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Arts & Culture


Galleries and museums highlight Atlantic City culture and creativity

It’s hard not to be inspired by Atlantic City’s vibrant colors, bustling activity and natural beauty. The proof is in the city’s art galleries, museums and cultural events. Browse indoor fine art galleries such as the Atlantic City Art Center or venture outside to one of Atlantic City’s popular art parks -- created by both local and world-renowned artists.

The stories behind the city are just as inspiring as the art -- check out Atlantic City’s many museums and monuments honoring the Civil Rights movement, war heroes and figureheads that made Atlantic City what it is today.

Check out Atlantic City culture and art spots!
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Absecon Lighthouse\ IPPA
31 S. Rhode Island Avenue

New Jersey's tallest lighthouse and the country's third tallest lighthouse! In 1993, the Inlet Public/Private Association adopted the Lighthouse as a symbol of the rebirth of the Inlet section of town. The restoration of the Absecon Lighthouse was completed in 1999, followed by the reconstruction of the Keeper's Dwelling in 2001.The third and final phase, the restoration of the 2-acre site was completed in 2003. Funded by grants from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority & NJ Department of Transportation's Transportation Enhancement Program, the site work phase restored many characteristic features of the historic grounds. Now visitors can enjoy strolling the 2-acre property, visiting the Keeper's Cottage museum and gift shop, and climbing the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Keepers are on duty and share with visitors the magnificent 360 view of the Jersey shore, and the magnificent 1854 First-Order Fresnel lens in the lantern above.
Absecon Lighthouse\ IPPA
African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ
2200 Fairmount Avenue

The only African American Heritage Museum in NJ documenting the African American experience of the 20th century. Over 11,000 treasures showcased on a rotating basis, updated every month. The Museum also holds a collection of Atlantic County soldiers’ memorabilia from World War I to present at the All Wars Memorial Bldg in Atlantic City.Open Tues-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat by appointment.
African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ
African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ - Atlantic City
Noyes Art Garage Stockton College

The only African American Heritage Museum in NJ documenting the African American experience of the 20th Century. More than 11,000 treasures showcased on a rotating basis, updated every 30 days. Open Tues-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat by appointment. The Museum also provides a collection of Atlantic County soldiers’ memorabilia from World War I to present at the All Wars Memorial Building in Atlantic City.
African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ - Atlantic City
Atlantic City Aquarium
800 No. New Hampshire Ave.

The Atlantic City Aquarium is home to over 100 varieties of fish and marine animals. Get up close with SHARKS! Our tropical shark touch tank gives visitors an opportunity to touch several species of sharks. The Mid Atlantic Coastal Zone encourages visitors to touch a variety of local organisms such as Horseshoe Crabs and Sea Urchins. Be sure to say hello to "Groman" our resident Loggerhead Sea Turtle as he cruises around his 25,000 gallon home. The Aquarium also houses moray eels, moon jellies, seahorses and diamondback terrapins just to name a few. SEA OUR SHOWS: Live Dive Feeding Show, Exotic Animal Show (call for times) and daily feedings at Stingray Touch Tank. From fun and educational children's birthday parties, an elegant wedding reception, a fabulous picnic, corporate meeting or a one of a kind special affair the Atlantic City Aquarium will exceed your expectations for a truly unique and memorable event. Located in Historic Gardner's Basin home to sightseeing cruises, fishing boats, restaurants, retails shopping and a Crafters Village. The Atlantic City Aquarium is open year round 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Atlantic City Aquarium
Atlantic City Art Center
Garden Pier on Boardwalk

Providing visitors an unparalleled opportunity to view the work of noted national and regional artists with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. Open Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm.

The Art Center has recently updated its galleries by bringing in the work of AC native Shelley Wentz-Evans. After graduating from AC High School in NJ, Shelley received a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Art Education from the Philadelphia College of Art. Returning to her home town, Shelley began a 30 year career teaching art in the public school system.

Shelley's work is a continually evolving process in which she uses her media to accomplish a personal vision. Never content to use materials in a traditional way, these paintings and sculptures reflect her need to explore and experiment in innovative manners. Her work integrates techniques borrowed from several art forms, thereby blurring the lines between painting and sculpture.

It is through her art that Shelley continues to grow and express her inner voice. Her latest pieces combine acrylic painting with heavy textural elements, graphics and photos, all integrated to provoke the viewer's power of interpreting.

Atlantic City Art Center
Atlantic City Ballet
2301 Boardwalk

For 31 years, the Atlantic City Ballet has been at the forefront of dance and is considered to be the premier ballet company in this area. Founded in 1982, by international Ballerina, Phyllis Papa, the AC Ballet serves as a prime artistic resource to the residents of Atlantic City and the surrounding areas. The company is comprised of professional dancers from around the world.
Atlantic City Ballet
Atlantic City Free Public Library
1 N. Tennessee Ave.

The AC Free Public Library provides information services, programs and exhibits, training classes, computers and internet access, as well as books, magazines and multimedia. The library has an extensive Atlantic City Heritage Collection. The ACFPL also presents multicultural events throughout the year such as the International Night Concert Series at Kennedy Plaza on the Boardwalk.
Atlantic City Free Public Library
Atlantic City Historical Museum
Garden Pier

The Atlantic City Historical Museum on Garden Pier (at New Jersey Ave) is open to the public and operated by the AC Free Public Library and features new exhibits.The Atlantic City Historical Museum, operated by the Atlantic City Free Public Library, showcases the culturally diverse, exciting history of Atlantic City in a nostalgic timeline. Visitors can enjoy exhibits of Mr. Peanut, sand sculptures, Miss America and casinos - along with vintage photographs and local artifacts. WINTER HOURS: Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. *Free admission
Atlantic City Historical Museum
Bay-Atlantic Symphony
31 W. Commerce St.

The Bay-Atlantic Symphony is the resident orchestra of southern New Jersey, performing at the Richard Stockton College Performing Arts Center, Cumberland County College, Avalon's "Symphony by the Sea" Series, and the Cape May Music Festival.
Bay-Atlantic Symphony
Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, Inc.
Kennedy Plaza @ Boardwalk

The Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation creates pride in African-American heritage with its annual program of weekly summer jazz concerts - the Chicken Bone Beach - Jazz on the Beach Concert Series.

For the 12th year, the Concert Series will take place at Kennedy Plaza stage on the Boardwalk between Mississippi and Georgia Avenue on Thursday evenings in July and August, from 7 - 10:00 p.m.

Presented by Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, Inc. and the AC Free Public Library, along with other partners, this event reflects the old entertainment and block party atmosphere of the Kentucky Avenue-Chicken Bone Beach era.
Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, Inc.
Civil Rights Garden
Pacific Avenue & Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.

The Civil Rights Garden is a tranquil public sculpture garden comprised of 11 granite columns, winding pathways, plants, flowers, Gingko trees and sculptures with inscriptions related to the history, events and people of the Civil Rights movement.
Civil Rights Garden
Dante Hall Theater of the Arts
14 N. Mississippi Avenue

Dante Hall Theater, an intimate 240-seat performing arts center, serves Atlantic City and surrounding communities as a vital cultural center. Enjoy live concerts, professional and amateur theater and performing arts, children’s theater and much more.
Dante Hall Theater of the Arts
Downbeach Film Festival
405 Berkshire Dr.

Downbeach Film Festival, presents the annual Atlantic City Cinefest. Rooted in the celebration of film and the creation of a forum where independent film makers can exhibit their work.
Downbeach Film Festival
Historic Cold Spring Village
720 Route 9

Visit 26 restored historic buildings on 30 shaded acres where interpreters in period clothing bring the 1800s to life. Enjoy demonstrations of blacksmithing, basket weaving, book binding and more! Farm animals, carriage rides, and family activities from June-September. Special weekend events. Country Store, Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant. Education and distance learning programs from October-May.
Historic Cold Spring Village
Historic Gardner's Basin
800 North New Hampshire Avenue

Spend the day at the bay at Historic Gardner’s Basin, nestled on a protected channel along the back bays, directly across from the state marina and Coast Guard station. This bayside park offers shopping, dining, fishing and sightseeing boat rides for all ages.

From distinctive hand-crafted gifts in the Crafters Village and unique boutiques, to dolphin-watching and sightseeing cruises, Historic Gardner's Basin is the perfect destination to spend a delightful hour, an afternoon or the day by the bay.

This maritime park on North New Hampshire Avenue replaces the hustle and bustle of the Boardwalk with a different type of activity. Sightseeing and fishing cruises come and go from the docks, the restaurants serve up seafood and ale house brews, the Atlantic City Aquarium offers an interactive aquarium and special events attract thousands.
Historic Gardner's Basin
Historic Smithville - Village Greene
615 E. Moss Mill Road

Historic Smithville & Village Greene is open every day of the year except Christmas. It's a wonderful place to shop and stroll and has a full calendar of family events. Enjoy the views, cafes, restaurants and shoppes. Find a one of a kind gift or just relax and have a great cup of coffee.
Historic Smithville - Village Greene
Jersey Shore Children's Museum
Hamilton Mall

We are a hands-on discovery center dedicated to stimulating curiosity and awareness in the areas of science, technology, history and culture thru interactive play.
Jersey Shore Children's Museum
Lucy The Elephant
9200 Atlantic Ave.

Lucy the Elephant was built by real estate developer, James Lafferty, in 1881, as a gimmick to attract potential buyers to his land holdings along the coast of South Atlantic City (now Margate). Eventually, a popular hotel business was built around Lucy. Presidents and royalty came from around the world to stay at the neighboring Elephant Hotel and climb the stairs to Lucy's howdah. During her history, Lucy has survived hurricanes, ocean floods, and even a fire accidentally started by some inebriated party-goers when she served as a tavern. However, by the 1960's it became apparent there was one disaster Lucy could not overcome - neglect. By that time, the once proud jewel of the South Jersey coast had become an almost hopeless, wretched wreck. Then in 1970, a developer purchased Lucy's land and intended to build a condominium building on the site. The beach and the ocean could stay - but the elephant had to go! To the rescue came the Save Lucy Committee. Within weeks, this small concerned group of ordinary citizens had raised enough money to move the entire decaying structure two blocks away to a new site owned by the city. Thirty years and over 1.5 million dollars later, Lucy was completely restored to her original splendor, inside and out. In 1976, Lucy was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States government as the oldest surviving example of a unique form of "zoomorphic" architecture, and the oldest "roadside" attraction in America. Today, she stands as the most popular non-gaming attraction in the greater Atlantic City region. She has brought fame to Margate City and is known all over the globe as "The World's Largest Elephant."
Lucy The Elephant
Marine Mammal Stranding Center - Sea Life Museum
3625 Brigantine Blvd.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) is based in Brigantine, New Jersey and responds to calls for stranded whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles that wash ashore on New Jersey beaches. The Center houses life-size replicas of many game fish, sea turtles, and marine mammals.
Marine Mammal Stranding Center - Sea Life Museum
Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts
1048 Washington St.

MAC sponsors guided and unguided tours including trolley, walking, house tours, boats, Fisherman's Wharf and US Coast Guard Base along with tours of the Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May's only Victorian house museum and the Cape May Lighthouse.
Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts
New Jersey Korean War Memorial
Brighton Park (Park Place & the Boardwalk)

The New Jersey Korean War Memorial is dedicated to ensuring that future generations remember veterans, their proud and dedicated service, the legacy they continued, and the freedom they preserved. Free. Open daily.
New Jersey Korean War Memorial
Ocean City Historical Museum
1735 Simpson Ave.

Preserving the culture and heritage of Ocean City and surrounding areas since 1964.
Ocean City Historical Museum
Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum
New York Ave. & The Boardwalk

Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum has over 400 eye-opening exhibits that will amaze and entertain kids of all ages. An eclectic odditorium has amongst its oddball treasures, a lock of George Washington’s hair, a 27-room miniature wood carved castle and a host of the most amazing artifacts ever assembled under one roof! Located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, open all year.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum
South Jersey Cultural Alliance
6 W. Glendale Ave.

SJCA is an association of over 125 arts and cultural organizations in Southern New Jersey. Visit www.sjca.net for information about South Jersey museums, symphonies, galleries, lighthouses, arts districts, theater companies and more! Request a free calendar of events and guide by calling toll-free 1-888-704-7522.
South Jersey Cultural Alliance
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University
2200 Fairmount Ave.

Shop creatively at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University! The Arts Garage houses over 15 studios and shops, and visitors are invited to watch the artists at work, ask questions about their creative process, and purchase original artwork. You will find individual artists working in their studios, using a variety of mediums including painting, photography, illustration, found-object sculpture, and more. Don't miss the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey and be sure to visit the satellite gallery and gift shop of the Noyes Museum of Art! Stroll through the galleries and shops, stop for a bite to eat at the Atlantic Café, and enjoy convenient parking in the heart of Atlantic City adjacent to Tanger Outlets, the Convention Center, Boardwalk Hall and Dante Hall Theater. Visit our website for the full schedule of special events, workshops, and exhibitions. HOURS: Wed - Sat: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Find more at www.artsgarageac.com Admission is always FREE to the Arts Garage! Free parking in the Wave Garage with a purchase of $25 or more.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University
Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum
120 W. Main Street

A working maritime museum located along the historic Tuckerton Creek, Tuckerton Seaport is only 25-minutes from Atlantic City. The museum celebrates life on the Jersey Shore with many events and activities for all ages and interests. Watch history come alive as docents build boats, carve decoys, discuss clam digging, and more.Open 7-days a week.
Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum
Wetlands Institute
1075 Stone Harbor Blvd.

The Wetlands Institute offers fun educational experiences and research programs that connect children, adults, families, educators and scientists with New Jersey’s wetlands and coastal environments.
Wetlands Institute
Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center
1501 Glasstown Road

WheatonArts is a national cultural treasure located on 65 scenic wooded acres in southern New Jersey. The Center is less than an hour from Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Cape May. WheatonArts is home to the Museum of American Glass with one of the most comprehensive collections of American glass in the world…from the first glass bottles made in America to celebrated works by Dale Chihuly and other contemporary artists who work in glass. The Education/Folklife Center offers special exhibits featuring the culture and tradition of major heritage communities that have settled in southern New Jersey. In the studios, visitors watch artists demonstrate the art of glassmaking, ceramics and woodcarving throughout the day. Guests discover an extraordinary shopping experience in the award winning Museum Stores. The wide array of one-of-a-kind gifts and treasures range from penny candy to traditional and contemporary art and craft in all mediums. Special exhibitions, programs, workshops, performances and several weekend festivals throughout the year. A "Make Your Own Experience" is available by appointment. Hours: January, February and March, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Only the museum stores and the Museum of American Glass are open during these three months and admission is free. April through December, open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center
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