The sign as you come off of Route 80 West at exit 12 says “2 miles and 200 years south”. Hope, NJ is the perfect day or overnight trip for anyone interested in small town antiquing, quaint eating spots and just a leisurely historical stroll. And unlike many similar spots, this town is great for kids too! In the beautiful Skylands Region of Newww.associatedcontent.com/article/144145/whats_good_about_new_jersey.htmlw Jersey Hope hosts the wonderful “Land of Make Believe”, a safe, affordable, family oriented amusement and water park. So, the kids can have fun, the parents have fun and it’s easy to get to, affordable and relaxing. Add to the mix a link with the filming of the movie “Friday the 13th” and you have something for everyone.
Hope really is 200 years old. Settled by the Morawww.associatedcontent.com/article/54343/moravian_cookies.htmlvians , a religious group that settled Hope as one of the oldest planned communities in the United States. The stone buildings from that area are in wonderful condition and beautiful to explore. Walking tours are available. With a population of less than 2000 people, Hope is friendly and relaxed. The town hosts many weekend events that keep the visitors coming and support the local businesses. It’s not at all unusual to drive through a find booths and tables around town showing and selling antiques, crafts and art. Businesses include The Village Café, a great lunch and diner location is known for its ravioli specials of the day. The Hope Chest is a lovely large shop full of gifts, candles, jewelry and antiques. For those interested in spending the night in Hope, there’s the Inn at Millrace Pond. The Inn includes an up scale restaurant and pub as well as rooms. This beautiful, peaceful town was ironically, also the filming location for much of the movie “Friday the 13th” was nearby Blairstown, NJ, another worthwhile road trip. So for those who spend the night in Hope, a walk through the Moravian Cemetery, where scenes from the movie were shot, can be a thrill for the teenagers in you family.
The Land of Make Believe is just les than a mile outside of the main town area. It’s open from Memorial Day through Labor Day and costs $21 for kids and $19 for adults. Parking is free and there’s a picnic areas, so you are not obligated to buy the park food. In fact, the park is not peanut free, so those of you with peanut allergies will want to pack lunch and take advantage of the picnic area. The hours of operation make it a favorite with parents. The park is open from 10am to 6pm, so there’s no need to argue with kids about getting there really early or staying really late. It’s a great day that ends while everyone is still in a good mood and then there’s plenty of time to stop for dinner afterwards. While the Land of Make Believe is particularly good for young children, the water park will keep the older kids and teens happy. Make sure you check out the website at www.lomb.com for rules and payment options as there are some peculiarities with this park. Be prepared to pay in cash, though they do have an ATM and accept Discover, they don’t take Visa or MasterCard. Land of Make Believe is also fairly strict with the bathing suit policy, so make sure you review the policy and dress appropriately. They won’t let you on the water rides in shorts, it’s an actual bathing suit or you can’t ride. Remember, it’s a smaller park and fibers from clothing can ruin there equipment, so the policy make some sense. Parents of older children may find that they can drop the kids at the park for the day and go back it to town themselves to enjoy the antique and craft shops, and a quite lunch.
If you’re more interested in the outdoors and camping, check out Jenny Juwww.njskylands.com/pkjennyj.htmmp Forrest just down the road a mile outside of Hope. Jenny Jump has hiking trails with beautiful views of this Skylands region of New Jersey. If you book well in advance, you can secure a cabin and spend the night in the park. Make sure you read about the bear policies. The drive up to the park from Hope takes you right past an actual alwww.associatedcontent.com/article/170173/raising_alpacas.html,paca farm a treat for the kids and adults to see. Jenny Jump is host to the Astronomy Club of New Jersey and the observatory is open for stargazing.
Hope, New Jersey is an easy ride off of Route 80. Off of exit twelve, it really is just 2 miles south. While Hope is also 200 years old, there’s plenty to do and see for today’s families, couples and single.