Atlantic City is best known for its glitzy casinos and vibrant nightclubs, but the New Jersey resort city also offers a host of attractions for its younger visitors. If you’re visiting the seaside city with kids, you can look forward to relaxing days by the beach or an indoor pool; rides at the pier-top amusement park; a visit to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum; and much more. Find a charming Atlantic City vacation rental with easy access to these kid-friendly attractions that the whole family is sure to love.
1. Soak Up the Sun at Bally’s Beach
Despite its privileged location on the shore of bustling Atlantic City, this family-friendly beach never gets too crowded. Rent a beach umbrella and some recliners near one of the lifeguard towers to kick back as the kids play in the surf or build sand castles. Older kids may also enjoy participating in a few lessons from the Atlantic City Surf School.
2. Check Out the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
Pop in any day of the week throughout the year to step into the can’t miss building that’s cracked down the center and explore a huge collection of more than 500 bizarre and wacky exhibits. Here, you can see a stuffed calf with two heads, a replica of the tallest man in the world, and a statue of Jimi Hendrix made entirely of Rubix cubes. Due to the nature of some of the exhibits, this museum is best for older kids and teens.
3. Visit the Atlantic City Aquarium
This small aquarium doesn’t take much time to see, but it is well worth the trip if you’re traveling with younger kids. Stop by to pet and feed stingrays and small sharks in the numerous touch tanks, and check out the fish tanks and reptile exhibits with turtles and snakes. Be sure to step out onto the upper balcony for beautiful views of the water.
4. See a Movie at the IMAX Theater
The only movie theater in town, the IMAX at the Tropicana hotel is the perfect place to spend an evening or a rainy day before heading back to your cozy vacation rental. Sit back in the 280-seat auditorium and watch one of the latest blockbusters on the five and a half-story screen, and don’t forget the popcorn.
5. Enjoy the Amusement Park at Steel Pier
Offering old-fashioned fun on its dozens of rides and attractions, Steel Pier is sure to be an Atlantic City favorite. The amusement park has a few kiddie rides for tiny tots, and the 220-foot Ferris wheel, roller coasters, and exciting stunt shows with tight ropes and roaring motorcycles provide hours of family fun. Be sure to ride the double-deck carousel before grabbing some carnival food to eat while overlooking the water.
6. Say Hi to Lucy the Elephant
Kids of all ages get a kick out of the six-story wooden elephant two miles south of Atlantic City in Margate, just a short drive from your vacation rental. You can even take a tour inside the giant elephant, which was built back in 1881. Climb up the spiral staircase, learn about Lucy’s architecture, and enjoy the views from the elephant’s back. Don’t be surprised if your little ones beg for a stuffed Lucy from the gift shop after your tour.
7. Stroll Along the Atlantic City Boardwalk
A must-see for visitors of all ages since it was built in 1870, the boardwalk offers plenty of fun restaurants, souvenir shops, street performers, and ice cream shops. The Atlantic City boardwalk is also your portal to some of the city’s top attractions, including Steel Pier and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.
8. Check Out the Absecon Lighthouse
Kids young and old are sure to enjoy exploring the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey. Walk through the lighthouse museum at the bottom before paying a smile fee to climb to the top of the lighthouse, which provides panoramic views of the surrounding city and shoreline.
9. Rent a Stand-Up Paddle Board or Jetski From the Boatyard
If you’re traveling during the warmer months, head to the boatyard to rent a stand-up paddle board, jet ski, kayak, or other water sports equipment to give your older kids an unforgettable experience. You can also rent a paddle boat for a relaxing cruise through the harbor or rent a fishing boat to try your luck with bait and a hook.
10. Relax at One of the Hotel Pools
Atlantic City boasts a fantastic spread of indoor pools that welcome non-hotel guests for a small fee, including the Bally’s pool with its spread of relaxing hot tubs. Another favorite is the Pool at Harrah’s, a tropical oasis complete with a glass ceiling and palm trees. The temperature is kept at 82 F year-round, and the pools and hot tubs offer plenty of fun for kids. When you need to refuel, order some Caribbean food to enjoy by the pool.
11. Take an Atlantic City Cruise
See the city views and sunset colors from the water on a fun harbor cruise from one of the multi-deck cruise boats offering indoor and outdoor seating. Atlantic City Cruises, Inc. offers a number of family-friendly options, including an afternoon cruise, a morning cruise, and a dolphin-watching cruise during which little ones can spot pods of the marine mammals playing in the wake.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Atlantic City vacation rentals on Tripping.com.