Thousands Set to Take an Icy Plunge for Charities in Cape May County this Year

Participants brave the icy waters in Cape May, all in the name of charity. (Photo courtesy of the County of Cape May.)

CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE, N.J. — During the first five months of 2020, willing participants will be braving the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean to take part in plunges throughout Cape May County.

Thousands will be taking the plunge (literally) for a good cause while donning only their favorite summer bathing suit or, for the truly daring among them, a costume. Whatever the reason, a dip into the icy waters during the winter months is more than brave — it is often big-hearted.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, thousands of law enforcement personnel and their families and friends will be braving the icy waters in the Law Enforcement Polar Bear Plunge to support the Special Olympics New Jersey.

As the official website for the event explains, “Special Olympics New Jersey provides year-round sports training, competition, leadership opportunities, and health screenings to more than 26,000 athletes. All of these programs and services are always completely FREE thanks to fundraising events like the Polar Bear Plunge at Wildwood.”

This Saturday’s plunge is the first of several fundraising events of its kind. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and Wildwood’s plunge begins at 1 p.m. on the beach near the Wildwoods Convention Center. For more information, visit:

Another Polar Bear Plunge will take place in Seaside Heights on Feb. 22, and anyone interested in registering for it can visit to learn more.

Revelers have been taking the bitter cold dip into the ocean waters of Sea Isle city for more than 25 years. Sea Isle’s Polar Bear Plunge weekend, Feb. 14-16, will welcome more than 3,000 participants for the official plunge set for Saturday, Feb. 15 on the beach between 38th Street and 40th Street beginning with a costume contest at 9 a.m. at the LaCosta Complex at JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue followed by the Polar Bear Plunge at 12 p.m.

It is not all about the plunge on that third weekend in February. Sunday, Feb. 16 caps off a charitable weekend with Mike’s Seafood 5K Run and 1.5-Mile Fun Walk for Autism at 12 p.m. on the city’s promenade.

For some participants, plunging for a charitable cause makes the dip into the freezing temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean a little more bearable. One such event is the Fallen Heroes Plunge which helps to raise funds for families of police officers lost in the line of duty. The Fallen Heroes Polar Bear Plunge is Saturday, Feb. 22 in North Wildwood.
The official plunge takes place at 11 a.m. at 16th Street and the beach. Weekend activities include a pizza party on Friday, Feb. 22 and a post-plunge party at Keenan’s Irish Pub located at 113 Olde New Jersey Ave. at 12 p.m. Participants can register on the day of the plunge at the 15th Street Lifeguard Station beginning at 8:45 a.m. or pre-register at the website:

Stone Harbor’s Shiver Weekend is set for Saturday, Mar. 21 and invites plungers to take a frigid ocean dip to benefit Family Promise of Cape May County, a charity that supports, counsels, and works to place homeless parents and children in permanent homes. Visit Stone Harbor beach’s website to register for the Shiver event and find a list of other activities happening that same weekend.

In Ocean City, event organizers put a twist on the traditional ocean plunge. Planned as an event to officially open the ocean for the summer season, the “Business Persons Plunge” requires that participants wear business attire and carry a briefcase. Rather than jumping in, participants march into the ocean from the shoreline at the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend. The Business Persons Plunge takes place on Friday, May 22 at 12 p.m. at Moorlyn Terrace Street and the beach. More information can be found at: