17 Fun Things to Do in Atlantic City in Winter

Atlantic City is known for its lively casinos, iconic boardwalk, fine dining, high-end shopping, world-class entertainment, and exciting nightlife. While the city’s expansive beaches make it a great summertime destination, there are many things to do in Atlantic City in the winter that make it a popular vacation spot all year round.

The ocean breezes make Atlantic City cool in the winter. So you’ll want to spend the majority of your time inside. Yes, a walk on the boardwalk or beach can be nice if the sun is out, but you’ll spend most of your time inside. Thankfully, there’s still plenty to do.

We visit every winter and are always in search of new fun things to do. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

Visit the Absecon Lighthouse

Black and white striped lighthouse over a 2-story building.
Absecon Lighthouse is over 160 years old

Built in 1857, Absecon lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country and is New Jersey’s tallest, standing at 171 feet high. For a small fee, visitors can climb the 228 steps to the top for some breathtaking views of the city skyline. You will also be able to see the lighthouse’s original first-order fixed Fresnel lens that was first lit in 1857. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933, and, although the light still shines every night, it is no longer an active navigational aid.

There is free parking and admission to the surrounding grounds, a replica of the Lightkeeper’s dwellings, a gift shop, and the original Oil House. Don’t forget to check out the educational museum with exhibits on ocean life, shipwrecks, keepers, and lighthouse history.

Swim in an indoor pool

Sun lounge chairs and palm trees surrounding an indoor pool at an Atlantic City casino.
Borgata’s lush indoor pool setting

Even during the cooler winter months, you can always go for a swim in Atlantic City. The ocean might be a little too cold for comfort, but many of the hotels and casinos offer indoor pools with fantastic views. Depending on your mood and company, the indoor pools can either be a relaxing way to spend a winter afternoon or a fun and lively place to have a few drinks before a night out.

Those looking for a more spa-like experience and to swim a few laps should check out the MGM Tower at Borgata, Hard Rock, and Ocean. For a more party atmosphere, we suggest a trip to Harrah’s resort–a beautiful pool and bar with cabana service, palm trees, and hot tubs in a glass-domed oasis. The famous Pool After Dark party located at Harrah’s is a one-of-a-kind nightlife experience that often hosts famous DJs and performers.

Explore the options at Lucky Snake Arcade

Go karts sitting on an indoor track.
Electric go karts at Showboat

I dare you not to be entertained at Lucky Snake Arcade & Sports Bar. The term “arcade” doesn’t begin to cover what’s available at this giant indoor entertainment complex at Showboat Hotel. Yes, there are all kinds of arcade games from a room dedicated just to pinball to racing games, skeeball. and traditional video games. But that just scratches the surface.

At Lucky Snake, you’ll find indoor mini-golf, virtual reality games, and bowling. You can also strap on roller skates for a spin around the rink or hop in a bumper car for some good-natured fun with friends. One of the most popular attractions is the electric go kart racetrack that is lit with cool signs from the former casino floor. With a bar and concessions stand, there is plenty here to occupy your time.

Shop at The Walk

Brick building with green awnings and a sign for "Coach" next to a blue pillar with a sign for "Tanger Outlets."
Coach at Tanger Outlets

Atlantic City is known for being an excellent shopping destination with some of the best shopping options in New Jersey. One of the most popular places to shop is at Tanger Outlets The Walk, an open-air outlet mall that spans nine city blocks.

You’ll find many high-end brands offering their merchandise at a discounted price. Shoppers come from all over for many of the internationally recognized stores, which include J. Crew, Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade, Coach, and more. Its convenient location is within walking distance of the boardwalk, beaches, and many of the casino resorts.

Visit a spa

Looking for a way to spoil yourself or perhaps a loved one? Atlantic City is home to several world-class spas that offer a wide range of treatments and leisure facilities. It goes without saying that visiting a spa is a fantastic way to relax, de-stress, and disconnect from everyday life. The pampering spa treatments offered at many of the luxury hotels and spa resorts include massages, therapeutic bath and body treatments, rejuvenating facials, and more.

Some of our top recommendations for spas to wind down at include Qua Spa at Caesars, Rock Spa & Salon at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Sea Spa at Tropicana, and Spa Toccare at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. It’s the perfect way to hit the reset button over the winter break!

Walk the boardwalk

People walking on the Atlantic City boardwalk beside high-rise buildings and casinos.
Atlantic City boardwalk

A trip to Atlantic City wouldn’t be complete without visiting the most famous boardwalk in New Jersey. Stroll along the oceanfront for some spectacular sea views on one side and shopping, restaurants, and entertainment on the other. There is something for everyone, with plenty of luxury hotels, casinos, arcades, and local finds where you can buy souvenirs or delicious saltwater taffy and fudge.

The boardwalk is open year-round, but the ocean is not. Nevertheless, don’t let that stop you from enjoying a leisurely walk along Garden Pier to enjoy the picturesque sunsets.

Make a splash at Island Waterpark

Water slides at a waterpark.
Just a few of Island Waterpark’s slides

The world’s largest beachfront waterpark, Island Waterpark is a new addition to Atlantic City. Its 120,000 square feet are packed with attractions that draw visitors in every season, even though it’s just a few steps from the ocean.

Visitors will find 11 slides, a lazy river, and even a FlowRider that lets you simulate surfing. You can play basketball in the pool or enjoy the giant man-made waterfall. An adults-only area has a DJ and even includes a swim up bar. Though the spot does come at an extra charge, it may be worth it if you’re looking for a unique experience or have kids that can manage the rest of the park on their own.

Get the IMAX Experience

There are few better ways to spend a cold winter day than watching a movie in the warmth of the IMAX theater at the Tropicana. Much larger than regular movie screens, IMAX theaters have exceptional clarity and detail that make for a special movie experience. There are only a few in the region, so having one here is great if there is a movie you want to see.

The theater, located on the third floor of the casino & resort, projects the latest movies onto a screen that’s over 5 stories high. You’ll feel like you’re a part of the action – not just watching it.

See a show at Boardwalk Hall

Two-story stone building with arched windows.
Boardwalk Hall

Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, first built in 1929 as a convention center, is now a massive entertainment arena with a main hall capable of holding nearly 15,000 people. Located along the iconic boardwalk, the building was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987 as one of only a few surviving structures from the city’s early days.

Throughout the year, Atlantic City’s largest entertainment venue hosts famous musicians, championship sporting events, family shows, and community functions. Legends who have performed here include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Beyonce. While entering and exiting can sometimes be a little hectic, there is no bad seat in the house.

Astoundingly, Boardwalk Hall is also home to the world’s largest musical instrument. The pipe organ has over 33,000 pipes and eight chambers, and it produces trumpet notes six times louder than the loudest train whistle. Every Wednesday at 10am, you can join the Curator’s Tour that actually takes you inside the pipe organ. It is followed by a free 30 minute concert at noon–there’s no better way to spend your lunchtime.

Stroll on the deserted beach

Empty beach with lifeboat that says "Atlantic City" turned upside down.
In the winter, you’ll have the beach to yourself

Strolling along the peaceful, deserted beaches is one of our favorite things to do in winter. Although the ocean may not be open and the weather is usually chilly, being alone on the pristine sand is refreshing.

The beach at Atlantic City Boardwalk is pretty and convenient, but for some more secluded nearby beach destinations, check out Brigantine , Margate, Longport Dog Beach, or Chicken Bone Beach (where you can also learn a bit of local history). Just don’t forget to bring your jacket.

Catch a show at a casino

Be a part of the glitz and glamour and enjoy a host of Atlantic City shows, events, and concerts to rival those of Vegas. Many of the casino resorts offer musical concerts, comedy shows, championship boxing events, contemporary circus acts, and other live entertainment.

A live show is a perfect excuse for an escape and an exciting way to create unforgettable memories with your family and friends. Some upcoming winter highlights include Diana Ross and Pitbull at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, ’80s rock band Extreme at Tropicana, and comedian Jerry Seinfeld at the Borgata Events Center. There is always a concert or show going on, so be sure to check the events calendars before you head off on your winter break!

Play a few rounds at Topgolf

Golf cart indoors, outside of a business with a sign for "Topgolf Swing Suite."
Topgolf is good fun in any season

For a fun and unique indoor activity to escape the winter cold, head over to the largest Topgolf Swing Suite in the country at the Ocean. You don’t need to be a golfer (or even interested in golf) to have a great time here. In addition to virtual golf, Topgolf’s massive screens can also be used to play other fun games, including, baseball, football, hockey, and carnival classics. We’re fans of the unusual zombie dodgeball game.

The games are fun for visitors of all ages, but adults will enjoy the variety of unique cocktails and a break from the typical casino resort activities. With seven private bays, a large bar, and additional table games, there is a lot to do here while enjoying sweeping views of the ocean and boardwalk. Don’t miss the happy hours deals on Sundays and Thursdays.

Escape the room at the Tropicana

Glass doors in the middle of black and white walls with a sign: "Escape AC: Live Action Game. 4 room choices, 60 minutes, 1 seriously good time!"
Outside Tropicana’s escape room

For a fun but challenging group activity, check out the Escape Room at Tropicana Casino & Resort. The exciting experience has you follow mind-bending clues to work together to get out of your room. Groups of 2 to 10 people must use attention to detail and think outside the box to escape in under 60 minutes. It is not easy!

The Escape Room at Tropicana offers four Atlantic City-themed rooms to choose from, including The Poker Room, Casino Cage, and Backstage. Each game room provides a unique and thrilling experience you won’t forget. We chose Boardwalk and definitely appreciated the hints from our game master as we tried to solve the clues. Even if you don’t escape in the allocated time, it’s sure fun trying.

Enjoy fine dining

White building with three peaks in its roof and a sign: "The Knife & Fork Inn."
The uniquely designed Knife & Fork Inn

Atlantic City is home to some of the best fine dining restaurants on the Jersey Shore. You’ll be able to find all types of cuisine, including Italian, seafood, French, and much more. Here are a few of the top-rated restaurants in the city: Dock’s Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in AC and has been serving the best steaks and freshest seafood since 1897 or Carmine’s, famous for offering some of the best Southern Italian cuisines served in large portions in a family establishment.

If you want to travel back in time, try Kelsey’s, Atlantic City’s first supper club, serving great food and drink with live music on the weekends or the Knife and Fork Inn, an upscale steak and seafood restaurant that has been restored to its Prohibition Era glamour and offers a very popular happy hour. If you’re in the mood for Asian food, head to Nobu, the world-renowned Japanese restaurant at Caesars.

See the boats in the marina

Line of boats in a marina.

Head on over to Farley State Marina and take a peaceful stroll around the docks and enjoy looking at some of the beautiful sailboats, houseboats, and other impressive boats docked at the marina. In the picturesque Absecon Bay, where prohibition-era rumrunners once transported rum to the shores, this serene marina has over 600 floating slips and dockage for boats up to 300 feet in length.

You’ll be sure to spot the boats of some of the high rollers as just across the street from the marina you can run the slots, play cards, and enjoy award-winning restaurants and entertainment at the Golden Nugget casino. Perhaps after an extremely lucky night at the casino, you’ll be able to buy your own boat to dock at the marina!

Visit the local nightclubs

Atlantic City is famed for its vibrant and exciting nightlife. From sundown to sunrise, you can enjoy the dazzling lights, DJs, dancing, and drinks that the city has to offer on a nightly basis. There are so many different clubs with unique and distinct atmospheres, that you can have a different experience every night, or even in the same night if that’s your thing!

The majority of hotels and casinos in the city are also home to some of the best nightclubs. For an old-school 70s style disco floor, be sure to check out Boogie Nights in Tropicana, where you can have a boogie under the giant disco ball. For the high rollers, head on over to the exclusive, glamorous, and slightly pricier HQ2 nightclub, known for its VIP booths, table service, and world-renowned DJs. The Pool After Dark nightclub at Harrah’s is the best pool party in town, with tropical fauna, a heated swimming pool, and private hot tubs for a unique and wet night out! Other favorites include Premier at Borgata, and The Irish Pub.

Try your luck at the casinos

Table games and slot machines inside a casino.
There’s ample opportunity for gaming

Atlantic City is perhaps best known as a gambling destination, and any winter break wouldn’t be complete without trying your luck on one of the many casino floors. All of the casinos offer the expected slots, roulette, craps, and other classic table games such as poker and blackjack. Some of the newer casinos even have sports betting as well; the William Hill Sports Book in the Ocean Casino Resort is a 7,500 square foot room complete with a 24-hour bar, a state-of-the-art panoramic video wall technology, and enough televisions to broadcast almost every sports game.

The more modern and flashier casinos include Borgata and Ocean, while some of the classics are Caesars, the Tropicana, Bally’s, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, and Harrah’s. Even if you don’t win the jackpot, you’ll be sure to still have fun and get the adrenaline pumping trying! If you are visiting, also check our article Atlantic City activities, which focuses on the summer.

2 thoughts on “17 Fun Things to Do in Atlantic City in Winter”

    1. Not sure if you’re looking specifically for winter things or year-round, but many of the things in this article could be teen friendly depending on her interests–some of the casinos allow guests under 21 at the indoor pools, the IMAX, Ripleys, Topgolf is basically video games and food. The Tropicana Escape Room is also an all-ages activity, and the Tropicana also has an arcade. If you head down to Ocean City, there’s Haunted Golf and other amusements. Outside the heart of winter, Steel Pier is a good choice.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *