Top 12 Rainy Day Things to Do at the Shore
Has Mother Nature rained on your beach vacation? Not to worry, there are plenty of fun things to do at the shore when it rains. Here are some of our top favorites:
1. (Ad)Venture indoors. For a break from the rain (or even the sun, for that matter), head inside to one of the shore’s many indoor adventures. If mini golf is your thing, check out Haunted Golf located on the Ocean City Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace. Haunted Golf offers an expansive indoor 18-hole golf course with some spooky (and comedic) surprises along the way. Congo Falls Adventure Mini Golf at 1132 Boardwalk (Ocean City) offers 3 courses, one of which is indoors. Medieval Fantasy Mini Golf at 1336 Boardwalk (Ocean City) offers a course that is mostly covered or indoor, with rooms illuminated by black lights to make the experience even more interesting. In Wildwood, the Pirates of Wildwood offer an exciting indoor 3D mini golf experience. If you would rather be an active participant in the adventure, consider an escape room experience. Liberty Escape Rooms has two locations on the Ocean City Boardwalk (768 Boardwalk and 1078 Boardwalk) and offers a 30-minute immersive experience in which 2-10 players enter an alternate reality to crack codes, gather clues and solve puzzles to escape the themed room before time runs out. Escape Cape May (2202 BayShore Road Villas) offers another live, interactive escape room where players work as a team towards the ultimate goal of escape. For an out-of-this-world lazer tag experience, try Encounters Ocean City at 8th and the Boardwalk where you can do laser tag, a mirror maze and other alien-themed activities.
2. Get crafty. There are many opportunities to get in touch with your creative side at the shore. Glazed Over Studios located at 704 Asbury Avenue in Ocean City has been providing a walk-in art experience for visitors for over 15 years. Here you can paint your own pottery, make a stunning mosaic or paint a beautiful picture. While most of their studios offer walk-in hours all day long, you should check their website or call before you head over because on some days the hours may be limited. A couple blocks down Asbury at 9th Street is Potomac Bead Company, where you can make your own beaded jewelry. On Seven Mile Island, head to Island Studio Paint Your Own Pottery in Stone Harbor which also offers classes in glass fusion, mosaics, painting and clay projects. In Cape May, the Art Block offers a variety of different art projects from painting to candle-making.
3. Catch a Flick. Head to Stone Harbor and catch a flick at the Harbor Theater located on 96th Street. Recently renovated to include a bar and restaurant, the Harbor is the shore’s only remaining theater where you can now enjoy a meal and drinks as you watch your movie.
4. Visit a Library. The Cape May County Library system has branches in Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Wildwood Crest and Cape May (among others). Ocean City and Avalon each have their own free public libraries – even tiny Strathmere has its one. Most of the shore libraries offer free membership to visitors, with the exception of Ocean City and Strathmere, where visitors can join for a small fee. In addition to offering books and videos to borrow while you are on vacation, each library hosts weekly activities and special events throughout the summer.
5. Relax. For the ultimate in relaxation, every shore town also offers multiple spa options. Treat yourself to a massage, a body wrap, a new hairstyle or any one of the many other services a spa offers.
6. Climb a lighthouse. Head to the tip of the cape and climb 199 steps to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse to take in stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Or go north to climb the 228 steps of New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse in Absecon and take in the views of the Atlantic City skyline. Both lighthouses also offer educational opportunities and family events.
7. Connect with nature. The Wetlands institute in Stone Harbor has many exhibits and educational opportunities to learn about the animals and plant life that make up the shore’s unique ecosystem. The Atlantic City Aquarium offers touch tanks, dozens of exhibits, an exotic animal show, sting ray feeder shows and much more. The Sea Life Museum at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine features exhibits and “please touch” displays of the many sea animals that call the Jersey Shore their home.
8. Go back in time. Each town from Ocean City to Cape May has their own historical center, with many books, photos and other items to help you learn more about the history of your favorite shore town. And in America’s Oldest Resort, Cape May, there are a plethora of activities to allow you to learn more about the history of Jersey’s southernmost point. Take a Trolley Tour or a Horse Drawn Carriage to learn about everything from Victorian Architecture to the famous people who lived or vacationed in Cape May. Nearly every day of the summer, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts hosts family events. If you’re interested in learning more about World War II, visit and climb to the top of the World War II Tower on Sunset Boulevard in Cape May.
9. Shop till you Drop. A rainy day is a great time to pick up that box of taffy you promised your co-workers, a thank-you gift for your dog sitter or just purchase something for yourself. Each town has their own unique shopping district – in addition to the Boardwalk, Ocean City has many shops and restaurants on Asbury Avenue. While Stone Harbor’s 96th Street has always been a favorite rainy-day shopping destination for shore vacationers, both Sea Isle and Avalon to the north have developed concentrated shopping districts as well (Landis Avenue in Sea Isle and Dune Drive in Avalon). And then there is always Washington Street Mall in Cape May, another favorite rainy-day destination for shore shoppers. Whatever town you decide to visit, you will be sure to find a unique selection of clothing, beach supplies, toys, home décor and artwork by local artisans. And you’ll be supporting a local business as well.
10. Day drink. The Jersey Cape is home to many breweries, wineries and distilleries, and a rainy day is a great time to check out the latest in beer, wine and distilled spirits. If you don’t have a designated driver, consider hiring Day Sipper Tours to take you to around and keep everyone safe on the roads.
11. Try a new restaurant. Before, after or during your indoor adventure, lighthouse climb, shopping excursion or other rainy-day activity, take time to check out a new restaurant for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack and some cocktails. From home-baked treats to freshly caught seafood, local cafes, bistros and restaurants offer many delicious options to satisfy any taste.
12. Cruise the Coast, and beyond. While The Shore Blog focuses primarily on the events and activities of the southern jersey coast, there is much to do if you want to take a day trip and see some of the other sights that New Jersey has to offer. Atlantic City offers casinos, shopping, an aquarium and live entertainment. Travel inland and visit Historic Smithville or Cold Spring Village. Or just cruise up and down the coast – a rainy day is a good time to see what other towns have to offer without having to miss precious beach time.
No matter what you choose to do, you will not be bored on a rainy day at the shore. Before you know it you’ll be back on the beach!