Join natural educators and have some FUN as we explore the natural wonders of Island Beach State Park! Drop by the Fish Tanks inside the Pavilion at Ocean Bathing Area #1 to learn about the creatures who live in our ocean and bay. Sign up for one of our daily tours. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All daily programs are free with paid admission to the park. Programs are subject to change or cancellation. Please call the Park Office for additional information: 732-793-0506.
Noon – Meet the Amazing Horseshoe Crab - Live Animal Program!
What has 10 eyes, 12 legs, blue blood and is over 250 million years old? The horseshoe crab! Get an up-close experience with this gentle, pre-historic creature that plays a pivotal role in the web of life.
1 p.m. – Seine the Barnegat Bay
Pull a seine net through the Barnegat Bay and discover the amazing creatures who live here. Can you scare away hungry predators by growing twice your size in less than 6 seconds? A pufferfish can! Scoop up some silversides, the "french fries of the bay", and understand the importance of this abundant fish in the Barnegat Bay food chain. Meet the snails, our bottom-feeding friends who keep the bay clean. What's today's catch of the day? Please preregister at the Pavilion at Ocean Bathing Area #1.
2 p.m. – Food Chain Feeding Frenzy - Who Eats Who!
Discover who eats who in the food web of Barnegat Bay's estuarine habitat. It's eat or be eaten!
Sea on Shore
Visit our roving Natural Educators on the beach and touch a slimy snail, count the legs on a crab, caress a jellyfish and examine a sea star. Learn about the creatures who share the beach with us all summer long. Look for our canopy on the beach.
PRE-REGISTERATION REQUIRED PROGRAMS
Explore the Park beyond the beach! Fun, interactive and educational programs led by our expert team of natural educators. Please log on to: http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/education/programs/islandbeach/ to register and for a complete list of dates, times, fees and age restrictions. Paid park admission fee is required. Programs are subject to change or cancellation. Please call the park office for additional information: 732-793-0506.
Time-Travel Trail Hikes
June 2, July 8, August 5, 19 and September 1
9 to 10 a.m.
Imagine traveling down a sandy trail in the park before the turn of the century, on your way to stay at Reed's Hotel. Join us on a hike down Reed's Road or one of our historic trails and take a trip down memory lane. We'll explore and discover the unique history of Island Beach State Park and remember the people who visited and appreciated this island over 100 years ago! Fun for the whole family.
June 24, July 14, 22, August 11, 25, September 2
9 to 10 a.m.
Bring your curiosity and keen senses as we take you through the dunes, scrub, thicket, Maritime Forest and salt marsh habitats on a quest to catch a glimpse of creatures big and small. Fiddler crabs, terrapins, elusive otters, fox and a variety of birds and insects are just some of the creatures that call this unique barrier beach ecosystem home. Fun for the whole family.
Discover the Birds of Island Beach - Guided Bird Walks
June 30, July 21, August 4, 18
8 to 9:30 a.m.
Birding has become one of America's most popular outdoor hobbies. Come join us on a hike to find our fine feathered friends and discover why this past-time is so enjoyable! Osprey, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret and Double-crested Cormorants are only a handful of species we are likely to see on our hike through the diverse habitats of Island Beach State Park. Fun for the whole family.
Moths and Night Birds
May 5, June 2
7 to 10 p.m.
Join the natural educators for an evening hike to explore moths and birds that awaken when the sun goes down. Learn about these extraordinary nocturnal creatures that survive in the dark. Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Fun for the whole family.
Sunset and Full Moon Hikes
7 to 9 p.m. - Sunset Hikes - June 25, July 9, 16, 23, August 6, 13, 20
8 to 10 p.m. - Full Moon Hikes
- June 3, July 3, August 2, 31
Fee: $5 per person
Join us on a stroll to watch the sunset over Barnegat Bay or be adventurous and join us on a night hike to discover "whooo" is awake when the sun goes down at Island Beach State Park! Be amazed at the bioluminescent creatures that glow in the dark. Discover amazing and beautiful moths. Use your senses to learn about the extraordinary adaptations that allow nocturnal creatures to survive by moonlight. Fun for the whole family
Surf Fishing Clinic
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
July 6, 13, 19, 20, 27, August 3, 10, 16, 17, 24, 31
Fee: $10 per person
No fish tales told here! Come learn the techniques for successful surf fishing and try your hand at catching Striped Bass or Fluke. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm, all fishing equipment and bait is supplied. For ages 10 years and older, minors must be accompanied by an adult.
*All participants ages 14 years and older must register with the State Saltwater Fishing Registry: http://www.nj.gov/dep/saltwaterregistry*
Birding by Kayak
July 5, 26, August 9, 23, 30
8 to 11 a.m.
Fee: $25 per person
Expert natural educators will guide you on a peaceful paddle through the fragile Barnegat Bay estuarine ecosystem. Discover the diversity of birds that nest at Island Beach State Park in the summer. This very popular tour is designed for bird enthusiasts. For ages 14 and older, minors must be accompanied by an adult.
*Special evening tour on Saturday, July 21 - 6 to 8 p.m.*
The Sedge Islands: Then and Now
June 27, July 4, 11, 18, 25, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Fee: $25 per person
9 a.m. to noon
Did you know Babe Ruth used to duck hunt in the Sedge Islands? Barnegat Bay was once a commercial hub for "market gunners", baymen and salt hay farmers. Several historical structures remain in the Sedge Islands today where men would come and make their living. On this peaceful paddle through the bay you'll learn about the buildings constructed here, the people who lived here long ago and how they utilized the natural resources of these beautiful islands. The park naturalists will guide you by kayak to learn how some things have changed and some things remain the same. For ages 14 and older, minors must be accompanied by an adult.
A Sunset Paddle
June 23, 30, July 7, 14, 28, August 4, 11, 18, 25 September 1
6 to 8 p.m.
Fee: $25 per person
Join the park naturalists for a peaceful evening kayak paddle and watch the sunset over Barnegat Bay. For ages 14 and older, minors must be accompanied by an adult.
WILDCHILD Programs for Kids!
Go WILD and enjoy the CRAZY days of summer! Sign up for FUN, interactive and educational programs designed just for kids. Our expert team of natural educators are ready to take you on an adventure of a lifetime! Please log on to: http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/education/programs/islandbeach/ to pre-register and see a complete list of dates, times, fees and age restrictions. Paid park admission fee is required. Programs are subject to change or cancellation. Please call the park office for additional information: 732-793-0506
WILDCHILD Island Explorers
June 28, 29, July 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, August 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31
Fee: $25 per child for half day session - 9 a.m. to Noon or Noon to 3 p.m.
$40 per child for full day session - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Have you ever seen a slimy salp? What would you do with it if you did? If you like discovering new and strange animals, exploring the island for plants that can withstand a hurricane, catching fish, spying on birds and getting sandy, then sign up to be an Island Explorer! Drop off your child for a half day or full day of FUN! For children ages 6 to 12.
WILDCHILD Gone Fishing
July 1, 10, 15, 24, 29, August 7, 12, 21, 26
Fee: $10 per child, per session
10 a.m. to noon
Did you know many fish are born in the Barnegat Bay and move to the Atlantic Ocean when they grow up? Find out who they are and how they survive the many predators lurking around waiting to catch them - including YOU! Tell your friends you've Gone Fishing this summer and join us for two hours of FUN! For children ages 7 to 12.
WILDCHILD Surfing Safari
July 3 (noon to 2 p.m.); July 8 (4 to 6 p.m.); July 17 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.); July 22 (2 to 4 p.m.); July 31 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.); August 5 (3 to 5 p.m.); August 14 (10 a.m. to noon); August 19 (2 to 4 p.m.); August 28 ( 10 a.m. to noon) - Class times coincide with low-tides
Fee: 10 per child/per session
Surf's Up Dude! Before you catch a wave this summer, first learn how they are made and where they come from. Why are some waves big and some waves small? Paddle out with expert natural educators and Island Beach State Park lifeguards and maybe you'll be hangin' 10 by the end of summer! For children ages 8 to 14.
WILDCHILD Nature Toddlers
June 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27, September 3
Fee: $5 per pair, per session
Age-appropriate hands-on activities, stories, crafts and hikes guide your child's natural curiosity as we explore the natural world of Island Beach State Park. Natural educators provide an educational hour of fun for you and your young child. For children ages 3 to 5 with caregiver.