Yesterday, the kids and I went to Lake Garrison, just off of 538 in South Jersey. At $6 per person 4 and older, it’s a cheap day trip that fits our budget.
We arrived around 11:45 a.m. to find only about 10 people at the lake; about 20 more showed up after lunch. I was able to unload my car next to the picnic area, and then park it in the shade behind the playground and rest rooms.
The water temperature was just like a bathtub, with cooler spots farther out in the lake. The kids started out splashing at the lake’s edge and building in the sand before they ventured out into the cordoned off area. My 3 year old was able to go pretty far out from the shore while my tall 7 year old went all the way out to the rope.
We brought boogie boards and a tube, and worked on our swimming skills. No one was ready to really put their head under water, though my 5 year old tried a few times.
If you go, be prepared to bring some sand home in your car since there were no outside showers. However, small portable charcoal grills are permitted in the picnic area.
The picnic area and playground are both shaded with the trees about 20 feet off the edge of the lake. You can sit under the trees, and still be close enough to keep an eye on the kids. There were at least 2 lifeguards on duty while we were there, and I would expect to see more during the busy times.
The changing area and the bathrooms are in separate buildings next to the picnic area. You can also rent canoes, kayaks or paddle boats; the dock is next to the swimming area.
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