Fun for the Kids

Children are guaranteed to be entertained while in Ocean City, MD.    There are summer camps available for boys and girls of all ages, activities at local hotels, as well as several entertaining attractions in Ocean City.

            Ocean City Recreation and Parks division offers numerous camps throughout the summer.  From cheerleading to golf, there is a camp for nearly every interest a child may have.  The general age group for the camps is kindergarten through twelfth grade and the majority of the camps are for boys and girls.  The average fee for a camp is $110 for Ocean City residents and $120 for non-residents.  The camps are roughly two hours a day for three days and some are offered throughout the entire summer.  Also, with only a few exceptions, all of the camps are held at the Northside Park. 

            There are several camps available for seasonal sports.   Two basketball camps are offered.   There is the “All Star Basketball Camp” for boys and girls as well as an “All Star Camp” for girls only.  As for football, there is the “Ravens Youth Football Camp”.  For lacrosse, there is a boy’s camp, which is called “Lax’n at the Beach Boys Lacrosse Camp” and a girl’s camp, called “Fast Break Girls Lacrosse Camp”.  Soccer also offers two camps.  There is “For the Love of Soccer Camp” and “Winterfest Soccer Camp”.  Also, there is a wrestling camp called “Kerry McCoy’s Maryland Wrestling Camp”.

            In addition to seasonal sports camps, there are a number of recreational sports camps in Ocean City, Maryland.  For those children interested in tennis, there are two tennis camps.  There is the “Ocean City Tennis Academy” and the “Pee Wee Tennis Camp”, which is for young children, ages 4-6.  There is a volleyball camp called “Bayside Volleyball Camp”.  “Eagles Landing Golf Camp” offers a session for beginners and intermediate players.  The Ocean Bowl Skate Park has three camp sessions available during the summer for the increasingly popular sport.

            Some outdoor sports camps include: fishing, boogie boarding, and junior beach patrol.  The fishing camp, one of the newer camps, is called “CD Outdoors’ Ocean City Fishing Camp”.  One of Ocean City’s surf shops, Endless Summer, provides a boogie board camp many different times throughout the summer.  Also, for those children who are interested in the beach and lifeguarding, there is the “Junior Beach Patrol Academy”, which is offered as both a camp and a seminar. 

            There are also camps for dancers and cheerleaders in Ocean City.  The cheerleading camp is called “Sideline Cheerleading Camp”.  There are two dance camps available for boys and girls.  “Showtime Dance Camp” is for ages 5-12 and “Ballerina Beach Babies Camp” is for young children from 3-5 years old.

            In addition to sports, there are nature and science camps.  The nature camp available is “OC Coastal Bays Bio Blitz Camp”.  There are four science camps that include: “Dig Dug Dinosaur Fossil Exploration Camp”, “Ocean City Model Rocket Camp”, “Botball-Titan Tank Robot Battle Camp”, and “Space Nine Marty-Beetle Robot Battle Camp”.

            Finally, Ocean City Recreation and Parks has two day camps.  “Scamper Camp”, which is for children between the ages 3 and 5 allows the kids to participate in activities and go on field trips.  For the bigger kids (ages 5 to 12), “Camp Horizon” is a day camp that has creative, recreational, and educational activities. 

            The participants of the camps are roughly 50% locals and 50% tourists.  The children who take part are year-round locals, property owners who live in Ocean City for the entire summer, and weekly renters.  The camps are at various times in order to satisfy vacationers and locals.  Renters who want to have family time on the beach can still send their kids to camps.  Many of the camps are a couple hours a day and are less than a week long.  Recreation Superintendent, Kate Gaddis said it is a “mix of family time and keeping the kids entertained and happy.”  However, locals who want longer camps have that option as well.  The camps provide locals with experiences offered by very qualified directors that do not cost the price of sleepover camps.

            Each summer the Recreation and Parks division of the town of Ocean City adds one or two more camps in order to meet the needs of the children participating.  The longest running camp is soccer, which is currently in its 22nd year.  According to Kate Gaddis, she receives a tremendous amount of positive feedback through surveys and evaluations of the camps.  Ocean City’s Recreation and Parks is constantly looking to improve its summer camp programs in order to satisfy the needs of the children in OC.

            In addition to summer camps, there are several hotels in Ocean City, MD that provide kids’ programs for their guests.  Some hotels that do a remarkable job of entertaining children are the Castle in the Sand, Francis Scott Key, Carousel, and Clarion.

            The Castle in the Sand, located beachfront on 37th street is known for the amount of kids’ activities they offer.  Characters like Lady Sunshine, Sunshine the Clown, and Captain Sunshine tells stories and put on shows for the children.  Arts and crafts include message in a bottle, postcard making, pet shell making, “Silly Hat Making!”, and Fabulous Face and Body Painting.

            Francis Scott Key, located in West OC off route 50, provides kids’ activities everyday, all day.  Every day of the week from 10am to 8pm there are a variety of things for children to do.  Some activities include relays, bingo, crafts, scavenger hunts, miniature golf tournament, etc.  The events are for children of all ages who are guests of the hotel. 

            In addition to the Castle in the Sand and Francis Scott Key, the Carousel, which is on Oceanside of 118th street, is another hotel that provides activities for children.  They provide a camp, known as “Camp Carousel” that allows parents to drop off their children for three hours to participate in organized activities.  There is a free ice show every night in July and August, as well as specific skate times available for children to use the indoor skating rink.  Also, the Carousel has a moon bounce and a pirate ship set up in their outside lawn.

            Another hotel that does a commendable job of entertaining the children is the Clarion, located beachfront on 101st street.  Two mornings a week arts and crafts are offered.  There is a children’s playground on the beach, as well as an indoor pool, arcade games and a Children’s Corner at the Buffet.  Lollipop the Clown paints faces and John performs magic from the end of June through the rest of the summer.  Also, Brian, who was rated #2 on the US Pro Tour, teaches bodyboarding every Wednesday at the Clarion.  This is a very popular activity among parents and children t
hat consists of water safety training, Brian performing his tricks and signing autographs followed by the kids getting in the water and trying bodyboarding on their own.  According to the head of sales at the Clarion, Renee Sideon, the goal of their kids’ programs is to “try to make it comfortable for everyone so that everyone can enjoy their vacation.  If you have extra activities for the kids it makes the parents feel better and the kids feel better.”

            One popular attraction for children and families is Assateague Island.  This barrier island has miles of beach, sand dunes, and marsh that are beautiful to explore.  For those junior naturalists, there are mini-day camps offered in the summer that allow children to explore the habitats, fly kites, perform nature experiments, and learn kayak and canoe safety.  Aquarium Talk is a kids program in which children learn about the creatures in the water surrounding the Island.  Another program, Bay Discovery, allows children to examine marine organisms in the bay

            Another attraction meant for kids is the pirate ship rides that are both uptown and downtown in Ocean City, Maryland.  Duckaneer Pirate Ship departs every day at 9:30am from Talbot Street and the Bay.  Aboard the ship is face painting, story telling, dancing, and water cannons.  There is also the Pirate Adventure on the Sea Gypsy.  This ship takes off at Harpoon Hannas on 142nd Street bayside.  The adventure includes singing sea chanteys, taking an oath of loyal sailors, story telling, and treasure finding.

            Ocean City, MD is a great place for children because of the many activities, camps, and programs available.  In addition to the camps and programs there are arcades, go-carts, amusement parks, kite flying, waterslides, miniature golf, etc.  Have fun! 


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