Seniors Drop by Toms River

toms-river-nj-events-toms-river-volkswagen Out of curiosity, my middle name, I googled the major cities in New Jersey and up came Newark, Jersey City and Atlantic City. Toms River was way down the list, but the name caught this senior’s eye. So let’s go check it together.

92,000 folks call Toms River home. I had to be just a little careful researching this travel blog as I discovered that there was a Tom River in Siberia Russia, a tributary of the Ob River.

Toms River is well known for having the second largest Halloween parade in the world and for being a very safe city. Much of the early history of Toms River is obscured by conflicting stories. There are two legends as to the naming of Toms River.

The first is that it was named for Thomas Luker, who operated a ferry across Goose Creek in the 1600’s. The second, more dramatic legend, is that it was named for Captain William Toms, a pirate in the 18th Century who would attack ships sailing past the area. The latter one sounds much more exciting to me.


Seniors Enjoy Diverse and Dynamic Downtown

In 1992, as part of celebrations commemorating the township’s 225th anniversary, official recognition was granted to the tradition that the “Tom” in “Toms River” was for the aforementioned Thomas Luker. Downtown Toms River provides a wide variety of things for seniors to see and do and remains one of the most diverse and dynamic downtowns in this part of New Jersey. 


For sports fans, the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex is the only indoor athletic complex bubble in Ocean County and one of the largest in New Jersey. For epicureans, the New Jersey Chili and Salsa Cook-Off, as well as the New Jersey Ice Cream Festival are both held in Toms River. Movie fans might be interested in knowing that the 1979 classic “Amityville Horror” as well as 1988’s “X-Files” movie were filmed in Toms River.

TripAdvisor wants senior visitors to know about dining on board River Lady, a 150 passenger, 85′ authentic reproduction of a paddle wheel riverboat. The River Lady splendidly captures the ambiance of a 19th century Mississippi Paddleboat.

The Library and Planetarium Draw Seniors


Of the 17 attractions Trip Advisor highlights, the Ocean City Library ranks #2, so consider putting it on your bucket list. The Novina Planetarium and the Insectropolis, the Bugseum of New Jersey, are other popular visitor sites.

Insectropolis is a fun and unique insect learning center that dazzles visitors of all ages, including seniors. View thousands of beautiful and bizarre exotic insects from all over the world.  One of my former students majored in Entomology and Andy would love that place full of bugs and insects. Probably not my wife.

Me, I would enjoy The Ocean County Historical Society, one of New Jersey’s outstanding historical societies. Now hop aboard a drone and view Toms River from the air. Nice job. -jeb

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