Many think of Atlantic City as an adult vacation spot. While there is certainly plenty for adult visitors to do, having children should not rule out an Atlantic City getaway. There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages as well as day trips that will help to make Atlantic City a favorite place with the entire family.
The beach in Atlantic City is just one of the features that make it a good choice for families. Family members of every age likely enjoy the beach. Kids can play in the sand while teenagers work on their tan and the parents try to finish off the novel they have been reading. Another great reason to spend a few days at the beach is that it won’t cost a fortune, no matter the size of your family.
In addition to casinos and nightclubs that cater to adults, there are also attractions for kids of various ages. Below are just a few examples of family friendly attractions and activities in Atlantic City.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum
While some of the items displayed at this museum of the weird might be a little spooky to the very young children, kids older than 10 or so typically enjoy it quite a bit. There are dozens of strange items that Ripley collected over his lifetime and that are still being collected today by those who run the museum.
Atlantic City Aquarium
Visitors can see a variety of marine life including sharks and hundreds of species of fish and other creatures from all over the world. Each day, visitors have the chance to watch as a diver enters the shark tank and feeds the sea creatures. Check with the aquarium for the time of the feedings, which is included in the regular admission price.
Atlantic City puts on an elaborate fireworks display each July 4th. It is one of the biggest fireworks displays in the country. Other locations on the Jersey Shore have fireworks displays weekly throughout the summer. Take a short drive to Asbury Park, Cape May or Seaside Heights and treat your kids to a beautiful display.
Haunted Tales is a 4D theater that shares scary local ghost tales with visitors. While marketing material says that it is fun for all ages, it is best to consider the fright level of your very young children before visiting this attraction.
There are many day cruises available from Atlantic City that kids of all ages will enjoy. In addition to lunch and dinner cruises, there are dolphin and whale watches and sightseeing cruises as well. Most tours are only offered at certain times of year. For example, the best chance to see a whale is between March and December, so whale watch cruises are only offered during that time.
Another fun way to see the area around Atlantic City is with a helicopter tour. Most kids will be thrilled for the chance to ride in a helicopter. This is an especially beautiful experience at night when the city lights can be seen from the sky.
Steel Pier Amusement Park
The Steel Pier Amusement Park had entertained families in Atlantic City since it first opened in 1898. After a fire destroyed much of the park in 1982, some thought it was gone forever. Happily, the park reopened in 1993 and has been, once again, delighting visitors with rides, shows, and other attractions ever since.
Older children will enjoy the chance to go parasailing. No experience is needed and this activity is very safe and handled under the supervision of experienced staff. Most companies that offer parasailing recommend that you make reservations in advance.
The above is just a sample of the many kid-friendly activities and attractions that can be found in Atlantic City.
Of course, some adults want to spend some time doing the adult activities, such as visiting the casinos or taking in an adults-only show. Some hotels offer babysitting services that allow parents to have a few hours to themselves. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, be sure to check that the hotel you choose has such a service and that they will have it available during your stay.
Another option is to bring along a babysitter who can enjoy herself during the day and then watch the kids at night while you and your spouse hit the town.
After your first family trip to Atlantic City, you will no longer think of it as an adults-only town.