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Boardwalks, Beaches, and Blueberries: The Best Father's Day Escape in Atlantic City

Updated: Jan 10

Atlantic City has been linked to our traditions as a couple for many years. We visit during the Christmas season to take in the festive displays and try the holiday pop-up bars. We attend the AC Beer and Music Festival each year. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries there. We have an annual summer bucket list. Since we’ve become parents, we’ve been on the lookout for the best family-friendly activities in Atlantic City. One of our favorite family traditions is our annual Father’s Day trip to Atlantic City. Traditions are meant to be shared and carried on, and we’re happy to share the best spots for a Father’s Day getaway in Atlantic City with you! From the boardwalk, to the beach (and beach bar), to Bass Pro Shops, to the best Italian hoagies, to the blueberry capital of the world… this Escape Plan covers all the best Atlantic City attractions for dads. You’ll want to revisit our Father’s Day celebration ideas in Atlantic City again and again!

Kickstart your Father’s Day morning with a scenic drive from the Philadelphia area to Atlantic City. Once you arrive, park at Hard Rock (or Ocean if you want to park for free with your player’s card) and take a leisurely walk along the world-famous boardwalk. The mid-morning stroll offers a tranquil setting, with shops starting to open and crowds yet to form.

Fuel up for the day ahead with delicious food at Bill’s Gyro and Souvlaki, just north of Bally’s and a ½ mile walk from the parking garage. Although no longer open 24/7, this iconic diner adorned with dollar bills opens at 10am. Indulge in a classic bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel, the quintessential, portable Jersey breakfast to savor on the beach. For a tasty alternative, their French toast platter is a delightful to-go option and remains intact in its clamshell container. Complete your order with a couple of iced coffees, and you’re ready to claim your spot on the beach.

Atlantic City is one of the best beach destinations for Father’s Day. All of the beaches are free, clean, and beautiful. Each has its own special appeal, but Bally’s beach is our pick for this day trip, since it’s centrally located (about ⅓ mile from Bill’s and ¾ mile from Steel Pier), and they have rental chairs and umbrellas. We want to spend our time on the beach and boards having fun, not hauling furniture. The Bally’s beach bar opens at 11am, so you can enjoy one of their signature cocktails, frozen drinks, 32oz rum buckets, or mocktails and listen to live music; snack on Philly cheesesteak egg rolls and wings; have a casual lunch from their selection of handhelds; or bring a beverage back to your beach chair. Kids are allowed at the beach bar until 7pm. Tennessee Avenue Tobacco has their mobile car parked in front of The Yard, the courtyard outside Bally’s, if the dad in your party is a cigar enthusiast. There are endless options for beachside relaxation in Atlantic City!

Subscribe to our mailing list to read more about Bally’s Beach Bar as part of our upcoming blog about our DIY summer boardwalk bar crawl Escape Plan.

After you’ve enjoyed the sun, surf, and sea, you’ll see the sights at Steel Pier. This landmark is synonymous with summer fun in Atlantic City. There are tons of rides and carnival games. Single tickets are $2, a book of 50 tickets is $65, and a book of 80 tickets is $85. The carousel and other kiddie rides (teacups, bumper cars, etc) are 4 tickets each. Rides for bigger kids and adults, like the swinging carousel and Flying Dutchman, are 5-6 tickets. Thrill rides are 7-8 tickets. There is special pricing for the slingshot ($32.50/person), helicopter rides ($75 for shoreline tour, $150 for city tour), and the Wheel ($9.99/rider). Every year, we make a point to ride the carousel and the Wheel, which is the enclosed Ferris Wheel with views of the entire beach and boardwalk. See pricing/ticketing info here. Last year, we sat for a family caricature, which was a fun experience and a tangible memory we’ll have forever.

You have one more ride before you go back to the parking garage: a boardwalk rickshaw or the tram. It’s a must-do Atlantic City experience, at least once.

Before you leave the city, stop at Bass Pro Shops in the outlets to let the father you’re celebrating pick a little gift for himself. It’s a sight to be seen, with a 2 story Delaware Water gap waterfall, a replica of the largest striped bass ever caught off a jetty in Atlantic City, and a 13,000 gallon freshwater fish tank containing fish native to New Jersey. It’s an enormous one-stop shop for all of dad’s outdoor recreation needs, whatever his hobby.

Leave your car at the pro shops parking lot (the 1st hour is free, and you can park for up to 4 hours with a $30 in-store purchase) and pick up your mobile order of a whole

White House Special, across the street at White House subs. We recommend dining in for the full nostalgic experience, if you’re a first-timer. However, you’ll be taking your food to-go this time.

You’ll be having a picnic lunch at DiMeo blueberry farm, near Atlantic City, in Hammonton, before you partake in a little pick-your-own action. The picnic table grove is fully shaded by the beautiful Pine Barrens, but there is little to no shade while you’re picking. We suggest reapplying sunscreen and using some sort of bug repellent while on the farm. You can find a kid-safe spray *here*. U-Pick organic heirloom blueberries is by appointment only (call 609-561-5905 to reserve). DiMeo is cash only, with a 12 pint minimum ($30). It’s difficult to eat 12 pints of berries while they’re still fresh, so we freeze our surplus and use them in pancakes and smoothies for months to come. There is free parking on-site, the farm is pet friendly, and there are other activities like kayaking ($20 includes kayak rental, lifejacket, and gear) and nature trails. You can also take home your own blueberry bush, red raspberry and thornless blackberry plants, and other organic berry plants.

While you’re in the blueberry capital of the world, you’ll finish your Father’s Day with a stop at Royale Crown Homemade Ice Cream shop in Hammonton. They’ve been considered the town’s best kept secret for 70 years. Their Hammonton blueberry and blueberry cheesecake flavors contain real Hammonton berries. However, they have a rotating menu full of classic and creative flavors, if you’ve already met your blueberry quota for the day.

If you’re a father or you want to spend a special day with a father figure in your life, this Escape Plan is your ultimate Atlantic City travel guide for families. This itinerary will work any day of the week during the summer months, if you can’t make it to Atlantic City Father’s Day weekend and still want to enjoy some family fun at the Jersey Shore. Subscribe to our mailing list to stay up-to-date on our latest Escape Plans. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more great Father’s Day celebration ideas in Atlantic City!

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