Have 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.
Plunges in January and February
The Special Olympics holds the first of their two annual Polar Bear Plunges on January 16. Participants are requested to pledge $100 or more. The plunge happens at 1 PM near the Wildwood Convention Center.
Long Branch, NJ
Meet at Rooney's Oceanfront Restaurant on January 10th for registration at 10:30am and a plunge at 1 pm, with a minimum donation of $25.
Brant Beach, NJ
Celebrate Super Bowl Sunday in a fun way, with the 12th Annual Super Plunge Sunday on February 7 at 1 pm. 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 13, 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. There are events like a Polar King and Queen crowning happening on Friday night if you want to make a weekend out of it.
Seaside Heights, NJ
The Special Olympics holds their second Polar Bear Plunge on February 20, participants must raise $100. 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.