Are You Taking the Plunge? The Polar Bear Plunge, That Is!

Celebrate New Year's with a plunge in the Atlantic



The Polar Bear Plunge at the Jersey ShoreHave you ever braved a swim in the icy Atlantic on a winter's day? For Polar Bear enthusiasts, a plunge into the icy cold Atlantic Ocean is an annual New Year's tradition.

If you're looking to participate in a Polar Bear Plunge this year, here are more than a few to choose from on the Jersey Shore, or you can head to New York City and join the polar bears at Coney Island.

Please note, most Polar Bear Plunges are charity events with registration fees and/or minimum pledge amounts required.

January 1st Polar Bear Plunges

Atlantic City, NJ

This New Year's day dip meets at the Resorts Casino at 11 am, with the plunge taking place at 11:30 am. Donations are welcome, and all money raised goes to Guardians of the National Cemetery.

Brigantine, NJ

The Brigantine Polar Bear Club holds its 12th Annual Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day. Festivities begin at the north-end seawall at 11 am with music and more, and the plunge happens at noon. Costumes are encouraged, with prizes awarded. The event is free but merchandise will be on sale with all proceeds benefiting the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that provides housing and transportation to wounded military members and their families. For more Information, please contact Bob Lund at 609-892-7339 or e-mail blund102@yahoo.com.

Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City celebrates First Day at the Beach with lots of activities, including a polar bear plunge at 2 pm at the Music Pier, which is located at Boardwalk & Moorlyn Terrace. The plunge is free of charge, but participants are requested to donate a “message in a bag” containing non-perishable items for the Ocean City Food Cupboard. For more information call 609-525-9300.

Ventnor City, NJ

Ventor City hosts it's annual Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cookoff on January 1. Participants meet at Newport Beach at 6500 Atlantic Avenue. After the plunge, which takes place at 1 pm, you warm up with chili. For details contact AAAA Bike Shop at 609-487-0808.

Plunges in January and February

Wildwood, NJ

The Special Olympics holds the first of their two annual Polar Bear Plunges on January 14. Participants are requested to pledge $100 or more. Meet at the Wildwood Convention Center. Perks of this plunge include a warm indoor place to register and change.

Long Branch, NJ

Meet at the Avenue Beach Club on February 4 for registration at 1 pm and a plunge at 2 pm. This "Freazin' for a Reason" event is one of many taking place nationwide to benefit Camp Sunshine. Minimum donation required. For those not quite willing to take a polar plunge, there's a Chicken Dip (toes-only) option as well.

Brant Beach, NJ

Meet at the 48th Street Street Beach on February 5 for the 8th Annual Super Plunge Sunday. Pre-registration required, and there is a fee per participant ($15-$30). Prizes will be awared in a number of categories, including best costume. Plunge takes place at 1 pm. All proceeds benefit St. Francis Community Center & Southern Regional HS Swim Teams.

Sea Isle City, NJ

This polar bear plunge takes place on February 18, and is a costume contest as well. Meet at the LaCosta Complex (4000 Landis Avenue) at 10 am for registration. Judging takes place at noon and awards are at 3:30 pm. More information and photos here.

Seaside Heights, NJ

The Special Olympics holds their second Polar Bear Plunge on February 25. Meet at the Aztec Ocean Resort. Registration beings at 9 am and after a dramatic countdown, the plunge is at 1 pm.

And while it's not in New Jersey, there's always Coney Island, NY. Their Polar Bear Club (founded in 1903) is the oldest winter bathing organization, and holds swims every Sunday from November to April. Their New Year's Day the swim is open to the public. Meet on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue, swim time is at 1:00 pm sharp. There's no fee to participate, but the plunge is raising funds for Camp Sunshine—and all people making a donation will receive a free breakfast and admission to the New York Aquarium.  

Photo by Stinkie Pinkie.

Have you dared to take a Polar Bear Plunge? Tell us about it in comments below!


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There's nothing artificial in these blog posts from New Jersey's hardest-working women. Where to go, what to do, and how to do it—with kids—are all part of the mix.

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Essex County Real Mom Anna Sandler lives happily ever after with her Jersey-raised husband and three NYC-born children in the land of jug handles and disco fries. She loves baking and crafting with her kids, even if everything they make doesn't turns out Pinterest-perfect. Anna has never met a holiday she doesn't want to celebrate, and enjoys sharing ideas for everyday fun (indoor beach party, anyone?), as well as how to commemorate bigger moments from birthdays to first days of school.

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