The church parking lot was the scene of many "touch" football games back in the day.

I don’t know if this is still accurate but years ago one of the biggest complaints parents had about the town they lived in was there simply was not enough for kids to do.  So in a lot of these places they built playgrounds and basketball courts and baseball fields and more and do you know what…they sit empty most of the time.  I know they get used during the “season” that there is some organized youth league like Little League Baseball but what about the other 8 or 9 months.

Yes this is another one of those…”when I was a kid” segments and don’t worry I won’t include anything about walking 2 miles to school in the snow with holes in my sneakers. Seriously though it seems that kids don’t play sports unless it’s organized by adults.  I have vivid memories of growing up in Seaside Heights and playing touch football in the church parking lot, basketball with chain nets in the playground and baseball in a dirt lot behind the Barnegat Ice House.  We either called one another on our house phones or more often than not just met up at Terri’s Sweet Shoppe on the boulevard and once we had enough kids the game was on.

No adults, no referees, no parents.  In baseball we were our own umpires and in basketball you better have a good reason to call a foul (blood would help) and football on the asphalt could get a bit rough.  Games often ended when kids had to leave, dinner was on the table or when it go too dark.  Of course this was well before cell phones so there were plenty of times where a parent pulled up in a car and shouted for you to get in or ride your bike home.

Today I don’t see any of that and there’s a better chance of organizing a group to play Fortnite then a basketball game so courts and fields remain empty.  That is unless you have a uniform on and adults to run the show.  I liked it when we ran our own.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.