Seaside Heights is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,887, reflecting a decline of 268 (-8.5%) from the 3,155 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 789 (+33.3%) from the 2,366 counted in the 1990 Census. Seaside Heights is situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow barrier peninsula that separates Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. During the summer, the borough attracts a crowd largely under the age of 21, drawn to a community with boardwalk entertainment and one of the few shore communities with sizable numbers of apartments, attracting as many as 65,000 people who are often out until early morning visiting bars and restaurants.
Seaside Heights was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 26, 1913, from portions of both Berkeley Township and Dover Township (now Toms River Township), based on the results of a referendum held on March 25, 1913. The borough was named for its location on the Atlantic Ocean.
As a resort community, the beach, an amusement-oriented boardwalk, and numerous clubs and bars, make it a popular destination. Seaside Heights calls itself, "Your Home For Family Fun Since 1913!" The beach season runs from March to October, with the peak months being July and August, when the summer population explodes to 30,000 to 65,000. Route 37 in Toms River is routinely gridlocked on Friday afternoons in the summer months as vacationers travel to the barrier islands. The community is also known as the location of the hit MTV show Jersey Shore, with the director of the borough's business improvement district saying in 2010 that "we can't even calculate the economic benefit" to Seaside Heights from the continued presence of the show.
In 1915, Senate Amusement Company of Philadelphia planned to build an ocean-side attraction in Seaside Heights within feet of the border to Seaside Park. Their plan was to build a covered pier to house a carousel. The structure was built in 1915 under the direction of Joseph Vanderslice of Senate Amusement Company.