A Beach Haven vacation rental lands you right in the middle of classic Long Beach Island sea, sand, sun, and fun. Home to amusement parks, shops, entertainment, arts, and restaurants, Beach Haven offers a variety of kid-friendly activities. To help you stage a legendary family vacation, here’s a list of the 11 best things to do with kids in Beach Haven.

1. Scamper to the Amusement Park

Your Beach Haven vacation rental puts you close to two amusement parks that sit within a block of each other. Thundering Surf Water Park is home to multiple water slides and a wave pool where you can ride boogie boards or stand-up flowboards. The nearby Fantasy Island Amusement Park includes a teacup and saucer ride, Ferris wheel, and other amusement park rides, and serves up tasty finger foods, funnel cakes, and ice cream.

2. Hitch a Ride on a Parasail

Head to LBI Parasail for a thrilling a parasail ride over the Atlantic Ocean. Harness up for single, tandem, or triple flights, and have the kids ride with you or with each other. The crew gently reels you off the flight deck with a hydraulic system and then reels you back in the same way when your flight’s over. You can opt to stay dry or enjoy a gentle dip in the water before ending your flight. While on the boat or aloft, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life.

3. Picnic in Manahawkin Lake Park

Just across Manahawkin Bay, Beach Haven West features the lovely Manahawkin Lake Park, where your family can swim, fish, and kayak in the lake before enjoying a picnic lunch. The park includes picnic tables and grills under a stand of pine trees for outdoor eating. Take younger kids to the park’s playground. If your family craves watersports action, rent a waverunner from Route 72 Waverunner and Kayak.

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4. Rent a Boat

Several fishing charters, including Beach Haven Fishing Charters, can take your family fishing out in the Atlantic or in one of the bays. The charter company supplies all necessary fishing gear, bait, and life jackets. If you’d prefer to take the helm yourself, you can rent boats, skiffs, or pontoons at Causeway Boat Rentals on Bonnet Island, between Long Beach Island and West Long Beach. Rentals include seat cushions, life jackets, fuel, and crabbing scoop nets.

5. Climb a Lighthouse

The Barnegat Lighthouse stands in Barnegat Lighthouse State Park at the northern end of Long Beach Island. Climb the lighthouse with the kids during the daytime or on clear nights. The park includes a skate park, a dog park, tennis courts, and picnic facilities.

6. Explore New Jersey Maritime Museum

A trip to the New Jersey Maritime Museum makes a great indoor activity on rainy days. It’s home to hundreds of artifacts intended to encourage research and promote public awareness of New Jersey’s maritime historical significance. For some lighter entertainment, the Surflight Theatre gives you the chance to introduce your children to live stage productions, such as “Cinderella” or “Peter Pan.”

7. Rent Some Bikes

To enjoy the beautiful weather and get a little exercise, leave your car at your vacation rental and rent bicycles for the entire family. Beach Haven’s dedicated bike lanes make biking safe and easy. Surf Buggy Bike Shop rents bikes and buggies, which you can stash in the garage of your Beach Haven vacation rental between uses.

8. Take a Day-Trip to Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township is about 65 miles northwest of Beach Haven, making it a good day-trip destination. The 42-acre sculpture park and museum specializes in the huge and the unusual, and includes more than 240 life-size human figures grouped together and displayed individually throughout the park. Some are hidden in the contours of the landscape to be discovered by visitors. The sculptures are made of wood, plastic, metal, stone, and other materials. The stunning property includes rose bushes, trees, flowers, and shrubbery.

9. Join a Pirate Cruise

Take the kids on Captain Salty’s pirate cruise aboard the Black Pearl, and watch the crew help your little ones get tattoos and dress up as pirates. As the adventure gets underway, the little mates learn to talk like pirates, sing, and dance. They then help wage a fierce water cannon battle against Pirate Pete to reclaim the keys to the treasure chest. Everyone celebrates by drinking grog and sharing the treasure. It’s so much fun that when you return to your Beach Haven vacation rental, the kids may talk like pirates in their sleep.

10. Gather Seashells and Go for a Sail

Find a good spot on the beach and help the kids gather seashells to take home as lasting reminders of your vacation. If the kids want to try sailing instead of shelling, Brant Beach Yacht Club offers opportunities for everyone, from complete beginners to experienced experts.

11. Learn to Surf

Teach your kids how to hit the waves with help from LBI Surf Guru instructors. They teach beginners how to surf in the gentle waves of the Atlantic, moving to bigger ways if and when learners are ready. For members of the family who already know how to handle surfing and windsurfing, Island Surf and Sail offers the surfboards, sails, masts, and accessories you need for your wet and wild adventure on the water.

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