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Your favorite things to do in the winter

Over the years, we’ve accumulated a number of things-to-do-in-the-winter-/-“off”-season-in-Ocean-City. Basically, if you’ve been following our site for awhile, you could probably list about 100 things there are to do here in the wintertime off the top of your head (the first being, of course, Winterfest). But most of those hundreds of things-to-do we’ve written about over the years are from the perspective of us locals. To shake things up a bit, here are some favorite winter activities as told by Ocean City visitors who shared their secrets on our past and present forum threads.

Here are some of the things we like to do. 

1. Walk the Boardwalk – Even when it’s cold, there’s no better place to be. And, as long as it’s not raining, there’s still plenty of places open during the day. 

2. Ripley’s – If the chill coming off the water is too much, we’ll go in here. Since it’s a little less crowded than the summer months, you can look around more. 

3. Explore Coastal Highway – We stay in West OC, so in the summer months, it can at times be a pain in the neck to venture too far north on Coastal. But, in the winter, we’ll drive up that way and check out the OCBC, BJs, Roses at the ruins of the Ocean Plaza Mall, and the Gold Coast Mall. 

4. Bowling – The Ocean Lanes around 71st street offers bowling for a decent price. Cheap beers are nice too. 

5. Take Ocean City at a much slower pace – In the summertime, we tend to move more swiftly to try to get a spot on the beach or by the pool, but the off-season tends to be a bit slower, more leisurely. 

6. Have a drink – There’s plenty of watering holes still open. Some of which still offer great views, such as the 45th St. Tap House. Plus, if it’s chilly, they have the heat on, so you can sit down and enjoy some friendly service and good libations at choices that include The Cork Bar, The Bearded Clam, Backshore (if it’s not too cold), Fager’s, the OCBC, etc.

7. Get some takeout and watch a movie. – Sure, you can do that at home. But, at home, you can’t spend a day on the Boardwalk looking at the Atlantic Ocean, having some Thrasher’s or Pollock Johnny’s for lunch, then grabbing some food from Lombardi’s, putting on comfy clothes, and enjoying a DVD. –Kds53098

Ripley's Shark
Even the Ripley’s shark dons his Santa hat. 

I am fortunate enough to have a condo that overlooks the ocean. We come down a lot and just enjoy the view. It is also the ONLY time of the year that I will venture down the boardwalk. Sometimes we will do outlet shopping for Christmas or visit friends at a bar that live in Ocean Pines year round. We always spend New Year’s Eve at Seacrets with adult family, and visit our favorite bartenders all off-season. It helps that we can just cross the street. Haven’t been to the Winterfest light show (just haven’t had an interest) but now that we have a granddaughter we will probably go this year. –DeMan

Nothing beats a wintertime view of the beach. 

We love OC in the winter. Smaller crowds, but a fairly large number of restaurants open. Don’t usually do the bar scene.
The ocean and beach are always there, and the winter experience is interesting. We watch it from our deck, or if it’s too cold, from the window. 
Walks on the beach, or even the quiet streets, are nice.
Our daughter is in Berlin, so we can visit them.
And like anywhere else, you can turns to books, the internet or TV for entertainment. –tmginoc

Berlin is especially beautiful when it’s decked out around Christmastime. 

The Life Saving Station museum is always a treat. The old “Laughing Sally” is in there and she’s still just as funny as ever. The Art League on 94th St. is worth a trip to see. Beautiful artwork inside on display and some available to buy, plus you’ll often find area artists working on projects and they’ve always been happy to answer questions about their work. I have a piece I bought there still hanging above my bed. When you enter the Art’s Center, you’ll see a large glass installation suspended from the ceiling by Jeffrey Auxer. His studio is in nearby Berlin and it’s open to the public. You can even make an appointment and make your own glass blown ornament to hang on your holiday tree or in a window, plus he has a retail shop where you can buy something small like glass earrings, or as large as a massive vase or wall decor. You don’t need an appointment to visit the shop. And Berlin is a great place to spend the day.
Assateague is perfect on a warm winter day. Nobody around, lots of shells, and it’s so quiet. And on your way into the park, there’s a nature center on the right just before you go over the causeway that’s very interesting. Or even Bethany Beach has small shops and things to explore and parking is free now. 
And of course, it’s the perfect time to check out restaurants you’ve never been to because of summer crowds. Many have winter specials to entice you. 
And you can’t miss the Winterfest of Lights … it’s a must see. It’s at Northside Park on 125th St. And to top it off, there are usually horse drawn carriage rides available around the inlet end of the boardwalk, beautiful on a holiday winter night. –Z06RL

*Obligatory Winterfest photo.*
Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com 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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