Editor's note: Know of an upcoming kids' event? Email details to bpeer@tapinto.net for consideration to be included in the next edition. Come celebrate Goddard School of Long Hill's Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting festivities on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Click here for details of the fun activities planned.
 
"Kids Activities Nearby" is sponsored by The Goddard School of Long Hill." This column will provide a round up of interesting things to do with kids in and around the area. To kick off the column, we wanted you to get familiar with the local libraries and their weekly happenings and upcoming special events.
 
Special New Jersey Beach Issue: (Credits Dawn Miller, TAPinto.net Writer/Editor)
As the school year winds down, many folks will be heading down the shore to enjoy the 130 miles of coastline from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Since Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer on the Jersey Shore, has passed a large majority have already started the weekend ritual of finding a spot on the sand to savor. Of course, once Memorial Day weekend hits, the dreaded beach badge fees take effect. Here is the go-to guide for beach badge costs for popular New Jersey beaches for the summer of 2019.
  • Asbury Park – Badges are required in Asbury Park for anyone 13 years of age and older. A daily badge is $5 on a weekday and $7 on the weekend. Seasonal badges are $70 for adults, $20 for teens ages 13-17 and $20 for seniors. Street parking is metered.
  • Belmar – Badges are required for anyone 16 years of age and over. Daily badges are $9. Seasonal badges are $70 for adults and $30 for seniors. There is metered parking on streets closer to the beach while those within walking distance are free if available.
  • Bradley Beach – Children 12 years of age and under are free. Daily badges are $9 while seasonal badges are $75 for adults and $30 for seniors. Junior seasonal badges are available for ages 13 to 17 for $25. Cash or check for badge purchases done in person. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, parking east of Ocean Avenue is pay-only from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parking west of Ocean Avenue remains free during the summer.
  • Cape May – Badges are required for ages 12 and up. A daily badge is $6. Three-day badges are $12. A weekly badge is also available for $18 that is good for Saturday through Saturday. Parking is pay on streets within close proximity to the beach and around the Washington Street Mall. Free parking is available at the Cape May Elementary School. A regular shuttle service runs between the school and the beach.
  • Island Beach State Park – Entrance fees to the park are required year round, but are $5 from the day after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day during the week for NJ residents and $10 for non-residents. Once Memorial Day rolls around, fees are $6 on weekdays and $10 on weekends for Garden State residents. The cost for out of state visitors is $12 on the weekdays and $20 on the weekends during the summer.
  • Long Branch – Municipal beaches in Long Branch are free for kids 13 years of age and younger, seniors ages 62 and above with identification and disabled veterans. Daily badges are $5 during the week and $7 on the weekends. Badges are $3 every day for teens ages 14 to 17. Certain areas in Long Branch near the municipal beaches do have metered parking. Fees for the popular Seven Presidents Beach are different. Daily admission is $8 for anyone 18 years of age or older. Seventeen and under are free. Seasonal admission is $70 for adults ages 18-64 and $25 for seniors 65 and older. Daily parking is $10 at Seven Presidents Beach. A seasonal parking pass is $70.
  • Ocean City – Badges are required for anyone 12 years of age and older. A daily badge is $5 while a weekly badge is $10. Seasonal badges are $25. There is a parking fee in Ocean City during the summer. Lots and metered street parking is available.
  • Ocean Grove – Anyone 13 years of age and up is required to have a badge. Daily badges are $8 while a seasonal badge is $90. Kids 12 and under are only free if accompanied by an adult. Street parking is free though parking does fill up quickly in the summer. Beaches do not open until later in the afternoon on Sundays during the summer.
  • Point Pleasant – Children under five do not require a beach badge though ages five to 11 are required to have a badge. A daily weekday badge for ages five to 11 is $2.50. Anyone 12 years of age and up must pay $9 for a weekday badge. A weekend badge is still $2.50 for children from ages five to 11. Ages 12 and up must pay $10 on weekends. Lots and metered parking is available close to the beach. Free parking is available if you can find it and don’t mind walking.
  • Sandy Hook – Beach fees are not required for Sandy Hook beaches. However, parking fees are enforced during the popular summer months. Daily beach parking is $15 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for regular size vehicles and $75 for the season. Oversized vehicles longer than 20 feet must pay $30 for daily parking and $135 for seasonal. Parking to visit the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Fort Hancock is always free.
  • Spring Lake – Badges are required for anyone 12 years of age and older. A daily badge is $10. Seasonal badges are available for $105. A senior seasonal badge is $75. A late season seasonal badge is $65 after August 1. Street parking is free in Spring Lake.

Are any beaches free in New Jersey? Yes, there are quite a few bay and ocean beaches that remain free of beach tags all year long in the Garden State including:

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  • Atlantic City
  • Wildwood
  • Keansburg
  • Union Beach
  • Williams Morrow Beach in Somers Point
  • Strathmere Beach in Upper Township
  • Leonardo Beach in Middletown
  • Jennifer Lane Bay Beach in Manhawkin
  • Highland Beaches in Monmouth County
  • Beesley Point in Great Egg Harbor
  • Barnegat Beach in Barnegat Township
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Always check the local library websites for up-to-date activities. They are a great resource for fun things to do with children during the summer months.
110 Roosevelt Ave, Berkeley Heights, NJ  908.464.9333
 
Tuesdays: 9:30 - 10:00 am; story time & a craft for ages 3 - 5.
Thursdays: 9:30 – 10:00 am; story time for ages 0 – 24 months.
 

32 S Maple Ave, Basking Ridge 908.204.3031     

Tuesdays: 9:30-10 a.m. Tot Time 2 1/2 - 3 1/2; 10:30-11 a.m. Preschool Storytime 3 1/2-5 yo; 6:30-7 p.m. Twilight Tales-Family Fun

Wednesdays: 10-10:30 a.m. Tot time Ages 2 1/2 - 3 1/2; 1:30-2 p.m. Preschool Storytime 3 1/2-5 yo 

Thursdays: 9:30-10 a.m. Baby Time Birth-15months; 10:30-11 a.m. Todler Time 16-30months 

Fridays:  9:30-10:00 a.m., Toddler Time (16 to 30 months) 

Saturdays: 10:30-11 a.m. Saturday Stories for all ages

Long Hill Library Happenings:

917 Valley Road, Gillette 908.647.2088

42 Mountain Boulevard, Warren 908.754.5554

Watchung Library Happenings: 

12 Stirling Rd, Watchung 908.458.8455

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Know of an upcoming children's event? Email details to bpeer@tapinto.net for consideration to be included in this weekly column.