Free and Low-Cost Things to Do at the Beach

Guide to free and low-cost fun at New Jersey and Delaware beaches.




Keep the kids and your wallet happy during your family’s beach vacation with this guide to free fun and great deals. Whether you plan to stay for a day or the week, there are plenty of low-cost ways to enjoy the trip.

New Jersey

Atlantic City

FREQUENT FREEBIES

Free beach access all summer

Wednesday through Sunday

3D Light Show. Runs every half-hour after sunset. Boardwalk Hall.

HOTSPOTS

Steel Pier

The centerpiece of this boardwalk theme park is the 227-foot-tall Ferris wheel — the steepest in the state. Cost cutter: Two- ticket Tuesdays are in effect 1-6pm, starting June 18.

Thunder Over the Boardwalk

This year’s free airshow is Aug. 21, featuring demonstrations and a high-speed boat-vs.-airplane showdown.

Margate

FREQUENT FREEBIES

Thrilling Thursdays

No beach tags required! Sidewalk sales, farmers’ market and movies on the beach. July & Aug., 8:30pm. Huntington Ave. & the beach.

HOTSPOTS

Lucy the Elephant

Visit the town’s mascot, a 65-foot-tall wooden structure complete with a quaint gift shop. You can tour inside Lucy for a fee.

Beachstock 2019

Party on the beach for free June 29, and enjoy live music and entertainment, treasure hunt, face painting and hula lessons.

Ocean City

FREQUENT FREEBIES

Tuesdays

Entertainment, face painting and balloon art. July & Aug., 10am. Asbury Ave.

Wacky Wednesdays

Activities differ weekly and include French fry sculpting and a donut-on-a-string eating contest. July & Aug, 10:30am. Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace & the boardwalk.

Thursdays

Family-oriented boardwalk entertainment. July & Aug., 7:30pm. 6-14th Sts.

HOTSPOTS

Baby Parade

Infants and toddlers strut their stuff Aug. 8 on the boardwalk during one of the longest-running events of its kind in the country.

Sandcastle Park

Perfect for pre- or post-beach playtime, the expansive playground is equipped with rubberized flooring, equipment made of recycled plastic, shaded areas and bathrooms.

Sea Isle City

FREQUENT FREEBIES

Mondays & Fridays

Movies Under the Stars; July & Aug., 8:15pm; Excursion Park.

Tuesdays

Family Dance Parties; July & Aug. (excluding Aug. 6), 7:30pm; Excursion Park.

HOTSPOTS

Skimmer Festival

Enjoy live music, family activities, a craft market and tours June 15. JFK Blvd. & Pleasant Ave. and Excursion Park..

Sara the Turtle Festival

On June 26, discover turtles’ role in the
environment with nature displays, activities and entertainment. Excursion Park.

Wildwoods

FREQUENT FREEBIES

Free beach access all summer

Sundays

Fox Park Concert Series. June 23-Aug. 25, 7:30pm. Fox Park Amphitheater, Wildwood

Thursdays & Saturdays

Concerts Under the Stars. July & Aug, 8pm; Lou Booth Amphitheater, North Wildwood.

HOTSPOTS

Morey’s Piers

This Wildwood boardwalk staple boasts amusement rides and two waterparks. New this year, the Runaway Tram family coaster pays tribute to the town’s tramcar and the park’s 50th anniversary.

Wildwoods Convention Center

Also on the Wildwood boardwalk, this venue plays host to a slew of sporting events and all-ages festivals, many of which are free.

Delaware 

Bethany Beach

FREQUENT FREEBIES

Free beach access all summer

Mondays

Movies on the Beach. June 17-Aug. 19, dusk. Garfield Pkwy.

HOTSPOTS

Bethany Beach Nature Center

Open year-round, the center features walking trails, exhibits and activities that highlight the area’s inland bays and wetlands.

Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf

With sand traps, water holes and secret pathways, this not-too-challenging mini-golf course lives up to its name. Cost cutter: Ages 2 and younger are free with a paying adult.

Rehoboth Beach

FREQUENT FREEBIES

Free beach access all summer

Friday through Sunday

Concerts. June 14-end of Aug., 8pm. Rehoboth Beach Bandstand.

HOTSPOTS

Delaware Seashore State Park

Bike, boat, crab, fish, swim or hike at the 2,825-acre park.

Jungle Jim’s

The state’s biggest waterpark offers splashy faves like the Lazy River, waterslides and wave pools. Cost cutter: Take advantage of discounted admission after 3pm.

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