Sometimes inspiration for a new blog post comes from the places you least expect it.. but then you’re like why didn’t I think of that. Such was the case this morning when in the Rockstar Moms Facebook group, a mom asked about ideas for things to do at the Jersey Shore when it rains. She was going to have a house full of tweens and teens for the weekend and she desperately needed some ideas for Jersey Shore rainy day activities. As I began to type away a list, group co-leader and Rockstar real estate agent, Christina Sciarretta recommended I put those ideas together for a post here. She could not have been more right.
With rain forecasted for the Jersey Shore all Memorial Day weekend Christine’s idea was perfect. I can’t believe I never thought about it before. Rain does NOT need to ruin your Jersey Shore vacation. There are so many indoor attractions and activities in South Jersey and Central Jersey beach towns to keep you busy having fun even when you can’t get to the beach.
Jersey Shore Rainy Day Activities
There are plenty of things to do at the Jersey Shore when it rains. Let’s take a look at all the indoor attractions and activities at the Jersey Shore all of them would make for a fun day of Jersey Shore rainy day activities. This guide is a work in progress. The more I think about it the more ideas come to mind. Keep checking back to see what I add to the list.
Skeeball, crane machines and video games
Along the shore we have plenty of indoor arcades and some are just a view steps of the beach. Yes, most Jersey Shore boardwalks have arcades, but these are some of best. Check out these arcades when it rains at the Jersey Shore, it gets a bit too hot, or the sun goes down and you’re still looking for something to do.
The Lucky Snake Arcade in Atlantic City
What’s claims to be the largest arcade in the East, the Lucky Snake Arcade is now open inside the Showboat Hotel. We haven’t checked it out, but we can’t wait to.
The Lucky Snake Arcade is an 85,000 square foot arcade for all ages. Here’s a look at how they plan to offer thrills to visitors to the Jersey Shore. If you’re visiting the Atlantic City or Brigantine beaches this has to be on your must-do list of Jersey Shore rainy day activities.
- World’s largest crane came
- Classic games from the 80’s to today
- Virtual reality games
- Incredibly large Pac-Man game
- Skee Ball
- Boardwalk style games without having to stand on the boardwalk
More Atlantic City casino and hotels with arcades
- Bally’s Park Place – Located indoors, between the Claridge and Bally’s Park Place. It’s a bit of a walk to get to but it is a nice size arcade.
- Tropicana Resort – lower level near the box office
- Harrah’s Casino and Resort – We haven’t been recently, but years ago it was located near the indoor kids pool.
The Smile Factory in Brigantine
The Smile Factory is a family oriented arcade operated in Brigantine, New Jersey, just steps from the beach. They have a variety of games, ranging from Skee Ball to basketball, ice hockey, boardwalk and racing games. They operate in a fully enclosed, air conditioned location.
Silver Ball Arcade and Museum in Asbury Park
We made our first visit to the Silver Ball Museum a few years back as part of a NJ staycation to Long Branch. We were all so excited to make a visit to this New Jersey pinball museum as part of our trip. The Silver Ball Museum is just minutes away in nearby Asbury Park. It’s right on the boardwalk. Open year round, you don’t need to wait until summer to enjoy some old fashioned gaming. Click over to watch our video tour of New Jersey’s pinball museum in this Facebook Live video.
Boardwalk Fun ‘n Games in Pier Village in Long Branch
Make memories in Long Branch, even when it rains. The Boardwalk Fun ‘n Games is a high end arcade with a full service redemption center. They offer fun games for all ages and skill levels with state of the art virtual reality games, skee ball, various crane games and numerous skill and chance games to win points for redemption. Call 732-479-0390 extension 405 for more information.
Jenkinson’s Arcade in Point Pleasant
The Jenkinson’s Arcade, filled with videos games, slot machines, skee ball, basketball, cranes, and more make for great Jersey Shore rainy day activities.
Fantasy Island Arcade in Long Beach Island
Who doesn’t love collecting tickets? At the Fantasy Island Arcade you can rack up the tickets without overflowing your pockets. Tickets are stored on a Fantasy Island game card that you can reload to earn even more tickets. Skeeball, Wheel of Fortune, and Deal or No Deal are just a few of the arcade games offering tickets.
Tour a museum
Our museums at the Jersey Shore do not get enough credit. They are really fabulous! We have art museums, history museums, maritime museums and more. You don’t have to save these for a rainy day activity at the Jersey Shore, you can visit them nearly anytime.
- Tuckerton Seaport in Tuckerton
- Noyes Museum of Art in Atlantic City
- African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey in Atlantic City
- Lucy the Elephant in Margate
- New Jersey Maritime Museum in Long Beach
- George F. Boyer Historical Museum in Wildwood
- Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum in Wildwood
- The Doo Wop Preservation League Museum in Wildwood
Escape to an Escape Room
When it’s raining outside, when the weather is just too hot, ESCAPE. Escape to a Jersey Shore Escape Room attraction. We have a few in South Jersey and Central Jersey. We’ll list them below. One thing to keep in mind, not all Jersey Shore escape rooms welcome children, tweens, or teens. Before heading out give them a call or check their website for current age guidelines.
Play a round of indoor mini golf
My favorite accidental discovery on a rainy day at the Jersey Shore was the Haunted Golf attraction on the Ocean City Boardwalk. It was one of those days I didn’t expect it to rain. We were on our way to Ocean City because we just needed to get out of the house. The rain started to come, but I was determined to make the best of it. As we headed down the Ocean City Boardwalk we happened upon the Haunted Golf mini golf spot. It was a fabulous way to spend a rainy day in Ocean City. Take a look at our pictures and see some other indoor mini golf attractions below.
- Haunted Golf on the Ocean City Boardwalk
- More Coming soon
Watch the fish at a Jersey Shore aquarium
Let’s admit it it’s pretty hard to see fish when you’re at the Jersey Shore. I’ve never seen any penguins walking along the shoreline. I’ve never been able to find a starfish. I’ve yet to see an octopus, nor would I want to. But still you’re at the beach, why not use a rainy day at the Jersey Shore to get a closer look at the creatures and animals that live in and under the water. Here’s some New Jersey aquariums at the Jersey Shore.
Atlantic City Aquarium in Gardener’s Basin Atlantic City
- 800 North New Hampshire Ave. Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (609) 348-2880
- Click over to read our Atlantic City Aquarium review.
- 3625 Brigantine Boulevard, Brigantine, NJ 08203 (609) 266-0538
- This is not an aquarium but does teach about aquatic life and may have other rescued animals in shallow pools.
Seaport Aquarium in Wildwood
- Located at 3400 Boardwalk at Oak Avenue in Wildwood.
- Family-friendly boardwalk aquarium featuring hundreds of fish and sharks, snakes, marmoset monkeys, moray eels, alligators and an interactive touch pool.
- You can learn more at their website, www.facebook.com/seaportaquariumww.
Jump at a Jersey Shore Trampoline Park
Kids have a lot of energy! If they can’t burn it off running up and down the beach or building sandcastles, take them to a trampoline park to bounce out that energy. Here’s a few trampoline parks in Jersey Shore communities.
- Get Air Trampoline Park, Mays Landing, Atlantic County – Get Air is right off the Atlantic City Expressway. You can use exit 12 or 14. It’s located behind the Hamilton Mall and is only a 10-15 minute ride from Atlantic City. It’s also a 10 minute ride from Garden State Parkway exits 44, 40, 37, and 36.
- The Bounce House in Hammonton
- Skyzone, Lakewood, Ocean County
- Urban Air, Toms River, Ocean County
For more indoor trampoline parks in New Jersey visit our Get Jumping with New Jersey Trampoline Parks guide.
Everyone loves bowling! If your perfect beach day at the Jersey Shore looks like it will be filled with rain strike out and go bowling. Here are NJ bowling alleys located near the Jersey Shore.
- The Lucky Snake Arcade has virtual bowling AND several regular bowling lanes available in their arcade inside the Showboat Hotel on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
- King Pin Bowl in Egg Harbor Township. – Located on the Black Horse Pike, it’s easily accessible from the Garden State Parkway or Atlantic City Expressway. It’s about 20 minutes from the Atlantic City beaches or 25 minutes from Brigantine.
- Di Donato Bowl and Lounge in Hammonton. – Located on the Black Horse Pike, it’s about 30 minutes from the Atlantic City beaches or 35 minutes from Brigantine.
- Bradley Beach Bowl in Bradley Beach
- Island Bowl in Wildwood
- Thunderbird Lanes in Manahawkin
- Playdrome Lanes in Toms River
- Lakehurst Bowling Center in Lakehurst, (732) 323-2027
Got kids? Sign them up for the Kids Bowl Free program and they can bowl for free at the Jersey Shore on rainy days.
Watch an iMax Movie
A normal movie watching experience might not feel special, so while visiting the Jersey Shore why not take your group to an iMax movie. Watching an IMAX movie on a big screen you can’t help but feel immersed in the experience. Here are a few IMAX movie theaters at the Jersey Shore.
- Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City has an IMAX theater on the second level of The Quarter.
- Tilton Square Theatre in Northfield plays IMAX movies. It may not be right on the beach, but it’s only a 10-15 minute ride from Atlantic City. Bonus, parking is always free.
Walk through a fun house
Sometimes we’re so busy rushing along the boardwalk to get to the beach we miss all the fun that’s available on the boardwalk. Fun houses are one of those experiences you might have missed. Get lost in a mirror maze. Try to balance on a moving floor. Take in the bright neon colors. I know of at least one fun house on the Jersey Shore, but we’re on a search to find you more.
Jenkinson’s Fun House is an indoor family attraction at the Jersey Shore that you cannot miss! The Fun House takes you through a laugh-filled journey with mazes, revolving tunnels, foreshortened rooms, and moving floors. Your senses are intensified with echo chambers, countless sound effects, calliope music, air blasts, black lights, and illusion trick mirrors.
Make and Take a Paint Project
Can’t collect treasures from the beaches at the Jersey Shore? Make them. In NJ beach towns along the boardwalk or in the downtown streets there is usually at least one paint studio. For a few dollars you can come in from the rain to paint a ceramic piece, create a mosaic tile, or make another fun unique project. It will be a fun reminder of how you didn’t let a little rain keep you from having fun with the ones you love. Here’s a few we’ve discovered.
- Glazed Over Studio at 704 Asbury Avenue, Ocean City. (609) 398-8880
- More coming soon.
Eat someplace fun
You have to eat? Why not eat someplace fun? The Jersey Shore offers restaurants that go beyond offering a delicious meal, they offer a fun, upbeat, engaging experience. Here are some of our favorites and recommendations from the locals.
Rainforest Cafe on the Atlantic City Boardwalk
If you like to dine out in fun places then you likely have visited a Rainforest Cafe. But did you know we have one on the Jersey Shore in Atlantic City? Come in from the rain for a scrumptious meal where the only thunder you’ll hear is from the ‘virtual’ thunderstorms.
Hard Rock Cafe on the Atlantic City Boardwalk
Not only does the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant offer plenty of seating, but there are multiple stages in the restaurant. Enjoy some live music. Dine on a tasty meal. Take in some of the unique memorabilia situated throughout the restaurant.
Doo Wop Diner in Wildwood
My favorite kind of diner are the ones with a 50’s decor and the Doo Wop Diner does not disappoint. Betty Boop greets you at the door. There’s a soda shop style counter and a jukebox in the back. Enjoy a menu of burgers, milkshakes and other American favorites. Bonus points for this diner that’s up-to-date on what today’s diners need like gluten-free options. The GLUTEN FREE pancakes were delicious and left me so stuffed. The Doo Wop Diner is such a fun atmosphere with great service. Breakfast is available until noon. Then they start serving lunch. You can see more of our pictures in this Facebook post or learn more at their website, doo-wopdiner.com.
Have a Jersey Shore restaurant that’s especially fun and unique and should be added to the list? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Shop where the shopping is an experience
One of our favorite shops at the Jersey Shore is Bass Pro Shops in Atlantic City. It’s not just a shopping trip, but it’s a whole experience. They welcome guests to try out some of the items in the store. So kids can sit in a tent or ‘pretend’ to ride a jet-ski or 4 wheeler. Let’s not forget to that the store has an incredible 2 story Delaware Water Gap waterfall and 13,000 gallon fresh water fish tank featuring fish found in and around New Jersey. Sit back and watch the fish. If you time your visit right you just might be there for the deep sea fishing times.
Atlantic City Bass Pro Shops is also a unique place to take in some engaging art. If you’ve got kids with you turn it into a scavenger hunt. Bass Pro Shops own artist have captured scenes from the Mullica River over the fishing department and the Forsythe Refuge over the camping department. Stand back and see if you can find the hidden “Bass Pro” in the marshes.
That’s not all the art though, there are hand painted murals of fish and water fowl in the upper level balcony, over the footwear department are Garden State Water Fowl. Head up the other open stair case to see replicas of wildlife found swimming in and around the Absecon lighthouse. Watch out for the bears on the bear cave stairs, they might shock you, but they are completely harmless.
Why not take some time on a rainy day to pamper yourself? Grab the friends, your family, or whoever you’re traveling with and make it a spa day. Get a message. Treat yourself to a manicure. Soak your feet with a luxurious pedicure. When the sun comes back out you’ll be relaxed and looking extra good with your painted nails.
Yes, it may be raining at the Jersey Shore, but depending on where you are staying you may be able to take advantage of indoor pools. These Jersey Shore resorts and hotels have indoor pools.
- Bally’s Park Place in Atlantic City
- Harrah’s Casino and Resort in Atlantic City
- Borgato Casino in Atlantic City
- Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City
- Ocean Resort in Atlantic City
More fun indoor activities and Jersey Shore rainy day activities
Ride a dark ride
Yes, normal amusement park rides may not be fun in the ride, but including dark rides as part of your Jersey Shore rainy day activities can help save the day. Coming soon our list of Jersey shore towns with dark rides.
- XD Dark Rides on the Wildwood boardwalk
Ride an indoor carousel
Ride by the Sea! is a unique and imaginative carousel that brings back the iconic charm of historic Long Branch. What makes this carousel especially special is that it’s somewhat indoors. The ride is housed in a retractable glass encasement that will be opened during the summer and closed and heated during the winter. Learn more at the Long Branch Pier Village website.
Strap on some skates
It’s not right on the beach, but it’s not that far either. Head over to Young’s Skating Center in Mays Landing, near Route 40 and Route 50, and turn that rainy day into a fun day of roller skating.
Visit a Top Golf Club
Have you ever played golf virtually? How about a game of darts or dodgeball with mummies? These are just some of the rainy day activities you can do when your visit to the Jersey Shore includes a stop at a Top Golf Club.
- Ocean Resort in Atlantic City has a Top Golf Club
Toss some axes
Throw Axes at Flying Hatchets in Wildwood, located at 4004 Boardwalk. Take your chance throwing hatchets at wooden targets marked with a bullseye and score points based on where on the target they stick the axe. You can learn more at their website, flyinghatchetswildwood.com.
Have a drive thru experience
Just because you don’t want to get out of the car doesn’t mean you can’t have fun from the car. New Jersey offers a few drive through attractions and activities that are still doable on rainy days at the Jersey Shore.