This Fourth of July my family was struggling with plans. We all wanted to see fireworks, but the NYC fireworks are always way too crowded and the surrounding areas seem to lead to major gridlock getting home. So we decided to take a mini vacation, and spend one night at Caesars Atlantic City Resort and Casino, and enjoy Atlantic City’s fireworks from the boardwalk.
All of the hotels happened to be offering great promotions, we ended up booking a room with an ocean view at Caesar’s. It took about two hours to drive from NYC. The pool at Caesars is not family friendly, they offer use of Bally’s pool for $20/person, but we opted for the beach. We spent an afternoon having fun burying our daughter in the sand, chasing waves, making sand castles and soaking up the sun. That evening we dined on the boardwalk enjoying fresh seafood. Afterwards we took a long walk along the expansive pier and, bought ‘famous’ saltwater taffy and sweat shirts as the breeze coming off the ocean was nice and cool.
Afterwards we headed to the beach for fireworks. The fireworks were put on by the Tropicana Casino and Resort and the beach right in front of Caesars gave us our perfect view. The fireworks display was a wonderful celebration of bursting lights lasting well over ten minutes. Many people had blankets on the beach and were picnicking. We sat on our blanket while our daughter did cartwheels between pops of streaming colors. It was exactly what we were looking for! After a wonderful day we called it a night and headed to our room.
Bright and early the following morning we had a big breakfast in the luxury mall called the Playground built off a long 900 foot pier right across from Caesars. From there we strolled further down the pier to Atlantic City Miniature Golf. This was really fun, it appears to be relatively small but once you’re on it you see how well they used the space. The cute designs and fun greens total 18 holes! Embarrassingly, our 5 year old daughter was the only one to get a hole in one. Needless to say we’re still hearing about it.
After golfing I checked out of our room and stored our stuff in our car while my boyfriend and daughter took a ride one of the famous Rolling Chairs. My daughter loved it – my boyfriend thought it was a rip-off – I thought they were adorable. Later I took a little break across the street to explore Tanger’s Outlets and snagged a couple deals.
Before lunch we met up at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not on the boardwalk. We toured the full museum. Many parts were unbelievable, believe it or not, and my daughter was fascinated. However I carefully chauffeured her quickly though many other parts that were quite macabre and scared her. This museum has a mix of both, so if you go just know that you’ll be exposed to both.
To top-off our mini vacation we ended our day at the famous Steel Pier . We ate hotdogs, cotton candy then enjoyed the rides. Our favorite ride was the swings at the end of the pier which sent us out flying over the Atlantic Ocean providing stunning views of Atlantic City.
Sometimes last minute trips turn out to be the most memorable. This was such a wonderful 30 hours, I’m seriously considering making Atlantic City a 4th of July a family tradition. If not the 4th of July, at least once a summer.
video of our great mini vacation:
- There are several hotels offering Fourth of July fireworks, some bayside, some beachside.
- Check with your hotel to ensure pool(s) are kid friendly.
- Bring a sweat shirt for the evening, the ocean provides a cool breeze.
- Bring your own towels, sunblock, etc to the beach.
- The Tropicana does firework displays throughout the summer, this may change every year.
- Most everything is stroller friendly.
- Wear comfortable shoes, we did way more walking than anticipated.
- Many Casinos offer great promotions of dinner.
For more great ideas in NJ check out: