While the boardwalk in any beach town can be a fun night out during your vacation, Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, NJ, is the vacation. Morey’s Piers consists of three piers teeming with water parks, thrill rides, food, games, and other attractions. It’s the epitome of summer fun, and I’ve got the low-down for a successful visit.
The Three Piers
Adventure Pier: The rides here are mostly in the “thrill” category, but my nine-year-old daughter and her friend braved a couple of them! Our favorite activity at Adventure Pier was visiting [artBOX] – an interactive artists village crafted from 11 re-purposed shipping containers where visitors can observe regional artists at work on surf art, glass blowing, seascape painting, and more. Check with [artBOX] about workshops. The girls had an absolute blast painting their own skateboards and they learned a little something about art – always a plus to combine learning and fun when you’re homeschooling!
Mariner’s Pier: This was our favorite pier. Rides vary from extreme to low-thrill, with most falling just in the middle. There’s a traditional carnival feel that’s perfect for families. Raging Waters water park is also located here, and it was the highlight of my visit. As I get older, I can’t tolerate even the medium thrill rides anymore (anyone else have this sudden nausea on rides when you hit your 40’s?), but water park rides are perfect!
Insider tip: As you float along the River Adventure lazy river, you can get out of your tube and order a root beer float to go at Trader Sam’s. No one seemed to know about this feature and my girls felt like rock stars floating along sipping their floats while others pointed and commented!
As I careened down the water slides while looking out over the ocean, I giggled with happiness. There’s just something about the ocean, the waves and the shore that sharpens the senses and makes everything seem more fun. And from the water park, you can walk right out onto the beach.
Surfside Pier: Another great pier for families and with two excellent restaurants to boot. When you’re tired of fried Twinkies and Curley’s World Famous Fries (though they are amazing!), check out Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grill and Joe’s Fish Co. Ocean Oasis water park is on this pier, along with a solid variety of kiddie-to-thrill rides that the girls loved.
Getting around Wildwood is easy. Many hotels are on, or close to, the boardwalk and the walk to Morey’s Piers might be less than a mile. There’s also the Tramcar, which you will become very familiar with as you walk the boardwalk and hear “Watch the Tramcar, please!” blasted robotically and repeatedly from the loudspeaker. The Tramcar is $3.00 per person for a one-way ride. But with a family of four or more, it would be cheaper to pay to park in a public lot. We didn’t want to walk back to our hotel at night when we were exhausted from walking around all day, so we paid $20 to park in a lot right across the street from the Piers.
Planning Your Days
Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis water parks both open at 9:30am, but the piers (rides, food, games) open between noon and 2:00pm. The water parks close at 6:00pm, but the piers stay open until midnight. I wanted to leave our suits and towels in a water park locker while we had dinner and enjoyed the rides, but that plan was thwarted when the water park closed at 6:00pm. Be sure to check their online calendar and plan your day accordingly.
The piers get more crowded as the day goes on. I found the best plan of action was to get to the water parks early, grab lunch at Wrecker’s Grill by the beach, play in the sand for awhile, then dry off and head to the piers. You could also spend the morning at the beach, then hit Ocean Oasis water park and Stubborn Brothers for a late lunch or early dinner – they close at 6:00pm so be sure not to miss it! Their food is phenomenal and the view can’t be beat. Then you have the evening to enjoy the rides and games on the piers.
Eating and Sleeping
We stayed at the retro StarLux Boutique Hotel, which we all loved. My girls were in the pool and hot tub every chance they could get – even after spending most of the day at the water park! The StarLux is across the street from the famous Wildwood sign and beach balls, and also across the street from the amazing Sea Shell Ice Cream shop. The StarLux has a free library of DVDs and players in every room, so we got some ice cream to go and curled up in our room with a movie!
I’ve already stressed that Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grill is not to be missed. And it’s mandatory that you eat some Curley’s Fries. You’ll get your fill of carnival food – funnel cake, ice cream, cotton candy, corn dogs, cheesesteaks, and fried everything – but don’t miss out on the restaurants. Wrecker’s Grill at Raging Waters had fantastic wraps, salads, and more, and the Taco Joint offered fresh, quality Mexican food.
All the info you need to plan your trip can be found on Morey’s Piers web site. Summer’s half over here in the northeast, so get that Jersey Shore trip on the calendar before it’s too late!