The best fall weekend to visit Ocean City (and how to save a little money, too)

(Every weekend in the fall is a good one to visit Ocean City, but one of the best this year is Oct. 23-24.) 

Shore Craft Beer’s OCtoberfest

Friends and family enjoy a beautiful fall day with beer in Sunset Park.

Ocean City’s biggest craft beer festival will be back at the scenic Sunset Park in downtown Ocean City on Saturday, Oct. 23 with a rain date of the Sunday, the 24th. Set upon the beautiful Assawoman Bay and co-sponsored by the Ocean City Development Corporation and the Town of Ocean City, OCtoberfest is the celebration of local, delicious and seasonal craft beer.

Live music will be provided by Easton, Md. band Johnny Bling, vendors will sell crafts, cookies and other creations, and food trucks including The Street Kitchen and Pirates Cove Oyster Company will be on site. The event is child-friendly and pet-friendly, and there’s always a handful of dogs in the cutest Halloween costumes imaginable.

Save money (exclusive to this festival): Hotel packages are available from the Gateway Hotel, the Residence Inn by Marriott, and the Clarion Resort specifically for this event. More will be added.  Most of them include one- or two-night stays at a discounted rate, plus tickets to the festival, meal credits, pint glasses and/or gift certificates to local restaurants.

Dog in a dress
Also, if you’re in town the weekend prior, the Howl-o-Ween pet parade is just about the cutest OCtoberfest event there is.

10th Annual OCtoberfest Free Family Fun in Ocean City

OCtoberfest isn’t just a beer festival — it’s also the name of the town’s weekend in October (22-24) celebrating free family fun, with a little bit of spooky thrown in (but nothing that even the youngest kids can’t enjoy).

Giant Halloween Beach Maze

On the October 22, 23, and 24th, the giant Halloween Beach Maze will allow children of all ages to “enjoy a pleasant scream as they meander the sands of the giant, bigger and better than ever, beach maze!”

The Giant Beach Maze on North Division Street will be up and running for three days this year, but only on this one Fall weekend. Billed this year as “bigger and better than ever,” the maze is lined with witches, pirates, scarecrows, ghosts in the graveyard, zombies and more.

Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

October 23rd at 1 pm on the boardwalk near North Division Street will be the site of a parade of costumed pets.  You can “dress up your pets and parade the boards or sit back, relax and cheer for your favorite.”  There will be prizes and even “surprises” will be awarded.  The Worcester County Humane Society will be there to collect any donations of pet supplies or funds.  You’ll need to have a completed application before you can join.

Spooktacular Drive In Movie at the Inlet

No details out yet, but organizers say the details are coming on the drive-in spooktacular at the inlet Saturday night.

The Great Pumpkin Race

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Great Pumpkin Race allows families to build their own pumpkin race car to compete in a “wacky and zany side-by-side downhill race.”  Prizes will be awarded to winners in each division as well as a prize for creativity. Make sure to follow the Rules for the cars and get your application in early.


Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.

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