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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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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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 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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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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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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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 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 Wildwood, Ocean City, or Jenkinson's.
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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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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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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.