You may not realize it, but beginning Friday, Feb. 9, your world will slowly start to change. For that is the day that the 2018 Winter Olympics officially kicks off.
Oh sure, you may be thinking, “I don’t even care about the Olympics.” But as the days roll on, due to the constant media coverage of the games, slowly but surely those ice-themed activities that once seemed entirely irrelevant to you (such as curling and short track speed skating) will now be of the utmost importance. Questions will begin to pop into your head such as “What is this sport of ‘skeleton’ … and why does it seem to have more to do with sledding than Halloween?” and “How can this many people all around the world be this good at luge when there seems to be literally nowhere to practice or learn this sport?”
Ladies, you’ll want to bring your girlfriends, sisters and mother to Fool Moon Theatre Compa…
Before you know it, you will have full-blown Olympic fever and will find yourself posting ads on Craigslist in search of like-minded bobsleigh enthusiasts who might want to put a local team together.
The problem is that recreating the Winter Olympics in South Jersey can prove difficult and frustrating, as not all winter sports are so accessible in our area. Ever try to find a decent ski jump in Somers Point? The search is never fruitful.
Grab your girlfriends and head to Golden Nugget Atlantic City for Ladies Wellness Night 6 to…
So, while we know it can be tricky, we haven’t given up hope. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of spots right here on our summery, beach-focused Jersey Shore that offer ways to cure your Olympic fever. Some are the real deal, while others you may have to use a bit of imagination in order to get the most out of your experience.
For those who wish to learn this rather obscure winter sport, Atlantic City’s Little Water Distillery will hold a Curling Night Saturday, Feb. 17, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Experts from Jersey Pinelands Curling will be on hand to instruct and educate newbies. Olympic-themed drinks will be served and the TVs will be tuned into the games. Little Water Distillery is located at 807 Baltic Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to LittleWaterDistillery.com or JerseyCurling.org for more info.
Hockey is one of the games that is not so foreign to folks in our neck of the woods, and for those looking to play, Flyers Skate Zone in Atlantic City is the answer to your prayers. Open hockey for both adults and kids is available Mondays through Saturdays for just $12 per session, and there are a variety of leagues and lessons that one can sign up for, as well.
Those more interested in using the Skate Zone for figure skating may wish to join the Atlantic City Figure Skating Club. The club welcomes skaters of all skill levels and puts on shows throughout the year. The Flyers Skate Zone is located at 501 N. Albany Ave. in Atlantic City. For more info, go to ACFlyersSkateZone.com and ACFigureSkating.org.
OK, we admit it, there really are no mountains at the shore. They just don’t exist. But that shouldn’t stop you from jumping in the car and heading out to Blue Mountain Resort. Why Blue Mountain? Because discount lift tickets to Blue Mountain can be had just by stopping in at Alpine Ski Shop in Egg Harbor Township. Discounts on everything from midweek tickets to weekends to night skiing are available, along with a pretty sweet selection of skis, snowboards boots and more. So while you may not be able to ski or snowboard right here, Alpine still has you covered. Alpine Ski Shop is located at 3206 Fire Road in Egg Harbor Township. Go to AlpineSkiShopNJ.net for more info.
Ski jump/Freestyle skiing
Raise your hand if you have ever seen an actual ski jump in person. We haven’t. In fact, outside of watching them on TV, ski jumps seem like a mythical (yet exciting) concept. Gliding high through the air like some sort of half human/half bird … it looks almost superhuman.
Freestyle skiing is cut from that same cloth. Skiers launch themselves into the air, twisting, turning and flipping until (hopefully) landing smoothly on the ground below.
While you may not find the right natural environments for these activities, Get Air Trampoline Park in Mays Landing may just give you a taste of the adrenalin rush you are searching for. Get Air offers both adults and kids a chance to flip, bounce and fly through the air in their facility. Which features a smorgasbord of trampolines and foam pits (to ensure a safe landing every time). Get Air is located at 4403 Black Horse Pike in Mays Landing. For more info go to GetAirMaysLanding.com.
Despite our endless searching we are yet to find a decent luge/skeleton track in the area. However, these sports are basically just faster versions of sledding. Luge may look a little odd based on the fact that A) The position one is forced to lie in to do it, and B) It is perhaps the only sport in which it is nearly impossible to determine if one is partaking in the activity against their will or not. Skeleton on the other hand just looks like regular sledding — the kind you did as a kid. And so our recommendation on this one is simple — wait for the next big snowfall, grab your sled (or borrow one from the neighbor’s kid) then head down to the biggest hill in town and make an afternoon out of it!