If your idea of fun doesn’t include dipping your half-naked body into the freezing Atlantic, we’re not going to hold that against you. After all, there’s not a lot of appeal for being uncomfortably numb or having icicles form on your extremities. Which makes it all the more surprising that so many people are willing to take part in such a spectacle — taking the “plunge” so to speak. And while those brave (or crazy) enough to weather the weather can do just that, those of us who are just there for the party can rest assured that there’s a place in the festivities for us. Here are seven ways to enjoy the Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge, without actually plunging.
1. La Costa Lounge and Deck Bar. Polar Bear Weekend starts and ends at La Costa Lounge and Deck Bar, the official sponsor of the weekend-long festivities. The party begins on Friday, Feb. 16, during the crowning of the 2018 Polar Bear Royal Family. The Prince and Princess Contest (ages 12 to 16) begins at 7:30 p.m., and the King and Queen Contest (ages 21 and up) begins at 9 p.m. While you’re there, warm up to some music by The Insiders and Split Decision … you’ll need it, especially if you plan to plunge the next day. On Saturday, Feb. 17, a plunge pre-party starts at 11 a.m. with Funz-a-love, followed by the Polar Bear Costume Contest at noon, before the actual plunging takes place at 2 p.m. The day is followed up by music from Jamison, The Insiders, The Rockets, Split Decision and The Relatives. Don’t wear yourself out, though, because the party continues into Sunday, with an annual Walk for Autism sponsored by Mike’s Seafood, followed by the 2nd Annual Polar Bear Plunge Corn Hole Tournament and music from The Insiders. Located at 4000 Landis Ave. in Sea Isle City. Go to LaCosta-SeaIsle.com for more information.
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2. O’Donnell’s Pour House. If you’re looking to get the party started really early, get to O’Donnell’s Pour House 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, for Pint Night. O’Donnell’s will be open all weekend, and if you can’t even stand the thought of watching people shiver themselves into the ocean, hang out at O’Donnell’s at 2 p.m. on Saturday (during the actual plunge) with music by Kim & Tonic. Located at 3907 Landis Ave. in Sea Isle. Go to ODonnellsPourHouse.com for more information.
3. Dead Dog Saloon. One of the best bars on the block opens up during Polar Bear Plunge Weekend for three nights of fun and entertainment (and as a reminder that we’re only a few months away from summer, when they’ll be open full time). Get to Dead Dog Saloon on Friday for music by Joe O’Brien, on Saturday for Shawn Durnin followed by Nicki Sbaffoni, and on Sunday for Shawn Durnin again. Just a hint: dress code is casual, but since no ball caps, printed T-shirts or sleeveless shirts for men are allowed after 9:30 p.m., we suggest throwing something over your soaking wet bathing suits before kicking back. Located at 3815 Landis Ave. in Sea Isle. Go to DeadDogSaloon-SeaIsle.com for more information.
4. The OD. Folks, it’s that time of year when the Ocean Drive opens its doors in the middle of winter for the Polar Bear Plunge. If you’re feeling at all reminiscent for summer, you have to swing by The OD on Friday night for a reunion with Garden State Radio, or on Saturday, right after the plunge, for music by Secret Service, followed by an evening performance with Lost in Paris. This will be it for The OD for a while until summer, so get there while you can. Located at 3915 Landis Ave. in Sea Isle. Go to TheOD.com for more information.
5. Doc MacGrogan’s Oyster House. Fancy eating fish more than swimming with them? Head to Doc MacGrogan’s Oyster House during Polar Bear Plunge Weekend for a sweet happy hour menu on Friday and Saturday, as well as live music by Love & Branca at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Located at 8600 Landis Ave. in Sea Isle. Go to DocMagrogans.com/Sea-Isle-NJ for more information.
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6. Kix McNutley’s. If you want to enjoy all the plunge fun but steer clear of the water, there’s no place better for Kix to get your kicks (see what we did there?). There’s no walk to the water from this legendary locale; it’s a party, plain and simple. The entertainment begins 9:30 p.m. on Friday with music by the B Street Band. On Saturday there will be karaoke at 2 p.m. and a performance by the Sensational Soul Cruisers at 10 p.m. Get back to Kix on Sunday to close out your weekend with Bloody Marys and mimosas. Located at 120 63rd St. in Sea Isle. Go to KixMcNutleys.com for more information.
7. The Springfield. Want to get as close to the water as humanly possible and still be in a bar? Head to The Springfield, another Sea Isle City landmark. Open just this weekend, the Springfield, and its beloved Carousel Bar, is located steps from the beach. With live music by LeCompt and DJ Brother Mike on Friday, and The Juliano Brothers and DJ Brother Mike on Saturday, this is a must-stop on your way to and from the plunge. Located at 12 43rd St. in Sea Isle. Go to TheSpringfieldInn.com for more information.