This summer’s been pretty mild in terms of weather, but there have been seasons fraught with rainy days like this on an almost weekly basis–sadly, that’s just the nature of summertime on the coast. Still, there are plenty of things to do on a rainy day in Ocean City. Obviously, when there are severe storm and tornado warnings, you’re going to want to seek shelter and stay safe before you seek out a rainy day boredom-buster, but if the day’s simply rainy and overcast, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your gray-skied vacation.
Use the lack of sunshine to your advantage today and learn something new! There are several unique and interesting museums in the area, and which one you decide to visit will depend on where you are, whether or not you’ve got kids in tow and where your interests lie.
The most well-known museum in the region is conveniently located on the Ocean City boardwalk at the Inlet. Ocean City’s Live-Saving Museum was built in 1891 and is well-preserved, being one of just a handful of Live-Saving Stations used today for historical and educational purposes. Visit the museum and learn all about the Live Saving Service of the early 20th century, see tons of relics from Ocean City’s history and set aside some time for the kids to play in the Little Keepers Day Room. Take your time, and the Life-Saving Museum can keep the whole family busy for several hours.
On the other end of Coastal Highway, just on the border of Fenwick, DE, is Sea Shell City: a nautical novelty store downstairs with a DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum upstairs. Take the time to read about historic shipwrecks, or just look at the memorabilia and quirky artifacts (including the terrifying corpse remains of a “mermaid”). If you find yourself closer to the Salisbury area and have an interest in the local wildlife, Salisbury’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art has the world’s largest collection of antique decoys and artwork that emphasizes the beauty of wildfowl.
Find out what classes and events are currently being offered at the Ocean City Center for the Arts, or just swing by and peruse the two-story gallery that displays new art from local and regional talents every month. The OCCFA also offers an art library, a pottery studio and a gift shop, plus some of the best bayside sunset views that Ocean City has to offer (after all, the sun could decide to come out and brighten up the evening).
Swing around a golf club
Burn off steam while taking shelter from the rain and taking part in what might as well be the official sport of Ocean City: mini golf. Old Pro has two indoor locations: an undersea adventure course at 68th street and a safari village course at 136th, both climate-controlled, open year-round and featuring arcades for additional fun. If you’re far into your vacation and are already mini-golfed out, opt instead for a family-friendly game of laser tag at Planet Maze.
Believe it (or not)
You knew this one was coming. If you find yourself at the beach or boardwalk while in the midst of a torrential downpour, head inside to Ripley’s Believe It or Not on Atlantic Avenue. In Ripley’s two-story museum, you’ll find over 500 oddities, exhibits and artifacts (interested in shrunken human heads? Rare animal skeletons?) that can certainly keep a family busy until the storm passes.
Catch a flick
In our annual Best of Ocean City awards, the Fox Sun and Surf Cinema was voted Best Rainy Day and Best Indoor Activity for 2017. So if you want to stick with the tried-and-true rainy day tradition of hitting the movie theater, the Sun and Surf at 14301 Coastal Highway is the place to go. See a new release or, if you’re lucky and stop by on the right day, catch a cinema classic–Fox has been known to screen old favorites from The Breakfast Club to The Godfather.
Hit up the mall
There’s the Tanger Outlets in West Ocean City, a somewhat-more-expansive Tanger shopping center in Rehoboth and, for when it’s too wet outside to weave in and out of stores in an outdoor mall, the totally-indoors Centre at Salisbury. Shop at popular stores, grab a bite at the food court and even see a movie at the Salisbury mall’s Regal Cinema.
You’ve been putting it off for far too long, but now that there’s nothing to do outside, head to the spa and treat yourself to a massage at OC Massage, a haircut at the Creative Day Spa or a manicure at the Salon By the Bay. Or, you know, maybe try all three. That’s why it’s called treating yourself.
The most obvious rainy day activity, but possibly the most popular among every demographic, is eating. If you can’t decide where to go, we have some helpful guides for crabs, buffets and restaurants voted the Best of Ocean City–maybe just choose somewhere that isn’t only known for their spectacular outdoor seating.