Thursday, June 28, 2018

What's Great About New Jersey? (Our Great States) Paperback – August 1, 2015 by Mary Meinking (Lernerclassroom)

New Jersey is an awesome state to visit, but when most people think about it they just might be thinking about the fun they could have in Ocean City. True, but there are so many other things to do in New Jersey. There are all kinds of great guidebooks, but just what are the top ten sites to see or do in the Garden State? Yes, you can check out that shoreline, but did you ever think that people head to New Jersey to visit a "gigantic forest?" They sure do, but there are other things people flock to see in the Garden State.


► Ocean City: If you love digging your toes in the sand you'll obviously want to check out Ocean City and New Jersey's coastline, all 127 miles of it. The city has lots of fun to offer including a couple of fabulous amusement parks. Can you imagine 2.5 miles fun on a boardwalk? Get ready for some fun in Ocean City!

► Pinelands National Reserve: This amazing reserve "covers 22 percent of the state." If you're into outdoor sports there are plenty to choose from. If you're into history, you can visit Batsto and "visit the General Store to see what Early Americans bought." If bluegrass is your passion, the Pine Barren's Jamboree could be your destination!

► Adventure Aquarium: did you ever think you'd meet the acquaintance of a couple of hippos in an aquarium? You certainly can. Button and Genny just might "swim past you in Hippo Haven." Of course if you like sea critters, including sharks, you'll find them there as well.

► Battleship 'New Jersey:' World War II buffs will be sure to head to Camden to "tour the almost 887-foot (270m) ship." Now that's a lot of ship to tour. If you can't get enough, you can actually stay overnight and learn what it takes to be a real sailor.

► Tube Down the Delaware River: Lots of people have discovered just how much fun tubing can be. The Delaware River is a perfect place to tube. If you like a fast-paced adventure, you can "rent a canoe, a raft, or a kayak." Don't forget to stop midway for lunch at the Famous River Hot Dog Man!

► Thomas Edison National Historical Park: If you prefer adventure in a scientific lab, West Orange might be your destination of choice. Thomas Edison's expansive laboratory is there, all three floors of it. There's the Laboratory Complex, Edison's Library, his Chemistry Lab and more!

► Barnegat Lighthouse State Park: Lots of people love lighthouses and even collect them but they are much more fun to actually visit. On Long Beach Island you can "climb the 217 steps to the top of this 174-foot tall 52 m) tower." It's a great place to learn about lighthouses.

► Insectropolis: If you are a huge fan of spiders and snakes, you'll just have to head to Toms River to visit the Insectropolis. There are bugs galore, including not-so-nice ones, to check out. You can even get a chance to "touch or hold a tarantula, a scorpion, a millipede, or a cockroach." Can you do it? Eeeeeww!

► Mammouth Battlefield State Park: if you love history and want to check out "where one of the largest Revolutionary War battles took place," Mammouth Battlefield State Park will beckon you. June is when you'll be able to watch battlefield reenactments and perhaps practice with a musket. There's nothing quite like watching a cannon fire!

► Historic Cold Spring Village: Are you into a bit of time travel? Historic Cold Spring Village near Cape May is like stepping back into the past. There are a whopping "twenty-six remodeled historic buildings" to visit. You can even take a ride in a "horse-drawn carriage." How good can it get?

This is a fun, dynamic book of the "top ten sites to see or things to do" in New Jersey kids will love. I was not expecting a best sites travel guide, but rather one that was historical in nature. Yes, there's lots of history in the book, but similar to Fodor's, Lonely Planet, or Frommer's, this is one in the "Our Great States" series that is kid-friendly and fun. Yes, many of these places would probably be in these travel guides, but not a just-for-kids-only overview.

The layout is colorful and action-oriented with full-color photographs, a couple of maps, and numerous informative sidebars. For example, we read a fascinating vignette about why New Jersey is known as the Garden State. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, a section with New Jersey facts and additional recommended book and website resources to explore. Additional downloadable complementary resources can be accessed on the publisher's website.

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