Vacationers looking for affordable and free things to do in New Jersey vacation spots need look no further than the many things to do in Atlantic City. In fact, there are plenty of events and attractions to enjoy for free on Atlantic City vacations. We have the perfect activities in mind for cost-conscious visitors, who want to have fun at a great value.
From free events and attractions such as the Atlantic City Airshow, to events that cost less than the price of a movie ticket or even just hanging out on one of the top East Coast beaches, there are plenty of free things to do with kids or friends in Atlantic City. Here’s a list of some of the most fun free things to do in New Jersey – all right here in Atlantic City just waiting for visitors to explore. But nothing is really free in AC.
|DO FREE IN AC
- Atlantic City Beaches – no beach fees (a rarity in NJ)
- The Atlantic City Airshow "Thunder Over the Boardwalk" blasts through the skies and is one of the most popular free things to do in New Jersey.
- The Atlantic City Free Public Library continues its popular tradition of bringing the AC Summer Concert Series to Gardner's Basin. Shows on Saturday start at 1 p.m. and play until dusk. Schedule subject to change.
- June 2 - Third World, Evelyn "Champagne" King and Harold Melvin's Blue Notes headline; Sensa Motion Band, Bob Sterling and Jackie Greggs open the show.
- June 23 - Tavares, Con Funk Shun and Kool Moe Dee headline; Eddie Morgan Rek'd 4 Jazz, The Emperors and Essence Pitman open the show.
- July 21 - War and the Chi-Lites headline; Rick Cason Express, Mark Big & Tasty Baxter, Jack and Judah Dorrington open the show.
- August 4 - TBA
- August 18 - Cameo and Enchantment headline; Coolist & Maceo Mobley, Special Occasion and Angela Burton and Passion open the show.
- The AC Boardwalk is the perfect place to stroll anytime, or ride bicycles (6 a.m. - 10 a.m.)
- Chicken Bone Beach Concert Series – Free Jazz on the Beach Summer Concerts at Kennedy Plaza on the Boardwalk at Mississippi Ave. Thursday nights in July and August. Check back for details.
- Crafters Village at Gardner’s Basin – stroll the docks in this historic back bay area, window shop at the unique craft shops, visit the AC Aquarium for a small fee.
- Korean War Memorial Honors the contribution made to help gain freedoms for both the U.S. and South Korea, and Civil Rights Garden symbolizing the passion of the human spirit.
- The Pier Shops (3rd Level) – Hit the Adirondack chairs on the fake sandy beaches on rainy days or when you want the best seat in the house for a sunset over Atlantic City.
- The Water Show at the end of The Pier Shops, with dazzling illuminated water effects every hour on the hour, Boardwalk level at the ocean end of the building.
- Wind Farm Tours - ACUA (Atlantic County Utilities Authority) offers free open house tours of the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm every Monday and Friday at 12 p.m. during the summer. No appointment necessary!
|DO $10 AND UNDER
- Absecon Lighthouse - Tallest lighthouse in New Jersey - open for climbing 228 steps to the top
- Atlantic City Aquarium - Ocean oddities, sharks, sea anemones and more at Gardner's Basin
- Bicycle rentals - Permitted on the Boardwalk between 6:30 am and 10am daily
- Boardwalk Arcades - A roll of quarters goes a long way at Central Pier or Playcade arcades
- Forsythe Wildlife Refuge - 43,000 acres of protected coastal habitat and nature trails
- Haunted Tales - Theater of animated local folklore featuring pirates and the Jersey Devil
- Historic Cold Spring Village - Open-air hands-on Early American living history museum
- Lucy the Elephant - Restored giant historic landmark first built in 1884, open for tours
- Marine Mammal Stranding Center - Rescues and rehabilitates stranded mammals and sea turtles
- Miniature Golf - 18 holes of world-class mini golf at AC's premier course on the Boardwalk at Mississippi
- Noyes Museum of Art - Fine art, crafts and folk art exhibits with a focus on the mid-Atlantic region
- Rainforest Café - Part tropical rainforest, part restaurant, with sweet treats for the kids for under $5!
- Rolling chair ride - See the Boardwalk sites being pushed by an attendant (fee based on distance)
- Skate Zone - Cool off on the Flyers Skate Zone ice rink as you skate or play ice hockey
- Tuckerton Seaport Museum - Working maritime museum with folk artisans and entertainment
- Wetlands Institute - Guided beach walks, back bay boat rides, kayaking, animal shows and more
- Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center - Glass, ceramic, flamework, woodcarving artists at work
|DO $20 AND UNDER
- AC Cruises - Back bay cruises, dolphin-watching trips or sunset happy hour cruises aboard Cruisin' 1
- A.J. Meerwald - NJ's Official Tall Ship offers sailing trips and classes while in Atlantic City waters
- Great American Trolley Tours - Take one of GA's fun trolley tours of the Jersey Shore
- IMAX Theater at Tropicana - Sit back, relax and enjoy a larger-than-life movie releases
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! - Popular odditorium and museum of weirdness for kids of all ages
- Steel Pier - AC's landmark amusement pier on the Boardwalk with thrill rides and games of chance
- Storybook Land - Just outside of AC (and just over $20), amusement park based on nursery rhymes