Melanie June Hearn

Win the Cape May Getaway 2024 Sweepstakes

Have a dream stay in historic Cape May full of birding, dining, shopping, history, the beach, a spa treatment and more, all enjoyed through the lenses of brand-new Zeiss binoculars.


Contact Shannon at [email protected] or 609-400-3836.

Mark your calendars for New Jersey Audubon’s 2024 Cape May Spring Festival

May 16-19, 2024

Registration Is Open

NEW – One-day registrations open April 1

It is our 47th year!!

Program Description:

What We Owe To Birds is a collaborative music and multimedia project meditating on bird conservation produced by five composers of the Princeton New Jersey-based Consonance Collective (CNSNC). Exploring topics ranging from the evolution of flight, flock migration behavior, birds of urban landscapes, birds endangered by forest fires, and shorebirds conservation, this project is brought to life by the BlackBox Ensemble, an NYC-based contemporary music ensemble dedicated to creating adventurous and engaging performances of the music of our time. What We Owe To Birds is CNSNC’s third entry in a series of collaborations with scientific partners, following on the heels of projects with the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. 

Book Your Stay Now

Accommodations can fill up quickly any time of year, and our block of rooms at the Grand filled a few weeks ago. However, we’ve learned that in mid-April, some rooms from other blocks may be released and available at the festival rate. Plus, there are always cancellations. So give the Grand a try before you look elsewhere, and if you’re having trouble finding a room, let us help!

The Grand Hotel of Cape May is offering a special rate of $153 for Thursday, and $197 for Friday and Saturday using the code 652325. When booking your stay use the code by entering it into the Group ID box like you see below.

Book your stay at The Grand Hotel today 

Musical Keynote Saturday Evening

Consonance Collective

The following information is provided to help you make your travel plans.

We have a block of rooms at the Grand Hotel that fill up quickly so we recommend booking your stay as soon as is possible at the Grand or another hotel. To get the discounted rate at the Grand Hotel, please enter the Group ID  652325. Please note, this is not a “promo code.”

We have some helpful links below:

The Grand Hotel in Cape May NJ | Oceanfront Hotel, Wedding Reception Venue, Convention Center | The Grand Hotel Cape May

Many of our local birding sites are within 15 minutes driving distance of The Grand Hotel and many other hotels in the heart of Cape May. We will have check-in, information and indoor programs at the Grand Hotel, and the birding trips take place at multiple sites within the town and county.

Plan to arrive during the day on Thursday, May 16th and depart the area around 5 pm on Sunday, May 19th – or stay until Monday! Registration for three days is about $250 with most programs included. Special trips like boats, buses and trollies are an additional $35 – $45 each.
If you travel by air, you will need to rent a vehicle as attendees are responsible for transportation during this festival. If you take any form of public transportation to the Cape May area, the closest car rental is Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Rio Grande, NJ, about five miles north of Cape May. They are very friendly and accommodating.

You should plan to depart the area after your final program on Sunday, the last of which concludes at 5:00 pm. Or stay a few extra days and enjoy all Cape May has to offer!

We will open for check-in in the Wicker Room at the Grand Hotel at around noon on Thursday the 16th. It is important that you pick up your nametag, which is your “ticket” to participate throughout the weekend. We can also answer any questions you may have about the festival and the surrounding area. The festivities will begin with a Kick-off Party, which will likely be held at the Nature Center of Cape May, a short distance from the hotel. There will be live music, a food truck and beer and wine available for a reasonable donation.

Starting early morning Friday the 17th, there will be birding field trips, boat rides and more, led by our amazing local naturalists.

Friday evening is dinner on your own, and we will supply a list of our local favorites.
The Saturday evening keynote presentation will take place at the local high school’s spacious and modern auditorium. We’ll provide refreshments and you’ll enjoy the bird-inspired music composed by the Consonance Collective and performed by The BlackBox Ensemble. Something a little different this year!
End your festival experience with the 3-hour (2 pm to 5 pm) Trip to the Rips boat ride that explores just off the coast of Cape May and makes a loop back through the Cape May Canal. Or do the driving loop at the stunning Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge about 45 minutes north of Cape May.

Chris Neff

NJ Audubon members get special discounts on registration and select program tickets.  Not a member – join today.