our everyday life

Activities for Kids in Ocean City, New Jersey

by Sharon Perkins , studioD

When you take your kids to Ocean City, the beach itself will be the main attraction for many families. When it's time to come out of the water, it's good to know that Ocean City has plenty of evening and non-beach activities to keep you and your children occupied. Since Ocean City bills itself as a family destination, alcohol isn't sold anywhere within the city limits. Child-friendly activities rank high on the city's priority list.

On the Water

Your kids might be perfectly happy spending their entire vacation in Ocean City on or in the water. Kids under age 12 enter the beach free; older children and adults must have beach tags good for a day, week or season from early June through early September. When their interest in the water wanes, activities taking place on the water may appeal to your kids. Because Ocean City is bordered by the ocean on one side and the bay on the other, you can rent jet skis, speedboats or wave runners to use on the calmer bay side. Take a charter fishing expedition or a sailing trip and let someone else do the navigating for you.


The Ocean City boardwalk is home to two major amusement areas, Gillian's Wonderland Pier, which includes a water park and Playland's Castaway Cove, which has over 30 rides as well as miniature golf and miniature racecars. Both have rides designed to please both the younger set and the older daredevils in your group. You might have difficulty prying older children out of Jilly's Arcade, which contains both older and newer video games as well as activities such as skee ball.


Ocean City features two main shopping areas: the downtown area and the boardwalk. The boardwalk shopping area stretches for 2.5 miles and contains stores with beachwear, shore foods, beach toys, books, face painting and hair braiding. You can even pick up a hermit crab complete with painted shell and cage. Rent bikes or surreys and make short work of the distance before noon, when bikes are required to clear the Boardwalk. If your kids love to eat, pick up the quintessential Boardwalk pizza at one of the several Mancos and Mancos pizza stands or head for popular restaurants like The Chatterbox downtown. If your children have a sweet tooth, check out Fralinger's, Shriver's and Steel's on the boardwalk to compare their fudge and salt water taffy or stop at Kohr's or Jilly's for custard.

Rainy Day Activities

For rainy days, hit the movie theater on the Boardwalk, called the Strand 5, which plays family-friendly movies during the summer months. The Ocean City Music Pier, on the Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace, has concerts and artist performances all summer long. Your kids might also enjoy stopping in to paint a clay creation at Glazed Over downtown, doing arts and crafts at Butterfly Boutique or creating one-of-a-kind jewelry at Potomac Bead Company.

About the Author

A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images