Atlantic Highlands, NJ
We did it! We finally did it! We went for a tour of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse!
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. There was a short lecture before the kids headed to the beach to explore.
Please note, while there is still a lot to explore, the most recent announcement states that Sandy Hook Lighthouse is closed for renovation until further notice! More info here. During the lecture we met this amazing Killdeer mama bird:
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 a super hot day, and soon they got really tired. 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. We got there right on time, 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.
We got plenty of rest while we waited for the tour, plus the Lighthouse is so much fun to explore on the ground around it. While there, we visited their lovely souvenir shop and the little museum area on the first floor.
When the tour began we were escorted into the inside of the lighthouse by a very nice and funny Ranger, who told us about the lighthouse history and more fun facts. The first floor of the lighthouse felt very cool and welcome on a hot summer day.
We went up the spiral staircase. It was not too many steps, but being a spiral staircase it was treacherous, and we had to be careful walking on it.
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. The ranger mentioned 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. Also, the observation deck was closed for repairs, and I can’t wait to go when it is 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.