Ah, going down the shore.
Bicycle rides, ice cream on the boardwalk and dipping into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean — it’s a tale as old as time, a tradition passed l’dor v’dor.
And this summer will certainly be no different. From June to September, the beaches are bustling with activity, from mahjong tournaments in Ventnor to sand sculpture competitions in Ocean City and much, much more.
Here’s our collection, not meant to be exhaustive, of some of what’s happening down the shore this summer.
Film screenings, tribute concerts, the beach and boardwalk — and that’s just the start of what there is to do in Atlantic City.
You can check out “Movies Under the Stars” on Sundays at Gardner’s Basin and Thursdays at Bartram Avenue, from July 7 through Aug. 29. The films this year include Jaws, The Lego Movie (The Second Part), Black Panther, Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse, Mary Poppins Returns, Incredibles 2, Captain Marvel and Dumbo.
Meanwhile, music lovers can head over to Kennedy Plaza for Tribute Tuesdays, a tribute concert series running from July 2 to Sept. 3. The series includes tribute concerts covering Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Prince and more. And on Wednesdays from 7-10:30 p.m., you can enjoy the Mardi Gras live concert series at Kennedy Plaza.
For more Atlantic City adventures, head to atlanticcitynj.com.
For a quieter beach experience than what Atlantic City has to offer, head just a few miles south to Ventnor.
There, you can kick off your summer with comedy night at Chabad at the Shore on June 23 at 6:30 p.m., featuring comedian Sarge. Other events at the Chabad’s Chai Center in Ventnor include a Mega Challah Bake on July 25 and the Chabad Gala on Aug. 4 at 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
If you play mahjong, head to Shirat Hayam for an all-day mahjong tournament from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 11. And if mahjong is really your jam, you can return to the synagogue for two more tournaments later this summer, on Aug. 8 and Sept. 5.
For more Ventnor vacation ideas, check out ventnorcity.org.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Save Lucy Committee, an organization dedicated to preserving Margate’s Lucy the Elephant, which was built beside a railroad stop in 1881 to attract real estate buyers and has since become an iconic landmark. So on July 20 at Lucy the Elephant, there will be a celebration to mark that golden anniversary as well as Lucy’s 138th birthday.
You can also join in with the multitudes going to Beachstock on June 29 at Margate Beach between Huntington and Granville avenues. The festival, now in its ninth year, includes limbo and hula, volleyball and lifeguard competitions and 14 hours of nonstop music. You can learn about shells and sea creatures on the Sustainable Downbeach Environmental Beach Walk, learn line dancing with country musician Nikki Briar and learn how to make sand sculptures. And the party doesn’t end with sunset. At dusk, Beachfest will feature a bonfire and fire dancer performances.
Throughout the rest of the summer, you can head to farmers markets, which happen regularly on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. to noon at Steve & Cookie’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Or experience Thrilling Thursdays in July and August, when beach tags aren’t required, and the days end with Moonlight Movies at 8:30 p.m. at Washington Avenue and the beach.
The Milton & Betty Katz JCC, located on North Jerome Avenue, hosts a summer entertainment series on several Thursdays throughout the summer as well. The JCC will host Judy Collins on July 18 at 7 p.m., Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show on July 25 at 7 p.m., The Edwards Twins on Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. and Paula Poundstone on Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.
For more Margate merriment, see margatehasmore.com.
You can find interesting activities all summer long at Ocean City. These include the Antique Auto Show on June 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ocean City Tabernacle, a freckle contest on July 10 at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Music Pier and the Ocean City Beach Patrol Women’s Lifeguard Invitational Races on July 25 at 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the 34th Street beach.
Amateur artists will also have the opportunity to engage their artistic side, with lots of sculpting opportunities. There’s taffy sculpting on June 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Music Pier, french fry sculpting on July 10 at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Music Pier and a sand sculpting contest on July 11 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Sixth Street beach.
For more Ocean City opportunities, visit oceancityvacation.com.
Music lovers will find plenty of opportunities to listen to music at Cape May this summer, with regular live shows at Nauti Spirits and Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille.
Then, there’s also the 30th annual Cape May Music Festival, which runs from now until June 14 at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. The music ranges from chamber to pop to brass and more.
Other events include the annual Military Timeline Weekend at Historic Cold Spring Village on June 15 and 16, the Cape May Hops Festival Crafts & Collectibles Show at the Emlen Physick Estate on June 22, and regular Thursday night ghost walks beginning at Historic Cold Spring Village.
For more Cape May cheer, see capemay.com.