Put your kids on the swings and your feet in the sand at beachfront playgrounds along the Jersey Shore. The beaches of New Jersey are home to playgrounds that are like giant sandboxes, with colorful play structures and ocean views. Swing by some of these beachy-keen playgrounds on your next day trip or vacation to the Shore—and check out our bonus pick in northern New Jersey.
Please note that some of these playgrounds may require fees for beach entrance during the summer months. Find more great things to do on hot New Jersey days in our Summer Fun Guide, and be sure to bookmark our frequently-updated Family Activity Calendar.
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Pirates and beaches are the perfect beachfront playground combo. Photo courtesy of Borough of Belmar Recreation Department
Belmar's beaches are home to a series of colorful, fun beach playgrounds for kids to enjoy. There's one located every five beaches or so.
This dragonfly-themed playground was built in 2013 in honor of a teacher who was a victim of the Sandy Hook shootings, as part of the Sandy Ground playground projects honoring the 26 people slain. The purple structures are based in the sand and reflect the victim's love of dragonflies and her passion for working with special-needs children. Ten of the Sandy Ground playgrounds are located on the Jersey Shore.
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Tony's Place Playground is made for children of all abilities. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
A few steps from the beach, this colorful play area boasts slides, tunnels, bridges, playhouses, instruments, swings, and much more, all of which are accessible for children of all abilities. The surfaces are wheelchair-friendly, and all signage includes Braille. Permits are available for children with special needs and their families for FREE access all summer.
On your next Ocean City vacation, take a play break at Benjamin Wheeler Playground, another Sandy Ground Project. With proximity to the ocean, this playground is dedicated to a young Sandy Hook victim and features actual drawings by Benjamin. The fenced-in play area has a squishy ground cover with slides, bridges, and climbing walls.
Take a break from the sun in the gazebo at the 33rd Avenue Playground in Longport. Photo courtesy of Borough of Longport
The ideal oceanside playground, this one is grounded right in the sand. Kids will have a blast on the swings, slides, climbing wall, bridge, and a play car. Grown-ups will enjoy chilling out in the shady gazebo.
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The C Sure Children's Park has a tot lot that's perfect for beach babies. Photo courtesy of Holland
A stone's throw away from the busy Atlantic City beaches lies the quieter Ventnor City Beach, where you'll find the C Sure Playground by the seashore. The wooden structures, on padded ground, include bridges, castles, slides, and a sandbox with authentic beach sand.
Located on the Metedaconk River Beach, this spacious, recently renovated playground features separate areas for kids 2-5 and 5-12. The fenced-in park, which is on a soft surface, consists of bridges, climbing walls, swings, a play forest, and lots of other creative structures.
Swing in the sand at Bayview Playground. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
With beautiful ocean views, Bayview Park is situated on a quiet bay of LBI. Sand play, slides, climbers, and riding animals make for some fun playground time, plus the adjacent gazebos are home to summer concerts and events.
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Scoop Taylor Park in Wildwood Crest features an enclosed play area with ocean views. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
If the kids have a little vacation energy to burn, stop by this bustling playground on the free Wildwood Crest beach. The enclosed play area contains vibrant slides, tunnels, and climbing walls. Basketball and tennis courts round out the fun. Plus, there are public bathrooms.
Pirate's Cove Playground is situated on a newly renovated waterfront park. Photo by the author
A recent visit to my childhood hometown included a stop-by at this beautifully renovated waterfront park. With scenic views of the Raritan Bay, the waterfront park houses walking paths to the beach and an imaginative pirate ship playground. Kids can climb and slide from the huge ship, and go for a ride on the swings, all over a rubber ground covering.
A North Jersey Beachfront Playground Bonus
If you're looking for a playground-beach combo and don't want to deal with Shore traffic, head up to Hudson County for this amazing urban playground. Situated on the Hudson River, the innovative playground features clean, modern climbers, swings slides, a splash pad, and best of all, a man-made mini-beach, all with a Manhattan backdrop.