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See the Stars on a Rainy Day

A full week of rain and occasional thunder storms got us thinking: Everywhere, the grass is growing greener, not just on the other side. Plus there are a lot of cool things to do on a rainy day. This week, we dug a little deeper to find the following nuggets:

Try taking the family to the Bugseum of New Jersey: Insectropolis in Toms River – their thousands of unique and creative displays feature exotic insects from all over the world! Get an up-close-and-personal view of busy bees in a hive, while kids crawl through a mock-mud tube like termites. A trip to Insectropolis isn’t complete without touching a bug, of course – kids can safely touch tarantulas, scorpions, millipedes, and hissing cockroaches. Price: $7 per visitor, children under 2 are free.

If you’re not an insect person, try instead taking a trip to Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant, or (if you’re up for a longer drive), Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May. Jenkinson’s is home to the kid’s “petting zoo,” seals, penguins, sharks, and more. Be sure to check out the feeding schedule for the animals so you can get an extra bit of excitement! The Cape May Zoo, meanwhile, has animals from lions to tigers to giraffes, roaming in a huge expanse of land in Cape May County. Price: Jenkinson’s: $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and children 3-12, children under 3 are free. Cape May Zoo: free admission.

For people interested in space, the Robert J. Novins Planetarium at Ocean County College makes a fascinating day trip. Their public shows are run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and include the following: Dawn of the Space Age (recounting the history of human space exploration, and taking a peek at a possible future – space tourism), Exploring the Spring Sky (look for constellations and other celestial highlights that are visible right from your backyard), and Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions (was the Moon landing a hoax? Can you tell your future by the stars? No and no). Price: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children under 12.

Also, try taking a look inside your local museums (instead of just driving by them and admiring the exteriors!). Museums can include anything from the Ocean County Historical Society to even the Barnegat Lighthouse. The New Jersey Maritime Museum, in Beach Haven, has an extensive collection of New Jersey shipwreck data – from artifacts to rare books and documents. It even has a lending library inside! Price: free admission for both.

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