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My family and I are thinking of going to Atlantic City.  We hear there are great casinos and
many activities for adults, is there anything the kids can do for fun?  

Yes, Atlantic City has a huge boardwalk.  It runs along the beach.  If you go when the
weather is warm, you can take the kids to the beach and visit the boardwalk.  On the
boardwalk, the kids and the adults can play many carnival themed games such as trying to
win a prize by getting the ball in the basket at the basketball game, that is run by a friendly
guy named Mike.  There is a lot to see on the boardwalk, there are stores where you can
buy salt water taffy, many different foods ranging from pizza and fries, and snack food, to a
great cheesesteak at a place called “Origianl Philly Steaks” where you can get their special
of a tasty cheesesteak and fries for $6.99.
Can we go to the hotel casinos and play, even if we are not staying at their as guests?

Sure, the casinos encourage visitors.   You can park at the nearby parking garages for about
$ 4.00 per day.  You can always call the casino ahead of time to inquire if they have special
deals for visitors to their casino, for parking, play, etc.
Do I have to dress up to go to the casinos?  

You will find people dressed in a wide variety of clothes.  Some may be wearing suits and
some may be wearing jeans.  Your best bet is to be comfortable with whatever you choose
to wear.  You may want to wear comfortable shoes as the casinos are large and require
some walking.  
I will be going to Atlantic City with my husband.  I really want to play black-jack, but I’ve
never played before.  Do you think the dealer will mind if we share a few hands while I learn
how to play?  

As long as the table isn’t full, the dealer probably won’t mind if your husband helps you.  
You should let the dealer know you are a beginner and make sure they don’t mind if you
both share a few hands while you learn.  
Is it easy to navigate while in Atlantic City?

The area with the casinos is very easy to navigate.  Most casinos are within walking distance
of each other.  Your hotel should also be able to provide you with a detailed map of the
area and can guide you to the places you want to go.  
Is the Steel Pier still operating? I remember it was full lf rides back when I was a kid, way
before gambling came to A. C. Didn’t a horse used to jump off the Steel Pier?

The Steel Pier is still a magnet for kids. There are rides, carnie games, and cotton candy.
There’s one scary catapult ride for adults: you sit in a two-seater cab that is launched
skyward by a huge spring. The cab is attached between two poles by heavy but springy
cables, and the cab shoots upwards like an upside down bungee jump. For kids, there is a
small rollercoaster that is still plenty scary (it scares me), plus rides that spin around and
bumper cars.  
There are no horses jumping into water any longer. I think the animal cruelty societies put an
end to that. If you want to see some kitch holdovers from the pre-gambling seaside, you can
drive down to Margate, about 5 miles south, to see Lucy, the cement elephant. Lucy is
shown on many NJ road maps as if she were a destination town, but she’s really just kitch. I
it used to be a hotel and people could spend the night inside an elephant. Lucy is outside and
you can walk around her for free, but there’s a small admission fee if you want to walk
inside her. Margete, by the way, is a lovely seaside town and worth a tour just to see the
lovely variety of houses.  
Also, you didn’t ask me, but I’m adding this information:
If you’ve ever played the board game “Monopoly”, you’re already familiar with much of
Atlantic City. Atlantic City once was where the wealthy relaxed, so using the place names –
Ventnor, Park Place, Atlantic Avenue, Marvin Gardens  -- was a kind of wink to some
icons of America's wealth-worshipping culture of the mid-1800s, the Gilded Age.

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