As soon as September rolls in and school starts up again, the crowds vacate the Southern New Jersey shore points, but don’t let the masses fool you! During what the locals call the “off season” – from Sept. through April – there are a plethora of fun activities to enjoy at the Jersey Shore for everyone. There are some particularly entertaining events and attractions in and around the City of Cape May, NJ.

Cape May, known for its grand Victorian houses, is home too many #NJSpots that are open year round like: the Cape May Brewery, Congress Hall (which is amazing during holiday season) and the Cape May Zoo. This City also hosts some fun events like their Annual Wine and Jazz Festivals in Oct and Nov, respectively. And of course they have some delicious restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. Oh, and I cannot forget to mention, many of the attractions here are free!

How to get there:

This City is located at the tip of Southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula.

The easiest way to travel to Cape May is by car. It is an easy drive down the Garden State Parkway. Travelers Tip: If you are coming from Philadelphia you can avoid tolls by taking root 55 South, to route 47 South, to Route 9 South all the way to Exit Zero.

Check Out Some of the NJspots in Cape May:

Exit Zero Jazz Festival

The Exit Zero Jazz Festival, which runs from Nov. 10-12th, welcomes a variety of talented local, national and international Jazz artists. Tickets can be purchased for the full festival or for single events. The festival is held in 9 different venues in Cape May, NJ the majority of which are all within walking distance of one another along the beachfront in Cape May.

Willow Creek Winery

Willow Creek is so much more than a winery! They host Pasta Sundays, Friday comedy shows, and a variety of one-off events like their “Pinot and Paws” event on Dec. 17th, Not only will you meet some animals at this event who are looking for their forever homes, but If you bring any non-perishable pet food item or unused pet toy with you and you will be eligible for a free sample of Willow Creek Winery’s newest release 2014 Pinot Noir. You will also be entered to win a private wine tasting for four (a $100 value). Check them out on Instagram @WillowCreekWinerynj:

Looking for the perfect wines for your Thanksgiving table? 🦃 Check out some of our winemaker’s best Thanksgiving pairings: 2015 Malvasia Bianca: This stainless steel-fermented, semi-dry white wine is the perfect white that is strong enough to stand up to both your dark and white meat. A beautiful nose, well-rounded acids and a truly fruit-filled dissipation on the palette. This beautiful varietal was made in a New World style, meaning it was aged for 10 months with multiple rackings and a rough filtering followed by two more fine filters. No clarifying agents added. Chambourcin: Our very first release of a 100% Chambourcin has a spiciness that makes pairing wonderfully to pumpkin pie or any harvest inspired dessert. This red has great fruit notes, beautiful color, and a tannin complexity that was too good to blend away. Just two barrels produced a mere 500 bottles for the planet. Apple Wine: Made from 100% New Jersey Apples, this crisp autumn classic is just begging to join your celebration. Secret recipe of 5 apples crushed together, fermented in stainless steel for 8 months, filtered and bottled. Cranberry Sangria: We all love cranberry sauce, and the tartness of our Wilde Cock cranberry sangria is perfect for standing up to a heavy Thanksgiving meal. Made from great wines, sweet fruit nectars and pure press juices. Served in a refillable moonshine growler. Our farm produces over 40 different sangrias year round which change about every 5 days. Be sure to bring your growler with you for each visit and fill up a bottle. Come visit us 11am-5pm today and 11am-3pm tomorrow for all of your Thanksgiving wine needs! 🍇🍷🍗 #thanksgiving #winesgiving #willowcreekwinerynj #capemaywinecountry #winepairing #winepairingdinner #capemaythanksgiving #love #friendship #givethanks #wine #sangria

A post shared by Willow Creek Farm & Winery (@willowcreekwinerynj) on

Cape May Zoo

Skip the crowds and the fee’s of the city zoo’s! Cape May’s non-profit zoo is FREE every day all year for adults and children and guess what – parking is also free! The Zoo will only accept donations to help keep their operations going. The Cape May zoo is located at 707 N. Rt. 9, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Click on this brochure for a rundown of what the Zoo offers: 2016 Zoo Brochure (2)

Cape May Brewing Company

This spot is for the craft beer lovers! Three local guys launched Cape May Brewing Company in 2011 with one goal in mind, to bring craft beers to the beach. Cape May Brewing Company is open every-day from 12-8pm. The brewery offers FREE guided and unguided tours of their brewing facilities. It is a dog friendly facility and if that isn’t enough to attract you to this brewery, they also offer tastings and seasonal brews like S’mores Honey Porter and Craft Apple Pie! Cheers! Check them out on Instagram @Capemaybrewco:

Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall

This is the oldest shore point resort in the United States and during the holidays it is also the prettiest! This resort decks their “Hall” for the holidays, with homemade gingerbread houses, life-size candy canes and beautifully strung lights that form a “winter wonderland” in their backyard that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Any spot on this downtown Victorian resort is great for photo opportunities with the family. Congress Hall also has 4 amazing restaurants (one of which offers breakfast with Santa in December). And it is only a few steps away from the The Washington Street Mall, which spans 3 blocks of Washington Ave. in Cape May’s downtown area.

Congress Hall Decked for the Holidays:

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