Toms River, New Jersey, is a waterfront town on the Jersey Shores region of the state, providing children with access to beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Aside from being close to the ocean, Toms River also has museums for educating children about science, history and art. Most outdoor activities for Toms River's children occur during the spring and summer, but the city also features indoor recreation areas for year-round recreation.
Island Beach State Park is on a barrier island within 15 minutes of Toms River. This park provides 10 miles of beach area on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. Visitors enjoy moderate temperatures during the spring and summer, the seasons when the water is warmest. Island Beach is also home to more than 400 different plant species and native wildlife. Depending on the time of year, visitors may see marine birds such as ospreys and sandpipers. Island Beach also offers opportunities for fishing in Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic; some native fish in the area are black sea bass, summer flounder and bluefish.
Educational Field Trips
Toms River is home to the Robert J. Novins Planetarium, which is located on the campus of Ocean County College. For field trips, the planetarium offers a three-dimensional show about outer space and astronomy classes or workshops. Ocean County College also allows school to bring classes to the Arts and Community Center, which features paintings and photographs from local artists. Toms River's students have opportunities to learn about Ocean County's history by visiting the Ocean County Historical Museum. The museum is in an 1820 house and features exhibits such as 19th-century artifacts and clothing.
Indoor and outdoor recreation areas are available for children in Toms River's. The city has a year-round indoor, Olympic-sized swimming pool at the Toms River Fitness and Aquatics Center. During the fall, the center provides swimming lessons for children ages 7 to 18. Playdrome Lanes provides bowling activities and offers discounted prices on Wednesday nights, as of 2011. Cattus Island County Park is one of Toms River's largest outdoor parks at 497 acres. Children may stroll in the Park's Butterfly Garden, and during the winter, Cattus Island has trails for cross-country skiing.
Double Trouble State Park is less than five minutes from Toms River and is one of the largest state parks in central New Jersey. This park has a 1.5-mile nature trail for walking and bird watching. Sand roads are also present for horseback riding and bicycling. For children interested in the park's past, Double Trouble features a historic village that offers insight into the history of the area's cranberry packing industry. The village features a 19th-century sawmill and cranberry packing house. Guided tours are available upon request. Children may also kayak on Cedar Creek, a river that meanders through Double Trouble State Park.
- Island Beach State Park: Home
- Ocean County College: The Robert J. Novins Planetarium
- Ocean County College: The Arts and Community Center
- Ocean County Historical Society: Pauline S. Miller Exhibit Room
- Toms River Fitness and Aquatic Center: Swim School Dates
- Playdrome Lanes: Home
- Ocean County, New Jersey: Cattus Island County Park
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: Double Trouble State Park