Aside from the fact that it hasn't been this hot here for this many days in the Garden State since 1993, New Jersey is a great place to have a great staycation owing to the fact that never too far away is the Jersey Shore with boardwalks galore and also all number of little local fairs with rides like this very cool lighthouse-themed 'frog hopper' at a Carnevale Italiano.
All of these fairs (not a one of which I was ever aware of growing up in California -- my family always went for the Big Theme Parks which created intense distress in me when I left the kiddy ride stage because, as noted here, I am afraid of riding a ferris wheel and was severely done in a decade ago after trying a teacup ride with Charlie) are different: Different layout of the rides, different locations (that is, different grassy fields).
All of these fairs have a resounding familiarity because they pretty much all have the same sorts of rides (sometimes no ferris wheel or swings but 'frog hoppers' and giant slides are pretty common) but with different names and paint jobs, as well as the same food (deep fried things, fresh lemonade with too much sugar and not enough liquid, French fries, burgers, soft ice cream). The main signs that we are at something Italiano were (1) Frank Sinatra music blaring from a stage at the entrance and (2) a bit of Italian food like these yet-to-be-fried and doused in tomato sauce arancini.
Maybe because Jim adores driving in New Jersey, it was not enough to attend one fair. We got on the Parkway and went to this pier which is jam-packed with all kinds of rides (and a boardwalk with even more deep-fried, Italianish food).
Charlie being Charlie, he just wanted, and needed, his one ride, a magnificent swing that he had (in his way -- 'swing! 29!') asked for from the moment we got in the car a couple of hours earlier.
The wait was very worth it.
And though the beach was right near by, he made no run for it.