When Frank Wheaton Jr. first visited the Corning Museum of Glass in the early 1960s, it caught his ire. On display were many marvelous works of glass?treasures forged of sand, wood, soda ash, and silica that represented the dawning of the American glass industry. Frank's problem? Those shiny, fragile masterpieces were being exhibited in New York and not where they were birthed: New Jersey.
As the grandson of glass magnate Dr. Theodore Corson Wheaton?whose glass pharmaceutical bottles were instrumental in giving rise to the Millville glass monarchy of the Wheaton company?Frank claimed his birthright and created Wheaton Village now known as Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. The organization has a mission to engage artists and audiences in an evolving exploration of creativity, and has appealed to audiences of all ages for over four decades with its diverse traditional and contemporary arts programs, classes, workshops and exhibitions. Also on-site is The Museum of American Glass, housing one of the most comprehensive collections of American glass in the country, from the first glass bottles made in America, to celebrated works by Dale Chihuly and other contemporary artists who work with glass. Visitors can also experience the art of glassmaking, ceramics and flameworking in the Artists Studios, and the museum stores offer traditional and contemporary art in a variety of mediums.
Imagine a lifestyle in which you park a Ferrari at a private boat slip, slide onto a custom yacht, and ferry it across a waterway to a private island hosting a 20-room mansion modeled after an Italian villa. Though this may sound like a dream only attainable by the mega rich or an heir to a chocolate-fountain fortune, Imagine Lifestyles facilitates such lavish accommodations with a cavalry of luxury vehicles, vacation homes, and yacht charters. They specialize in auto rentals, entrusting cars from brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, and BMW to drivers for as short as a half day or as long as several weeks. To shield these pristine and rare rides from the elements, they also deal in luxury vacation home rentals, ranging from beach mansions in Miami to chic lofts and high-rise penthouses. The service also charters air and sea transportation, including jets of all sizes and yachts for all occasions.
At Cedar Creek Sporting Clays, sharpshooters take aim at clay pigeons that launch in unpredictable patterns and angles from 16 automated stations. As gunslingers take in the range's 75 acres of verdant pineland, a member of Cedar Creek's trained staff guides them through the critical precepts of firearm safety and usage before ushering gun-toting groups out to the first station to field any practical questions about the course. Deadeyes peer over the rifle's barrel, marking and shattering discs that launch in variable sequences like milk saucers hurled by enraged housecats. Two different cages accommodate the ambitions of casual shooters as well as tournament-ready gunslingers. Visitors hunting for comprehensive muzzle mastery can learn directly from owner and NSCA-certified instructor Joseph P. Scull, Sr., whose individualized lessons target proper stance, eye dominance, and catchphrase timing.
At High Performance Driving School, students unlearn everything they ever knew about speed limits. When they strap on a driver’s helmet or zip into a racing suit, they’re preparing to hit speedometer-shattering speeds by prodding the 170 horses saddled under the hoods of the official Volkswagen Jettas of the all-diesel, TDI Cup racing series. The Arrive & Ride experience plops students into the passenger seat to tear across the pavement with a professional driver. Other courses prep students with the safety and instruction necessary to plant backsides in an FIA-homologated race seat, grip the steering wheel, feather the accelerator, and feel the shudder of Pirelli racing tires as they slowly but surely carve runes into the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt track.
The High Performance Driving School staff is led by Ryan Arciero and Dennis McCormack, a pair possessing years of experience both behind the wheel and in the pit on racing teams. Dennis has been a crew chief, Indy Car team owner, and most recently, the program director for the TDI Cup. Ryan has continued his family’s 55-year legacy in motorsports by snatching titles in both lapped and off-road races, including the Score Baja series that snakes along Mexico’s Baja peninsula.
Ripe with competition, the atmosphere surrounding New Jersey Motorsports Park provides ample activities suited for South Jersey families. One part of the park is Battlegrounds Paintball?the facility's paintball fields that aim to not only give players a paintball game, but a unique paintball experience. Situated on 10 acres of land, adventurous souls aged 10 and older can partake in splattering game styles, ranging from capture-the-flag to organized scenarios.
At the other part of the park, a track pulses with the roar of engines, a siren's call to professional and amateur racers and the crowds that cheer them on. From spring through late fall, the track?s major events entice fans young and old and range from open-wheel racing to karting. With little to no experience, amateur drivers can arrive and drive with the track's F1 karting program, which sends similarly skilled drivers careening around the bends of a track that features six different configurations and 11 prime spots to throw a well-aimed koopa shell at the competition.
Operating since 1903, Beaver Dam Boat Rentals provides access to the quiet waters and plentiful wildlife of Oranokin Creek. Initially prized by the Lenape Indians for its abundance of crabs, the creek offers crabbing enthusiasts a chance to snag up to a bushel of prized blue claws. Staff can tow guests to one of the four salt ponds where the crabs are hiding and help lure them out with free subscriptions to People magazine. Beaver Dam will stop by throughout the day to tow boats to a more attractive location, and can provide all necessary supplies.
Sightseeers can also test out Oranokin Creek in an old-fashioned rowboat, or rent fiberglass boats ($50–$60) that hold five passengers or party boats that hold up to six ($70). Beaver Dam Boat Rentals also offers guided kayak tours suited to participants' experience and fitness levels, and operates a boat ramp for the start of duck-hunting season.:m]]