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Who takes their 9 and 6 year olds on an eight hour road trip? I do. They have been to a couple states south of us but they hadn't visited up north very far. We left Virginia and went through parts of Maryland and Delaware, reaching our final destination tucked away in the lovely township of Tuckerton, NJ. Why Tuckerton? We were visiting the Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen's museum during the weekend of the Pirates and Privateers festival and stayed the weekend at the Pirate campground.
Was it worth the 8 hours up and another 8 hours back home?
We paid $40 in road tolls ($20 each way) but that was the easiest route for us to take. We arrived, without getting lost any, to the Sea Pirate campground and checked in to our cabin. We had arrived a bit late in the day so by the time we got the van unloaded and we got settled we were all ready for sleep. I knew we had a day out in the sun and lots of walking ahead of us so I wanted to be well rested. The boys enjoyed just being in the cabin the first night too. The curiosity of being in a new place for the first time I guess? They had fun finding places they could hide from one another.
Saturday morning, the boys were up with the sun ready to see what all the Tuckerton Pirates & Privateers festival had in store for them. Who am I kidding? I was excited too. The boys didn’t want full pirate gear so they each wore a pirate bandana and carried swords and guns. Being the “fun mom”, who still enjoys playing dress up, I went head to toe pirate wench. As we left our cabin I had a couple stop me and tell me how much they enjoyed my costume and they asked me where I was headed. I told them we were venturing to the Seaport for the pirate festival.
We made the 10-15 minute drive from the campground to the Seaport and as we approached the entrance to the festival the parking lot attendant took one look at us and said, “Here fer the festival are ye?” which had us feeling the pirate mood as soon as we arrived. We were given wrist bands and a treasure map with directions to visit different areas (and events) of the Seaport on the map to collect stickers and once we had all the stickers we would be able to claim our very own treasure.
We started out walking around the boardwalk and checking out the critters swimming in the “crik”. The boys played a round of mini golf and tonged for clams while I chatted with Captain Fred. Cap'n Fred has tonged for clams and scallops since he was a boy and is now a full time clammer for Parson’s Clam & Oyster House and Captain for the Tuckerton Seaport.
From there we stopped and enjoyed a show by Captain Black and his scurvy crew of the Valhalla. We missed the pirate amputation demo but we did get to see (and hear) the cannons fire throughout the afternoon.
We had lunch with friends in the Hunting Shanty and tried some new Rooibee Roo teas.
After checking out the Hunting Shanty, Jay C. Parker’s Decoy shop, Joe Dayton’s sawmill we made a stop to the centerpiece of the Tuckerton Seaport, the Tucker’s Island Lighthouse. Inside the lighthouse we learned things about New Jersey, the Lighthouse and Seaport and life from long ago. We felt what it would feel like to ride a surfboard, looked at antique cameras and climbed the 42 steps to the “crow’s nest” lookout point top of the lighthouse for a view enjoyable by landlubbers and seadogs alike.
Once we left the lighthouse I was invited to enjoy a bit of lamb from the fire pit with some of the Privateers.
I was also stopped and complimented a few times inside the lighthouse on my pirate wench outfit and some people even thought I was part of the festival and took pictures of me. We finished up our treasure hunt and collected our booty and the two boys got their faces painted. We had a great time at the festival and experiencing all that the Tuckerton Seaport, the pirate campground and other sponsors had to offer.
The boys enjoyed their pirate loot from Partypalooza once we returned to our cabin for the day and we all enjoyed the bounty of snacks, sunscreen and goodies from our welcome bag we received at the campground. Then the boys went for a dip in the “cement pond” and we started packing up for the long ride home that we had the next day. I would gladly make that 16 hour round trip again if I got to see the enjoyment my family and I had of the Tuckerton Seaport the first time around. Oh! And if you are looking for some grub around the area you should stop in at the Main St. pizza and bagels. We ordered a meat lovers and yes we truly loved every bite.
Social media links you can follow:
Tuckerton Seaport Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1hlN56q
Tuckerton Seaport Twitter: @TuckertonSeaprt
Tuckerton Seaport Instagram: http://bit.ly/1qeH3Ww
Sea Pirate Campground Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1kDlYS3
Sea Pirate Campground Twitter: @SeaPirateCamp