Winter blues may get some of you down, but not those who live in Long Beach Island. With about 345 days of sunshine each year, LBI locals know how to enjoy the Long Beach Island winter!
Long Beach Island Winter
Like many Jersey Shore islands in the winter, Long Beach Island is much quieter than it is during warmer weather. In the summer months, the LBI population ranges from 150,000-200,000. Once the summer guests leave and Long Beach Island is left with full-timers and Christmas vacationers, the population drops to 8,000-10,000 people.
Since there are still thousands of locals to please and to feed, many businesses stay open. Locals and winter visitors still get to indulge in their favorite Long Beach Island foods. Several restaurants like A Little Bite of Italy and Uncle Will’s remain open daily all year long. That being said, some business hours are more limited from October to April. For example, Fantasy Island Amusement Park closes for the winter, but the arcade part of the park remains open on weekends. The NJ Maritime Museum also stays open through the winter but just on weekends.
With less work to tend to in the winter, locals have more time to spend with their families. That family oriented vibe resonates through the island all winter long. Come April, it’s back to business as usual in Long Beach Island with the start of the peak season. The winter offers a much-needed break from the crazy pace and allows residents to bask in all the things that really make Long Beach Island special.
Wintertime Favorite Things to Do in Long Beach Island
Besides hitting up food joints and getting a weekend museum fix (as mentioned above), locals spend their winters doing things that they didn’t get around to in the summertime hustle and bustle. For local artists like Julie Goldstein, who actually now resides in California, the quiet winter months helped her focus on creating new studio work.
Here are a few things that most people in Long Beach Island enjoy doing in the winter:
- Start a creative hobby
Wintertime in Long Beach Island is a good time to start a new hobby. Need the place to focus or looking for added motivation? The Long Beach Island Foundation (LBIF) is open year round to help you start that new hobby. The LBIF offers a range of fall and winter classes for children, teens, and adults. They offer everything from ceramics to learning Italian. Other smaller studios throughout the island also have art classes worth checking out. Some smaller studios will also run classes throughout the winter, but they tend to be by appointment only. SwellColors has a variety of glass art workshops, including mosaics, stained glass windows, and glass beads.
- Practice relaxation and self-care
Since many locals work so hard tending to tourists in the summer, they like to spend the quiet months of winter relaxing at spas and practicing Yoga. Bikram Yoga, which is yoga in a hot room, is especially popular in the winter.
- Go Fishing
It’s not all peace and indoors for locals in Long Beach Island. From early October to early December, Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournaments hosts their annual Surf Fishing Classic for those die-hard fishermen. This event gets a ton of local enthusiasm and also draws others from the tri-state area, eager to win generous cash prizes.
- Get Festive
Other outdoor holiday events take place, too, bringing the community closer together. Year after year, locals look forward to Ship Bottom’s Christmas Parade and Beach Haven’s Christmas Tree Lighting. No winter is complete without a bit of holiday shopping. Locals especially like to support their neighborhood artists by purchasing handmade items. The Night Market & Holiday Exhibit at the end of November is a great display of the Long Beach Island community heart with over 50 local vendors, complete with fire pits and Christmas carolers.
Prepare for the Cold Months in Long Beach Island
Part of enjoying the winter in Long Beach Island is being prepared for it. Like many coastal cities along the east, the weather in Long Beach Island can fluctuate this time of year, so layers are a must. The weather is often worthy for a walk on the beach in short sleeves with temps in the 70s in September and October. Then you’ll want your sweatshirt for November with the autumn chill lingering in the 50s.
By mid to late December, you’ll start transitioning into a winter coat. You probably won’t need hat, scarf, and gloves for evening strolls until January as the temps drop to the 30s and 40s, but rarely do they go below freezing. You’ll want to be out in the crisp salt air even if it’s breezy, so remember your chap stick!
If you’ve got access to an indoor pool and hot tub like many hotels on the island offer, then definitely have your bathing suit on hand.
Be Cool with the Locals in a Long Beach Island Winter
When you’re lucky enough to live at the beach all year round, not much else matters. No one is trying to “survive” the winter, truth be told! Locals thrive during the winter months in a Long Beach Island winter and so can you.