From adventures on the sea, to rides, games and explorations on the land, there's “shore” to be something fun for everyone in Maryland's beach town of Ocean City.

Since Ocean City is the site of many recent high school graduates’ senior trips and college kids’ summer getaways, one might think it would be a beach for families to avoid. But each year families return to the smell of salty, greasy fries, the sight of melting ice cream cones and the tastes of sugar-coated funnel cakes that permeate Ocean City.

Numerous Ocean City tourism web sites proclaim it is “The East Coast’s Number One Family Resort” and the Travel Channel names it as having one of the “Best American Boardwalks.” Sit back, relax, and start vacationing right now! You don’t have to worry about all there is to do in the “10 miles of free, clean, sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean,” of which the Ocean City, Maryland Chamber of Commerce boasts. Let FTF suggest what is great for the kids, fun for older children and for the whole family. Just make sure you check out the free beach concerts every Wednesday night and bonfires on Thursday nights at Division Street.

Great Fun for the Kids

(Toddler to Age 8)

Pirate Adventures
Route 54 and the Bay
Fenwick Island, Delaware 19944
If you take your kids on this pirate cruise, they will do more than just see the ocean from the deck of a wooden ship. Kids with pirate-painted faces, decked in pirate sashes, help the captain and crew discover buried treasure, fend off an enemy pirate, retrieve their pirate booty and return home with their share of the spoils, after firing “cannons” and hearing pirate lore. These pirate cruises sail from Memorial Day through Lador Day with seven trips daily.

Planet Maze and Laser Storm
3305 Coastal Highway, at 33rd Street
Ocean City, Maryland 21842
For when the kids are tired of the outdoors, sunburned or going through gaming withdrawal. The “Planet Maze,” appropriate for kids 2-12, is a mix of tubes, tunnels, three-story slides and rope climbs, with balls to jump in, foam to crawl between, and places to bounce. All play is supervised by staff; cost is $6 pp. “Lost Galaxy Golf” is an 18-hole miniature golf course, whose outer-space theme fills the course with caves, mock meteors, spaceships and aliens, as well as special effects of fog, flames, waterfalls, and a moving spaceship. “Laser Storm” is a laser tag game based on the movie Star Gate, in which players attack the enemy and defend their team’s guardian. Each 10-minute game delivers scorecards that rank players’ performances. Cost is $18 pp, per three games. There is an arcade for those wanting to take a break from the other more physically involved game areas. Packages are available for a combination of activities.

Fun for Older Children

(Up to Age 18)

OC Rocket
Talbot Street on the Bay,
Ocean City, Maryland 21842
Aboard the OC Rocket, a trained crew blasts riders on a rocketing 50-minute cruise along the ocean. More than just a ride on a speedboat (the fastest boat in Ocean City, according to the Department of Tourism), this is an opportunity to see dolphins and other ocean life up close. Don’t worry there are life vests, for your piece of mind, and for the riders safety!

OC Bayside Watercraft Rentals
307 Dorchester Street
Ocean City,Maryland 21842
For those who are ready to move beyond the basics of swimming, tanning, surfing, boogie-boarding and beachcombing, there are other beach activities available. Ocean City has many adventurers who take advantage of the rentals available to them. Waverunner rentals are available for and can be used in a seven-mile radius. Jetboats for up to five people range from $130/hr to $160/hr. The cost of parasailing from 400-feet to 1,200-feet above the ocean ranges from $40- $70/pp. Pontoons and deckboat rentals are available and might be fun for the whole family to ride on together. Reservations are recommended two days in advance and discount coupons are available on the website. Please call in advance for age requirements on rentals.

Ocean Bowl Skate Park
3rd & St. Louis Avenue
Ocean City,Maryland 21842
Not just for tourists, this 17,000-square-foot, concrete-based park attracted skaters in 2005 to the Annual Skateboard Competition. The park has a pool with a deep and shallow end, a large vertical ramp and a miniature ramp, along with the 13,000-square-foot open concrete street course. It has facilities for all levels of skaters, but all skaters under 18 years must have permission from parents/guardians to participate. A limited number of pads and helmets are available for rent. Hours of operation vary by season and level of experience.

Fun for the Whole Family

Assateague Adventure Boat Rides
Talbot Street on the Bay
Ocean City,Maryland 21842
On this 90-minute cruise to nearby Assateague Island, your family can learn about ocean life, then get the chance to explore it on the ride’s layover on Assateauge Island. Once on the island, nature-investigating families can learn about and search for Assateague’s wild ponies, bird-watch, dredge for clams and see demonstrations with crabs together.

Life-Saving Station Museum
813 South Broadway
Ocean City, Maryland 21842
This museum is not only dedicated to preserving the history of life preserving on the east coast of the mid-Atlantic region, it also holds diverse exhibits, from mermaid costumes to Maryland’s largest caught fish (weighing 1210 lbs). In addition, the museum displays Doll’s House models of historic Ocean City homes, artifacts retrieved from 24 shipwrecks, 200 models of mermaids and a history of the bathing suit and beach toys. Aquarium tanks hold up close samplings of Ocean City’s sea life for kids and adults to gawk at. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under. The museum is open 11am-10pm daily June-September and 11am-4pm daily in October and May. Call for limited winter hours of operation.

Jolly Roger’s Amusement Park
30th Street and Coastal Highway & The Pier at the Boardwalk
Ocean City, Maryland 21842
Now with two locations within Ocean City, this growing amusement park chain has over 25 rides including kids’ rides, a rollercoaster, an antique train, bumper cars and flying helicopters. Admission is free and different ride passes and combinations are available. The parks are both open from late May through early September. Also, check out Speedworld with its advanced and kids’ race tracks, Splash Mountain Waterpark with 10 adult slides and kids’ attractions and the two kinds of miniature golf that are within the amusement park.

Trimper’s Rides & Amusements
S. First Street and the Boardwalk
Ocean City, Maryland 21842
Providing fun, rides and entertain for Ocean City since 1890, Trimper’s is one of the oldest, cleanest and largest amusement parks in Maryland. Featuring a beautifully restored carousel, kids and adults alike will love Trimper’s 40 plus rides, included the tea cups, a haunted house and the Slingshot.

  • Don’t forget our Beach Favorites for all ages:
    1. Building a sandcastle or sand estate
    2. Burying a relative/friend under the sand
    3. Walking along the boardwalk (wear sandals when it’s hot out)
    4. Cruising along Coastal Highway
    5. Eating Thrasher’s fries or sharing Dippin’ Dots futuristic ice cream


For places to stay in the area, see Hotels in Ocean City.

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