Retro Cool and Classic Fun in Wildwood
I confess I have never been to the Jersey shore ever in my life. When the show the Jersey Shore debut, I thought to myself, yeah, not missing anything. Until an invitation to Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks came in my inbox. As I was checking out the site, it didn’t dawn on me until later that this was indeed, THE Jersey shore too! I was pleasantly surprised by all the family fun to be had in Wildwood. The kids were so excited and the days leading up to our road trip was filled with looking at the website and planning our days to maximize our trip to the “Jersey Shore”! I just hoped it had recovered from Hurricane Sandy.
Usually we plan on arriving to any destination a couple hours prior to check-in and utilize the “early check-in” ticket but this was our first trip as a family of 7 and well, it was an interesting start to our trip attempting to squeeze 7 people and all their luggage into what we assumed to be a spacious Lexus LX570 loaner (review to come) while strategically timing our trip to accommodate times for breastfeeding on the road. Yes, lesson learned, you can’t exactly plan for that as McChubs has his own ideas for feeding. We eventually arrived at the Starlux Hotel exactly on time for our scheduled check-in time of 3PM. The kids couldn’t get out of the car quick enough. They had spotted the pool and were clambering to get changed and into the pool as fast as they could. I was a little nervous about our accommodations as such a large family and was thrilled that we were in a one bedroom suite that accommodated us just fine. Making this mom even happier was discovering that each room was outfitted with a kitchenette and a full sized fridge! A mix of retro cool and small beach town chic, this hotel was definitely built for families. The kids were off to the pool as I got acclimated with our surroundings and settled us in for the weekend. I could feel the cool calm settling in and I was in peaceful bliss.
Once the kids were tired out from the pool, we set out to check out Joe’s Fish Co. We were already salivating as this family love nothing more than fresh seafood. Joe’s Fish Co is exactly what we love about seafood joints — no frills, simple, delicious seafood. They just opened a new 2nd floor open-air dining area in time for the summer.
This kids were up bright and early, despite the opening time of 10AM, it was perfect timing. The kids got to eat a leisure breakfast at the free continental breakfast selection at our hotel and we made our way over to Ocean Oasis, one of two Morey’s Piers Waterparks. Both waterparks open at 10AM and close at 5pm, with the amusement parks opening at noon. We were all impressed with the selection of water rides. There was something for everyone in our group. Our 9 year old loved all the slides and by the end of our trip, had my 5 year old tossing aside her fears and joining him in the whooping fun. My 3 year old loved the Puddle and the Wipe-Out pool. My husband was having a blast doing everything with all the kids. I even got past my fear and into the fun, trying several of the slides myself. Both my husband and I commented several times what a lovely time we were having. We also noted how clean and beautifully kept the park was. I visibly noticed them checking the water pH several times and even spotted someone actually, not just cleaning the bathroom, but the diaper changing station. Is it me, or have you NEVER seen anyone clean one before? I was shocked! My 3 year old loved their little bathroom step stool which let him be a big boy and wash his hands all by himself.
The lifeguards were more than just pretty figures, at one point, my 9 year old, unbeknownst to me, who in front of my own eyes, was having trouble breathing after falling off the Wipe-Out obstacle. I saw him gasping initially, but assumed he had recovered. The lifeguard immediately noticed and jumped in. My 9 year old told me after that he swallowed a lot of water, reminding me that signs of drowning isn’t just flailing arms.
From experience, despite my children’s protest, we headed back to the hotel for a little R&R before heading out to the amusement parks. Our next stop was artBox, a 10,000 square foot interactive artists’ colony crafted from 11 re-purposed shipping containers featuring five local artist studios, where my family got a little bit of culture. It was definitely a bit of distinction amidst all the classic boardwalk elements at Morey’s Piers. The kids oooh’d and ahhhh’d over the glass blower while I was blown away by the art work from Shark Sugar and Ed Peahota. I kinda wish there was more art in my life again.
Then we were off to Mariner’s Landing where we ran from one ride to another. With the flexibility of the multi-day pass bracelet, the husband and the 9 year old were able to get in a few splashes at Raging Waters while Little Miss A and I took our leisure with the games. Plum tired, the kids were off to bed early while the husband and I snuck out for a deliciously refreshing milkshake at the local Sea Shell Ice Cream Shoppe.
The next day the kids were up bright and early, ready to do it all over again! We had such a hard time leaving. With a request for a late check out, we made our way over Ocean Oasis where the kids owned the park, riding their favorite rides over and over again. Attempting to maximize our trip and usage of the 3-day pass, we ran back to the hotel we went to shower, loaded up the car and then headed back to the piers to play a little at the amusement parks before tackling the traffic home.
Morey’s Piers turned out to be a real gem of a find for this family. Despite all the activities available, we didn’t feel the rush to ride and do everything. Yet everything we did was at a beautiful leisure – whether it was walking on the boardwalk and getting some water ice to riding rollercoasters at Adventure Pier or grabbing a cone at the quaint Sea Shell Ice Cream Shoppe. The kids ranked it up there with a Disney trip and that’s saying a LOT! It was a blissful weekend at the shore and we’ll definitely be back again soon!
For more pictures from our adventures in Wildwood, visit our Flickr set at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/momconfessionals/sets/72157634312826880/