Soak up some sunshine on the sandy coastlines of Ortley Beach, or lay out a towel on the shoreline of Shelter Cove Park, which also features tennis courts, soccer fields and nature trails. Cattus Island County Park offers beautiful wooded trails to explore as well, along with picnic areas, a playground, the Cooper Environmental Center and a spectacular Butterfly Garden.
For shoppers looking to indulge in a little retail therapy, hit up Ocean County Mall, the area’s only indoor shopping mall, boasting over 120 specialty stores, from H&M and Victoria’s Secret to Coach and Swarovski. If you’re in town from June through October, get a taste of local flavor at the Toms River Farmer’s Market, where you can browse locally grown produce, freshly baked goods, artisan candy, aged balsamic vinegars and more.
For fun for the whole family, try a cruise on the River Lady, an authentic reproduction Mississippi paddle wheel riverboat that cruises up the inland waters of Toms River and Barnegat Bay. Other kid-friendly activities include spotting bizarre, exotic insects at Insectropolis, exploring the depths of space at the Robert J. Novins Planetarium, learning about the area’s maritime heritage at the Toms River Seaport Society & Maritime Museum, or catching a live concert at the Ocean County Library.
Toms River also boasts a rich arts and culture scene. Listen to live music at the Garden State Philharmonic or marvel at a performing arts production at Exit 82: A Toms River Theatre Company. The Pinebelt Arena hosts a range of sporting events, concerts and more, while the Ocean County College presents productions by nationally known repertory companies, shows and concerts. For visual art, browse the colorful exhibits of watercolor artwork at Virginia Pearl Art Gallery.