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Visit NJ’s Historic Lucy The Elephant in Margate – Daily Day Trip

This is one story in a series where we feature one family-friendly day trip idea a day. Read the entire series and find great ideas for things to do with kids in NJ here.

I’m sure you may have noticed that there are a zillion fun things to do in the Great Garden State.  How about a nice day trip for a visit with Lucy the Elephant?

Why we love Lucy the Elephant

Getty Images

Now that gas prices are a bit more affordable, we can pile the family in the car and take a ride without too many wallet worries.

Destination, Margate City, the home of Lucy the Elephant.

Most of us know of Lucy.  I’ll bet most of us don’t know the rich history about Lucy.

Built in 1882, this picturesque pachyderm is a six-story structure constructed of wood and tin.  She weighs in at 90 tons and contains almost one million pieces of wood!

James Lafferty built Lucy as an attraction to lure tourists to the area.  As a matter of fact, Lucy is one of three elephants concocted by Lafferty.  A smaller elephant called “The Light of Asia”, torn down many years ago, was located in South Cape May.  The third elephant was, by far the largest.  It was called “Elephantine Colossus.”  This baby, in Coney Island, New York, was twelve stories tall.  It burned down in 1896.

During her lifetime Lucy has been through several transformations.  Prior to prohibition, she was a tavern.  At other times the structure housed a business office, hotel and restaurant.

The landmark was almost a goner.  During the late 1960′s “Lucy” was in rough shape.  So bad that she was scheduled for demolition.  In 1970 a bunch of “Lucy Lovers” banded together and formed the “Save Lucy” campaign.  As a result, the structure was practically re-built, and in 1976 was designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Hours, pricing, directions

If you plan to visit Lucy, there are plenty of options for food.  You may pack a basket and dine at the picnic area.  Another option is dining at one of Margate City’s restaurants.  By my count there are almost 40 eateries in town.

Lucy’s summertime hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m to 8 p.m.  Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Staffers give tours every half hour.  Admission is $7.00 for adults and  $4 for kids under 12.  Children under 2 get in for free.

Margate City is off exit 36 from the Garden State Parkway.  Lucy resides at 9200 Atlantic Avenue.

For additional info call 609-823-6473.

If you take the trip, tell Lucy I said “Hi” and don’t forget the peanuts!

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Weird NJ Visits Lucy the Elephant

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