I first mentioned Sunny Hill last year as a great summer fun place to visit. As we get ready to enjoy one of their Kid’s Free Weekends next week, I realize that it is more than that because you can enjoy it any time of year.
We enjoyed Kid’s Free Weekend this past June which as jam packed with exciting things to do from the brand new Viking Obstacle Race course to fireworks at the lake on Saturday night. My daughter was especially thrilled to have her favorite DJ Pat as the Friday night entertainment. This upcoming weekend will be a special Halloween event filled Kid’s Free Weekend. There will be a costume party, table decorating contest and a haunted hayride. Taking these shorter trips is a nice and more relaxing alternative to the hustle and bustle of a full week vacation.
Here are some of Sky’s greatest Sunny Hill singing hits from June 2014:
When I was kid summer meant 2 things: Sunny Hill and The Shore. The Shore is different places to different people but around here it must be reached by way of the Garden State Parkway. We never did the boardwalk vacations of Seaside Heights or Wildwood. Our family preferred the calm that is Long Beach Island.
I can remember the routine of spending the days on the beach and our nights at various activities on the island. While some of the places from my childhood still exist like The Show Place and Bay Village, others only live in my memories like the Tumble Town and Pier 18 Mall. My kids got to experience some of the places I loved last year. I had an LBI first with my kids: dolphins jumping off the coast.
Things You Can’t Miss on Long Beach Island:
- The Beach: There are so many things you can do from hunting for seashells, digging for sand crabs, riding waves on a raft and more. Bring you sunscreen, your lunch, drinks, and something to dig with. Be sure to swim between the flags for safety.
- Marvel Market: As a child this market was walking distance from the beach house we rented. Ever morning my father would send me to get the newspaper and a dozen donuts. These are just not any donuts, but hot, freshly made in front of your eyes donuts. I would love watching the machine drop the dough as the donut floated around while it cooked. Old school LBI people, this market is now across the street from where it used to be.
- Crust and Crumb Bakery: ELEPHANT EARS! Really, there is nothing else to say. A delicious pastry that is “the size of your head” can be found in this bakery located in Bay Village. It is cinnamon, sweet, buttery yumminess. Fine, there are other great pastries here like the sticky buns.
- The Show Place: Ice-Cream and a show! This is one of my favorite places anywhere in the world. You arrive to the staff dressed in old fashioned soda shop style. As you look over your menu, you hear a cowbell ring. A server holding a sundae shouts: “Ladies and Gentlemen, in my hands I hold….” Suddenly, the person who ordered the sundae is singing for their ice-cream. Skyler got to sing for her Pop-Pop’s sundae, The Phantom of the Opera. All sundaes are related to Broadway Musicals. After all the ice-cream is served, the server put on a show and then it is time to “eat up, pay up, and get out”. The only thing missing from our visit was the ice-cream flavor song….I can hear the chant in my head of “Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter”.
- Barnegat Light House: Old Barney is located at the northern tip of Long Beach Island. For a $1 donation you can climb up the 217 steps to the top. My kids chose to do this. They received a certificate and a patch for making it to the top.
Other great places to visit:
At the beach: Playing in the sand and ready to be safe in the ocean.
At the beach: Just chilling with my sunglasses.
At the Beach: Cousin Jimmy turned him into a mermaid.
Marvel Market: Sugared Donut
Crust and Crumb Bakery: Elephant Ears: A Flaky, French Pastry With Brown Sugar & Cinnamon, & Pecans….
Crust and Crumb Bakery: Elephant Ears. Yep, as big as your head.
Crust and Crumb Bakery: Sticky Buns
ReClam The Bay: These clams are in several places to promote seeding clams and oysters in the bay.
Barnegat Lighthouse: View from the top.
Barnegat Lighthouse: View from the bottom up.
Barnegat Lighthouse: View from the top down.
As I mentioned before real life and computer issues kept some of my blogs behind so it is time to start playing catch up while keeping up with regular blogs. This is from the beginning of the summer.
Sunny Hill Resort is a great place to take the kids in the summer time for a vacation. It is completely family-oriented. The kids have a blast when we go because there is so much to do. Usually we go for 3-nights, 4-days but many people go for the entire week and many go for the 2 beautiful golf courses.
My grandmother wanted to share the fun she had in the Catskills as a child in Leeds, NY with her children. She found the perfect place in a nearby town. My mother went to Sunny Hill Resort every summer when she was a young child with her family since that summer. I spent my first vacation at Sunny Hill Resort 32 years ago and made so many memories. Today, it has grown to something my 8 year old self could never imagine and my kids enjoy every second.
10 year old, Tristan’s Favorites:
- The Game Room – In Armae Hall, there is a small arcade known by the kids as “The Game Room”.
- Fishing – Down at Lake Loree you can fish the day away. Bonus: There are fishing contests on Wednesday nights, one for the children and one for the adults. Tristan always manages to catch a turtle at least once a year as well.
- Mini-Golf – In the Entertainment Center, there is free mini-golf.
- Military Night – Every Thursday night is Military Night with free “Just For Fun” rides on a M37 Military Truck, a M548 Military Vehicle(aka THE TANK), a M35A2 Military Vehicle 6×6, a M-561 Gamma Goat Truck, Tank, and a Humvee.
- The Rock Climbing Wall – Two times during the week, a rock climbing wall is erected with room for 4 climbers at a time.
7 year old, Skyler’s Favorites:
- Camp – Monday – Friday there is a FREE camp in the morning for the younger children to attend. They do many activities and crafts. Bonus: Mom gets to relax.
- Ceramics – Every Wednesday morning, an outside vendor sets up in Armae Hall with ceramic pieces that you can purchase and paint. They will finish the pieces off for you with a nice gloss coat as a great vacation souvenir.
- The Playgrounds – With 6 different playgrounds to pick from, it is hard to decide where to go. Most popular are the “Alien Playground” and the “Wooden Playground”.
- The Talent Show – Every Tuesday afternoon there is a Kids Talent Show where all the kids get to show off their stuff.
- The DJ Nights – Several nights end with music by a DJ in Armae Hall with lots of dancing.
Mom’s Favorites not mentioned by the kids:
- Night Time Games – Home racing, Monte Carlo, and a few Bingo nights make for a nice change of game pace from the plugged in world.
- Just For Fun Rides – Every night there are “Just For Fun” rides. The Military Night is just one of them. There are many other fun rides on the other nights as well including a Monster Truck.
- The Pool Area – One pool with 2 slides, a kid-sized pool, and a splash pad make the pool a great place during the day. There is even Water Aerobic several afternoons during the week.
- The Tournaments – There are contests every day and the winners are awarded trophies. Contests include: Scotch Doubles Tournament, Kids Lawn Bowling Tournament, Adult Shuffle Board Tournament, Teens Lawn Bowling Tournament, Teen Ping Pong Tournament, Adult Bankshot Basketball, 3-Club Golf Tournament, Kids Shuffleboard Tournament, Adult Lawn Bowling Tournament, 2-person Scramble, Kids Bankshot Basketball Tournament, Adult Ping Pong Tournament, Teens Chipping & Putting Contest, Kids/Adult Fishing Tournament, 4-Person Golf Scramble, Kids Ping Pong Tournament, Adult Tennis Tournament, and Junior Golf Tournament.
- No Cooking – The resort is all inclusive. Meals are served 3 times a day at the Dining Hall and the kids get to ring the bell to announce it is time to eat.
- The View – Absolutely breathtaking!
We are excited for next year because they opened a new Challenging 5-Mile 30 Permanent Obstacle Course in September.