DH and I will be doing the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge again. We started doing it the first year we were married, and this is the 5th consecutive year this weekend. According to the challenge site:
The New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge® is a not-for-profit event presented by The New Jersey Lighthouse Society, Inc. for the purpose of raising public awareness of lighthouses in general and New Jersey’s lighthouses, specifically. It is a rain or shine, two-day event held during the 3rd weekend in October when 11 land-based lighthouses are open for visitation and climbing. During this weekend, the public is invited to visit any or all of the sites along the Challenge route.
We always have a great time doing it, and last year, we invited DH's parents to go along with us. They were unsure at first, but ended up having a wonderful time, especially my FIL. They loved all the history and lighthouse information, but since the weather was so spectacular, they enjoyed the scenery as well.
If you're within driving distance to the New Jersey area, I would definitely recommend participating in the challenge. There's no participation fees, no sign ups and no requirements. You don't even have to visit all of the sites on the challenge. Many people visit just a few sites, but the nicest thing about the Challenge weekend is that the lights are open and there are guides and plenty of information, and you have opportunities to learn and explore that aren't always available the rest of the year.
We've also done challenges in Long Island and Maryland, both of which we missed this year, unfortunately. Last year was our third Triple Crown, meaning we did all three challenges (few people complete all three). This year, we had to pass because of moving and other events going on, but I'd like to get back to doing all three next year. Maybe even add a few more, as other lighthouse societies are taking an interest in challenges and planning their own. If you are interested in the Challenges, check out the various Lighthouse Societies