70 Things To Do at the Jersey Shore with Kids

Make a splash at a Jersey Shore waterpark, like Ocean Oasis at Morey's Piers.. Photo by Kip Dawkins
Make a splash at a Jersey Shore waterpark, like Ocean Oasis at Morey's Piers.. Photo by Kip Dawkins

There's nothing better than lazy, relaxing summer days at the beaches of the Jersey Shore. Of course, at some point, the kids are going to want to get up and do something, right?

If you're looking for ways to keep the kids entertained during a vacation at the Shore this summer, this list of 70 family-friendly activities all up and down the New Jersey coast should hit the spot. We've even included a number of FREE things to do.

For more fun down the shore, check out our Jersey Shore Guide, which includes information on amusement parks and water parks, top beaches, best boardwalks, and more. And for even more ideas, see our itinerary for 3 days on the Jersey Shore with Kids.


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Pirate Adventures of the Jersey Shore: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
Prepare for battle aboard a trip with Pirate Adventures of the Jersey Shore. Photo courtesy of the venue

Best Things To Do on the Jersey Shore

1. Cruise with Pirates

Go on a swashbuckling adventure with Pirate Adventures of the Jersey Shore in Brick or Black Pearl Pirate Tours in Beach Haven.

2. Go on a Day Cruise

Enjoy a ferry ride in Cape May. Reservations are required.

3. Visit a Free Beach

Save some money with a visit to these FREE Jersey Shore beaches

4. Tram Ride on the Boardwalk

Take a break with a scenic ride down the boardwalk on the tram car in Atlantic City or Wildwood.

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Salt Marsh Safari: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
Take a Salt Marsh Safari in the back bays of Cape May. Photo courtesy of Salt Marsh Safari

5. Wildlife Boat Tour

Hop aboard "the Skimmer" for a Salt Marsh Safari along the back bays of Cape May.

6. Marvel at Amazing Sand Castles

See some amazing sand castles at Belmar's Sandcastle Contest or the Sand Sculpting Fest in Wildwood.

7. Enjoy Some Fireworks

Visiting for July 4th? See some fireworks displays.

8. Meet Lucy

Climb to the top of Lucy the Elephant in Margate.

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Hydrus Loop Casino Pier: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
Ride the Hydrus Loop at night on the Casino Pier. Photo courtesy of Casino Pier

9. Check out the Seaside Heights Boardwalk

Ride the new Hydrus Rollercoaster and Ferris Wheel at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights.

10. Roll Down the A.C. boardwalk

Rent a rolling chair and explore the Atlantic City boardwalk.

11. Go Camping

Go camping near the beach. There are plenty of family-friendly sites like Sea Pirate Campground in West Creek, near Long Beach Island.

12. Hear the National Anthem

Sing along with the National Anthem as the whole Wildwood Boardwalk stops to listen to it play over the loudspeaker at 11am every day.

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Visit a quiet jersey shore beach: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
Visit a quieter beach for sand castle building and wave jumping. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

13. Get Off the Beaten Path

Make like a local and visit one of the quieter beaches of the Shore, aka the ones with no boardwalk amusements. Options include Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch, Sandy Hook National Recreation area, or Bradley Beach (just south of Asbury Park). Build sand castles, fly a kite, or jump the waves.

14. Go on a Seaside Picnic

Picnic at the seaside beneath the 158-year-old "Old Barney" lighthouse on Long Beach Island.

15. Enjoy a Sky Ride

Look down on the Seaside Heights boardwalk from your perch in the gentle, chair-lift-like Sky Ride that moseys along overhead.

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Cape May County Zoo: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
Pet animals at Cape May County Zoo. Photo courtesy of the zoo

Zoos and Animal Encounters on the Jersey Shore

16. Visit the Cape May Zoo

Take a FREE trip to see the animals at Cape May County Zoo.

17. Meet Jersey Shore Alpacas

Visit the alpacas of Jersey Shore Alpacas in Cape May. Seeing the animals for fence-line feeding is FREE on Saturdays (with donations appreciated) by appointment only, with bookings made on the website. Mingling tours on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays have a fee. Visit the website for hours. 

18. Visit the Aquarium

Waddle with the penguins at Point Pleasant's Jenkinson's Aquarium.

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Cape May Whale Watcher: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
See dolphins and whales with a family-friendly boat tour. Photo courtesy of the Cape May Whale Watcher.

19. See Dolphins

Head out on a boat to look for Cape May or Ocean City dolphins.

20. Go Whale Watching

Take a whale-watching tour on the Cape May Whale Watcher.

21. Head to the Popcorn Park Zoo

See the animals at Popcorn Park Zoo Animal Refuge in Forked River.

22. See Sea Life in AC

Get up close to sea life at the Atlantic City Aquarium.

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Insectropolis: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore

Kids love the bugging out at Insectropolis. Photo courtesy of Insectropolis

23. Get Buggy

Learn about creepy crawlies at Insectropolis in Tom's River.

24. Observe Beautiful Butterflies

See butterflies in their natural habitat at the Butterfly Garden in Cattus Island County Park in Tom's River.

25. Tour the Seaport Aquarium

Visit the small, but mighty Seaport Aquarium on the Wildwood Boardwalk. 

Amusement Parks, Arcades, More Fun on the Jersey Shore

26. Play Pinball at the Silverball Museum Arcade

Check out all the classic pinball machines and arcade games at Silverball Museum Arcade in Asbury Park. 

27. Play a Round of Mini Golf

There's a putt-putt in nearly every shore town and on every boardwalk.

28. Check out Some Rides on the Boardwalk

Have some fun at a boardwalk amusement. Pay-as-you-go or grab a wristband and check out the thrills, bumper boats, Ferris wheels, and kiddie rides.

29. Enjoy a Water Park

Cool off at one of many water parks that dot the various piers and beaches of the Jersey Shore.

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Asbury Splash Park: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore 
Asbury Splash Park is an excellent place for toddlers to cool off. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

30. Visit a Spray Park

Cool off under the dumping bucket at Asbury Splash Park.

31. Explore a New Indoor Play Space

If the weather looks grim, try an indoor play space.

32. Take a merry-go-round ride

Ride the double-decker carousel at Steel Pier in Atlantic City.

33. Ride the Rides in Ocean City

Visit Ocean City's Gillian's Wonderland Pier or Playland's Castaway Cove.

34. Hang Out in an Arcade

While away a rainy day with games, skee-ball, and more retro fun at one of the many arcades, including in WildwoodOcean City, or Jenkinson's.

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Jenkinson's Boardwalk: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore 
There are tons of kiddie rides to choose from at Jenkinson's Boardwalk. Photo by Margaret Hargrove

35. Find the Kiddie Rides at Jenkinson's

Take the five-minute walk from the sand of Point Pleasant Beach to Jenkinson's Boardwalk to hit the kiddie rides before you climb back in the car.

36. Visit Morey's Piers

Speaking of amusement parks: With more than 100 rides and attractions, you can't go wrong at Morey's Piers in Wildwood, from multiple water parks, coasters, and thrill rides, to mini trains, swings, and more for little ones.

37. Enjoy Storybook Land

Preschoolers and toddlers will love a trip to Storybook Land.

38. Try your luck in carnival games

Play carnival games, get your face painted, and take a ride on the Congress Hall Express every Monday night at the carnival on the lawn at Congress Hall in Cape May.

Cultural and Historical Activities on the Jersey Shore

39. Explore the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum

Learn more about planes at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Cape May. All exhibits are indoors, so this is perfect for a rainy day.

40. See the Lighthouses

Take a tour of one of the many great lighthouses the Shore has to offer.

41. Visit historic Cape May

Ride in a horse-drawn carriage and tour historic Cape May.

42. See Cape May's Mansions

Take a tour of the Emlen Physick Estate, a Victorian mansion in Cape May.

43. Admire the Sculptures

Walk along the Waterfront Sculpture Walk in Atlantic City.

44. See a Show

See a family-friendly show at Greater Ocean City Theatre Company.

45. Catch a Flick

Catch a FREE family movie on the beach; dozens play every summer.

46. See a Summer Show

Check out a free summer show at The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts.

47. Visit the NJ Maritime Museum

Check out shipwreck artifacts and learn all about NJ's maritime history at the New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven.

48. Get Spooked

Prepare to be scared on a ghost tour of historic Ocean City.

49. See the Stars at a Planetarium

Learn about the wonders of the night sky at Robert J. Novins Planetarium in Tom's River.

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Coney Waffle: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
Do your best to devour a sundae at Coney Waffle. Photo courtesy of Coney Waffle

Family-Friendly Restaurants and Shopping on the Jersey Shore

50. Enjoy Some Ice Cream

Attempt to finish a Coney Waffle sundae as a family. We dare you!

51. Cool Down with an Ice

An ice is nice on any hot day. Pelican's in Surf City serves up delightful fluffy New Orleans-style shaved ice in your choice of 100 bold flavors. Or try the Hawaiian variety at Betty's Ice Box in Asbury Park.

52. Go Outlet Shopping in AC

Go shopping at Atlantic City's Tanger Outlets.

53. Get Breakfast Before Hitting the Beach

Grab a bite at one of the many family-friendly restaurants down the shore.

54. Grab Some Diner Fare

Grab a meal at one of the many nearby (and yummy) diners! They are everywhere at the Shore.

55. Order a Cone at Hoffman's 

Share an Octopus Sundae at Hoffman's Ice Cream in Point Pleasant.

56. Taste the Sweets

Don't forget to eat some taffy or fudge from one of the boardwalk candy shops before you leave.

Active Fun and Things To Do on the Jersey Shore

57. Soar Above the Ocean

Try a parasailing or paragliding adventure at Point Pleasant Parasailing or East Coast Water Sports.

58. Take a Nature Walk

Discover nature at The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor.

59. Play in the Water

For some water fun, check out Island Water Sports in Stone Harbor. Rent a watercraft or have fun at the aqua park.

60. Get Out and Skate

Have a skater or a biker on your hands? Check out The Skateplex at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch or Ocean City Skatepark

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Rent a surrey: 70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore
A bicycle built for...all! Rent a surrey bike to ride together. Photo by Mommy Poppins

61. Take a Surrey Bike for a Spin

Pile the whole family into a surrey bike for a morning ride down the boardwalk.

62. Hang out on a Ropes Course

Challenge your kid to the ropes course at Jenkinson's Boardwalk.

63. Take a Surfing Lesson

Learn to ride the waves one several surf schools located in or near Point Pleasant such as the Hammer Surf School.

64. Swing and Slide at a Playground

Take a break from the beach to visit a playground.

65. Take a Boardwalk Bike Ride

Rent a bike and ride along the boards. 

66. Swing From the Trees

Swing, zip, and climb at Tree to Tree Adventure Park at the Cape May County Zoo.

67. Enjoy the Bay

Go paddleboarding or kayaking on the bay.

68. Go Riding at a State Park

Go biking down a six-mile oceanfront stretch of Island Beach State Park.

69. Enjoy a Wildlife Hike

Take a hike at Cape May Wildlife Refuge.

70. Go Fish

Throw out a line as you take the family on a fishing trip.

Originally published in 2017. Cait Sumner contributed additional reporting.

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