A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a blogger event for Philly area bloggers. It was held down at the Golden Inn in Avalon, NJ. I’ve never been to Avalon before, we love the beach, so off we went. Of course, since this is my blog, I’m always evaluating venues from a special needs perspective, and specifically, a sensory perspective and a ‘real life special needs mom’ perspective. Usually the questions I’m asking myself are “Can I do this? Is this fun, worth the extra effort? Will other similar families have fun or is this just a hassle?”
I can tell you that Avalon and the Golden Inn passed on most counts. The only drawback about Avalon from my perspective, is that there is no boardwalk or similar area for little kids. My one little guy kept asking “Mommy, where are the rides?” If you want to do things like that, you have to drive. Personally, once I get to the beach, I like to park and only use my car minimally, and walk everywhere. But, for relaxation and quiet (and no busy boardwalk) then Avalon fits the bill.
The hotel is great and can be as all-inclusive as you want it to be. My little guys loved ordering dinner from the poolside and beach side bar that they have. The menu had your standard pub/bar fare which included chicken tenders, so we were good! They loved the novelty of swimming, then getting right out of the pool and sitting there in a bathing suit to eat dinner. I loved it too, because it meant I didn’t have to drive or change clothes myself.
The day with SandMan Matt from Sand Masters (Travel Channel) was fun and informative. And HOT! My little guy got to experience a wide variety of sensory play (sand, water) and OT skills with the sand tools. His legs got a good PT work out doing the walks in dry sand. He got to practice previously acquired skills across new environments. It was fun and educational for all of us.
Thanks so much to our sponsors for making this happen: The Golden Inn in Avalon, NJ; SandMan Matt from SandMasters on the Travel Channel and CanYouDigIt.com; Jordan Schneider financial planning, The Painted Home and many others. It was a great couple of days and definitely looking forward to next year. I saw that the Golden Inn is frequently posting deals on their rooms, even in peak season. It was a quick drive, definitely worth it for an overnight.
Here are my photos. Edited to add, sorry there are only two, but I used an app called Britely to display them, then they went belly-up, went offline and my photos were gone. You can see my full album on Facebook.