Though it has a reputation for being a playground for grown-ups, there are tons of things to do in Atlantic City with kids. Let us help you plan your itinerary with our suggestions for amusement parks, aquariums, other family attractions, and even a few kid-friendly restaurants. With all these things to do in Atlantic City with kids, the whole family can have a great time.
Located right on the waterfront, the Atlantic City Aquarium presents hundreds of underwater species, from moray eels to native New Jersey fish such as the gray snapper. At the exhibit Ocean Oddities, visitors get a glimpse at more unusual fauna, including the deadly stonefish. The touch tank houses friendlier (or at least, safe-to-handle) creatures such as tropical sharks, sea stars, and stingrays. One of the best attractions are the 20-minute Dine and Dive shows, in which an aquarium diver feeds cownose rays and swims with nurse sharks.
Sure, you could get a standard sausage pizza at Tony Boloney’s. And it would still be special: they roast their own tomato sauce in-house and pile it with smoked mozzarella. But this eatery is known for its more unusual offerings. The Ole sandwich, made with steak marinated in ten different spices, is one example; another is the Bangkok Parm—chicken with pad thai sauce and crushed honey peanuts.
However, none of these compare to the Taco Pizza: Tony Boloney’s signature offering, for which its received multitudes of press. Weighing in at 30 lbs, the pizza is topped with a base of carne asada–style brisket, roasted chipotles, and queso oaxaca. Then on top of that, the staff places fully assembled whole tacos: corn tortillas containing a variety fillings (chicken, cheese, onions, more carne asada…), so each family member can get exactly what they want. In the middle of this ring of tacos is a pile of guacamole for dipping. Throwing tradition to the wind, the taco pizza is only available on Thursdays.
Steel Pier’s long history began in 1898. Its stage has hosted luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, and the Three Stooges, as well as famed spectacles, including the World Famous Diving Horse and the Miss America Pageant. After a renovation in 1993, it continues to set the stage for nostalgia and thrills.
At the midway—which is situated right on the boardwalk—visitors go soaring in traditional attractions, such as a swing carousel and the breathtaking 227-feet-high Ferris wheel. Those who want a more heart-stopping ride can be strapped into the Slingshot, which fires them 225 feet into the air at speeds of 100 mph. As laughter blends with the crash of ocean waves, another sound rises: the whirr of helicopters providing birds-eye tours of the Atlantic shore.
Just across from Boardwalk Hall, a trio of dolphins perches next to a bubbling fountain, lending a park-like atmosphere to Atlantic City Miniature Golf. Here, families putt balls around 18 well-manicured holes, framed by flourishing greenery and gentle waterfalls. Flanked by the beach and the boardwalk, the well-lit course invites guests to play into the evening, people watching as they await their next turn.
In 1857, a lighthouse keeper first climbed the Absecon Lighthouse’s 228 steps to fire up its all-seeing Fresnel lens, which would give ships safe passage over the next 76 years. Today, visitors can scale those steps themselves to gaze out from the US’s third tallest lighthouse, in which the original lens is lit every single night. On the lighthouse grounds, find a replica of the original lighthouse keeper’s dwelling, plus exhibits of historical photos.
Steel’s Fudge first flung its doors open onto the Atlantic City Boardwalk in 1919. Since then, it’s used the same recipe to craft its fudge, beloved by tourists and city natives alike. That fudge comes in a rainbow of flavors: classic chocolate, bright pink raspberry, and mellow green pistachio, plus vanilla and coconut. But there’s more to this shop than just fudge. Out back, steel arms pull saltwater taffy until it’s tender, while in the kitchen, staffers roast and glaze nuts by hand.
Every day after lunch, the captains of Atlantic City Cruises set off for a trip to see the dolphins, an educational and memorable activity to delight the whole family. As the boat takes to the open ocean, the crew will keep watch for the unmistakable, arcing profile of a dolphin breaking the surface as it cavorts with its friends. Over the two-hour tour, an onboard marine naturalist will impart knowledge about the area and its wildlife.