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You’ve waited all year to stick your toes in the sand and unwind during your Ocean City beach vacation, but if you’ve got kids tagging along, they probably have other plans. Luckily, more than its nightlife or opportunities for r&r, OC is known as a family-friendly resort town with so many activities and events geared towards children that it’s nearly impossible to hit them all. But don’t let yourself get overwhelmed – now’s the time to relax, after all. Just peruse our little guide below and decide for yourself what festivities you’ll treat the kids to this summer.

Rides and amusements

Surely the first thing that comes to mind when you picture your kids having a blast in OC is Trimper’s Rides on the boardwalk, or Jolly Roger Amusement Park on the boardwalk and on 28th street. But besides those boardwalk staples, there are limitless other entertainment options for kids: for the fantasy-loving adventurers, there’s the gold-mining, zip-lining, train-riding fun of Frontier Town, and the swashbucklin’ good time of Pirate Adventures. If your kids love to learn, take a trip to the boardwalk’s Life-Saving Museum or discover all the weirdness of the world at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. And for the thrill-seekers, fear not: you’re certain to find something you love at Baja Amusements, Speedworld Go-Karts, Under the Bridge Watersports or OC Screams. By the way, on 90-degree days, don’t forget that Jolly Roger’s and Frontier Town both have waterparks, and you can also venture out to Fenwick for Thunder Lagoon.

Free fun

We love the word “free” so much that we have an entire page dedicated to the free events happening year-round. During the summer, you can catch some Movies on the Beach throughout the week at 118th and 27th Streets, cheer on your team at the Family Beach Olympics every Tuesday evening, or bring the kids out to play in the spotlighted sand during the 100 Nights of Lights. Keep your eyes peeled for free events throughout the rest of the year, too – the city is pretty good about offering free family entertainment, you just have to know how to find it (and we’ll always keep you updated).

Seasonal events

Ocean City is a kid-friendly place no matter what the season. In the summer, for a small fee, you and your family can enjoy weekly Sundaes in the Park, or if you’re in town in mid-September, end the season with Sunfest and the subsequent Sunfest Kite Festival. Once the leaves start changing color, come hang out at the Family Bonfire on the Beach, celebrate All Hallows Eve at the Halloween Spook-Out Party and then bring your dog along to the annual Howl-O-Ween Parade. Take a winter vacation in OC to enjoy the Christmas Parade, Pizza with Santa and, of course, the Winterfest of Lights. Then get right back into the warmer-weather spirit with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Springfest.

Rain or shine

There’s always something to do here. If you throw a rock down Coastal Highway, there’s a good chance you’ll disrupt someone’s mini golf game at one of the many themed courses, where dinosaurs and aliens and cavemen abound. On sunny days, the beach and boardwalk are always free, and if you’ve got a horse-lover in your family, Assateague Island is the perfect place to sunbathe and watch the wild stallions walk by. Sports fanatics are welcome to release some energy with a game of beach volleyball or catch a Delmarva Shorebirds minor-league baseball game.
And even when the sun doesn’t shine, there’s no need to worry – instead, catch a movie at the Sun ‘n Surf theatre or, if you’re stranded on the boardwalk, get the family to say “cheese” for an Old Time Photo, or take shelter at the Fun City Arcade or Marty’s Playland.
For information on Ocean City businesses, check out our directory, and click here for details on events year-round.

Two kids with different ideas about the water.