel of Victorian stick-built public architecture. You usually can't get in unless a show is going on, but it's fun to poke around outside.
-The Auditorium sits in the middle of Tent City, a little village literally made of tents hung on a wood frame. These are coveted and handed down in families year after year. People live in them all summer.
-For a nice long walk on the boardwalk, you can walk from OG north through Asbury Park and back, or South through Belmar and back. If you have a running stroller this is a fabulous run.
-Best of all, from Manhattan, you can just take NJ Transit/North Jersey Coast Line trains to Asbury Park. You'll need a taxi from the station to OG but it's not a long ride. You may want to call ahead for a taxi because Asbury Park, though really doing well these days, still has sketchy people around the station area. Nothing that will freak you out though, you New Yorker, you.
-You have your choice of umpteen bazillion old-school victorian seaside hotels and B&Bs.
Note: the town is dry, I repeat, the town is dry. I doubt you were planning to tie one on with the little one, but if you like to wind the day down with a beverage, best to BYO.

So think about it! I think it would be an awesome weekend trip with a toddler in tow. It's pretty low-key and relaxed, but you will definitely feel away away. I often think about going there for a weekend, but then I don't because my family lives pretty close to there and I end up just staying with them. If i had to move back to the Shore area, though, I would probably look at living there pretty seriously.

I hope whatever you do, you have a great trip!
posted by Miko 09 June | 11:19
What a great suggestion, Miko! I will read your plethora of links :) Thanks!
posted by gaspode 09 June | 15:49
New Jersey Bunnystock?
posted by brujita 10 June | 00:05
Blatant self-promotion. || Blatant self-promotion