Fill Up Your Memorial Day Weekend With All The Exciting Options Around Atlantic City

Written By Stephanie Loder on May 25, 2023
tourists eat treats on atlantic city boardwalk memorial day

Are you excited about spending the summer at the South Jersey shore?

Then Atlantic City and its casinos are the places to unlock your beach and Boardwalk fun during the unofficial start to the summer: Memorial Day weekend. The last weekend in May signals the return of tourists to the resort.

It’s a special opportunity for the queen of resorts to celebrate its visitors with special events and giveaways as a prelude to the summer of 2023 yet to come. Atlantic City is a seaside gaming and resort capital, hosting more than 27 million visitors a year, according to ACNJ’s website.

But don’t you worry, between AC casinos and events throughout the area, there is plenty for everyone on the Shore.

Activities abound in Atlantic City for Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend in Atlantic City also means the opening of Boardwalk concessions, souvenir stands and special anniversary celebrations at three casinos with giveaways like tote bags, t-shirts, and pop-up bars.

The Adjacent Music Festival on the beach includes the likes of Blink-182, Turnstile, Japanese Breakfast, Coheed & Cambria, and the Front Bottoms along with two days’ worth of music on the beach in front of the casinos. A full list of bands and ticket options are online.

Resorts Casino Hotel posted a digital countdown clock to Memorial Day weekend in Atlantic City on its website. The countdown reminds casino visitors of what is coming up for the weekend – especially the annual 5,000 beach ball drop on the boardwalk at Resorts to kick off festivities on Friday.

Resorts is celebrating 45 years in business by giving away chances to register to win 45 rooms to celebrate its anniversary. There’s also a 45th Anniversary T-shirt giveaway on Monday and Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Memorial Day weekend at Resorts begins at noon with MC Bacardi Ardi and DJ Gary, music from SideStory on the main stage, bagpipers and drag queens until the beach ball drop at 5 p.m.

So, grab your beach chair and sunblock because it’s time to hit the beach, play in the surf or walk the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk during Memorial Day weekend.

Most casinos are offering special hotel rates, special events, and special lunch and dinner packages to coincide with the three-day holiday weekend. We’ve compiled a list of best bets for visiting Atlantic City casinos for the unofficial start of the summer season.

Undoubtedly, everyone can find something to do this weekend, but remember you’ve got all summer to come back.

Ocean Casino celebrates 5 years along the Shore

Ocean Casino Resort is celebrating five years in Atlantic City.

So this Memorial Day weekend will include a full lineup of birthday events that begin with fireworks on Memorial Day weekend and continue through Labor Day weekend.

They’re giving away $5 million in gifts and prizes and will debut the Birthday Bar.

Events off the beach over at Showboat

When you’re done with the beach, head over to Showboat.

Specifically to BOGO Date Night at Lucky Snake, where axe throwing is buy one, get one 50% off.

There’s also mini-golf Monday on May 29 where visitors get half off on mini-golf all day.

Holiday sweepstakes, fireworks and a champagne brunch

Kick off summer in Atlantic City this Memorial Day weekend at Hard Rock Atlantic City, which is offering 10X Free Play Multiplier, 15X Free Play Multiplier, and a $200,000 Memorial Day Sweepstakes.

Meanwhile, Tropicana offers weekly fireworks displays at 10 p.m. each Saturday beginning Memorial Day weekend and continuing through September.

And don’t forget about capping off the weekend at Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which features a champagne brunch buffet 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chart House. Reservations required.

Music and comedy + beers and bands

Borgata hosts a variety of acts over the weekend.

It begins with a musical tribute to Billy Joel on Friday, setting up comedian and actor Tom Papa on Saturday, which segues nicely into Comedy Club night on Sunday. Purchase tickets online.

The Yard at Bally’s AC is the place to be every Friday and Saturday. Enjoy $5 beers, bands and DJs until 2 a.m. with no cover charge.

New for 2023 is Latin Night, starting May 29 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. During the Adjacent Music Festival on May 27-28 at Bally’s Beach Bar, get up close and enjoy the music. Admission includes table seating, two beverages, lunch entrée and free entertainment. Bally’s Beach Bar opens at 11 a.m.

Relax away with indoor swimming

The beach isn’t for everyone. But if you like, the water inside the glass-domed oasis at Harrah’s Atlantic City holds a constant 82-degree temperature and provides a lush tropical atmosphere for relaxing. Enjoy cocktails poolside and relax in a lounge chair, daybed or cabana. Reservations required.

Construction continues on Bart Blatstein’s $100 million Island Waterpark at Showboat in Atlantic City. While it was hoped the new waterpark would be open in time for Memorial Day weekend, it’s looking more like sometime in July.

When complete, The Island Waterpark will feature more than 100,000 square feet of amusement rides and a retractable glass roof, making it a year-round destination. The indoor portion of the water park will feature water slides, pools and lazy rivers complemented by food and beverage outlets, party rooms, locker rooms and retail space.

But also don’t forget about the beach

Don’t forget, the Atlantic City beaches are free. No beach badge is required.

Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at beaches from Caspian Avenue to Jackson Avenue.

Atlantic City awaits, so don’t hesitate this Memorial Day weekend

If you are traveling to the Atlantic City casinos by car and using the Atlantic City Expressway this Memorial Day weekend, a pleasant surprise will be the fact that Chickie’s & Pete’s Sports Bar will pay the expressway tolls for motorists headed east through the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday.

That’s pretty nice, considering the cash toll for passenger cars is $4.55, up from $4.40 in 2022.

The restaurant chain also plans a party for visitors from noon to 5 p.m. at the Senator Frank S. Farley Service Plaza in Hammonton with free crabfries and other food and beverages from Hershey’s Ice Cream, Mars, Carlo’s Bakery, Applegreen, and Monster Energy Drink. Also expect a demo by the New Jersey State Police Dog Search and Rescue Team. Oh, and a display of fire and rescue equipment from Atlantic City International Airport.

Chickie’s & Pete’s owner Pete Ciarrocchi said he chose to pay the tolls on Memorial Day as a way to remember his family’s military service, which included his father, Pete Sr., and uncles Bo and George, who both served in the armed forces. He said George Ciarrocchi, his restaurant mentor, received a Silver Star for valor.

Photo by Mel Evans / AP Photo
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Stephanie Loder

Stephanie Loder is a freelance writer for PlayNJ. She provides coverage of New Jersey's Atlantic City casinos while also focusing on the beach, boardwalk, and special gaming events. Prior to writing for PlayNJ, she covered Atlantic City government, breaking news, and casinos for The Press of Atlantic City in Pleasantville, N.J.

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