We go to Sandy Hook often, and several times we have done the tour of the light house. In fact, we have been there since our visit in 2017, and it is still as lovely, and educational as ever.
(2017) At first we had a class with a homeschool group to the Marsh and Ocean Environments Program (it is a full day program, and if you want more information, you can click HERE.) The program was all day. First we met in Fort Hancock, by the area next to the Lighthouse. The kids listened to a short lecture before heading to the beach to explore. During the lecture we met this amazing Killdeer mama bird:
A wonderful and knowledgeable ranger stopped by and told us about Killdeer. It was really great. The bird had an area sectioned off where she could safely hatch her eggs.
Here is a photo by where we met the group. It is a very interesting place to explore with friends.
The kids explored the beach after the lecture. It was an unusually hot day for spring, the beach was a welcome relief. As always the beach was a lot of fun:
During lunch we got a bit of rest and decided to go and explore the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. The tours are free, and occur every half an hour from 1 to 4:30 pm, on a first come first serve basis. When we got there the tour was just starting, and there was just enough room for us on the sign up sheet. We waited 10 minutes by the base of the lighthouse, made sure that my little one is over the needed height (don’t quote me on this, but I think it was 56 inches) to go up into the lighthouse.
While waiting for the tour, we got to rested a bit, and explored the grounds the lighthouse is on. While there, we visited their lovely souvenir shop and the little museum area on the first floor.
The wait was over quickly, and a very nice and funny park Ranger met us. She escorted us inside the lighthouse, and shared some of the wonderful history of the lighthouse. The first floor of the lighthouse felt very cool and welcome on a hot summer day.
We went up the spiral staircase, it didn’t have too many steps, and we had fun climbing all the way up.
There were some amazing views from the windows as we walked up. There were several landings, where we could, well, land, and talk more about the history and construction of the lighthouse.
When we got to the very top, we walked into the light room and saw the fantastic light that stays lit all the time. We found out that Sandy Hook is the oldest commissioned lighthouse in the USA. It was build in 1764. How amazing is it to be able to stand in a pre-revolutionary building, just think about how much this lighthouse has seen.
We got to see the views all around Sandy Hook Peninsula. Be warned, it gets hot as you go up. During our visit the observation deck was closed for repairs. I hope that on our next visit, it will re-open.
After the tour, we got to see Sandy Hook Mortar Battery. It is the last pit open to the public, and I found it fascinating. So did the boys, I think. It really gives you a different perspective. I love this National Park, and look forward to visiting it again and again.
I really enjoyed our visit to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. It served as yet another reminder for me as to how lucky we are to live in a place with so much access to history, fun, education, nature, and so much more!!!
You can find more information about Sandy Hook HERE.