Fascinating Cultural Day Trips for 55 Plus in Ocean County NJ
The experience of spending a day out on an adventure can have the ripple effect of becoming a pleasant memory to reflect upon and talk about for years to come. Even a trip that goes badly can serve as comedic relief after the unpleasant feelings have passed.
If you are 55 plus in Ocean County, NJ and live at Barnegat 67, you are well-situated to make adventuring a frequent affair. There are numerous places to visit nearby where you can engage your mind and celebrate a vibrant culture.
Cultural Day Trips for 55 Plus in Ocean County, NJ
With so many great cities, such as New York City and Philadelphia, within easy range—not to mention what the rest of the New Jersey state has to offer—the options for cultural engagement are numerous. In fact, it’s near impossible to cover all that New Jersey, NYC and Philly have to offer. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the extra special cultural outings—both historical and art based—available to 55 plus in Ocean County, NJ.
Historical Sites and Museums
Since New Jersey and its neighbors played central roles in America’s revolutionary period, they are replete with historical sites relating to the birth of this country. These cities also witnessed a rise in industrial, commercial, and agricultural exploits, and have many sites that reflect these developments.
Philadelphia’s Historic District, PHL
Running from Lombard Street to Vine Street and 7th Street to the Delaware River, Philadelphia’s Historic District makes for an incredible day trip experience. You won’t have to venture too far to get a vivid reeducation about the history of America’s revolution and its independence. Below is a small sampling of what you can expect in the district.
- The Liberty Bell Center holds the 2,080-pound Liberty Bell, supposedly rung to announce the Declaration of Independence.
- The Independence Hall and Congress Hall immortalize the birthplace of the U.S. Constitution. The guided tour led by National Park rangers takes you through the courtroom where lawyers made arguments from opposing camps, the Assembly Room where you’ll find George Washington’s “rising sun” chair, and the West Wing, where the original inkstand used to sign the Declaration of Independence still sits on display. Also on display is an original draft of the constitution.
- The ever-popular Founding Fathers in Signers’ Hall with life-size bronze statues of the 42 men who signed the U.S. Constitution.
- The Betsy Ross House, where an actor playing Betsy tells you all about making the first American flag in her humble home.
- The President’s house, which is the site of the first two U.S. Presidents, tells the story about the enslaved African Americans who lived and worked there.
- The Museum of the American Revolution contains in its 118,000 square feet, extensive collections of artifacts from the Revolutionary War. Some of these include art collections, manuscripts, personal diaries, and the weapons used in battle. The museum is organized chronologically to walk you from the start of the conflict to our nation’s creation.
- The Benjamin Franklin Museum, with exhibitions and personal artifacts, showcasing Franklin’s personal and public life.
- The African American Museum, which highlights through a series of interactive presentations, the stories of legendary African Americans like Richard Allen and Harriet Tubman.
Industrial Revolution Heritage Site: Thomas Edison National Park, NJ
This site includes the home and laboratory of the great American inventor, Thomas Edison. The lab which he used for 44 was the birthplace of over 1000 patents and has been kept in its original condition. Since the inventions and artifacts are plentiful, the exhibits are rotated periodically. Examples include the Edison disc phonograph, the Ediphone (a sound recorder), the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery, electrical generators, a replica of the Black Maria (the first motion picture studio), and a line of household appliances.
His 29-room Victorian mansion—known as Glenmont—where he lived with his wife Mina Edison, is also open for tours on select days. It features original furnishings and family items while the grounds showcase gardens, greenhouses, and the garage containing the family’s automobiles.
Historic Town: Historic Richmond Town, NYC
For a more experiential feel of what life was like in previous centuries, head to the Historic Richmond Town, showcasing the last three centuries of NYC’s past.
Visit the town in spring or summer and you will discover over 30 original structures, spanning the late 17th to early 20th centuries. Among them include residential homes, civic, and commercial buildings. Period re-enactors bring the town to life as they work in the farmhouses and shops. The County Clerk’s and Surrogate’s Offices were converted into a traditional museum. You’ll also see the Decker Farm and the 1864 Judge Jacob Tysen House. Together, the town holds over 130,000 historical artifacts and exhibits.
Without sounding dramatic, experiencing art can be life-altering. Thankfully, there’s always an exciting presentation to enjoy for the 55 plus. In Ocean County and NJ environs, you have easy access to the creations of brilliant minds in the industry.
NYC Art Museums and Art Galleries
We can’t talk about art galleries and not mention New York City and its big three: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. These galleries and museums are super popular and usually have special exhibitions on display, so you can always see something new when you visit.
On the other hand, if you want to avoid the lines, we’d like to recommend an alternative: The Frick Collection. This intimate museum in the Upper East Side features the collections of Renaissance masters like Goya and Rembrandt. The Frick also hosts classical music concerts.
The Noyes Arts Garage, Atlantic City
Closer to home, the Noyes Arts Garage in Atlantic City features contemporary painting, photography and mixed media. You can also catch artists while they work in the studio. The garage hosts open-mic events and poetry evenings with live music, wine tasting and snacks every second Friday.
Make Your Own Art at Color Me Mine
If you would like to try your hand at making your own art, NJ is surrounded with art centers inviting you to come and create regardless of your age or art experience. Attend as an individual, or make it a group event and spend 2-3 hours as your artistic alter ego.
Color Me Mine is a pottery painting studio and has a few venues in New Jersey, so feel free to pick the nearest one. They typically don’t require you to make an appointment, unless you’re attending as a large group. You start by choosing one from over 600 bisque pieces. Then choose your colors, brushes, paints, and tools. You design your piece to your heart’s content and, once complete, they’ll glaze and fire it in the kiln for that glossy finish. You can pick up your creation 7 days later. They also host adult Canvas painting classes.
Another opportunity to make your own art, The Glassworks Studio offers glass fusing projects of different shapes and sizes. You can create coasters, jewelry boxes, dishes, picture frames, and serving platters. A staff member will guide you, but the design is completely up to your imagination. They’ll fire your piece after you finish and you can collect your beautiful creation after a week.
Nature on Display: New Jersey Botanical Gardens
If you prefer to get outside and interact with the plant world, the New Jersey Botanical Gardens offers a beautiful display of nature and landscaping design. On a pleasant weekend, take a tour through the extensive paths of the 96-acre botanical gardens. You will spot exciting plant species from around the world that are a delight to behold. You could join the free 45 min guided tour on Sunday afternoons which take care to highlight the specialty gardens that are in full bloom. There are gardens for peonies, lilacs, rhododendrons, wildflowers, crab apple, and more. The garden is open every day for most of the year but will close when there’s extreme weather.
Nature on Display: Philadelphia Zoo
It’s always fun to see animals from around the world and marvel at the diversity of the planet. The Philadelphia Zoo is likely the most beautiful in the country thanks to the 42-acre Victorian garden with animal sculptures and tree-lined paths that adorn it.
The first charted zoo in the U.S., it’s home to more than 1300 animals including lions, giraffes, reptiles, birds, butterflies, and numerous other species.
Why Cultural Day Trips?
A cultural day trip is an excellent opportunity to escape your immediate environment or routines and explore new ones altogether. You can marvel at the creativity of humans, learn something new about our history and enjoy a day out of your normal routine. Let yourself be inspired by an artist or learn new information that might come in handy on your next trivia night or when tackling a crossword puzzle. It’s also been said that the feeling of puzzlement and wonder that art pieces invoke can work wonders for a person’s mind and emotional health. Finally, your new experiences give you something to talk about, making for interesting conversations at dinner parties and other social settings.
If you are 55 plus in Ocean County, NJ, there are quite a few sensational jaunts to experience. Barnegat 67 is blessed to be in the center of so many great opportunities!