Long Branch is an often overlooked New Jersey beach town steeped in history. One of the largest towns at the Jersey Shore, Long Branch has recently experienced a rebirth and there are plenty of fun activities for children all year long. Walk the boards, grab a bite at one of the many family-friendly restaurants, take in a show, visit an art festival, spend time at the beach, and much more. Here’s our list of 25 fun things to do in Long Branch, New Jersey, for kids and families.
1. Hit the beach. With more than two miles of beautiful beach, you are sure to find a spot that suits your family. (After Labor Day, the beaches are free again!)
2. Shop or dine at the revamped Pier Village, offering eateries and boutique shopping along the boardwalk.
3. Take the kids to the Monmouth University Children’s Theatre where they'll enjoy children's programming throughout the year.
4. Catch live tunes oceanside with the FREE summer concert series Thursdays by the Sea at Pier Village.
5. Grab a slice–it’s a Jersey Shore tradition. Nunzio’s Pizzeria on Westwood Avenue is touted by many to be the best pizza in Long Branch.
RELATED: Jersey Shore Guide for Families
The skate park at Seven Presidents Park was rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park.
6. Spend the day at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, hitting the beach to play in the surf and sand; enjoy the adjacent playground, Tony's Place, when the kids are ready for drier pursuits.
7. Got a skater in the family? Let them try out new tricks at the recently rebuilt Skateplex at Seven Presidents; the skate park is open year round and is always FREE.
8. Get a history lesson! Visit the historic Church of Presidents, where all seven presidents who visited Long Branch spent time.
9. Feast on coastal cuisine with the kiddos at Surf Taco.
10. Don't miss the annual Long Branch Jazz and Blues Festival every August.
Pirate ships have landed during the summer on Great Lawn, Laird, Melrose and Cottage beaches in Long Branch.
11. Climb the pirate ship playground on the beach.
12. Catch a storytime just for toddlers at the Long Branch Public Library.
13. Don't miss the annual Fourth of July Oceanfest, one of the state's largest fireworks and Independence Day events.
14. Fulfill your daily protein requirement at Amy’s Omelette House where 220 varieties of omelettes are available. Of course, the kids might prefer the Mickey Mouse Pancakes.
15. Peruse the local New Jersey Repertory Company's current season for family-friendly performances from this celebrated nonprofit theater company.
Bands by the Beach. Photo courtesy of The City of Long Branch.
16. Spend your Sunday evenings watching a variety of Bands by the Beach in West End Park.
17. Stop in for a root beer float at Stewart’s Root Beer, a 1950s style family restaurant with favorites like ice cream and the infamous root beer, plus lunch and dinner options.
18. Fill up first at Jr’s, hailed by some as the "best burger on the Shore."
19. Take a walk on the Long Branch Boardwalk. Take advantage of the wide, plentiful boards and stroll with your family in the ocean breeze.
20. Catch a family-friendly movie on the beach during the summer months with the Movies at the Pier series.
Try the cheese fries and dogs at the Windmill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
21. Try the “best fries in the state” at Windmill. Yes, the readers of NJ Monthly decided that the fries here are delicious.
22. See a concert with the family at MAC at Monmouth University.
23. If you are visiting Long Branch on a Saturday, head over to the Public Library for Family Fun which includes crafts and storytime.
24. If the need for chocolate and candy is taking over, head on over to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Their selection of fudge, candy and caramel apples should help.
25. Finish off any and every adventure in Long Branch with a delicious homemade ice cream cone at Gracie and the Dudes.
Top image: Head to beach at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala.
This article was first published in September 2012 but has since been updated.