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Another N.J. Catholic school announces closure, blames low enrollment and COVID

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Another Catholic grammar school in New Jersey is closing.

A combination of low enrollment, financial issues, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have forced the closure of Mother Seton Academy in Howell, which will be shutting its doors for good on June 30, the school’s co-directors announced Friday. In a statement released by the Diocese of Trenton, they called the closure a “sad, but unavoidable” reality.

“After careful analysis of enrollment and financial challenges; consultation with advisors at the parish and diocesan levels, and prayerful discernment of any available options, we must formally announce the closing of Mother Seton Academy at the end of the present school year,” the pastors of the school’s two sponsoring churches, Father John P. Bambrick of St. Aloysius Parish and Father Peter J. Alindogan of St. Veronica Parish, said in a letter to the school community.

Mother Seton Academy opened in 2019, after enrollment of St. Aloysius School in Jackson and St. Veronica School in Howell began to go over 300 students a year. Operating on one campus was expected to consolidate expenses and help to ensure the school’s future viability, the Diocese said.

But the schools’ merger led to a huge decline in enrollment and resources and now has reached a low of 126 children in grades 1-8, Catholic officials said.

As of September 2021, the school was in a deficit of $140,000, despite a subsidy from the Diocese of Trenton of more than $250,000 over the last two years and additional funding from the two sponsoring churches, the Diocese said.

As with a number of other Catholic schools across the state that have shuttered over the last two years, the Diocese said the coronavirus pandemic shared in the blame for the closure. The “shut-down of churches and the resulting loss of revenue for both parishes,” which rendered them unable to put more funding toward the running of the school, contributed to the decision to close, the release said.

“We acknowledge the disappointment that this news brings to our dedicated faculty, staff, children and families of the Academy,” the pastors’ letter said, while noting the churches will work with those affected to find “the best transition possible,” once the school closes.

The Diocese said it plans to help the Mother Seton Academy staff, and help provide connections with neighboring Catholic schools for students who wish to transfer in September.

Thank you for relying on us to provide the local news you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a voluntary subscription.

Deion Johnson may be reached at djohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @DeionRJohhnson.





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The Wharf, Wildwood, NJ: A Restaurant Review

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The Wharf - Wildwood, NJ

The Wharf Restaurant
708 W Burk Ave
Wildwood, NJ
609-522-6336
Website

The Wharf: Restaurant Highlights

Fare: American Seafood

Price: Moderate – Expensive (A bit overpriced for food quality)

Noise Level: Moderate – Loud

Food Quality: While they feature sustainable seafood and shellfish, the food preparation is a notch below other south Jersey shore waterfront restaurants.

Service: Can use improvement for professionalism and friendliness

Ambiance/Decor: Jersey Shore vibe with great sunset views & live entertainment.

Overall Rating: 1-1/2 Stars

Note: Four-star Rating System from 1/2 Star = poor to Four stars = Best in Class

Recommended For: Diners who enjoy a casual sea food menu with a Jersey Shore vibe, live entertainment, a vibrant bar scene, and scenic waterfront sunset views.

Not Recommended For: Diners who prefer more upscale, gourmet dining in a more formal setting.

Recommended dishes: When available, from the indoor dining menu, The Seafood Risotto with Shrimp and Scallops served with Creamy Lobster Risotto, The Creamy Vodka Shrimp and Scallops with Plum Tomato and Cream served over Penne Pasta; and the Angus New York Strip Center Cut.

Liquor: Broad selection of reasonably priced beer, wines and specialty cocktails. Bar scene is vibrant.


Restaurant Review

The Wharf is a family run restaurant and bar located in a great waterfront location, featuring one of the best South Jersey sunset views.

This is the place to go for Jersey Shore dining vibe with scenic waterfront dining views, live music on the waterfront deck, a vibrant bar scene, or watching the sun go down.

Food quality can use improvement. While they feature sustainable seafood and shellfish, and a freshly shucked raw bar, the food preparation is a notch below other similar south Jersey shore waterfront restaurants.

They offer two different menus on each of the two dining areas. The main indoor restaurant offers a higher end menu. The outdoor deck offers a casual menu with more comfort food items accompanied by plastic cups, silverware, and paper plates.

Both menus offer raw bar selections with a large variety of land and sea selections.

They are child friendly with a kid’s menu.

Service can be spotty, and unprofessional. As you enter, you are apt to be asked to find a table and sit where there is an open table.

They offer ample on-site car parking, and boat slips to cruise on over.

(Updated May 2022)

How Do We Review (analyze) Restaurants?

New Jersey Leisure Guide strives to provide analytic restaurant reviews.

The methodology used is research, analysis driven — as opposed to that of a single restaurant critic or a social media platform, viewer comment posting board.

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Wildwood Restaurants With Dining Reviews

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Wildwood Restaurants

Photo Courtesy Morey’s Piers

Discover the popular Wildwood restaurants

Wildwood is a popular family resort, Jersey Shore destination with many reasonably priced family eateries and a few fine dining restaurants.

Discover all there is that makes the Wildwoods, one of America’s most popular beach destinations for families looking for a reasonably priced summer vacation with plenty to do.

The Wildwood’s are made up of three communities:  Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and North Wildwood, with the city of Wildwood being the key attraction with Two Miles of Boardwalk with amusement piers; The Wildwoods Oceanfront Convention Center; Wildwoods famed Doo Wop architecture, and the Doo Wop Museum.

Wildwood’s Five miles of powdery, white sand beaches are Free.


Popular Wildwood Restaurants With Dining Reviews

Alfe’s  Italian
Seafood Restaurant

Alfe's  Italian Seafood

Open year round, Alfe’s is popular with locals and visitors who enjoy well prepared traditional Southern Italian food with “Old World Italian” ambiance.
Read review

Alumni
Grill

Alumni Grill

This is not your typical Wildwood Hoagie joint with dated do wop architecture. Serves a creative menu of burgers, sandwiches and cheese steaks.
Read review

Beach Creek
Oyster Bar & Grill

Beach Creek Oyster Bar & Grill

Popular with diners who enjoy fresh seafood with a scenic waterfront setting and a vibrant bar scene.

Read review

Boathouse
Restaurant

Boathouse Restaurant

A popular Wildwood eatery with scenic waterfront view, good drinks, and for reasonably priced food.

Read review

Cattle ‘n Clover Irish Steakhouse

Cattle 'n Clover Irish Steakhouse

Offers an Irish pub style atmosphere with live Irish entertainment, good  drinks, and good food.

Read review

Dogtooth 
Bar & Grill

Dogtooth  Bar & Grill

A year round tavern popular with diners who enjoy a vibrant sports oriented bar with live entertainment, and a well prepared, inspiring tavern menu
Read review


Duffer’s

Duffer's Restaurant

Duffer’s, is the ultimate kid friendly, family restaurant.  This multifaceted establishment also sports an arcade, mini-golf, and one the best Ice Cream Parlor’s in South Jersey.
Read review

Jersey Girl
Kitchen

Jersey Girl Drinks and Dining

Popular with diners who enjoy a more upscale ambiance compared with other Wildwood “touristy” casual family restaurants.
Read review

Larkin’s
Restaurant

Larkin's Restaurant

Popular with budget conscious diners who enjoy well prepared traditional American breakfasts at a reasonable price.
Read review

Little Italy
Restaurant

Little Italy Restaurant

Serves well prepared traditional Italian dishes using fresh ingredients. The ambiance resembles an Italian Village
Read review

Maui’s
Dog House

Maui's Dog House

One of the best in South Jersey hot dogs serves a pizza bread-less version of the Italian hot dog.
Read review

MudHen
Brewing Company

MudHen Brewing Co, Wildwood, NJ

The only Brew Pub in Wildwood is a popular family-friendly spot for home brewed craft beers, good food, and live entertainment, in a festive atmosphere.
Read review

Quincy’s
Lobster Rolls

Quincy's Lobster Rolls Wildwood, NJ

 Quincy’s  brings a taste of Maine to the Jersey Shore. They are a fast casual dining  experience serving fresh Maine Lobster — generously portioned and reasonable  priced.
Read Review

Schellenger’s
Restaurant

Schellenger's  Restaurant

Schellenger’s is a landmark Wildwood seafood restaurant with character.
Read review

The Surfing
Pig

The Surfing Pig, Wildwood

Offers an excellent BBQ menu with a full service bar, live entertainment, good food, and great waterfront  sunset views.
Read Review

Two Mile
Landing

Two Mile  Landing

Great waterside dining with a scenic view with two restaurants in one location: The Crab house and 2 Mile Restaurant.
Read review

Urie’s
Restaurant

Urie's Restaurant

One of the best places in Wildwood for a waterfront casual dining experience by sitting back and watching boats pass by while dining.
Read review

Wharf
Restaurant

Wharf Restaurant

The Wharf is a family run restaurant and bar located in a great waterfront location, featuring one of the best South Jersey sunset views.
Read review








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The Best Water Parks In New Jersey

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Water Parks in New Jersey

Your guide to Finding the Best Water Parks. Features Parks Throughout New Jersey From The Northwest Hills of Vernon Down to Wildwood on The Southern Jersey Shore

New Jersey has water parks within a short driving distance from every corner of the state.

The
variety of the parks range from a full resort with the indoor park open
year round and an on-site hotel, on location as one of the many
attractions at a Jersey Shore amusement pier, and a water park connected
with a huge nationally recognized family amusement park.


North Jersey Water Parks

Dream Works Water Park
Dream Works Water Park
1 American Dream Way
East Rutherford, NJ,
Website
Dream Works is open Year Roind, Located in the American Dream giant shopping and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands, Dream Works is completely indoors under a glass atrium with views of NYC. Many rides and slides don’t require strong swimming abilities, Except Penguins Plummet, Majunga Jump and Mad Flush are recommended for strong swimmers only. Coming in 2020 is the awesome THRILLAGASCARRRR! This is the world’s tallest indoor drop slide with a 50-foot freefall! Ride with dragons around the entire water park on Toothless Trickling Torpedo, the world’s tallest and longest hydromagnetic water coaster.

Land of Make Believe Water Park
Land Of Make Believe
354 Great Meadows Road – Rt. 611
Hope, NJ
908-459-9000
Website
Land of Make Believe is a multi-family fun, affordable complex, feauring an Amusement Park and Waterpark, where families are encouraged families to bring their own food to enjoy picnicking in their special picnic grove.
If you prefer, Land of Make Believe has food too, including hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, chicken, pizza, milkshakes, lemonade, soda, ice cream, and homemade fudge. Free Parking

Mountain Creek Water Park
Mountain Creek
200 Route 94
Vernon, NJ
973-827-2000
Website
Features classic rides like the Colorado River Rapids & Surf Hill or take on the Legendary Canyon Cliffs. Whether you’re trying to relax in the High Tide Wave Pool or experience the thrills of Zero-G they have an adventure for you.
Private Cabanas are available.

Splash Plex Water Park
Splashplex Outdoor Water Park
182 Route 10 West
East Hanover, NJ
973-428-1166
Website
Set in the Funplex, Splashples has four water slides — including 2 speed slides, a Constrictor Tube slide, and an inner tube slide — a 5-story water tower, a 5-foot deep pool, a splash pad, and a 580-foot Lazy River.

Lake Tomahawk Water Park
Tomahawk Lake Water Park
155 Tomahawk Trail,
Sparta Township, NJ
(973) 398-7777
Website
The Water Park is part of a summer activity venue situated on 200 acres that come complete with everything a family could ask for including an 18-hole miniature golf course, rustic outdoor beer garden featuring live music on the weekends, refreshment stands,a souvenir shop, softball field, horseshoe pits and volleyball areas, an old fashioned picnic area with more than 800 tables and New Jersey’s largest white sand beach featuring a crystal clear 20-acre lake for swimming and boating!
The water park includes f
water slides and rides such as BLACK SNAKE SLIDE, a fast and furious ride through the darkness into the lake, SIOUX-A-SLIDE,the 70ft. high speed slide that goes straight into the lake, SITTING BULL the 400 foot body slides that end up in a 3 1/2ft. chlorinated pool, GERONIMO, the one-person water coaster that skims across the lake, the awesome ROCKY MOUNTAIN serpentine slide that spans over 500 feet into the lake, APACHE PLUNGE mammoth 610ft. raft ride.


Central Jersey Water Parks

Breakwater Beach Water Park
Breakwater Beach
Casino Pier
800 Ocean Terrace
Seaside Heights, NJ 08751
Website
Breakwater Beach Water park located in the heart of Seaside Heights, NJ is open from Memorial Day through mid September.  Fully recovered and restored, this state-of-the-art water park boasts one of the largest interactive play area on the North Atlantic Coast.  The little ones will splash in the safe, soft and clean toddler area while the bigger kids slide and soar like never before on the all new Two If By the Sea.  Don’t miss the Nantucket Bucket, a trip down the lazy river and our hot springs whirlpools.  Every member of your family will have tons of wet water fun.  As always, NASCO trained lifeguards are on duty to safely monitor all water activities.  All day, three hour, and twilight offers make Breakwater Beach Water park great affordable family fun!

Crystal Springs Aquatic Center
Crystal Springs Aquatic Center
Dunhams Corner Road
East Brunswick, NJ
732-390-6981
Website
Crystal Springs Family Aquatic Center is a municipal water park that is open to residents (at a discount) and non-residents. This modern facility has two large pools, splash pools for tots, water slides and The lazy river for the more adventurous. The facility also has a food concession stand, a shaded picnic area. Grills are available for BBQing. Alcohol is prohibited. They also offer pool side seating with over 300 deck chairs.

Keansburg Runaway Rapids Water Park
Keansburg Runaway Rapids Water Park
275 Beachway Ave
Keansburg, NJ
732-495-1400
Website
A short walk from from The Keansburg Amusement Park, they offer a two park pass if you wish to visit both parks in the same day. They have recently undergone some upgrades to their facilities. They feature over 18 water slides, a lagoon pool, a separate toddler play area, a Lazy River, two spa pools, lounge chairs with an optional umbrella, lockers and dressing rooms, and a full serviced snack bar.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

537 Monmouth Rd, Route 537
Jackson, NJ
732-928-1821
Website
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is a premier, top of the line water park. They offer an awesome number of family, kids, and thrill water attractions. Recently they have added the Tornado whirlwind, a funnel-shaped water attraction for tubing thrill seekers. This exciting water ride will blast you down a 135-foot long vortex tunnel and into a 60-foot wide funnel with a drop of more than seven stories.


South Jersey Water Parks

Clementon Park
144 Berlin Road
Clementon, NJ
Website
Clementon Park is a huge amusement park complex featuring a “Theme Park” with coasters, thrill rides, and arcade games, and “Splash World” with rapids, “Big Wave Bay” wave pool — and more.

Co Co Key Water Park
CoCo Key Water Resort
At The Hotel ML
915 Route 73
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
877-494-COCO (2626)
Website
CoCo Key Water Resort is an indoor water park with a Key West theme and is New Jersey’s only indoor water park with an on site hotel which adds to the fun and adventure for out of towners looking to make this an overnight trip. The park is kept at 84 degrees and open all year round. Some of the popular attractions include: 40-foot slides, a lazy river, the Parrot Perch interactive play area, and if you choose, you can unwind in the Dip-In Movie theatre or play in the arcade

Island at Splashplex
The Island at Splashplex
3320-24 Route 38
Mt. Laurel, NJ
856-273-9666
Website
Part of the FunPlex family entertainment center an amusement park. Expanded in 2021 with 5 new slides.  Splash into even more family fun at the Funplex’s outdoor waterpark, Splashplex and new expansion “The Island.”  Relax and soak up the rays as you wind through the Lazy River or twist and turn through tube slide fun.

Ocean City Water Park
Ocean City Waterpark
6 Street & Boardwalk
Ocean City, NJ
609-399-7082
Website
Located on the Ocean City Boardwalk, Gillian’s Island Water Park features The Serpentine rising eight stories high, the Splash Down Falls, the Lazy River, and the Skypond Journey Tube Slide. For the younger kids there is Lil’ Buc’s Bay with pirates fort, shipwrecks, and raining palm trees. Pools are always 80 degrees

Ocean Oasis Water Park
Ocean Oasis Water Park & Beach Club
3501 Boardwalk
Wildwood, NJ
Website
Wildwood Located behind Surfsider Pier, this tropical-themed water resort offers both wild and relaxing activities for Wildwood visitors. Take the plunge on the five-story Cliff Dive and drop 5 stories in 3 seconds, Surfs up at Bonsai Beach where kids and parents can enjoy the interactive play area complete with water jets, climbing ropes and slides especially for the little ones.

Morey's Piers Raging Waters
Morey’s Piers – Raging Waters
3501 Boardwalk
Wildwood NJ
609-522-3900
Website
Located in Mariner’s Landing Amusement Pier this beach front water park features: Water park rides and attractions for all ages with two interactive children’s play areas. a picnic facility for group outings, a Wreckers beach grille, and a locker shop Take the whole family over to the activity pool and try out all of the family friendly obstacles. GO WILD and plummet over Shotgun Falls, drift through the Wildwood skyline on the Sky Pond Journey and discover all of the unique water attractions. Raging Waters offers two unique kiddie play areas. Discover the water canons Shipwreck Shoals or play boys against girls at Camp KidTastrophe. The three level activity area boasts fun for the whole family with cargo nets, climbing ropes, water guns, water sprays and slides in these interactive children’s play areas.

Sahara Sam's Water Park
Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor/Outdoor Water Park
535 N. Route 73
West Berlin, NJ
856-767-7580
Website
A free standing indoor water park open year round with a retractable roof that opens during the warmer months. The attractions feature: SAMAZON Adventure – An awesome ropes course, an indoor Flow Rider surfing simulator, a cafe with snacks, soft drinks, cocktails, and beer, a large arcade, and free Wi – Fi.
During the summer the Beach Club, a massive outdoor water park is open. . Access is included at no additional cost to all. The outdoor park features a leisure pool, a children’s splash park, a full service Tiki Bar, and a 12,000 sq ft wave pool, — and cabanas!

Thundering Surf Water Park
Thundering Surf Waterpark
8th Street & Bay Ave.
Beach Haven – Long Beach Island, NJ
609-492-0869
Website
A family park for all ages with attractions that range from “Cowabunga Beach” toddlers ages nine months to five years; Six Giant Water slides with single and double tubes; the “Lazy Crazy River”; and the “Giant Tipping Bucket”. They also have a Sun Deck where you can relax and sunbathe nearby where the children are playing.








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