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Fun In The Sun - Family Vacations In Ocean City

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Families have free access to 10 miles of Ocean City beach, all of it keep clean and safe with lifeguards on hand to help. The local golf courses and fishing spots that appeal to so many adults also have kid-friendly equivalents - the whole family can play mini-golf and go sport fishing off the pier. You'll find all the beach gear you need at low prices in Tanger Outlets too.

Fun on the beach


Throughout the summer, the Ocean City shoreline really lights up after sunset, with free firework displays, laser shows, and open-air concerts that get visitors barefoot dancing in the sand. After competing in a sand castle-building competition on the beach, the whole family can sit back in deckchairs to watch a movie together at an open-air screening.


The Boardwalk Beach


From June through August, the beach along the boardwalk becomes the town's main gathering spot. The entertainments are geared toward families with kids, and free events run from 6-10 PM, 6 nights a week at the height of summer season.


Inlet to 27th Street, Ocean City, Maryland 21842Tel: +1 800 OC OCEAN


The Boardwalk Beach website

Boardwalk diversions


Ocean City's boardwalk is 2.5 miles of fun, day and night. The wooden planks make it easier to maneuver a stroller than pushing along the sand, so a walk along the beach is no problem even with small kids. Arcades, rides, and Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze will keep older children occupied, and the whole family can don cowboy costumes or Southern belle hats and strike a pose to commemorate the vacation with an Old Time photo.


Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze


More than 100 mirrors send you in circles as you try to find your way out. If you lose your way, don't panic - search parties come through every half hour.


401 South Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City, Maryland 21842. Tel: +1 410 289 5600


Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze website


Marty's Playland


Your kids will tell you that all they time they spend on the vintage arcade machines and modern video games isn't wasted - high-scoring players can win coupons redeemable for prizes.


5 Worcester Street, Ocean City, Maryland 21842. Tel: +1 410 289 7271


Marty's Playland website


Old-fashioned amusements


Ocean City has been entertaining families for generations with vintage rides that are still in operation, including classic bumper cars, a historic carousel, and the world's first hybrid go-kart roller coaster. The local amusement parks don't charge admission fees, so you can pay for each ride as you go - spend an idle hour, or enjoy a full family day out.


Jolly Roger Amusement Park


With its water park, miniature golf course, and 1,000 feet of ziplines, Jolly Roger provides both high and low intensity fun. The kiddie-sized rides and free circus acts with acrobats, jugglers, and aerialists keep even the smallest visitors happy.


2901 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842. Tel: +1 410 289 3477


Jolly Roger Amusement Park website


Baja Amusements


You could easily spend a full day here racing each other around 8 go-kart tracks, testing your skill on the climbing walls, and drenching dad in the bumper boats. Check the website for discount coupons before you go.


12639 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842. Tel: +1 410 213 2252


Baja Amusements website


Parks and recreation


Even with 10 miles of beach at their feet, kids still love the park. Ocean City has a dozen well-maintained green spaces, many with good old-fashioned play areas where they can take turns on the swings, slides, and monkey bars. There are plenty of options for older children and teens too, including a tennis centre that caters to beginners and younger players, a concrete skate park with ramps and pools, and public beach volleyball courts.


Downtown Recreation Complex


Lighted basketball and tennis courts, as well as the custom-built Ocean Bowl Skate Park, make this a safe and fun hangout for teens.


4th Street, Ocean City, Maryland 21842. Tel: +1 410 250 0125


Downtown Recreation Complex website


Feeding the family


Younger diners in Ocean City tend to favor grab-and-go boardwalk fare like hot dogs, pizza slices, and the region's famous "Delmarvalous" fried chicken. But you can also treat the family to a sit-down meal or a fine-dining experience. Many local restaurants have kids menus with more adventurous selections than the usual grilled cheese and chicken fingers, though kids with picky palates can always go back to those basics too.


Fish Tales


This bayside treasure includes a run-aground pirate-ship playground, a video arcade for older children, and an onsite face painter who can transform the kids into swashbuckling buccaneers.


2207 Herring Way, Ocean City, Maryland 21842. Tel: +1 410 289 0990


Fish Tales website