Senior Week in Ocean City

Senior Week in Ocean City

Are you finished with high school and ready to kick off an amazing summer before heading to college in the fall? If you answered ‘yes’ to the previous question, Senior week in Ocean City, Maryland is the answer you have been looking for. Senior Week in Ocean City is typically the week after your school holds graduation, so the deals and associated events run throughout June. Many Ocean City hotels offer Senior Week specials and Play it Safe (a local organization dedicated to helping senior weekers have an exciting and safe beach trip) hosts numerous weekly events, like beach volleyball, pizza eating contests, dance parties, and more, for FREE. Play it Safe also offers bus wristband that allows senior weekers to travel on the bus for free the duration of their trip.

When is Senior Week?

Senior Week, otherwise known as Beach Week, usually happens the week following a high school’s graduation, so Senior Week on an individual basis totally depends on the school district and its scheduling.

In Ocean City, the three or so weeks that tend to be overrun by the graduating classes tend to fall between the last week of May and the first two weeks of June.

Things to Do for Senior Week

When you’re not bouncing around on the bus between free Play it Safe events, consider strolling the Boardwalk and checking out all the sights, sounds, shops, and rides; getting wet and wild with a jet ski, parasailing, or jetovator ride from Odyssea Watersports or the numerous rental companies in Ocean City; taking a trip to explore the serene beauty of Assateague, including its world-famous wild ponies; dancing the night away at H20- Ocean City’s only under-21 dance club; or just lounging on the beach while enjoying the freedom of graduation.

Play It Safe OC

Some people, usually the younger folk, associate Senior Week with good times, meeting new friends and maybe a little bit of nostalgia if their week has already passed. Others, usually the locals and long-time vacationers, aren’t as thrilled with the shenanigans that the high school grads tend to get into.

Play It Safe is an effort to keep some of those shenanigans at bay. From the Play It Safe website:

“In 1989, then Governor William Donald Schaefer asked the Mayor of Ocean City, Roland Powell, to set up a committee to fight the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in our community. Thus, was born the Ocean City Drug Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee Inc that works in a partnership with state and local government agencies, as well as many businesses and concerned citizens…

PLAY IT SAFE sponsors special alcohol and drug-free events during June honoring high school graduates who choose to celebrate their graduation in Ocean City, Maryland.

THE MISSION OF PLAY IT SAFE is to encourage high school graduates to make informed, healthy choices while having responsible fun without the use of alcohol and other drugs.”
When Senior Week nears, you can find an updated calendar of free Play It Safe events, from bowling to beach sports to karaoke, on their website.

Ocean City Hotels that Welcome Seniors

Some hotels welcome Seniors during Senior Week in Ocean City. Some, however, discourage anybody under 21 years of age from renting a room. Some properties require parental signatures and some require higher security deposits. Ocean City has been welcoming graduating seniors for decades and the Town is set up for a week of fun.  However, be sure you communicate and follow the rules laid out by your host hotel or vacation rental property. You could lose your room and your money if you violate the terms of your rental.

Grand Hotel and Spa

“We allow kids staying at our property, we just have a special policy for them.

Kids between 17-20 years old need to fill the under 21 form, which we email when the reservation is made. The form requires one of their parents’ IDs and a copy of their credit card. This request is for everybody who will stay in the room. Besides room+tax, we also require a $500 deposit refundable at check out.

Kids 17 years old and under need to stay with an adult (over 21 years old) in the room.”

Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel 

“We require registered guests to be 18 years of age and take a $500 refundable deposit once we inspect room upon checkout to ensure no damage done. ” 

Gateway Hotel & Suites

“All we require is one of the people be 18 yrs old and that the room is held with a credit card, even if they come in and split the room 4 ways with cash and debit cards…one will remain on file as the responsible party. I prefer to get a parent to put up this card because it makes the kids feel more responsible and more likely TO be able to put a charge on it if needed. We do charge for smoking in the room or for excessive cleaning (when the carpet needs to be cleaned etc).  We DO NOT take an extra deposit up front. Many places DO, in hopes of either making money off the guests or because it’s actually good to have a guarantee payment for violations.

Kids like this location because of the free breakfast and close to the boardwalk, rides, H2O and bus stop. We welcome them.”

Boardwalk Hotel Group

(includes Howard Johnson and Days Inn hotels)

“We do not require a parent signature, but everyone in the room must be at least 18 years old and show a valid ID upon check-in. We also require an Under 21 Contract be reviewed and signed by all staying in the room in addition to a $500 security deposit. The contract and security deposit must be mailed in 30 days prior to the arrival date. The $500 must be in the form of a check or money order. We will mail the guest a check after check-out given there are no damages to the room.”

(includes the Surf Inn Suites, Madison Beach Motel, and the Buckingham Hotel)

“OCRooms offers a selection of properties, to fit your group needs. Choose between motel rooms, efficiencies, apartments or beach homes which can sleep anywhere from 2 to 16! We are happy to rent to anyone over the age of 18, as well as minors with parental consent.”

Ocean 1 Hotel and Suites

“A security deposit of $200.00 per person at check in is required for guests under 25 yrs old. The deposit will be refunded at check out after room inspection, provided no damages, evictions, theft or destruction of hotel property.”

Regardless of how you choose to spend it, your college graduation isn’t complete until you experience the rights of passage known as Senior Week in Ocean City, so pack your bathing suits, shades, and suntan lotion, gather your friends, and head east for a week that you are sure to remember for the rest of your life. Making life-long memories isn’t always easy, but the following activity guide will help you to make the most of your vacation, and make you forget all about that summer job your parents are making you get when you get home.

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