Long Beach Island is an 18-mile long barrier island off the eastern coast of New Jersey. Book a stay at a Long Beach Island vacation rental to take advantage of this summer hotspot where tourists and New Jersey locals alike come to spend sunny days. Activities for kids and families range from arts and crafts to live concerts. Adventure outdoors with a bike or surfboard rental, or head out to the water on an exciting pirate cruise. Check out the top family-friendly activities at Long Beach Island.

1. Experience Boating History at the New Jersey Maritime Museum

Located at the southern end of Long Beach Island, the New Jersey Maritime Museum boasts the largest collection of maritime history and artifacts in the state of New Jersey. Browse the museum’s large collection of old and new seafaring equipment, including two functional sailboats which are used for special events and sailing workshops. The museum also has a database of New Jersey shipwrecks to fascinate your inner treasure hunter.

2. Take a Class at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences

Hosting and organizing art exhibitions, concerts, workshops, and more throughout Long Beach Island, visiting Long Beach Island Foundation is a perfect way to get your kids interested in the arts while you’re in town. Book a summer vacation rental in the area to take advantage of one of the Foundation’s annual events such as the Black Maria Film Festival or Barnegat Bay Day.

3. Play a Round at Hartland Golf and Arcade

Head to the Ship Bottom area of Long Island Beach and visit Hartland Golf and Arcade. Help the kids learn the fundamentals of golf on an exciting mini-golf course that’s fun for the whole family. Play your best game to win a prize. In the off-season, skip the outdoor course and head inside to play some games in the arcade.

4. Explore Unique Art Galleries

Long Beach Island is home to a number of small independent galleries, as well as hosting arts and culture events for the public. A vacation rental in Long Island Beach gives you easy access to galleries and open studios that artistic kids and adults can enjoy. Stay in the summer and take advantage of the annual Summer Art Opener, which includes art exhibitions, food, and performances.

5. Rent a Bike

Stop by one of the bike and sports rental shops in the Long Beach Island and find a ride to help you better navigate the area. Experience the Jersey Shore and coastline from one of the numerous bike trails that run across the area. Shorter, low-elevation trails make a great daytime activity for families with younger kids, while older children and those feeling adventurous can traverse one of the more demanding routes.

6. Relax at Bayview Park

With public volleyball courts, swim-safe waters, a playground, and more, Bayview Park is an ideal spot for enjoying fun in the sun. If you’re staying at a vacation rental on Long Beach Island, the size and proximity of Bayview Park make it easy to reach by car, bike, or on foot. Pack your picnic basket and let the kids run free.

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7. Stop for Ice Cream at the Long Beach Island Boardwalk

The Long Beach Island Boardwalk is a combination ice cream shop and sports rental business that’s famous for its sense of historic beach-side Americana. Grab an ice cream sundae or milkshake in a flavor combination of your choice, then rent an inner tube or surfboard and head to the beach.

8. Cool Off at Thundering Surf Water Park

Located in Beach Haven, Thundering Surf Water Park has been open since the 1970’s and is known as a great family hotspot for New Jersey locals and tourists alike. Spend an afternoon floating down the lazy river in an inflatable tube, or slide down one of the multiple water rides for a bit of fast-paced excitement.

9. Become a Seafarer on a Black Pearl Pirate Adventure

Step onto the decks of the Black Pearl and experience an interactive sailing excursion like no other. This exciting pirate cruise sails on a short route through the calm waters of Little Egg Harbor Bay, complete with a choreographed high-seas water fight as kids team up with trained actors to search for treasure. Arrive 30 minutes prior to your sailing time to give your kids the chance to dress up in provided pirate costumes.

10. Travel Back in Time at the Historic Viking Village

First settled in the 1920’s by Scandinavian fishermen arriving on the east coast of North America, Long Beach Island’s Viking Village now serves as a historic tourist attraction located near the Barnegat Lighthouse. Enjoy delicious seafood at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the village, or check out one of the galleries for interactive arts and crafts. Arrive in the off-season for the annual Santa’s Viking Christmas Village in late November.

11. Enjoy the Views at Barnegat Lighthouse

Also called “Old Barney,” this picturesque lighthouse makes for a great afternoon walk. Located at the northern point of Long Beach Island, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is home to not only this landmark, but also a great patch of land for hiking, biking, and outdoor activities. Wait for sunset to snap a gorgeous photo of the lighthouse in all its glory.

12. Create Great Memories at Fantasy Island

Head to the beach-side amusement park of Fantasy Island for an exciting day of carnival rides and midway games. Friendly, easy rides are perfect for young kids, while older youth and adventurous adults can enjoy the large Ferris wheel and swinging pirate ship. At night, the park’s colorful lights turn it into a fantasy wonderland of sights and sounds.

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