Winter Activities Around the Shore

Winter Activities Around the Shore

Summer is still a few months away but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy spending time at the Shore and in the surrounding areas. If you know where to look, New Jersey offers up a lot of fun activities all year round. Escape the Winter blues and check out the list we’ve put together for Winter Activities that all ages can explore, get out out the house and enjoy the Winter time.

Ice Skating

Ice Skating is a classic Winter time activity and something fun for both kids and adults to enjoy. Some local rinks in Monmouth and Ocean County are the Winding River Rink in Toms River, The Ice Palace in Brick, Jersey Shore Arena in Wall and Howell Ice Arena in Howell Township.

Local Restaurants to check out near these Rinks:

  • Koi Hibachi & Kitchen – Toms River – cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions from sushi to hibachi.
  • Oscar’s Pizza & Restaurant – Brick – family owned and operated business that has been providing excellent on-location catering services since 1991. They specialize in pizza and other Italian cuisines. 
  • Perusa Peruvian Cuisine – Wall Township – authentic Peruvian food: simple ingredients transformed into delicious dishes for young and old to enjoy.
  • Mulligan’s Bar & Restaurant – Farmingdale – provides a fun, friendly atmosphere where everyone can enjoy a drink, good food and good company with an authentic Irish inspired menu.


When its too cold out but you still want to get out and have some fun, we recommend hitting up a local arcade like Yestercades in Red Bank, Go Play Arcade in Belmar, the Coin Castle Arcade in Seaside, or the iconic Silverball Retro Arcade in Asbury Park.

Local Restaurants to check out near these Arcades:

  • Toast Red Bank – provides Red Bank with a “go to” destination for quality food in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Toast fills a local void by serving breakfast, lunch and brunch and staples with a twist. 
  • Klein’s Fish Market – Belmar – Klein’s has been a family-owned business for over 93 years! There’s something for everyone at Klein’s with their vast selection of fresh seafood, soups, salads, burgers, pasta dishes and cocktails.
  • Bum Rogers Crabhouse – Seaside Park – offers a classic seafood dining experience in Seaside Park and is open all year round! Specializing in all things cold beer and fresh seafood.
  • TAKA – Asbury Park – serves up the best sushi on Cookman Ave. High quality Japanese cuisine, cocktails and a diversified menu for all to enjoy.


We’re lucky to live in a state that doesn’t have a shortage of breweries no matter what county you’re in. Some of our favorites include Carton Brewing in the Atlantic Highlands, Birdsmouth Beer in Oceanport, Asbury Park Brewery, Beach Haus Brewery in Belmar and Battle River Brewing in Toms River.

Local Restaurants to check out near these Breweries:

  • The Atlantic House – Atlantic Highlands – located on 1st Ave, their goal is to bring the area a European influence of handcrafted cocktails and small plates. It’s an excellent place for business people and locals to come for a delicious lunch/dinner and a good quality glass of wine. 
  • Mar Belo Restaurant – Long Branch – Taste the authentic flavors of Portugal and Spain with fresh wild-caught fish, high quality organically-fed open-range meats and delectable house specialty desserts. Full service bar with an award winning selection of wines from around the world.
  • Mutiny BBQ – Asbury Park – is Coastal New Jersey’s craft smokehouse. They create delicious, authentic small batch BBQ in the southern tradition, incorporating flavors and methods of Texas, the Carolinas, Memphis, Kansas City, and Louisiana to create a craft BBQ experience unlike any other.
  • Anchor Tavern – Belmar – Hip hangout with wood-fired rotisserie chicken & other grub, plus TVs & relaxed outdoor seating.
  • Uncle Doods Donuts – serves up some of the best donuts in Toms River with a menu that changes monthly. This no-frills corner shop serves up a variety of iced-to-order donuts, plus coffee.

Robert J. Novins Planetarium

The Novins Planetarium at Ocean County College is a great way to explore the universe by seeing the stars and planets as you have never seen before. They have Laser Shows, Sky Shows, and Full Dome Movies with a wide variety of fun and educational programs for all ages. The Novins Planetarium is a gateway to learning about our earth, the solar system, and beyond.

Local Restaurants to check out near Ocean County College:

  • Johnny G’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria – Johnny G’s opened its doors in 1996 as a small pizzeria dedicated to serving up delicious slices for local families. Whether you are looking to grab a pie to-go, or to sit down and enjoy some Italian dining, Johnny G’s is the place to be.
  • Used to Be’s – Open year round and easily accessible from Route 35 in Mantoloking. Used to Be’s takes pride in offering locally sourced ingredients to provide a variety of traditional and creative dishes. Whether it is a quick bite at the bar after the beach or one of Chef Chico’s culinary delights, they have something on the menu for everyone.

Escape Rooms

Gather up some of your smartest friends and test your puzzle skills in an escape room near you. Escape rooms are a great rainy day activity or when its just too cold out to do anything else. Some of our favorites are the East Coast Escape Room in Toms River, Solve It Sherlock in Neptune, Trap Door Escape Room in Red Bank and Escapology in Holmdel.

Local Businesses to check out near these Escape Rooms:

  • Tina’s This & That – Toms River – Since their first day in business, Tina’s This & That Witch Shop has been offering customers the best witchy products in Ocean County with a large selection of crystals, herbs, books, tarot, and more.
  • Shore Lanes – Neptune – Full service independently owned bowling center with 26 lanes, a snack bar, a spirits bar and a full pro shop. 
  • Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe – Has been serving the public delicious homemade chocolate goodness for 23 years. Some products include sea-salt caramels, almond bark and assorted chocolate boxes.
  • Enchanted Blossoms – Holmdel – Family owned local florist proudly serving Holmdel and surrounding areas. Whatever the occasion, their talented designers will create a beautiful, eye-catching floral arrangement that’s customized just for you! Offering floral design styles that are appropriate for birthdays, anniversaries, get well, new baby, sympathy, holidays or just because.

Local Theaters

Local theaters are where its at if you want to save a couple bucks, eat fresh pop corn and enjoy a movie that you can’t find playing at a big box theater. Basie Center Cinemas in Red Bank, Smodcastle Cinemas in the Atlantic Highlands, and the Showroom Cinema in Asbury Park are all great local theaters.

Local Restaurants and Businesses to check out near these Theaters:

  • The Atlantic House – Atlantic Highlands – located on 1st Ave, their goal is to bring the area a European influence of handcrafted cocktails and small plates. It’s an excellent place for business people and locals to come for a delicious lunch/dinner and a good quality glass of wine. 
  • Strada Pizza Bar – Atlantic Highlands – Strada is fairly new to the block in Highlands, but not the pizza making game. Chef Ken and his team cook all their pies in a wood-burning oven viewable from the dining area. Strada is always rotating in new pies and features a great little bar, full cocktail menu and other menu specials that keep us coming back.
  • Little Waves Kids – Red Bank – Founded in 2023, Little Waves was born out of a passion for unique children’s apparel and toys. They offer a thoughtfully curated collection of toys and clothing from around the globe.
  • JÜS Organic – Atlantic Highlands – Was designed with the intention of embracing and adding to the community. The space is an open format, including a large community table and a unique corner devoted to kids. Offerings are locally sourced, such as breads from Medusa in Asbury Park.
  • Hot Sand – Asbury Park – Founded in 2007 as NJ’s first public access glassblowing studio located on Cookman Ave. You can learn how to blow your own glass and buy handmade items in their gallery on the Jersey Shore.
  • Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten – Currently closed due to the September flooding on Sept 29th, but they would love your support when they re-open in February or March. Stay tuned!

The Vogel at Count Basie

The Count Basie Center for the Arts has unveiled its long-awaited second performance venue: The Vogel. This long-awaited, state-of-the-art second performance space at the Count Basie has many upcoming events this Winter including live music, comedy shows, dance parties and book tours.

Local Businesses to check out near Count Basie:

  • Sweetest Sin Boutique – Small, independent store offering bras, panties, shapewear & sleepwear from high-end labels. They cater to every woman and want every woman leaving here a little happier and more confident.
  • FORGE – In today’s world of mass-produced goods, FORGE strives to bring a sense of origin and purpose to the everyday objects in our lives. Their selection of goods ranges from modern home décor and ceramics to jewelry and beauty products, all produced by independent artisans and craftspeople.

Craft Workshops

Embrace your inner artist and try your hand in a craft workshop or paint class. Jersey Shore Paint Party in Brick, Pinot’s Palette in Brick and Wine & Design Paint and Sip Studio in Howell are all wonderful places to try no matter what your experience level is in the art world.

Local Restaurants to check out near these Art Studios:

  • La Fontana Pizzeria – Brick – Old-fashioned café whipping up everyday Italian entrees & classic pizza in an unfussy location.
  • Via Veneto – Brick – Is a BYOB establishment and is ready to serve you some of the best Italian food the Jersey Shore has to offer to pair with your beer or wine.
  • Alex’s Cucina – Howell – Family owned and operated for 20+ years, you won’t find a more welcoming place to enjoy a slice. Their Plain and Chicken Parm Vodka pies are always on point.

Bell Works

Bell Works is the reimagination of the historic former Bell Labs building in Holmdel. Today the building is open 7 days a week to the public and is a one of a kind destination for business and culture, complete with a blossoming ecosystem of technology, offices, retail, dinning, hospitality and more!

Bell Works is such a cool place to explore with local eats, shops and activities:

  • Jersey Freeze Bell Works – open 7 days a week inside Bell Works, satisfy all your ice cream craving at Jersey Freeze and take home some of their to-go desserts.
  • Bar Bella – Transports its guests to a cozy, coastal getaway, right in the heart of Bell Works. A relaxed, chic vibe, Bar Bella is the destination for your weekly night out, local entertainment, and beyond.
  • Escapology – New Jersey’s newest premium real life escape game experience. Play in private teams of 2-10 players in exciting games and search carefully for clues, solve puzzles and try to escape one of their nine rooms within 60 minutes.

Live Music

The live music scene at the Shore is great all year round. Some of our favorite places to listen to local artists are at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, Bum Rogers Crabhouse in Seaside Park, Klein’s Fish Market in Belmar, Drifthouse by David Burke in Sea Bright and McDonagh’s Pub in Keyport.

More on These Live Music Venues:

  • The Molly Pitcher Inn has live Piano Music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6 pm to 10 pm. View the full music schedule HERE!
  • The Oyster Point Hotel’s popular Winter Saturday Night Live Music has returned. Dine at the Pearl’s beautiful dining room overlooking the Navesink and enjoy the live music on Saturday Nights from 6-9pm. 
  • Bum Rogers Crabhouse has brought live music back to Seaside Park with daily bands playing. They take the time to check out the bands beforehand to make sure you’re getting the best live entertainment in the area.
  • Drifthouse by David Burke has live music every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Acoustic Band Rich & Chad plays on Tuesdays and Fridays and Guns4Hire and Mike V from Skinny Amigo alternate playing on Thursdays. Their Live Music Special Event on January 26th is the Discoteks!
  • Every weekend in January Klein’s Fish Market will be hosting a variety of their usual performers for live music. Music will be 5-7pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Let the good times roll or should we say rock n’ roll. Visit McDonagh’s Pub & Restaurant to enjoy live entertainment every weekend. Bring your family and friends for a fun night out.

Indoor Waterpark

Don’t put away your bathing suits just yet, the Island Water Park in Atlantic City is now open! The Island Waterpark is an indoor water park and entertainment center located next to the Showboat Resort along the boardwalk in Atlantic City. It’s also the largest indoor beachfront water park in the world.

Local Restaurants to check out near the Water Park:

  • Amada – Upmarket Spanish restaurant & tapas bar featuring dishes from famed TV chef Jose Garces.
  • Margaritaville – Take a bite out of paradise at Margaritaville’s Atlantic City location on the Boardwalk. Pay tribute to Jimmy Buffett and enjoy seafood, burgers and drinks in this tropical themed restaurant.


Bowling makes for a great time to spend with family, especially at Thunderbird Lanes in Manahawkin or Playdrome Toms River. For the adults, we recommend Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park or Pier Pins in Pier Village where you can also drink and listen to live music.

Local Restaurants to check out after Bowling:

  • La Cabañita Mexican Restaurant – Manahawkin – Serving authentic and upscale Mexican cuisine, including fresh guac and South of the Border favorites. La Cabañita brings the vibrant spirit of Mexico City to New Jersey.
  • Tommy Boy’s Cafe – Toms River – Modern tropical café serving Downtown Toms River. They are on a mission to bring the essence of the tropics to the east coast with fresh dishes, creative caffeinated drinks, and the best vibes.
  • Asbury Diner – located conveniently inside of Asbury Lanes, fuel up after your game with all the best diner classics; shakes, disco fries and sandwiches.
  • Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten – Currently closed due to the September flooding on Sept 29th, but they would love your support when they re-open in February or March. Stay tuned!
  • Johnny Piancone’s – Long Branch – offers authentic Italian fare amongst a warm and inviting atmosphere. They’ve got it all! Patio dining; a private, upstairs room for all party needs; two full bars for daily happy hour specials; an extensive wine list, and a seasonal rotating menu.

Environmental Centers

The Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center in Howell, Jakes Branch County Park in Beachwood and Huber Woods Park in Middletown are great educational places for kids to learn about the environment around them. Bundle up and explore the parks around the centers or spend the day inside exploring the reptile houses and exhibits.

Local Businesses and Restaurants to check out near these Environmental Centers:

  • Smashin City 2 – Howell – The Rage Room is a facility where you can collect your thoughts, project your hatred, rage onto the breakable items, and unleash an unrelenting wave of destruction! Or just have some fun with your friends breaking stuff with an extreme activity.
  • Luigi Deli Meat Market – Toms River – family-friendly market that provides a butcher shop, deli items, catering services, and a whole lot more to the surrounding area.
  • Willow & Sage Catering – Rumson – They believe a successful wedding starts with a checklist and a bottle of champagne. Their planning services cover every facet to your event, from vendor referrals, perks and rates to timelines, task lists and spending plans. They are with you every step of the way, building an amazing experience for you and your guests.


When you think about things to do at the Jersey Shore, your mind instantly goes to the beaches, boardwalks and arcades. But did you also know that there are tons of museums around to learn more about the history of NJ in Monmouth and Ocean County’s? The Monmouth Museum, Ocean County Historical Society, Point Pleasant Historical Society and Museum, and InfoAge Science & History Museums have something for all ages to learn and enjoy.

Local Businesses and Restaurants to check out near these Museums:

  • Atlantic Bagel Lincroft – classic bagel shop that offers deli options, cheesesteaks, sandwiches and catering.
  • East Coast Gamers – Toms River – local gaming shop with friendly staff. They have everything from video games, card games, table top minis, board games, role playing games and more.
  • Hoffman’s Ice Cream – Point Pleasant – Hoffman’s has grown into a Jersey Shore ice cream classic. Four locations and dozens of flavors later, all their ice cream is still made in their original location.
  • Chocolate Carousel – Wall – Family-owned bakery crafting special-occasion cakes along with handmade chocolates, pastries and pies.


Everyone needs a little break post holiday season. Booking a staycation at a hotel near you is a great way to get away without having to go too far! The Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank and The Hub in Middletown all offer relaxing staycations. Book a room and let the relaxing begin!

Local Businesses and Restaurants to check out near these Hotels:

  • Pazzo MMX – Rustic Italian classics, daily fish, meat and pasta specialties, Coal Fired Pizza Oven, open air kitchen. These are just some of the things that make Pazzo the hot new Italian eatery in Red Bank, NJ!
  • The Pour House – is a family owned and operated restaurant in Tinton Falls for nearly 30 years! Great food, service and best of all – great prices! Come check out their new look and fantastic menu.
  • Toast Red Bank – Toast’s mantra is Peace, Love & Pancakes. They combine great food with a great staff and a great attitude right in the heart of Red Bank.
  • Monmouth Meats – is a full service, old fashioned butcher shop and meat market that continues to be a valued family tradition for decades.

Let us know what your favorite Winter Activities are and if we missed a business you think we should add!

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