When most people think of Atlantic City, they envision an adult only trip spent mostly at the slots with a drink in hand. While some alone time is always nice, we wanted to explore just how much there is to do in Atlantic City with the family. This is also the perfect place to bring grandma: lots of family time during the day and then a nice date night while the kids are enjoying nonna time in the evening.
If you’re looking for a family friendly hotel, we had the chance to check out the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel. Since you can visit any of the casinos in AC, it’s a great option to stay at a non casino hotel when visiting with children. The Sheraton isn’t right on the boardwalk, but it’s close enough to walk, and is in great walking distance to all of the shopping and food options in the area.
Upon arriving, we immediately noticed all of the amazing Miss America memorabilia throughout the hotel. It was awesome to see the history and beauty of it- and of course take fun photos around the crown and scepter located in the lobby area. There is even a statue of the late Burt Parks that sings the iconic There She Is when you touch his hands outside in the tea garden.
Our room was great, with comfy beds and a great view of all to see in the area. And check out at 12pm was great- plenty of time to sleep in but still enjoy breakfast before we departed.
For our stay, we were able to experience the Club Level, which is an upgraded room type. Benefits of upgrading to the club level include:
- Daily breakfast for two
- All-day snacks and beverages
- Evening hors d’oeuvres
- Starbucks® Coffee
- Free Wi-Fi
- Business center services
This is a great option for families since prices for food and drinks can be pricier in the area, and you can enjoy that daily Starbucks coffee without leaving your room! The lounge area is also nice, with great seating areas and views of the water and stores around Atlantic City.
We also enjoyed the indoor pool during our stay. Perfect place to take a quick dip and cool off before hitting the outlets or other places around the city. There is also a sun deck with whirlpool right outside, great for catching some rays or an evening dip.
For more information, visit www.sheratonatlanticcity.com
There are both valet and self parking options, and we used a $5 lot off the boardwalk the next day after check out for a day spent on the beach.
Things to Do
Beyond the many little stores and attractions on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, there are also lots of places to explore. Our first stop was a dolphin watching cruise with Atlantic City Cruises. A family owned boat, this cruise guarantees you will get to see dolphins- or you will receive a voucher for a return cruise to try again the next day, or anytime you visit AC. When we boarded, our awesome captain Jeff let us know that out of the last 22 days, they were able to see the dolphins 21 of those days. Since this boat cruises daily during the summer months, the dolphins know Jeff and his family’s boat, and aren’t scared to come right up to it and even play!
Captain Jeff was a fantastic host and made it such an enjoyable experience. No matter where on the boat you find a seat, you will be able to see the dolphins since the captain moves the boat around for all sides to see the action. The cruise starts with a little background on Atlantic City and the beaches in the area, as well as some interesting facts about dolphins. We couldn’t believe how close to shore these dolphins are, and also happy to hear that when dolphins are around, that means sharks most likely aren’t- which was very good to know!
Snacks and a bar are also on board, so you can enjoy a mixed drink as the kids squeal over each dolphin sighting. On the way back Captain Jeff showed off some more landmarks and places in AC, and recommended some other places to visit while in town. This cruise is a must do when exploring Atlantic City with kids. In addition to dolphin watching, Atlantic City Cruises also offers a morning skyline cruise, afternoon delight, and happy hour cruises. Check outwww.atlanticcitycruises.com out for more information.
Also located in the Gardner’s Basin is the Atlantic City Aquarium and several places to enjoy lunch or dinner. There is also the historic Absecon Light House– the third tallest lighthouse in the United States with 228 steps to the top!
Another fun place we explored was the new Bass Pro Shop. After seeing so many commercials for this family friendly store and not having one near the Bronx, we were excited to finally be able to see for ourselves. The kids had a blast exploring the giant fish tank and climbing onto 4-wheelers, inside tents, and checking out their awesome toy section.
There are also events and other fun activities hosted at the Atlantic City location, so be sure to visit www.basspro.com before to plan ahead.
With Tanger Outlets right by the hotel, this is also a perfect chance to do some back to school shopping. Everything from Old Navy to Toys R US factory is available, so be sure to budget for some great deals also. Check out www.tangeroutlet.com/atlanticcity for coupons and digital deals to budget beforehand.
After a fun filled day of exploring and pool time (and letting grandma hit the slots for a bit too!), we headed down to the boardwalk for a few drinks and dancing at Bally’s Beach Bar. Located in the sand, this is always a great spot to go for some drinks, great music, and dancing. Open until 3AM, you can dance the night away with the waves crashing in the distance and it was the perfect night cap to a fun filled day with the kids. www.caesars.com
We then took a nice stroll on the sand before making our way back to the hotel.
In the morning we met up with the kids and grandma, enjoyed breakfast and then hit the beach. We picked up lunch at a local place in the area, and enjoyed an entire day of beach time before we rinsed off all of the sand and headed home. It was the perfect family trip, and we can’t wait for next summer to explore even more of what Atlantic City has to offer for all ages.
To plan your perfect Atlantic City trip, visit www.atlanticcitynj.com. Feel free to share your must visit places or tell us about your trip when you return!
A very special thank you to the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel and Atlantic City Cruises for hosting us for this fun feature. All opinions expressed, as always, are our own.