Next Exit Shore Guide (week of May 9-15)

 The Yellow-breasted Chat is one of the more challenging birds to spot for those involved in the World Series of Birding. (AP Photo/New Jersey Audubon Society, Robert Lego)

The Yellow-breasted Chat is one of the more challenging birds to spot for those involved in the World Series of Birding. (AP Photo/New Jersey Audubon Society, Robert Lego)

In the second week of May, all thoughts tend to involve Mom. If you’re from New Jersey or the Philadelphia region, chances are some of those include special memories of times spent Down the Shore.

It could be waking up at dawn to collect seashells together, the time she let you win at miniature golf, or the gentle way only she could soothe your sunburnt shoulders with salve.

Maybe it’s just one of the many under appreciated behind-the-scenes parenting moments – like how she had the car already packed and ready to go the night before vacation or the first time she shelved her fears to let you hang out alone on the boardwalk at night so you could go hear the Pagan Babies play at Mountain Magic.

You can always celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers and brunch (again) or perhaps, instead, plan a day or weekend at the beach making new memories with the woman who gave you life.

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Plenty of shore-goers draw hearts in the sand for their sweeties, but why not draw one for your very first love? Or build her the castle of her dreams (the one you’d surely build if you won big at the casinos) in the sand?

Mother’s Day weekend events

If Mom likes to get her groove on, Atlantic City is putting on a concert in her honor. The 6th Annual Mother’s Day Music Festival will feature the R&B and soul sounds of “Uncle Charlie” Wilson, Gladys Knight and Heads of State. Tickets start at $45. Saturday, May 10, 7 p.m. – Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J.

Moms who like the thrill of a boardwalk ride will find free admission at the boardwalk and aquarium in Pt. Pleasant Beach. Down in Wildwood, Mom can ride for free on Mariner’s Landing amusements at Morey’s Pier from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cape May County boasts several of shore region wineries and is the place to go to take advantage of the specials being offered as part of the state-wide Mother’s Day Wine Trail.

Natali Vineyards in Cape May Courthouse will offer free tours of their vineyard and barrel rooms as well as a $10 tasting of five wines paired with homemade chocolates. All mothers will receive fresh cut flowers. Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11, 12- 5 p.m. – 221 N. Delsea Dr., Cape May Courthouse, N.J.

Jessie Creek Winery will serve up a Mother’s Day brunch and all Moms will receive a rose and complimentary tastings. Sunday, May 11, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – 1 N. Delsea Dr., Cape May Courthouse, N.J.

Hawk Haven Vineyards in Rio Grande will be offering a special free admission for Mom at their tasting bar on Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11 from noon to 5 p.m. However, Moms needn’t come with their children. Hawk Haven will accept as proof of motherhood a photo of offspring of any age. 600 S. Railroad Ave., Rio Grande, N.J.

Cape May Winery & Vineyard in Cape May will be open for tours on Mother’s Day and offers complimentary tastings for Mom (tours cost $20 per person). Sunday, May 11, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. – 711 Townbank Road, Cape May, N.J.

Wine and spirits fest

A wine trail isn’t the only place to imbibe this weekend. Avalon will host its annual Wine and Spirits Festival on Friday night.

Besides the more than 200 wines and flavored vodkas to be sampled, there will also be a new Scotch, whiskey and bourbon tasting component. Seven Mile Island’s restaurants will provide the appetizers and local businesses will offer up items for the fest’s silent auction. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Friday, May 9, 6:30-9 p.m. – Avalon Community Hall, 30th St. and Avalon Ave., Avalon, N.J.

Bird is the word

Spring migration means the entire month of May is prime for bird watching. Hardcore birders, though, will take it to another level in a 24-hour competition known as the World Series of Birding. Sponsored by the New Jersey Audubon Society, the May 10 event is now in its 31st year. The contest helps to draw attention to migration habitats and serves as a conservation fundraiser.

More than 100 teams in four levels of competition are anticipated to identify as many bird species as they can, by sight or sound, within those 24 hours.

There are some strict rules – all birds must be identified by at least two team members and 95 percent of all species recorded must be identified by all members of the team. Protection of the birds is of the highest priority – no electronic bird calls may be used to attract birds, no flushing of nests is permitted and no spotlights or other bright hand held lighting is allowed.

While the playing field is the entire state of New Jersey, teams can also choose to participate in a limited geographic area (LGA) of one county. Cape May County is considered to have the highest number -over 400 different species – of migratory birds.

Saturday, May 10, midnight to 11:59 p.m. For more information, contact: or (609) 861-1608 ext. 13

For machine heads

Highway stars will be heading to Wildwood as the town brings back its annual Spring Boardwalk Classic Car Show.

The fun begins on Thurs, May 8, as owners take their classic cars on a cruise through town. On Friday and Saturday, the beautiful machines will be on public display along the boardwalk from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The “Boardwalk Top 40” will be showcased At 5 p.m., followed up by a road trip back in time at dusk… with a drive-in movie in Fox Park. The event closes with an awards ceremony on Sunday at 9am inside the Convention Center. Thursday, May 8 through Sunday, May 11 – Wildwood, NJ.

Wanna build a deep sea robot?

At the Jacques Cousteau Coastal Center you can learn how Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) are both used to explore the depths of the ocean. Afterwards, build an underwater robot to be test driven in the center’s pool. Participants must be aged seven years or older. The event is free, but telephone registration is required: (609) 812-0649 ext. 206. Friday, May 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Jacques Cousteau Coastal Center, 130 Great Bay Blvd., Tuckerton, N.J.

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