No Place like Atlantic City for the Holidays

Forget the fact that 2014 has been a tumultuous year for Atlantic City. Even if you can no longer bet in one of your favorite casinos, there are some things you can always bet on in this fantastic town like no other. Anytime an important holiday rolls around, Atlantic City does it up in grand style, and this year is no exception. Right now it’s getting to look a lot like Christmas here, which can only mean one thing: a jolly good time awaits all the kids at heart from 2 to 92+ who come from near and far to celebrate the spectacular sights and sounds of the season.

So if the December blues and blahs have gotten the better of you and you have turned into Mr. or Ms. Grumpy, “shake it off” like Taylor Swift, grab your family, loved ones and friends and come to Atlantic City ASAP. If you haven’t been here in a while, you and your family are in for a delightful surprise. And in case you are not aware, whether you gamble or not, right now up through Christmas Day, bargain rate accommodations, even at the deluxe casino hotels, are plentiful. On the other hand, if you live in the area, the hugely discounted dining, shopping, and entertainment options for locals are too good to pass up. So what are you waiting for?

As a former New Yorker, for years I made a practice of taking the 2 ½ hour bus ride to Atlantic City at least twice every holiday season to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and treat myself to a well-earned holiday vacation, Atlantic City style. Last year, because I love Atlantic City so much, I moved to nearby Absecon. So now, in the spirit of the season, I happily unwrap my own top ten list of guaranteed to be fun things for you and your family to do together this holiday season in Atlantic City. Enjoy!

Tropicana Holiday Extravaganza

 If you love Christmas music and a high spirited glitzy production to go with it, and who doesn’t, be sure to put the Tropicana Hotel and Casino’s annual Holiday Extravaganza at the top of your list. Every year this show seems to get bigger and better. Tickets, which can be purchased either at the Tropicana box office or online, are a very reasonable $25 for adults and $10 for children. A hotel and show package combo is also available for weeknight performances. But you have to hurry. The show is being offered through December 19th only. See the attached link for more information and to purchase tickets.

Joe Holiday Magic Show


 Make this magical time of year a merry one for the whole family with the kid-friendly Joe Holiday Magic Show. Joe Holiday has entertained audiences of all ages on cruise ships and in amusement parks with his sleight of hand and other tricks up his sleeve and even calls children up to the stage to participate. The show is dark from 12/14 through 12/25, but will reopen at the Tropicana Comedy Stop on Friday, 12/26 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Or come an hour early, and for just $10 more for adults and $5 more for children, your ticket includes dinner, too. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or reserved in advance online. Be sure to make Joe Holiday a part of your holiday!

More Tropicana Holiday Entertainment Options

 IMAX Theatre: The IMAX Theatre in the Quarter at the Tropicana offers a frequently changing schedule of top quality educational and animated films in 3D year-round. Right now through December 16th you can see Island of Lemurs: Madagascar daily at 11 a.m.

Family Fun Station: Bring the whole family to the brand new arcade located in the North Tower where children and adults alike can enjoy sports and arcade games and maybe even win a prize. The Family Fun Station is open daily

Tropicana Holiday Musical Light Show

There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with a free light and sound extravaganza. The one at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino takes place every hour on the hour daily through December 26, so there is no excuse for missing this top annual attraction.

Duality, Boardwalk Beat, and AC Dreamin’

Another great place to catch a free sound and light show in Atlantic City is Boardwalk Hall. In fact, three very different spectacular projections alternate on the Boardwalk Hall façade nightly, beginning at dusk

Dinner at the Rainforest Café

 Even though all bets are now off at the Trump Plaza, the Rainforest Café, located on the Atlantic Boardwalk just outside the shuttered casino and very close to Boardwalk Hall, remains open. This popular national chain is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy a festive, affordable holiday meal in a setting that is anything but typical.

Even if a trip to an exotic locale is not in the cards, the Rainforest Café offers a convenient and much more wallet-friendly alternative. As soon as you enter,you are transported to a tropical rainforest, complete with waterfalls, jungle flora, and animatronic animals. Not only is there a separate kids menu for children ages 10 and under, but intriguing special jungle themed appetizers, entrees, and desserts for the adults, too, For example, you can start with the Awesome Appetizer Adventure, move on to Tribal Salmon, and conclude your meal with a spectacular Sparkling Volcano! After dinner, the kids can amuse themselves in the Kid Bunch Kids Zone, while you pick out toys and other gifts to put under the tree. For more information, see

Tanger Outlets Christmas Tree Display

 While you are taking advantage of the bargains at the Atlantic City Outlet stores, you might want to take a brief respite to appreciate the true spirit of the holidays. Head for the Tanger Outlets on Michigan and Arctic Avenues and feast your eyes on 25 beautifully decorated Atlantic City themed Christmas trees.

Ebenezer, A Musical Christmas Carol

Don’t be a Scrooge. Treat your family to this delightful holiday musical at the Screening Room in the Resorts Casino and Hotel Ocean Tower in Atlantic City. You can catch the show various dates and times through December 20th. Tickets cost $35 for adults and $20 for children and can be purchased online or  by calling 1-609-312-8306. Lunch and dinner packages are also available.

The Pool at Harrah’s Resort

 Swimming when it’s snowing? At Harrah’s you can bet on it. Even if the weather outside is frightful, if you are a guest at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, the heated indoor pool is open for you and your family not only all day long daily, but Thursday evenings, too. On weekends, you can come early and have a sumptuous breakfast right at the pool. Otherwise, the Waterfront Buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.


Last but definitely not least, not only your kids, but you, too, will feel like a kid in a candy store from the minute you are let loose in “IT’S SUGAR” in the Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City. As the name suggests, this is a mega-sized emporium specializing in everything sweet, including enough candy to make Willie Wonka proud. You can choose from a wide selection of novelty candy. Or load up on bulk candy for your next party plus fabulous gifts to put under the tree or fill the Christmas stockings of everyone on your list.