Pros: family oriented, Easter sale, safe feeling, week night activities
Cons: can get expensive, weekends can be crowded
Fun in the Sun and after dark!
The Jersey Shore is full of summertime attractions. The Point Pleasant Beach is home to Jenkinsons Beach, boardwalk, aquarium, and more. The area is a family focused place for summer fun and offers many activities for young children and adults alike.
THE BEACH- Jenkinsons is a clean, public beach with plenty of restrooms and changing areas. Lifeguards are on duty until dusk each day from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Considering the volume of people visiting each day during the season, I find the restrooms to be reasonably clean.
THE BOARDWALK- The Point Pleasant Boardwalk boasts many traditional boardwalk attractions including arcades, carnival games, eateries, souvenir shops, and a ride pavilion. It also features an aquarium which will be discussed separately.
Games and Arcades- These areas feature your standard video games, ski-ball, air hockey, slot machines, grabbing machines etc. Arcade games are played for tickets that can later be redeemed for prizes. One nice thing about Jenkinsons is that they have a large variety of novelty prizes for children that dont require a lot of tickets. Outside games include spinning wheels, water gun shoots and other typical carnival games. These can get quite expensive very quickly!
Eateries- Jenkinsons offers a large variety of food options. Ice Cream stands, candy shops, pizzerias, hot dog and french fry stands line the boardwalk. Of course you can also purchase hot pretzels, cotton candy, zeppoles, and other summertime treats. Food can be purchased at outdoor stands as well as in an air-conditioned food court. There is also a variety of sit-down restaurants on the boardwalk that offer a wide range of food from burgers to seafood but they are not part of our typical trips to the beach so I cant really comment on quality of the establishments. Although the prices range considerably for food among boardwalk establishments be prepared to pay event prices for your meals and beverages. (You can also pack a picnic which what we usually do)
Rides- It is the ride pavilion at Jenkinsons that has me choosing Point Pleasant as my Jersey Shore destination many times throughout the summer months. There are lots of choices for young children including pony carts, boats, airplanes, and fire engines. These rides are for small children to ride independently. Other rides including flying elephants, a train, and a carrousel, allow adults to ride with their young children. Teens can enjoy some spinning rides and a small roller coaster but this is not a park for thrill seekers. Two great advantages to the rides at Point Pleasant are that the tickets do not expire and can be used from year to year. Each Easter weekend, Jenkinsons does a ticket sale where two books can be purchased for the price of one. I usually split the cost with a friend. Easter tickets can be purchased both in person and online. The shipping cost is a bit high but still well worth it.
Although it can not compete with large aquariums such as the NJ State Aquarium, the Aquarium at Jenkinsons has a surprising amount to see and do. The admission is a bit high but there are free childrens admission coupons included with a book of ride tickets. My children can happily spend about 90 minutes enjoying the seals, penguins, alligators, the macaws and the other various sea life. The small aquarium has a safe feeling and the staff is always helpful and willing to answer any questions. They are open year round and less crowded during the winter months. They also have various programs throughout the year including mommy and me craft activities for preschoolers, a Halloween event, and a private room for birthday parties. Although it is not my favorite attraction for the price, Jenkinsons aquarium is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon with my children.
Summer Week nights:
Week nights in the summer are a great time to visit Jenkinsons. If you arrive before dusk parking is usually available on the nearby streets. There is a family event most nights of the week.
Mondays- Childrens concerts on the Beach
Other evenings include wristband night at the rides pavilion and family movie night on the beach. These events (not wristband night) are free of charge and can really be a fun family night out.
The other reason I highly recommend visiting Jenkinsons is the safe family atmosphere that is provided. There is a police and first aid station located right on the boardwalk. I love the fact that I can feel safe returning to my car at night after meeting up with friends on the boardwalk. I can push my double stroller with my children happily snoozing and not feel completely vulnerable walking the few blocks to where I have probably parked my car.