Come Explore the World of the Real Jersey Shore!
Experience the rich folklife traditions of the Jersey Shore and its Baymen with a visit to the Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum! Your group can spend a few hours, or the whole day, touring the Seaport’s replica and historic buildings, interactive exhibits, live aquatic displays, and so much more! A rotating array of demonstrators, including decoy carvers, blacksmiths, basket makers, fiber artists, boat builders and environmental specialists entertain, educate, and delight visitors of all ages and abilities.
You can also take in the views on the Tuckerton “Crik” as you stroll on the 3/4 mile boardwalk or identify birds and plants on our nature trail. However you decide to spend your time on site, you won’t be disappointed!
We offer both self-guided and guided onsite tours as well as outreach programs that bring the history, culture, and folklife traditions of the Barnegat Bay to your classroom, auditorium, or to your events. Contact us to customize your tour program today!
What should I see while at the Tuckerton Seaport?
Try the “Seaport Sampler” tour. The “Seaport Sampler” is a combination of featured spaces designed to introduce Seaport guests to the interdependence of environment, history, folklife traditions, and occupations in the Barnegat Bay and Pinelands.
Start with the “Life on the Edge” exhibit on the 3rd floor of the Visitor Center. The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve presents a short film and numerous hands-on, interactive exhibits to provide an overview of local natural environment and habitats.
Head down to the first floor of the Visitors Center to the view “Walk on the Wildside” where you “walk in the footsteps of those who came before you,” and learn how Baymen survived by working the cycle of the seasons. Also, say hello to our live horseshoe crabs and terrapin turtles while you enjoy the 4-habitat mural and native animal diorama displays.
After you leave the Visitors Center, stop by Perrine’s Boatworks to learn about the local workboats of the Barnegat Bay: garveys and sneakboxes.
Visit a master decoy carver in Jay Parker’s Carving Shed to learn all about the art of decoy carving and the tradition of duck hunting.
Last but not least, make sure to visit the Tucker’s Island Lighthouse to see what’s new in the two floors of galleries. Make sure to stop by the “Folklife is All Around You” and “Turn of the Century Tuckerton” before making your way upstairs to climb the 42 steps to the observation deck.
If you’d like to add on some additional “experiences” to your group visit, consider these activities:
- Seining ($6 – 60 minutes) – Learn what’s living in the bay with a hands-on trip out in the water, using skills handed down from the Lenape Indians. Guests might get wet; waders will be provided.
- Flattie Painting ($6 – 45 minutes) – Learn about Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs while you paint flat, wooden decoy shorebirds called “flatties” to take home.
- Fiber Arts: Felted Sheep Figures: ($6 – 30 minutes) Learn about the animals here at the Seaport and make tiny barnyard animals with wool from our very own Seaport sheep!
- Model Boat Building ($6 – 45 minutes) – Learn about the boats used in the Barnegat Bay area while you assemble and paint a model boat to take home.
That is just a small sample of what you can do during a visit to the Seaport. There are also many other historic replica buildings around the boardwalk, mini-golf, barnyard animals, a nature trail, and so much more! If all the great activities at the Seaport get you tired, stop by the Union Market & Gallery and pick up a snack, smoothie, or some artisanal coffee while you enjoy the beautiful views of Tuckerton Seaport grounds from their covered porch or courtyard.
Groups of ten (10) or more can schedule a guided group tour, led by our knowledgeable staff. Tours include docents to answer questions about our historic replica spaces and demonstrators displaying folk arts and presenting traditional Baymen and Pinelands occupations. Please contact Catherine McLearen (609-296-8868 ext. 122) with any questions or to schedule your tour today!
If you would prefer to register for a group tour online, please click here.
Don’t have a group of 10? No problem! Individuals and groups of less than ten (10) are always welcome to visit the Tuckerton Seaport anytime without an appointment.
The Tuckerton Seaport Floating Classroom
Join Tuckerton Seaport Staff, Historians, Artists, and Marine Science experts for a boat ride along the Tuckerton Creek to explore the intersection of art, history, and the environment in the Barnegat Bay. Our Floating Classroom program makes a great addition to group tours, or can function as the entire tour!
Click here to book your group tour and make reservations for a trip on the Tuckerton Seaport’s Floating Classroom.
Onboard, you will enjoy a hands-on adventure and learn all about folk art, clams and oysters, water quality, sustainable aquafarming, and much more! Your boat tour will address every layer of what makes the Barnegat Bay a unique south Jersey gem.
- You’ll learn about clamming and oystering on the Barnegat Bay.
- You’ll find out if the water in Tuckerton Creek and the Bay water is “healthy”, and what you can do to help keep it that way.
- You’ll take in the sights and sounds that inspire artists who created folk art from decoys, to quilts, to painting and drawing in Tuckerton and the surrounding area.
Prices: $14 per student
Reservations are required! Space is limited to groups between 20 and 80.
Dress for the weather and bring a jacket! It is best to dress in layers and wear sneakers. The wind can get chilly! The boat is partially covered to provide protection from light weather.
Life jackets are provided– and everyone is required to wear one.
Click here for reservations to ride on the Tuckerton Seaport’s Floating Classroom or for field trip information for teachers.
The Floating Classroom is made possible by with the generous support of grants from OceanFirst Bank, The Grapevine and Master Craft Discount Auto & Tire.
Plan your Floating Classroom field trip
The Floating Classroom Field Trip provides students with a real-world learning experience. Students will enjoy a boat tour on the Tuckerton Creek and then experience other areas of the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum.
Planning Your Field Trip
- Availability: Weekdays May–October.
- Length:Typically, boat tours are scheduled for groups with total attendees of between 20 and 80 people (students, staff, chaperones, etc.). A portion of the tour takes place on the boat and a portion in the historic replica buildings and galleries of the Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum site. Groups of more than 20 will be separated in to equal numbers, not to exceed 24 per boat tour. If your class is just interested in only the Floating Classroom, we can customize a tour and schedule to meet your needs.
- Capacity: The boat can carry 24 passengers (students and chaperones) per trip. We can accommodate up to 80 by running four (4) sections of each program in rotation. Multiple days can be arranged for larger groups.
- Cost:The cost of the Floating Classroom program is $14 per student. This includes the boat ride for up to 80 people and stops on the Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum site.
When and how to book: Please contact us directly by calling 609-296-8868 or register online here.
We care deeply about allowing as many students as possible a chance to participate in the Floating Classroom program. Bookings are limited and dates go quickly, so book your tours as early in the year as possible.
Cancellations within 24 hours of your trip are non-refundable.