Quick trips: New Jersey

Fun activities don’t require fist pumping.

At one point or another, New Jersey natives’ fists tire of pumping. When this happens, they are forced to put away their Ed Hardy T-shirts, leave Seaside Heights, N.J., and find something else to do in the area. Indeed, there is life beyond the Jersey Shore.

One place to go is to Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park, where visitors can celebrate summer all year long. Located in West Berlin, N.J., only 18.5 miles from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the park offers all the attractions of an outdoor water park in a climate-controlled facility. Even if it continues to snow until May in Philadelphia, the slides at Sahara Sam’s will be running.

Courtesy Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park The world’s largest ropes course is at Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park, located in West Berlin, N.J.

Park attractions include a lazy river, a family-sized raft ride, a surf simulator and a brand new ropes adventure climbing course. Tickets cost $29.95 for full-day admission, or $21 on Saturdays after 4:30 p.m. or Sundays after 3:30 p.m.

“My favorite part was the surf simulator,” said Rayna Kratchman, a sophomore kinesiology major. “I busted my butt a few times on it. It made me feel ageless. The park was also very clean and wasn’t too crowded which was nice.”

If a few beautiful spring days do make their way to New Jersey, a lot of outdoor activities are also available. Wharton State Forest stretches across Atlantic, Burlington and Camden counties and boasts 50 miles of hiking trails, as well as four rivers for canoeing.

“People really like to ride horses on our trails,” Jeanne Ford, an employee at Wharton State Forest said. “Traveling down the trails on four-wheel-drives is also a really popular activity.”

For the true outdoorsman, campsites are available for only $20 – ideal for a group of college students looking to travel without having to forgo food for a week. For campers who are not quite ready to spend the night sleeping on the ground, four-person cabins, complete with a bathroom and fireplace can be rented for $45 a night.

When the sun finally sets for the day, the Delsea Drive-In Theatre is a good alternative to clubbing at Karma. It is New Jersey’s only drive-in movie theater and sells double-feature tickets for $8 per person.

Delsea Drive-In also offers a dining experience as special as its viewing atmosphere. Far from the average popcorn and pretzel bites, the drive-in has an eclectic menu of shrimp kabobs, stir-fry asparagus, eggplant Parmesan, pierogies, pork eggrolls, pulled pork sandwiches and funnel cake.

Once all these New Jersey attractions have been visited, it might be OK to head back to the shore.

Amy Stansbury can be reached at amy.stansbury@temple.edu.

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