Arms folded across her chest, the young girl rides a spouting cascade of water through the pitch-black tube, squealing with each twist and turn afforded by the snaking confines. Just as it seems as though the darkness will never lift, sunlight pours onto her face as she is spit out into a crystal-blue pool below. This high-adrenaline ride is the reward for being brave enough to tackle the Midnight Run, one of Splash Zone’s numerous waterslides. Other rides include their newest attraction, the FlowRider, which combines surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding with a continuous wave formed by a thin sheet of water for a new sport available for all ages.
Nestled in the heart of Wildwood, the aquatic adventureland evokes whoops and squeals from visitors of all ages with more than 16 splash-laden activities. The gentle ebb of Rivy’s River carries inner-tubing guests along at a relaxed pace, and the interactive water playground in Giggle Bay ensures that the young adventurers remain hydrated thanks to a constantly tipping bucket filled with 1,000 gallons of water. As aquanauts explore the waters, Splash Zone’s crew of certified lifeguards and sunglass-clad Saint Bernards remain on hand to ensure safety, and an onsite first-aid station offers remedies for a variety of ailments. Along with watery pastimes, Splash Zone offers sunbathing areas to facilitate leisurely tanning, and the Zone Grill where chefs forge fire-licked eats for hungry guests.
The United States Marine Corps' AV-8B Harrier defies all logic. Is it a jet? Is it a helicopter? In truth, it's a bit of both. The aircraft and all 22,000 of its pounds can take off vertically and hover in one place?but once it moves, the harrier blasts forward at near-supersonic speeds, making it almost fast enough to outrun the chorus of "Danger Zone."
That impressive display of aeronautical engineering is just one of the attractions at the OC Air Show, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which soar through the sky in complex formations while the U.S. Navy Seals Leap Frogs leave the aircraft entirely and parachute down through the sky. Pilot Greg Connell turns flight into dance within the cockpit of his Pitts Model 12?an aerobatic biplane perfect for executing loops.
While there's no charge for looking towards the clouds, the OC Air Show does offer some premium viewing areas. The Drop Zone adds food and drink, professional narration of the show, and sight-lines right into the center of the action. Sixty-four lucky people also get to watch from a raised VIP Skybox, while even more can go right out onto the water to see fish peek out from the surface, longing for the day they'll learn to fly.
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) currently preserves and oversees acres of land containing Cape May's most notable Victorian-era landmarks, relying on a staff of 160 and nearly twice as many volunteers. At its inception, though, MAC existed purely as a volunteer effort. Passionate people came together with a simple mission: preserve area history. The founding members first joined forces to rescue the Emlen Physick Estate mansion?built in 1879?from demolition. Successfully fending off the bulldozers, they went so far as to restore it through volunteer man-hours alone.
Having preserved the mansion, the MAC crew decided to transform their volunteer-only organization into a staffed outfit. The new, full-time staff members did more than just run the mansion site; they set their sights, quite literally, higher. They restored the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse, a towering landmark that had been closed to the public for almost 50 years. They also undertook the restoration, repair, and oversight of Fire Control Tower No. 23, the last uncompromised lookout tower erected during World War II. They now oversee all sites, maintaining over 100 of years of history, which is presented through tours, events, and chats with talkative ghosts.